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Will He Stay or Will He Go? Ryan Dempster Update – Wrigley Field 7/20/12

Posted on 20 July 2012 by Lou

The Ryan Dempster watch is on high alert as the Dodgers have made a big pitch to acquire the righty from the Cubs.  As far as we know, it’s unclear if they have included prized pitcher Zach Lee in the package that would come to the Cubs.  If not, it could allow other Dempster suitors like the Tigers or Braves to jump right into the mix.

Dempster is slated to start tonight against the Cardinals in St. Louis.  As a back-up plan, the Cubs acquired Justin Germano from the Red Sox for cash considerations yesterday.  They also scratched Casey Coleman from his Thursday night Triple-A Iowa start just in case Germano did not make it to St. Louis in time.

Ah the drama.  No news yet, but we’ll keep you posted as soon as something breaks.

Go Cubs Go!

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Cubs Take 2 of 3 From Marlins as Samardzija & Maholm Shine – Wrigley Field 7/19/12

Posted on 19 July 2012 by Lou

The Cubs took the final 2 games of the series against the Marlins to keep their winning ways rolling.  They took 5 of 6 games on the current homestand to open up the 2nd half of the MLB campaign.

In Wednesday night’s rain-shortened 5-1 win, Jeff Samardzija struck out 9 in just 5 innings and limited the marlins to only 1 ER on 6 hits and 3 walks. James Russell picked up the win by pitching a scoreless 7th inning despite allowing 2 runners to reach base.  Starlin Castro tied the game at 1 in the 4th inning with his 8th homer of the season.  And the Cubs earned the win before the rains came by tallying 4 runs in the 7th.  Geovany Soto had an RBI single, Jeff Baker had a 2-run single and David DeJesus plated the final run with a sacrifice fly.

In Thursday’s matinee, Paul Maholm pitched 8 innings of 1-run ball, scattering 5 hits and 1 walk.  Maholm improved to 8-6 and lowered his WHIP to 1.29 and his ERA to 4.09.  Carlos Marmol made it interesting in the 9th when he walked the lead-off hitter and allowed him to score on a single.  But he closed out the game to pick up his 11th save and preserve the 4-2 win.  Alfonso Soriano hit his 18th homer to get the Cubs on the board in the 5th inning.  And Reed Johnson capped off the 4-run 5th inning with a 2-out, 2-run single to left field.  Johnson, Soriano, Jeff Baker and Darwin Barney each had 2 hits in the win.

Now it’s onto St. Louis to take on the Cardinals in what could be Ryan Dempster’s final 2012 start as a Cubs player on Friday night.

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Ozzie, Lee, Marlins Crush Wood, Cubs 9-5 @ Friendly Confines – Wrigley Field 07/17/12

Posted on 17 July 2012 by Lou

Travis Wood was due for a bad outing.  The lefty surrendered 8 ER on 8 hits and 2 walks before Manager Dale Sveum mercifully pulled the starter with 2 outs in the top of the 5th inning.  Wood did strike out 6 batters, but Carlos Lee’s 2 hits and grand slam were just too much for Wood to handle.  Lee continued his penchant for crushing the ball at Wrigley Field.

David DeJesus, Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Luis Valbuena each had 2 hits for the Cubs in the loss.

The game marked the return of former White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen and former Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano.  Zambrano was apologetic to the media and Cubs fans before the game: “I still love these fans… I apologize for any inconvenience and anything that I did.  The only thing that I wanted to do in Chicago is win, and I really apologize to the Cubs fans and the people here who treated me good.”  Ozzie, on the other hand, was less diplomatic.  Before the game, he issued a listed of Chicago media who were NOT ALLOWED to attend any of his media press conferences pre- or post-game.  One of those included on the list is long-time ESPN Radio 1000 sage Bruce Levine.  Bruce Levine has been in the baseball business for over a century and he has know Ozzie for almost 30 years.  But Ozzie took offense that Levine did not support Ozzie more when the Marlins suspended Ozzie for 5 games early in the season for statements he made about Cuba’s President Fidel Castro which angered the Miami Latina community.  Levine suggested that Ozzie should be suspended indefinitely until Ozzie, the Marlins baseball organization and the community could patch things up.  That did not sit well with Ozzie who immediately issued an apologetic statement after he made the Castro comments.  This is just another example of Ozzie being Ozzie – what do you expect?

In any event, Jeff Samardzija looks to kick off the 2nd half of the MLB season on a positive note.  He’ll square off against Josh JOhnson in Game 2 of the series tonight.

