Posted on 06 October 2009 by Lou
Sam Fuld hit his 1st career home run and recorded his 1st ever RBI in Sunday’s season ending loss to the Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field. Going into the game, Fuld had not had a single home run or RBI in 78 major league games – 100 at-bats! Fuld hit a home run in the 5th inning for his 1st ever HR and RBI. And in his next at-bat, Fuld hit an RBI groundout to score a runner from 3rd base with less than 2 outs – make it 2 RBI’s. Fuld also had a double earlier in the game. No other player had had at least 67 official at-bats without having an RBI since 1920. Fuld hit .299 in limited time with the Cubs in 2009 and had an on-base percentage of .409. It’s unclear what role Fuld will play, if any, in 2009, but he clearly has the talent to play a back-up role in case of injury. Fuld had this to say – “It took so long, I figured something weird would happen like that, but I didn’t know it was going to be a home run. I thought maybe it’s be a hit by pitch or something like that. But yeah, it’s nice to get it out of the way.”
Congrats Sammy – you deserve it!
Posted on 01 October 2009 by Lou
This image of Sam Fuld and Micah Hoffpauir colliding in the outfield sums up the Cubs 2009 MLB schedule perfectly. Ted Lilly and Carlos Zambrano each struggled in their final 2009 starts, as the Cubs dropped a double-header to the Pirates at Wrigley Field on Thursday. Guess that really sums up what a bad 2009 the Cubs organization has endured.
In the opener, Lilly gave up all 4 runs in the 1st inning. After that, he settled down and pitched 7 innings, giving up just a total of 5 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 8. Lilly will end the year with 12 wins, a 3.10 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. The sad part was that the Cubs bats were silenced by rookie Charlie Morton. Just 5+ weeks ago, the Cubs lit up Morton for 10 ER on 7 hits in just 1 inning of work. How he goes from that to a complete game 4-hit shutout against the same team is mind-boggling. Just proves how inconsistent the Cubs have been at the plate in 2009.
In the nightcap, the team did not fare much better. Zambrano pitched just 6 innings because of a high pitch count (117 pitches). Big Z walked 4 and ended up giving up 4 ER and 6 hits. Zambrano suffered his 7th loss of the season, and it will be the 1st time in 6 seasons that Carlos does not end up with double-digit wins. Very disappointing from your supposed ace.
Esmailin Caridad had another perfect inning of relief work and now has a 1.56 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. Carlos Marmol, on the other hand, continued to struggle when not in a save situation. Marmol gave up a leadoff home run in the 9th inning and 2 walks before recording the 27th and final Pirates out of the night.
Jeff Samardzija will make another spot start in the series finale against the Pirates on Thursday night at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are still stuck on 82 wins…
Posted on 25 August 2009 by Lou
It’s do or die time for the Cubs with a HUGE 10-game homestand at Wrigley Field. As I wrote yesterday, the Cubs are one of the better home teams in the National League (35-22). The Cubs are 7.5 games back of the Rockies in the NL Wild Card race and 8 games back of the Cards in the NL Central race. The Cubs have an “easy” 10-game homestand “teed up for them” to crush 350 yards straight down the fairway – 3 games against the Nationals (44-81); 3 games against the Mets (57-68) who will be without ace Johan Santana for the rest of the season; 3 games against the Astros (61-63) and 1 make-up game against the White Sox (63-62).
The Cubs have all 5 starters back and healthy – - Carlos Zambrano, Rich Harden, Randy Wells, Ted Lilly & Ryan Dempster. Now all they need to do is win – a tough task for this frustrating, struggling 2009 Cubs ball club.
The Cubs have the 5th best team ERA in all of baseball at 3.88 – take out the relievers ERA and the Cubs starting staff has the best ERA in the big leagues. But when you look at the offensive stats, the numbers are “startlingly” bad… Tied for 3rd worst with a .253 batting average; 9th worst in runs scored and RBI’s; and 12th worst in slugging percentage and on-base percentage. This coming from the team that led the National League in run production in 2008. Awful seasons from Milton Bradley, Alfonso Soriano, Geovany Soto and Mike Fontenot, and long stints on the DL for Aramis Ramirez and Reed Johnson have contributed to the Cubs futility this year at the plate. Ryan Theriot, Derrek Lee and Kosuke Fukodome are the only 3 players who have had somewhat consistent years at the plate.
