Tag Archive | "Alfonso Soriano"

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Tyler Colvin Lone Bright Spot in Cubs 8-1 Loss to Mariners; Will Pinella Make it Through Rough 2010 – 6/23/10

Posted on 24 June 2010 by Lou

WOW – make this stop.  How much more can we take?  Another day, another loss.  They get uglier and uglier as the season progresses as evident in the 8-1 loss last night in Seattle.

Tyler Colvin & Marlon Byrd continue to be the only 2 Cubs players that produce on a regular basis.  Colvin stroked his 9th homer of the season in just 121 at-bats.  He has a .298 batting average and Lou is finally giving him the playing time he deserves.  Byrd had another 2-hit night in Seattle and Alfonso Soriano even got into the mix for a 2nd straight night with 2 hits.  But the Cubs managed just 1 run off of Cliff Lee.

Randy Wells continued his sophomore slump – 6 ER on 10 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings – even the light-hitting Mariners had no trouble making solid contact against Wells.  Wells ERA ballooned to 5.21 and his WHIP is hefty as well – 1.50.  Not good.

The Cubs are no 9 games out of 1st place in the NL Central and they are a whopping 10 games behind the New York Mets in the NL Wild Card race.  The season is officially over and now it’s only a question of whether Lou Pinella will actually survive the rest of the season?!?!

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Marlon Byrd Seeks to Void Contract with Cubs — Didn’t Realize he Had Signed Deal with Minor League Club — Cubs 0, Mariners 2 6/22/10

Posted on 23 June 2010 by Lou

Marlon Byrd is seeking help from the MLB players union to void his contract with the Chicago Cubs.  It looks like the Cubs fooled Byrd into thinking that he would be part of a major league level team during the 2010 MLB schedule when GM Jim Hendry signed him to a 3-year, $15 million this past January.  But as it turns out, the team the Cubs fielded for 2010 was simply a shell of a major league team and their results on the field thus far are proving Byrd’s allegations to a tee.

The Cubs are 8 games under .500 at 31-39.  They are a miserable 10-16 in 1-run games and they have lost 8 more contests in games decided by 2 runs.  They are a pathetic 18-18 at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field and 8 games under .500 on the road.  Against the weak NL Central where only the Cards and Reds have winning records, the Cubs are an embarrassing 13-20.  Ouch – you can’t get much worse than that.

Byrd’s production in 2010 far exceeds several Cubs “stars” who are getting paid anywhere from $10 to $16 MILLION DOLLARS MORE than Byrd is earning in 2010.  Check out these shocking numbers:

Byrd – $3,000,000 ($12,000,000 owed over next 2 years) – leads team with .323 batting average.  Byrd has the 3rd highest on-base percentage (.366), the 2nd most home runs (9), the 2nd most RBI’s (34); the most runs scored (40); and the most doubles (25).  Byrd also has just 1 error in 178 fielding chances, good for a .994 fielding percentage.  Kosuke Fukudome and Koyie Hill are the only position player regulars who have not committed an error during the 2010 MLB schedule.  Xavier Nady and Chad Tracy have also committed just 1 error, but they have combined for only 72 fielding chances compared to Byrd’s 178.  Oh, and by the way, Byrd hustles on every single play and is considered a consummate teammate and leader in the clubhouse.

Now to the other Cubs “stars”:

Alfonso Soriano — $19,000,000 — – surprisingly, the most productive of the group who has stats just below Byrd’s – .279 batting average; .349 on-base percentage; 10 home runs: 36 runs scored; 35 RBI’s; 20 doubles; and 4 errors.

Aramis Ramirez — $16,750,000 — .168 batting average; .232 on-base percentage; 5 home runs: 17 runs scored; 22 RBI’s; 6 doubles; and 6 errors.

Kosuke Fukudome — $14,000,000 —  .281 batting average; .370 on-base percentage; 6 home runs: 24 runs scored; 24 RBI’s; 8 doubles; and 4 errors.0

Derrek Lee — $13,000,000 — .230 batting average; .336 on-base percentage; 10 home runs: 34 runs scored; 33 RBI’s; 10 doubles; and 4 errors.

