Archive | May, 2010

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Game 2 Cubs-Cards Today; Plus Cubs Fun Fact of the Day — Randy Wells – No Outs in Start?!

Posted on 29 May 2010 by Lou

The Cubs and Cards square off in Game 2 of the big weekend series at Wrigley Field today.  Carlos Silva looks to go 7-0, while the Cubs bats must figure 1st time major league start Adam Ottavino.

The Cubs have already blown 1 scoring chance.  After Mike Fontenot tripled with 1 out in the 2nd inning, the bottom part of the Cubs order could not bring him home.  Starlin Castro grounded out to 2nd base and Koyie Hill lined out to center field to end the threat.  Fortunately, Carlos Silva appears to have brought his A-game.  He has pitched 3 scoreless innings while striking out 7 of the first 10 batters he has faced.  He gave up a lone single to Matt Holliday to lead off the 2nd inning.

In Saturday’s 7-1 loss to the Cards, Randy Wells had his worst start ever as a major league pitcher.  He faced 6 batters and did not record a single out.  All 6 hitters reached base with hits and the Card scored 5 runs in that dreadful, game-changing first inning.  It was the 1st time a Cubs starter did not record an out in his game since Jeremy Gonzalez did so back in 1998.  James Russell came in and ended the threat and actually pitched great in a tough situation.  Russell ended up going a career-high 4 innings of scoreless ball giving up just 2 hits and  a walk.  He single-handedly kept the Cubs in the game and earned some great respect and praise from Manager Lou Pinella so did not have to go the bullpen too often.  The rest of the bullpen (save for John Grabow who gave up a 2-run HR in his 1 inning of work) also did a great job – Bob Howry 1 scoreless inning; Jeff Stevens 2 scoreless innings and Big Z 1 scoreless inning.  If the Cubs had talen advantage of some earlier scoring chances against Cards’ starter Chris Carpenter, they may have had a chance to win.

Oh well — let’s hope the Cubs bats come to life in this afternoon’s game.

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Cubs Fun Fact of the Day — Sean Marshall Perfect 5-0 in May

Posted on 28 May 2010 by Lou

Sean Marshall is a perfect 5-0 in the month of May.  He picked up the win by pitching 1 scoreless inning in the Cubs 1-0 win over the Dodgers on Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field.  It was Marshall’s 5th win of the month – no starting pitchers can even match that feat.  Marshall is the 1st reliever to win 5 games in a month since Dick Tidrow did so way back in July 1979.

Marshall had this to say about the accomplishment — “It’s very hard to do.  I’ve just run into some good luck and have gotten the opportunity to pitch in tight games and keep the score close.  Good things happen when you come in and keep the score zero or tied… In the first three games of the season, I was on pace to throw every game.  I like the wins better.”

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Cards Light Up Wells in 5-Run 1st Inning – Cubs Lose 7-1

Posted on 28 May 2010 by Lou

It wasn’t the way the Cubs wanted to start the 3-game weekend series with the Cardinals at Wrigley Field.  Wells did not record an out as the 1st 6 Cards batters recorded hits – scoring 5 runs in the process.  The Cards went on to win 7-1 on a beautiful Friday afternoon at the Friendly Confines.

Carlos Silva takes his perfect 6-0 record to the bump on Saturday.  He will face Adam Ottavino who will be making his 1st ever major league start.

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Cubs Fun Fact of the Day — Derrek Lee is On Fire

Posted on 27 May 2010 by Lou

Well, not really, but he is starting to swing the bat better.  Not counting today’s game, Lee had 3 hits in each of the 1st 2 games against the Dodgers this week.  He hit a home run and drove in all 3 Cubs runs in their 3-0 win on Tuesday night.  He had 2 runs scored in their 8-5 loss last night.  He has his batting average back up to .242 and his on-base percentage is still a respectable .343.  The numbers are well below his career numbers (.283 and .343), but at least he seems to be on the right track.  The more patient he gets and the more pitches he sees with runners on base, the better it is going to get.

Let’s hope the warm days of summer that lie ahead also bring some good power numbers for Lee during the rest of the 2010 MLB schedule.

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Cubs Take 2 of 3 from Dodgers @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 27 May 2010 by Lou

The Cubs took 2 of 3 from the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers as Wrigley Field this week.  It wasn’t all perfect, but at least the wins keep coming in.

I’m going to ignore most of the 8-5 loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday night.

