Archive | Chicago Cubs

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Maholm Back on Track in 2-0 Win Over Padres – Wrigley Field 3/27/12

Posted on 27 March 2012 by Lou

Paul Maholm was named the Cubs 5th starter, but with more outings like this, he could be a #1-4 in any team’s rotation.  Maholm who battled the flu early in the spring and has been behind due to that, finally got in a long outing in Monday’s 2-0 win over the Padres.  He pitched 5 scoreless innings, scattering 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 6.  He lowered his ERA to 0.90 and he could be a nice surprise for the Cubs at the back end of the rotation.

The rest of the bullpen was just as masterful after Maholm departed in the 6th.  Carlos Marmol allowed 2 runners on in the 6th inning, but got out of the game without giving up a run.  Casey Coleman worked 2 scoreless innings allowing just 1 hit with 2 K’s.  And spring training surprise Rafael Dolis looks to have all but assured himself a spot in the bullpen with another scoreless outing.  He gave up a walk in the 9th but closed the door on any Padres comeback.  He has yet to allow an earned run this spring.

The Cubs scored a run in each of the 1st 2 innings to give Maholm a little cushion and the rest was history. You would have liked to see more than 2 runs on 7 hits, but a win is a win, even in spring training.

Go Cubs Go!

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Not Good – Hoyer Expects Soriano to Start 2012 Campaign as Starting Left Fielder – Wrigley Field 2/10/12

Posted on 10 February 2012 by Lou

GM Jed Hoyer made it pretty clear that Alfonso Soriano is the Cubs starting left fielder heading into the 2012 MLB campaign.  Boo!!!

The Cubs GM was on with ESPN Radio 1000’s Carmen, Jurko and Harry show on Thursday afternoon and made the following statement: “I think that’s unlikely [that Soriano would be on another team at the start of the season]. Our hope certainly… I know Soriano’s been working really hard this offseason … our hope is obviously you want him to get on base a little more.  The power was there last year, the RBI’s were there.  Obviously it really comes down to defense and we’re hoping with some better conditioning and some better health, that he can be a little better out there.”

That is not what I wanted to hear.  On the other hand, with no other real power threat in the lineup, having Soriano in there might not be that bad of an option (assuming he can stay healthy).

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Happy Thanksgiving From Your Friends At – Wrigley Field 11/24/11

Posted on 24 November 2011 by Lou

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at!  We hope you and your family have a happy and safe holiday!

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Quade Benches Castro, Braves Shut Out Cubs 3-0 – Wrigley Field 8/22/11

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 —


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Marmol Blows Dempster Gem, But Ramirez Saves Day in 9th – Wrigley Field 6/30/11

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Lou

Ryan Dempster shocked me as he matched 2-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum pitch-for-pitch in a remarkable pitching duel.  Dempster worked 8 scoreless innings and had a 1-run lead as he stepped onto the bump in the top of the 9th at 78 pitches. But when he allowed a lead-off double to Pat Burrell, Manager Mike Quade made the shocking move to “pull” Dempster from the 1-0 game after he had just pitched one of the best games of his career.  Come on, Quade – you are 11.5 games out of 1st place.  It’s not like this win is that important in the grand scheme of things.  Dempster earned the right to pitch out the game and try to get out of the 1-on, nobody out jam in the 9th.  But Quade made the move to go with closer Carlos Marmol to “save” the all-important game for the Cubs.  And the move totally back-fired.  After a strikeout, Marmol allowed an RBI single that tied the game at 1.  He then gave up a walk and a hit to put the go-ahead run in scoring position with only 1 out and luckily got Cody Ross to hit into an inning-ending double play to preserve the 1-1 tie.  But by then, the excitement over a big 1-0 win over Lincecum was long gone.

That being said, the Cubs showed some grit when Tony Campana singled to lead off the 9th inning and and Reed Johnson sacrificed him over to 2nd base to put the speedster in scoring position with only 1 out.  Geovany Soto grounded out, but pinch-hitter Aramis Ramirez came through with the clutch game-winning hit to drive in Campana with the winning run.

After 6+ scoreless innings, the Cubs finally broke through off of Lincecum in the 7th inning.  Blake DeWitt’s single drove in Carlos Pena who had doubled to lead off the inning.  It was nice to see some clutch hitting there.

The Cubs are 33-48 and they trail the Brewers by 10.5 games in the NL Central race.

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Cubs Try to Reach Deals with Arbitration-Eligible Players – Wrigley Field 1/4/11

Posted on 04 January 2011 by Lou

The Chicago Cubs will try to reach deals with 5 arbitration-eligible players this month — Closer Carlos Marmol, Top reliever Sean Marshall, lefty starter Tom Gorzelanny, and Catchers Geovany Soto and Koyie Hill.

The Cubs will likely give Marmol a mammoth raise.  2010 was his first season as the Cubs full-time closer right out of the gates, and he certainly delivered.  Marmol racked up 38 saves with only 5 blown saves.  He struck out 138 batters in 77 2/3 innings pitched – good for a 15.99 strikeouts-per-9-innings ration.  That number set a major league record which was previously held by Eric Gagne who had a 14.98 ratio.  Marmol is 28 years old and he made $575,000 in 2009 and $2,125,000 in 2010.  He has 2 years left of arbitration before he can file for free agency, but will the Cubs try to lock him up with a long-term deal now during his prime?

