Archive | May, 2009

Dempster, Cubs Shut Out Dodgers 7-0 @ Wrigley

Posted on 31 May 2009 by Lou

Dodgers Cubs Baseball

The Cubs defeated the Dodgers 7-0 on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.  It was the 1st time that the Dodgers had been shut out all season long.

Ryan Dempster pitched 7 scoreless innings for the Cubs.  He gave up only 3 hits and 3 walks, with 5 K’s.

Reed Johnson was the Cubs hitting hero – going  3 for 3 with 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored, including a home run.  Milton Bradley was 3 for 4 with 1 run scored and Mike Fontenot went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored.

The Cubs trail the Brewers and Cardinals by 3.5 games in the NL Central race.

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Cubs Defeat Dodgers 2-1 @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 30 May 2009 by Lou

Dodgers Cubs Baseball

The Chicago Cubs defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon.  Ted Lilly pitched 7 strong innings, giving up just 4 hits and 3 walks with 5 strikeouts.  The lone Dodger run came courtesy of a Matt Kemp solo home run off Lilly in the 7th inning.  The Cubs countered with 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th inning with a solo home run from Koyie Hill and a sacrifice fly by Kosuke Fukodome.  The Cubs generated 8 hits and 2 walks off of Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley but could never come up with the clutch hit during scoreing opportunities.

Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless 8th despite issuing 2 walks, while Kevin Gregg picked up his 8th save of the year with a scoreless 9th inning.

The Cubs are now 24-23, but they stil trail the Brewers and Cardinals by 3.5 games inthe NL Central race.

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Cubs Dodgers – Re-match of 2008 NL Division Series

Posted on 29 May 2009 by Lou

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The Cubs and Dodgers are in the middle of an exciting 4-game weekend series at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.  In Friday afternoon’s matinee, Ted Lilly (5-4) will take on Chad Bilingsley (6-2).  Lilly has gotten a decision in each of his 9 starts in 2009.  Lilly has dropped each of his last 2 starts, however, giving up 8 earned runs, 12 hits and 5 walks  over 13 1/3 innings in those 2 starts.  Billingsley has been one of the best starters in the NL during the 2009 MLB schedule.  Billingsley is 6-2 with a sparkling 2.82 ERA in 2009.  He had worst start of the season this past Sunday against the Angels, however, giving up  a season-high 5 runs and 9 hits in just 6 innings of work.  He took the loss and has now lost 2 of his last 3 decisions.

Let’s hope Lilly and Cubs can he can keep Billingsley and the Dodgers in the losing.  It won’t be easy as the Dodgers boast the best record in the NL and the Dodgers swept the Cubs out of the playoffs in October of last year.

Cubs Padres Baseball

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Cubs Dodgers Open 4-Game Series @ Wrigley Field Tonight

Posted on 28 May 2009 by Lou

The Chicago Cubs host the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field tonight.  Randy Wells has pitched well for the Cubs at 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA.  The Dodgers counter with Randy Wolf who is 3-1 with a 3.02 ERA.  The Cubs are 23-22 and trail the 1st place Cards by 4 games in the NL Central.  The Dodgers are 33-15 and have an 8.5 games lead over the San Diego Padres.  The two teams last played in the 2008 NL Division series when the Dodgers swept the Cubs out of the playoffs for the second straight year.

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Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Finally – 2 in a Row to Boot!

Posted on 27 May 2009 by Lou

Pirates Cubs Baseball

The Cubs defeated the Pirates 5-2 on Wednesday to take the series over the Bucs.  After snapping an 8-game losing streak with the 6-1 rain-shortened win over the Pirates on Tuesday night, the Cubs kept the mojo rolling with a big win on Wednesday.

The Cubs took an early 2-0 lead on Milton Bradley’s triple and Reed Johnson’s groundout in the 1st inning.  The Pirates, however, were able to tie the game on a Carlos Zambrano wild pitch that allowed Nyjer Morgan to score from 3rd base.  Zambrano thought that he tagged Morgan out before Morgan’s hand reached the base, and was eventually tossed by the home plate umpire for arguing the call and bumping the umpire as he leaned in to get closer to Zambrano.  These umps really go out of there way to antogonize players these days.  I hope this moron home plate umpire gets suspended himself for leaning into Zambrano.  Luckily Pinella and Rothschild got out there quick to prevent Zambrano from flipping out even more then he did.

