<
>

Wells' outing has Cubs considering Volstad

6/21/2012

CHICAGO -- Forget the clutch hit, the Cubs could use a clutch ground out to the right side at this point.

For the second consecutive night, the Cubs wasted a leadoff triple by not getting the run home. On Tuesday night it was David DeJesus who was left at third with White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy on the mound. On Wednesday, Starlin Castro had a triple to start the sixth inning and never moved again.

Trailing by three runs Wednesday, the Cubs were trying to get on the scoreboard for the first time against White Sox starter Gavin Floyd. When the same thing happened Tuesday, at least the Cubs had a lead at that point and they were able to hang on for the victory without the insurance run.

It was the second time in Wednesday’s game the Cubs couldn’t move a runner along. DeJesus had a leadoff double in the third inning, but Castro couldn’t get him over with no outs in a scoreless game. The White Sox scored their first two runs in the bottom of that inning.

“Those are things we have to get better at,” manager Dale Sveum said. “We gave one away that we could have taken the lead on early (in the third inning) if we could have got the guy over and we swing at the first pitch and roll over and don’t get anything out of that. That was probably the key of the game right there.”

Although not as high profile as some of his previous gaffes, Sveum’s words sounded like another indictment of Castro’s inability to recognize a situation and utilize the proper plan of attack. But Castro isn’t the only one with situational-hitting problems.

The Cubs have struggled with runners in scoring position all season, batting just .234 in those instances heading into play Wednesday. They were also tied for 22nd in baseball in sacrifice flies with 13.

In the end, their failure to bring home the run from third Wednesday became moot when Gordon Beckham hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the White Sox a six-run lead.