Archive | Geovany Soto

De Ja Vu – Astros Beat Cubs 2-1 in Houston

Posted on 12 June 2009 by Lou

cubs lose 2 1 again 1

It felt like Grounds Hog Day on Thursday in Houston.  The Astros beat the Cubs 2-1, this time in 13 innings.  For the 2nd straight day, the Cubs scored only 1 run courtesy of a solo home run – this time by Derrek Lee.  The HR was a little more dramatic as it tied the game at 1 when the Cubs were down to the their last 2 outs in the 9th inning.  But the Cubs bats were mostly silent the rest of the way, and the Cubs eventually fell in the 13th inning on a run-scoring single by Geoff Blum.  It was the 2nd consecutive game in which Geoff Blum had a walk-off hit to win the game for the Astros.

The Cubs had a frustrating road trip.  Although the Cubs went 4-4 (good for them on the road), 5 of the 8 games went to extra innings and the Cubs continue to blow chance after chance in each game.  The Cubs are getting no clutch hitting in 2009, and because of that, they are losing way to many close games.   They outscored their opponents 28-21 on the road trip, but only won 4 games. The Cubs endured 4 1-run losses on the trip and they continue to waste good pitching efforts from the starting pitchers.  Ryan Dempster pitched 7 innings, giving up 7 hits and only 1 earned run in the 1st inning.  He didn’t walk a batter and he racked up 4 K’s.  Carlos Marmol worked 2 scoreless innings without allowing a hit (he did walk 1 batter).  Kevin Gregg also worked 2 scoreless innings, but he did have to work out of a few jams as he allowed 3 hits during his work.  Jose Ascansion took his 1st loss of the season by giving up the game-winning hit to Blum in the 13th inning.

Manager Lou Pinella had this to say about the frustrating road trip:  “What am I going to do?  Just keep running them out there and hope it gets better. They’re going to have to find the answers on the field.  That’s the bottom line.  It sounds cruel, it sounds harsh, but it’s reality.  We really did nothing.  When we had chances, we’re swinging at bad pitches out of the zone, can’t make contact.  Come on.  This is Major League Baseball.  I know the game isn’t easy to play because I played it for a long time, but it’s not this darn hard.”

The Cubs are now just 1 game over .500 at 29-28.  Luckily, the Brewers have lost 4 in a row, so the Cubs are only 2.5 games out of 1st place.  The bad news – the Cubs still have to jump over the Cards and Reds to catch the Brewers.  The Cubs return home to Wrigley Field for a 9-game home stand.  The Cubs will face 3 members of the AL Central division in inter-league play.  Friday-Sunday, June 12th-14th v. the Minnesota Twins; Tuesday-Thursday, June 16th-18th v. Chicago White Sox; and Friday-Sunday, June 19th-21st v. Cleveland Indians.

Cubs Astros Baseball

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Cubs Bats Revert To Old Ways, Lose 2-1 to Astros

Posted on 11 June 2009 by Lou

Cubs Astros Baseball

The Astros defeated the Cubs 2-1 on Wednesday night, as the Cubs bats wasted a 3rd straight gem by Carlos Zambrano. After their 16-hit, 7 runs barrage on Tuesday night, the Cubs scored only 1 run on a solo home run by Geovany Soto in the 2nd inning.  The Cubs managed only 7 hits and 2 walks against Wandy Rodriguez and Chris Sampson.  Ryan Theriot was the only Cubs player with more than 1 hit.  The Cubs had more than 1 batter reach base in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th innings, but only scored 1 run in that span.  They didn’t have another serioues threat until the 8th inning when Ryan Theriot and Derrek Lee singled, but Reed Johnson struck out to end the inning.

Zambrano needed only 104 pitches to work through 8 innings.  Zambrano gave up only 1 earned run on 3 hits and 2 walks.  He struck out 3 batters.  His only mistake was issuing a lead off walk to Hunter Pence in the 7th inning.  Pence advanced to 3rd base on Carlos Lee’s single to center field and then scored on a weak groundball by Geoff Blum.  In his last 3 starts, Zambrano has pitched 21 innings, giving up just 2 earned runs (3 total) on 12 hits and 10 walks.  He has 16 K’s along the way, but only a 1-0 record to show for it.