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Cubs Sweep D’Backs Over The Weekend – Start off 2nd Half with a Bang – Wrigley Field 7/15/12

Posted on 15 July 2012 by Lou

The Cubs swept the Arizona Diamondbacks to kick off the 2nd half of the season with a bang.  The Cubs 12 wins since June 25th is tops in the majors.  Granted they are still way out of it with a 36-52 record, but at least they seem to be putting things together on a more consistent basis.

Paul Maholm earned the Cubs win in Friday’s 8-1 romp.  Maholm worked 7 innings of 1-run ball to pace the club.  He scattered 6 hits and struck out 5 to improve to 7-6 on the season.  Alfonso Soriano was the hitting star — 2 home runs, 2 doubles and 5 RBI’s! Anthony Rizzo also had 2 hits and 2 runs scored.

Ryan Dempster continued to help his trade value with 6 shutout innings in Saturday’s 4-1 win.  He improved to 5-3 scattering 4 hits and 3 walks in the win.  He now has a 1.02 WHIP and 1.86 ERA and his 33 consecutive scoreless innings streak      . Reed Johnson, Geovany Soto and Luis Valubuena each had 2 hits in the win. Carlos Marmol notched his 9th save of the season.

Matt Garza worked 7 scoreless innings in Sunday’s 3-1 series finale win to improve to 5-7.  He struck out 7 and only allowed 5 hits.  Rizzo gave the Cubs an early 1-0 lead in the 1st inning with an RBI single.  And Darwin Barney added a 2-run homer in the 2nd inning that increased the Cubs lead to 3-0.  That would be all that Garza needed in one of his better outings of the season.  Marmol recorded the game’s final 2 outs to pick up save #10.

The Cubs open up a 3-game series against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.

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Happy All-Star Game – Kansas City – Wrigley Field 7/10/12

Posted on 10 July 2012 by Lou

Happy All-Star Game from your friends at MyCubsToday.com!

Matt Cain gets the start for the National League while Justin Verlander goes for the American League.

Cubs fans get to root for Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair.

Go National League Go!!!

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Cubs Top Mets 7-0; Take 2 out of 3 @ CITI Field – Wrigley Field 7/9/12

Posted on 09 July 2012 by Lou

The Chicago Cubs beat the NY Mets 7-0 on Sunday to take 2 of 3 from the Mets on the weekend right before the All-Star Break.  Ryan Dempster earned his 4th win of the season, pitching 5 scoreless innings in his 1st start since being on the DL with a strained muscle.  He struck out 4 batters and more importantly did not walk a batter.  And he looks primed and ready to go for the 2nd half of the season once he gets traded to a contender.  Dempster will be in high demand.

Reed Johnson, Starlin Castro and Jeff Baker each had 2 hits to power the Cubs offense.  Castro hit a 3-run homer off of Jon Niese to break the game open in the 7th inning.

The Cubs finished the 1st half with a miserable 33-52 record.  They have a 1/2 game better record than the Houston Astros to avoid having the worst record in baseball at the break.  They trail the Cincinnati Reds by 15 games in the NL Central race.  Ha ha ha!

At least we have Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair to root for in the All-Star Game and Anthony Rizzo to root for in the 2nd half of what is shaping up to be another frustrating season on the north side of Chicago.

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Danica, Travis, Anthony & Carlos – What More Can You Ask For? – Wrigley Field 7/1/12

Posted on 01 July 2012 by Lou

What a way to kick off the month of July as the Cubs swept the Astros in a 3-game weekend set at Wrigley Field.

Travis Wood continued his dominance since being called up to take the place of the struggling Chris Volstad.  Wood tossed 7+ scoreless innings, scattering 3 hits and no walks in an almost perfect game.  Wood picked up his 3rd win and lowered his WHIP to 1.09 and his ERA to 3.05.  Theo & Co. are looking like genies for pulling off the Sean Marshall for Wood trade this past off-season.  In his last 3 starts, Wood has yielded just 1 ER in his last 20 2/3 innings pitched – not too shabby…

Anthony Rizzo had another “game-winning hit” as his RBI single in the 6th scored Wood with the 1st run of the game.  That lone run would be good enough for the Cubs to roll to a 3-0 victory.  Jeff Baker followed that up with a 2-run single that gave Wood and the bullpen a little cushion.

And Carlos Marmol picked up his 8th save and looks to have things back on track since being removed from the closer role.  He gave up a single in the 9th, but buckled down to strike out 2 and close out the win.

And what about Danica Patrick throwing out the first pitch?!  I think the photos tell it all. Look at that form?! What do ya think James Russell was thinking after catching that strike to the plate?!

