Posted on 01 October 2011 by Lou
The speculation starts now as Cubs fans eagerly await Owner Tom Ricketts’ next moves for the Cubs organization. First up will be the hiring of a new General Manager. Then who knows what else? Surprisingly, overpaid outfielder Alfonso Soriano summed it up best when he cleared out his locker room last week – “Two things can happen. It can change, or stay the way it is now. I don’t know what they want to do. We don’t have control of that. We can only play the game and do our job. The owners have the control. We’d like to stay together, but who knows?” Amen to that.
Changes will have to be made obviously, but given the financial situation with a few long-term deals still hampering the ability of any GM to make necessary trades/free agent signings, only so much can be done. With the firing of Red Sox Manager Terry Francona in Boston, there are some rumors floating around that long-time GM Theo Epstein could also be looking for a change of scenery. The Cubs would need to obtain permission from the Red Sox in order to speak with Epstein and they would be foolish not to ask. What’s the worst that Red Sox barss can say, no? Let’s hope Ricketts & Co. have the common sense to explore ALL options, even Epstein.
We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything on the GM front and the rest of the roster. Aramis Ramirez has a $16 million option for the 2012 season, but has already indicated that he will explore the free agent market to see if he can nab one final lucrative long-term deal. Ryan Dempster and the Cubs also have a mutual option that can be exercised for the 2012 MLB season, so we’ll have to see what happens there. Fun, fun, fun…
Posted on 30 August 2011 by Lou
The Cubs made it 2 in a row behind Matt Garza en route to a 5-2 win over the Giants.
Garza had another solid start and has really shown “ace” stuff since getting settled into his new digs on the north side of Chicago. Garza went 6 2/3 innings, allowing just 2 ER on 9 hits and 1 walk. He struck out 6 and lowered his ERA to 3.64 and his WHIP to 1.32. If he can win 3 of his September starts, he will hit double-digit wins for the Cubs in 2011.
Sean Marshall, Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol recorded the final 7 outs of the game without allowing a Giants hitter to reach base. Marshall notched his 29th hold, while Wood notched his 20th hold. Marmol picked up save #31.
Alfonso Soriano hit another HR. He now has 24 on the season. He and Garza each had 2 hits in the win.
The Cubs finish up the 3-game road trip against the Giants Wednesday afternoon with Rodrigo Lopez on the bump. After a day off Thursday, the Cubs face the Pirates and Reds at Wrigley Field from Friday through Wednesday of next week.
Posted on 29 August 2011 by Lou
Randy Wells tossed his 1st career complete game shutout in the Cubs 7-0 win over the Giants in San Francisco on Monday night. Wells has turned his season around with some good pitching of late. In his last 4 starts, he has given up just 7 ER on 16 hits in 27 2/3 innings pitched. He is 3-0 in those 4 starts. While his ERA is still over 5.00 at 5.06, he has lowered his WHIP to 1.38 and he has re-gained the confidence that deserted him after he went on the DL after just 1 start to kick off the 2011 campaign.
Wells faced only 4 batters over the minimum in the game – 2 hits and 2 walks allowed. He allowed only 2 runners to reach base 2nd base.
Alfonso Soriano gave the Cubs the 1st lead of the game with a solo HR of Tim Lincecum in the 5th inning. Then the Cubs blew the game open with 2 more HR’s against Lincecum in the 7th inning. Geovany Soto hit a solo shot and Blake DeWitt’s 3-run bomb to right field finally chased Lincecum from the game with the Cubs leading 5-0. Carlos Pena added a solo shot later in the inning and Marlon Byrd singled home DeWitt in the 9th to cap the scoring.
Matt Garza squares off against Ryan Vogelsong in Game 2 of the series Tuesday night.
Posted on 24 August 2011 by Lou
Randy Wells made his best start of the 2011 season with a dominating 6+ inning effort in Wednesday night’s 3-2 win over the Braves. Wells gave up just 1 run on 2 hits and 2 walks as he worked into the 7th inning. His lone run came on a solo home run to Jason Heyward. Wells even got into the offensive act in the 2nd inning as the Cubs plated all 3 runs in the frame. Alfonso Soriano hit a 2-run home run and then Wells’ RBI groundout added the much needed 3rd run.
The bullpen did the rest as Sean Marshall, Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol closed the door on the Braves bid for a comeback. Marmol worked a perfect 9th inning with 2 K’s to notch his 30th save of 2011.
Posted on 23 August 2011 by Lou
The Braves topped Casey Coleman and the Cubs 5-4 on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. It was the Cubs 3rd straight loss.
Coleman worked 5 innings, giving up 5 ER on 5 hits and 2 walks. The Braves scored all 5 of their runs in the 4th inning to take a 5-0 lead. It was Coleman’s 6th loss of the season.
Aramis Ramirez went 5 for 5 on the night with 2 RBI’s and a run scored.
Alfonso Soriano also hit an inside the park solo home run in the Cubs 4-run 5th inning.
Posted on 25 July 2011 by Lou
Believe it or not – yesterday’s 5-4 win in 10 innings gave the Cubs their 1st 3- game winning streak of the 2011 campaign. The Cubs were the last team to reach that mark this season. What a joke…
Jeff Samardzija wasted another great outing from Matt Garza. Garza allowed just 2 ER on 5 hits and 3 walks over 7 impressive innings. He struck out 9 and lowered his ERA to 3.72 and his WHIP to 1.30. He left with a 3-2 lead, but when Samardzija served up Carlos Lee’s go-ahead 2-run HR in the 8th inning, he was forced to take another no decision.
Fortunately, 3 straight hits allowed the Cubs to tie the game on Alfono Soriano’s single to start off the 8th inning.
