Archive | May, 2009

Cubs Bats Silent in St. Louie Again, Lose 2-1

Posted on 21 May 2009 by Lou

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It looked like the Cards were going to shutout the Cubs for a 2nd straight night.  Although the Cubs were able to score their 1st run of the series on Micah Hoffpauir’s 9th inning pinch-hit single, Cards closer Ryan Franklin struck out Reed Johnson with the tying run on 3rd base to preserve the Cards 2-1 win over the Cubs.  Cards ace Chris Carpenter made is 1st start in almost a month and held the Cubs to just 3 hits and 2 walks through 5 innings (67 pitches).  Carpenter struck out 4 and picked up his 2nd win of the season.

Ryan Dempster pitched a solid game, but it wasn’t enough – 7 innings, 103 pitches, 2 ER, 6 hits, 2 walks and 3 K’s.  For the 2nd straight night, the Cubs failed to capitalize on a starting pitcher’s quality start.  Carlos Marmol worked a 1-2-3 8th inning to keep the Cubs within striking distance in the 9th inning, but it wasn’t meant to be.

The Cubs bats – or lack thereof – was the big story, however.  The Cubs only mustered 6 total hits – 2 of them coming from pinch-hitters.  The Cubs only have 1 regular hitting over .300 – Kosuke Fukodome at .319.  Not good.

The Cubs will rely on Sean Marshall to prevent the Cubs from getting swept in St. Louis and losing 4 games in a row overall.  He will take on Adam Wainwright who has always pitched well against the Cubs.

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Sad But True: Cubs Shut Out 3-0 by Joel Pineiro

Posted on 20 May 2009 by Lou

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There’s not much to say here.  Joel Pineiro shut out the Cubs 3-0 with a complete game 3-hit shutout.  Pineiro needed only 92 pitches to finish the deal.  He didn’t issue any walks with 5 K’s.  What a joke…

Milton Bradley went 0 for 3 and is now hitting .188 on the season.  It is already May 20th and Bradley – GM Jim Hendry’s big signing in the off-season which cost the Cubs Mark DeRosa and Jason Marquis – still isn’t hitting over .200.

The lone bright spot – Ted Lilly gave up only 3 earned runs on 4 hits and 3 walks against one of the better offenses in the league.  Lilly is now 5-3 on the 2009 MLB schedule.

Wednesday night’s middle game between the 2 teams is a great one – Ryan Dempster v. Chris Carpenter.

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Cubs Cards Play for 3rd Time in 2009

Posted on 19 May 2009 by Lou

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Talk about an unbalanced schedule – the Cubs and Cards will meet for a 3rd time already this season when the 2 teams play a 3-game set in St. Louis this week.

Here’s how the match-ups unfold:

Tuesday night – Ted Lilly v. Joel Pineiro.  Lilly has won his last 4 decisions against the Cards and boasts a 2.99 career-ERA against them.  Pineiro has struggled against the Cubs – 2-3 record with an ERA over 5.

Wednesday night – Ryan Dempster v. Chris Carpenter – Carpenter has not pitched since his April 14th start in Arizona.  He tore a muscle in his left side swinging a bat and will be on a pitch count of about 75-80 pitches on Wednesday.

Thursday night – Sean marshall v. Adam Wainwright.

The Cubs trail the 1st place Brewers by 2 games in the NL Central race.  Although the Cubs have been playing well, the Brewers have been even better – winning 8 of 10 games and currently on a 6-game winning streak.  The Cards trail the Brewers by 3 games in the NL Central, so it is a big series for both ballclubs.

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Cubs Lose to Astros 6-5; End 4-1 Homestand on Down Note

Posted on 18 May 2009 by Lou

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The Houston Astros defeated the Chicago Cubs 6-5 on Sunday afternoon.  Brian Moehler picked up his 1st win on the season for the Astros while Rich Harden suffered his 2nd loss on the season.  Save for the deadly 4th inning, Harden pitched a good game – 4 earned runs on 6 hits and 3 walks, with 7 K’s.  In the 4th inning, however, Lance Berkman doubled to lead off the inning on scored on Miguel Tejada’s 1-out double.  After Harden struck out Hunter Pence for the 2nd out of the inning, it look like Harden might get out of the jam with minimal damage.  But Geoff Blum singled home Tejada and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez gave the Astros a 4-2 lead with a 2-run bomb to deep center field.

The game was still close – 4-3 – until Jose Ascansio imploded in the 7th inning.  Ascansio hit Kaz Matsui and Michael Bourn to start the inning.  Lance Berkman drove Matsui home with a single to right field and then Bourn scored another insurance run on an Ascansio wild pitch.  Bourn’s run proved to be extremely important as the Cubs rallied for 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning on an Alfonso Soriano HR and a Milton Bradley, but it was too little too late.

The biggest positive to take away from the game – the hitting of Derrek Lee. Lee went 4 for 5, including a double and a home run.  He had 2 RBI’s and 1 run scored, as his batting average increased to .226.  Could this be a legit return of Lee’s swing and power hitting.  Time will tell, but if Lee gets in the zone soon, the Cubs could start to put together a nice little winning streak very very soon…

The Cubs now trail the Milwaukee Brewers by 1.5 games in the NL Central race.  The Cubs are 21-15 and begin a 6-game road trip to St. Louis and San Diego on Tuesday.

