Tag Archive | "Andrew Cashner"

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Zambrano – Cain Duel to a Draw @ Wrigley Field — Cubs 0, Giants 1 — 9/21/10 Wrigley Field

Posted on 22 September 2010 by Lou

Carlos Zambrano and Matt Cain lived up to the hype in Tuesday night’s 1-0 win by the Giants at Wrigley Field.  Each Pitcher tossed 6 scoreless innings and left with the game tied at 0.  The lone run came through on 23-year old Buster Posey’s solo home run in the 8th inning.

Carlos Zambrano looked good again although his control was a bit of an issue.  He needed 116 pitches to get through the 6 innings because he walked 5 batters.  In contrast, Cain needed just 82 pitches  (2 hits and 1 walk).  Zambrano only gave up 3 hits and he lowered his ERA to 3.56.  He has now made 9 straight starts without a loss since rejoining the starting rotation in early August and he is slowly proving that he can pitch consistently at the major league level once again.

Andrew Cashner had put together a nice little stretch of 6 straight appearances without giving up a run, but he served up Posey’s game winning shot in the 8th inning last night.  In the process, he suffered his 6th loss of the season.  Cashner still has a bloated WHIP and ERA, but he has pretty good stuff.  The just-turned 24-year old is getting some amazing experience this season, so look for him to improve in 2011 as he learns and develops this off-season.

Blake DeWitt and Kosuke Fukudome got the only 2 Cubs hits in the 1-0 loss.  Starlin Castro reached base twice – a a walk and a hit by pitch.  The Giants bullpen was downright nasty after Cain left.  3 relievers set down the final 9 Cubs hitters in a row with 2 K’s.  Not good.  DeWitt’s batting average has plummeted to .257; Castro’s to .305 and Marlon Byrd’s to .294.  Speaking of Byrd, how cool was it when he signed autographs on top of the Cubs dugout during the rain delay before the game started – check out the photo below?!

By the way, Posey is a total stud for the Giants.  Since being called up on May 29th, Posey has hit .324 (with a .373 on-base percentage with 26 walks and 53 strikeouts), with 15 HR’s, 62 RBI’s and 52 runs scored.  On a team that lacks any offensive prowess, Posey fits in perfectly as the club’s clean-up hitter.

Game 2 of the series features Randy Wells against Jonathan Sanchez.

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Quade Makes Statement with Castro Benching; Can Cubs Avoid 90-loss Season? – Cubs 5, Astros 4 – 9/6/10 Wrigley Field

Posted on 07 September 2010 by Lou

Mike Quade certainly has control of his ball club even though he is just the Cubs “interim manager”.  Quade made a major statement when he posted the Cubs lineup for Monday afternoon’s game against the Houston Astros.  Starlin Castro’s name was no where to be found in the lineup as he was serving a “1-game penalty” for making a mental mistake in the Cubs 18-5 loss to the Mets on Sunday.  With his team getting hammered in the bottom of the 8th inning, Castro thought there were 2 outs in the inning rather than just 1.  When Castro did not fully run out a groundball, it turned into an inning-ending double play.  Quade wanted to make a statement that everyone needs to stay in the game – regardless of the score and regardless of whether you are a star player or a bench player.  Everyone is accountable for their actions and everyone will take responsibility for their actions.  Castro understand what he did and we expect Castro to be back in Quade’s lineup tonight.  This was a great statement by Quade and it’s great to see how the players have responded to Quade and the respect that they have for Quade.  Quade certainly won’t be the Cubs manager in 2011, but the new manager should certainly keep Quade on his staff because of his experience and knowledge of the game.

As for the game action, it was a satisfying win despite some flaws.

Casey Coleman labored through 6 innings without his best stuff, but he gutted it for 6 innings to give his bullpen a little much-needed rest after Sunday’s debacle.  Coleman needed 118 pitches to do it, but he overcame a 4-run 2nd inning in which the Astros batted around.  He gave up just the 4 runs on the day – 8 hits, 5 walks and 2 K’s – and he was delighted that the Cubs were able to come back and win so he took a no decision.

Marcos Mateo, Andrew Cashner and Carlos Marmol tossed scoreless frames in the final 3 innings of the game to give the Cubs a chance to win.  Cashner got his 1st win since July 20th, while Marmol notched his 28th save.  On one of the worst teams in baseball, it is pretty impressive that Marmol is on the verge of hitting 30 saves for the 1st time in his career.

