Archive | Rich Harden

Cubs Braves Series Finale Rained out in Atlanta

Posted on 05 June 2009 by Lou

carlos-zambrano-cubs

The Thursday night series finale between the Cubs and Braves was rained out.  The game will be made up in Atlanta on Monday, June 22nd – a mutual day off for both teams.

Carlos Zambrano will now start Friday night against Micah Owings and the Reds in Cincinnati.  Zambrano is in search of his 100th career victory.  Ryan Dempster will now start on Saturday and Randy Wells will start on Sunday.  Sean Marshall, Saturday’s schedule starter will now go back into the bullpen until the Cubs need another 5th starter later next week.

Manager Lou Pinella might have an important decision soon, however.  If Rich Harden can return to the Cubs rotation at some point late next week, Pinella might decide to stick with Marshall coming out of the bullpen for the Cubs to give them another option.  With as well as Wells has been pitching as a starter, this would make perfect sense.

We’ll keep a close watch on this as the week continues and as Harden makes a rehab start early next week.

carlos-zambrano-final

Comments (0)

Rich Harden Goes on DL for Cubs

Posted on 25 May 2009 by Lou

rich-harden-1

The Cubs got back Carlos Zambrano over the weekend only to lose Rich Harden.  Looks like Randy Wells will continue to get more starts for the Cubs over the next few weeks.

Harden had this to say about his back injury:  “I was feeling great and it was something that kind of hit me out of nowhere.  Fortunately, it’s not an oblique or nothing too serious that it’s going to cost me a lot of time.  Everything else feels excellent.  My shoulder feels great and that’s definitely positive.

The hits keep rolling for the Cubs.  Hopefully a 7-game home stand will cure the Cubs woes this week at Wrigley Field.  Ryan Dempster takes on Paul Maholm of the Pirates tonight at the Friendly Confines.

harden-beats-reds1

Comments (0)

Cubs Lose to Astros 6-5; End 4-1 Homestand on Down Note

Posted on 18 May 2009 by Lou

Astros Cubs Baseball

The Houston Astros defeated the Chicago Cubs 6-5 on Sunday afternoon.  Brian Moehler picked up his 1st win on the season for the Astros while Rich Harden suffered his 2nd loss on the season.  Save for the deadly 4th inning, Harden pitched a good game – 4 earned runs on 6 hits and 3 walks, with 7 K’s.  In the 4th inning, however, Lance Berkman doubled to lead off the inning on scored on Miguel Tejada’s 1-out double.  After Harden struck out Hunter Pence for the 2nd out of the inning, it look like Harden might get out of the jam with minimal damage.  But Geoff Blum singled home Tejada and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez gave the Astros a 4-2 lead with a 2-run bomb to deep center field.

The game was still close – 4-3 – until Jose Ascansio imploded in the 7th inning.  Ascansio hit Kaz Matsui and Michael Bourn to start the inning.  Lance Berkman drove Matsui home with a single to right field and then Bourn scored another insurance run on an Ascansio wild pitch.  Bourn’s run proved to be extremely important as the Cubs rallied for 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning on an Alfonso Soriano HR and a Milton Bradley, but it was too little too late.

The biggest positive to take away from the game – the hitting of Derrek Lee. Lee went 4 for 5, including a double and a home run.  He had 2 RBI’s and 1 run scored, as his batting average increased to .226.  Could this be a legit return of Lee’s swing and power hitting.  Time will tell, but if Lee gets in the zone soon, the Cubs could start to put together a nice little winning streak very very soon…

The Cubs now trail the Milwaukee Brewers by 1.5 games in the NL Central race.  The Cubs are 21-15 and begin a 6-game road trip to St. Louis and San Diego on Tuesday.

lee-cubs-lose2

Comments (0)

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.

soriano-scales2

Comments (0)

Cubs Astros Opener @ Wrigley Field Rained Out

Posted on 15 May 2009 by Lou

cubs-rained-out

The Cubs-Astros Friday afternoon game at Wrigley Field was postponed because of rain.  The game will be made up at Wrigley Field on Thursday, July 30th at 1:20PM.  The two teams have a previously scheduled series at Wrigley Field from Monday, July 27th through Wednesday, July 29th.

