Archive | Carlos Marmol

Cubs Split With Cards – Still Trail by 3.5 Games

Posted on 13 July 2009 by Lou

Cardinals Cubs Baseball

Cardinals Cubs Baseball

The Cubs and Cards split Sunday afternoon’s Day-Night Double-Header on Wrigley Field.  It could have been better, but I guess it could have been worse too.  The Cubs trailed the 1st place Cards by 2.5 games in the NL Central when the 2 teams started the 4-game weekend series on Friday, and after 4 games, nothing had changed.  At least they didn’t get swept.

Carlos Zambrano picked up the win in the early game as the Cubs won 7-3.

Randy Wells suffered the loss in the nightcap as the Cubs lost 4-2.

The most interesting play of the day-night, came in the 9th inning of Game 2.

We’ll have a mid-year report in the next couple of days as we have a few days off for the All-Star Break.

Cardinals Cubs Baseball

Cardinals Cubs Baseball

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Cubs Get 5-2 Must-Win Over Cards on Saturday @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 12 July 2009 by Lou

Cardinals Cubs Baseball

The Cubs had their backs up against the wall, and they came out fighting “like cats” to earn a 5-2 must-win victory over the 1st place Cards on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.  The Cubs struck 1st with a 3-run 1st inning – courtesy of a Milton Bardley HBP with the bases loaded and a 2-run single by newly acquired infielder Jeff Baker – and Ted Lilly did the rest.  Lilly threw 103 efficient pitches in 8 innings of work, giving up just a single run on 4 hits and 1 walk.  He struck out 4, picking up his 9th win of the 2009 MLB schedule and his 100th career-win.  Lilly will serve as the Cubs’ sole representative in Tuesday’s All-Star Game in St. Louis.  Carlos Zambrano earned his 100th career victory earlier this year.  Lilly had this to say about the win:  “It’s pretty special.  I was thinking today about the first one in New York against Oakland (2001).  Just getting that one I hadn’t even been thinking about trying to get 99 more… It’s really a cool thing.  And then you come into the clubhouse and talk to your buddies in there and they’re telling you, ‘You only got 200 more to go’”.

It got interesting in the 9th inning as Carlos Marmol only recorded 2 outs while giving up 2 hits and a walk.  After Marmol threw a wild pitch that allowed 2 base runners to move up to 2nd and 3rd base, Manager Lou Pinella yanked Marmol and brought in Kevin Gregg to close out the game.  Gregg struck out Skip Schumacher to end the threat and Gregg picked up his 16th save of the 2009 MLB schedule.

In addition to Ted Lilly, newly acquired Jeff Baker was the Cubs star.  baker had 2 hits and 2 RBI’s and turned a nifty double-play with Ryan Theriot to end a Cards threat in the 8th inning.

One bad side note – Derrek Lee left Saturday’s game in the 5th inning with neck spasms.  Lee has experienced trouble with neck spasms this year and has missed some time already.  Lee was expected to play on Sunday, but he is not in the lineup for the 12:05PM game.

The Cubs and Cards play a day-night double header at Wrigley Field on Sunday.  Zambrano will face Kyle Lohse in the 12:05PM opener, while Randy Wells will take on Adam Wainwright in the nightcap.  Go Cubs!!!

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Cubs Lose To Braves 2-1 in Disappointing Wrigley Loss

Posted on 08 July 2009 by Lou

Braves Cubs Baseball

So much for the Cubs bats breaking out.  Javier Vazquez shut down the Cubs offense for the 2nd time this year as the Cubs fell 2-1.  Tuesday night, the Cubs managed just 5 hits against Vazquez, scoring their lone run on a 2-out single by Koyie Hill in the 2nd inning.  Vazquez did not walk a batter and struck out 6 as the Cubs left 12 men on base.  Vazquez ERA is now 2.95 and his WHIP is 1.05. Vazquez has dominated the Cubs this season in 2 wins – 13 2/3 innings pitched, 1 ER, 14 hits, 2 walks & 11 K’s.

Braves closer Rafael Soriano put the clamps down on the Cubs in the 9th inning earning his 9th save.  Soriano now has a 1.59 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP – amazing.

Aramais Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano each had 2 hits for the Cubs.  Carlos Zambrano made the start on 3 days rest and threw 91 pitches in an efficient 6 inning start.  He took the loss though – giving up 2 ER on 5 hits and 3 walks, with 6 K’s.  Big Z fell to 4-4 on the 2009 MLB schedule.

