Archive | May, 2011

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Cubs Beat Giants 11-4 in Opener of Weekend Series – Wrigley Field 5/13/11

Posted on 13 May 2011 by Lou

The Cubs defeated the Giants 11-4 in the opener of the weekend series against the defending world champions at Wrigley Field.

Ryan Dempster picked up his 2nd win of the season with 6 effective innings of 2-run ball.  He struck out 11 and because of the high pitch count – 115 pitches – Manager Mike Quade removed him at the end of 6.

Starlin Castro, Reed johnson and Dawrin Barney each had 3 hits apiece in an explosive 14-hit, 11-run attack.

More to come tomorrow on the big Friday win at Wrigley…

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Cubs Lose Another Series – Fall to 16-20, 5 Games Back of Cards – Wrigley Field 5/12/11

Posted on 12 May 2011 by Lou

The final 2 games of the Cubs-Cards series this week were blowouts, as the Cards took 2 of 3 at Wrigley Field.  The Cards are now 22-16 on the season and they lead the Reds by 1.5 games and the Cubs by a full 5 games in the NL Central race.

Matt Garza got his 1st win of the season at Wrigley Field on Wednesday night as the Cubs won 11-4.

The Cards bounced back today against Casey Coleman winning 9-1.  Jaime Garcia won his 5th game of the season and lowered his ERA down to 1.89.  Coleman’s numbers continue to move in the wrong direction.  At 1-3, Coleman now sports a 1.95 WHIP and 7.22 ERA.  Not good…

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Carpenter Gets 1st Win as Cards Top Cubs 6-4 – Wrigley Field 5/11/11

Posted on 11 May 2011 by Lou

Chris Carpenter and Carlos Zambrano each pitched 7 innings and the game was tied at 4-4 when both pitchers departed.  But the Cards got the best of the Kerry Wood in the 8th inning, scoring 2 runs off of the dependable righty.  Wood allowed 2 hits and 3 walks in the inning as the 2 winning runs scored on Daniel Descalso’s 2-out bases loaded single.

The Cubs pounded out 13 hits and drew 3 walks, but only managed to score 4 runs.  The 1st inning set the tone once again.  The 1st 4 Cubs batters reached base as they scored 2 runs on Aramis Ramirez’s single up the middle.  But with 1st and 2nd and nobody out, Alfonso Soriano grounded into a double play and even though the Cubs loaded the bases again, they failed to push across another run.  Ramirez ended the night with 3 hits and the 2 RBI’s, while Darwin Barney had 3 hits and 2 runs scored.  Marlon Byrd also had 2 hits and 1 run scored.  In the 7-hole, Starlin Castro came through with an RBI single in the bottom of the 7th inning which tied the game at 4.

Zambrano gave up 4 ER on 8 hits and 2 walks in his outing.  He did not factor in the decision.

Matt Garza goes up against Jake Westbrook in game 2 of the series tonight.  They need Garza to be the “stopper” tonight if they look to avoid the sweep with the Cards having a favorable match-up tomorrow – Jaime Garcia (4-0, 1.99 ERA) v. Casey Coleman (1-2, 6.29 ERA).  Good luck with that one…

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Zambrano/Carpenter Kick Off Cubs-Cards Series Tonight @ Wrigley Field – 5/10/11

Posted on 10 May 2011 by Lou

Carlos Zambrano and Chris Carpenter will square off in the opener of the Cubs-Cards series at Wrigley Field tonight.  Big Z is 4-1 on the season with a 4.23 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.  He has allowed just 3 ER over 14 innings in his last 2 starts against the DBacks and Dodgers on the road.  In his last start at Wrigley, the Dodgers rocked Zambrano for 6 ER in just 5 innings pitched – his shortest outing of the season thus far.

One interesting game note – Mike Quade has moved Starlin Castro down to the #7 spot in the lineup – his lowest spot all season.  Castro is in the middle of a bad slump and Quade wants to take some pressure off the youngster and offer some protection for Carlos Pena who is hitting in the 6-hole and starting to show pop in his bat with several home runs over the last few games.  We’ll see how this one plays out and hoe quickly Quade moves Castro back up in the lineup.

The Cubs are 15-18 and they trail the Cards by 4 games in the NL Central race.  After losing 2 of 3 to the Reds over the weekend, the Cubs really need to get a series win over the Cards this week.  Let’s hope they get off to a good start tonight…

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Same Ol’ Story – Wasted Weekend with Poor Hitting – Wrigley Field 5/9/11

Posted on 09 May 2011 by Lou

The Cubs got some great pitching over the weekend against the Reds, but only came away with 1 win against their Division Rivals.  Not good… not good at all.  It is the same old alarming trend as the Cubs continue to fail to come through with the clutch hit to break open a close game.

