Alfonso Soriano is an All-Star to Cubs
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org July 1, 2012 9:08PM
Anthony Rizzo scores on Jeff Baker’s double, which also scored Starlin Castro, in the sixth. | Brian Kersey~Getty Images
Cubs at BRAVES
The facts: 6:10, CSN, 720-AM.
The pitchers: Jeff Samardzija
(5-7, 5.05 ERA) vs. Tommy Hanson (9-4, 3.59).
The rest of the series
Tuesday: 6:10 p.m., CSN, 720- AM. Chris Volstad (0-6, 7.46) vs. Jair Jurrjens (1-2, 6.07).
Wednesday: 6:10 p.m., Ch. 9, 720-AM. Paul Maholm (5-6, 4.84) vs. Randall Delgado (4-8, 4.52).
Thursday: 6:10 p.m., CSN, 720- AM. Matt Garza (4-6, 4.01) vs. Mike Minor (4-6, 6.20).
Updated: August 3, 2012 6:25AM
Alfonso Soriano was as happy for National League All-Stars Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair as his teammates were disappointed for him being left out.
“I’m very happy for Castro and LaHair because they deserve it,” Soriano said. “They worked hard to be All-Stars.
“I’ve gone seven times. There are a lot of good left fielders out there, and everyone has had good numbers.’’
Manager Dale Sveum said Soriano’s numbers — he leads the National League with 15 home runs since May 1 — made him deserving.
“The outfielders who are going obviously deserve it,” Sveum said, “but what Soriano has done for us, going out every day and on those [sore] legs and leading all of the league in homers since May, it’s a tribute to a wonderful guy. You wish someone else would appreciate him.”
In addition to Castro and LaHair, first-base coach Dave McKay will be part of the NL coaching staff. He was on the World Series-champion St. Louis Cardinals’ staff under Tony La Russa last season.
Bat and glove
Anthony Rizzo’s bat gets the attention — he collected his third game-winning hit in his first five games in the Cubs’ 3-0 victory Sunday against the Houston Astros — but his defense is above average.
“He’s the prototypical left-handed first baseman,” Sveum said. “It’s the one position on the field really made for lefties for a lot of reasons.”
Rizzo showed range Saturday, fielding a grounder and throwing home to nab Astros second baseman Scott Moore, who was trying to score from third.
“My go-to place is fielding,” Rizzo said. “It’s something I pride myself on, to play well [defensively] all the time.”
Carlos Marmol has recorded the save in his last seven opportunities, including all three of the victories in the sweep of the Astros. He has allowed one earned run in his last 72/3 innings (1.17 ERA), walking five and striking out 13.
Feeling the draft
Second-round pick Duane Underwood, a pitcher from Pope High School in Marietta, Ga., threw in the bullpen for president Theo Epstein and scouting director Jason McLeod.