The Cubs fell to 41-40 on the season, and with the Cardinals 5-0 win over the Brewers, the Cubs are now 3 games out of 1st place in the NL Central.

The loss of Ryan Dempster to the disabled list with a broken toe also forced the Cubs to recall Kevin Hart to start Wednesday’s afternoon finale against Kenshin Kawakami.  Kawakami held the Cubs to just 3 ER in 7 innings of a Braves 6-5 win in Atlanta back on June 2nd.

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Randy The Rock Helps Cubs Beat Braves 4-2

Posted on 07 July 2009 by Lou

Braves Cubs Baseball

Randy Wells is my Cubs MVP for 2009.  Wells won his 4th straight start as the Cubs beat the Braves 4-2 at Wrigley Field on ESPN Monday Night Baseball.  Wells needed only 87 pitches to get through 6 innings.  He gave up 2 ER on 7 hits and no walks while striking out 4.  In a tumultuous season in which the Cubs have had to deal with injuries to starting pitchers Carlos Zambrano and Rich Harden, Wells has stepped in to fill the void and even bumped 5th starter Sean Marshall from the rotation once Big Z and Harden were able to return full time.  Wells has been nothing but brilliant with a 2.48 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.  Wells should even have 3 more wins under his belt, but the Cubs bullpen blew leads in those games after Wells had left with the lead intact.

Derrek Lee also continued his hot hitting with a 2-run HR in the 1st inning that gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead.  Lee went 2 for 4 on the night, while new lead-off hitter Kosuke Fukodome had another great night at the plate going 2 for 3 with 1 RBI and 1 run scored.  Kosuke’s RBI double in the 2nd inning increased the Cubs lead to 3-0 and Ryan Theriot’s single right after that capped off the Cubs scoring for the evening.

Sean Marshall, Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg each worked scoreless innings of relief to preserve the win for the Cubs.

The Cubs recalled 3 players from rehab assignments.  Aramis Ramirez started at 3rd base and batted 5th in the lineup – he went 0 for 4.  Reed Johnson and Angel Guzman were also recalled but did not see game action.  To make room for the 3, the Cubs sent Sam Fuld and Kevin Hart back down to Triple-A Iowa and put David Patton on the disabled list.  The Cubs also traded Ryan Freel to the Kansas City Royals for a player to be named later.

The Cubs have won 6 of their last 10 games and are now 41-39 on the season.  The Cubs have the same number of losses as the Cardinals and Brewers with less games played, so for as badly as things have gone in 2009, the Cubs are still right in the thick of things.

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Cubs Beat Brewers 8-2; Take 3 of 4 in Weekend Series @ Wrigley

Posted on 06 July 2009 by Lou

Brewers Cubs Baseball

Cubs defeated the Brewers 8-2 on Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field.  Ted Lilly improved to 8-6 on the season, going 6 1/3 innings, allowing just 2ER on 9 hits and no walks.  Lilly fanned 9 Brewers players.  Carlos Marmol worked a scoreless 9th inning with 2K’s and seems to be back on track.

Derrek Lee and Jake Fox were the hitting heroes for the Cubs.  Derrek Lee went 2 for 4 with 3 RBI’s and 1 run scored, including a 2-run HR in the 1st inning.  Fox went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored, including a 2-run HR in a 3-run 4th inning.  Kosuke Fukodome, Ryan Theriot, Alfonso Soriano and Mike Fontenot each had 2 hits for the Cubs. 

The Cubs trail the Cards by 2.5 games and the Brewers by 1.5 games in the NL Cental race.  The Cubs have a 3-game seies against the Braves before opening up a huge 4-game weekend series against the Cards at Wrigley before the All-Star Break.

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Lee Leads Cubs to 9-5 Win Over Brewers @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 03 July 2009 by Lou

Brewers Cubs Baseball

Derrek Lee powered the Cubs to a 9-5 victory over the 1st place Brewers with 2 home runs on Thursday night at Wrigley Field.  Lee’s 3-run HR gave the Cubs an early 3-0 lead inthe 1st inning.  Lee’s 2nd home run of the game was a grand slam in the 4th inning, capping off a 5-run inning that gave the Cubs a 9-2 lead.  Lee went 2 for 4 on the night and had a career-best 7 RBI’s.  Lee now leads the Cubs in HR’s (14) and RBI’s (48).  Jake Fox and Geovany Soto also each hit solo home runs for the Cubs, as the Cubs scored all of their runs via the long ball.  Sam Fuld continued to swing a hot bat getting 2 hits and scoring 2 runs.  Ryan Theriot was the 3rd Cub batter with 2 hits on the night.