Marlon Byrd came through with a big 2-run homer in the 3rd inning that cut the Astros lead to 4-3.  Blake DeWitt had 2 hits and an RBI and scored a run on Byrd’s homer.  Jeff Baker had 2 hits and his RBI double in the 5th inning tied the game at 4.  That set up Geovany Soto’s 8th inning heroics with his 17th home run of the season.  After a disappointing 2009, Soto has quietly put together a nice 2010 MLB season — .284 batting average; .399 on-base percentage (58 walks versus just 72 K’s; 17 HR’s; 51 RBI’s; and 45 runs in 97 games.

The Cubs are 60-78 and have 24 games left to play during the 2010 MLB schedule.  They have to go 13-11 during this last stretch to avoid a 90-loss season.  Can they do it? The Cubs have responded to Quade, so it would not surprise me to see them finish over .500 for these final 24 games.  They are currently 9-4 under Quade, so they would end up finishing 22-15 under Quade if they are to avoid the 90-loss season.

Carlos Silva makes his 1st start tonight at the Friendly Confines since undergoing a heart procedure to help his irregular heartbeat.

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Is This the “Real-New- Carlos Zambrano?” – Cubs 5, Mets 3 – 9/4/10 Wrigley Field

Posted on 05 September 2010 by Lou

Is this the new “real” Carlos Zambrano.  Zambrano picked up his 3rd straight win in as many starts with a dominating 7-inning outing against the Mets.  Zambrano scattered 4 hits and 2 walks during his outing and gave up only 2 ER.  He racked up 8 K’s and only needed 103 pitches to go the full 7 innings.  Most importantly, Big Z maintained his composure after the Mets pulled off a rare double-steal of 2nd base and home in the 4th inning which allowed the Mets to score a run on a strikeout.  Zambrano struck out Lucas Duda, but when Carlos Beltran eluded the tag at 2nd base by Starlin Castro, Luis Castillo was able to score from 3rd base for the Mets first run of the game.  In the past, a play like that would have sent Big Z into a tizzy.  But on Saturday, he kept his composure and was able to strike out Ike Davis to end the inning.  Back in the dugout, Castro apologized to Zambrano, but Big told him not to worry about it.  Amazing?!  Big Z later said — “I’m still going to the doctor, you know.  Still have, like, six more sessions… You realize that he’s still learning.  It’s still his first year in the big leagues.”  Unbelievable.  Not sure if this is the Zambrano we’re always going to see, but if he really starts to make an effort like that, you have to like his chances for staying with the Cubs in the future and actually being productive.  We’ll be following this closely as the season closes and as the winter meetings heat up in December.

Castro had 2 more hits and a run scored.  Castro became the first Cubs rookie to have a multi-hit game in 6 straight games since Don Johnson (not the Miami Vice Don Johnson) did so back in 1944.  His batting average is now .321 – still good for 3rd place in the NL.

Aramis Ramirez had 2 hits including his 21st home run of the season in the 7th inning.  Marlon Byrd also had 2 hits as every Cubs starter – including Zambrano – had a hit.

Andrew Cashner picked up his 11th hold of the season despite giving up a run on a walk and a hit in the 8th inning that cut the Cubs lead to 5-3.  But Carlos Marmol notched his 27th save with a scoreless 9th inning.  Marmol struck out the side despite allowing the tying run to come to the plate when he gave up a hit to Ike Davis with 1 out in the 9th.

The Cubs go for the sweep over the Mets this afternoon.  Ryan Dempster looks to rebound from his worst start of the season (7 ER in 3 innings of a 14-7 loss to the Pirates on Tuesday night) in the Sunday afternoon finale.

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Dempster, Cubs Sweep Nationals in DC – Cubs 4, Nationals 0 – 8/25/10 Nationals Park

Posted on 26 August 2010 by Lou

Ryan Demspter pitched the Cubs to their 1st series sweep since early July as the Cubs beat the Nationals 4-0.

Now it is off to take on the Reds in a 3-game weekend series against the NL Central-leading Cincinnati ballclub.

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Coleman Helps Quade Earn 1st Win as Cubs Manager; More Lou Memories – Cubs 9, Nationals 1 – 8/23/10 Nationals Park

Posted on 24 August 2010 by Lou

Casey Coleman looked sharp in his 2nd major league start and the Cubs gave Mike Quade his 1st win as the Cubs skipper with an easy 9-1 win over the Nationals in Washington, DC.