The Red Sox stopped their 3-game skid with 2 impressive wins over the Twins at Fenway Park.

In Saturday’s 3-2 win, Casey Coleman gave the Cubs every chance it needed to win.  Coleman worked 6 solid innings, giving up 2 ER on 4 hits and 3 walks with 6 K’s.  After Coleman allowed the 1st 2 batters to reach base in the 7th inning, Kerry Wood couldn’t limit the damage and allowed the Reds to score 2 runs on a fielder’s choice and single.  That gave the Reds a 2-1 lead.

It came down to the 9th inning trailing 2-1 as Carlos Pena came through with the clutch home run to right field that tied the game at 1.  After Blake DeWitt’s single, it looked like the game was over as Jeff Baker’s double to deep center field would have easily scored DeWitt from 1st.  But the ball bounced over the well and was ruled a ground rule double since the center fielder Daniel Stubbs never made contact with the ball before it left the field of play.  That put the pressure on Kosuke Fukudome with runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs.  But Fukudome lived up to the challenge, stroking a no-doubt, line drive single up the middle to score DeWitt with the winning run.  Marcos Mateo picked up his 1st major league win by pitching a scoreless inning and a third.

On Mother’s Day on Sunday, Ryan Dempster made his second straight good start — 7 innings, 2 ER on 5 hits and no walks.  But this time, he did not come away with the win, as the Cubs bats went silent against Johnny Cueto who was making his 1st start of the season.  The Cubs managed just 6 hits and 2 walks during the game against Cueto and 4 Cubs relievers.  Jeff Samardzija worked his 9th straight appearance in which he has not allowed a run.  Carlos Marmol, who had not pitched since May 3rd against the Dodgers worked a scoreless 9th inning.  Starlin Castro continues to struggle even after getting the day off on Saturday.  Castro has only 2 hits in his last 25 at-bats, a streak spanning 5 games.  His batting average has dropped 48 points down to .300 during that stretch.

The Cubs are now 15-18 on the season and they trail the Cards by 4 games in the NL Central race.  The Cards come to town for 3 big games this week as the Cubs really have their backs up against the wall yet again.

 

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Blown Chances Cost Cubs 5-4 Loss To Reds – Wrigley Field 5/7/11

Posted on 07 May 2011 by Lou

The Cubs lost another frustrating 1-run game on Friday afternoon – 5-4 to the Reds.  The Cubs are now 4-6 in 1-run games and this will have to improve if they expect to stay in the NL race in 2011.

The Cubs blew so many scoring chances in the game – this really should have been a blowout Cubs win:

3rd inning – 1st and 3rd with 1 out, Starlin Castro grounded out to 3rd base and a run didn’t score. They did score a run on a passed ball, but it was a blown chance to have a big inning and the Reds answered with Jay Bruce’s 3-run home run in the top of the 4th inning to take a 3-1 lead.  It was a HUGE momentum swing…

4th inning – Bases loaded with nobody out and Geovany Soto grounds into a double-play.  Sure the Cubs got a run, but with the pitcher coming up, they only got 1.

5th inning – 3 singles in a row scored Darwin Barney, but then another costly double-play erases a 2 on, 1 out rally.

6th inning – Geovany Soto singles home a run with nobody out.  That knocks Edinson Volquez out of the 5-4 game.  Reed Johnson enters the game and is promptly hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out.  But Kosuke Fukudome struck out, Barney popped out to the catcher and Castro weakly grounded out to shortstop as the Cubs blow another golden opportunity to blow the game wide open.

The Cubs did score a single run in 4 consecutive innings, but they should have scored about 8 or 9 runs given the chances.  If the Cubs continue to fail to come through with the clutch hit with runners in scoring position, it is going to be a LONG season for the north siders.

Matt Garza was the tough-luck recipient of the Cubs lack of hitting, but he did not pitch the game the Cubs needed against the Reds.  Garza gave up 5 ER on 6 hits and 2 walks and he suffered his 4th loss because of it.

The Cubs fell to 14-17 on the season and trail the 1st place Cards by 4 games in the NL Central.