Ryan Dempster did the job to protect the Cubs early lead. Dempster went 6 2/3 innings giving up 3 ER on 8 hits and 2 walks.  Dempster struck out 9 Brewers batters in picking up his 1st win since the end of May.  Carlos Marmol worked a scoreless 9th inning despite issuing a walk (his 39th free pass in 38 1/3 innings) to slugger Prince Fielder.  Marmol has now worked 3 straight scoreless innings after struggling against the White Sox last weekend.

It was a big win for the Cubs as they needed to get off to a good start in this big 4-game weekend series with the 1st place Brewers.  The offensive explosion is a good sign that the Cubs are primed and ready to contend for a 3rd straight division title.  The Cubs have their work cut out for them as they still need to jump 2 other teams (the Cards and Reds) in order to achieve that 1st place goal.  Stay tuned as Carlos Zambrano battles Jeff Suppan in Game 2 of the exciting 4th of July weekend series with the Brewers…

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Randy to the Rescue – Cubs Top Pirates 4-1

Posted on 02 July 2009 by Lou

Cubs Pirates Baseball

Randy Wells helped the Cubs get back on track with a 7-inning gem that helped the Cubs beat the Pirates 4-1.  Wells needed only 97 pitches, giving up only 1 ER on 6 hits and 1 walk.  He struck out 4 and did not allow a run after giving up a 1st inning run. The rookie Wells has turned into the Cubs most dependable starter right now, lowering his ERA 2.43 to and his WHIP to 1.08.  Wells had this to say about his quality 2009 start: “I like to think I’ve been consistent.  When I was called up to make my first start, I said, ‘Just be who you are. Go out, throw strikes, mix speeds and keep the flow of the game going.’”  Wells has certainly done that in his 10 starts – he has given up more than 2 runs in only 2 of his starts.

Carlos Marmol worked a scoreless 8th inning although he did hit the leadoff hitter with a pitch.  Kevin Gregg worked a 1-2-3 9th inning to preserve the win and pick up his 14th save of the season.

Derrek Lee got the Cubs off to a good start with a 2-run HR to deep right center field in the 1st inning.  Kosuke Fukodome’s solo HR in the 6th inning gave the Cubs a 3-1 lead and Geovany Soto’s RBI single in the 8th inning tacked on another insurance run for the Cubs.  Sam Fuld, recently called up to take the place of the injured Aaron Miles, had 2 hits and scored a run.  Ryan Theriot, Fukodome and Soto also each had 2 hits.

Manager Lou Pinella was ejected from the game in the 6th inning for arguing a call made by 1st base umpire Chad Fairchild who called Wells out.  The play ended a Cubs threat that would have scored a run.

The Cubs start the month of July with a win – good news.  The potential bad news – they start the most important home stand of the 2009 MLB schedule on Thursday night against the Brewers at Wrigley Field and it’s unclear if they are ready for it.  At 37-38, the Cubs trail the Brewers by 3.5 games, the Cards by 2.5 games and the Reds by .5 games.  The Cubs need to win at least 2 of the games against the Brewers this weekend.  Anything less than that and the season could be over.  Ryan Dempster (4-5. 4.09 ERA) takes the bump against Seth McClung (3-1, 3.55 ERA) in the Thursday night opener.

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Cubs – Have they hit Rock Bottom Yet – We Think Not!

Posted on 01 July 2009 by Lou

Cubs Pirates Baseball

When will the tides turn for the 2009 Cubs?  And if it does turn, how long will it last?  2 frustrating questions for Manager Lou Pinella.

Pinella finally had something to smile about as the Cubs defeated the Pirates 3-1 on Monday night.  Rich Harden picked up the win (his 1st win in 6 starts), despite constantly working in and out of jams in his 7 innings of work.  Harden gave up 9 hits and 1 walk, but only 1 ER, while striking out 9.  The Cubs finally had a team fail to come through in the clutch, as the Pirates left the bases loaded in the 5th inning and 2 runners on base in each of the 6th and 7th innings.  Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg – 2 of the Cubs most inconsistent relievers all season long – worked perfect innings in the 8th and 9th to preserve the win.

