Posted on 13 June 2011 by Lou
The Cubs dropped 3 of 4 against the Phillis in Philadelphia this weekend and are now 25-39 and a whopping 12 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central race. Only the Houston Astros have a worse record than the Cubs in all of baseball.
Sean Marshall, who had been so reliable all season long, finally had a hiccup in Sunday’s 4-3 loss. Marshall surrendered a 2-run single to Ryan Howard in the 7th inning that gave the Phillies their 1st lead of the game. The loss wasted a golden chance to split the series between the Phillies. They took a 3-0 lead off of Roy Oswalt in the 1st inning on a Starlin Castro double and an Aramis Ramirez 2-run home run. But the Cubs never pushed another run across the board the rest of the way. Doug David was in line to get his 1st win of the season despite a poor outing – he allowed 5 hits and walked 5 hitters, but kept the damage to a minimum by allowing just 2 ER in 5 innings. But at least he didn’t get the loss – for the 1st time in 6 starts…
On Saturday, Matt Garza looked much better in his 2nd straight since returning from the DL. He went 6 innings, allowing just 1 ER on 5 hits and 3 walks. He allowed 2 runs in the 1st inning but kept the Phillies off the board through his final 5 innings of work. Sean Marshall struggled by allowing 2 ER on 3 hits in the 7th inning and Casey Coleman was not much better – 3 ER on 2 hits and a walk in the 8th.
It does not get much easier for the Cubs this week. They host the 1st place Milwaukee Brewers for 4 games at Wrigley Field starting tonight and then the Yankees for 3 games over the weekend.
Posted on 09 June 2011 by Lou
Ryan Dempster helped the Cubs end their longest skid of the 2011 campaign with a 4-1 win over the Reds in Cincinnati. Dempster worked 6 solid innings of 1-run ball to even his record at 5-5. Dempster worked out of tough jams in the 1st and 3rd innings, limiting the Reds to just a single run despite excellent scoring chances. Dempster gave up just 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 8.
The Cubs bullpen finally delivered in a pressure-packed situation. Kerry Wood notched hold #9 despite a 2-out triple in a scoreless 7th inning.
Sean Marshall struck out 2 in his perfect 8th inning – his 12th hold of the season.
And Carlos Marmol notched save #11 with a perfect 9th inning.
Everyone let out a collective sigh of relief as Marmol closed the door on the Cubs 1st win in 9 days.
Carlos Pena gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead with a 2-run bomb to deep right field in the 4th inning. On the next pitch, Aramis Ramirez increased the Cubs lead to 3-1 with only his 3rd homer of the season. And Kosuke Fukudome scored an insurance run on a balk in the 7th inning that gave the bullpen some room to work with.
The Cubs “improved” to 24-36 and they trail the Cards by 11.5 games in the NL Central race.
Posted on 04 June 2011 by Lou
Another day, another losss for the Cubs as they fell 9 games behind the 1st place Cards with a 6-1 loss on Friday night. Dempster served up a 3-run HR to Lance Berkman in the bottom of the 1st inning and that was all she wrote as Jaime Garcia stifled the Cubs once again during the 2011 campaign. Dempster allowed all 6 Cards runs on 8 hits and 3 walks in just 5 innings of work. While Garcia tossed 8 innings of 1-run ball with 8 K’s en route to his 6th win of the season.
The Cubs managed only 5 hits on the night, including the 1st career hit for DJ LeMahieu who was just called up to play some 3rd base with the recent facial injury to Aramis Ramirez.
Randy Wells will have to beat one of the hottest pitchers in baseball today – Kyle Lohse (7-2, 2.13 ERA) – if the Cubs are going to be able to snap their 4 game skid.
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…
Posted on 01 June 2011 by Lou
The Cubs continue to find new, lower ways to lose – Carlos Marmol gave up 6 runs in the 9th, blowing the win for Carlos Zambrano and helping the Cubs lose 7-3. Ouch.
The Cubs trailed 1-0 for most of the game. Then in the 8th inning, the Cubs finally had some good things come their way as the Cubs tied the game at 1-1 on a throwing error by the Astros’ pitcher on Tyler Colvin’s sacrifice bunt. Then Darwin Barney and Aramis Ramirez gave the Cubs the lead with RBI doubles. It looked like the Cubs would finally get that elusive win.
