Archive | Reed Johnson

Cubs Win Ugly in 14 Innings in Cincinnati

Posted on 08 June 2009 by Lou

Cubs Reds Baseball

The Cubs 6-3 win over the Reds in Cincinnati on Sunday wasn’t pretty – but they will take it, especially since the Brewers and Cards lost too.  With the win, the Cubs moved just 1.5 game behind the Cards and 3.5 games behind the Brewers in the NL Central race.

Once again, the Cubs bats left a lot to be desired.  The Cubs managed only 12 hits in 14 innings.  The Cubs scored 1 run in the 1st inning on Ryan Theriot’s solo home run and 2 runs in the 3rd inning on Derrek Lee’s 2-out 2-run single, but they didn’t score another run until their 3-run “outburst” in the top of the 14th inning. Alfonso Soriano led off the inning with a solo home run.  Ryan Theriot singled and Kosuke Fukodome walked, and after a Derrek Lee foul out, Mike Fontenot drove in the 2nd run of the inning with an infield single.  Reed Johnson then doubled home Fukodome to give the Cubs the 6-3 lead.

The Cubs used 8 pitchers in all.  David Patton picked up his 2nd win of the season by pitching a scoreless 13th inning.  Angel Guzman picked up his 1st career major-league save by working a scoreless bottom of the 14th inning.  Randy Wells turned in another solid start – 6 2/3 innings, 7 hits, 2 earned runs, 1 walk and 4 K’s.  And once again he did not get the win – because of a familiar character – Carlos Marmol.  Marmol faced only 2 batters in the 8th inning and he walked them both.  By this time, Manager Lou Pinella had seen enough and he yanked Marmol for Aaron Heilman.  Heilmand minimized the damage as best as he could by allowing only 1 run to score.  The most impressive outing may have come from Jose Ascansio, however.  Ascansio worked 3 scoreless innings in the 10th, 11th and 12th to keep the Cubs in the game.  He did give up 2 hits and 2 walks, but he was able to navigate through some tricky waters to get through his 3 innings unscathed.

The Cubs are now 28-26.  The Cubs can rest on Monday with a scheduled day off, and then make the trip to Houston to take on the Astros.  Heres how the match-ups look:  Ted Lilly v. Brian Moehler on Tuesday night; Carlos Zambrano v. Wandy Rodriguez on Wednesday night; and Ryan Dempster v. Roy Oswalt on Thursday afternoon.

Cubs Reds Baseball

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Dodgers Crush Marshall, Cubs 8-2, Earn Split of Weekend Series at Wrigley

Posted on 01 June 2009 by Lou

Dodgers Cubs Baseball

The Dodgers avoided a series loss by crushing Sean Marshall and the Cubs 8-2 at Wrigley Field on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.  The Dodgers lit up Cubs starter Sean Marshall for 5 earned runs in the 1st inning.  The 1st 5 Dodgers reached base on consecutive singles that scored 2 runs.  After Marshall struck out Matt Kemp, Mark Loretta’s 2-run double increased the Dodgers lead to 4-0.  Jamie Hoffman’s sacrifice fly plated the 5th run of the inning for the Dodgers.  All in all, Marshall lasted just 4 1/3 innings, giving up 7 earned runs (8 total) on 8 hits and 1 walk.  Marshall dropped to 3-4 on the 2009 NLB schedule with the loss.

There were a couple of bright spots for the Cubs.  Reed Johnson continued his hot hitting, going f 3 for 4 and driving in the Cubs only 2 runs with a double in the 6th inning.  Ryan Theriot also plated 2 hits – the only other Cub with more than 1 hit.  Cubs relievers  – Jose Ascansio, Jason Waddell, David Patton, Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg – also fared well – pitching 4 2/3 scoreless innings after Marshall departed.  Jason Waddell made his big league debut pitching a scoreless 6th inning giving up only 1 hit while striking out 2 batters.