It’s time for Manager Lou Pinella to give some more playing time to some of the Cubs young stars like Sam Fuld and Jake Fox. Fuld (.283 batting average; .397 on-base percentage) and Fox (.305 batting average; .355 on-base percentage; 9 HR’s; 19 runs & 34 RBI’s) have been hitting the ball well and most importantly, they have been playing hard, unlike some of the efforts we’re seeing from Bradley and Soriano all season long. If Pinella and the Cubs are serious about making a run before the end of the 2009 MLB schedule, the time is now.
Here’s hoping Pinella wakes up and smells the coffee and that the Cubs can actually mount some sort of offensive attack against the weak-hitting Nats and Mets in the next 6 games at Wrigley Field. Big Z has a chance to prove why he is the Cubs “ace” – a good start tonight will go a long way in determining whether or not this team has what it takes to make the 2009 post-season…
Posted on 22 August 2009 by Lou
Talk about your cursed pitchers in 2009 – Randy Wells pitched 6 2/3 innings of 7-hit, 2-walk ball against one of the better hitting teams in the NL and did not allow a single earned run, but still lost. With 2 outs and 1 on in the 2nd inning, Aramis Ramirez’s fielding error allowed Orlando Hudson to reach base to preserve the inning for the Dodgers. Wells made a mistake to pitcher Randy Wolf who hit a 2-run double to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. Game over… With Wells’ sparkling 2.84 ERA and 1.20 WHIP, it is shocking to think that he has a 9-6 record.
The Cubs answered in the top of the 3rd inning after a Sam Fuld walk, a Wells sacrifice and a Ryan Theriot RBI single – their only hit of the game. But that would be the only offensive threat that the Cubs mustered against Wolf and 2 Dodgers relievers. Bad, bad, bad.
The Cubs are just 2 games over .500 now at 61-59. They are just 26-37 on the road during the 2009 MLB schedule – how does a team like this play that bad away from Wrigley Field? They trail the Cards by 7 games in the NL Central and the Rockies by 6 games in the NL Wild Card race. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Game Over!!!
We believe this will be the last post that we’ll do that focuses specifically on game action. From now on, we will give you results and how far the Cubs have fallen behind the Cardinals and the NL Wild Card leaders, but we’ll focus out attention on the future. How the Cubs will deal with the disappointing 2009 campaign, what moves could be in store in the off-season, how the new Ricketts ownership will manage the Cubs organization, etc. We hope you enjoy the new focus as our beloved Cubs fall into oblivion…
Posted on 15 August 2009 by Lou
The Cubs can’t seem to beat the good teams in 2009, but at least they’ve been taking it to the bad teams. The Cubs crushed the Pirates 17-2 on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field. During the then-current 5 game losing streak, the Cubs had only scored a TOTAL of 19 runs – not good. The Cubs busted out with 18 hits and 6 walks in the 17-run attack against 3 Pirates’ pitchers. The Cubs scored 4 runs in the 1st inning on a Derrek Lee RBI single and a 3-run Kosuke Fukodome home run. Then the Cubs tacked on 10 runs in the 2nd inning – all without a HR. The Cubs batted around – 9 straight batters – without recording an out. Derrek Lee led the club going 3 for 3 with 7 RBI’s and 2 runs scored, before being removed in the 5th inning. Ryan Theriot also had 3 hits, driving in 1 while scoring twice. Sam Fuld had 2 hits and 2 walks and scored 3 times. Jake Fox was 2 for 4 with 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored. Koyie Hill and pitcher Randy Wells each had 2 hits and 2 runs scored as well.
Randy Wells was the biggest beneficiary of the offensive output on Friday. Wells picked up his 9th win of the season – throwing 86 pitches in 6 innings. He gave up 2ER on 7 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 3. Wells now has a season WHIP of 1.20 and a season ERA of 3.01.
The Cubs are 59-55 and still trail the Cards by 4.5 games in the NL Central race. The Cubs trail the Rockies by 4 games in the NL wild card race, but also have the Giants, Marlins and Braves to jump over in the wild card race, so they have their work cut out for them…
Posted on 04 July 2009 by Lou
The Cubs defeated the Brewers 2-1 in 10 innings on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Jake Fox’s bases loaded walk with 2 outs in the bottom of the 10th inning forced in the winning run. The Cubs may have caught a break as Mark DiFelice’s pitch appeared to get much of the plate despite being a tad high. DiFelice was shocked that the home plate umpire called the pitch a ball, but it is what it is and the Cubs have taken the first 2 games of this big weekend series.
