You know a Cubs game is not going well when you hear Len Kasper say: “And the inning from hell continues.”
That’s exactly what happened during Sunday’s fifth inning, when the Pirates sent twelve men to the plate and scored six runs. It erased a 3-1 Cubs lead.
Jacob Turner struggled for the third time in four starts, giving up seven runs in 4.1 innings to raise his ERA to 6.20. A former top prospect with Detroit and a key piece in the trade that brought Anibal Sanchez from the Marlins to the Tigers, Turner seemed like great gamble by the Cubs’ front office.
But if Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio can’t help turn things around, Turner’s future as a potential starter could be in question. It didn’t cost the Cubs much to acquire him, but we now might be seeing why.
To the surprise of very few, a Cubs lineup featuring the fear-inducing Chris Coghlan, Louis Valbuena and Chris Valaika as its 3-4-5 hitters could not get the offense going.
But help is on the way. Jorge Soler is expected to be back tonight, after missing the weekend series for the birth of his son.
Anthony Rizzo, who has been out since Aug. 26 with a back strain, had been rumored to be returning to the lineup on Monday, but we may need to stay patient from the way manager Rick Renteria is talking. “I’ll look more conservatively and look beyond (Monday). If it happens to be tomorrow, it happens to be tomorrow. But right now I’d still kind of put him on the backburner,” he told Paul Sullivan.
Doesn’t really sound promising for a Monday return, but fingers crossed.
* Matt Szczur grounded into a 5-4-3 triple play in the fourth inning. It was the first triple play the Cubs have hit into since 2000 in Montreal.
* If you’ll be heading to Wrigley Field this week, you may notice something different while entering the park. Beginning Monday, fans will have to pass through metal detectors at the gates of Wrigley, as part of a league-wide security initiative.
* Jon Lester recorded his 17th consecutive quality in Sunday’s A’s-Mariners game. He only lasted six innings but didn’t surrender a run. Lester is having a great year, and boy would he look good in a Cubs uniform next season.
* The Pirates on Sunday wore throw-back jerseys from the 1970s. I’m a huge fans of non-button-up baseball jerseys. MLB, bring those back please.