Tag Archive | "Blake DeWitt"

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Would the Cubs Really Trade Aramis Ramirez? – Wrigley Field 11/13/10

Posted on 13 November 2010 by Lou

I heard ESPN Radio 1000′s Bruce Levine talking about the Cubs potentially moving Aramis Ramirez this winter for some younger players.  Could this really happen?

Gimme a break – this is getting very ugly on the North Side.  Bruce Levine who has some great sources inside the Cubs has already said that the Cubs cannot afford the kind of deal (3-years, $40 million) that free agent 1st baseman Adam Dunn will command on the open market this winter.  Now, Levine has thrown out the idea that the Cubs could move their biggest run-producer – when healthy – to a team looking for a 3rd baseman (like the Boston Red Sox if they don’t re-sign Adrian Beltre) or potentially a Designated Hitter (like the Boston Red Sox when David Ortiz leaves after the 2011 MLB season).  This is truly getting ridiculous.

I know the Cubs want to go young to try and build around Starlin Castro, Tyler Colvin, Blake DeWitt and some of the other young pitchers that have had some share of success at the major league level.  But to throw the season away before it even starts doesn’t make any sense to me.  The NL Central is not the best division, so even with the mediocre team that the Cubs currently have, they could still make a run for the division title if some things fall into place.  The Cardinals are 1-Chris Carpenter injury away from being in the middle of the pack.  The way Dusty Baker works his starting rotation (see Mark Prior and Kerry Wood with the Cubs), we know that some of the talented, young Reds starters – Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, Travis Wood – could quickly end up on the DL or have down seasons because Baker overworked them in 2010.  If either the Cards or Reds take a stepback, that opens the door for another team to squeeze to the top.  It might not be the Cubs, but it could be.

Sure Ramirez has played in only a total of 206 games during the last 2 seasons combined, but he is still productive when in there.  He had 25 HR’s and 83 RBI’s on one of the worst Cubs offensive teams in recent years.  Plus, back in 2008 when he played in 149 games, Ramirez smacked 27 HR’s and drove in 111 runs with another 97 runs scored.  Even at 33 years of age, the guy can still play and the Cubs will need him to be in the lineup if they expect to compete in 2011.  If the Cubs do decide to move Ramirez this off-season, that would mean that the Cubs have officially packed it in for 2011 – that without even throwing a single pitch.  And that would be a horrible message for the Ricketts Family to send to the Cubs players and its loyal Cubs fan base…

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Gorzelanny, Cubs Finish off West Coast Road Trip Strong — Cubs 1, Padres 0 – 9/30/10

Posted on 01 October 2010 by Lou

The Cubs took 3 of 4 from the playoff-contending San Diego Padres this week, as they continue their strong play under interim skipper Mike Quade.

Tom Gorzelanny tossed 6 scoreless innings in his final start of 2010.  Gorzelanny scattered 3 hits and 4 walks during his outing and he struck out 3 Padres batters.  He didn’t get a decision, but it was a great way to end the season for Gorzelanny as he had an up-and-down season while bouncing between the bullpen and starting rotation.

The bullpen shined in the win once again.  Andrew Cashner has really finished the season strong – he retired all 4 batters that he faced with 2 strike outs.  From August 12th through the 21st, Cashner got roughed up giving up 7 ER in 5 appearances.  But since then – a stretch of 17 outings – Cashner has given up just a total of 3 earned runs.  During the positive stretch, he has a 1-1 record and he has racked up 9 holds.  The Cubs are going to need Cashner to play a prominent role in the Cubs bullpen in 2011 if they expect to have more consistency late in close games during the season.

Sean Marshall pitched 2/3 of an inning to keep the score tied at 0 at the end of 8 innings.  He earned the win – his 7th of the season – when the Cubs scored in the top of the 9th inning.  Carlos Marmol notched his 39th save by pitching a perfect 9th inning with 2 K’s.  He has now lowered his ERA to 2.58 and his WHIP to 1.20.  Marshall and Marmol should both expect to get big paydays – whether through a contract extension or arbitration – this offseason.