Coleman worked into the 7th inning giving up just 1ER on 3 hits and 2 walks.  Coleman wanted to make it through the full 7 innings, but he gave up a single and a double to start the inning and then an RBI ground out to Ivan Rodriguez which plated the Nationals only run.  After Coleman walked Willie Harris to put 2 men on and only 1 out, Quade opted to go with Andrew Cashner to get him out of the jam.  Cashner came through with a double play groundout to end the threat and then pitched a perfect 8th inning as well to give him his most efficient outing in a while.  Hopefully both Coleman and Cashner take the positives from last night’s game and build some confidence before the end of the season.  Guys like Coleman, Cashner, Diamond, Berg are the future of the Cubs pitching staff, so it would be great to see them finish strong after such a long and brutal 2010 campaign.

The bats also came to life for Quade. Quade didn’t waste any time making some immediate changes to Lou Pinella’s lineup.  He moved Blake DeWitt into the leadoff spot (he has had a .392 on-base percentage since he joined the Cubs); he inserted Tyler Colvin back into the lineup in the 6-hole (Pinella inexplicably kept Colvin out of the lineup for most of the last homestand because he was in a hitting slump – gimme a break Lou – what Cubs hitter wasn’t in a hitting daze all season long?); and he dropped Alfonso Soriano into the 7-hole.  Each move paid off.

DeWitt went 3 for 5 with 2 RBI’s and a home run.  He is now hitting .284 on the season and looks to be a fixture opposite Starlin Castro in the middle of the infield.

Colvin had a 2-run single in the 3rd inning which increased the Cubs lead at the time to 3-0.  He did end up striking out 3 times, however.

And Soriano went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI’s and a run scored.  His 2-run triple in the 5th inning helped open up the game to 5-0.

Castro had 2 hits, Xavier Nady had 3 hits and 2 runs scored and Kosuke Fukudome had 2 more hits and an RBI after coming into the game for Marlon Byrd who was hit by a pitch on the hand.  X-rays were negative, but he will likely miss a game or 2 to make sure he is fully healthy.

As for the end of the Lou Pinella era, it was a mixed back for the 67-year old manager.  In his 1st season as Managers, he lead the team to an 85-77 record in 2007 and an NL Central Division crown.  His club faced the #1 seed Arizona Diamondbacks in the 1st round of the playoffs, however, and his questionable early removal of Carlos Zambrano in the 7th inning of Game 1 of the series paved the way for the series sweep.  The Cubs finished 97-64 in 2008.  The Cubs had the best record in the National League during the regular season and another NL Central Division Crown.  Hopes were high for a trip to the World Series and the unthinkable World Series, but the Cubs pitching and hitting deserted them as they were swept out of the playoffs by the Dodgers in 3 games.  The Cubs finished 83-78 in 2009.  When Lou announced his departure after the game on Sunday, the team’s record was 51-74 through the first 125 games of the 2010 MLB schedule.  Not the best way to leave his legacy, but it is what it is.

His best years were probably 2007 when he turned the team around after a horrendous start to the season.  After a slow start, Pinella jump-started his team by getting tossed from a game by the 3rd base umpire in a May game.  He also helped orchestrate the departure of disgruntled catcher Michael Barrett who got into an altercation with Carlos Zambrano.  Barrett was clearly a disruption to the rest of the clubhouse and Lou didn’t want him around anymore.  GM JIm Hendry worked a deal to move Barrett to the San Diego Padres, and after that the Cubs were one of the best teams in baseball through the final 2/3 of the season.  Pinella helped lead them all the way to the division crown that season.  In 2008, everything went right for the Cubs – great hitting, great pitching; lots of come-from-behind wins; lots of close wins, so to say that was his best year is probably an overstatement.  When things go that right, there are usually other things going on other than the Manager.  In 2009, even though the Cubs trailed the Cards by 7.5 games in the NL Central and the Rockies 8.5 for the wild card spot at the end of the season, Lou did an amazing job with his rag-tag bunch of players.  Lou had no Aramis Ramirez for over a third of the season and he had to deal with the Milton Bradley and Carlos Zambrano nightmares for good chunks of the season as well.  It was team that was falling apart at the seams and Lou did his best to keep it together, leading the c lub to a 3rd straight winning season – the 1st time that had been done since the organization had 6 straight winning seasons from 1967 through 1972.  Lou kept the Cubs in contention until the end, even though the team had big problems getting clutch hits and winning close games – they were 16-22 in 1-run games in 2009.  The year took a toll on him and that clearly carried over into the 2010 season.  In 2010, the Cubs were just 28-38 at home and 24-35 on the road under Pinella.  Even worse, the Cubs were a miserable 15-30 in 1 run games.  Take a look at teams who have played around 44 1-run games in 2010 — and you can see how much better they fared than the Cubs – the lowly Royals are 23-24 in their 47 1-run games; the Rays are 22-22 in their 44 1-run games; even the 2 worst teams in baseball play better than the Cubs in 1-run games – the Pirates are 41-84 overall but 17-19 in 1-run games and the Orioles are 44-81 overall but 22-18 in 1-run games.  When you can’t win close games and when you can’t come through with clutch hits on a regular basis, you are not going to win a lot of games.  And that’s just what happened in 2010.