Angel Guzman had been the Cubs most reliable reliever until last night.  Guzman gave up a leadoff single to Miguel Tejada and then walked Hunter Pence.  Carlos Lee’s flyout to right field moved Tejada to 3rd base with only 1 out.  Manager Lou Pinella opted to walk Lance Berkman to load the bases to set up a force play at every base, but Geoff Blum’s soft single to center field won the game for the Astros.

The two teams play an afternoon finale on Thursday in Houston.  Ryan Dempster will face off against Roy Oswalt.

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All Systems A Go – Lilly, Bats Help Cubs Crush Astros 7-1

Posted on 10 June 2009 by Lou

Cubs Astros Baseball

The Cubs bats finally came to life in Tuesday night’s 7-1 win over the Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston.  The Cubs racked up 16 hits and 7 runs, scoring in each of the 1st 3 innings to take a commanding 5-0 lead.  Ted Lilly, Aaron Heilman and Sean Marshall did the rest – holding the Astros to just 5 hits and 1 run in the game.  Lilly lasted only 6 1/3 innings, however, because of his high pitch count – 114 pitches as he worked deep in a lot of counts all night long.  He made the most of his pitches as the Astros never really posed any serious threat.

Mike Fontenot had 4 hits – including a solo home run in the 3rd inning – on his 29th birthday.  Geovany Soto continued his hot hitting with 3 hits and an RBI single in the 1st inning.  Kosuke Fukodome, Derrek Lee and Andrew Blanco also had 2 hits for the Cubs.  Lee has his average up to .269 and with 3 walks, you can tell that he is seeing the ball so well right now – he is back to being his patient old self.

With the Brewers and Reds both losing, the Cubs are tied with the Cards and Reds for 2nd place in the NL Central – just 2.5 games behind the Brewers.  Carlos Zambrano will take on Wandy Rodriguez in Game 2 of the Astros series tonight in Houston in an attempt to move the Cubs closer to the 1st place Brewers.

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Cubs Lose to Reds 4-3 In 11 Innings

Posted on 07 June 2009 by Lou

reds-beat-cubsa1

Lack of hitting continues to plague the Cubs day in and day out.  The Cubs could must only 8 hits and 3 runs off of a 1st time starter and a trio of Reds relievers in the 4-3 11-inning loss on Saturday night in Cincinnati.  With Fukodome’s average dropping below the .300 mark, the Cubs do not have an every day hitting over .300 – what a joke for a high-payroll team.

The Cubs scored their only runs on Bobby Scales and Geovany Soto solo home runs and a Jake Fox sacrifice fly that tied the game at 3 in the 8th inning.

The pitching was great – Ryan Dempster pitched 6 strong innings.  The only 3 runs scored off of Dempster in the 1st inning were all unearned – courtesy of a Mike Fontenot error.  Do ya think we miss Mark DeRosa right now?  At least we have 3 pitchers in the minor leagues pitching well…

Dempster only agve up 6 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 7.  Aaron Heilman, Carlos Marmol and Angel Guzman each worked scoreless innings of relief.  After Sean Marshall worked a scoreless 10th inning, he fell into immediate trouble in the 11th when he issued a lead-off walk to Jay Bruce (the guy is hitting below .220).  Bruce advanced to 2nd base on a wild pitch and took 3rd on a sacrifice bunt.  Marshall intentionally walked the next batter to set up a force play, but the next batter’s weak groundball to 3rd baseman Mike Fontenot allowed the winning run to score.  Fontenot looked lost fielding the ball as he lobbed the ball to Geovany Soto at the plate.  The runner easily scored, but may not have if Aramis Ramirez was on the field.

The Cubs are now 4 1/2 games behind the Brewers and they still trail the Cards and Reds as well.  Not good for a ball club that was expected to compete for a World Series in 2009…

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When Will Volcano Lou Erupt: Poor Pitching Leads to 8th Straight Cubs Loss

Posted on 26 May 2009 by Lou

Pirates Cubs Baseball

The Pirates defeated the Cubs 10-8 on Monday night at Wrigley Field, handing the Cubs their 8th straight loss.  The Cubs have not lost 8 games in a row since the 2002 MLB schedule.

