Tag Archive | "Aramis Ramirez"

Tags: , , , , ,

Coleman Outduels Carpenter?! – Cubs 7, Cards 3 – 9/25/10 Wrigley Field

Posted on 26 September 2010 by Lou

Casey Coleman outdueled Chris Carpenter to pick up his 3rd win of the season.  Despite giving up 3 runs in the 1st 3 innings, Coleman stayed focused and ended up pitching 7 solid innings.  He did not allow another run after the the Cards scored 2 runs in the 3rd (one of which was unearned).  Coleman gave up 5 hits and 2 walks and struck out 4 in the process.  Sean Marshall pitched a scoreless 8th inning giving up 1 hit.  And Carlos Marmol struck out the side in the 9th inning.

Blake DeWitt, Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano each had 2 hits for the Cubs.  The Cubs scored 5 runs off of Carpenter in only 4 innings as they put together a few good rallies with 7 hits and 4 walks.

Jeff Samardzija looks to get Cubs fans a win in the final home game of the season at Wrigley Field today.  He is going for his 3rd win in 3 starts since being called up from Triple-A…

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , ,

Cubs Still Showing Lack of Consistency with Latest Losses @ Wrigley Field — Cubs 0, Giants 13 9/23/10 & Cubs 1, Cards 7 9/24/10

Posted on 24 September 2010 by Lou

So much for that great Cubs finish – the last 2 losses show that the Cubs are still a long ways away from being an NL playoff contender anytime soon.

Thursday 9/23/10 – Cubs 0, Giants 13 – Ouch.  Ryan Dempster was denied his 15th win of the season, as he couldn’t even get out of the 2nd inning.  The Giants used a 9-run 2nd inning to blow the game open courtesy of 2 home runs and 6 RBI’s from the “light-hitting” Juan Uribe in the 2nd inning alone.  He hit his 1st 2-run HR of the inning off of Dempster and then drilled a Grand Slam off of Thomas Diamond to cap the scoring. Dempster has had a few rough outings of late.  Last night, he ended up giving up 9 ER on 7 hits and 2 walks.  He gave up 7 ER to the Pirates back on August 31st.  Dempster will look to pick up win #15 next week and he also needs 8 K’s in order to reach 200 for the season.  He is already over 200 innings pitched for the 3rd consecutive season since being switched from closer to the starting rotation.  While Dempster is no ace, he is a solid #3 starter.  Problem is that the Cubs don’t have a #1 or #2 starter right now.

Friday 9/24/10 – Cubs 1, Cards 7 – Ouch again. The Cubs managed just 6 hits and a walk off of Adam Wainwright who picked up his 20th win of the season.  The Cubs didn’t fare much better against Kyle McClellan and Ryan Franklin as the duo retired 9 of the 10 batters they faced to finish off the Cubs.  Aramis Ramirez accounted for the lone Cubs run with his solo home run.  Tom Gorzelanny was downright bad in his 1st start since August 27th – 7 ER on 7 hits and 5 walks in 3 1/13 innings.  Overall, it was just another bad day for the Cubs at Wrigley.  The Cubs have now scored just 3 runs in 4 games this week.  They have been shutout twice and lost 7-1 today.  Not good…

The Cubs hope that Casey Coleman can even up the series when he takes on Chris Carpenter at Wrigley Field tomorrow afternoon with an early 12:05PM start.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , ,

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.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Zambrano Sharp Again; Cubs Offense Explodes – Cubs 14, Pirates 2 – 8/30/10 Wrigley Field

Posted on 31 August 2010 by Lou

Carlos Zambrano is making it tough off the Cubs management with another “good” start in the Cubs 14-2 win over the Pirates on Monday night at Wrigley Field.  The Cubs handed interim manager Mike Quade his 1st managerial win at the Friendly Confines in an easy win.

Zambrano gave up just 1 unearned run in 5 1/3 innings as he evened his record at 6-6.  He scattered 4 hits and 4 walks while striking out 7 Pirates hitters.  While he hasn’t had the best control since returning to the rotation in early August, Zambrano has has not allowed more than 2 ER in any of his 5 starts.  In his last 3 starts, he has allowed just a total of 2 ER.  Zambrano is still owed $39 million over the next 2 years, so the Cubs have a major decision with what to do with the big righty.  If the Cubs can find a taker for Big Z without having to eat a major chunk of the remaining money owed to him, I would think that the Cubs would move him without thinking twice about it.  But if a team willing to take Zambrano would want the Cubs to pay a large chunk of that $39 million, the Cubs should pass on it.  Assuming Zambrano keeps his act together for the rest of this season and assuming he shows that he is willing to work hard in the off-season, it would be better for the Cubs to take their chances with the big righty.  He can still be effective as a starter as he has shown the last 5 starts and would fit in nicely in the middle of the rotation assuming the Cubs can bring in a bigger name free agent pitcher this off-season.