The Cubs kept fighting though and eventually took the lead for good on Reed Johnson’s solo home run to the left field bleachers in the bottom of the 8th inning.  The Cubs added 2 insurance runs on back-to-back RBI doubles by recent Triple-A call-ups Andres Blanco and Jake Fox.

Carlos Marmol pitch a scoreless 8th inning to pick up the win and Kevin Gregg got the save despite giving up 2 walks in the 9th.  Gregg sure nevers makes it easy on himself.

The Cubs are back over .500 with a 23-22 record.  The Cubs still trail the 1st place Cards by 4 games and the 2nd place Brewers by 3 games in the NL Central.

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When Will Volcano Lou Erupt: Poor Pitching Leads to 8th Straight Cubs Loss

Posted on 26 May 2009 by Lou

Pirates Cubs Baseball

The Pirates defeated the Cubs 10-8 on Monday night at Wrigley Field, handing the Cubs their 8th straight loss.  The Cubs have not lost 8 games in a row since the 2002 MLB schedule.

The Cubs should have been jumping for joy that they scored 8 runs in Monday night’s game.  To put that in perspective, in the Cubs previous 6 games – all losses – the Cubs scored a total of 5 runs while being shut out twice.  Unfortunately, the Cubs pitching deserted the team on the cool Memorial Day night at the Friendly Confines.  Starter Ryan Dempster lasted just 4 innings – 7 hits, 3 walks and 6 earned runs – even walking in back to back runs in the 3rd inning.  Dempster let a 4-3 lead slip away in the 4th inning and then after the Cubs re-gained the lead in the bottom of the inning 7-6, the bullpen blew it the rest of the way.  Neal Cotts took the loss – pitching only 1 inning but giving up 3 earned runs on 4 hits.  Aaron Heilman gave up a run on 2 hits and a walk in the 7th inning.  Even the 2 pitchers that didn’t give up any runs struggled – Jose Ascansio gave up 3 hits in his 1 inning of work, while David Patton gave up 2 hits and a walk in his 2 innings of work.

3 Cubs players had good hitting nights – Milton Bradley broke out of his funk with a 2 for 5 night.  Bradley had a double and a home run and had 4 RBI’s and 2 runs scored.  Ryan Theriot was 3 for 5 with 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored.  And Geovany Soto was 2 for 3 with 2 walks and an RBI.

You’d like to think that once the Cubs get some consistent hitting, they should be able to start winning some games.  But the starting pitching has been inconsistent and the bullpen has been downright awful.  At this point, if the Cubs are to stay in it in the short-term, they are going to need a lot of luck and a lot of poor play from the Cards, Brewers and Reds.  If not, we should see Volcano Lou erupt very very soon.

Sean Marshall faces off against Ian Snell Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.  The Cubs have had recent success against Snell, so maybe this is the night that the Cubs break the atrocious losing streak.

Braves Cubs Baseball

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Rich Harden Goes on DL for Cubs

Posted on 25 May 2009 by Lou

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The Cubs got back Carlos Zambrano over the weekend only to lose Rich Harden.  Looks like Randy Wells will continue to get more starts for the Cubs over the next few weeks.

Harden had this to say about his back injury:  “I was feeling great and it was something that kind of hit me out of nowhere.  Fortunately, it’s not an oblique or nothing too serious that it’s going to cost me a lot of time.  Everything else feels excellent.  My shoulder feels great and that’s definitely positive.

The hits keep rolling for the Cubs.  Hopefully a 7-game home stand will cure the Cubs woes this week at Wrigley Field.  Ryan Dempster takes on Paul Maholm of the Pirates tonight at the Friendly Confines.

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Cubs Keep Losing – 7 & Counting..

Posted on 24 May 2009 by Lou

Cubs Padres Baseball

I feel like a keep writing the same post over and over.  So today, I’ll focus on the 1 positive – Reed Johnson hit a 2-run home run today.  Woo-hoo!

The Cubs bats were silent again – only 4 hits.  I can’t believe Manager Lou Pinella hasn’t killed someone yet…

And for a change, the pitching was bad today too.  Ted Lilly lost his 2nd straight decision, giving up 5 ER on 8 hits and 2 walks over 6 1/3 innings.

The Cubs are 21-21 – this time last year (after 42 games), the Cubs were 10 games over .500.  Remarkably, the Cubs are only 4 games behind the slumping Brewers.  Only problem, I don’t see the Cubs making any major strides until Aramis Ramirez gets back in the lineup or until GM Jim Hendry makes a trade for some offensive help.  Neither of these will happen anytime soon.

