Archive | Geovany Soto

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

Comments (0)

Geovany Soto Used Pot During 2009 World Baseball Classic

Posted on 27 June 2009 by Lou

geovany soto pot weed 1

Good job, Geo!  Geovany Soto tested positive for marijuana during the 2009 World Baseball Classic.  Soto had this to say about the positive test:  “I feel embarassed.  I’m man enough to do stuff, I’m man enough to face it.  I just want to apologize to the Cubs orgnization, my family and the fans.  I want to put this behind me.  I don’t want this to be a distraction for me or my teammates…  It’s embarassing and I want to move forward.  It was a mistake and I’m sure everybody makes mistakes in their lives.  I guess this was my mistake.  It’s one of thoese things.  I guarnatee it will never happen again.  I’m not that kind of person.  I want to move forward.”

At least he acknowledged that he did it and didn’t try to make excuses that he didn’t inhale or that it was really something else provided by his doctor.  And since he has known about the positive testing for months, maybe that explains why he has had such a horrible start to the 2009 MLB schedule.  Going into Friday afternoon’s action against the Chicago White Sox, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year was batting just .227 with 6 HR’s and 21 RBI’s.  In 2008, Soto hit .285 with 23 HR’s and 86 RBI’s.

Cubs Manager Lou Pinella and GM Jim Hendry have acknowledged that it is not that big of a deal and that the Cubs want to move past this disclosure.  While Soto will not be able to play international baseball for 2 years, MLB will not take any action against Soto for the violation.

Let’s hope the disclosure gives a sense of relief to Soto and he can start doing what he does best – hitting the baseball with authority and power for the rest of the season…

geovany soto pot weed 2

Comments (0)

Another Day, Another Loss, Tigers Sweep Cubs with 6-5 Win

Posted on 26 June 2009 by Lou

tigers sweep cubs in detroit1

The Tigers completed a 3-game sweep of the Cubs on Thursday afternoon with a 6-5 win over Ted Lilly.  Lilly had his worst outing of the 2009 MLB schedule and suffered his 5th loss of the season.  Although the Cubs staked Lilly to a 3-0 lead in the 1st inning and a 4-2 lead in the 4th inning, Lilly couldn’t hold it, giving up 6 ER and 10 hits in 6 innings of work.  He threw 107 pitches and and struck out 6.

Couple of positive hitting notes – Jake Fox went 3 for 4 with 3 RBI’s and 1 run scored as he clubbed his 1st career major league home run in the 1st inning.  Alfonso Soriano had 2 hits and scored on Fox’s HR and Kosuke Fukodome had 2 hits including an RBI triple in the 4th inning.  Micah Hoffpauir stroked his 7th HR of the season to pull the Cubs within 1 run leading off the 9th, but the Cubs failed to cash in on Fukodome’s 2 out double as Tigers closer Francisco Rodney struck out Geovany Soto to end the game.  On a side note, Derrek Lee went 0 for 4 and had his career-best 21-game hitting streak come to an end in the loss.

This Cubs team might be one of the most inconsistent teams in club history.  After winning 4 games over the White Sox and Indians last weekend, the Cubs have now lost 4 in a row and look lost out there.  The Cubs are now back under .500 at 34-35 and have 3 games coming up against the White Sox at US Cellular Field where they typically do not play well.  The Cubs went winless on a 6-game road trip to St. Louis and San Diego back in May, and it looks like they may eclipse that mark if the White Sox sweep them over the weekend.

Fortunately for the Cubs, the Cards and Brewers keep losing too.  The Cards are 40-34 and have a 1 game lead over the Brewers (38-34) and a 3.5 game lead over the Cubs.

Cubs Tigers Soto Marijuana Baseball

Comments (0)

Tigers Top Cubs 5-4 on Walk-Off Home Run in 9th Inning

Posted on 24 June 2009 by Lou

Cubs Tigers Baseball

The Tigers defeated the Cubs 5-4 in the bottom of the 9th inning on Ryan Raburn’s pinch-hit, game-winning, walk-off HR off Cubs closer Kevin Gregg.

We should have known the way this game was going to end when the Cubs muffed a bases loaded, no out opportunity in the top fo the 1st inning against Edwin Jackson.  Alfonso Soriano and Ryan Theriot started the inning of with singles and Milton Bradley coaxed a walk from Jackson to load the bases with no one out.  What a great way to get off to a good start on the road where the Cubs have won only 13 games this season, right?  Well cue up the tape from at least 30 other games this year.  Derrek Lee grounds into a fielder’s choice which drives in Soriano.  1st and 3rd, one out.  Then Micah Hoffpauir strikes out and Geovany Soto grounds out to end the threat without any further damage.

