Game Seventy-Three – Cubs 0 Twins 3
Updated – 9:54pm C.T. – Freddie Bynum Taken to the Hospitol
The Cubs had their chances on Saturday night and wasted a much-improved outing by Mark Prior. The Cubs had two big base running mistakes that erased lead off singles in 2nd and 4th and the attempted steal of 3rd by Freddie Bynum cost them a run. Tony Womack left the game in 3rd with lower back spasms and had to be carried off the field by both Dusty Baker and Mark O’Neal….his feet did not touch the turf.
Mark Prior was one out shy of a quality start and if the Cubs had not allowed another rookie to dominate them Prior would have won the ball game….he pitched well enough to pick up the win. Prior threw three perfect innings and did not allow a hit until a leadoff single by Luis Castillo in the 4th. Prior looked very confident, his velocity was up and his command was much more “Prior like” than in his last start against the Tigers.
The Cubs were shutout for the 8th time this season and are now a season low 17 games under .500. The Cubs allowed Boof Bonser to throw his best game of his short Major League career. Bonser shutout the Cubs on just 6 hits….all singles and struck out one without giving up a free pass. The Cubs had their chances but bad base running and a double play in the 3rd by Henry Blanco kept them from scoring off of Bonser. Bonser had given up 7 home runs in his 3 previous starts but the Cubs could not get anything but singles off the rookie right-hander. He did not pitch well, the Cubs continued swinging at first pitches and keep refusing to make the opposing pitcher work….Bonser threw only 81 pitches. The Cubs cannot expect to win games when they just go up and swing like a recreational softball team. Juan Pierre added his second hit of the series, a leadoff double in the 9th off of Joe Nathan but Matt Murton, Aramis Ramirez and Phil Nevin were retired in order by Nathan and Pierre never advanced past 2nd. The Cubs put the leadoff man on base four times on Saturday night. Joe Nathan picked up his 100th save.
The Cubs recorded 7 hits, 3 were by Phil Nevin and were not patient enough to take a walk. The aggressiveness that this offense displays night after night, day after day is just nauseating. They are making no-name pitchers look like Cy Young candidates while the rest of the league is beating these pitchers like they should be beaten. Who is Boof Bonser? What about Chris Sampson? Juan Cruz? The 8th shutout of the year is the worst in the National League.
With the injury to Tony Womack and with the Cubs only carrying 24 on the active roster right now due to Michael Barrett’s suspension, Dusty got a chance to empty his bench….too bad that most of those guys would be in a AAA uniform if they were with any other organization.
The Cubs look to Sean Marshall to salvage the last game of the series and end the road trip with a win to go to 3-3 on the 6-game trip. The Brewers come to Chicago on Monday for a 4-game series that will feature three lefties….hopefully Derrek Lee will be back, the Cubs are now 21 games under .500 since April 19th.
Update – According to a report from the Associated Press, Freddie Bynum was taken to the hospital on Saturday night following the Cubs loss to the Twins. Bynum was experiencing swelling in his right arm and the cause was unknown. Bynum did make a diving catch on the turf on a ball he lost in the Dome during the game. Bynum made the catch in foul territory after diving to reach the ball.