Posted on 11 June 2012 by Lou
Ryan Dempster won for the 2nd time on the Cubs atrocious 2-8 road trip through San Francisco, Milwaukee and Minnesota. It were Dempster’s first 2 wins of the 2012 MLB season. He pitched 8 scoreless innings to help the Cubs avoid the sweep by the Twins. He scattered 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6. He has an amazing 1.03 WHIP and 2.31 ERA, but only has a 2-3 record as the Cubs have failed to provide him much run support in his starts. Starlin Castro led the Cubs 9-hit attack by going 3 for 5 with 3 runs scored. Reed Johnson added 2 hits and 3 runs scored in the lead-off spot.
Off the field, the Cubs landed highly touted Cuban prospect Jorge Soler in the “free agent” market. The 20-year old outfielder was considered the next biggest star out of Cuba after Yoenis Cespedes signed with Oakland for $36 million earlier this spring. The Cubs were able to negotiate a 9-year, $30 million deal for the player they have set their sights on for quite a while now. Other top teams – the Yankees, White Sox, Phillies and Red Sox – were all believed to be involved in the bidding for Soler, but the Cubs got him. The Cubs did not make any public announcement about the deal today, but look for some news later this week.
At 20-40, the Cubs are on pace to finish with more than 100 losses for only the 3rd time in franchise history. Both the 1962 and 1966 Cubs finished 59-103. Not good – not good at all, but at least it looks like new ownership has a plan in place, and the tools necessary to implement that plan…
Posted on 05 June 2012 by Lou
At last – the Cubs crushed the Brewers 10-0 at Miller Park ending their 11-game road losing streak. Ryan Dempster retired the 1st 15 batters that he faced in the game, flirting with a perfect game. But he allowed a lead-off single to Cody Ransom to lead off the 6th inning which ended his bid. Dempster ended up going 7 innings of 3-hit ball AND he picked up his 1st win of the season, ending an 18-start streak (dating back to August 18th of last year) in which he had not won a game. Dempster sounded relieved when the Cubs had won: “It felt nice. It’s been a while. It was nice to go out there and win a game like that, and see everybody, the guys played great defense and hit the ball and they made all the plays and scored a bunch of runs.”
Alfonso Soriano, Jeff Baker and Bryan LaHair all hit home runs. Starlin Castro had 3 hits.
Let’s hope they can keep it up against Zach Greinke on Wednesday night at Miller Park. Greinke is almost unbeatable at home, so Paul Maholm and the Cubs will have their work cut out for them.
Posted on 04 June 2012 by Lou
The Giants beat the Cubs 3-2 on Monday afternoon, extending the Cubs road losing streak to 11 games. It is their longest road losing streak since 1954 – ouch! Jeff Samardzija had a rare bad performance, lasting just 5 innings. He walked 5 batters – a season high – but he kept his team in the game with clutch pitching with runners on base. He allowed just 2 ER even though he permitted 12 runners to reach base in his short outing.
Carlos Marmol took the loss when he gave up 2 walks and a line drive single of his back in the pivotal 7th inning. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Marmol induced a double play, but the winning run still scored.
The Cubs never scored a run in more than 1 inning during the series against the Giants in San Francisco. In Monday’s 3-2 loss, the Cubs scored 2 runs in the 2nd inning on 5 hits – with RBI singles delivered by Steve Clevenger and Samardzija.
In Friday’s 4-3 loss, the Cubs waited until the 9th inning to score all 3 runs on an Alfonso Soriano home run. In Saturday’s 2-1 loss, the lone run came on David DeJesus’ solo HR. And Barry Zito blanked the Cubs 2-0 in Sunday’s loss.
Talk about poor hitting. It is almost shocking how bad a hitting team the Cubs are. The Cubs are 6-14 in 1-run games. That is the worst in the majors…
Posted on 28 May 2012 by Lou
On a hot and humid day at Wrigley Field, the Cubs ended their 12-game skid with a 11-7 slugfest over the San Diego Padres on Memorial Day. Powered by a 14-hit attack including 4 homers, the Cubs finally picked up a win for the 1st time in exactky 2 weeks – the Cubs last won against the Cardinals in St. Louis on May 14th.