When you consider that Carlos Zambrano is making just under $19,000,000 this season (and is owed another $37,875,000 over the next 2 years), it is shocking to think how poorly Hendry has concocted this team for the future.  Zambrano has gone just 3-5 with a hefty 5.10 ERA and 1.65 WHIP and has even worked out of the bullpen because of his inconsistency as a starter.

Given these facts, it is clear that Marlon Byrd is right.  The 2010 Cubs really don’t deserve to be considered a major league level team and he should be able to void his contract and join a team that actually has a shot to compete to win a baseball game night in and night out.

Now sure, I am clearly joking when I talk about Byrd’s plight in a Cubs uniform. But after watching another painful close loss last night (2-0 to the Mariners), it is clear to me that it is time for the Cubs to blow this group up and start over under “Year 2” with the Ricketts Family taking more firm control.  The Cubs need a new manager, a new GM and then maybe, just maybe, they can get back to prominence in the National League in the near future once a few of Hendry’s bad contracts are finally off the books.

Oh yeah – the game – Byrd had 2 of the Cubs 6 hits.  The Cubs had only 4 hits during the game’s 1st 8 innings.  Soriano had 3 hits.  Ryan Dempster tossed another great game, but as it has happened so often, he has made 1 or 2 bad pitches and those bad pitched have come back to haunt him.  Despite giving up only 5 hits in 8 innings, 2 of those came in the 2nd inning and one of those happened to be a home run that plated 2 runs.  That would be the only scoring of the game.  Dempster is now 5-6 with a 1.16 WHIP and a 3.56 ERA – talk about a hard-luck loser in 2010.

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Cubs Beat A’s 3-2; First Series Win Since May 27th?!

Posted on 17 June 2010 by Lou

WOW – it’s hard to believe it has been 21 days since the Cubs have won a series.  But that’s just what happened today, as the Cubs rallied for a 3-2 win over the A’s at Wrigley Field today.  The Cubs took the series win for the 1st time since they took 2 of 3 from the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field from May 25th through May 27th.  In between those 2 series wins, the Cubs had dropped 2 of 3 games to each of the Cardinals, Pirates, Astros, Brewers and White Sox.  Despite their poor play, the Cubs are shockingly only 6.5 games behind the Cincinnati Reds for 1st place in the NL Central.  The Cubs still have 10 games left against the Reds (7 at home at the Friendly Confines) and 12 games against the Cards (6 at home at the Friendly Confines), so as bad as they have played, they still have a chance to make things right for Cubs fans across the country.

Today’s unlikely hero was Kosuke Fukudome.  Fukudome had been sitting on the bench a lot during his annual June swoon, but he entered the game today as a pinch hitter in the 8th inning and started a 1-out rally with the Cubs trailing 2-1.  He moved to 2nd on Marlon Byrd’s single, to 3rd base on Derrek Lee’s walk and then scored the tying run on Xavier Nady’s sacrifice fly to right field.  Then in the 9th inning, after Jerry Blevins walked the bases loaded with only 1 out, Fukudome got another chance to be the hero.  His seeing-eye base hit through the right side of the drawn-in infield plated Geovany Soto with the winning run.

Key Move of the Game – Manager Lou Pinella brought in Carlos Marmol with a runner on 3rd base and only 1 out with the game tied at 2 in the top of the 9th inning.  Although Marmol walked Cliff Pennington, he got Gabe Gross to foul out to Starlin Castro and then got Rajai Davis to ground out to end the threat.

Randy Wells looked much better in today’s game after some recent struggles (5 or more ER allowed in 3 of his last 4 outings).  Wells pitched seven great innings, giving up just 2 ER on 7 hits and 1 walk.  He also struck out 6 A’s batters and seemed to gain confidence as the game wore on.

