Posted on 29 August 2011 by Lou
Randy Wells tossed his 1st career complete game shutout in the Cubs 7-0 win over the Giants in San Francisco on Monday night. Wells has turned his season around with some good pitching of late. In his last 4 starts, he has given up just 7 ER on 16 hits in 27 2/3 innings pitched. He is 3-0 in those 4 starts. While his ERA is still over 5.00 at 5.06, he has lowered his WHIP to 1.38 and he has re-gained the confidence that deserted him after he went on the DL after just 1 start to kick off the 2011 campaign.
Wells faced only 4 batters over the minimum in the game – 2 hits and 2 walks allowed. He allowed only 2 runners to reach base 2nd base.
Alfonso Soriano gave the Cubs the 1st lead of the game with a solo HR of Tim Lincecum in the 5th inning. Then the Cubs blew the game open with 2 more HR’s against Lincecum in the 7th inning. Geovany Soto hit a solo shot and Blake DeWitt’s 3-run bomb to right field finally chased Lincecum from the game with the Cubs leading 5-0. Carlos Pena added a solo shot later in the inning and Marlon Byrd singled home DeWitt in the 9th to cap the scoring.
Matt Garza squares off against Ryan Vogelsong in Game 2 of the series Tuesday night.
Posted on 26 August 2011 by Lou
Randy Wolf pitched the Brewers past Rodrigo Lopez and the Cubs 5-2 on Friday night at Miller Park.
Lopez gave up 4 runs (2 earned courtesy of a Darwin Barney error) on 5 hits and 4 walks in 6 innings pitched.
Starlin Castro hit a solo home run to lead off the game.
The Cubs now trail the Brewers by 21.5 games in the NL Central race.
Posted on 25 August 2011 by Lou
Matt Garza suffered a rare bad outing in the series finale against the Braves on Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Garza gave up 6 runs (only 3 earned because of a Starlin Castro error) on 8 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings of work. The loss dropped Garza down to 6-10 and likely will lead to Garza having a losing record in his 1st full season with the Cubs. Going into the game, Garza had given more than 3 ER in only 1 start since July 7th. He had lowered his ERA down to 3.62 and had emerged as the Cubs most reliable starter.
The Cubs are now 57-74 and they have dropped 4 of their last 5 games. The Cubs trail the Milwaukee Brewers by 20.5 games in the NL Central race.
Posted on 24 August 2011 by Lou
Randy Wells made his best start of the 2011 season with a dominating 6+ inning effort in Wednesday night’s 3-2 win over the Braves. Wells gave up just 1 run on 2 hits and 2 walks as he worked into the 7th inning. His lone run came on a solo home run to Jason Heyward. Wells even got into the offensive act in the 2nd inning as the Cubs plated all 3 runs in the frame. Alfonso Soriano hit a 2-run home run and then Wells’ RBI groundout added the much needed 3rd run.
The bullpen did the rest as Sean Marshall, Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol closed the door on the Braves bid for a comeback. Marmol worked a perfect 9th inning with 2 K’s to notch his 30th save of 2011.
Posted on 23 August 2011 by Lou
The Braves topped Casey Coleman and the Cubs 5-4 on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. It was the Cubs 3rd straight loss.
Coleman worked 5 innings, giving up 5 ER on 5 hits and 2 walks. The Braves scored all 5 of their runs in the 4th inning to take a 5-0 lead. It was Coleman’s 6th loss of the season.
Aramis Ramirez went 5 for 5 on the night with 2 RBI’s and a run scored.
Alfonso Soriano also hit an inside the park solo home run in the Cubs 4-run 5th inning.
Posted on 22 August 2011 by Lou
The Braves shut out the Cubs 3-0 on Monday night at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are now 56-72 and they trail the Brewers by 20 games in the NL Central race.
The Cubs offensive woes hurt tough-luck loser Ryan Dempster. The Cubs stranded 15 runners in the game, including 11 in the 1st 6 innings alone. Despite 9 hits and 7 walks, the Cubs could not push even 1 run across the board. Aramis Ramirez had 3 hits and Carlos Pena had 2 hits in the loss.
Dempster worked 6 solid innings, notching his 16th quality start of the season. He gave up just 3 ER on 6 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 8.
The bullpen continued its solid work – James Russell, Jeff Samardzija and Kerry Wood combined for 3 scoreless innings and 5 K’s to keep the Cubs in the game.
Mike Quade benched Starlin Castro for his lack of effort in Sunday night’s loss to the Cards. Check out more here –
Posted on 25 July 2011 by Lou
Believe it or not – yesterday’s 5-4 win in 10 innings gave the Cubs their 1st 3- game winning streak of the 2011 campaign. The Cubs were the last team to reach that mark this season. What a joke…
Jeff Samardzija wasted another great outing from Matt Garza. Garza allowed just 2 ER on 5 hits and 3 walks over 7 impressive innings. He struck out 9 and lowered his ERA to 3.72 and his WHIP to 1.30. He left with a 3-2 lead, but when Samardzija served up Carlos Lee’s go-ahead 2-run HR in the 8th inning, he was forced to take another no decision.
Fortunately, 3 straight hits allowed the Cubs to tie the game on Alfono Soriano’s single to start off the 8th inning.