Jeff Suppan and Carlos Zambrano dueled for much of the game. Zambrano lasted 7 innings, giving up just 1 ER on 5 hits and 3 walks. The lone run scored when Big Z walked Corey Hart with the bases loaded in the 4th inning. Zambrano also hit Prince Fielder with a pitch. Suppan also pitched 7 innings, giving up just 1ER on 4 hits and 2 walks. His lone run scored on a Carlos Zambrano single to center field. Suppan also hit Derrek Lee and Jake Fox.
Kosuke Fukodome had a game-saving play in the 7th inning with the score tied at 1. On Prince Fielder’s line drive single to center field, Kosuke came up firing and nailed Suppan at the plate to prevent the Brewers from taking a 2-1 lead.
The Cubs left 2 runners on base in each of the 8th and 9th innings, but finally got the winning run in the 10th. Ryan Theriot got a 1-out single and advanced to 2nd base on a wild pitch. After Derrek Lee flew out to right field, the Brewers intentionally walked Milton Bradley to get to Geovany Soto. DiFelice threw 3 straight balls and ultimately intentionally walked him to get to rookie Jake Fox. With the count 3-2, Fox fought off pitch after pitch and eventually took ball 4 to win the game.
Kevin Gregg pitched 2 scoreless innings in the 9th and 10th to pick up his 3rd win of the season. Gregg has now held the other team scoreless in 24 of his last 27 appearances. He has issued only 8 walks in the last 28 appearances as well (he had walked 8 batters in his 1st 10 appearances on the season). The lone hit charged to Gregg was a pop up that Milton Bradely lost in the sun in the 9th inning that would have ended the inning. This is not the 1st time that Bradley has lost a ball in the sun this year and luckily it didn’t cost the Cubs the game on Friday. Bradley is a complete disaster this year – one of GM Jim Hendry’s worst signings ever. Rumor has it that Bradely and Manager Lou Pinella exchanged wors after the game. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything.
The Cubs and Brewers play Game 3 of the weekend series today at 12 noon at Wrigley Field. Rich Harden will battle Braden Looper – both pitchers have a 1.40 WHIP and ERA’s over 4.50, so it should be a slugfest at the Friendly Confines today!
Posted on 03 July 2009 by Lou
Derrek Lee powered the Cubs to a 9-5 victory over the 1st place Brewers with 2 home runs on Thursday night at Wrigley Field. Lee’s 3-run HR gave the Cubs an early 3-0 lead inthe 1st inning. Lee’s 2nd home run of the game was a grand slam in the 4th inning, capping off a 5-run inning that gave the Cubs a 9-2 lead. Lee went 2 for 4 on the night and had a career-best 7 RBI’s. Lee now leads the Cubs in HR’s (14) and RBI’s (48). Jake Fox and Geovany Soto also each hit solo home runs for the Cubs, as the Cubs scored all of their runs via the long ball. Sam Fuld continued to swing a hot bat getting 2 hits and scoring 2 runs. Ryan Theriot was the 3rd Cub batter with 2 hits on the night.
Ryan Dempster did the job to protect the Cubs early lead. Dempster went 6 2/3 innings giving up 3 ER on 8 hits and 2 walks. Dempster struck out 9 Brewers batters in picking up his 1st win since the end of May. Carlos Marmol worked a scoreless 9th inning despite issuing a walk (his 39th free pass in 38 1/3 innings) to slugger Prince Fielder. Marmol has now worked 3 straight scoreless innings after struggling against the White Sox last weekend.
It was a big win for the Cubs as they needed to get off to a good start in this big 4-game weekend series with the 1st place Brewers. The offensive explosion is a good sign that the Cubs are primed and ready to contend for a 3rd straight division title. The Cubs have their work cut out for them as they still need to jump 2 other teams (the Cards and Reds) in order to achieve that 1st place goal. Stay tuned as Carlos Zambrano battles Jeff Suppan in Game 2 of the exciting 4th of July weekend series with the Brewers…
Posted on 25 March 2009 by Lou
The Chicago Cubs cut outfielders Jake Fox and Sam Fuld and right-handed pitcher Jose Ascansio on Tuesday to drop the Cubs spring roster to 37 players. All 3 players were optioned to the Cubs Triple-A affiliate in Iowa. During the spring session, Fox hit .350 with 4 home runs and 16 RBI’s, while Fuld hit .260 with 2 home runs and 3 RBI’s. Manager Lou Pinella said that both players are very close to becoming major league players and that Fuld was the most improved player form one camp to the next. We should see both players at one point or another during the course of the 2009 MLB season.