Adam Dunn’s historic ineptitude against left-handed pitching has convinced Ozzie Guillen to frequently bench him versus southpaws, but the manager said yesterday that he’s not yet to the point of pinch-hitting for Dunn once he’s already in the lineup:
I would rather put him on the bench against lefties and give him some time than pinch-hit for him. Every time this guy is at the plate, I have confidence and think he’s going to do it. In the meanwhile, unless I have Konerko or Quentin on the bench, who else is it going to be? Lillibridge?
I imagine Brent Lillibridge picking up the newspaper this morning over breakfast, reading that quote, and just shaking his head.
Dunn is 3-for-78 versus lefties (seriously, three hits in 78 at-bats) and Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune notes that he set a record yesterday by going hitless with at least three strikeouts for the 17th time this season. And he’s only started 95 games.
The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.
The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.
Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.
The matchups for Tuesday’s action:
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.