After those 1st 2 hits against Jackson, the Cubs got only 2 hits against the Tigers through the next 23 outs of the game.  One of those was a bunt single too.  Talk about futility…

With 2 outs in the 8th inning, Derrek Lee singled and Micah Hoffpauir gave the Cubs a short-lived 4-3 lead with a 2-run bomb to right field off of Joel Zumaya (who helped Micah out in a big way by throwing a change-up right down the heart of the plate).  Lee extended his career-best hitting streak to 20 games with 2 hits in the loss.

But just when you think the Cubs are going to pull off the come-from-behind road win in Detroit, flash forward to the 9th inning for closer Kevin Gregg.  Gregg walked the lead off hitter David Taylor.  After getting Brandon Inge to pop out, pinch-hitter Ryan Raburn crushed a Gregg fastball over the left center field fence to give the Tigers the 5-4 win.

How many times do you say – “you can’t walk the lead-off man in an inning 0 it always come back to haunt you.”  And so it did last night against Gregg.  It also hurt Carlos Zambrano in the 7th inning.  With the Cubs leading 2-1, Zambrano walked Taylor and then served up a 2-run HR to Brandon Inge.  That’s 2 runs handed to the Tigers by walks last night.  It is completely unacceptable.

Except for a shaky 1st inning and the Taylor walk in the 7th, Big Z pitched a solid game – 7 innings, 3 ER, 5 hits and 2 walks.  Instead of getting the win, Zambrano suffered a no decision.

The two teams play again tonight in Detroit – Rich Harden against rookie Rick Porcello who is seeking his 9th win of the 2009 MLB schedule.

Cubs Tigers Baseball

Comments (0)

Have the Cubs “Righted” the Ship?

Posted on 22 June 2009 by Lou

Indians Cubs Baseball

Have the Cubs “righted” the ship?  The upcoming 10-game road trip to Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago (against the White Sox at US Cellular Field) and Pittsburgh should shed a lot of light on that question.

After starting the just-completed home stand at Wrigley Field with 3 losses in 4 games, it was not looking good for the Cubs.  But with miraculous come-from-behind victories on Thursday against the White Sox and Friday and Saturday against the Indians, a calm seemed to settle over the Cubs.  A calm similar to that possessed by the Cubs in 2008 when the finished with the best record in the National League.  On Sunday, the Cubs cruised through a 6-2 win over the Indians to complete the sweep over Cleveland and get Randy Wells his 1st major league victory.

Key players have started to swing the bat better during the 4-game winning streak.  Derrek Lee has an 18-game hitting streak and now has his average up to .287.  Milton Bradley has a 10-game hitting streak and has his batting average up to .248.  Ryan Theriot has a modest 7-game hitting streak and now has his average heading back to the .300 mark at .282.  And Geovany Soto has hits in 4 of his last 5 games and his batting average at .225.  Not where their career numbers are, but at least they are trending in the right direction.  Alfonso Soriano is the only Cubs player still in his hitting funk – with only 4 hits in his last 7 games.  Luckily, 2 of those hits helped the Cubs win recent ball games, but his batting average still sits at .224.  Despite the bad numbers, he still leads the Cubs with 14 HR’s and 43 runs scored.

Jake Fox and Micah Hoffpauir continue to provide sparks every so often, and seem more comfortable in the part-time contributing roles.

The starting pitching staff continues to go out there and throw quality starts, so they are keeping the Cubs in ball games.  As long as they continue to pitch well, if the Cubs bats consistently provide 4-5 runs per game, the Cubs should win more than they lose.

The Cubs are 34-31 and they trail the Cards by 2.5 games.  The Cubs take on the Braves in Atlanta tonight – making up a game that was rained out at the beginning of June.  Ryan Dempster takes on Javier Vasquez.

Indians Cubs Baseball

Comments (0)

Cubs Complete Sweep of Indians with 6-2 Win

Posted on 21 June 2009 by Lou

Indians Cubs Baseball

The Cubs completed a 3-game weekend sweep of the Indians with a 6-2 win on Sunday at Wrigley Field.  Starter Randy Wells earned his 1st career major league victory and Kevin Gregg earned his 11th save of the season. 

The Cubs defeated the Indians 6-5 in 13 innings on Saturday.  Former Cubs closer blew his 2nd save in as many days and ended up taking the loss when his wild pitch sailed past the catcher allowing Andres Blanco to score the winning run. David Patton pitched the top of the 13th inning and got the win despite giving up a then-go-ahead home run to Luis Valbuena.

The Cubs are now 34-31.  They are in 3rd place in the NL Central, trailing the Cards by 2.5 games and the Brewers by 1.0 game.