And after Carlos Marmol survived a bases loaded, 1-out jam in the 9th inning, karma seemed to be on the Cubs side when Hunter Pence lost Marlon Byrd’s flyball in the sun to lead off the 10th inning giving Byrd a “gimme” triple. After Geovany Soto struck out for the 1st out of the inning, the Astros walked the bases loaded intentionally. And Jeff Baker came through with the clutch game-winning line drive single to left field that plated Byrd with the winning run.
Byrd had 4 hits and 3 runs scored. Soto had 3 hits, an RBI and a run scored.
The Cubs are now 42-60 and they have opened up a “safe” 8.5 game lead over the Astros to avoid having the worst record in the NL. Now that’s something to cheer about – Go Cubs Go!!!
Posted on 22 July 2011 by Lou
They did it! The Cubs beat the worst team in baseball 4-2 on a perfect day at Wrigley Field on Friday. With the heat and humidity finally gone for the most part, Carlos Zambrano labored through 6 innings, but kept the feisty Astros at bay. Despite allowing 9 hits and 1 walk in his outing, Big Z minimized the damage to just 2 ER. He had 3 K’s and he improved to 7-5 on the season.
The Cubs scored in only one inning but they made it count. They plated 4 runs in the 5th inning. Alfonso Soriano hit his 15th HR of the year as he put the Cubs on the board with a leadoff solo home run. Darwin Barney and Zambrano each reached base. After Barney stole 3rd base, he came home on Starlin Castro’s important sac fly which tied the game at 2. And then Aramis Ramirez put the Cubs ahead for good with his 2-run HR, his 18th of the season.
The bullpen even looked good. After James Russell allowed a lead-off single in the 7th inning, Jeff Samardzija, John Grabow, Carlos Marmol and Sean Marshall retired the final 9 batters to preserve the Cubs win. Marshall picked up his 3rd save.
Yippee!!! The Cubs are now 40-60 while the Astros are 33-66. Ah some breathing room…
Posted on 20 July 2011 by Lou
Manager Mike Quade was all out of ideas as he watched Sean Marshall blow the save in his 1st chance as the Cubs “new closer”. Yippee. Think Quade is happy that he went ahead and accepted this awful Cubs managerial post?!
Quade called on Marshall to pick up a 2-inning save after Matt Garza gave up a lead off hit in the 8th inning. My question is this – if you were going to pull Garza if he allowed a runner to reach base, and since he had already thrown 113 pitches in 7 innings pitched, why not just pull him for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 7th inning instead of having him lead off and strike out? Sure you might not get an insurance run, but Reed Johnson and Aramis Ramirez each singled later that inning, so you never know. And then maybe you use Kerry Wood or someone else in the 8th inning and bring in Marshall to close the game in the 9th. Forcing Marshall to pick up a 6-out save in his 1st big chance since replacing Carlos Marmol as the club’s closer just did not seem like the smart thing to do. And this is just another example of why the Cubs have to be questioning Quade as the long-term manager of this team…
That being said, Marshall did not perform well. And after allowing the tying runs in the 8th inning, Marshall still could have kept his team in the game. But he allowed 2 more runs in the 9th inning and the Phillies won 4-2. Marshall has now allowed 7 ER in his last 6 appearances. Not good.
Lost in the shuffle was Matt Garza who turned in another good start. Garza pitched 7+ innings, allowing just the 1 run on 4 hits and 3 walks while striking out 5. He has clearly emerged as the ace of the staff as he has lowered his WHIP to 1.31 and his ERA to 3.80.
The top of the order was en fuego against Cliff Lee. Johnson had 3 hits and a run scored.
Starlin Castro had 2 hits and knocked in the Cubs only 2 runs in the 1st inning with a line drive 2-run HR.
And Aramis Ramirez had 2 hits in 4 at-bats to raise his batting average up to .302.
The Cubs are now 39-59 and they trail the Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers by 13.0 games in the NL Central race.
Posted on 19 July 2011 by Lou
Wasn’t sure if I was dreaming last night or watching the unbelievable? Rodrigo Lopez topping Roy Halladay in the Cubs 6-1 win? Crazy stuff – I guess that’s why you play the games.
Lopez picked up his 2nd win of the season, scattering 5 hits over 6+ innings in an improbable win over arguably the best pitcher in baseball. He did not walk a batter and only allowed 1 run on Jimmy Rollins solo home run in the 4th inning. Manager Mike Quade decided to go with James Russell in the 7th after Lopez gave up 2 singles even though one single was erased on a double-play ball. Jeff Samardzija pitched a perfect 8th inning. Carlos Marmol made his 1st appearance since blowing 2 saves. Marmol retired the 1st 2 batters he faced before walking 2 batters with 2 outs. He got John Mayberry to strikeout to end the game.
Aramis Ramirez powered the Cubs offense with a solo home run and a sacrifice fly. Carlos Pena had 3 hits including his 20th HR of the season. Starlin Castro Darwin Barney and Marlon Byrd each had 2 hits in the win.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Cubs tonight. They will try to beat another “Phillies ace” in Cliff Lee – Lee has dominated the Cubs of late – 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA in 5 career starts against the north siders. Good luck with that Matt Garza…