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Gregg Blows Cubs 4-Run Lead in 9th, But Cubs Win on Soriano Single

Posted on 17 May 2009 by Lou

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The Cubs defeated the Astros 5-4 in frustrating, but dramatic fashion on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

Randy Wells gave the Cubs another great start – 6 innings, 0 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks.  Wells left the game with a 3-0 and was set to earn his 1st majore league win.  The Cubs had built the lead on an RBI single by Derrek Lee in the bottom of the 6th inning, which was then followed by a 2-run homer from Micah Hoffpauir.  The Cubs added what turned out to be an all-important insurance run on a Geovany Soto single in the 8th inning.  Angel Guzman and Carlos Marmol worked scoreless 7th and 8th innings to set it up perfectly for closer Kevin Gregg.

But it all fell apart for Gregg in the 9th.  Gregg gave up back-to-back homers to Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee to lead off the inning.  Miguel Tejada and Geoff Blumm singled and Gregg loaded the bases when he hit Hunter Pence with a pitch.  That was it for Gregg as Manager Lou Pinella replaced him with Aaron Heilman.  Heilman promptly served up a single to Ivan Pudge Rodriguez which scored Tejada and Pence to tie the game at 4.  But Heilman buckled down to induce 2 flyouts.  Heilman then walked Michael Bourn to load the bases again with 2 out, and Pinella called on Sean Marshall to finish off the rally.  He did just that – getting the deadly Lance Berkman to ground out to end the inning.

The Cubs rallied in the bottom of the 9th inning quickly.  Bobby Scales lead off the inning with a walk against former Cubs pitcher Latroy Hawkins.  Aaron Miles sacrificed Scales over to 2nd base and Alfonso Soriano delivered Scales home with the winning run on a single to right field.

The 2 teams finish off the series on Sunday afternoon – Rich Harden will take on Brian Moehler.

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Milton Bradley’s Suspension Reduced to 1 Game – Hip Hip Hooray!

Posted on 16 May 2009 by Lou

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Major League Baseball reduced Milton Bradley’s suspension for bumping home plate umpire Larry Vanover from 2 games to 1 game.  Milton Bradley was set to serve the suspension on Friday, but the Cubs-Astros game was rained out.  As such, he will serve the 1-game suspension on Saturday.

GM Jim Hendry did not agree with the ruling and felt like MLB should drop the suspension altogether.  “I personally don’t agree with that.  I didn’t think his actions warranted any suspension at the time and as weeks have gone by, I still feel that way.”

Back on April 16th, Bradley had been bother by a groin injury and had yet to take an at-bat as a Cub at Wrigley Field.  Manager Lou Pinella sent Bradley up as a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded and only 1 out.  After starting the count 3-0, Bradley was eventually called out on strikes by Vanover and Bradley did not like the call.  After arguing with Vanover, the brim of Bradley’s helmet made contact with Vanover, resulting in an ejection from the game and the 2-game suspension.

Bradley has been hitting better of late – he has a 7-game hitting streak with 2 home runs, 6 RBI’s and 6 runs scored during that span.  The Cubs will need to continue to get good production from Bradley if they expect to vie for the NL Central crown for the 3rd straight season.

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Cubs Astros Opener @ Wrigley Field Rained Out

Posted on 15 May 2009 by Lou

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The Cubs-Astros Friday afternoon game at Wrigley Field was postponed because of rain.  The game will be made up at Wrigley Field on Thursday, July 30th at 1:20PM.  The two teams have a previously scheduled series at Wrigley Field from Monday, July 27th through Wednesday, July 29th.

Friday’s scheduled starter Randy Wells will make the start for the Cubs on Saturday.  Saturday’s scheduled starter Sean Marshall will be used out of the bullpen for the next 5 days, but will return to the rotation to start against the Cardinals in St. Louis next Thursday.  Rich Harden will remain the Cubs starter for Sunday’s finale.

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Sweet Cubs light

Posted on 15 May 2009 by David McCormick

We just got some new stuff for the office. For any cubs fan lucky enough to have their own home bar or game room, you know that you’re going to need some sweet Cubs swag for the walls. Posters and pictures are great, but nothing makes your room feel more authentic than some MLB lighting. We suggest adding this Cubs rope light sign to help add some color to your home. Unlike neon signs, rope lights don’t emit a buzz so they are less annoying and can be used in more places. This light is great for bringing some Chicago pride to your game room walls or any other room in your house for that matter. It’s built to work indoors and out, so you can hang it in your backyard for BBQ’s or proudly display it in your front yard so everyone knows where your allegiance lies.

The light itself is lightweight and easy to hang, so you can put it almost anywhere. It also has hardware for wall or ground mounting. You can use it as a freestanding sign or as decorative wall art. It would also make a great gift for any Cubbies fan young or old. What better way to show your team spirit and shine some light on the rest of your Cubs memorabilia?

