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Cubs Belt 5 Home Runs en Route to 12-3 Laugher Over White Sox – Wrigley Field 6/19/12

Posted on 19 June 2012 by Lou

It’s also nice to get an easy win – especially for the Cubs who still have the worst record in all of baseball at 23-44.  The Cubs belted 5 home runs and cruised to an easy 12-3 win over the White Sox on the south side.  It was the 1st time the Cubs beat the White Sox in 4 tries this year.  Matt Garza pitched 6 innings on a 90+-degree night and won just his 3rd game of the season. He gave up 3 ER on 2 home runs, but limited the damage while striking out 6.  He lowered his WHIP to 1.11, but his ERA is still over 4 at 4.07.

The Cubs clobbered 15 hits and scored 12 runs.  Starlin Castro had 3 hits (1 home run), 2 RBI’s and 3 runs scored.  Bryan LaHair added 2 hits, 2 RBI’s and 1 run scored on his 13th homer of the year.  Alfonso Soriano (1 home run) had 2 hits and 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored.  But the real star was Luis Valbuena who added 3 hits including a 3-run homer in the 7th inning.  He has raised his batting average to .294 while getting extended playing time while Ian Stewart is injured.

Jake Peavy and Travis Wood get to face the 90+degree elements tonight in what should be another high-scoring affair.  Look for lots more long balls – this time probably a few more from the south siders who “only” hit 2 on Monday night.

Go Cubs Go!!!

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Cubs Drop Final 2 Games to Red Sox as Samardzija, Maholm Struggle – Wrigley Field 6/18/12

Posted on 18 June 2012 by Lou

The Red Sox took the final 2 games against the Cubs during the weekend set at Wrigley Field.  Jeff Samardzija’s struggles continued in the heat on Saturday night at the Friendly Confines.  He gave up 3 ER on 4 hits and 3 walks in just 5 1/3 innings.  He racked up 6 K’s but his high 108-pitch count forced Manager Dale Sveum to pull the big righty early in the game.  The Cubs tallied their 3 runs on Luis Valbuena’s 1st career major league home run – a 3-run blast off of Jon Lester that cut the Red Sox lead to 4-3.  But the game would end like that.

Franklin Morales started for the injured Josh Beckett on Sunday night and he out-dueled Cubs starter Paul Maholm.  Maholm pitched OK – 3 ER on 6 hits and 1 walk, with 6 K’s – but it wasn’t good enough.  The Red Sox scored 3 runs in the 7th and 1 in the 8th to break open a 3-3 tie.  Starlin Castro finally broke out of his slump with 3 hits, including a double and a triple.  He drove in 2 of the Cubs 3 runs.

The Cubs fell to 22-44 with the series loss to the Red Sox – they once again have the worst record in baseball.  The Cubs “travel” south to take on the White Sox for 3 games at U.S. Cellular Field starting tonight.  Matt Garza will square off against Zach Stewart in the series opener.

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Cubs Strike First – Take Opener Over Red Sox 3-0 – Wrigley Field 6/15/12

Posted on 15 June 2012 by Lou

The Cubs beat the Red Sox 3-0 in the opener of the much-anticipated series between Theo Epstein’s new team and his old team.  And while it is great that the Cubs got the win, barring a herculean pitching effort by Ryan Dempster, it should have been another loss for the north siders.  The Cubs managed just 2 hits by a non-pitcher in the win today.  Fortunately, both hits drove in the Cubs 3 runs.  Steve Clevenger had a timely 2-out bases loaded double that drove in 2 runs in the 1st inning.  And the next inning David DeJesus single drove in Ryan Dempster.  Dempster had reached base earlier that inning on a “triple” to right field that regular 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez misplayed down the line.  So even that 2nd run was a little “lucky”…

Dempster pitched another solid outing – 7 scoreless innings, 4 hits, 2 walks and 3 K’s.  Sure the Red Sox lineup is missing a little umph without Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury, but if you can keep David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez off the scoreboard for an entire game, you’ve gotta be doing something right.

Carlos Marmol made it interesting in the 9th.  He gave up a hit and a walk and a Luis Valbuena error in between put Marmol in a bases loaded 2-out jam.  But Valbuena made a 2nd fabulous play in the inning with a hard line drive grounder by Pedroia to the hot corner that he scooped up and raced to make the game-ending force out just ahead of the racing footsteps by Mike Aviles.

With the win, the Cubs “improved” to 22-42.  The Red Sox fell to 31-33.  Not exactly the type of match-up that MLB envisioned in the winter.

Go Cubs Go!

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Cubs Make Move For Future While Finishing Up Dismal 2-8 Road Trip – Wrigley Field 6/11/12

Posted on 11 June 2012 by Lou

Ryan Dempster won for the 2nd time on the Cubs atrocious 2-8 road trip through San Francisco, Milwaukee and Minnesota.  It were Dempster’s first 2 wins of the 2012 MLB season.  He pitched 8 scoreless innings to help the Cubs avoid the sweep by the Twins.  He scattered 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6.  He has an amazing 1.03 WHIP and 2.31 ERA, but only has a 2-3 record as the Cubs have failed to provide him much run support in his starts.  Starlin Castro led the Cubs 9-hit attack by going 3 for 5 with 3 runs scored.  Reed Johnson added 2 hits and 3 runs scored in the lead-off spot.