The Cubs are now 25-24, 4.5 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central.  The Cubs embark on a 9-game road trip away from the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field – taking on the Braves in Atlanta, the Reds in Cincinnati and the Astros in Houston.

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Dempster, Cubs Shut Out Dodgers 7-0 @ Wrigley

Posted on 31 May 2009 by Lou

Dodgers Cubs Baseball

The Cubs defeated the Dodgers 7-0 on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.  It was the 1st time that the Dodgers had been shut out all season long.

Ryan Dempster pitched 7 scoreless innings for the Cubs.  He gave up only 3 hits and 3 walks, with 5 K’s.

Reed Johnson was the Cubs hitting hero – going  3 for 3 with 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored, including a home run.  Milton Bradley was 3 for 4 with 1 run scored and Mike Fontenot went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored.

The Cubs trail the Brewers and Cardinals by 3.5 games in the NL Central race.

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Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Finally – 2 in a Row to Boot!

Posted on 27 May 2009 by Lou

Pirates Cubs Baseball

The Cubs defeated the Pirates 5-2 on Wednesday to take the series over the Bucs.  After snapping an 8-game losing streak with the 6-1 rain-shortened win over the Pirates on Tuesday night, the Cubs kept the mojo rolling with a big win on Wednesday.

The Cubs took an early 2-0 lead on Milton Bradley’s triple and Reed Johnson’s groundout in the 1st inning.  The Pirates, however, were able to tie the game on a Carlos Zambrano wild pitch that allowed Nyjer Morgan to score from 3rd base.  Zambrano thought that he tagged Morgan out before Morgan’s hand reached the base, and was eventually tossed by the home plate umpire for arguing the call and bumping the umpire as he leaned in to get closer to Zambrano.  These umps really go out of there way to antogonize players these days.  I hope this moron home plate umpire gets suspended himself for leaning into Zambrano.  Luckily Pinella and Rothschild got out there quick to prevent Zambrano from flipping out even more then he did.

The Cubs kept fighting though and eventually took the lead for good on Reed Johnson’s solo home run to the left field bleachers in the bottom of the 8th inning.  The Cubs added 2 insurance runs on back-to-back RBI doubles by recent Triple-A call-ups Andres Blanco and Jake Fox.

Carlos Marmol pitch a scoreless 8th inning to pick up the win and Kevin Gregg got the save despite giving up 2 walks in the 9th.  Gregg sure nevers makes it easy on himself.

The Cubs are back over .500 with a 23-22 record.  The Cubs still trail the 1st place Cards by 4 games and the 2nd place Brewers by 3 games in the NL Central.

Pirates Cubs Baseball

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Cubs Keep Losing – 7 & Counting..

Posted on 24 May 2009 by Lou

Cubs Padres Baseball

I feel like a keep writing the same post over and over.  So today, I’ll focus on the 1 positive – Reed Johnson hit a 2-run home run today.  Woo-hoo!

The Cubs bats were silent again – only 4 hits.  I can’t believe Manager Lou Pinella hasn’t killed someone yet…

And for a change, the pitching was bad today too.  Ted Lilly lost his 2nd straight decision, giving up 5 ER on 8 hits and 2 walks over 6 1/3 innings.

The Cubs are 21-21 – this time last year (after 42 games), the Cubs were 10 games over .500.  Remarkably, the Cubs are only 4 games behind the slumping Brewers.  Only problem, I don’t see the Cubs making any major strides until Aramis Ramirez gets back in the lineup or until GM Jim Hendry makes a trade for some offensive help.  Neither of these will happen anytime soon.

The Cubs return home for a 7-game home stand against the Pirates and Dodgers.  Maybe the Cubs will find their swings back at Wrigley Field.