Indians Cubs Baseball

Comments (0)

Cubs Pull off Dramatic 6-5 Win Over Sox in Bottom of 9th Inning

Posted on 19 June 2009 by Lou

White Sox Cubs Baseball

The Cubs defeated the White Sox 6-5 in the bottom of the 9th inning.  I was getting ready to write my same old blog post over again – Cubs waste good outing from Cubs starting pitcher “X”; Cubs hitters can’t get clutch hit and score only 1 run; Cubs lose… again… – but then the baseball gods smiled upon the Cubs and fans at Wrigley Field.  Micah Hoffpauir had a good at-bat against reliever Scott Linebrink and eventually hit a hard-hit groundball to 2nd base that Chris Getz’s misplayed for an error.  Alfonso Soriano then singled to center field for 1st and 2nd with only 1 out.  Then it looked like the Cubs were back to their usual hitting ways – a Ryan Theriot popout and a Milton Bradley strikeout.  Two on, two outs for Derrek Lee and with 1 swing of the bat, Lee crushed Linebrink’s pitch to righ field for a 3-run home run.  Geovany Soto then cruched a solo home run to left center field to tie the game at 5.

Kevin Gregg worked a scoreless 9th inning despite giving up a leadoff single to Alexei Ramirez.  And the Cubs played small ball to perfection in the bottom of the inning.  Reed Johnson pinch-hit for the 0 for 3 Kosuke Fukodome and singled to lead off the inning.  Andres Blanco sacrificed Johnson to 2nd base to put the winning run into scoring position.  After an Aaron Miles groundout, Alfonso Soriano hit a bloop single to right center field that drove in Johnson with the winning run.

Carlos Zambrano pitched a good game – 7 innings, 6 hits, 3 walks and 3 ER with 3 K’s.  Big Z made only 1 bad pitch all day – that a fastball to Alexei Ramirez in the top of the 7th inning which Ramirez took deep to left to give the White Sox a 3-1 lead.  The game looked finished when Carlos Marmol took over for Zambrano and promptly gave the White Sox 2 insurance runs on a Chris Getz double and a Gordon Beckham single.  But the Cubs never gave up and pulled off the improbable win to the delight of the “Wrigley Faithful”.

The Cubs moved back to .500 with the win at 31-31.  They trail the Brewers by 4 games in the NL Central.

White Sox Cubs Baseball

White Sox Cubs Baseball

Comments (0)

Cubs Replace Hitting Coach Gerald Perry with Von Joshua

Posted on 15 June 2009 by Lou

Twins Cubs Baseball

With the Cubs hitting funk getting worse and worse, the Cubs decided to make a move by replacing Cubs hitting coach Gerald Perry with Triple-A Iowa hitting coach Von Joshua.  GM Jim Hendry had this to say about the move:  “Obviously, we’ve been struggling for a long time.  I’m not one to dump all the blame on the coaches.  I’ve never mad a coaching change to my knowledge in the middle of the year.  I think sometimes you need a different voice.  Every day, we have five guys in the lineup who have played in the All-Star Game.  For whatever reason, they are not performing anywhere close to where they’ve performed in their careers.  Sometimes you have to try something different, and sometimes it’s a different voice maybe saying the same things.”

Von Joshua has been a hitting coach since 1984.  He is in his 4th year at Iowa and has worked with several of the young Cubs players on the major league roster, including Ryan Theriot, Micah Hoffpauir and Mike Fontenot.  Joshua also worked at the big league level with the cross-town rival Chicago White Sox.

The move was tough on Manager Lou Pinella who had Perry on his staffs in both Seattle and Chicago.  “It’s tough on me, because I’ve been with Gerald a long time, six years.  This was an organizational decision.  Gerald and I were together in Seattle and together here in Chicago.  We’ve had success together.  I thank him for all the hard work that he’s put in on my staffs.”

It has been frustrating for everyone involved.  In 2008, the Cubs led the National League in runs scored.  But in 2009, the Cubs rank 14th and are hitting only .246 as a team.  Ryan Theriot has the highest batting average of any starter at .278 – what a joke.  Alfonso Soriano is hitting .233; Kosuke Fukodome only .266 after starting the season well over .300; Milton Bradley only .226 and Geovany Soto only .209.  When the Cubs lost 2-0 to the Twins on Saturday, it was the 13th time in the last 23 games in which the Cubs have scored 2 runs or less in a ball game.  Not good. Not good.

I guess it can’t get any worse, and maybe having a new coach working with the players could help.  Maybe he’ll spot something on a player or 2 that Perry missed, and once 1 or 2 guys start to get hot, it could have a snowball effect at some point down the line.  Trying to stay optimistic here…

Twins Cubs Baseball

Comments (0)

Cubs Top Twins 3-2 with Dramatic Walk-Off Theriot Single

Posted on 14 June 2009 by Lou

APTOPIX Twins Cubs Baseball

Cubs Win!  Cubs Win! Cubs Win!  Wow – we haven’t been able to say that in a while, or often enough this year for that matter.  The Cubs avoided a home sweep at Wrigley Field with the thrilling 3-2 win.