Well enough of my blabbering and statistics.  I was planning on throwing in some Lou quotes, but maybe I will save that for tomorrow.  Stay tuned…

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Rookies Not Getting It Done in Prime Time – Cubs 1, Padres 5 – 8/18/10 Wrigley Field

Posted on 19 August 2010 by Lou

The Cubs used 6 pitchers in the loss and ALL 6 pitchers were rookies.  It is believed to be the 1st time since 1957 (according to the Elias Sports Bureau) that a team has done that before the September call-up of minor league players.  Casey Coleman started the game and took the loss — 3ER on 6 hits and 3 walks in 4 1/3 innings.  James Russell and Justin Berg each recorded the only batters that they faced.  Thomas Diamond (who was replaced by Coleman in the starting lineup after 3 bad starts) – tossed 2 scoreless innings allowing just 1 hit while striking out 2.  Andrew Cashner gave up a run on 3 hits in the 8th inning and Marcos Mateo gave up a run on 2 hits and a walk in the 9th inning.

The 2 biggest surprises for me are Andrew Cashner and Marcos Mateo.  Cashner started his season on fire – he did not allow a single run to score in his first 7 appearances.  Then he went through a rough – but somewhat unlucky stretch – where he allowed a run in 4 straight appearances and suffered a blown save and 3 consecutive losses.  From July 7th through July 26th, Cashner seemed to have turned it around again – allowing just a total of 2 runs to score in 8 appearances.  But since then, Cashner has really struggled.  He gave up 6 ER in each of 2 straight outings against the Astros on July 27th and the Rockies on July 30th.  And now he has given up a run in each of his last 3 outings.  His ERA has risen to 6.15 and his WHIP now stands at 1.78.  Not sure where it all went wrong for the young stud, but pitching coach Larry Rothschild really needs to work with the kid to make sure he doesn’t lose too much confidence during this rough rookie campaign.  Hopefully Greg Maddux can even re-assure Cashner that this is all part of the growing process and he will get more consistent and effective as his career catapults on.

Mateo is just awful.  Mateo gave up a run on 2 walks and a hit.  His ERA is now 12.46 and his WHIP is 3.00!  That means he let’s at least 3 runners on base every single inning that he pitches?!  Isn’t there someone else in Double-A or Triple-A who can offer more than this guy.

Now I know that the Cubs were bit by the injury bug with Jeff Gray all having season-ending injuries throw the bullpen into a tizzy, but you have to be prepared for something like that.  And clearly GM Jim Hendry and the Cubs weren’t.  It is great experience for these young pitchers to see so much major league action this early in their careers, but it is really making an already painful season to watch that much more excrutiating.

Oh yeah – it wasn’t only rookie pitchers seeing a lot of game action yesterday – outfielder Tyler Colvin, Catcher Wellington Castillo, 2nd baseman Darwin Barney and SS Starlin Castro were all in the game at the same time.  Castro and Barney each had singles, while Castillo went 0 for 3 and Colvin did not get a hit in his pinch-hit at-bat.

Alfonso Soriano was the only Cubs starter to have more than 1 hit and Jeff Baker had the Cubs only RBI with a double that plated Soriano.