In Wednesday night’s win, Ryan Dempster was solid on the mound.  Although Dempster gave up 8 hits and 2 walks in 6 2/3 innings, he was in control all game long and always seemed to work out of jams.  He struck out 7 batters and evened his record at 5-5 with another quality start.  Sean Marshall and Carlos worked the final 2 1/3 innings to preserve the Cubs 6-2 win.

At the plate, Derrek Lee and Xavier Nady each had 2 hits for the Cubs.  Starlin Castro and Alfonso Soriano each had a hit and 2 RBI’s, so it was a total team effort.

Let’s hope the Cubs can keep the winning vibe going at Wrigley Field against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim over the weekend.

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Cubs Lose 5th Straight Series — Quickly Falling Out of Contention…

Posted on 14 June 2010 by Lou

Although the Cubs avoided the sweep with Sunday night’s 1-0 win over the White Sox, the team dropped their 5th straight series over the weekend.  The Cubs have now lost 2 of 3 games in each of their last 5 series and are heading in the wrong direction.  The Cubs are now 28-35 (just 15-15 at home) and they trail the Reds by 7.5 games and the Cards by 6 games in the NL Central race.

Sunday night’s game pretty much summed up the Cubs entire season thus far – mostly good starting pitching; awful hitting; and awful bullpen work.

Ted Lilly pitched 8 no-hit innings, giving up just 1 walk along the way.  You would think it would be a fun affair for the Cubs players and fans, but it was so tense because the Cubs themselves were being no-hit by Gavin Floyd of the White Sox through6 innings.  The Cubs eventually got their first hit with 2 outs in the 7th inning – a double by Alfonso Soriano – and Chad Tracy followed that up with an RBI single on the very next pitch to put the Cubs ahead 1-0.  But at the end of the day, the Cubs offense managed just 3 total hits in the ball game.

When Lilly served up pinch-hitter Juan Pierre’s single to center field to lead off the 9th inning, Manager Lou Pinella immediately turned to Closer Carlos Marmol to end the threat and preserve the 1-run lead.  But that almost backfired in a hurry.  Marmol quickly walked Andruw Jones and then balked Pierre and Jones over to 2nd and 3rd with nobody out.  Disaster again for the Cubs in the late innings.  But Marmol buckled down – he struck out Alexei Ramirez and then intentionally walked Alex Rios to load the bases and set up a force play.  Paul Konerko obliged by hitting a weak grounder that forced Pierre out at home.  Marmol then got Carlos Quentin to pop out to shallow center field and the Cubs fans at Wrigley Field let out a collective sigh of relief.

Ted Lilly has gotta be the game’s most tough-luck pitcher this year.  After his 8 scoreless innings last night, Lilly has now has a 2-5 record in 10 starts with a 1.00 WHIP and a 2.90 ERA – hello trade bait?!

But back to the Cubs offense.  The Cubs hitters made the White Sox starters look like all-stars in all 3 games over the weekend.   In Friday’s 10-5 loss, Jake Peavy had 4 wins and a 5.90 ERA coming into the game and he held the Cubs to just 2 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings.  In Saturday’s 2-1 loss, Mark Buerhle had 3 wins and a 5.40 ERA coming into the game (no road wins) and he held the Cubs to just 0 runs on 8 hits through 6 2/3 innings.  And on Sunday night, Floyd had 2 wins and a 6.18 ERA coming into the game and he held the Cubs to just 1 run on 3 hits in 8 innings.  Unbelievable.

Well enough of my ranting and raving.  This team is not good and just to give you a little preview of what’s to come, get ready for my post about the Top 10 reasons why the Ricketts Family should “blow up” the “Hendry Monster Misfits” sooner rather than later…

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Cubs Joke of a Season Continues – Lose 10-5 to White Sox

Posted on 11 June 2010 by Lou

Ouch – Cubs continue losing ways against the Chicago White Sox in the opener of the 2010 Crosstown Classic at Wrigley Field today.  This team keeps getting worse and worse.  Not really much to say here.

Randy Wells was bad again.  He put his team in a 2-0 1st inning hole and then gave up 3 more runs in the 5th inning.  He left with the Cubs trailing 5-2. All 5 runs were earned on 10 hits and 3 walks.  Not good at all.  He is now 3-5 with a 1.49 WHIP and 5.15 ERA.

