Posted on 30 May 2009 by Lou
The Chicago Cubs defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon. Ted Lilly pitched 7 strong innings, giving up just 4 hits and 3 walks with 5 strikeouts. The lone Dodger run came courtesy of a Matt Kemp solo home run off Lilly in the 7th inning. The Cubs countered with 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th inning with a solo home run from Koyie Hill and a sacrifice fly by Kosuke Fukodome. The Cubs generated 8 hits and 2 walks off of Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley but could never come up with the clutch hit during scoreing opportunities.
Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless 8th despite issuing 2 walks, while Kevin Gregg picked up his 8th save of the year with a scoreless 9th inning.
The Cubs are now 24-23, but they stil trail the Brewers and Cardinals by 3.5 games inthe NL Central race.
Posted on 23 May 2009 by Lou
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:
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.
Posted on 09 May 2009 by Lou
The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Friday night at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Ryan Braun’s 2-run home run off Aaron Heilman in the bottom of the 8th inning was the game-winner. Heilman walked Corey Hart on 4 straight pitches to start the inning, and after falling behind Bruan 1-0, he grooved a fastball that Braun crushed over the right center field fence to give the Brewers the 3-2 lead. They say walks always kill you, and in this situation, it certainly did. Heilman’s ERA is now 5.14 and the Cubs bullpen continues to disappoint in 2009.
Randy Wells made his 1st major league start filling in for the injured Carlos Zambrano. While it wasn’t pretty – 5 hits and 2 walks – Wells was able to get out of jams and stood to earn his first career major league win as he departed with a 2-0 lead. But Angel Guzman gave up a solo home run to JJ Hardy in the 6th inning to cut the lead to 1, and then Heilman worked his disastrous 8th inning.
The Cubs did have a chance to break open the game in the top of the 8th inning. With the bases loaded and only 1 out, Ryan Theriot hit into a fielder’s choice that resulted in Koyie Hill being forced out at home and Geovany Soto grounded out to the shortstop to end the threat.
As if the loss wasn’t bad enough, Aramis Ramirez injured his left shoulder diving for a ground ball in the 3rd inning. The Cubs believe that Ramirez dislocated his shoulder and will likely spend somewhere between 4-6 weeks on the disabled list to recover. We’ll keep you posted once we hear more on the injury.
The Cubs will need Ryan Dempster to step up his game on Saturday as the Cubs take on Yovani Gallardo and the Brewers again on Saturday. Gallardo has been lights out in his last 4 starts – giving up only 5 earned runs over 30 innings with 30 K’s.
Posted on 29 April 2009 by Lou
The Chicago Cubs defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-3 on Tuesday night. Carlos Zambrano pitched 7 strong innings, giving up 3 earned runs on 8 hits and 2 walks. Zambrano also had 3 strikeouts. More importantly, Zambrano just missed hitting for the cycle – getting a single in the 3rd inning, an RBI-double in the 5th inning and a solo home run in the 7th inning. All-in-all, he had 2 RBI’s and 3 runs scored during the game.
Koyie Hill had a 3 for 5 night with 1 RBI and 2 runs scored. Alfonso Soriano was 2 for 4 with 4 RBI’s and 2 runs scored, including a 3-run home run in the 3rd inning which gave the Cubs an early 3-0 lead. Mike Fontenot also hit a 2-run home run in the 3rd inning which extended the Cubs lead to 5-0. It was Fontenot’s 2nd consecutive game with a home run.
The Cubs are back up over .500 with a 10-9 record. They play the rubber game of the 3-game series in Arizona today before heading back home for a 6-game homestand at Wrigley Field against the Florida Marlins and San Francisco Giants on Thursday.
Posted on 26 April 2009 by Lou
The Chicago Cubs are reeling – both on and off the field. The Cubs have lost 3 straight games and are now at 8-8 on the young 2009 MLB schedule. After losing Geovany Soto for a week with a sore right shoulder, and Milton Bradley for 2 weeks with a strained groin muscle, it looks like the Cubs could be without Carlos Marmol and Aramis Ramirez for some time with leg injuries.
Carlos Marmol experienced soreness on the inside part of his left knee during Friday night’s 4-3 loss to the Cardinals. Manager Lou Pinella and the Cubs staff took him out of the game after giving up the game-winning hit to Ryan Ludwick. Marmol will likely miss a few games but does not think he will need a stint on the DL.
Aramis Ramirez felt discomfort in his left leg after he doubled in the 2nd inning. He played until the 5th inning, but was removed when the discomfort grew worse. It is unclear whether or not he will go on the DL, but he said that the leg did not feel good after the game.
Pinella is very frustrated with his roster right now. Milton Bradley is still only available to pinch-hit because he cannot run. “We’ve got no bench. We’ve got an extra catcher in Koyie Hill and Micah Hoffpauir and Joey Gathright. We’re going to have to get somebody in here. ”
Not good news for the Cubs. The Cubs are already 3 games behind the Cards and could fall further back if the Cards pull off a sweep at home in St. Louis this weekend. Let’s hope for some healthy legs soon on the North Side.
Posted on 14 April 2009 by Lou
The horrible cold, rainy weather didn’t have any negative affect on the the hometown Cubs during their opening day contest against the Colorado Rockies on Monday at Wrigley Field.
Ted Lilly took a no hitter through 6 2/3 innings before Garrett Atkins singled to left field to break up the no-no. After Lilly walked the next batter, Manger Lou Pinella took him out and the brave fans at Wrigley Field cheered him on to a standing ovation for his remarkable effort. Angel Guzman retired Brad Hawpe to end the threat and Aaron Heilman and Kevin Gregg took care of the rest. Although Heilman and Gregg each walked a batter in their scoreless innings of work, neither relief pitcher gave up a hit and Gregg struck out the side in the 9th inning to preserve the Cubs 4-0 win.
