Cubs edge Giants 1-0 on Nate Schierholtz’s home run in ninth
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org July 27, 2013 11:21PM
Updated: July 28, 2013 12:14AM
SAN FRANCISCO — If right fielder Nate Schierholtz is in his final days as a Cub, he’s going out with a bang.
Make that two bangs in the last four games.
Schierholtz’s one-out home run in the ninth inning lifted the Cubs to a 1-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night at AT&T Park, his second last-at-bat game-winner on this three-city road trip.
Schierholtz, one of the likeliest Cubs to be traded by the non-waiver deadline Wednesday, drove in a career-high five runs last Wednesday, including a two-out run-scoring double in the 12th inning for a 7-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
He’s 10-for-25 with three home runs and nine RBI through nine games of the trip, all since getting a cortisone shot in his achy shoulder before the All-Star break that he said has made a big difference.
Schierholtz, who won a World Series as a Giants outfielder in 2010, was traded for the first time in his career at the trade deadline last July by the Giants to the Philadelphia Phillies.
“I think last year was a big shock,” he said. “When it’s your first time, you never expect it to happen, and then it happens. So I was shocked a little bit. I love it here, and ideally, I don’t want to go anywhere. I want to be part of the future here.”
The Cubs improved to 5-4 during the trip, though not before closer Kevin Gregg made it interesting by loading the bases in the ninth with one out, then getting pinch hitter Tony Abreu to ground into a 3-2-3 double play.
How have the players dealt with the flurry of moves the team has made this month — including trades of Matt Garza and Alfonso Soriano during this trip — as well as the ongoing rumors?
“We’ve been at it for a while now,” manager Dale Sveum said. “So they’ve dealt with it pretty well. It’s the best baseball we’ve played all year long, so obviously they’ve handled it pretty well.”
“One of the things kind of instilled in us in spring training was hard work and running balls out and not ever letting up,” Schierholtz said. “And that’s one of the biggest things a winning team does. You don’t have to have the best players to win championships. I learned that here [in San Francisco].
“It’s just been fun. We go out there loose and have nothing to lose. It’s a fun, young group of guys, and we all get along great.”
Left-hander Chris Rusin, who was called up from Class AAA Iowa to take Garza’s place in the rotation, pitched seven scoreless innings Saturday, five days after a strong five innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks in a short-notice start.
Gregg, another trade candidate, is 21-for-24 in save chances.