Another bad offensive showing as Jake Peavy shut down the Cubs with ease.  Peavy who has struggled all season looked like Cy Young against the over-matched Cubs hitters.  He gave up 2 ER on 6 hits and 1 walk over 7 innings.  His only mistake was a 2-run bomb to Alfonso Soriano.

James Russell had another bad outing.  He gave up 4 ER and didn’t retire any of the 4 batters that he faced.  That makes 4 out of 5 appearances in which he has given up at least 1 ER.  Hello Triple-A!

While all Cubs hitters looked bad today, Derrek Lee was especially bad.  Lee went 1 for 4 with 3 K’s inlcuding the game-ending strikeout with 2 runners on base in the 9th inning.

Can Carlos Silva save the day on Saturday and out-pitch another struggling White Sox pitcher – Mark Buehrle (3-6, 1.49 WHIP, 5.40 ERA).  Don’t hold your breathe…

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Lilly Shines, Marmol Fails in 3-2 9th Inning Loss to Brewers in Milwaukee

Posted on 09 June 2010 by Lou

It wasn’t meant to be for Ted Lilly.  Although he didn’t take the loss, he didn’t get the win either.  Lilly tossed 8 innings of 1-run ball, scattering 4 hits and zero walks with 8 K’s in the process.  His lone mistake – a solo home run to Corey Hart that tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the 8th inning.  The Cubs rallied to take the lead in the 9th inning on an Alfonso Soriano groundout, putting Lilly in position to earn the W and break his 5-game skid.  But then Carlos Marmol blew his 3rd save of the year.  A hits batsman followed by an intentional walk to Prince Fielder set up former Cubs Casey McGahee’s 2-run game-winning walk-off single that gave the Brewers the 3-2 win.

Lilly was the tough-luck recipient once again of poor offensive production from the Cubs hitters.  Despite 8 hits and 3 walks, the Cubs managed just lone runs in the 8th and 9th innings.  Not good.  Kosuke Fukudome, Tyler Colvin and Starling Castro each had 2 hits in the loss.  But it was Lilly’s stat line that stands out the most – he has a 1.09 WHIP and 3.28 ERA, but is only 1-5 on the season.  Let’s hope Lilly stays focused – pretty soon he will get the run support and that should mean several wins for Lilly and the Cubs.

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Cubs Win Series with 5-4 Win over Rangers

Posted on 24 May 2010 by Lou

The Cubs defeated the Rangers 5-4 for the 2nd game in a row and the Cubs won a big road series over the 1st place team in the AL West.  The Cubs struck early and often – getting 4 runs off C.J. Wilson in the 1st inning.  Derrek Lee had an RBI single, Marlon Byrd had an RBI groundout and Alfonso Soriano knocked in the final 2 runs of the inning with his 9th HR of the season.  The Cubs went into a shell for most of the rest of the game, but Koyie Hill’s RBI single in the 6th inning helped extend the Cubs lead to 5-3.  That proved to be a big run as the Rangers cut the lead to 5-4 with Michael Young’s RBI double in the 7th inning.

Carlos Silva picked up his 6th win of the season by tossing 5 1/3 innings of 1-run ball.  Bob Howry made his 1st appearance since being acquired last week off the waiver wire and did not look so hot.  He came in to the game in the bottom of the 7th inning to try to work out of John Grabow’s 2 on, 1-out jam.  But Howry gave up an RBI double to Young, got Ian Kinsler to pop out and then intentionally walked Vladimr Guerrero and then gave way to Sean Marshall to quell the threat.  Marshall has proven invaluable out of the pen as he induced Josh Hamilton to line out to 2nd base to preserve the 1-run lead.  And although he walked a batter in the 8th inning, he got out of the jam with 2 K’s and kept the lead at 1 for closer Carlos Marmol.  Marmol worked a scoreless 9th inning with 3 K’s and 1 walk to pick up his 9th save of the season.