Most notable – I was very disappointed in the Cubs hitting.  14 hits and you only manufacture 5 runs?!  The Cubs left 2 runners on base in each of the 1st 2 innings and only pushed 1 run across during those scoring chances.  In the 3rd inning, the Cubs actually had the bases loaded and nobody out, and they only scored 1 run on a Mike Fontenot hit by pitch.  Starlin Castro then grounded out to force an out at home, Koyie Hill struck out and Tom Gorzelanny grounded out to end the threat.  The Cubs had runners on base in every single inning but the 9th inning, but never seemed to be able to push through more than a run at a time.  The lowlight – Ryan Theriot grounded into inning-ending double plays in each of the 6th and 8th innings.  Not good.

Tom Gorzelanny – we may have seen the last of TG as a starter with the return of Carlos Zambrano looming.  Gorzelanny never seemed comfortable out there and he gave up a season high 7 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits and 3 walks over 5 innings.  It least he gave the team the 5 innings though – gotta give him credit for that.

Now on to bigger and better things.  Although it was a pitcher’s/defensive battle between Ted Lilly and Chicago-area native John Ely today, the Cubs eked out the 1-0 win late to make the Wrigley-faithful happy. The Dodgers actually out-hit the Cubs 5-4, but the Cubs made their hits count in the 8th inning.  Mike Fontenot entered the game in the 8th inning after an undisclosed injury to Jeff Baker and he promptly led off the bottom of the 8th inning with a triple down the right field line that Xavier Nady had trouble fielding.  After Geovany Soto struck out, Tyler Colvin (also in his 1st at-bat as he entered the game for defensive purposes), doubled to right field to drive in Fontenot with the 1st and only run of the game.  It was frustrating to watch Ryan Theriot pop out on a bunt attempt that would have brought another run in because the Cubs continue to struggle in those situations.  When you get a man on 3rd and less than 1 out, you have to get him home somehow, some way, and the Cubs have not been consistent doing that this year.

Ted Lilly was great –7 scoreless innings giving up just 3 hits and 3 walks with 5 K’s.  He did not receive a decision however.

Sean Marshall pitched a scoreless 8th inning although he did give up 2 singles in the inning.

Carlos Marmol struck out the side in the 9th inning although he did walk Blake DeWitt with 1 out.  It was Marmol’s 11th save in 13 chances and he has shown that he can close out games on a consistent basis this year.  He continues to lower both his WHIP (1.14) and ERA (1.52) with good outings.

Next up is a HUGE 3-game set with the Cardinals at Wrigley Field this weekend.  It should be a fun Randy Wells-Chris Carpenter duel on Friday afternoon at t he Friendly Confines – lucky for us, the Cards have a late afternoon game in San Diego today before heading to Chicago tonight – wonder who scheduled that one?

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Dempster, Lee Lead Cubs Past Dodgers 3-0 @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 26 May 2010 by Lou

Ryan Dempster and Derrek Lee had great performances to help lead the Cubs past the Dodgers 3-0 on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.  It was the 3rd straight win for the Cubs who are now just 2 games under .500 on the season.  At 22-24, the Cubs are now just 4 games out of 1st place behind the Cards and Reds who both lost.

Ryan Dempster overcame some early control issues to turn in his best performance of the season.  He gave up all 3 of his hits and his only walk in the game’s 1st three innings, but never surrendered a run.  He cruised the rest of the way, tossing 8 scoreless innings with 7 K’s.  His ERA is now 3.31 and his WHIP is now 1.03 and he has a 3-4 record.

Carlos Marmol worked a perfect 9th inning with 2 K’s to earn his 10th save of the season.

Derrek Lee had 3 of the Cubs 6 hits, driving in the Cubs 1st run with an RBI single in the 6th inning.  He gave the Cubs a little cushion with his 2-run bomb to deep right field that increased the Cubs lead to 3-0.

Marlon Byrd was the only other position player with a hit for the Cubs – he had 2 hits.  Dempster was the only other Cubs player with a hit.

Tom Gorzelanny looks to make it 2 in a row over the Dodgers in tonight’s Cubs game at Wrigley Field.

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Dempster, Cubs Host Los Angeles Dodgers @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 25 May 2010 by Lou

Ryan Dempster looks to end his personal 5-game winless streak. Dempster is 2-4 with a 3.73 ERA, but lack of run support and his propensity to give up the long ball at inopportune timers has come back to bite Dempster this season.  Dempster has won his last 6 decisins against the Dodgers, however, going 6-2 with a 2.25 ERA against them as a starter in his career.