Sean Marshall had his best year as a pro in 2010.  His 80 appearances and 90 strikeouts were both career-highs.  His 7 wins were also tied for his career-best.  Marshall had a sparkling 2.65 ERA, giving up runs in only 14 of his 80 games pitched.  Marshall also has 2 years left before he becomes a free agent and there is always talk that Marshall could return to work as a starter at some point in his career.

Tom Gorzelanny made 23 starts for the Cubs in 2010, going 7-9 with a 4.09 ERA.  He earned $800,000 in 2010 and has 2 years left before he can become a free agent as well.

Geovany Soto is arbitration-eligible for the 1st time in his career.  He had a solid season despite missing the final 2 weeks of the year after undergoing right shoulder surgery.  Soto clubbed 17 HR’s with 53 RBI’s and made $575,000 in 2010 – his 3rd year as a pro.

Finally, Koyie Hill hit .214 in 77 games during the 2010 campaign.  Hill is 31 years old and has 2 years left before he becomes a free agent.

The Cubs went to arbitration with a player for the 1st time in 17 years in February 2010.  They won their case with former shortstop Ryan Theriot paying him just $2.6 million instead of the $3.4 million that he requested.

We’ll keep you posted as soon as the Cubs announce any deals with any of the above mentioned players…

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Mike Quade, Cubs to Hire Pat Listach as Bench Coach — Wrigley Field 11/1/10

Posted on 01 November 2010 by Lou

Cubs Manager Mike Quade and the Cubs plan to hire Pat Listach as his new Bench Coach.  Listach has managed in the Cubs minor league system at Triple-A Iowa.  Listach is currently the 3rd base coach of the Washington Nationals under former Cubs manager Jim Riggleman.  The move shows the continued tendency to hire personnel with ties to the Cubs orgnazation.  Listach will likely also handle infield instruction for players, a job that Alan Trammell performed while serving as Lou Pinella’s bench coach.

Listach was a middle infielder during his playing career and was named the Rookie of the Year back in 1992 when he played for the Milwaukee Brewers.

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Marlon Byrd Rooting for Former Texas Rangers Teammates in World Series 2010

Posted on 30 October 2010 by Lou

Marlon Byrd isn’t hiding who he is rooting for – he wants his former Texas Rangers teammates to get that World Series win.

He doesn’t feel bad about helping the National League get the home field advantage during the 2010 Summer Classic All-Star Game.  But now he wants them to in — “It’s tough watching them lose.  It’s a lot easier watching them win, like they’ve been doing.”

We’ll keep you posted as the World Series continues.

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World Series – Texas Rangers v. San Francisco Giants – AT&T Park – Game 1 Wednesday 10/27/10

Posted on 25 October 2010 by Lou

The Cubs aren’t in it, but that doesn’t mean the World Series isn’t happening.  I always love the World Series no matter who is in it.

The 2010 World Series kicks off at AT&T Park  in San Francisco on Wednesday, October 27th.  Cliff Lee of the Texas Rangers will square off against Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:57PM Chicago time on Fox.

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Kerry Wood Getting Job Done for Yankees in 2010

Posted on 23 October 2010 by Lou

Former Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood is making the most of his chance with the New York Yankees in 2010.  After a so-so 1st season with the Cleveland Indians in 2009 (3-3, 20 saves, 6 blown saves, 4.25 ERA and 1.38 WHIP), Wood’s performance with the Indians in 2010 was downright awful.  Wood appeared in just 23 games for the Tribe, going 1-4 with 8 saves but 3 blown saves.  He walked 11 hitters and struck out 18 in 20 innings pitched, paving the way for his hefty 6.30 ERA and 1.60 WHIP.

Because of their own bullpen issues, the New York Yankees made the surprise move to take a shot on Wood at the July 31st trading deadline.  And boy has it paid off.  Wood made 24 appearances for the Yankees from August 1st on, tossing 26 innings with a 0.69 ERA and 1.23 WHIP.  He struck out 31 batters while walking only 18.  After his 2nd Yankees appearance in which he gave up 1 earned run, he made 21 straight appearances without allowing a single run (earned or unearned) before he finally gave up a run on the final game of the season against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.  He has been just as good in the post-season.  He has pitched 6 innings in 6 appearances, giving up just 1 earned run on 5 hits and 3 walks with 7 K’s.  In the ALCS against the Rangers, Wood has pitched 4 scoreless innings.

Manager Joe Girardi – who played 2 seasons with Wood with the Chicago Cubs – has been thrilled with having the veteran on his club – “I had caught him so I remember when he had outstanding stuff. But I don’t think anyone ever thinks you’re going to get a reliever that for two months has an ERA under 1.00.  Some of the best relievers of all time don’t do that.  I mean, I thought he would help us, but I never would have thought he could help us this much.”

Wood has cherished his opportunity, and even with his team down 3-1 in the ALCS against the Rangers, Wood knows better than anyone that anything can happen in a 7-game series (as we all painfully remember when the Cubs blew that 3-1 NLCS lead to the Florida Marlins back in 2004) – “There weren’t any expectations when I came over here.  I just came with the attitude that if I was ready and put up enough zeroes, maybe something would happen for me here… You just keep grinding, keep grinding, in the hopes that eventually, something good happens…  I was on a team that was up 3-1 and we didn’t get it done, so I know it can happen.  And we had a much better team.  Obviously, the deeper a series goes, anything can happen.”

Congrats Kerry – we wish you the best of luck and hope you get that World Series Ring — even if it’s with the New York Yankees.

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