The Cubs should have been jumping for joy that they scored 8 runs in Monday night’s game.  To put that in perspective, in the Cubs previous 6 games – all losses – the Cubs scored a total of 5 runs while being shut out twice.  Unfortunately, the Cubs pitching deserted the team on the cool Memorial Day night at the Friendly Confines.  Starter Ryan Dempster lasted just 4 innings – 7 hits, 3 walks and 6 earned runs – even walking in back to back runs in the 3rd inning.  Dempster let a 4-3 lead slip away in the 4th inning and then after the Cubs re-gained the lead in the bottom of the inning 7-6, the bullpen blew it the rest of the way.  Neal Cotts took the loss – pitching only 1 inning but giving up 3 earned runs on 4 hits.  Aaron Heilman gave up a run on 2 hits and a walk in the 7th inning.  Even the 2 pitchers that didn’t give up any runs struggled – Jose Ascansio gave up 3 hits in his 1 inning of work, while David Patton gave up 2 hits and a walk in his 2 innings of work.

3 Cubs players had good hitting nights – Milton Bradley broke out of his funk with a 2 for 5 night.  Bradley had a double and a home run and had 4 RBI’s and 2 runs scored.  Ryan Theriot was 3 for 5 with 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored.  And Geovany Soto was 2 for 3 with 2 walks and an RBI.

You’d like to think that once the Cubs get some consistent hitting, they should be able to start winning some games.  But the starting pitching has been inconsistent and the bullpen has been downright awful.  At this point, if the Cubs are to stay in it in the short-term, they are going to need a lot of luck and a lot of poor play from the Cards, Brewers and Reds.  If not, we should see Volcano Lou erupt very very soon.

Sean Marshall faces off against Ian Snell Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.  The Cubs have had recent success against Snell, so maybe this is the night that the Cubs break the atrocious losing streak.

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Jake Peavy, Padres Hand Cubs 5th Straight Loss

Posted on 23 May 2009 by Lou

Cubs Padres Baseball

The bad news keeps rolling in for the Cubs.  Jake Peavy and the Padres dominated the Cubs on Friday night at Petco Park in San Diego.  Peavy pitched 6 scoreless innings giving up only 2 hits and 4 walks while striking out 10.  Even the Padres relievers got in on the fun.  25-year old Luke Gregerson kept the Cubs scoreless over 1 2/3 innings while striking out 3.  25-year old Edward Mujica also worked a scoreless inning while striking out 3.  Heath Bell came into a jam in the top of the 9th – with 2 on and 2 out, Bell walked Kosuke Fukodome to load the bases, but got Derrek Lee to pop out to 1st base to end the game and record his 12th save of the season.

Check out the Cubs lineup that Lou Pinella threw out there:

Soriano .263

Theriot .276

Fukodome .320

Lee .240

Hoffpauir .297

Scales .286

Hill .300

Miles .207

Bradley (.182), Soto (.206) & Fontenot (.193) were each out of the lineup for the Cubs.  It’s a joke out there.  With Aramis Ramirez out of the lineup until at least July, if GM Jim Hendry doesn’t add a few pieces to the Cubs roster soon, the Cubs could find themselves way behind the Brewers and Cards by the All-Star Break.

One positive, Carlos Zambrano returned from his stint on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.  Big Z was on a pitch count and showed some rusty signs – making 97 pitches in 4 2/3 innings, walking 4 and giving up 3 earned runs on 3 hits.  He did have 7 K’s.

The Cubs are on a 5-game losing streak and are now 21-19.  They trail the Brewers by 4 games, the Cardinals by 3 games and the Reds by a half game.  Not good.

Cubs Padres Baseball

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Gregg Blows Cubs 4-Run Lead in 9th, But Cubs Win on Soriano Single

Posted on 17 May 2009 by Lou

Astros Cubs Baseball

The Cubs defeated the Astros 5-4 in frustrating, but dramatic fashion on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

Randy Wells gave the Cubs another great start – 6 innings, 0 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks.  Wells left the game with a 3-0 and was set to earn his 1st majore league win.  The Cubs had built the lead on an RBI single by Derrek Lee in the bottom of the 6th inning, which was then followed by a 2-run homer from Micah Hoffpauir.  The Cubs added what turned out to be an all-important insurance run on a Geovany Soto single in the 8th inning.  Angel Guzman and Carlos Marmol worked scoreless 7th and 8th innings to set it up perfectly for closer Kevin Gregg.