But it wasn’t meant to be as Carlos Marmol suffered his 3rd blown save, allowing 6 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk to give the Astros a 7-3 lead. Marmol only recorded 1 out in the disastrous 9th inning.
Kudos to Carls Zambrano who had one of his best starts of the season and kept his cool after the Marmol debacle. Big Z worked 8 innings of one-run ball, scattering 7 hits and no walks with 7 strikeouts. The only run he allowed came on a Brett Wallace solo home run back in the 4th inning.
The Cubs fell to 3-5 on the current home stand and now trail the Cards by a whopping 8.5 games in the NL Central race.
Posted on 21 May 2011 by Lou
Ouch — what an ugly loss – 15-5, 4 more errors from the Cubs defense. Just when you thought they might make a turn after winning 2 over the Marlins in Miami this week, they go back to their “old” losing ways in Boston.
Doug Davis was downright bad – 7 ER on 8 hits and 3 walks with 3 K’s in just 3 2/3 innings pitched. Scott Maine recorded just 1 out in his work durnig the 4th and 5th innings. He gave up 3 ER on 5 hits with 1 walk. And Jeff Samardzija had his 1st bad outing in a while, turning a 10-5 laugher into an embarrassing 15-5 riot. He gave up 5 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks in the bottom of the 8th inning. All in all, the Red Sox pounded out 19 hits including 2 home runs.
James Russell was the only effective Cubs pitcher as he tossed 3 scoreless innings in the middle of the game.
Jeff Baker did have a good night at the plate – 4 for 5 with 2 runs scored. Aramis Ramirez followed that up with 3 hits and an RBI. Alfonso Soriano and Reed Johnson each had 2 hits in the loss.
The pressure is now on Carlos Zambrano and Matt Garza to try to salvage the series against the Red Sox at Fenway park in Boston this weekend.
Posted on 11 May 2011 by Lou
Chris Carpenter and Carlos Zambrano each pitched 7 innings and the game was tied at 4-4 when both pitchers departed. But the Cards got the best of the Kerry Wood in the 8th inning, scoring 2 runs off of the dependable righty. Wood allowed 2 hits and 3 walks in the inning as the 2 winning runs scored on Daniel Descalso’s 2-out bases loaded single.
The Cubs pounded out 13 hits and drew 3 walks, but only managed to score 4 runs. The 1st inning set the tone once again. The 1st 4 Cubs batters reached base as they scored 2 runs on Aramis Ramirez’s single up the middle. But with 1st and 2nd and nobody out, Alfonso Soriano grounded into a double play and even though the Cubs loaded the bases again, they failed to push across another run. Ramirez ended the night with 3 hits and the 2 RBI’s, while Darwin Barney had 3 hits and 2 runs scored. Marlon Byrd also had 2 hits and 1 run scored. In the 7-hole, Starlin Castro came through with an RBI single in the bottom of the 7th inning which tied the game at 4.
Zambrano gave up 4 ER on 8 hits and 2 walks in his outing. He did not factor in the decision.
Matt Garza goes up against Jake Westbrook in game 2 of the series tonight. They need Garza to be the “stopper” tonight if they look to avoid the sweep with the Cards having a favorable match-up tomorrow – Jaime Garcia (4-0, 1.99 ERA) v. Casey Coleman (1-2, 6.29 ERA). Good luck with that one…
Posted on 16 April 2011 by Lou
Matt Garza fell to 0-2 as the Cubs dropped the opener to the Rockies 5-0. It’s crazy how one swing of the bat can change a game. Chris Iannetta tripled with the bases loaded and one out in the 2nd inning and then scored on Satrlin Castro’s fielding error. And just like that, the Rockies took a 4-0 lead and never looked back. It was their 8th straight win. Garza ended up giving up 5 ER on 7 hits and 2 walks with 5 K’s. He now has a 1.71 season WHIP and a 6.27 season ERA – not what the Cubs expected when they traded 4 high level prospects for the big righty.
The Cubs offense was just as much to blame for the loss. The Cubs managed just 6 hits against Jhoulys Chacin who tossed his 1st career complete game shutout. Aramis Ramirez had 3 of the team’s hits, but the top 3 in the order – Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, Marlon Byrd – who had been so hot all season long went a combined 0 for 11. Ouch.