The Cubs offense exploded in the win:

Aramis Ramirez led the way with 2 hits and 4 RBI’s.

Starlin Castro had 3 hits and 3 runs scored and his .313 batting average now puts him 5th in the National League for the batting crown.

Jeff Baker in the lead-off spot again against the lefty Paul Maholm notched 2 hits, driving in 2 runs and scoring twice.

Marlon Byrd did the same – 2 hits, 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored.

Xavier Nady and Koyie Hill each had 2 hits, while Carlos Zambrano hit a 2-run home run in the 5th inning.

18 hits, 14 runs scored – one of the bets nights all season long for the Cubs.

Cubs fielding, however, continued to be an issue.  Errors by Darwin Barney and Alfonso Soriano led to unearned runs scoring in the 6th and 8th innings.  In a closer game, those errors could have come back to haunt the Cubs.

In a pre-game ceremony, the Cubs honored Andre Dawson for his 2010 induction into the Hall of Fame.  Dawson spent 6 seasons on the north side of Chicago and he won the NL MVP Award with the Cubs back in 1987.  Dawson was excited to share the special night with his favorite Cubs fans — “You are the greatest fans ever.  Without you I wouldn’t be standing here tonight.”

Ryan Dempster looks to make it 2 in a row for the Cubs over Jeff Karstens and the Pirates.  Dempster has had a great August — 4-0 with a 1.31 ERA in 5 starts — and he has 12 wins with a 3.42 ERA overall.

Comments (3)

Tags: , , , , ,

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.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , ,

Bye Bye Lou – Sweet Lou’s Last Day as Cubs Manager Ends on Down Note – Cubs 5, Braves 16 – 8/22/10 Wrigley Field

Posted on 23 August 2010 by Lou

It should not have come as much of a surprise the way the Cubs players sent Lou Pinella off during his last game as Cubs Manager.  The Cubs lost another series at Wrigley Field with their 16-5 loss to the Braves on Sunday.  Despite racking up the same number of hits as the Braves – lucky number 13 – the Braves made their hits count more – scoring 16 runs in the process.  Omar Infante and Jason Heyward each belted 2 home runs in the onslaught against Randy Wells and 4 rookie relievers.  It was definitely not the way that Lou wanted to go out, but given the fact that he pretty much gave up a long time ago, you can’t really expect too much more from his players.  I know Pinella has a lot of personal issues going on, but you can’t help but wonder if he had shown as much emotion during the season as he showed before the game when he announced it would be his last, maybe the results would have been a little bit different this season.  Pinella started his tenure as Cubs manager with a lot more emotion and fire.  Maybe the Milton Bradley saga was too much for him to bear in 2009, and that frustration and struggle seemed to carry over during the 2010 MLB schedule.  He never argued too many calls too vehemently.  He never got upset with his players other than to suggest that “his hands were tied” and that they just had to go back out the next day and try harder.  And he never really tried to motivate his team as far as we can tell.  Sure he tried a lot of different lineups and different arms in the bullpen, but in the end, it wasn’t enough.  And maybe his players could tell that he really didn’t care at all as well, so why should they.

That being said, we’ll have a lot more on Lou and the managerial hunt this week.  You can’t argue with his 1st 2 seasons at the helm – 2 consecutive NL Central Division titles and 2 straight playoff appearances.  The Cubs had not done that in a very long time.  On the other hand, the Cubs didn’t win a single playoff game with Lou in charge – losing 6 straight games to the Diamondbacks and Dodgers in 2007 and 2008.  Maybe they were underdogs in 2007, but there were no excuses for the top National League team in 2008.

As for Sunday’s loss, it the same old story.  Bad pitching.  Some good hitting (lots of hits) but no clutch hitting (only 5 runs).  Cubs players struck out 13 times as rookie Mike Minor racked up 12 K’s in only 6 innings?!  Starlin Castro did have the 1st 4-hit game of his career with 2 doubles.  He is hitting .316 and is very close to qualifying for the NL batting crown which would put him in a tie for 4th place with Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols.  Marlon Byrd and Aramis Ramirez also had 3 hits apiece.

