Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011Posted: 11:40 p.m.
By Patrick Mooney
CSNChicago.com Cubs Insider Follow @CSNMooney
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CINCINNATI The White Sox seem to be on a collision course between Ozzie Guillen and Ken Williams. The Cubs are in a holding pattern, waiting for the season to end so they can intensify their general manager search.
Two disappointing baseball teams wont give the city meaningful games across the final two weeks. Its been like that all summer on the North Side.
Guillen called out his players after Wednesdays loss to the Detroit Tigers, saying they had no fight left. Mike Quade has now watched his team lose 85 games and sink to 20 under .500. But the Cubs manager hasnt seen anyone quit on him yet.
I dont know whats going on (over) on the South Side, Quade said Thursday. Its not my place to get involved in any of that. I only know about this group here and they havent. They didnt last year. I dont think its in their nature. I guess thats unfortunate (for the White Sox). But Im happy with the effort down the stretch here.
As if to prove a point, the Cubs went out and played a game that lasted four hours and one minute.
They erased a two-run deficit in the ninth and took the Reds (74-76) to 11 innings before Jay Bruce launched a first-pitch slider from James Russell, the seventh reliever out of the Cubs bullpen. Bruces two-run shot traveled 394 feet before disappearing over the right-field wall to give the Reds an 8-6 walk-off victory at Great American Ball Park.
Whatever the motivations money, numbers, pride the Cubs have maintained a sense of professionalism throughout a difficult season. Theyve viewed their chemistry issues as isolated to Carlos Zambrano.
The problems are more complicated than effort. The Cubs began Thursday leading the majors in errors (124) and tied for third in blown saves (23). Theyre a bottom-tier team in terms of starting pitching (4.91 ERA) and hitting with runners in scoring position (.235).
But give them this much: They finally got to their downtown Cincinnati hotel around 5:30 on Monday morning and put up 12 runs in a victory that night. And even with first pitch at 1:20 p.m. first pitch looming on Friday, they didnt give in late Thursday night.
Thats just a testament to what were about right now, said starting pitcher Randy Wells, who couldnt protect a four-run lead or finish the fifth inning.
Even if there are a few things about this team that deep down Quade would like to get off his chest, hes not wired that way, and doesnt have the same platform as Guillen.
Ozzies always worn it on his sleeve, Quade said. Thats what he does. Hes probably more vocal in that regard than I am. And if hes upset with things, you usually dont have to sneak around to figure it out. Hell let you know. Thats part of his passion, (what) has made him good at what he does.
Were different sides of town. Were different people.
Reliever Justin Berg whos on the 40-man roster but spent most of this season at Triple-A Iowa will undergo Tommy John surgery on Friday. Team USA selected two Cubs prospects outfielder Brett Jackson and left-hander Jeff Beliveau to play next month in the World Cup in Panama and the Pan American Games in Mexico. Andrew Cashner faced four batters and was charged with one run during Thursdays loss, which means hell likely be unavailable again until Sunday. Starlin Castro needs seven hits to reach 200 and wants to do it during the final homestand at Wrigley Field.
Patrick Mooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. Follow Patrick on Twitter @CSNMooney for up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.