The Cubs are trying desperately to get back to .500.  A successful 3-2 road trip against division leaders helped a lot.  Now they need to keep that momentum going against the red hot Dodgers and the 1st place Cardinals this week at Wrigley Field.

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Oh What Might Have Been — 5-4 Loss to Phillies Ends Win Streak at 4

Posted on 20 May 2010 by Lou

It was almost a perfect end to a 2-game road trip in Philly, but then the Cubs woes with runners on 3rd base and less than 2 outs re-surfaced as the Cubs squandered a golden scoring opportunity against Jose Contreras in the top of the 9th inning.  The Cubs trailed most of the day today, but kept battling back to tie the game up on 2 different occasions.  But it wasn’t meant to be despite getting runners on 1st and 3rd with nobody out against Contreras (who is subbing for injured closer Brad Lidge) in the 9th inning.  With the game tied at 4, Alfonso Soriano had a GREAT at-bat, fouling off pitch after pitch on a 3-2 count to eventually work a walk.  Mike Fontenot then singled up the middle sending Soriano hustling to 3rd base.  1st and 3rd, nobody out — easy run, right?  Not for this Cubs team.  Contreras made Starlin Castro look silly, striking him out with ease.  Aramis Ramirez then worked the count full after falling behind early, but swung at a pitch that my 3-year old would have known not to swing at.  The pitch was at least 2 feet wide of the plate and the Phillies catcher had to lunge to make sure it wasn’t a wild pitch, but Ramirez somehow tried to swing at the pitch at the last second.  Even with a 10 foot bat in his hands he probably would have missed it.  Then it was Geovany Soto’s turn to make Contreras look good.  He hit a lazy foul pop up that Ryan Howard snared for the final out, and instead of talking about another great come-from-behind win, we’re talking about how this team seems to lay an egg whenever they get a good scoring chance.  It is so painful.

This is an EXCELLENT Phillies team with an amazingly deep offensive lineup, so I’ll give the Cubs for being in both games of the series.  Holding the Phils to just 6 runs in 2 home games at the sand lot that is Citizens Bank Ballpark is a feat in and of itself.  But when you get chances like this, good teams win.  The Cubs are clearly just an average team at best.  The Cubs made it interesting.  After falling behind in the 1st inning on a Chase Utley home run, the Cubs answered with a Starlin Castro RBI single that scored Soriano in the 5th inning.  Ryan Dempster couldn’t fully get out of a 2-out jam in the 6th inning and eventually served up Jimmy Rollins 3-run jack to deep right field that gave the Phillies a 4-1 lead.  The Cubs could have mailed it in, but Derrek Lee immediately answered with a solo home run to lead off the 7th inning.  Then with only 1 out, the Cubs loaded the bases with a walk and 2 singles, but once again, the Cubs failed to take full advantage of the scoring opportunity.  Sure Tyler Colvin drove in a run with a sac fly, but someone needs to come through with a hit to break the game open in that situation.  Xavier Nady who has been so hot as a pinch-hitter lunged at the 1st pitch he saw, and just like that, the threat was over again.  Kosuke Fukudome forced the 4-4 tie with his lead-off solo home run to right field in the top of the 8th inning.  But then John Grabow had another poor outing and gave the lead right back to the Phillies.  He walked 2 of the 1st three batters that he faced and gave up Raul Ibanez’s game-winning single to right.  Fukudome did his best to throw out Utley at home, but his throw was just off the line towards the 1st base line and Utley slid in ahead of Koyie Hill’s tag.

Then it was time for disappointment in the 9th.

Ryan Dempster pitched well, but not well enough.  I feel like I say that for just about every start he has made during the last month. It’s gotta be frustrating for him being 2-5 with a 1.10 WHIP and a 3.73.  At the same time, he has already given up 8 home runs this year in 62+ innings pitched – that is simply too many.  If he cuts that home run number in half, Dempster is 5-2 and the Cubs are only 3 games out of 1st place in the NL Central.