The Cubs are now 51-74 on the season and the trail the Cincinnati Reds by 21.5 games?! Ouch.  Keep checking back this week – we’ll have more on Lou as well as some stories on potential candidates to replace Lou in 2011.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , ,

Ha-Ha-Ha – Definitely Saw This One Coming – Marmol Blows Game as Cubs Lose for 5th Straight Day This Week – Cubs 3, Braves 5 – 8/20/10 Wrigley Field

Posted on 21 August 2010 by Lou

You could see this one coming from a mile away.  Ryan Dempster stymied the Braves all game long.  He gave up just 2 ER over his 8 stellar innings, scattering 4 hits and 2 walks during the process.  He struck out 7, but he labored through the 8th inning, upping his pitch count over the 100-pitch mark.  With a slim 1-run lead, it made sense to go to Closer Carlos Marmol to finish off the game.  3 walks later and a bases-clearing triple to Rick Ankiel with 2 outs in the 9th inning, and the Cubs had lost another frustrating game in 2010.  The loss was the “Major League Team Called the Cubs” 5th straight loss of the week – Monday through Friday – all at Wrigley Field.  It was the Cubs 8th straight loss at home dating back to the last homestand in which the Reds swept them in a weekend series in early August.  What is it going to take for this team to win on a consistent basis again?

The simple answer is “A LOT”.

The Cubs offense racked up 10 hits but once again, the team only scored 3 runs.  Aramis Ramirez had 2 hits and 2 RBI’s.  Kosuke Fukudome continued his hot hitting with 2 more hits in the lead-off role.  Koyie Hill even had 2 hits and an RBI tryuing to make up for his bonehead fielding play the day before.  But it wasn’t enough as the Cubs wasted way too many scoring chances all day long.

Derrek Lee made his 1st start for the Braves against his former team – must have been weird for him getting ready in the other locker room and donning a Braves uniform at the Friendly Confines.  The Cubs fans gave him a standing ovation during his 1st at-bat in the 1st inning.  He went 0 for 4 as Dempster and Marmol each struck him out once.

It’s up to Tom Gorzelanny to try to stop the bleeding today at Wrigley Field — good luck guy!

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Cubs Surprise Cards with Series Win in St. Louis over the Weekend – Cubs 3, Cards 2 – Saturday 8/14/10 & Cubs 9, Cards 7 – Sunday 8/15/10

Posted on 16 August 2010 by Lou

It was a surprising series win for the Cubs over the Cards over the weekend in St. Louis.  That makes 2 straight series wins for the Cubs over the 2nd place team in the NL Central (the Cubs took 2 of 3 from the Cards at Wrigley Field from July 24th through July 26th).  Unfortunately, it’s still just too little too late for this underachieving 2010 Cubs squad.

Saturday 8/14/10 – Cubs 3, Cards 2 – The Cubs didn’t hit all that well against Chris Carpenter and a duo of relievers, but they did just enough to get Carlos Zambrano the win.  Aramis Ramirez had 2 hits including a solo home run in the 2nd inning that tied the game at 1.  Koyie Hill doubled in Marlon Byrd with a 2-out double later in the inning that gave the Cubs the lead for good.  Derrek Lee also added a solo shot in the 3rd inning that increased the Cubs lead to 3-1.  It was lee’s 2nd home run in as many days since returning from the bereavement list.

As for Big Z, Zambrano notched his 1st win in over 2 months, tossing 5 2/3 innings.  He gave up 2 ER on 7 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3.  It wasn’t great, but anytime you beat the Cardinals it is a good thing.  Sean Marshall worked an inning and a third of scoreless ball and then handed the ball off to Carlos Marmol with a man on and 1 out in the 8th inning.  Marmol worked the 5-out outing for his 20th save of the season.

Sunday 8/15/10 – Cubs 9, Cards 7 – Derrek Lee led the way with solo home runs in the 1st and 3rd innings.  A bigger day eluded the big man as he left the game in the 5th inning with lower back spasms.  But it was his 4th home run in the weekend series.

The Cubs then blew the game open with a 6-run 4th inning off of Kyle Lohse and Mike McDougal.  Koyie Hill had a 2-run double; Ryan Dempster helped his own cause with an RBI single; Fukudome had an RBI double; and Marlon Byrd had an RBI single – his 2nd hit of the inning.  Byrd had 3 hits and also scored a run when he led off that frame with his 1st hit of the inning.