The Cubs scored their runs on an Andres Blanco single in the 2nd inning; a Ryan Theriot HR in the 3rd inning and a Milton Bradley double in the 4th inning.

But the optimistism didnt last long for the Cubs, as .500 pitcher Ross Ohlendorf shutout out the Cubs on Tuesday night in a 3-0 embarassing loss for the north siders.  3 miscues summed up this game, and that’s all I’m going to say about it.

1 – The Pirates scored their 1st run of the game when Ted Lilly struck out Brandon Moss on what should have been an inning-ending strikeout.  Instead, it turned into a wild pitch and Freddy Sanchez scored on a heads-up play all the way from 2nd base when Lilly couldn’t field Geovany Soto’s low throw at home plate.  Bonehead play #1 for the Cubs.

2 -The Cubs managed only 2 hits off Olendorf through 6 innings, so the Cubs should have been careful when they got on base.  With 2 outs in the 7th inning, Soto singled and Mike Fontenot followed up with a single to left field.  Instead of staying at 2nd base for Ryan Theriot, Soto tried to advance to 3rd with the play right in front of him and he was easily thrown out to end the inning.  Bonehead play #2 for the Cubs.

3 – Ryan Theriot and Milton Bradley led off the 8th with singles and they each  advanced a base on Jack Wilson’s throwing error.  2nd and 3rd, nobody out, top of the order coming to the plate – great situation, right?  Maybe not.  Alfonso Soriano strike out, Kosuke Fukodome strike out and a weak Derrek Lee groundout to 2nd base – end of threat – end of ball game.  Bonehead play #3 for the Cubs.  Here’s your 3-0 loss Cubs fans…

This team really sucks…  The Brewers beat up on Johan Santana and the Mets to increase their lead over the Cubs to 4.5 games.  Not good.

The Cubs-Pirates Wednesday night finale will feature Randy Wells (winner of 2 straight) and Virgil Vasquez (who won his 1st start of 2009 last week against the Kansas City Royals).

Cubs Pirates Baseball

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Cubs – White Sox Crosstown Classic ReCap

Posted on 30 June 2009 by Lou

Cubs White Sox Baseball

Took a few days off on Sunday and Monday to get ready for the Cubs big home stands at Wrigley Field during the month of July (the Cubs play 18 July games at Wrigley).  I picked a great time to go, as the Cubs looked atrocious on the south side and were lucky to win Friday’s game to avoid the sweep and what would have been a 7-game losing streak.

Here’s a recap of how the weekend went for the Cubs:

Friday, Cubs win 5-4:  Jake Fox hit a 2-run HR in the 4th inning to give the Cubs a short-lived 2-1 lead (Randy Wells gave the run back on a soloe shot to Jim Thome in the bottom of the inning).  Geovany Soto got the Cubs back on top with a 3-run bomb to left center field off Jose Contreras that gave the Cubs a 5-2 lead.  6 outs to go, 3 run lead, easy win, right?  No.  For some unknown reason, Manager Lou Pinella yanks Wells (98 pitches, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K’s) and brings in Mr. Walk himself, Carlos Marmol.  What???!!!  Marmol walks Gordon Beckham to lead off the inning.  Surprise, surprise.  After a Scott Posednik flyout, Marmol walks Alexei Ramirez and then gives up a Jermaine Dye single to load the bases.  Jim Thome hit a soft line drive that knicked off the glove of Derek Lee, scoring Ramirez and Beckham to cut the lead to 5-4.  By that time, Pinella had seen enough of Marmol.  He let Marmol intentionally walk Paul Konerko and then brought in lefty Sean Marshall who coaxed A.J. Pierzynski into a lucky inning ending 3-2-3 doubel play.  Marshall was huge as it preserved the 5-4 Cubs lead.  Kevin Gregg picked up his 12th save of the 2009 MLB schedule, depsite walking Josh Fields with 2 outs.  Wells picked up his 2nd consecutive win and lowered his ERA to 2.57 and WHIP to 1.09.