Off the field, the Cubs landed highly touted Cuban prospect Jorge Soler in the “free agent” market.  The 20-year old outfielder was considered the next biggest star out of Cuba after Yoenis Cespedes signed with Oakland for $36 million earlier this spring.  The Cubs were able to negotiate a 9-year, $30 million deal for the player they have set their sights on for quite a while now.  Other top teams – the Yankees, White Sox, Phillies and Red Sox – were all believed to be involved in the bidding for Soler, but the Cubs got him.  The Cubs did not make any public announcement about the deal today, but look for some news later this week.

At 20-40, the Cubs are on pace to finish with more than 100 losses for only the 3rd time in franchise history.  Both the 1962 and 1966 Cubs finished 59-103.  Not good – not good at all, but at least it looks like new ownership has a plan in place, and the tools necessary to implement that plan…

 

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At Last – Dempster Leads Cubs to 10-0 Road Win Over Brewers at Miller Park – Wrigley Field 6/5/12

Posted on 05 June 2012 by Lou

At last – the Cubs crushed the Brewers 10-0 at Miller Park ending their 11-game road losing streak.  Ryan Dempster retired the 1st 15 batters that he faced in the game, flirting with a perfect game.  But he allowed a lead-off single to Cody Ransom to lead off the 6th inning which ended his bid.  Dempster ended up going 7 innings of 3-hit ball AND he picked up his 1st win of the season, ending an 18-start streak (dating back to August 18th of last year) in which he had not won a game.  Dempster sounded relieved when the Cubs had won: “It felt nice.  It’s been a while.  It was nice to go out there and win a game like that, and see everybody, the guys played great defense and hit the ball and they made all the plays and scored a bunch of runs.”

Alfonso Soriano, Jeff Baker and Bryan LaHair all hit home runs.  Starlin Castro had 3 hits.

Let’s hope they can keep it up against Zach Greinke on Wednesday night at Miller Park.  Greinke is almost unbeatable at home, so Paul Maholm and the Cubs will have their work cut out for them.

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Road Skid Continues with 3-2 Loss to Giants in Sweep at Pac Bell – Wrigley Field 6/4/12

Posted on 04 June 2012 by Lou

The Giants beat the Cubs 3-2 on Monday afternoon, extending the Cubs road losing streak to 11 games.  It is their longest road losing streak since 1954 – ouch! Jeff Samardzija had a rare bad performance, lasting just 5 innings.  He walked 5 batters – a season high – but he kept his team in the game with clutch pitching with runners on base.  He allowed just 2 ER even though he permitted 12 runners to reach base in his short outing.

Carlos Marmol took the loss when he gave up 2 walks and a line drive single of his back in the pivotal 7th inning.  With the bases loaded and nobody out, Marmol induced a double play, but the winning run still scored.

The Cubs never scored a run in more than 1 inning during the series against the Giants in San Francisco.  In Monday’s 3-2 loss, the Cubs scored 2 runs in the 2nd inning on 5 hits – with RBI singles delivered by Steve Clevenger and Samardzija.

In Friday’s 4-3 loss, the Cubs waited until the 9th inning to score all 3 runs on an Alfonso Soriano home run.  In Saturday’s 2-1 loss, the lone run came on David DeJesus’ solo HR.  And Barry Zito blanked the Cubs 2-0 in Sunday’s loss.

Talk about poor hitting.  It is almost shocking how bad a hitting team the Cubs are. The Cubs are 6-14 in 1-run games.  That is the worst in the majors…

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At Last – Cubs End 12-Game Losing Streak with 11-7 Win Over Padres – Wrigley Field 5/28/12

Posted on 28 May 2012 by Lou

On a hot and humid day at Wrigley Field, the Cubs ended their 12-game skid with a 11-7 slugfest over the San Diego Padres on Memorial Day.  Powered by a 14-hit attack including 4 homers, the Cubs finally picked up a win for the 1st time in exactky 2 weeks – the Cubs last won against the Cardinals in St. Louis on May 14th.

Randy Wells picked up the win going 1 2/3 innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits.  He picked up after Travis Wood labored through his 5 innings – 6 ER on 7 hits and 3 walks.  Wood surrendered 4 homers in the hitter-friendly day at the Friendly Confines.

Darwin Barney, Ian Stewart, Alfonso Soriano and Starlin Castro each hit home runs in the slugfest.  Bryan LaHair had 3 hits, 1 RBI and 3 rns scored.  Soriano also had 3 hits and 3 RBI’s.  David DeJesus, Castro and Stewart added 3 hits apiece.

The Cubs just missed setting the franchise record for most consecutive losses – which was 14.