The Cubs return home for a 7-game home stand against the Pirates and Dodgers.  Maybe the Cubs will find their swings back at Wrigley Field.

Cubs Padres Baseball

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Jake Peavy, Padres Hand Cubs 5th Straight Loss

Posted on 23 May 2009 by Lou

Cubs Padres Baseball

The bad news keeps rolling in for the Cubs.  Jake Peavy and the Padres dominated the Cubs on Friday night at Petco Park in San Diego.  Peavy pitched 6 scoreless innings giving up only 2 hits and 4 walks while striking out 10.  Even the Padres relievers got in on the fun.  25-year old Luke Gregerson kept the Cubs scoreless over 1 2/3 innings while striking out 3.  25-year old Edward Mujica also worked a scoreless inning while striking out 3.  Heath Bell came into a jam in the top of the 9th – with 2 on and 2 out, Bell walked Kosuke Fukodome to load the bases, but got Derrek Lee to pop out to 1st base to end the game and record his 12th save of the season.

Check out the Cubs lineup that Lou Pinella threw out there:

Soriano .263

Theriot .276

Fukodome .320

Lee .240

Hoffpauir .297

Scales .286

Hill .300

Miles .207

Bradley (.182), Soto (.206) & Fontenot (.193) were each out of the lineup for the Cubs.  It’s a joke out there.  With Aramis Ramirez out of the lineup until at least July, if GM Jim Hendry doesn’t add a few pieces to the Cubs roster soon, the Cubs could find themselves way behind the Brewers and Cards by the All-Star Break.

One positive, Carlos Zambrano returned from his stint on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.  Big Z was on a pitch count and showed some rusty signs – making 97 pitches in 4 2/3 innings, walking 4 and giving up 3 earned runs on 3 hits.  He did have 7 K’s.

The Cubs are on a 5-game losing streak and are now 21-19.  They trail the Brewers by 4 games, the Cardinals by 3 games and the Reds by a half game.  Not good.

Cubs Padres Baseball

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Cards Sweep Cubs with 3-1 Win; Zambrano to Start Friday Night Against Peavy in San Diego

Posted on 22 May 2009 by Lou

Cubs Cardinals Baseball

I am starting to get really fed up with this Cubs team.  There is no spark in the 2009 version of the Cubs and there is no fight in the 2009 version of the Cubs.  You’re facing your biggest division rival on their home turf and you lay 3 eggs like that?  It is a joke.

The Cubs bats were atrocious – 0 runs, 3 hits & 0 walks on Tuesday night; 1 run, 6 hits & 3 walks on Wednesday night ; & 1 run, 5 hits & 1 walk on Thursday night.  In a 3-game series, you total 2 runs, 14 hits and 4 walks?  What a joke!

I can see Adam Wainwright shutting you down on Thursday night – he has always pitched well against the Cubs.  But Joel Pineiro throwing a 3-hit complete game shutout on Tuesday?  Gimme a break.  Chris Carpenter pitching 5 scoreless innings on Wednesday night after spending 3 weeks on the DL?  Show some life.

The Cubs pitching actually did excellent in the series – both the starters (Ted Lilly, Ryan Dempster and Sean Marshall) and the relievers.  3 runs, 2 runs and 3 runs to the hard hitting Cards in St. Louis is a job well done.  Even a mediocre offensive attack should have garnered the Cubs at least 1 win in St. Louis.  But it was not meant to be.

The next 10 days are huge for the Cubs.  The Cubs make the long trip to California to take on the Padres in San Diego this weekend.  Carlos Zambrano will make his first start since going on the DL with an aggravated left hamstring strain.  He opposes Jake Peavy on Friday night.  Peavy will be playing with renewed energy after declining to accept a trade that would have sent him to the south side of Chicago to play for the White Sox.

After the Padres series, the Cubs will take on the Pirates – winners of 6 straight games – from Monday through Wednesday at Wrigley Field.  And then it’s a 4-game weekend series against the NL’s best team – the Los Angeles Dodgers from Thursday through Sunday.  The Cubs already trail the 1st place Brewers by 4 games in the NL Central.  If they cannot find their groove soon, that deficit could grow pretty quickly.

Let’s hope that Manager Lou Pinella has some words of wisdom for his ballclub and that GM Jim Hendry has some trade moves up his sleeve, because it is pretty clear that this team is not made up to win on a consistent basis during the 2009 MLB schedule.

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