Going into the 9th inning, the Cubs had only 5 hits and 2 runs on the day.  After a Milton Bradley out, Derrek Lee singled to start the rally.  In a daring play, Lee made it into 3rd base with one out on Geovany Soto’s single to left field.  Soto smartly advanced to 2nd base when he saw the throw go towards Lee at 3rd base.  The Twins then walked Mike Fontenot to load the bases for Ryan Theriot.  Theriot was 1 of only 4 Cubs to get a hit on Sunday (Milton Bradley had 1 hit, Lee had 2 hits and Soto had 3 hits), and his second hit of the day was a line drive past Twins 2nd baseman Nick Punto that brought Lee in with the winning run.  A much-needed celebration occurred in the middle of the field.

Carlos Marmol worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings to get the win.  He bailed out Ted Lilly in a 2 on, 2 out jam in the 8th inning, and he got out of his slef-made jam in the 9th inning after he issued 2 walks.  Amazingly, he got the Twins best hitter Joe Mauer to pop out to left and the Twins clean-up hitter to hit into an inning-ending groundout.

Lilly put in another sensational outing – 7 2/3 innings, 2 ER, 7 hits, 0 walks and 6 K’s.

The Cubs are now 30-30 after 60 games during the 2009 MLB schedule.  Shockingly, because of the poor play in the NL Central, the Cubs trail the Brewers by only 2.5 games and the Cards by 2 games.  It’s still up for grabs, and more importantly, anything can happen in the final 102 games of the season.

Twins Cubs Baseball

Twins Cubs Baseball

Comments (0)

Cubs Losing Streak Hits 3; Drop Opener to Twins 7-4

Posted on 13 June 2009 by Lou

cubs suck 1

Guess it wasn’t home cooking that the Cubs needed to get back on the winning side of things.  The Twins beat the Cubs 7-4 in the opener of the 3-game weekend series at Wrigley Field between the 2 teams.  It was only the third win for the Twins in 10 tries at the Friendly Confines.

Different day, same old story for the Cubs.  No hitting, no hitting, no hitting.  The Cubs managed just 6 hits and 1 walk off of 6 Twins pitchers.  The Cubs had 12 strikeouts at the plate today, including 10 by starter Kevin Slowey.  In fact, the Cubs had only 1 good hitting inning – in the 6th, the Cubs got back-to-back singles from Aaron Miles and Bobby Scales to lead off the inning.  After an Alfonso Soriano K, Mike Fontenot walked to load the bases.  Milton Bradley had the big hit with a 2-RBI double, and Derrek Lee followed with an RBI groundout to cut the Twins lead to 4-3.  But that’s where things turned in the wrong direction for Bradley and the Cubs.

On the Lee groundout, Bradley ran into an easy tag out by Joe Crede at 3rd base, taking away another scoring opportunity by staying at 2nd base and in scoring position.  The next inning, with a runner at 1st base, Bradley lost Jason Kubel’s lazy flyball to right field in the sun.  Instead of a man on 1st and 2 outs, it became 2 men on with 1 out.  Then with 2 outs and 2 on still, Bradley got a bad jump on a ball hit to shallow right field, and his diving attempt fell just short as the ball scooted under his glove.  That allowed a run to score.  Then, as if those plays weren’t bad enough, Bradley lost track of the number of outs in the 8th inning.  With 1st and 3rd and 1 out, Bradley caught Joe Mauer’s flyball to right and thought it was the 3rd out of the inning.  Nick Punto tagged from 3rd and scored, but when Bradley through the ball to the fans in the bleachers, Brendan Harris was awarded 3rd base for his error.  It’s bad enough that Bradley’s numbers are awful and he’s always hurt.  But when you’re not in the game, it makes it look like you’re not even trying.  Hendry should be seriously criticized for the Bradley signing – what a joke.

Randy Wells had his worst outing of 2009.  After the Cubs failed to even make a dent in 2 inings against Slowey, it looked like Wells lost his focus.  Given how much support they’ve given him in his previous 5 starts, it’s hard not to forgive Wells for bailing out early in this contest.  Wells lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up 4 earned runs on 7 hits and 2 walks.  Oh well.

Manager Lou Pinella mixed things up a bit with his lineup in an effort to jumpstart the offense.  Here are some good numbers for you – Mike Fontenot in the 2 hole – 0 for 2 with a walk and K; Geovany Soto in the 5 hole – 0 for 4 with 2 K’s; Kosuke Fukodome in the 6 hole – 0 for 4 with 3 K’s; & Ryan Theriot in the 7 hole – 0 for 4 with 2 K’s.  Guess it’s back to the drawing board Lou.

There’s always tomorrow, and pretty soon, we’re all going to be saying, there’s always next year…

cubs suck 2

Comments (0)

Advertise Here

Photos from our Flickr stream

See all photos

Advertise Here

Blogroll