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Cubs Avoid Weekend Sweep with 8-2 Win over Brewers at Miller Park – Wrigley Field 5/14/12

Posted on 14 May 2012 by Lou

It was an ugly weekend for the Cubs all-around, but at least they didn’t get swept. The Cubs scored in each of the game’s final 5 innings en route to their 1st “easy” win in a LONG time.  The top of the order has been on fire for the Cubbies.  David DeJesus had 2 hits and a run scored.  Tony Campana had 3 hits, 1 run scored and 1 RBI.  And Starlin Castro added 2 hits with an RBI.  Jeff Samardzija pitched 5 innings but needed 91 pitches to labor through his outing.  He allowed just 1 ER on 3 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 6, but he did not factor in the decision.

James Russell, Kerry Wood and Michael Bowden each worked scoreless innings of relief to preserve the win.

It was a much-needed victory given how they lost the 1st 2 games of the series.  On Friday night, after taking a 4-1 lead on David DeJesus’ grand slam in the top of the 7th, the Cubs gave it right back with 4 runs in the bottom of the frame.  DeJesus came through again in the clutch in the 9th inning as they rallied for a 7-5 lead with 3 runs in the inning.  But Rafael Dolis gave it right back with a 2-run shot to Corey Hart in the bottom of the inning.  The Cubs would go on to lose 8-7 in 13 innings.

On Saturday, it was the same old story for Chris Volstad.  He always seems to have 1 brutal inning that costs him and the Cubs the game. It was a 1-1 game through 5 1/2 innings and then Volstad served up a 5-run 6th inning, capped off by Edwin Maysonet’s 2-out grand slam.  Just brutal.  Volstad fell to 0-5 while watching his WHIP soar to 1.46 and his ERA soar to 6.92.  Something has gotta give with this guy.  If the Cubs are still competing at the end of the month (currently they are 14-20, 6 games back of the Cards), look for the Cubs to release/trade Volstad and bring up either Randy Wells or Travis Wood to take his place.

Cubs travel to St. Louis for 2 games against the Cards today and tomorrow.  Let’s hope Ryan Dempster and Paul Maholm keep up their solid pitching…

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Happy Super Bowl Sunday – Giants, Patriots Battle for Bragging Rights in Indy – Wrigley Field 2/5/12

Posted on 05 February 2012 by Lou

Happy Super Bowl Sunday – the New York Giants battle the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indy today.  Some day we’ll get the Bears back there.

Gotta love some comments NFL Commish Roger Goodell made the other day about a potential Super Bowl in the Windy City: “Chicago is a great community… As far as football fans are concerned, there is no greater passion in Chicago.  There are a number of issues that go into playing a Super Bowl.  It’s not just the stadium.  It’s clearly the number of hotel rooms, the other infrastructure, all of which I presume that Chicago would meet.  If they’re interested, we certainly will meet with them and discuss the ability to do that.”

It seems like a long shot to me given that the Bears play in the smallest capacity stadium – Soldier Field (61,5000 capacity) – in the entire NFL.  Throw in the fact that all the cold weather places set to hold the Super Bowl either have domes (Detroit’s Ford Field, Indy’s Lucas Oil Stadium) or a brand new state-of-the-art stadium (New York/New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium), I just can’t see the NFL agreeing to Chicago.  But it can’t hurt to dream!

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Merry Christmas – Wrigley Field 12/25/11

Posted on 25 December 2011 by Lou

Merry C hristmas from your friends at MyCubsToday.com.  Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!

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WOW – 2 Pujols Walk-Off Home Runs Deliver Cardinals Sweep Over Cubs — Wrigley Field 6/6/11

Posted on 06 June 2011 by Lou

This 2011 Cubs season keeps getting more and more frustrating as Albert Pujols delivered 2 walk-off home runs on Saturday and Sunday to propel the Cardinals to a 3-game sweep over the lowly Cubs.

On Saturday, the Cubs welcomed the 2 start for Randy Wells after returning from the DL.  Save for a 2-run homer to Albert Pujols in the 4th inning and some trouble in the 6th inning when the Cards tied the game at 4, Wells pitched well.  He allowed only 3 hits and 1 walk in 5 2/3 innings, but all 4 of those batters who reached base ended up scoring.  Sean Marshall, Kerry Wood, James Russell and Carlos Marmol all worked 5 scoreless innings, but it wasn’t enough.  Jeff Samardzija retired the 1st 2 batters that he faced in the bottom of the 12th inning, but then he served up Pujols’ game-winning walk home run as the Cubs lost 5-4.

Then it was time for Pujols to crush a

On Sunday, Carlos Zambrano pitched his 2nd straight unbelievable start  to put the Cubs in position to win 2-1 in the 9th inning.  Big Z held the Cards to just 1 ER over 7 innings, allowing 5 hits and 2 walks.  But Carlos Marmol served up Ryan Theriot’s game-tying 2-out double that notted the game at 2.  The very next inning, Rodrigo Lopez gave up Pujols’ lead-off walk home run as the Cards won 3-2.

With the 3-game weekend sweep, the Cubs fell to 23-34 on the season and they now trail the Cards by a whopping 11-games.  OUCH!

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Last Place Astros Sweep Soon-to-Be Last Place Cubs – Wrigley Field 6/2/11

Posted on 02 June 2011 by Lou

This is getting comical.  Doug Davis lost again as the Astros rallied for another late win over the Cubs (3-1) at Wrigley Field.  Davis gave up 3 ER on 8 hits over 6 1/3 innings and he suffered his 4th straight loss for the Cubs.

The Cubs bats did little to help – 1 run on 3 hits with 3 walks.  The lone run scored on Kosuke Fukudome’s solo home run to lead off the bottom of the 1st inning for the Cubs.