Cubs hitters did an excellent job of working counts again – racking up 9 hits and 9 walks. They never seemed to get the big hit, however, scoring their 1st run in the 2nd inning on a Koyie Hill bases loaded walk. The Cubs scored 2 more runs in the 4th inning on a Ryan Theriot ground out and a Derrek Lee single. Kosuke Fukodome’s single in the bottom of the 8th inning drove in Alfonso Soriano with an insurance run. Soriano, Lee and Hill each had 2 hits for the Cubs.
The 1-hitter marked Lilly’s 2nd 4-pitcher, 1-hitter in less than 8 months. He, Jeff Samardzija, Carlos Marmol and Bob Howry 1-hit the Houston Astros in Miller Park on September 15, 2008 – a day after Carlos Zambrano no-hit the Astros in the same ballpark. Lilly had this to say about the outing: “It’s definitely challenging when you’re trying to pitch in weather like this. I think, fortunately, it never got to where it was raining hard. When you can’t see and the hitter can’t see, then it’s really tough. I enjoy this weather, too. I understand the weather isn’t going to be perfect all the time. It makes it a little more fun when you have conditions like this, and it makes it a little more challenging.”
Wednesday’s forecast looks a little better for the Cubs and Rockies – sunny weather with temps in he mid 50′s – not great but for Cubs fans used to April and May weather, it couldn’t be any better. Let’s hope the Cubs can pull of the 2-game sweep over the Rockies and head into the big 4-game weekend series against the 1st place St. Louis Cardinals on a positive note…
Posted on 12 April 2009 by Lou
Geovany Soto underwent an MRI and was examined by orthopedist specialist Dr. Stephen Gryzlo in Chicago on Thursday. The results revealed inflammation in the right throwing shoulder of Soto. There is not set timetable for his return, although it is unlikely that Soto will be able to play against the Brewers in this weekend’s series in Milwaukee. Soto had this to say about the results: I’m so glad it’s just a little bit of inflammation. We can take care of it and move on. I want to get out there as quick as I can and play for the club. I enjoy playing. I just want to get out there.
Koyie Hill will start in place of Soto behind the plate. Aaron Miles warmed up pitchers in between innings in Houston on Tuesday, and Cubs Manager Lou Pinella indicated that Miles would serve as the team’s emergency back-up catcher if Hill should get hurt during a game. The Cubs will not put Soto on the disabled list.
Posted on 09 April 2009 by Lou
Not good news for the reigning NL Rookie of the Year – Geovany Soto. Soto experienced some shoulder soreness in the Cubs 3-2 loss to the Astros on Tuesday night. Soto left the game in the 6th inning after he aggravated the shoulder injury on a throw to 2nd base. Soto had this to say about the injury: “I kind of over-exposed my shoulder a little bit. There was a little discomfort in my shoulder. I felt some weakness in it, and I felt I didn’t have a shot if somebody else tried to steal. I need to keep up my exercises, and we’ll see how it is in a couple of days.”
Back-up catcher Koyie Hill will make the start for the Cubs on Wednesday’s finale against the Astros in Houston. Hill will catch Ted Lilly in his 1st start of the season. Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot would be able available to catch in the event of an emergency situation with Hill.
Posted on 04 April 2009 by Lou
The Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians 9-8 in their final Cactus League game of the spring. The bats were buzzing in the last game in Mesa. Joey Gaithright, Andres Blanco and Koyie Hill each had 2 hits for the Cubs. Hill had a 3-run triple, while Alfonso Soriano led off the Cubs 1st inning with a solo home run and scored 2 runs.
The pitching was not so hot for the Cubs. In 4 innings of work, Ryan Dempster gave up 3 earned runs on 5 hits (including 2 home runs), but he did have 7 strikeouts. Chad Gaudin, battling for a spot in the bullpen, got lit up for 3 runs on 6 hits over just 2 innings of work. Carlos Marmol and David Patton also gave up a run each in relief.
Not the best way to end spring training, but a win is a win. I’m sure the Cubs are ready for the regular season to begin. This spring has lasted forever, so it will be good for the games to finally start counting for something.
Posted on 31 March 2009 by Lou
Micah Hoffpauir and Koyie Hill have made the Cubs opening day roster. The Cubs released both Paul Bako and Mike Stanton as the Cubs roster now stands at 28 players. The position players are now set for the 2009 MLB schedule, while 4 relievers are still battling for the final 2 spots in the Cubs bullpen.
Hill outplayed Bako to earn the Cubs backup catcher job. Hill hit .391 this spring and showed tremendous resolve returning from a horrific table saw accident in which he severed three of his fingers. He played most of the 2008 at Triple-A Iowa and batted .275 with 17 home runs and 64 RBI’s. Bako played well this spring – .364 batting average – but it wasn’t enough.
Cubs Manager Lou Pinella had this to say about Hill: “Koyie’s worked hard, it’s a good story, he’s been here before. When he had a chance to catch here, he caught well and helped us win some ballgames. He had to come in here and compete, and compete he did. He’s had one of the better springs.
Hoffpauir had a tremendous spring for the Cubs. He batted .286 and led the team with 5 home runs. Hoffpauir was also among Cactus-league leaders in RBI’s with 24. Hoffpauir was excited to make the team right out of the gates: “It’s a great feeling. It’s a dream come true. To make the Opening Day roster is special. It’s the first time for me. Hopefully, I can stick around and help the team out a little bit.”
Congrats to Hill and Hoffpauir. Let’s hope they can help Soto and Lee get some extra rest during the course of the long MLB season and be productive members of the Cubs at the major league level in 2009.