The Cubs are 21-24 and they trail the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds by 5 games in the NL Central race.  This week will go a long way in determining the rest of the season for the Cubs.  Facing the red-hot Reds the next 3 games and the Cards over the weekend, the Cubs will have to perform at an optimum level.

Let’s hope the Cubs can get it done this week.  They are riding a 2-game winning streak and have won 8 of their last 10 games.  They are also looking to win their season-high 4th game in a row at home…

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Cubs Fun Fact of the Day — 6-0 Carlos Silva “Ace” of Cubs Staff

Posted on 24 May 2010 by Lou

His overall numbers may not be the best of all the Cubs starters, but Carlos Silva’s 6 wins has him sitting pretty in a positive 2010 MLB schedule.

I doubt he’s going to go 20-0, but knowing that we got Silva to be able to get rid of Milton Bradley makes this all the more sweet.  Even if he loses the rest of his starts this season, it will be a memorable 2010 season in a Cubs uniform for Silva and Cubs fans all over the country.

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Cubs Win Series with 5-4 Win over Rangers

Posted on 24 May 2010 by Lou

The Cubs defeated the Rangers 5-4 for the 2nd game in a row and the Cubs won a big road series over the 1st place team in the AL West.  The Cubs struck early and often – getting 4 runs off C.J. Wilson in the 1st inning.  Derrek Lee had an RBI single, Marlon Byrd had an RBI groundout and Alfonso Soriano knocked in the final 2 runs of the inning with his 9th HR of the season.  The Cubs went into a shell for most of the rest of the game, but Koyie Hill’s RBI single in the 6th inning helped extend the Cubs lead to 5-3.  That proved to be a big run as the Rangers cut the lead to 5-4 with Michael Young’s RBI double in the 7th inning.

Carlos Silva picked up his 6th win of the season by tossing 5 1/3 innings of 1-run ball.  Bob Howry made his 1st appearance since being acquired last week off the waiver wire and did not look so hot.  He came in to the game in the bottom of the 7th inning to try to work out of John Grabow’s 2 on, 1-out jam.  But Howry gave up an RBI double to Young, got Ian Kinsler to pop out and then intentionally walked Vladimr Guerrero and then gave way to Sean Marshall to quell the threat.  Marshall has proven invaluable out of the pen as he induced Josh Hamilton to line out to 2nd base to preserve the 1-run lead.  And although he walked a batter in the 8th inning, he got out of the jam with 2 K’s and kept the lead at 1 for closer Carlos Marmol.  Marmol worked a scoreless 9th inning with 3 K’s and 1 walk to pick up his 9th save of the season.

The Cubs are trying desperately to get back to .500.  A successful 3-2 road trip against division leaders helped a lot.  Now they need to keep that momentum going against the red hot Dodgers and the 1st place Cardinals this week at Wrigley Field.

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Marmol, Cubs Hold on for 5-4 win over Rangers on Saturday (and Sunday)

Posted on 23 May 2010 by Lou

The Cubs defeated the Rangers 5-4 on Saturday night at the Ballpark at Arlington.  Carlos Marmol worked a scary 9th inning to pick up the save.  With a 2-run lead, Marmol issued the dreaded lead-off walk and allowed a run to score on an RBI single to Ian Kinsler.  But Marmol induced a groundout by Vladmir Guerrero to end the game and preserve the 5-4 win.

Randy Wells had a phenomenal outing against one of the better hitting teams in all of baseball.  Wells pitched into the 9th inning, giving up just 3ER on 7 hits and 1 walk.  He struck out 6 but got a no decision.

Sean Marshall worked out of trouble in the 9th inning and earned the win.

The Cubs manufactured the winning runs in the 10th inning by players who did not start the game.  Tyler Colvin led off the inning with a double.  Pinch-hitter Kosuke Fukudome singled and then pinch-hitter Mike Fontenot hit an RBI single knocking in Colvin with the go ahead run.  With the bases loaded and just 1 out, Derrek Lee hit an RBI groundout and avoided the double play so that the ultimate winning run could score.

Alfonso Soriano got the Cubs on the board first with a 2-run HR in the 2nd inning.  Starlin Castro hit a solo home run in the 3rd inning.  That would be the only Cubs scoring until the 10th inning.

The Cubs won Sunday’s rubber match 5-4 as well.  Carlos Silva picked up the win (6-0) and Carlos Marmol notched his 9th save of the season.  More on Sunday’s win on Monday…

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