Good job guys.  Heading into this home stand, the Cubs had reason to be optimistic – getting to face equal-caliber teams – the New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros – on your home turf.  The Cubs finished the home stand with a 3-6 record after getting swept by the Astros.  The Cubs are now a season-high 8 games under .500 at 23-31.  They trail the Cards by 9 games in the NL Central and they will now face the Cards, Reds and Phillies on a brutal 10-game road trip.  Good luck with that one…

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Wrigley Finale with Rockies Postponed; Cubs Off to Arizona – Wrigley Field 4/28/11

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Lou

Mother nature helped the Cubs out on Wednesday – the forecasted rains caused the Cubs and MLB to re-schedule the Cubs-Rockies series finale to a date when the weather should be just a little bit nicer (hopefully) – Monday June 27th.  It was an off-day for both teams. The Cubs play in Kansas City the day before and will continue with a home stand at Wrigley Field.  The Rockies play the Yankees in New York the day before and will stop in Chicago to make up the game on Monday before heading home for a scheduled home stand.

The Cubs used the day off for some rest and for some early travel to Arizona where they begin a 7-game road trip against the DBacks.  The Cubs will skip Casey Coleman in the rotation to keep the 3 “aces” on their scheduled 4 days between starts.  Ryan Dempster (1-2, 7.63 ERA) , Carlos Zambrano (2-1, 5.28 ERA) and Matt Garza (0-3, 4.11 ERA) will start the 1st 3 games of the series while Coleman will pitch in the series finale on Sunday.  The Cubs have not named who will start their game on Monday night against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.  Looking at the numbers of the Cubs 3 “aces”, it is shocking that the Cubs even have a 10-13 record.  Crazy stuff once again for the Cubs in what is shaping up to be another LONG season…

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Cubs Visit Denver to Take on Rockies at Coors Field – Wrigley Field 4/15/11

Posted on 15 April 2011 by Lou

The Cubs take on the Rockies at Coors Field tonight.  Matt Garza looks to pick up his 1st win of 2011 and his 1st win as a Cub.  So far, Garza has been less than consistent – he has a 5.68 ERA with a 1.82 WHIP.  He is 0-1.  The Cubs hope that Starlin Castro,  Darwin Barney and Marlon Byrd keep up their hot hitting against the Rockies.

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Fernando Perez & Zachary Rosscup Part of Garza Deal Too — Wrigley Field 1/10/11

Posted on 10 January 2011 by Lou

Outfielder Fernando Perez and Pitcher Zachary Rosscup were also part of the Matt Garza deal.  What can we come to expect from Perez and Rosscup?  Here’s a little insight.

Perez’ best attribute is his speed. In his 1st season in the minor leagues – in the Midwest League back in 2005 – Perez stole 57 bases.  He moved up a level each season and stole 43 bases in 2008 for the Rays’ Triple-A team in Durham, North Carolina.  Perez was called up to the major league team in September and was even added to the Rays’ post-season roster that year (he had 9 at-bats in the World Series that October).  Since then, however, Perez has struggled with injuries.  He missed most of 2009 with a dislocated wrist and he played in only 116 games for Durham in 2010.  He had a .223 batting average in 2010, but he did steal 24 bases in 31 tries.  The Cubs hope that Perez will come into 2011 Spring Training rested and healthy.  He could serve as a 4th or 5th outfielder and be a late-innings option to steal a base when the Cubs are down a run.

Rosscup is only 22 years.  He pitched in the Rookie League in 2009 – 2.68 ERA in 40+ innings pitched.  He did not pitch during the 2010 season until early July because of injuries.  He posted a 3.03 in 9 games in the Gulf Coast League in 2010.  He struck out almost 1 batter per game and pitched well down the stretch in 2010 – he limited players to a .205 batting average against.  Rosscup will likely pitch out of the bullpen for the Cubs in the minor leagues in 2011.

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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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Tyler Colvin Update — Recovery from Collapsed Lung

Posted on 18 October 2010 by Lou

Tyler Colvin’s stellar 2010 campaign abruptly ended when he suffered a chest laceration and collapsed lung courtesy of a splintered bat at the end of September.  Colvin’s recovery has been smooth and he is getting ready for his wedding and honeymoon in November.  He does not expect any setbacks when he begins “Colvin Camp” after his return from his honeymoon – strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss will lead the camp in Mesa, Arizona once again.  The Cubs have no plans to make Colvin play winter ball given his productive season and the need for him to continue building strength after his freak injury.

When Manager Lou Pinella finally gave Tyler Colvin the opportunity to play just about every day, he truly blossomed as a player.  A late season slump hurt his overall numbers, but you can’t complain with the rookie’s final 2010 numbers — 135 games, 358 at-bats, .254 batting average, .316 on-base percentage, 20 HR’s, 5 triples, 56 RBI’s and 60 runs scored.  He’ll have to work on his eye during the winter and in Spring Training 2011 so that he can improve that on-base percentage which is a little low – 3.16 because of 30 walks and a hefty 100 K’s.  Colvin just turned 25 in September, however, so he still has plenty of time to continue to mature and grow and get more and more comfortable at the plate each and every season. You also have to love the 6 steals in 7 attempts – it gives a glimpse of what is possible once he irons out the art of hitting.

Let’s hope GM Jim Hendry can find a way to move either Kosuke Fukudome or Alfonso Soriano at some point during the off-season.  Fukudome will be the easier one to move because he only has 1 year left on his contract, but the Cubs will likely have to eat a good chunk of either player’s salary in any trade.  The Cubs will need Colvin to get at least 500 at-bats playing the outfield everyday if they expect for him to continue his development at the major league level at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.

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