Saturday, White Sox win 8-7.  Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Theriot and Andres Blanco each had 2 hits for the Cubs, while Soriano, Theriot and Lee each had 2 RBI’s in the win.  After the Cubs took a 7-6 lead in the top of the 8th inning on Andres Blanco’s groundout to shortstop, the Cubs bullpen blew the final 6 outs once again.  Carlos Marmol gave up a run on 2 hits in another inffective outing (at least he didn’t walk anybody this appearance).  The run tied the game at 7 in the 8th inning.  In the 9th inning, Sean Marshall gave up a single to Paul Konerko and then Pinella took him out when White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen pinch-hit righty Jayson Nix for Chris Getz.  Pinella brought in Jose Ascansio who promptly walked Nix and then gave up the game-wining single to Gordon Beckham.  Ryan Dempster looked awful again – 5 innings, 5 ER, 8 hits, 3 walks and 2 K’s.  Not good…

Sunday – White Sox win 6-0.  John Danks shut down the Cubs with 7 masterful innings of 0-run, 4 hit ball.  The pivotal point came in the 6th inning with the White Sox having a 3-0 lead.  Alfonso Soriano hit a leadoff double and moved to 3rd with only 1 out on a Ryan Theriot groundout.  Milton Bradley thought he earned walk as a 3-1 pitch from Danks sailed low, but the home plate umpire called it a strike.  Bradley wasn’t happy with the call as he was already a third of the way down the line and his lack of focus cost him as he struck out on a bad changeup that was well out of the strike zone.  Once again, the Cubs can’t get a runner in from 3rd with less than 2 outs, a problem that keeps recurrnig way too many times in 2009.  Derrek Lee and Jake Fox both worked walks out of Danks to get the bases loaded with 2 outs for Geovany Soto.  A hit would have turned the game around, but Alexei Ramirez slid and caught Soto’s line drive one-hopper and he forced Lee out at 3rd base for the final out.  The only other fire works came when Carlos Zambrano plunked DeWayne Wise in the bottom of the 6th inning.  Chris Getz had just scored on a suicide squeeze off Zambrano – Big Z spotted the squeeze but in an attempt to throw the ball to the outside corner of the plate so Wise couldn’t hit the ball, he threw the ball straight for the back stop.  Big Z’s next pitch went straight at the back of Wise.  Words were exchanged, but no fight occurred.  Danks plunked Ryan Freel in the top of the 7th in retaliation, and Freel calmly rubbed his arm and laughed at Danks on his way to 1st – pretty funny.  That brought an end to the disastrous 1-6 start to the Cubs 1st 7 games on a 10-game road trip.

The Cubs have 3 games against the Pirates in Pittsburgh at the start of the week before starting a big 4-game weekend series against the 1st place Milwaukee Brewers from Thursday to Sunday at Wrigley Field.

APTOPIX Cubs White Sox Baseball

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Cubs Losing Streak at 3, with 5-3 Loss to Tigers

Posted on 25 June 2009 by Lou

Cubs Tigers Baseball

The Cubs are falling back into their poor hitting ways.  The Cubs had 11 hits and 7 walks, but scored only 3 runs in the 5-3 loss.  The Cubs had their chances, but never seemed to come up with the clutch hit.  After a 1-2-3 1st inning, the Cubs got at least 2 runners on base in the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th innings, but never scored more than 1 run in a given inning.  In the 5th inning, Micah Hoffpuair struck out with the bases loaded and 2 outs.  In the 6th inning, the Cubs had the bases loaded with no one out and scored only 1 run on a Mike Fontenot ground out.   In the 7th inning, the Cubs had the bases loaded and only 1 out, but scored only 1 run on Jake Fox’s sacrifice fly.  And in the 9th inning, Derrek Lee walked and moved to 2nd on Hoffpauir’s single with no one out.  But Milton Bradley struck out, Jake Fox flew out to deep right field and Kosuke Fukodome struck out to end the game.  The Cubs are 1 for 19 with runners in scoring position during the 3-game losing streak and have averaged only 2.3 runs in each loss despite numerous scoring chances.

The pitching left a lot to be desired in the game as well in a rare off-night.  Rich Harden needed 109 pitches to labor through 5 1/3 innings.  He gave up 4 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits and 4 walks.  Not a good start by any means.  Aaron Heilmand gave up 3 hits in his 1 2/3 innings of work and walked in a run, while Jose Ascansio also gave up 3 hits and a run in his 1/3 of an inning. Manager Lou Pinella called upon Carlos Marmol to put out Ascansio’s 2 on, 2 out mess in the 8th inning and promptly walked the 1st 2 batters that he faced, giving the Tigers an important insurance run that pushed the lead from 1 to 2 runs.

All in all, another bad road showing from the Cubs as they provided little fireworks in an 11-hit offensive attack.  Back at .500 – 34-34 – the Cubs still trail the Cards by 3.5 games in the NL Central race.

Cubs Tigers Baseball

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