But it all fell apart for Gregg in the 9th.  Gregg gave up back-to-back homers to Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee to lead off the inning.  Miguel Tejada and Geoff Blumm singled and Gregg loaded the bases when he hit Hunter Pence with a pitch.  That was it for Gregg as Manager Lou Pinella replaced him with Aaron Heilman.  Heilman promptly served up a single to Ivan Pudge Rodriguez which scored Tejada and Pence to tie the game at 4.  But Heilman buckled down to induce 2 flyouts.  Heilman then walked Michael Bourn to load the bases again with 2 out, and Pinella called on Sean Marshall to finish off the rally.  He did just that – getting the deadly Lance Berkman to ground out to end the inning.

The Cubs rallied in the bottom of the 9th inning quickly.  Bobby Scales lead off the inning with a walk against former Cubs pitcher Latroy Hawkins.  Aaron Miles sacrificed Scales over to 2nd base and Alfonso Soriano delivered Scales home with the winning run on a single to right field.

The 2 teams finish off the series on Sunday afternoon – Rich Harden will take on Brian Moehler.

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Cubs Finish Off Sweep of Padres with 6-4 Win Wednesday & 12-3 Win Thursday

Posted on 14 May 2009 by Lou

Padres Cubs Baseball

The Cubs finished off the 3-game sweep of the Padres on Thursday, as the Padres dropped their 11th straight road game.

The Cubs broke out the big bats in each victory.  In Wednesday night’s 6-4 win, the Cubs hit 4 home runs.  The Cubs nailed back to back home runs by Alfonso Soriano and Ryan Theriot in the 1st inning to tie the game at 2.  Geovany Soto’s 2-run home run in the 3rd inning increased the Cubs lead to 5-2 and Ryan Theriot’s 2nd home run of the game in the 4th inning.  Ted Lilly pitched 6 1/3 innings – 3 earned runs, 8 hits, 0 walks and 7 K’s – to pick up his 5th win of the season.  Carlos Marmol picked up his 3rtd save of the season despite giving up 2 earned run on 2 hits and 2 walks in just an inning of work.

In Thursday afternoon’s 11-3 win,  the Cubs had 2 huge innings in which they scored 10 runs.  In the 5th inning, the Cubs scored 6 runs to blow the game open – a Geovany Soto walk with the bases loaded, a Reed Johnson 2-RBI double, a Bobby Scales 2-RBI double; and a Ryan Dempster single.  In the 6th inning, the Cubs scored 4 more runs on another 2-RBI double by Bobby Scales, an Aaron Miles RBI double and a Ryan Dempster RBI double.   Ryan Dempster worked 7 efficient innings – 2 earned runs, 3 hits, 2 walks and 5 K’s – to pick up his 3rd win of the season.  Jose Ascansio made his 1st major league appearance pitching 2 innings with 3 K’s and giving up just a solo home run to Drew Macias.  Ascansio also got his 1st major league at-bat when he struck out in the bottom of the 8th inning.

The lone bright spot in the series for the Padres was Adrian Gonzalez – 1 home run on Tuesday, 2 home runs on Wednesday, and 1 more home run on Thursday.

Manager Lou Pinella has gotta be happy with the way his team has started off this home stand at Wrigley Field.  Next up for the Cubs – a weekend series against the Houston Astros.

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Cubs Top Padres 6-2 in Shocking Fashion at Wrigley Field

Posted on 13 May 2009 by Lou

Padres Cubs Baseball

The Cubs defeated the Padres 6-2 on Tuesday night behind the solid pitching of Rich Harden and the clutch hitting of Alfonso Soriano and Milton Bradley.  Harden improved to 4-1 on the season and settled down after he gave up a 2-run 1st inning home run to Adrian Gonzalez which gave the Padres the early.  Harden retired 12 Padres in a row after the HR and allowed only 3 more base runners in the next 5 innings.