Let’s hope the Cubs can make it a winning streak when the 2 teams square off again at Wrigley on Tuesday afternoon with Jeff Samardzija going for the Cubs.

Before the game, President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer spoke to the media about the state of the Cubs.  It was not all positive – obviously – but the duo feel that they have the organization going in the right direction…

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Cubs Swept for 3rd Straight Series; Losing Streak Hits 9 – Wrigley Field 5/23/12

Posted on 24 May 2012 by Lou

OUCH!  It keeps getting worse and worse.  The Cubs fell to the Astros 5-1 on Wednesday night as their losing streak reached 9 games.  The Cubs have now been swept in each of their last 3 series.  Not good, not good at all.

Jeff Samardzija pitched well again, but a key play in the bottom of the 4th inning cost the Cubs the game.  Samardijza was cruising right along until the Astros had 2 on and 2 out in the 4th.  It looked like the Cubs were going to get out of the inning when David DeJesus caught J.D. Martinez’s bloop hit down the right field line.  But Darwin Barney was also going after the ball and as DeJesus caught the ball, Barney barreled into DeJesus knocking the ball out of his mitt.  Both runners scored as Martinez hit his 1st career “triple”.  The Cubs just keep finding ways to lose.  Sanardzija ended up going 6 strong innings and kept the Cubs in the game with a 2-1 deficit, but the Cubs could never muster any offense other than Reed Johnson’s 1st inning home run.

Travis Wood kept the Cubs in the ballgame on Tuesday night as well.  He worked 5 2/3 innings of 2 run ball, scattering 2 hits and 2 walks with 3 K’s.  But the Cubs could only manage one run on a solo home run by Alfonso Soriano in the 4th inning.

The Cubs scored just 6 runs in the series, the same number of runs that they scored in the 3-game weekend series against the White Sox last weekend.  The Cubs fell to 15-29 – a whopping 10 games back of the Cards.  With the loss, the Cubs officially have the worse record in ALL of baseball…

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Road Trip Doesn’t Solve Cubs Problems, Cubs Lose 8-4 as Garza Lasts Just 3 Innings – Wrigley Field 5/21/12

Posted on 22 May 2012 by Lou

So much for Matt Garza putting an end to the Cubs current 6-game losing streak.  Garza endured his worst outing of the season, giving up 7 ER on 5 hits and 2 walks in just 3 innings.  He gave up 2 3-run jacks that gave the Astros a comfortable 7-0 lead after just 3 innings of play.

After being swept in 2 straight series, the Cubs hoped that a road trip away from the “Friendly” Confines of Wrigley Field might turn the tides in their favor, especially with one of their best pitchers on the mound.  But it wasn’t meant to be.  For the 3rd straight game, the Cubs did not score a SINGLE RUN in the game’s 1st 8 innings.  That has to be some sort of record.  They lost 7-4 on Saturday (4 runs in the 9th); they lost 6-0 on Sunday; and they were losing 8-0 on Monday night before run-scoring singles from Reed Johnson, David DeJesus and Blake Lalli in the 9th inning.

The lone bright spot – Randy Wells pitched the game’s final 5 innings allowing just a single ER on 3 hits and 2 walks.  Yeah!

The Cubs are 15-26 – 8 games behind the Cards.  Ouch!!!  Let’s hope Travis Wood can snap the streak.  In 3 starts against the Astros as a member of the Reds last season, Wood went 1-0 with a nasty 1.02 ERA against Houston.  He still has a 14 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings streak against the Astros – let’s hope he keeps that up tonight with the way the Cubs have been scoring runs of late…

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White Sox Sweep Cubs in 1st Half of 2012 Crosstwon Classic – Wrigley Field 5/20/12

Posted on 21 May 2012 by Lou

The 1st half of the 2012 Crosstown Classic between the Cubs and White Sox was simply brutal for the North Siders.  In a rare and fun Saturday night contest at Wrigley Field,the White Sox blanked the Cubs for the game’s first 8 innings amassing a comfortable 7-0 lead behind 3 Sox home runs.  The Cubs avoided the shutout when Alfonso Soriano and Joe Mather hit 2 run home runs in the 9th inning.  But it was too little too late.  Ryan Dempster suffered the loss, falling to 0-2 on the season, despite strong individual numbers – 1.06 WHIP, 2.28 ERA, 44 K’s against just 14 walks.

On Sunday, needing a win to avoid the sweep, the Cubs curled up under the favorite blankie and laid an egg against Jake Peavy.  The White Sox cruised to an easy 6-0 victory behind Peavy and 3 more Sox home runs and a 10-hit barrage against Paul Maholm.  On a 90-degree day with the wind blowing straight out of the park in every direction, the Cubs managed just 5 hits and NO runs.  How is that even possible?!

It keeps getting uglier and uglier for the Cubs.  Now it seems all but a certainty that Theo & Co. will move Matt Garaza and any other chip (Dempster, Maholm) in any attempt to get cheaper and younger.

With the sweep the Cubs fell to 15-25 overall and they trail the Cards and Reds by a full 7 games in the NL Central race.

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