Casey Coleman looks to help the Cubs rally for a win against the Reds today at Wrigley.  Coleman has been downright bad of late – 11 ER on 12 walks and 14 hits in his last 3 starts – a streak spanning 13 1/3 innings pitched.  Coleman is 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA and 1.96 WHIP.  Please please – let’s get Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner back in the starting rotation!

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Cubs Host Reds for 3 Big Games at Wrigley Field This Weekend – 5/6/11

Posted on 06 May 2011 by Lou

The Cubs host the Reds for 3 big games at Wrigley Field this weekend.  Even though it is still early in the season, the Cubs need to come out and show that they can play with the NL Central big boys.  The Cubs are 14-16 and they trail the Cards by 3 games for 1st place in the division.  The Cubs trail the Reds by 1.5 games.

Matt Garza looks to continue a stretch of good starts.  Garza  has allowed just 4 total earned runs in his last 3 starts – 20 innings.  He picked up his 1st win in a Cubs uniform in his last start against the DBacks in Arizona.

Current update – Cubs trail Reds 5-4 in the bottom of the 9th inning…

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Big Z, Homers Lead Cubs to 5-1 Win over Lilly, Dodgers – Wrigley Field 5/5/11

Posted on 05 May 2011 by Lou

Carlos Zambrano had his best start of the 2011 MLB campaign as the Cubs defeated the Dodgers 5-1 to take 2 out of 3 in L.A.  Zambrano worked 8 amazing innings, allowing just 1 ER on 5 hits and 1 walk with 4 K’s.  Big Z is now 4-1 with a 4.23 ERA and a nifty little 1.19 WHIP.  Gotta love Big Z bringing his “A” game early in the season.

The Cubs scored all of their runs via the long ball – Geovany Soto gave the Cubs a -1-0 lead in the 5th inning with his 3rd HR of the season.  Carlos Pena hit his 2nd HR in as many days to increase the Cubs lead to 2-0 in the 6th inning.  Later that inning, Marlon Byrd broke the game open with his 1st HR of the season.  His 3-run shot gave Big Z a 5-run cushion.

The Cubs need to get Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner back in a hurry. I’m sick of seeing Casey Coleman and James Russell on the bump – it’s almost an automatic loss. This NL Central is completely up for grabs right now and with our 5 starters going, the Cubs have a good shot at staying in the thick of the race this summer.  At 14-16, the Cubs trail the Cards by 2.5 games and they have 6 big games coming up against the Reds this weekend and the Cards next week.  This is a HUGE 6-game stretch for the north siders…

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Dempster, Bullpen & Clutch Hitting Lead Cubs to Late Inning Victory – Wrigley Field 5/4/11

Posted on 04 May 2011 by Lou

Ryan Dempster finally turned in a good outing and Carlos Pena finally delivered his 1st home run of 2011 as the Cubs rallied late to beat the Dodgers 4-1 in Los Angeles.

Dempster pitched 7 effective innings in his best start of 2011.  Dempster allowed just 1 ER on 6 hits and 2 walks during his outing and although he didn’t factor in the decision, he was thrilled that he finally gave his team a chance to win during one of his starts.

Carlos Pena has struggled all season long and he was still looking for his 1st home run heading into last night’s game.  Pena came through with a clutch game-tying home run in the top of the 7th inning off of Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley.  Pena also came around to score on Geovany Soto’s game-winning double after he worked a 1-out walk in the top of the 9th inning that moved the winning run over into scoring position.  Soto delivered the big game winning hit with 2 outs and Blake DeWitt followed that up with an RBI single to give the Cubs a 4-1 cushion.

After Dempster left the game, the bullpen did what they’ve been doing for the majority of 2011.  Kerry Wood worked a 1-2-3 8th inning and ended up picking up his 1st win of 2011 when the Cubs scored 3 in the 9th.  Carlos Marmol then notched his 8th save of 2011 with a 1-2-3 9th inning.  Wood and Marmol both have WHIP’s under 1.09 and ERA’s under 1.84.  This gives Manager Mike Quade and the Cubs a TON of confidence when they have the lead in the late innings and they know they can hand the ball over to Wood, Marmol and Sean Marshall.  Cubs sit at 13-16 with 1 more game left against the Dodgers on Wednesday afternoon.

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Dodgers Drop Russell, Cubs 5-2 in Los Angeles – Wrigley Field 5/3/11

Posted on 03 May 2011 by Lou

The Dodgers defeated the Cubs 5-2 on Monday night in Los Angeles.

James Russell lost for the 4th time in 5 starts.

Alfonso Soriano hit his major-league leading 11th home run in the loss.

Go Cubs Go!

 

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