Casey Coleman makes his 2nd start in place of Randy Wells tonight against the Rockies at Coors Field.
Posted on 07 April 2011 by Lou
It was not a good day for the Cubs as Ryan Dempster fell to 0-2 as the Cubs lost to the DBacks 6-4. Dempster gave up 5 runs (4 earned) on 10 hits over 7 innings pitched. It was the most hits he had allowed in a game since 2008. Dempster did strike out 8 DBacks hitters, but his ERA rose to 6.59 and his WHIP rose to 1.46. Not good for your “ace” of the staff.
Aramis Ramirez hit his 1st home run of the season and has gotten off to a hot start – .333 batting average. Alfonso Soriano hit his 3rd home run of the season, but they have all been solo shots and he is only hitting .273. After a very slow start, Marlion Byrd had 2 hits in the loss and is now up over .300. And Kosuke Fukudome had 2 hits and is hitting .357. Now we just need the rest of the team to start swinging a good bat.
As for the other losses, they came off the field. Randy Wells woke up with a strained forearm the day after his Monday start, but an MRI showed no structural damage. Wells with not pick up a baseball for 2 weeks and should be able to pitch fairly soon after that assuming no further pain develops. Wells was the Cubs most consistent pitcher all spring and he followed that up with a great first start – only 1 ER allowed over 6 innings pitched in the Cubs 4-1 win on Monday.
Andrew Cashner was having a similar great 1st start on Tuesday when he developed shoulder soreness in his throwing shoulder. An MRI revealed that he has a mild strain of the back of the rotator cuff of his right arm. Cashner will not do anything for two weeks too, but look for the Cubs to be even more careful with Cashner. He has a powerful arm and is seen as a top major league starter for years to come.
Casey Coleman was called up from Triple-A Iowa and will start against the Brewers in Milwaukee on Sunday. James Russell – who has pitched out of the bullpen thus far this season – could end up starting for the Cubs against the Astros in Houston next week. We’ll keep you posted as soon as the Cubs decide exactly what to do with the 5th starter…
Posted on 23 March 2011 by Lou
So far so good for Carlos Silva today in Mesa – the righty has thrown 6 innings of 1-run ball and the Cubs lead 2-1. This could go a long way in helping Manager Mike Quade and the Cubs decide to go with Silva over Andrew Cashner for the 5th and final starting spot in the Cubs 2011 rotation. After giving up an earned run on 2 hits in the 1st inning, Silva really got into a groove through the next 5 innings. Silva surrendered just 1 hit during that stretch and he has yet to walk a batter while striking out 3. It is also impressive that Silva has made it unscathed through 6 innings. Cashner hasn’t pitched more than 4 innings in any spring appearance, so the length of the start could be a factor in Quade’s decision.
As I stated yesterday, I really think the safe move is to go with Silva in the 5th spot and Cashner out of the bullpen. The Cubs view Cashner as a long-term work-in-progress front-line starter, so there is no need to rush him in a 2011 campaign that will probably leave a lot left to be desired. Cashner hasn’t built up his arm strength to be a starter yet and with less than 10 days to go before the start of the big league season, I have a feeling that the Cubs will opt to go with Cashner out of the bullpen where he had some nice success in 2010. Silva has only this year left on his contract and if he performs well early this spring, the Cubs would more than likely try to move him before the trading deadline, even if they’re still in the hunt for a playoff spot. They would love to move some of Silva’s $12 million salary and if they did move Silva in a trade, they could then stretch out Cashner to be the 5th starter or bring up someone from the minor leagues to take over that 5th spot. Cashner was effective during long stretches in 2010, and although he did endure some bumps along the way, he is a dependable arm in the bullpen for the Cubs.
On a hitting side, although the Cubs have managed just 2 runs on 4 hits in today’s game so far, you had to like the 1st inning when both Geovany Soto and Alfonso Soriano came through with clutch 2-out run-scoring singles to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead. The Cubs are going to need a lot of clutch hitting this season if they expect to be competitive during the long MLB season. Without a lot of fire power outside of Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena, the rest of the team is going to need to be patient and get on base. And once on base, the Cubs are going to need to come through with timely hitting, especially with runners in scoring position or with 2 outs. Consistent quality hitting and patience at the plate are going to be 1 HUGE keys for how well this team does in 2011…