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Cubs Bats Silent in St. Louie Again, Lose 2-1

Posted on 21 May 2009 by Lou

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It looked like the Cards were going to shutout the Cubs for a 2nd straight night.  Although the Cubs were able to score their 1st run of the series on Micah Hoffpauir’s 9th inning pinch-hit single, Cards closer Ryan Franklin struck out Reed Johnson with the tying run on 3rd base to preserve the Cards 2-1 win over the Cubs.  Cards ace Chris Carpenter made is 1st start in almost a month and held the Cubs to just 3 hits and 2 walks through 5 innings (67 pitches).  Carpenter struck out 4 and picked up his 2nd win of the season.

Ryan Dempster pitched a solid game, but it wasn’t enough – 7 innings, 103 pitches, 2 ER, 6 hits, 2 walks and 3 K’s.  For the 2nd straight night, the Cubs failed to capitalize on a starting pitcher’s quality start.  Carlos Marmol worked a 1-2-3 8th inning to keep the Cubs within striking distance in the 9th inning, but it wasn’t meant to be.

The Cubs bats – or lack thereof – was the big story, however.  The Cubs only mustered 6 total hits – 2 of them coming from pinch-hitters.  The Cubs only have 1 regular hitting over .300 – Kosuke Fukodome at .319.  Not good.

The Cubs will rely on Sean Marshall to prevent the Cubs from getting swept in St. Louis and losing 4 games in a row overall.  He will take on Adam Wainwright who has always pitched well against the Cubs.

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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 Split 2-Game Series with Giants

Posted on 05 May 2009 by Lou

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The Chicago Cubs split the 2-game series with the San Francisco Giants on Monday and Tuesday at Wrigley Field.

In Monday night’s 4-2 win, Ryan Dempster defeated Jonathan Sanchez with 7 strong innings.  Dempster needed only 102 pitches – giving up 2 earned runs on 5 hits and 2 walks.  Dempster recorded 7 K’s.  Carlos Marmol worked a scoreless 8th inning, giving up 1 hit and striking out 2.  While Kevin Gregg worked a scoreless 9th inning for his 4th save on the season.  Although Gregg did issue another walk, he struck out 2 and recorded the final out of the game on a great catch by Reed Johnson in center field.  The Cubs scored early and often to take a commanding 4-0 lead.  Geovany Soto’s walk with the bases loaded plated the Cubs first run in the 1st.  Ryan Theriot’s 2-run home run in the 2nd inning – his 3rd homer in 4 games – increased the Cubs lead to 3-0.  The Cubs added an insurance in the 5th inning on Reed Johnson’s sacrifice fly.

In Tuesday’s loss, Tim Lincecum outdeuled Sean Marshall 6-2.  The Giants jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on a 3-run home run by Bengie Molina in the 1st inning.  The Cubs chipped away at the lead with a run in the 2nd inning on a Mike Fontenot ground out and a run in the 5th inning on a Marshall single.  In the meantime, Marshall settled down and kept the Giants without another run until the 8th inning.  Marshall walked Edgar Renteria and gave up a hit to Rich Aurilia before being replaced by Jeff Samardzija.  Samardzija self-destructed hitting the 1st batter he faced and then giving up a 2-RBI double to Aaron Rowand and an RBI single to Randy Winn.  That gave the Giants the cushion that they needed to preserve the 6-2 win. Marshall fell to 0-2 as his ERA rose to 4.15.  Samardzija’s struggles continued in 2009 as his ERA rose to 8.10.

The Cubs went 4-2 on this short 6-game home stand at Wrigley Field.  The Cubs are 14-12 on the young 2009 schedule.

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Injuries Taking Toll on Cubs Weak Lineup

Posted on 28 April 2009 by Lou

Cubs Diamondbacks Baseball

Reed Johnson as your leadoff hitter?  No offense to Reed Johnson, but Manager Lou Pinella and GM Jim Hendry need to do something.  And they need to do something fast!

Here was the Cubs lineup from Monday night’s loss to Dan Haren and the Arizona Diamondbacks – Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Theriot, Kosuke Fukodome, Reed Johnson, Micah Hoffpauir, Geovany Soto, Mike Fontenot, Aaron Miles, Ted Lilly.  The Cubs managed 3 hits off of Haren all night long – solo home runs by Alfonso Soriano and Mike Fontenot and a single by PITCHER Ted Lilly.  Gimme a break!  The Cubs clearly have the shortest infield in MLB with Theriot (5′ 11″), Miles (5′ 8″) and Fontenot (5”8″) roaming around out there.