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Cubs Finish Off Sweep of Padres with 6-4 Win Wednesday & 12-3 Win Thursday

Posted on 14 May 2009 by Lou

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The Cubs finished off the 3-game sweep of the Padres on Thursday, as the Padres dropped their 11th straight road game.

The Cubs broke out the big bats in each victory.  In Wednesday night’s 6-4 win, the Cubs hit 4 home runs.  The Cubs nailed back to back home runs by Alfonso Soriano and Ryan Theriot in the 1st inning to tie the game at 2.  Geovany Soto’s 2-run home run in the 3rd inning increased the Cubs lead to 5-2 and Ryan Theriot’s 2nd home run of the game in the 4th inning.  Ted Lilly pitched 6 1/3 innings – 3 earned runs, 8 hits, 0 walks and 7 K’s – to pick up his 5th win of the season.  Carlos Marmol picked up his 3rtd save of the season despite giving up 2 earned run on 2 hits and 2 walks in just an inning of work.

In Thursday afternoon’s 11-3 win,  the Cubs had 2 huge innings in which they scored 10 runs.  In the 5th inning, the Cubs scored 6 runs to blow the game open – a Geovany Soto walk with the bases loaded, a Reed Johnson 2-RBI double, a Bobby Scales 2-RBI double; and a Ryan Dempster single.  In the 6th inning, the Cubs scored 4 more runs on another 2-RBI double by Bobby Scales, an Aaron Miles RBI double and a Ryan Dempster RBI double.   Ryan Dempster worked 7 efficient innings – 2 earned runs, 3 hits, 2 walks and 5 K’s – to pick up his 3rd win of the season.  Jose Ascansio made his 1st major league appearance pitching 2 innings with 3 K’s and giving up just a solo home run to Drew Macias.  Ascansio also got his 1st major league at-bat when he struck out in the bottom of the 8th inning.

The lone bright spot in the series for the Padres was Adrian Gonzalez – 1 home run on Tuesday, 2 home runs on Wednesday, and 1 more home run on Thursday.

Manager Lou Pinella has gotta be happy with the way his team has started off this home stand at Wrigley Field.  Next up for the Cubs – a weekend series against the Houston Astros.

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Cubs Top Padres 6-2 in Shocking Fashion at Wrigley Field

Posted on 13 May 2009 by Lou

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The Cubs defeated the Padres 6-2 on Tuesday night behind the solid pitching of Rich Harden and the clutch hitting of Alfonso Soriano and Milton Bradley.  Harden improved to 4-1 on the season and settled down after he gave up a 2-run 1st inning home run to Adrian Gonzalez which gave the Padres the early.  Harden retired 12 Padres in a row after the HR and allowed only 3 more base runners in the next 5 innings.

I must admit, I had my doubts especially after the Cubs blew a golden opportunity off Peavy in the 4th inning.  Kosuke Fukodome led off the inning with a double and advanced to 3rd base with nobody out on a wild pitch by Jake Peavy.  All the Cubs had to do was put the ball in play to plate Kosuke, but Peavy struck out Derek Lee and Milton Bradley and was saved by a great play by the 3rd baseman who robbed Mike Fontenot on a line drive to the hot corner.  I figured the Cubs were done after blowing that scoring chance, especially against Peavy.  But the Cubs didn’t give up.

Alfonso Soriano’s RBI double in the 5th inning score Geovany Soto with the Cubs 1st run of the game.  In the 6th inning, Kosuke led off with another double.  After another Derek Lee strike out – how many is that on the season now???!!! – Milton Bradley exacted revenge on Peavy with a deep bomb to center field.

Side rant – instead of just running around the bases, Bradley just dropped the bat at home plate and stared at the ball going well into the center field bleachers.  Bradley didn’t stop there, however.  At the top of the Cubs dugout steps, Bradley put his left hand up to his ear to the crowd as if to say “Where are the boos now?”  Is this guy for real?  Gimme a break.  Bradley needs to quit worrying about the fans, the opposition and the media, and start focusing on his health, his at-bats and playing the field.  Although Bradley has quietly put together a nice 6-game hitting streak with 2 home runs, only 1 of the games has been a multi-hit game and his batting average is still a measly .186.  Hey Milton – you can get on your high horse when you have double-digit home runs, RBI’s and runs scored and when your batting average is higher than .200…  Check out the Bradley antics here!

The Cubs got an insurance run on Bobby Scales 1st career home run in the 7th inning.   Scales was a little bit more diplomatic after his shot as he sped around the bases for his unfamiliar home run trot:  “I was just running.  I kept telling myself, ‘Pick your feet up, pick your feet up, so you don’t trip’.  Even in the Minor Leagues when I hit home runs, there’s no point in showing anybody up.  You hit it and it went over the fence, and that’s enough.  Hit all four bases and get off the field.”

In the 8th inning, the Cubs added 2 more runs on an RBI single by Alfonso Soriano and a wild pitch that scored Micah Hoffpauir.  Aaron Heilman, Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg did the rest – shutting the door on the Padres with scoreless frames in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.

Let’s hope the Cubs can pull off a sweep of the Padres with Ted Lilly on Wednesday night and Ryan Dempster on Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

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