GO CUBS GO!  The Cubs finished June with a nice 5-1 home stand.  Sure they are 29-49 and they still trail the 1st place Reds by 14 games, but it’s been fun to watch this team the last week or so.  Let’s hope they can continue playing good baseball on their road trip to Atlanta and New York before the All-Star Break.  And then let’s hope they can keep the momentum going as the 2nd half starts up back at Wrigley Field on Friday July 13th!!!

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Garza, Rizzo Lead Cubs to 3-2 Win Over Astros – Wrigley Field 6/30/12

Posted on 30 June 2012 by Lou

Matt Garza battled for his 4th win and Anthony Rizzo had another game winning hit as the Cubs defeated the Astros 3-2 on Saturday.

Garza did not have his best stuff – 9 hits and 3 walks in just 5 1/3 innings pitched – but he limited the Astros to just 2 ER’s to keep his team in the game.

In the pivotal 5th inning, Starlin Castro’s 2-out RBI single drove home Luis Valbuena to cut the Astros lead to 2-1.  Then Rizzo’s bomb to deep right gave the Cubs the lead for good.

The bullpen did the rest – 4 2/3 innings of scoreless ball.  Carlos Marmol walked a batter in the 9th, but struck out 2 to pick up his 7th save of the season.  Since being re-inserted into the closer’s role, Marmol has 5 saves and he has given up a run only once – in mop-up duty at the end of a 10-5 loss to the D’Backs. Trade bait anyone?!?!

The Cubs go for the series sweep on Sunday when Travis Wood takes the hill.

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Cubs Take 2 of 3 From Mets, But Samardzija Struggles in 17-1 Finale Loss – Wrigley Field 6/27/12

Posted on 27 June 2012 by Lou

The Cubs took 2 of 3 games from the New York Mets this week at Wrigley Field to bounce back from a 2-4 road trip.  Anthony Rizzo’s Cubs major league debut went off without a hitch on Tuesday night.  He went 2 for 4 and his 2-out RBI double in the 4th inning proved to be the game winner in the Cubs 5-3 win.  After Randy Wells struggled through the game’s first 3 innings, the Cubs bullpen did the rest.

The Cubs win guaranteed a series win, but the Mets absolutely destroyed Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs in the finale today – to the tune of 17-1.  Samardzija fell to 5-7 on the season – he lasted just 4 1/3 innings, giving up 9 ER on 6 hits and 4 walks.  He served up 2 home runs and only struck out 1 batter.  Samardzija has been miserable in his last 4 start – 25 ER on 26 hits and 10 walks.  And his previous outing to that stretch, he only allowed 2 ER, but he battled throughout giving up 7 hits and walking 5.  Not good.  Casey Coleman got sucked into the madness – Manager Dale Sveum was not about to tax the rest of his bullpen in the blowout, so Coleman was left out there on a tough day to serve up 7 more ER on 6 hist and 2 walks.  He too allowed 2 home runs.

The Cubs could use an off-day – especially when it is supposed to be over 100 degrees here in Chicago on Thursday.  Then they open up a weekend series with the Houston Astros.  Fun fun fun…

 

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D’Backs Sweep Cubs in Arizona; Rizzo Set to Make Cubs Wrigley Field Debut Tuesday Night – Wrigley Field 6/25/12

Posted on 25 June 2012 by Lou

The Arizona D’Backs swept the Cubs in 3 straight ugly games over the weekend.  The D’Backs outscored the Cubs 21-7 in the 3-game set.  Rookie Wade Miley made it look easy against the struggling Cubs offense – he held the Cubs to just 3 hits in 8 innings, with the Cubs scoring their only run on Alfonso Soriano’s 14th HR of the season.  Matt Garza fell to 3-6 despite pitching well – 3ER on 5 hits and 1 walk over 7 solid innings.  He struck out 7.

The Cubs continue to have the worst record in baseball – at 24-48.  They trail the NL Central leading Cincinnati Reds by an incredible 15.5 games – and we haven’t even hit the end of June yet.  Travis Wood will square off against Johan Santana in the opener of a 3-game series with the surprising NY Mets.  The Mets are 39-34 and they trail the Washington Nationals by only 3.5 games in the race for the top spot in the NL East.

But Cubs fans have the future to look forward to – Cubs top prospect Anthony Rizzo will make his season debut in Tuesday night’s game against the Mets.  Expect Rizzo to play 1st base, shifting Bryan LaHair to right field and David DeJesus over to center field.  That may also free up some off-days for Soriano who has continued to hobble around on a bum knee.  Rizzo is stroking it at Triple-A Iowa – .342 batting average; 23 HR’s and 62 RBI’s.

GO CUBS GO!!!

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