9/3 Soriano's day
Alfonso Soriano’s teammates came to his defense Thursday. Soriano’s error in the White Sox eighth led to two runs, and he went 0-for-4 at the plate, striking out three times. The Cubs lost, 5-0.
“The last time I checked, we didn’t score any runs,” Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez said, “so even if [Soriano] makes that play, we lose 1-0. Nobody wants to make a mistake on the field. ‘Sori’ doesn’t want to make mistakes. Nobody wants to be embarrassed like that. We have to pick it up, that’s the bottom line.”
Soriano said he slipped when he tried to catch A.J. Pierzynski’s fly ball in the eighth and lost his balance.
“I don’t make an excuse but that’s the first time it happened that I slipped and missed the ball,” he said.
Lou Piniella thought Soriano overran the ball, but the outfielder said no, and that his knee wasn’t a factor. When he struck out on three pitches to end the game, the crowd became nasty toward Soriano again.
“It doesn’t bother me,” Soriano said. “It’s part of the game. If I get a hit, they want to clap, if I get a strikeout, they want to boo. They are frustrated like we are now because we’re not playing like we’re supposed to play.”
Ryan Dempster took the loss, although he pitched well enough to win. All three runs off Dempster were unearned because of errors (one by Soriano, one by Jake Fox).
“[Soriano] wants to be out there every day and sometimes that gets lost when a guy’s not performing up to his own standards, let alone what other people’s standards are for him,” Dempster said. “The fact that he wants to be out there and wants to be playing is very commendable. I’m sure he’s just as frustrated as they are, and probably more frustrated. Knowing ‘Sori,’ he’ll be in there working hard tomorrow and ready to play tomorrow.”
— Carrie Muskat