Friday’s scheduled starter Randy Wells will make the start for the Cubs on Saturday.  Saturday’s scheduled starter Sean Marshall will be used out of the bullpen for the next 5 days, but will return to the rotation to start against the Cardinals in St. Louis next Thursday.  Rich Harden will remain the Cubs starter for Sunday’s finale.

cubs-ran-out-2

Comments (0)

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.

Padres Cubs Baseball

Comments (0)

Zambrano, Lee Power Cubs Past Marlins 6-4

Posted on 04 May 2009 by Lou

Marlins Cubs Baseball

The Cubs defeated the Marlins 6-4 on Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field to take 3 of 4 games from the Marlins during the weekend series.  The Cubs have won 3 straight games and are 3.5 games behind the 1st place St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central Division.

The win did not come without a cost.  Starter Carlos Zambrano, who earned his 3rd win of the season, injured his left hamstring while beating out a bunt single in the 5th inning.  Zambrano initially stayed in the game, but came out shortly thereafter because of tightness in the leg.  The Cubs will likely take a cautious approach with Zambrano and that means he could be placed on the disabled list.  The Cubs do not want Zambrano to alter his pitching motion in order to compensate for the injury to his hamstring, so the only way to do that could be to shut him down for 15 days.  We’ll have more as the Cubs update his status over the next few days.

Zambrano’s bunt single actually started the key rally for the Cubs in the 5th inning.  Soriano flied out after Zambrano’s bunt, and then Ryan Theriot also bunted for a single to send pinch-runner Rich Harden to 2nd base.  Kosuke Fukodome then reached on an error by 1st baseman Ross Gload which kept the inning going for Derrek Lee.  And D Lee made them pay – hitting a grand slam to give the Cubs the commmanding 6-2 lead.  Aaron Miles had an RBI double in the 2nd inning and Mike Fontenot hit a solo home run in the 4th inning – his 5th home run of the year.

Zambrano pitched effectively through the games first 5 innings – 2 earned runs on 4 hits and 1 walk.  Zambrano also had 1 K.  Angel Guzman gave up 1 run over 2 innings of work, and Carlos Marmol gave up a run on a solo home run to John Baker.  But Kevin Gregg shut the door on his former team for his 2nd straight save and 3rd overall on the season.

Before the Sunday matinee, the Cubs retired the #31 to honor 2 legendary Cubs pitchers – Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux.

The Cubs start a 2-game series against the San Francisco Giants on Monday night.  Ryan Dempster will face Jonathan Sanchez in the opener, while Sean Marshall will duel defending-Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum in Tuesday’s matinee finale.

lee-slams-cubs2

Comments (0)

Theriot’s 1st Career Grand Slam Propels Cubs to 8-6 Win

Posted on 02 May 2009 by Lou

theriot-cubs-beat-fla

It wasn’t pretty, but the Cubs defeated the Marlins 8-6 on Friday afternoon at a rainy Wrigley Field.  The Cubs trailed for much of the day, even by as much as 5-1 in the 4th inning.  But the Cubs rallied to take the lead in the 6th inning on an Aaron Miles walk and a Mike Fontenot single.  With 2 outs, the Marlins decided to pitch carefully to Alfonso Soriano who ended up walking to load the bases for Ryan Theriot.  Theriot hit his 1st career grand slam to the bleachers in left field to put the Cubs ahead for good with a 6-5 lead.  The Cubs added some insurance runs in the 7th inning on a Geovany Soto single and a Mike Fontenot sacrifice fly.

The pitching was a tale of 2 stories for the Cubs. Rich Harden was atrocious – 3 2/3 innings – 86 pitches, 5 earned runs, 6 hits, 4 walks and 1 hit batter.  He only had 2 strikeouts – the 1st time he did not strike out at least 8 batters in a game.

The bullpen did a great job of keeping the Cubs in the game after Harden’s departure.  Jeff Samardzija got the Cubs out of Harden’s 4th inning jam, David Patton worked 2 innings of hotless and scoreless relief and Neal Cotts works a scoreless / hitless inning as well.  Carlos Marmol had an interesting inning – after walking the first 2 batters he faced like he did on Thursday night, Marmol struck out the side to end the threat and received a standing ovation for his tremendous, frustrating effort.  And Kevin Gregg picked up his 2nd save of the year, despite giving up a run on 2 hits in another frustrating inning for the Cubs closer.

The weather summed up the day at Wrigley – rainy early with a lot of clouds, but sunny by the time everyone left the friendly confines for the evening.  The Cubs trailed for much of the day, but after Theriot’s first ever grand slam, there was nothing but smiles to go around the park.