Today’s loss was that much more painful given the near-perfect game that the Cubs played on Wednesday night in Philly.  Tom Gorzelanny threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings (just 3 hits and 2 walks) in the 4-1 win, but left after getting hit with a line drive.  The Cubs took an early 2-0 lead on an RBI single by Castro in the 3rd inning and an RBI single by Jeff Baker in the 7th inning.  John Grabow gave up a run in the 8th inning, but Carlos Zambrano saved the day by getting Jayson Werth to ground out on a sensational play by Castro to end the threat with the tying run on 2nd base.  Then Xavier Nady came through with another HUGE pinch-hit single that gave the Cubs 2 insurance runs with the bases loaded out 2 outs in the 9th inning.  That made the save chance for Carlos Marmol a little easier in the bottom of the inning.  Although Marmol walked Ibanez and hit Carlos Ruiz with a pitch, he struck out Ross Gload and Shane Victorino to pick up his 7th save of the season.

I know we should be happy that the Cubs split with the Phillies, but the same trends that keep occurring just don’t make me feel confident about this team.  Poor clutch hitting is killing this team and preventing the club from taking bigger leads or any leads at all.  If the Cubs took advantage of some of these scoring chances, that would take a lot of heat off of the pitching staff.  And while the starters have been good, they must feel like they have to pitch a perfect game in order to get a win.  The close games is taking its toll on a young bullpen that has under-performed.  If Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol could pitch every day, it would be a different story.  But since they can’t, Manager Lou Pinella has to go to some of his other options.  Grabow is not getting it done and he has been a huge factor in the bullpen’s struggles.  After the last 2 days, Grabow now has 3 losses with a 2.12 WHIP and an 8.44 ERA.  If he wasn’t a veteran getting paid big bucks for a set-up man, he would have been sent down to Triple-A Iowa 2 weeks ago.

Ugghhh – I could go on and on.  Let’s hope the Cubs can nip this losing streak in the bud and get things going again in Texas over the weekend.  It won’t be easy, but it should be nice to be able to put Soriano in the DH spot and get a better defensive team out there with Tyler Colvin in the lineup for 3 straight days in left.  Can’t wait…

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Cubs Salvage Weekend Series with 4-3 Come-From-Behind Win Over Pirates @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 17 May 2010 by Lou

For 7 innings, it looked like it was going to be another frustrating, disappointing loss for the Cubs on Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field.  The Cubs trailed the Pirates 3-1 and despite numerous scoring chances they could never seem to come through with the clutch hit – as had happened so many times this season.  It all turned around in the bottom of the 7th inning after a lead-off walk to Mike Fontenot.  After reliever Evan Meek quickly recorded 2 outs on fly balls by Geovany Soto and Tyler Colvin, the Cubs finally got the clutch hitting they so desperately needed.  Kosuke Fukudome single to right sending Fontenot scampering to 3rd base.  Meek then threw a wild pitch allowing Fontenot to score and Fukudome to move to 2nd and into scoring position.  Starlin Castro kept the inning alive as he hustled to 1st base safely after Ronny Cedeno’s fielding error. Derrek Lee – who had failed in this situation countless times before this season – finally delivered a hit that plated Fukudome with the tying run.

The Cubs then took full advantage in the bottom of the 8th inning.  Alfonso Soriano singled and stole 2nd base with 2 outs to get into scoring position (he was even able to advance to 3rd base on the wild throw).  The Pirates then walked Geovany Soto to force the Cubs to use a pinch-hitter.  Xavier Nady was 0 for 9 as a pinch-hitter since July 2008, but he delivered the game winning single that scored Soriano with the winning run.

Kudos to the Cubs pitchers too.  Ted Lilly hung in there after giving up 3 runs in the 2nd inning.  He ended up going 7 innings, allowing just those 3 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks.  It wasn’t his best game, but he did what he had to do to give his club a shot at the end.  Sean Marshall delivered again with another scoreless inning of relief.  His 0.87 WHIP and 2.45 ERA are simply amazing.  And then Carlos Marmol came through with one of the biggest saves of his career – seriously.  Just think if he had gotten into trouble in the 9th inning.  The Cubs offense finally came through with 3 runs to take the lead at the end of the game.  It would have been the perfect time for the Cubs bullpen to do something wrong to blow the game once again.  But Marmol did the exact opposite – throwing a perfect inning with 2 K’s.

Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t think that this is going to send the Cubs on a 10-game winning streak.  They still are too inconsistent at this point in the season to get my hopes up too much.  But this NL Central division is up for grabs.  No one is going to run away with this.  The Reds are now in 1st place, and the Cubs are still just 5.5 games out of the division lead.  Anything is possible – they just need to hang in there and stay as positive as possible.  It’s not easy, but you never know.  As Manager Lou Pinella said — “I’d like to see people get hot and stay hot and win games, and everything will take care of itself.  I wouldn’t be getting asked these questions day in and day out, OK?  And having to make excuses and everything else, OK?  So, if we start doing the things that we’re capable of doing, I won’t have to answer these questions all the time…If the talent that we had was playing up to [expectations], I’d tell you I didn’t think it would happen.  We’re confident that we’ll get it going but we’ve got to score more runs consistently and we’ve got to keep [opponents] from scoring, especially late, because you can’t come back from those things… Everybody’s trying.  Nobody’s going through the motions.  It’s just a question of being more consistent.  Once we do that, we’ll win more baseball games.  And then everybody will be happy.  The media will be happy.  The manager will be happy.  Tghe players will be happy.  The fans will be happy.”

Amen to that…

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Caridad, Zambrano Blow Game as Cubs Lose 10-6; Big Z to Stay in ‘Pen

Posted on 15 May 2010 by Lou

The Cubs bullpen blew it again.  Handed a 6-5 lead after 5 innings, Esmailin Caridad and Carlos Zambrano couldn’t shut the door on the Pirates who have now won all 4 meetings with the Cubs this season.  Ouch.

Caridad got into trouble by walking Andrew McCutchen who then stole second to get into scoring position.  Garrett Jones drove him in with an RBI double to tie the game at 6.

Carlos Zambrano entered the game with the score still tied at 6 in the 8th inning.  He struggled right off the bat.  He hit Andy LaRoche and then gave up a single to McCutchen.  Garrett Jones broke the tie with a long home run to right field to give the Pirates the 9-6 lead, a lead they would not relinquish.  Big Z finished out the ugly inning – 4 hits, 1 HBP and 3 ER.  You would think an outing like this would force the Cubs to re-consider the Zambrano experiment in the bullpen as we discussed the other day.  But unfortunately, it looks Manager Lou Pinella is staying pat.  Here was his quote after the game — “We don’t have many options.  Outside of Marmol, we haven’t had a right-hander here that gets hitters out with any consistency at all… Right now, that’s where Zambrano is going to be… Carlos can do that job very well if he gets his mind totally set on it.  He helps me in so many areas by being out there.  It frees me to use other pitchers a lot differently than I would if he weren’t there.”  Problem is, I don’t think Carlos is really on board.  Check out these statements — “To get this clear, I was unhappy the first day that they told me.  I wasn’t sure that it was going to work.  But now, I accept it.  I’m a reliever now, and I have to do my job as a reliever, as a setup man.. I’ll be here until they need me to be here, and I’ll be the eighth-inning guy until they say ‘That’s enough, we want you to start’… If tomorrow they decide to bring me back to the rotation, I’ll be there.  I’ll be more than happy to come back to the rotation.”  Does that really sound like a guy that wants to be in the bullpen?  I don’t think so, and it’s about time GM Jim Hendry and Pinella figure that out.

The few positives from the loss – Marlon Byrd had 2 hits including his 7th homer of the season.  Aramis Ramirez stroked 2 hits as did Alfonso Soriano who also had 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored.

Ryan Dempster was hoping to the get the Cubs off to a good start today, but 2 walks set up an RBI single by Andrew McCutchen and a 2-run double by Ryan Church.  The Cubs are down 3-0 once again.  Unbelievable…

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