FYI – Padres just completed the 4-game sweep of the Cubs with the 5-3 win today.  Not surprising that Matos shut down the pathetic Cubs offense, but what is surprising is that Sean Marshall blew the 2-1 7th inning lead that Carlos Zambrano handed to him when he allowed 3 ER in the inning to suffer his 4th loss of the season.  If Marshall and Carlos Marmol start to have issues, there truly won’t be anything good left to watch on this 2010 Cubs lineup…

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Diamond Pitches Well, But Cubs Drop 7th Straight – Cubs 2, Brewers 4 – 8/3/10 @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 04 August 2010 by Lou

It was just another frustrating loss for the Cubs – a loss that dropped the squad 15 games below .500 at 46-61.  The Cubs have not had that poor a record since the team finished 30-games under .500 in 2006 with a 66-96 record.  Could they fall that low before the end of the 2010 MLB campaign?  It wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

Manager Lou Pinella was back managing his “major league team” after spending 3 days in Florida to attend to a family funeral, and he was not pleased with his team’s continued lack of clutch hitting — “Again, we get people on and we just don’t get them in.  That’s been a recurring theme… It’s good to play hard and be competitive, but moral victories … I think that’s OK for the Little League coach.  You’ve got to work your way out of this.  These other teams, they’re not going to feel sorry for you.  They see a team that’s down and they’re going to play to keep them down.”

I love the Little League line – we’re gonna miss you next year Lou.

Rookie Thomas Diamond made his major league debut and took the loss, but it wasn’t all bad.  He pitched 6 innings giving up 3 ER on 7 hits and 3 walks.  He struck out 10 Brewers hitters, becoming only the 2nd Cubs pitcher to strike out at least 10 batters in his major league debut (Mark Prior did the same in his 1st start in 2002).  The 27-year old has spent 7 seasons in the minor leagues and he will start against the Reds on Sunday as well.

James Russell, Andrew Cashner and Carlos Marmol combined to pitch the final 2 2/3 innings of the game without allowing a run (unlike Monday night).

The Cubs had their chances — 11 hits and 2 walks — but like Lou said, they never came through with any clutch hits.  They scored a run in the 1st inning on Derrek Lee’s single, but didn’t find a way to push another run across until the 9th inning.  The Cubs had a runner on base in every inning except for the 5th inning.  They left 2 runners on base in each of the 3rd and 8th innings without scoring a single run.  The Cubs were just 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position?!  Their team batting average of .243 with runners in scoring position is a joke for the team boasting the highest payroll in the National League – what a waste of money.

Ryan Dempster looks to help the Cubs avoid the 3-game sweep at the hands of the Brewers.  Dempster has struggled of late (allowing at least 3 ER and 7 hits in each of his last 3 starts) as he has not won a game in 3 straight starts…

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Weekend Recap — Rocky High Sweep – Rockies Outscore Cubs 31-14 in 3-Game Weekend Set @ Coors Field – 7/30/10 – 8/1/10

Posted on 02 August 2010 by Lou

What a horrible weekend for the Cubs in Denver this weekend – not sure it’s even worth it to re-live the debacle.

Friday – 7/30/10 – Cubs 2, Rockies 17 – A 12-run 8th inning turned a close game into an embarrassing laugher for the Cubs.  Sean Marshall gave up hits to the 1st 2 batters he faced in the 8th inning, but then got 2 strikeouts and 2 strikes on Carlos Gonzalez before Gonzalez stroked an RBI single to start the record-setting rally.  The Rockies set a major league record by recording 11 straight hits and they had 13 hits in the inning overall which was a franchise-record. The Rockies scored 12 runs to extend their 5-2 lead to 17-2.  WOW.  The Rockies batted around twice in the inning.  Troy Tulowitki, Clint Barmes and Melvin More each had 2 hits in the inning.  Every Rockies hitter got a hit in the inning.

Sean Marshall was charged with 5 ER on 5 hits in 2/3 of an inning.  Andrew Cashner faced 6 batters and did not record a single out – 6 hits, 6 runs, 2 home runs.  And Brian Schlitter mopped up the mess with 1 ER on 2 hits and 2 walks as he recorded the final out of the inning on an Ian Stewart fly ball to deep center field with the bases loaded.

Marshall had this to say — “It was dumbfounding as for us as it was people to watch the game.  You hate to be on the receiving end.  I don’t think it’s going to happen again.”