Let’s hope the Cubs can keep up the momentum with an afternoon win today at Wrigley.  Ted Lilly will face off against Anabel Sanchez.

theriot-cubs-beat-fla2

Comments (0)

Reds Take 2 of 3 From Cubs; Cubs Head to St. Louis for Big Weekend Series

Posted on 24 April 2009 by Lou

reds-beat-cubs-twice1

Maybe another road trip will be good for the Cubs.  After the Reds took 2 of 3 games from the Cubs this week at Wrigley Field, the Cubs home record fell to 4-4.  On the road, the Cubs are a mighty 4-2.  At 8-6, the Cubs trail the Cards by 2 games in the NL Central race, as the 2 teams play 3 games in St. Louis in another big weekend series.  Ryan Dempster, Sean Marshall and Rich Harden will pitch for the Cubs, while the Cards will counter with Adam Wainright, Mitchell Boggs and Todd Wellemeyer.

The Reds Johnny Cueto bested Ted Lilly in Wednesday night’s 3-0 loss.    Although Lilly allowed only 1 unearned in his 7 innings of work, he was on the short end of the stick as Cueto had the Cubs hitters off-balance all night long.  Cueto gave up only 4 hits and no walks as the Cubs never really mounted any serious threat against the youngster.  Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips each had 2 hits for the Reds, and Bruce’s solo shot in the top of the 9th inning off of Kevin Gregg gave the Reds a little cushion for closer Francisco Cordero.  Milton Bradley was in the Cubs lineup, but went 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts.  He still has only 1 hit on the season and his batting average is down to .043.

On Thursday afternoon, the Reds Aaron Harang out-dueled Carlos Zambrano as the Reds beat the Cubs 7-1.  Joey Votto was a one man wrecking crew – going 4 for 5 with a home run and 2 doubles.  Votto drove in 2 runs and scored 1 run.  Harang pitched 7 strong innings giving up only 1 unearned run on 7 hits and 1 walk.  Zambrano, meanwhile, gave up 3 earned runs on 7 hits and 2 walks.  He did have 7 strikeouts.  He is now 1-1 on the year with a hefty 4.85 ERA.  Neal Cotts gave up a run in his 1 inning of work, while newly-called-up reliever Jeff Samardzija gave up 2 earned runs on 4 hits in the 9th inning.  Not good all-around.

Let’s hope the Cubs can get back on track on the road.  Although it’s early, the team has played uninspired ball so far this season.  If they think they have the NL Central wrapped up just because they have won it the last 2 seasons, they have another thing coming.  Time for Pinella to light a fire under these guys and see if a change in lineup can spark the lackluster club.

reds-beat-cubs-twice2

Comments (0)

Cubs Top Reds 7-2 On Cold, Wintry Night @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 22 April 2009 by Lou

harden-beats-reds1

The Cubs showed no ill signs of a 2-day “vacation” as they beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-2 on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.  On a cold, drizzly night at the “Friendly Confines”, Rich Harden re-found his form and went 6 strong innings.  Harden allowed only 2 earned runs on 3 hits and 2 walks.  Harden notched 8 strikeouts – his 3rd consecutive start in which he has struck out at least 8 batters.  Harden had good control of all of his pitches – unlike his last game in which he needed 90+ pitches to get through only 3 innings of work.

Micah Hoffpauir drove in 2 runs with a solo home run in the 2nd inning and a sacrifice fly in the 5th inning.  Aramis Ramirez had 3 hits and 3 RBI’s for the Cubs, while Ryan Theriot notched 2 more hits – bringing his batting average up to .409 on the young season.  Kosuke Fukodome did not have any hits, but he did walk twice and each time Ramirez drove him in with a single.

Aaron Heilman, Carlos Marmol and Luis Vizcaino each pitched well in relief, but Neal Cotts struggled once again – he retired only 1 batter after allowing a walk and a hit.  Cotts’ poor outing forced Manger Lou Pinella to bring in Marmol in the 8th inning to quell the Reds’ mini rally.

Good news for the Cubs keeps rolling in.  The Cubs are now 8-4 on the season and looking strong.

Reds Cubs Baseball

Comments (0)

Advertise Here

Photos from our Flickr stream

See all photos

Advertise Here

Blogroll