I must admit, I had my doubts especially after the Cubs blew a golden opportunity off Peavy in the 4th inning.  Kosuke Fukodome led off the inning with a double and advanced to 3rd base with nobody out on a wild pitch by Jake Peavy.  All the Cubs had to do was put the ball in play to plate Kosuke, but Peavy struck out Derek Lee and Milton Bradley and was saved by a great play by the 3rd baseman who robbed Mike Fontenot on a line drive to the hot corner.  I figured the Cubs were done after blowing that scoring chance, especially against Peavy.  But the Cubs didn’t give up.

Alfonso Soriano’s RBI double in the 5th inning score Geovany Soto with the Cubs 1st run of the game.  In the 6th inning, Kosuke led off with another double.  After another Derek Lee strike out – how many is that on the season now???!!! – Milton Bradley exacted revenge on Peavy with a deep bomb to center field.

Side rant – instead of just running around the bases, Bradley just dropped the bat at home plate and stared at the ball going well into the center field bleachers.  Bradley didn’t stop there, however.  At the top of the Cubs dugout steps, Bradley put his left hand up to his ear to the crowd as if to say “Where are the boos now?”  Is this guy for real?  Gimme a break.  Bradley needs to quit worrying about the fans, the opposition and the media, and start focusing on his health, his at-bats and playing the field.  Although Bradley has quietly put together a nice 6-game hitting streak with 2 home runs, only 1 of the games has been a multi-hit game and his batting average is still a measly .186.  Hey Milton – you can get on your high horse when you have double-digit home runs, RBI’s and runs scored and when your batting average is higher than .200…  Check out the Bradley antics here!

The Cubs got an insurance run on Bobby Scales 1st career home run in the 7th inning.   Scales was a little bit more diplomatic after his shot as he sped around the bases for his unfamiliar home run trot:  “I was just running.  I kept telling myself, ‘Pick your feet up, pick your feet up, so you don’t trip’.  Even in the Minor Leagues when I hit home runs, there’s no point in showing anybody up.  You hit it and it went over the fence, and that’s enough.  Hit all four bases and get off the field.”

In the 8th inning, the Cubs added 2 more runs on an RBI single by Alfonso Soriano and a wild pitch that scored Micah Hoffpauir.  Aaron Heilman, Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg did the rest – shutting the door on the Padres with scoreless frames in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.

Let’s hope the Cubs can pull off a sweep of the Padres with Ted Lilly on Wednesday night and Ryan Dempster on Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

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Congrats to All of Our Free Cubs Tickets Winners So Far!

Posted on 12 May 2009 by Lou

cubs-win

Well we can’t believe that we’re 31 games into the 2009 MLB schedule already.  It’s been fast and furious so far, with mixed results on the north side of Chicago.  The Cubs have battled through injuries to key players – Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Zambrano, Carlos Marmol, Derek Lee, Milton Bradley & Geovany Soto – and are still 3 games over .500 with a 17-14 record.  The Cubs trail the 1st place Cardinals by only 2.5 games in the NL Central, so a 3rd consecutive Central Division crown is still in sight.

We wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate our 1st 4 free Cubs tickets winners:

Opening Day – April 13th v. Rockies – Ray from Chicago – Section 505, Row 3

Friday – April 17th v. Cards – Carlos from Chicago – Section 237, Row 25

Friday – May 1st v. Marlins – Section 209, Row 16 – due to a late scheduling issue on our part, our winner was unable to attend

Friday – May 15th v. Astros – Shannon from Elgin – Section 240, Row 30

We still have 10 weekends left for which we will be giving away 2 free Cubs tickets to games at Wrigley Field, so please spread the word around.  It’s never too late to sign up for our free cubs tickets lottery, as we try to notify winners at least 7-10 days before the day of the game for which they won.

And a special thanks to our ticketing partner – Ticketchest.com – for supplying the great tickets to the 2009 Cubs season for our great winners.  We could not have done it without the 1st class service of the guys at Ticketchest.com.  Ticketchest.com is a full service, nation-wide ticket broker located just a block from Wrigley Field on Clark Street.  Feel free to check out their site at Ticketchest.com for all your ticket needs.

And Go Cubs Go!

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