Inside Pitch: Cubs

The Sports Xchange provides in-depth notes and quotes on the Chicago Cubs

You might expect a guy who manages for Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer to embrace sabermetrics. OK, if not embrace sabermetrics, accept it. Or maybe even pronounce it correctly.

In a somewhat humorous exchange with reporters before Tuesday's 7-6 loss to the Cardinals in St. Louis, Cubs' manager Dale Sveum was asked to rehash his decision of the previous night to attempt a sacrifice with No. 3 hitter Starlin Castro in the eighth inning of a 4-4 game.

After the game, Sveum said that he was trying to avoid the double play and that his players ought to know how to bunt.

The next day, he essentially told reporters that he manages the team, thank you very much.

"You're not going to ask certain people (to bunt) if they're not capable of doing things," Sveum said. "But he's capable. He runs good, so if it is a really good bunt he can beat it out.

"You can go on and on about the goods and the bads of all of these things. The bottom line is I'm the one that makes the decisions. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don't."

Sveum added that he hasn't discussed sabermetrics, which kind of came out as "cybermetrics," with Epstein, the team president known for his analytical approach to baseball, in tandem with general manage Hoyer.

"You want to talk about (sabermetrics/cybermetics), then OK," Sveum said. "Then you talk about the team that has more people on base during the course of the game is going to win way more games than the other teams.

"You want to keep intentionally walking guys and all that? Then the odds gradually come (in the other team's) favor to win the game. If (the opposing team's) third, fourth and fifth hitters get up five times in a game, you've got a chance of losing that game at an alarming rate."

In fairness to Sveum, he does talk in terms of slugging percentage, on-base percentage and other metrics and probabilities frequently. He also made a point to say that Castro is not a prototypical No. 3 hitter and that he would be asked to bunt from time to time.

Just don't expect him to install a computer in the dugout, though.

Notes, Quotes

--LF Alfonso Soriano hit his first home run of the season to tie Tuesday's game, 6-6, in the top of the ninth inning. The home run came in Soriano's 120th at-bat of the season. He hit a home run in his final at-bat of the 2011 season, and this was not his longest home run drought. He went 184 at-bats from April 14-June 14, 2001 and 120 at-bats from June 7-July 18, 2009, without going deep.

--RHP Carlos Marmol is progressing from the right-hamstring strain that landed him on the disabled list May 12. The Cubs say Marmol is about 10 days from returning and that he probably will go to Class AAA (Des Moines) Iowa to rehab before he joins the Cubs. RHP Rafael Dolis took over as closer after Marmol got off to a rough start. Dolis took the loss Tuesday as the Cardinal scored in the bottom of the ninth inning. "He's getting his treatments every day, and we'll see what happens," manager Dale Sveum said of Marmol.

--1B Bryan LaHair hit his 10th home run of the season in the sixth inning. Five have come against the Cardinals. LaHair has reached base in a team-high 32 consecutive games. He joined Phil Cavarretta (1945), Bill Buckner (1981) and Derrek Lee (2007) as Cubs first baseman since World War II with on-base streaks of 32 games.

--RHP Mike MacDougal signed a minor league contract with the Cubs and will report to Class AAA (Des Moines) Iowa. MacDougal, 35, was released by the Dodgers, for whom he had a 7.94 ERA in seven games. He's seen as bullpen insurance.

--LHP Hunter Cervenka was acquired from Boston as the player to be named to complete the trade that sent CF Marlon Byrd to the Red Sox for RHP Michael Bowden last month. Cervenka, 22, originally was selected by Boston in the 27th round of the 2008 draft. He'll report to Class A Peoria.

BY THE NUMBERS: 8 -- When RHP Kerry Wood blew a save in the seventh inning on Tuesday, it was his second blown save of the season and the Cubs' eighth in 14 opportunities.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I managed him in Double-A. He doesn't have a heartbeat." -- Manager Dale Sveum, on RHP Shawn Camp, a reliever who has been cool under pressure.

MEDICAL WATCH:

--RHP Carlos Marmol (strained right hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list May 12.

--C Steve Clevenger (right oblique strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 26.

--RHP Marcos Mateo (ulnar neuritis in right arm) went on the 60-day disabled list April 4.


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