CHICAGO (AP) -- Casey Daigle couldn't have picked a better
setting for his first career victory.
With fiancee and star softball pitcher Jennie Finch in the
stands, Daigle outpitched Kerry Wood and beat the team he grew up
2-0 Wednesday night.
"It was really cool to get it here," Daigle said after being
showered with beer by his teammates. "I would have liked to have
gotten it in my first, second or third start. But getting it at
Wrigley Field and growing up as a kid watching the Cubs, that's
It certainly will be one to remember.
Just 23 and in his first year in the majors, Daigle (1-1) has
been known as much for his relationship with Finch as his arm. He'd
pitched solidly in his last two outings -- including one last week
against Chicago in Arizona -- but was still looking for his first
But he pitched a gem against Wood, and Steve Finley made it hold
up with his sixth homer in nine days against the Cubs. Finley also
drove in another run and made a clutch defensive play to end a
bases-loaded rally in the eighth inning.
"They caught me at the wrong time, when I'm on one of my good
streaks," Finley said.
And the Cubs are in one of their bad streaks. They've scored
just 22 runs in their last nine games, going 3-6.
"You've just got to swing your way out of it," Cubs manager
Dusty Baker said. "It's not like we're striking out, we're just
not hitting the ball as hard as we were and finding any holes.
You're not worried about it, you just don't like it. I know these
guys can hit."
Wood (3-2) was dazzling, striking out eight and allowing only
three hits in seven innings. But Daigle matched him pitch for
pitch, scattering four hits over 5 1-3 innings.
"I came into it with my same mindset, to stay with my game that
I've been throwing lately," Daigle said.
He retired his first 10 batters before walking Corey Patterson
in the fourth. Patterson advanced to third on Sammy Sosa's single
but Daigle worked himself out of the jam. Patterson couldn't score
out, ending the inning.
The Cubs threatened in the sixth with one-out singles by
Patterson and Sosa. But Mike Koplove relieved and quickly ended the
threat, getting Alou to ground into a double play.
"My arm still felt fine," Daigle said. "I thought I still had
it in me, but whatever it takes for the win."
Koplove has allowed just two of 20 inherited runners to score
this year. One was on a bases-loaded double play and the other on a
Wood allowed only one hit through the first five innings, but
the Diamondbacks made the most of it. Alex Cintron led off the
fourth with a single to center, advanced to second on Luis
Gonzalez's walk and took third on Shea Hillenbrand's fielder's
Finley then hit a sacrifice fly to right to give Arizona the 1-0
No game against the Cubs this year would be complete without a
Finley home run, and he didn't disappoint, hitting a solo shot in
the seventh inning.
Finley hit four home runs in his final five at-bats against the
Cubs last week in Arizona, and had another Tuesday night off Sergio
Mitre. He is 3-for-8 with two homers and three RBI in the series --
and there's still one more game to play.
"My history against them has never been good," said Finley,
who has 19 career homers against the Cubs. "They've always
dominated me. I guess the law of averages caught up this time."
Finley can play some defense, too. After Sosa loaded the bases
in the eighth with a four-pitch, two-out walk off Oscar Villarreal,
Alou fouled off four pitches against closer Jose Valverde before
hitting a long fly to center. But Finley chased it down and caught
it on the warning track, ending the threat.
"He just hit it low," Finley said. "If he had any elevation
on it at all, it would have been a grand slam. We just got
Valverde pitched the last four outs for his second save.
"Casey has been close a couple of times, and we couldn't finish
the deal for him," Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. "I'll tell
you, he was mighty good tonight."Game notes
Wood made an impressive defensive play, making a
behind-the-back grab on Danny Bautista's comebacker. ... Arizona
has won eight of its last 12. ... Alou is 0-for-16 in his last four
- Home Plate Umpire - Charlie Reliford
- First Base Umpire - Jeff Kellogg
- Second Base Umpire - Doug Eddings
- Third Base Umpire - Dan Iassogna