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Saturday, June 15, 2013
Feldman's big day raises issues for Cubs

By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNChicago.com

NEW YORK -- Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum wasn’t cringing because Scott Feldman decided to slide head-first into third base.

“Actually in his case, we’re probably better off that he head-first dives because of [his] knee,” Sveum said after Feldman carried the Cubs to a 5-2 victory over the New York Mets on Saturday afternoon with his arm, bat and legs.

“I was cringing because why are you going to third? You’re a starting pitcher, and you’ve got a bad knee. That’s what I was thinking as he was running to third.”

Feldman (6-5, 3.05 ERA) ended up picking up the win after allowing just one run on two hits over seven innings. He also delivered a clutch two-run single with two outs in the fourth that staked the Cubs to a 2-0 lead, then proceeded to go from first to third on Darwin Barney’s base knock.

It was anything but graceful, though it worked.

“I didn’t know what I was doing, actually,” Feldman, who thinks the last time he slid head-first was back in college, said. “I just kinda decided to go, I guess, and then I realized it was gonna be a close play. You don’t want to make the third out at third, so I just tried to [do] everything I could to sneak my hand in there.”

Feldman now has eight RBIs this season -- four of them against the Mets.

With David DeJesus on the disabled list, the Cubs are short on the bench, and Sveum mentioned that he could possibly use Feldman as a pinch hitter.

“Ha. I don’t know. I think I might be fourth or fifth on the depth chart with that, but maybe pinch runner,” Feldman said.

Feldman surrendered back-to-back doubles to Daniel Murphy and David Wright to start the fourth before retiring the final 12 batters he faced. He did face a scare with two outs in the sixth when Wright drilled a ball to deep left, but Alfonso Soriano jumped at the wall to make the catch.

“The one that David Wright hit, the minute that I let it go I was wishing I could have it back, and I thought he’d tied the game right there,” Feldman said. “I was talking with [former Met Scott] Hairston, and he was saying the wind was blowing slightly in, so that was what saved me right there.”

Feldman, who signed a one-year, $6 million contract in the offseason, understands that his name is going to come up in trade rumors prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. But, while he understands it’s part of the business, he made it clear that he wants to stay in Chicago.

“Absolutely. Yeah. I’d love to [stay here],” Feldman said. “That kinda stuff always happens this time of year with a number of players, and I’ve never really been in that position before, but I hope we can get hot and get back in this thing a little bit and then it’ll be harder to trade away some of the guys. But either way I love it in Chicago, and I’m happy to put a Cubs uniform on.”