Manager Lou Pinella had this to say — “I’d never seen an inning like that.  We had two outs and two strikes on a hitter and they score 12 runs.  I’d never seen an inning like that.” The problem is Lou – it seems like you or another member of the Cubs organization has said that same thing about a dozen times this year.  The Cub sseem to invent new ways to lose on a daily basis these days…

Saturday – 7/31/10 – Cubs 5, Rockies 6 – After Derrek Lee’s game-tying 3-run home run in the top of the 8th inning, the Cubs thought their luck might change. Marshall even came in and pitched a scoreless inning of relief in the bottom of the inning, but interim Manager Alan Trammell opted to stick with Marshall to face the left-handed hitting Carlos Gonzalez instead of bringing in closer Carlos Marmol to start the 9th.  And that turned out to be a fatal mistake as Gonzalez crushed the 1st pitch he saw into the 3rd deck in deep right field.  It was a walk-off 6-5 win for the Rockies as Gonzalez used that home run to complete hitting for the cycle in his final at-bat of the game.

Tom Gorzelanny looked mortal again in the elevation of Colorado.  He pitched 6 1/3 innings, but gave up 5 ER on 9 hits and 2 walks.

Sunday – 8/1/10 – Cubs 7, Rockies 8 – Another poor start to the game put the Cubs in a hole on Sunday.  Carlos Silva only pitched to 4 batters because he was suffering from an abnormally high heart rate.  He had to make a trip to a Denver area hospital and did not make the trip back to Chicago after the game.  Silva recorded one out, but suffered his 5th loss of the season, giving up 2 ER on 2 hits and a walk.  James Russell did not fare much better, giving up 4 runs (2 earned) on 2 hits and a walk in his 2 2/3 inning of work.  And while Carlos Zambrano tossed a scoreless 4th inning, he ran into trouble in the 5th inning giving up 2 ER on 2 walks and 2 hits.  He walked the first 2 men he faced in the inning and both runners scored.  Just like that – it was 6-0 after 2 innings and 8-0 after 5 innings.  Not good, when you are riding a 4-game losing streak.

The Cubs made it interesting in the late innings.  Derrek Lee and Geovany Soto each singled in runs in the 7th inning.  Alfonso Soriano cut the lead to 8-4 in the 8th inning with a solo HR.  In the 9th inning, Rockies closer Huston Street walked Lee and Soto with 1 out.  Marlon Byrd then triple in Lee and Soto and the lead was 8-6.  Soriano’s sac fly on a spectacular play by outfielder Nat Fowler plated Byrd to cut the lead to 8-7.  If Fowler doesn’t catch that ball, who knows how far Soriano goes on the play.  But with no one on base, Street struck out Jeff Baker to end the game.

One other bright spot for the Cubs — newly acquired Blake DeWitt had 3 hits in his Cubs debut.

All in all, it was a brutal road trip for the Cubs. After winning the 1st game in Houston, the Cubs proceeded to drop the final 5 games of the trip.  The Cubs are now 13 games under .500 at 46-59 and they trail the 1st place St. Louis Cardinals by 13 games…

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Lilly Agrees to Forego Remaining 2010 Salary in order to Facilitate Trade from Lowly Cubs — Cubs 1, Astros 6 – 7/27/10

Posted on 28 July 2010 by Lou

Begging clearly didn’t do the trick, so now Ted Lilly has had to take drastic measures.  He has agreed to forego the remaining amounts owed to him for his salary for the 2010 MLB schedule in order to convince a team to take him on for the final 2 months of the season.  Groveling on his knees to Cubs GM Jim Hendry didn’t do the trick last week, so Lilly hopes that pitching for free for the rest of the season will help a team decide to pull the trigger on the stellar lefty.  Lilly has grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of run support that he has received from his teammates in 2010. Last night was a perfect example.  Lilly pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 8 Astros hitters.  But when he left the game, the score was still 0-0.  You see, during that time, the Cubs had just 2 base runners against Bret Myers – a double by Tyler Colvin in the 4th inning and a Marlon Byrd walk in the 5th inning.  Yippee!!!

With another wasted outing from Lilly, the lefty is fed up with pitching well and having nothing to show for it.  With a 1.14 WHIP and a 3.69 ERA, it is shocking to see that Lilly has a 3-8 record.  Lilly has now allowed zero earned runs in 4 of his 18 starts and he has won only 2 of those games?!  In 5 of his starts where he has allowed 1 or 2 earned runs, he has a a 1-1 record with 2 no decisions.  Unbelievable.  I know you just have to chalk things up to bad luck sometimes, but this is a little ridiculous.  No wonder the guy is willing to do anything to get traded off of this sham of a team.