And after Carlos Marmol survived a bases loaded, 1-out jam in the 9th inning, karma seemed to be on the Cubs side when Hunter Pence lost Marlon Byrd’s flyball in the sun to lead off the 10th inning giving Byrd a “gimme” triple. After Geovany Soto struck out for the 1st out of the inning, the Astros walked the bases loaded intentionally. And Jeff Baker came through with the clutch game-winning line drive single to left field that plated Byrd with the winning run.
Byrd had 4 hits and 3 runs scored. Soto had 3 hits, an RBI and a run scored.
The Cubs are now 42-60 and they have opened up a “safe” 8.5 game lead over the Astros to avoid having the worst record in the NL. Now that’s something to cheer about – Go Cubs Go!!!
Posted on 22 July 2011 by Lou
They did it! The Cubs beat the worst team in baseball 4-2 on a perfect day at Wrigley Field on Friday. With the heat and humidity finally gone for the most part, Carlos Zambrano labored through 6 innings, but kept the feisty Astros at bay. Despite allowing 9 hits and 1 walk in his outing, Big Z minimized the damage to just 2 ER. He had 3 K’s and he improved to 7-5 on the season.
The Cubs scored in only one inning but they made it count. They plated 4 runs in the 5th inning. Alfonso Soriano hit his 15th HR of the year as he put the Cubs on the board with a leadoff solo home run. Darwin Barney and Zambrano each reached base. After Barney stole 3rd base, he came home on Starlin Castro’s important sac fly which tied the game at 2. And then Aramis Ramirez put the Cubs ahead for good with his 2-run HR, his 18th of the season.
The bullpen even looked good. After James Russell allowed a lead-off single in the 7th inning, Jeff Samardzija, John Grabow, Carlos Marmol and Sean Marshall retired the final 9 batters to preserve the Cubs win. Marshall picked up his 3rd save.
Yippee!!! The Cubs are now 40-60 while the Astros are 33-66. Ah some breathing room…
Posted on 11 July 2011 by Lou
What a joke – after losing 7 of their last 10 games heading into the break, the Cubs finished with the 2nd worst record in all of baseball at 37-55. Ouch…
The Cubs trail the Brewers and Cardinals by 12 games in the race for 1st place in the NL Central. The Cubs trail the Braves by a whopping 17 games for the wild card spot. Only the Houston Astros (30-62) have a worse record than the Cubs in all of baseball.
Starlin Castro has been the Cubs best and most consistent hitter all season – .307 batting average, 49 runs scored and 39 RBI’s. Aramis Ramirez put together a phenomenal close to the 1st half to help his numbers look more like his career average numbers – .298 batting average, 15 HR’s and 51 RBI’s. Carlos Pena leads the team with 19 HR’s after not hitting a single home run in the entire month of April. And despite a stint on the DL, Alfonso Soriano has put up decent numbers – 14 HR’s and 41 RBI’s.
The pitching stats are not pretty. Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster are tied for the team lead in wins with 6. Matt garza has the best starter ERA at 4.26. Dempster leads the team with 102 K’s while Garza is right on his heels with 99.
Let’s go Cubs — at least it can’t get much worse than what we’ve seen in the 1st half, right?!?!
Posted on 20 June 2011 by Lou
The Cubs dropped the final 2 games of the Yankees series over the weekend at Wrigley Field to fall to 29-42 on the season – 10 gamed behind the Cards and Brewers. Both games were nationally televised broadcast losses and they erased some good “mojo” they had developed after taking 3 of 4 from the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley earlier in the week and the opener of the Cubs-Yankees series on Friday afternoon.
Randy Wells pitched 6 solid innings, allowing 4 ER on 5 hits and 4 walks. He was hurt by Starlin Castro’s quick attempt to get a double play in the 4th inning with a runner on 1st base and one out. Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano were both safe on Cano’s weak grounder in front of home when Castro pulled his foot off the bag at 2nd base on Geovany Soto’s throw. Castro should have made sure that he got the lead runner at 2nd base, but he didn’t, and then his throw to 1st in an attempt to get the speedy Cano was late. Both players were safe and both came around to score to cut the Cubs lead to 4-3.
Sean Marshall pitched a perfect 7th inning, but then surrendered back-to-back hits to start the 8th inning. Manager Mike Quade opted to go with the righty Chris Carpenter to make Nick Swisher bat from the left side and he made them pay with a 3-run jack to deep right field. Just like that, the Cubs 4-1 lead turned into a 7-4 deficit with a few key plays.
Reed Johnson had 2 hits and a run scored in the loss. Aramis Ramirez continued his hot hitting by going 4 for 5 with a run scored. Alfonso Soriano hit his 6th career homer off of Yankees’ starter CC Sabathia with his 3-run shot that gave the Cubs a 4-1 lead in the 3rd inning.
The Cubs travel down to the south side to take on the White Sox this week. Carlos Zambrano makes his 1st appearance in U.S. Cellular Field since he had a 1st inning outburst during last season’s inter-league play when he felt like certain players were not giving their all. Big Z was suspended for his actions and forced to take anger management classes. Zambrano goes against Gavin Floyd tonight in the opener of the 3-game series.
Posted on 28 May 2011 by Lou
Doug Davis made it 3 losses in a row since being elevated to the Cubs starting rotation 2 weeks ago. Davis gave up 4 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits and an embarrassing 6 walks in just 4 2/3 innings of work. It looks like the David reclamation project is not going to work.
The Cubs offense wasn’t much better. They managed just 5 hits on the day and they didn’t score until Alfonso Soriano’s 2-run home run in the 9th inning.
The Cubs fell to and they now trail the 1st place Cards by a whopping 7.5 games and it isn’t even June yet…