By Adam Hoge-
U.S. CELLULAR FIELD (CBS) It didn’t exactly compare to some of the fireworks of the past between the Cubs and White Sox. In fact, no one really seemed to notice it.
But Alejandro De Aza definitely noticed it.
Leading the Cubs 7-0 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Cubs pitcher Manny Corpas entered the game and threw his first pitch directly into De Aza’s thigh.
It sure looked intentional, but it lacked any kind of explanation. De Aza definitely didn’t know why it happened.
“I don’t know, but the way he threw that ball, I think it was on purpose,” De Aza said after the White Sox finished off the 7-0 win to avoid the sweep.
De Aza said he was surprised when it happened and admitted he was “mad” about it, but he also said he doesn’t have any kind of history with Corpas. In fact, he called him a friend.
“I did face him before. Actually, me and that pitcher, we’re cool, we’re friends. I’ve known him for a long time,” De Aza said.
It’s possible the Cubs threw at De Aza because Alex Rios tried to steal second base with a 6-0 lead the inning before. He was safe when A.J. Pierzynski grounded out and Rios later scored the final run on Alexei Ramirez’s single. De Aza said he thinks Corpas was just told “to hit the first guy”, but Cubs manager Dale Sveum played dumb after the game.
“I don’t know. He hit him. It happens sometimes,” Sveum said.
When it happened, De Aza paused at the plate before taking his base.
“I didn’t give them a reason to do it, so I just got hit and just thought about it and go to first,” he said.
Floyd As The Stopper?
Considering his ERA in his last six starts was 10.38, Gavin Floyd didn’t really seem like the best candidate to end a three-game losing streak, but he certainly got the job done.
Floyd only allowed four hits while pitching 6.1 scoreless innings. He had allowed 35 earned runs and 49 hits in last six starts.
“Especially when you need a win after the past couple games and the way the series had gone, it’s nice for personal reasons and for the team,” he said after the game.
Floyd’s problems have long been in his head as few ever question his stuff.
“I know what God’s given me with talent and I just want to go out there and get the job done,” he said. “I try to do that with every start.”
Hudson To Return To Lineup Friday
Ventura gave Orlando Hudson a day off Wednesday, calling it a “mental break.” Eduardo Escobar got the start at third and had a nice game, tallying a hit, a walk and two runs. He also played good defense, making a nice diving stop and throw to first at one point.
So did Escobar’s performance give Ventura something to think about?
“He had some good at-bats, but no, Hudson will be in there Friday,” the manager said.
One-And-Done For Wells?
On the other side, things did not go so well for Randy Wells, who made a spot-start in place of the scratched Ryan Dempster. He allowed three earned runs in only 3.2 innings and walked four.
“The bottom line is the walks again with him,” manager Dale Sveum said. “You’ve got to throw strikes. He just can’t seem to maintain innings without walking anybody.”
After the performance, he seems destined to return to Iowa.
“We’ll weigh our options. You got other people,” Sveum said. “The Volstads and the Rusins are down there, so we’ll weigh our options probably here in the next day and see where we’re at with that. See what we want to do.”
Neither Chris Rusin or Chris Volstad have been all that good. Rusin gave up eight earned runs in his last start, while Volstad was struggling before only allowing two earned runs in his last outing.
“I know he hasn’t been pitching all that good, except for his last outing,” Sveum said about Volstad. “He did really well in his last outing. Once again he gave up a couple runs in the first inning and then really pitched well after that. Hopefully maybe he’s getting going and building a lot of confidence. I think with him, a lot of it is just confidence.”
Coleman OK After Bat Scare
Casey Coleman was hit in his pitching hand by Eduardo Escobar’s broken bat in the seventh inning, but the injury does not appear to be serious. Sveum said the X-rays were negative.
“I think it’s just a bruise on his last knuckle there,” the manager said. “The barrel got him pretty square right on the knuckle. It was swollen right away.”
Adam is the Sports Editor for CBSChicago.com and specializes in coverage of the Bears, White Sox and college sports. He was born and raised in Lincoln Park and attended St. Ignatius College Prep before going off to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned a Journalism degree. Follow him on Twitter @AdamHogeCBS and read more of his columns here.