Ozzie Guillen was asked — baseball aside — how his Chicago homecoming had gone. Guillen snorted, rolled his eyes, and gave every indication that he had grown weary of the topic.
“[Expletive] Chicago,” Guillen responded.
After days spent talking about all things Chicago, the former White Sox manager was in no mood to discuss it further, especially after the Marlins dropped a 4-2 decision to the Cubs on Thursday and headed off to Pittsburgh having lost two out of three at Wrigley Field.
“Cut the cord,” Guillen yelled out to the locally based reporter as the postgame interview came to an end.
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All things considered, Guillen’s Windy City homecoming did not go particularly well. In losing the series to the Cubs, the Marlins lost more ground in the standings at a time when the schedule is rapidly shrinking.
And Guillen wasn’t the only former Chicagoan feeling glum afterward.
Mark Buehrle, who spent his first 12 big-league seasons performing for the White Sox before joining forces last winter with the Marlins, took the loss. Buehrle was knocked out after the fifth when the Cubs did all their damage by scoring four runs.
Buehrle said little was working for him Thursday.
“Backdoor cutters on the first pitch, I was throwing them in the dirt like [the count] was 0-2,” Buehrle said. “The changeup was cutting on me, throwing high. I couldn’t locate too much [Thursday].”
Said Guillen: “His ball was up. When Buehrle gets the ball up in the strike zone, he’s gong to get hurt.”
Buehrle was fine until the fifth, when he gave up a leadoff homer to Alfonso Soriano that barely went out, landing in the basket in left.
“I’m used to pitching in our ballpark,” Buehrle said. “Those balls wouldn’t even be close to going out there.”
After Soriano’s home run, the Cubs loaded the bases and Luis Valbuena lofted a fly ball to center that scored another run and made it 2-0. Reed Johnson singled to left to drive in two more runs, and it became a 4-0 game.
Miami didn’t score until the sixth, when Guillen sent in Donovan Solano to pinch-hit for Buehrle. Guillen said he would have left Buehrle in if both were still working for the White Sox.
“If this was the American League, I give him another chance to go back out,” Guillen said, referring to the AL’s use of the designated hitter. “But this is the National League.”
Solano delivered with a triple and ended up scoring on Emilio Bonifacio’s ground ball.
But the Marlins sputtered offensively for the second day in a row, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position until Greg Dobbs stroked a two-out single in the ninth that scored Carlos Lee from second.
Miami went 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position over the final two games of the series.
Despite the lack of runs, Guillen thought the Marlins hit the ball better Thursday than they did in Wednesday’s 5-1 loss.
“We swung the bat a little better [Thursday],” Guillen said. “They made a couple of nice plays [defensively].”