The Cubs are lucky to be 9-9 right now and still only 4 games out of 1st place, but if they don’t get Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Milton Bradley back soon, they could end up too far behind to catch up very very quickly.

Hendry and the Cubs really need to make a decision on Bradley soon.  Throw him on the DL and let him fully heal his bum hamstring.  It doesn’t make sense to bring him back in every 3rd or 4th day only to have him aggravate it again.  If they had taken the conservative approach with Bradley when he first injured the hamstring, his 15-day DL stint would be close to being over, and he would likely be back in the lineup soon.  Now we’re forced to wait and hope that the injury magically heals itself.

Ramirez and Lee are expected to be back soon, so hopefully that happens for 1 of the last 2 games in Arizona.  Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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Did Bradley Groin Injury Help Save Game for Cubs?!

Posted on 13 April 2009 by Lou

cubs-outfield-trio

Sunday’s 8-5 Cubs win over the Brewers at Miller Park could have been a lot different if Milton Bradley did not injure his groin while running the bases in the 4th inning.  Just 1 inning later, Bradley’s replacement, Reed Johnson, made a game-saving catch when he leaped over the right center wall to rob Prince Fielder of what would have been a grand slam that would have tied the game at 6.  Instead, the Brewers scored just 2 runs that inning and the Cubs still led 6-4.  The Cubs tacked on single insurance runs in the 8th and 9th innings to give the Cubs a little more breathing room, and Kevin Gregg tiptoed through another rocky 9th inning to preserve the win.  Greg gave up 1 earned run on 2 hits and a walk, but did strike out Prince Fielder with the tying runs on base to preserve the win.

Couple of key notes:

Gregg now has a 12.00 ERA.  After blowing the attempted 1 1/3 inning save on Friday, Manager Lou Pinella assured everyone that Gregg was still the Cubs closer, but that he would only work 1-inning saves.  Because his right knee is still getting used to the regular workload, Gregg informed Pinella and the Cubs that his right knee tightens up while sitting in the dugout between innings, so he will only be effective in 9th inning/extra inning save situations.  Carlos Marmol picked up the save on Saturday and has not given up a run yet.  We’ll see how long Pinella sticks with Gregg in the closer role.  If we see more shaky outings from Gregg, we could see a shift to Marmol.

As for Marmol, he has already appeared in 5 of the Cubs 1st 6 games.  Look for Marmol to get an off-day in the Cubs home opener on Monday at Wrigley Field – that will give him 2 full days off with the Cubs having a scheduled day-off on Tuesday.

Several Cubs players have gotten off to good starts in 2009:

Ryan Theriot is hitting .550 with a .615 on-base percentage.  He has 4 runs scored, 3 RBI’s and 2 stolen bases.

Kosuke Fukodome is hitting .409 with a .480 on-base percentage.  He has hit 2 home runs, scored 5 runs and driven in 4 runs.

Alfonso Soriano is hitting .286 with a .355 on-base percentage.  He leads the team with 4 home runs, and has scored 7 runs and driven in 7 runs.  Soriano has also walked 3 times.

Milton Bradley is listed as day-to-day with a strained groin injury.

Aramis Ramirez will likely miss the Cubs home opener with a stiff back.

The Cubs have opened the season with a 4-2 record in 6 road games against intra-division rivals.  Can’t complain about that.  The bullpen has been very shaky and the Cubs have lacked that big hit in certain situations, but overall, it is a great start to the season.  The Cubs starters have pitched great, and the Cubs batters have showed a lot of patience at the plate.  Sunday was a perfect example of this – the Cubs worked 10 walks out of Brewers pitchers and even scored all 4 runs in the 4th inning on bases loaded walks.

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