Randy Wells picked up the win going 1 2/3 innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits. He picked up after Travis Wood labored through his 5 innings – 6 ER on 7 hits and 3 walks. Wood surrendered 4 homers in the hitter-friendly day at the Friendly Confines.
Darwin Barney, Ian Stewart, Alfonso Soriano and Starlin Castro each hit home runs in the slugfest. Bryan LaHair had 3 hits, 1 RBI and 3 rns scored. Soriano also had 3 hits and 3 RBI’s. David DeJesus, Castro and Stewart added 3 hits apiece.
The Cubs just missed setting the franchise record for most consecutive losses – which was 14.
Let’s hope the Cubs can make it a winning streak when the 2 teams square off again at Wrigley on Tuesday afternoon with Jeff Samardzija going for the Cubs.
Before the game, President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer spoke to the media about the state of the Cubs. It was not all positive – obviously – but the duo feel that they have the organization going in the right direction…
Posted on 24 May 2012 by Lou
OUCH! It keeps getting worse and worse. The Cubs fell to the Astros 5-1 on Wednesday night as their losing streak reached 9 games. The Cubs have now been swept in each of their last 3 series. Not good, not good at all.
Jeff Samardzija pitched well again, but a key play in the bottom of the 4th inning cost the Cubs the game. Samardijza was cruising right along until the Astros had 2 on and 2 out in the 4th. It looked like the Cubs were going to get out of the inning when David DeJesus caught J.D. Martinez’s bloop hit down the right field line. But Darwin Barney was also going after the ball and as DeJesus caught the ball, Barney barreled into DeJesus knocking the ball out of his mitt. Both runners scored as Martinez hit his 1st career “triple”. The Cubs just keep finding ways to lose. Sanardzija ended up going 6 strong innings and kept the Cubs in the game with a 2-1 deficit, but the Cubs could never muster any offense other than Reed Johnson’s 1st inning home run.
Travis Wood kept the Cubs in the ballgame on Tuesday night as well. He worked 5 2/3 innings of 2 run ball, scattering 2 hits and 2 walks with 3 K’s. But the Cubs could only manage one run on a solo home run by Alfonso Soriano in the 4th inning.
The Cubs scored just 6 runs in the series, the same number of runs that they scored in the 3-game weekend series against the White Sox last weekend. The Cubs fell to 15-29 – a whopping 10 games back of the Cards. With the loss, the Cubs officially have the worse record in ALL of baseball…
Posted on 22 May 2012 by Lou
So much for Matt Garza putting an end to the Cubs current 6-game losing streak. Garza endured his worst outing of the season, giving up 7 ER on 5 hits and 2 walks in just 3 innings. He gave up 2 3-run jacks that gave the Astros a comfortable 7-0 lead after just 3 innings of play.
After being swept in 2 straight series, the Cubs hoped that a road trip away from the “Friendly” Confines of Wrigley Field might turn the tides in their favor, especially with one of their best pitchers on the mound. But it wasn’t meant to be. For the 3rd straight game, the Cubs did not score a SINGLE RUN in the game’s 1st 8 innings. That has to be some sort of record. They lost 7-4 on Saturday (4 runs in the 9th); they lost 6-0 on Sunday; and they were losing 8-0 on Monday night before run-scoring singles from Reed Johnson, David DeJesus and Blake Lalli in the 9th inning.
The lone bright spot – Randy Wells pitched the game’s final 5 innings allowing just a single ER on 3 hits and 2 walks. Yeah!