The Cubs did their best to try to hand the game back to the Cards in the 9th inning.  Marcos Mateo recorded 2 straight outs in the 8th inning, but then self-destructed in the 9th inning.  He gave up a lead-off home run and then a single and 2 hits before being replaced by James Russell.  Russell walked in a run making the score 9-4, which forced Manager Lou Pinella to go with closer Carlos Marmol to save the day.  Marmol gave up a 2-run single which cut the lead to 3 runs, and then he gave up a run-scoring ground out.  But eventually he closed the door on the win for the Cubs, notching his 21st save in the process.

Ryan Dempster pitched well – 6 2/3 innings, 2 ER on 5 hits and 2 walks on a hot and humid St. Louis day.  He picked up his 11th win on the season.

Now it’s back to Wrigley Field where the Cubs host the NL-West-leading San Diego Padres.  Tom Gorzelanny looks to start the series off on a positive note tonight at the Friendly Confines.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Cubs Top Lincecum – You Betcha?! Hey Lou (or Alan) – “It’s Time to Rest Marshall & Marmol!” – Cubs 8, Giants 6 – 8/10/10

Posted on 11 August 2010 by Lou

Pitcher’s duel between Ryan Dempster & Tim Lincecum?  Not a chance as each team racks up 14 hits as Cubs win 8-6.  It was a rare impressive offensive attack for the Cubs as Tyler Colvin, Starlin Castro, Aramis Ramirez and Kosuke Fukudome led the way.

Although Colvin has struggled recently, you have to like what he brings to the table every day.  And Starlin continues to shine night in and night out.  Take the 1st inning for example — Colvin led off with a single and stole 2nd base.  Castro drove him in with a single and then stole 2nd base too to get into scoring position.  Ramirez then drove him in with a single and then scored on Fukudome’s home run.  Now I know it doesn’t happen like that too often, but you had to like 4 runs on 4 hits and still only 1 out in the 1st inning.

Colvin and Castro also came through in the 4th inning for the Cubs.  Colvin earned a 2-out walk with the bases loaded and then Castro came through with the clutch 2-out single that plated Koyie Hill and Ryan Dempster to extend the Cubs lead to 6-2.

Ramirez ended up with the best night – 3 hits, and RBI and a run scored.

And Mike Fontenot came through with a clutch 2-run pinch-hit double in the 8th inning that gave the Cubs a much-needed 8-4 lead (see below).

Dempster pitched “OK”.  The Giants are not the best hitting team, so when you’re staked to a 4-0 1st inning lead against a pitcher like Tim Lincecum, you cannot give back lone runs in the 1st 2 innings of the game.  Sure one of the runs was unearned, but Dempster has to be better.  He gave a light-hitting Giants lineup way too many chances to score with 8 hits and 2 walks over 6 2/3 innings.  He gave way to Andrew Cashner in the 7th inning after he gave up a single and a walk with 2 outs.  Cashner gave up Buster Posey’s 2-out double which cut the Cubs lead to 6-4, but he buckled down to strike out Pat Burrell to end the threat.

Sean Marshall struggled again with a walk and a hit in the 8th inning, but he kept the Giants off the scoreboard.

And Carlos Marmol gave up 2 runs on 4 hits in a non-save situation in the 9th inning.

Marshall and Marmol have been so good all season long, but they have made way too many appearances because the rest of the bullpen was so bad.  Marshall has made 59 appearances – 6-3 record, 1.11 WHIP, 2.45 ERA, 69 K’s and 19 walks.  In all of 2009, Marshall appeared in just 55 games (with 9 starts).  Marmol has appeared in 52 games – 2-2 record, 1.24 WHIP, 2.75 ERA, 96 K’s and 34 walks.  Marmol appeared in 79 games in 2009 and 82 games in 2008, but there is NO reason to throw him that many times in 2010.  Lou or Alan – whoever is managing the club day in and day out – please rest Marshall and Marmol!

Tom Gorzelanny battles Barry Zito in Game 2 of the series.  It should be another good picther’s duel, right?!

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , ,

My Prediction Was Right on the Money; Big Z Back on the Bump Tonight – Cubs 3, Reds 4 Saturday 8/7/10 & Cubs 4, Reds 11 Sunday 8/8/10 Wrigley Field

Posted on 09 August 2010 by Lou

Boy do I love to gloat – was I right on the money with my prediction of a Reds’ sweep of the Cubs over the weekend or what? This team is just getting way to easy to read these days.