Talk about a futile offense at times.  Colvin ended up with 2 of the Cubs 4 hits, while fellow rookie Starling Castro had 1 and Byrd had the other. Colvin accounted for the Cubs lone run with a homer off Myers in the 9th inning.

Andrew Cashner’s streak of good luck finally ran out. After helping Lilly get out of a 2 on, 2 out jam in the 6th inning by striking out Chris Johnson, Cashner imploded in the 7th inning.  2’s were wild as he hit 2 batters, walked 2 batters and gave up 2 hits – with the big blow coming courtesy of a Lance Berkman Grand Slam to deep center.  The 6 runs allowed sealed the Cubs fate, but I like Manager Lou Pinella’s move to keep Cashner in the game after the Berkman bomb.  He showed some toughness once again by getting Chris Johnson to line out for the 3rd out of the inning.

It was another frustrating loss in a long, frustrating season for the Cubs in 2010.  Let’s hope Randy Wells can salvage the series finale on Wednesday.  It’s not looking good, however, as the Cubs trail the Astros 7-1 in the 8th inning.  Ouch…

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Carlos Silva Proves he is Still “Trade-Worthy” in Cubs 5-2 Win Over Astros in Houston – 7/26/10

Posted on 27 July 2010 by Lou

After 2 dismal starts right before and right after the All-Star Break, Carlos Silva pitched 5 “good” innings against the Astros on Monday night to prove he is still “trade-worthy” before Saturday’s looming trade deadline.  Kind of reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where Elaine deemed her then boyfriend Billy to be “sponge-worthy” for 1 (or more I guess) of the limited number of contraceptive sponges that she had left when the manufacturer decided to halt further production of the same.  In my opinion, Silva is clearly “trade-worthy” and I really hope that GM Jim Hendry can find a way to move the big (“beefy” big, not just good “big”) righty before Saturday’s trading deadline.

Despite giving up a 1st inning on 2 hits, Silva settle down and didn’t allow a run the rest of the way in his 5-inning start.  He pipcked up his 10th win of the season allowing just a total of 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 4.  His season WHIP of 1.22 and ERA of 3.76 are much better than anyone could have imagined when the team acquired him in exchange for the troubled Milton Bradley.  Now as it turns out, not only did the Cubs get rid of a cancer in the locker room, they also acquired a pitcher who figured out how to re-invent himself in the National League.  His hefty salary for 2011 ($13 million) might limit the likeliness that he will be traded before Saturday, but if the Cubs are willing to eat some of his salary, who knows.  And who knows, even if they can’t move him this season, since the Mariners are paying $3 million of his salary in 2011, the Cubs could decide to keep him another year since he does eat up innings or a team could approach the Cubs this off-season to make a deal for Silva in the winter.

The Cubs offense got a LOT of hits – 13 – but scored only 5 runs. Once again, they blew a lot of good opportunities to break the game open, but at least they got enough good pitching to win the game.  Geovany Soto had a 2-run double to give the Cubs the 2-1 lead in the 2nd inning.  The Cubs added 2 more runs in the 3rd inning on a Marlon Byrd groundout and an Alfonso Soriano double.  Ryan Theriot also hti his 1st home run – a solo shot in the 6th inning – breaking a 700 at-bat homerless streak.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – you gotta love the young relievers in the bullpen.  Andrew Cashner came in in the 7th inning with 2 on and 2 out to end the Astros scoring threat.  And then Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol pitched scoreless innings in the 8th and 9th.  Cashner now has 5 holds, Marshall has 14 holds and Marmol has 19 saves.  Sure, depending on what happens, Cashner and Marshall could both end up in the Cubs starting rotation in 2010, but that lethal trio at the back end of a game looks pretty damn good if you are a Cubs fan.

Ted Lilly makes the Cubs start tonight in Houston in Game 2 of the series.  Will it be the final start in a Cubs uniform for the feisty lefty – guess we’ll have to see how things play out the rest of the week…

OH YEAH — Carlos Zambrano “apologized” to the Cubs organization in an interview with Pedro Gomez on ESPN – we’ll have more on that in the coming days as Big Z gets ready to re-join the major league squad at the end of this week in Colorado!

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