Cubs Look to Play Spoiler
Geovany Soto
Geovany Soto

Posted Sep 20, 2011


With the Milwaukee Brewers in town and the Cubs having a chance to play spoilers, look for Chicago manager Mike Quade to play most of his veterans during the three-game series.

"I've got it somewhat mapped out," Quade said before the Cubs beat the Brewers 5-2 Monday night.

The Brewers threw lefty Chris Narveson at the Cubs on Monday, and they'll throw another, Randy Wolf, on Wednesday. Quade started left-handed-hitting Carlos Pena at first base Monday, and he said Bryan LaHair, another left-handed hitter, would start Wednesday against Wolf. LaHair is a September call-up, but he hardly qualifies as a "kid," at 28 years old.

"We'll see how those guys do," Quade said. "We've got some pretty good numbers with these guys. We'll still mix and match, but yeah, it's a little bit different than playing Houston or whatever. There won't be a 'kids day' against these guys."

In addition to playing the role of spoilers, the Cubs have said they don't want the Brewers to clinch the division title at Wrigley Field.

"This is our home turf, so we want to go out there and win some games and have them not do that," Ryan Dempster said. "I know they've had a good year, but I could really care less to see somebody clinch on our field."

Quade sounded more than happy about getting a victory Monday.

"They're a rival, just like the Cardinals," Quade said. "There's always a little something extra. They've had a hell of a season, and I'd like to see them not clinch it here. So tonight was a good start."

NOTES, QUOTES

--RHP Kerry Wood will miss the rest of the season because of a meniscus tear in his left knee. Wood said he will have arthroscopic surgery on the knee shortly after the season ends. "It's one of those things," Wood said. "I squatted down and stood up and, 'Pop.' Sharp pain and burning. I'm glad it happened now instead of getting through the season and going into spring and having something happen in spring."

Wood, 34, signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal last winter to return to Chicago. He says he'll either pitch for the Cubs next year or he'll retire.

"I'm not going to play anywhere else," he said. "This is where I want to be. If they need me back, I'll be back."

--C Geovany Soto hit his 16th and 17th home runs of the season, and he also had a run-scoring single, finishing with five RBI. While the home runs have come, Soto's batting average is just .224. "I think, to me, his program from here on out is to really find a way to get better at handling the breaking ball," Quade said. "I think it's that simple. To go along with that, handle the outside part of the plate a little better."

Added Soto: "I've been striking out a lot more this year. I was in a good rhythm in May, and then I got hurt. It's just one of those years. It doesn't matter. I just play."

--RHP Casey Coleman got his first win since May 19. He did it by going six innings and giving up two hits and one run against Milwaukee. He struck out a career-high eight. Coleman has always been a finesse pitcher. "When you strike out a lot of guys, it shows you're getting ahead and throwing strikes with all your pitches," Coleman said. "Tonight, I was able to do that."

--SS Starlin Castro increased his hit total to 196 with a seventh-inning single. He has reached base safely in a career-best 32 straight games. He is the first Cubs shortstop with a streak that long since Woody English had a 32-game run in 1930.

--C Steve Clevenger and RHP Rafael Dolis were promoted from Class AA Tennessee, which lost the Southern League championship series Sunday. Both will be looking to make their major league debuts. Clevenger, 25, hit a combined .319/.383/.475 with eight homers and 54 RBI in 120 games split between Tennessee and Class AAA Iowa. Dolis, 23, went 8-5 with 17 saves and a 3.22 ERA in 51 relief appearances for Tennessee.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 -- Soto has three two-homer games in his career, and all have come against the Brewers.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Just go out there and have fun and compete. It's baseball. You're out there competing, but at the same time, you've got to remember to have fun. That's what happened tonight." -- Coleman, on his approach during Monday's 5-2 win over the Brewers.


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