The Cubs are 15-26 – 8 games behind the Cards. Ouch!!! Let’s hope Travis Wood can snap the streak. In 3 starts against the Astros as a member of the Reds last season, Wood went 1-0 with a nasty 1.02 ERA against Houston. He still has a 14 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings streak against the Astros – let’s hope he keeps that up tonight with the way the Cubs have been scoring runs of late…
Posted on 21 May 2012 by Lou
The 1st half of the 2012 Crosstown Classic between the Cubs and White Sox was simply brutal for the North Siders. In a rare and fun Saturday night contest at Wrigley Field,the White Sox blanked the Cubs for the game’s first 8 innings amassing a comfortable 7-0 lead behind 3 Sox home runs. The Cubs avoided the shutout when Alfonso Soriano and Joe Mather hit 2 run home runs in the 9th inning. But it was too little too late. Ryan Dempster suffered the loss, falling to 0-2 on the season, despite strong individual numbers – 1.06 WHIP, 2.28 ERA, 44 K’s against just 14 walks.
On Sunday, needing a win to avoid the sweep, the Cubs curled up under the favorite blankie and laid an egg against Jake Peavy. The White Sox cruised to an easy 6-0 victory behind Peavy and 3 more Sox home runs and a 10-hit barrage against Paul Maholm. On a 90-degree day with the wind blowing straight out of the park in every direction, the Cubs managed just 5 hits and NO runs. How is that even possible?!
It keeps getting uglier and uglier for the Cubs. Now it seems all but a certainty that Theo & Co. will move Matt Garaza and any other chip (Dempster, Maholm) in any attempt to get cheaper and younger.
With the sweep the Cubs fell to 15-25 overall and they trail the Cards and Reds by a full 7 games in the NL Central race.
Posted on 18 May 2012 by Lou
The White Sox took game 1 of the Crosstown Classic with an exciting 3-2 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field today.
The Cubs are now 15-24 – they have dropped 4 straight and only the San Diego Padres have a worst record in the National League than the Cubs.
Posted on 15 May 2012 by Lou
This is going to be the story for the 2012 Cubs – they play good, just not good enough to win consistently. The surprising fact that they are playing so many close games this season makes it tough to swallow when they do lose close ones. But at least they are battling and at least the players seem to have some renewed fight in them under the new Theo, Jed and Dale regime.
The Cubs dropped the series finale to the Cards 7-6 in the bottom of the 9th. After staking Paul Maholm to a 3-0 lead in the 1st, Maholm slowly gave it back with 2 runs in the 1st, 1 run in the 2nd and 1 more run in the 5th. The Cubs fought back with a game-tying Bryan LaHair homer in the 6th (his 10th of the season) and a go-ahead pinch-hit RBI single in the 7th by Reed Johnson that drove in Darwin Barney who had doubled. But the bullpen ran into trouble after that.
Kerry Wood issued 2 walks in the 7th inning and he allowed the game-tying single to Allen Craig. James Russell served up Matt Carpenter’s go-ahead homer in the 8th that gave the Cards a short-lived 6-5 lead. After the Cubs answered in the top of the 9th with Alfonso Soriano’s 1st home run of the season – yes, you read that correctly – his 1ST HOME RUN! – that tied the game at 6, it was Rafael Dolis’ turn to allow the Cards to win. He served up the game-winning single to Yadier Molina with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th.
Sure, you can question Dale Sveum’s decision not to walk RBI machine Molina to face Carpenter, but the Cubs had plenty of chances to win this one, and they just didn’t get it done.
Monday night’s win was equally as frustrating, but at least they pulled that one out. The Cubs finally gave Ryan Dempster some run support with 4 runs in the 5th inning to give the Cubs a 4-0 lead. But he gave it right back in the 6th with a 4-run inning. This time, Shawn Camp and Dolis got the job done with 3 scoreless innings. And Soriano came through with a big game-winning single in the 8th inning. They fought back and won, and it shows that they can compete, but you just wish they had won some of these earlier games in the season.
With a win today, the Cubs could have pulled within 4 games of the Cards for 1st place in the NL Central! But it wasn’t meant to be. They’re now 15-21 and 6 games back. Even if just 3 of those games go the other way this season, they would be 18-18 and would likely be talked about as one of the biggest surprises of 2012…
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…