Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Up and down Cubs have avoided goose egg
By Doug Padilla
CHICAGO -- The fact that the Chicago Cubs have yet to be shut out this season could be a statistical oddity, or it could actually be a sign of something much different.
Starlin Castro has a hit in 31 of the 36 games he has played this season.
The Cubs might have been 11th in both runs scored (134) and on-base percentage (.309) heading into play Wednesday, but they still have managed to avoid getting blanked. They scored their first runs of Wednesday’s game in the fourth inning on a two-run home run from Alfonso Soriano.
The Los Angeles Angels lead baseball by getting shut out eight times, while the Cubs are one of four National League teams yet to go scoreless.
Whether it’s a run early, or even one late in a runaway game, the Cubs have still scored and the streak is somewhat a matter of pride now.
“We want to be a team that never gives up; we want to be a team that comes together and never shows that we’re down,” said leadoff man David DeJesus, who leads the team in runs scored with 22. “I feel that we’ve done that this year, and we have to stay mentally strong this season.”
Heart and guts are fine and dandy, but it doesn’t always push across a run with two outs and runners on the corners. Is there anything more tangible than that?
“I think one thing it shows is that there is a lot of ways we can score,” said Tony Campana, who has scored 12 runs and has stolen nine bases since being recalled April 21. “We have guys that can get on a run, and we have guys that can hit homers. I think that helps.”
Whatever it is, the Cubs have shown that every day that are good for at least one run, although their eight games of just a single run doesn’t necessarily show a monster offense at work.
It hasn’t hurt that Starlin Castro has a hit in 31 of the 36 games he’s played as the No. 3 hitter, and that cleanup man Bryan LaHair has reached base safely in his last 32 games, while leading the club with 10 home runs.
“We have Bryan LaHair. Yes, he’s hitting his homers and stuff like that, but we’re a scrappy team,” DeJesus said. “We don’t ever feel that we’re out of the game. We feel like we have a good offense. When it starts clicking we have guys who can roll and do different types of things, hit for power, hit for average, steal bases. We have a good mixture in our lineup.”