There really isn’t much to say about either game.

Saturday 8/7/10 – Cubs 3, Reds 4 – Randy Wells pitched well but ran out of steam in the 8th inning when the Reds came through with the clutch hits that the Cubs could not during the game. Daniel Stubbs led off the 8th inning with a home run that gave the Reds a 2-1 lead.  Wells allowed the next 2 batters to reach base, but Justin Berg got a double play to put the Cubs into position to get out of the inning only down 1 run.  But Paul Janish came through with a clutch 2-out single that gave the Reds a 3-1 lead late in the game.  The Reds tacked on an unearned insurance run in the 9th inning off of Carlos Marmol.  Blake DeWitt’s 2-base error allowed Lance Nix to reach 2nd base.  Then Stubbs came through with another 2-out single to give the Reds a commanding 4-1 lead heading into the final frame.  The Cubs would make it interesting in the 9th inning when Reds’ closer Francisco Cordero walked the bases loaded with only 1 out.  Cordero plunked Starlin Castro to force in a run.  After a Derrek Lee strikeout, Cordero forced in another run by walking Aramis Ramirez.  But he eventually got out of the game by striking out Marlon Byrd to end the game.

Sunday 8/8/10 – Cubs 4, Reds 11 – After a “good” 1st major league start, Thomas Diamond showed his true colors in his 2nd major league start. He had poor control right from the start and that gave the patient hitting Reds team too many early opportunities to tack on runs.  Diamond lasted just 3 innings, giving up 5 ER on 4 hits and 3 walks.  Fellow young pitcher fared equally as bad – Casey Coleman gave up 2 ER on 2 hits and 2 walks in his 3 innings; James Russell gave up an ER on 2 hits and a walk in his 1 inning; and Mitch Atkins “cleaned up” the mess by allowing 3 ER on 5 hits in his 2 innings.  What a joke…

The weekend series sweep is a perfect example of how bad the Cubs season has been.  They got fairly good pitching overall (except for Sunday maybe), but got literally NO consistent offense from the lineup.  0 runs in Friday’s 3-0 loss.  In Saturday’s 4-3 loss, the Cubs got only 6 hits.  Their 1st run scored on a sacrifice fly (not a hit) and their last 2 runs scored because Cordero was a complete wreck – the Cubs didn’t even put the ball in play in the 9th inning against Cordero yet they still scored 2 runs.  How pathetic.  Sunday was even worse.  The Cubs did not get their 1st hit of the game off of rookie Travis Wood  until Koyie Hill’s single in 1 out in the bottom of the 6th inning.  In the 7th inning, Jeff Baker homered for a legitimate run.  Then Lee walked and Ramirez doubled him to 3rd base.  But then Juan Francisco’s throwing error allowed Lee and Ramirez to score.  Now sure, Lee probably would have scored on the ground out even without Francisco’s error and Ranirez likely would have scored on a sacrifice fly during Soriano’s fly out in the next at-bat, but it just seems like the Cub shave to rely on the other team’s mistakes in order to score runs.  In the 3-game series, the Cubs scored runs in only 3 of the 27 innings played.  And in one of those innings – the 9th inning on Saturday – they only scored 2 runs because Cordero handed it to them on a silve platter with 4 walks and 1 hit batsman.  Keep in mind – the Cubs scored 15 runs in 4 different innings in Wednesday’s win over the Brewers – which by the way, is their only win in the last 11 games.

Things have gone from bad to worse for this Cubs squad.  I really feel bad for the new Cubs manager during the 2011 MLB schedule.  This team as constructed has no confidence in themselves.  The team is going to continue to struggle offensively for the forseeable future and the young pitchers that the Cubs keep trotting out in 2010 have not been effective either.  This is going to be a work-in-progress, and it’s going to take a patient manager to bring everything together over the next few years as young players mature and bad contracts come off the books (Soriano, Fukudome, Zambrano, Silva) so that Cubs management can slowly bring in new players via free agency to complement the home grown talent.

Carlos Zambrano returns to the starting rotation tonight against the Giants in San Francisco.  This is going to be a must-see event.  I’m really hoping that Zambrano can pitch well the last 8 starts of the season.  If he can show that he has his “head on straight” and that he can still be effective, there could still be some hope that GM Jim Hendry can find a team willing to take a flyer on the problematic Cubs starter.  Should be interesting…

Comments (0)

Advertise Here

Photos from our Flickr stream

See all photos

Advertise Here