Mather gets Cubs outfielders on the board
April, 29, 2012
By Doug Padilla | ESPNChicago.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Marlon Byrd, Alfonso Soriano, David DeJesus and Tony Campana couldn’t do it, so Joe Mather took care of recording the first home run from a Chicago Cubs starting outfielder this season.
Hunter Martin/Getty ImagesJoe Mather hit the first home run by a Cubs outfielder this season on Sunday.
The Cubs were the last big league team without a home run from an outfielder until Mather went deep in the fourth inning Sunday. It was just the third time Mather started in the outfield this season.
“Is that right?” Mather said afterward. “I had no idea. That’s kind of a crazy fact that I would have never guessed.”
Asked if he can now pound his chest when he walks by the starting outfielders, Mather wouldn’t go there.
“No way,” said Mather, who hit his home run with his sister, girlfriend and some nephews in the stands. “I have too much respect for those guys, especially [Soriano]. He’s going to take off here any second.”
Home runs have been hard to come by for the Cubs regardless of position. Yes, the Cubs have played one series in spacious Marlins Park and many of their home games have come with the wind blowing in, but it wasn’t going to be a big long-ball team even under ideal conditions.
The Cubs entered play last in home runs in all of baseball with seven, and Bryan LaHair had four of those. They were the only club not in double digits.
Manager Dale Sveum chuckled when asked about finally getting a home run from an outfielder.
“What it is it today, Game 20, 21?” Sveum said. “I don’t know what the record is but we were probably closing in on it, in the modern era anyway.”