Sunday, May 20, 2012
Even with help, offense hits a new low
By Doug Padilla
CHICAGO -- Not even an ideal hitting day could help the Chicago Cubs on Sunday as they were shut out for the first time this season.
Sure they had scored just one run in eight separate games, but they'd at least avoided getting blanked.
That all came to an end in a 6-0 loss to a dominating Jake Peavy and the cross-town White Sox. Actually it nearly came to an end Saturday, but the Cubs managed to score four runs in the ninth inning to at least make things a little interesting.
Ian Stewart reacts after striking out swinging with the bases loaded in the eighth inning.
With the wind blowing out for the first time this season Sunday, manager Dale Sveum said before the game that some offensive fireworks could be ahead. The White Sox were the only ones to light the fuse, hitting three home runs for the second consecutive day.
The Cubs scored 15 total runs in their just-completed five-game homestand, losing all five of the games.
“You know Peavy’s going to be tough, he’s one of the best pitchers in the league, but with that wind the way it was blowing you thought there would be some contact that would get up in that kind of wind and at least get a solo home run or something,” Sveum said. “We had our chances. We had the bases loaded a couple of times and didn’t do too much."
In the 27 innings against the White Sox this weekend, the Cubs scored in just three of them.
“After going through a pretty good two-week stretch, now we’re on a week stretch of no wins and obviously being swept by the White Sox at home is about as low as you’re going to get,” Sveum said.
The Cubs’ leading RBI man Starlin Castro drove in just one run during the series.
“It’s very frustrating not only for me but for our team,” Castro said. “We’re struggling right now but we’re going to be good. We’re going to win some games and keep working hard and see what happens.”
Bryan LaHair leads the Cubs in home runs with 10, but has just four of those at home, where he has played more than half his games. He didn’t hit one on the just-completed homestand and would have gone hitless over the five games at Wrigley Field had he not delivered a single Sunday.
“We have to just keep working hard,” LaHair said. “That’s really all we can do. We’re going to work hard and try to get better each day and the more we play with each other and the more we get used to each other as a team (will help). We have good chemistry in the clubhouse so it’s probably just a matter of time before this kind of team will click.”