The Cubs offense was not great, but it managed to scrape across a run against Padres closer Heath Bell in the 9th inning.  Aramis Ramirez singled to lead-off the inning.  Darwin Barney pinch-ran for Ramirez and advanced to 2nd base on Xavier Nady’s sacrifice bunt.  Then Brad Snyder delivered the game winning hit with a single to shallow left field.  Blake DeWitt was the only Cubs player with more than 1 hit in the game – he had a single and a double off of Jon Garland.

The Cubs finish their season with a weekend series against the Astros in Houston.  Casey Coleman, Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster are scheduled to make the final 3 Cubs starts.

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The Carlos Zambrano Train Keeps on Chugging Along – Cubs 1, Padres 0 – 9/27/10

Posted on 28 September 2010 by Lou

The Carlos Zambrano train keeps on chugging along.  Big Z tossed 7 scoreless innings giving up just 3 hits and 4 walks along the way.  He also had 5 K’s.  It was his 7th win in 10 starts since returning to the starting rotation back in early August and it was his 10th win overall in 2010.  At this point, it would be a huge shock if the Cubs try to move Zambrano this off-season.  Without a clear #1 starter, Zambrano has started to convince people that he is still worthy of the 5-year, $80+ million deal he signed a little over 2 years ago.

Sean Marshall pitched a perfect 8th inning with 2 K’s to preserve the 1-0 lead.

Carlos Marmol made it interesting in the 9th inning but picked up his 35th save of the season.  After recording 2 strikeouts to start the inning, he loaded the bases with a single, hit batsman and walk.  But he got out of the jam by getting Nick Hundley to fly out to right field.

Blake DeWitt had 3 hits in the win and he drove in the lone Cubs run with a single in the 7th inning after Alfonso Soriano doubled with 2 outs.  Marlon Byrd also had 3 hits for the Cubs.

The Cubs continue to play spoiler as the win knocked the Padres out of the NL Wild Card lead.

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Cubs End 2010 Home Season on Down Note — Cubs 7, Cards 8 – 9/26/10 Wrigley Field

Posted on 27 September 2010 by Lou

The Cubs ended the 2010 home schedule on a down note with another loss to the Cardinals – 8-7 on Sunday at Wrigley Field.

Jeff Samardzija struggled mightily with his control – 7 walks in just 4 1/3 innings pitched.  He also gave up 7 hits.  That led to 8 runs for the Cards.  Not good.  Samardzija’s WHIP (2.12) and ERA (8.38) blew up with the awful start.

Blake DeWitt was the only Cubs player with more than 1 hit.  He also scored 2 runs, as did Xavier Nady and Bobby Scales (who walked 3 times and had 1 hit).

The Cubs end the season with a 7-game road trip to San Diego and Houston.  Carlos Zambrano takes the bump tonight against the Padres.

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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…

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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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Carlos Zambrano Pitches & Hits Cubs to 4-0 Win – Cubs 4, Brewers 0 – 9/10/10 Miller Park

Posted on 11 September 2010 by Lou

Carlos Zambrano looked like the Zambrano that merited the 5-year, $78 million deal he signed 3 years ago as he dominated the Brewers in the Cubs 4-0 win.

Ryan Dempster looks to follow Big Z’s M.O. and shake off 2 bad starts in a row as he takes on Randy Wolf and the Brewers at Miller Park today.

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Wells Disappointing Sophomore Season Continues on North Side – Cubs 0, Astros 4 – 9/8/10 Wrigley Field

Posted on 09 September 2010 by Lou

Randy Wells’ disappointing sophomore season continued on the north side in Wednesday night’s 4-0 loss to the Astros.  Wells gave up 4 ER on 9 hits and 2 walks over 6 innings.  Although the Astros did not score more than 1 run in any inning, Wells always seemed to be working out of a jam.  This has become a much-too-familiar story for Wells all season long.  I really hope the new manager decides to part ways with Larry Rothschild.  Rothschild has been the Cubs pitching coach since the Dusty Baker days.  Lou Pinella kept him on when he took over 4 years ago.  Not one single pitcher has really emerged as a consistent baseball star coveted by other teams under his tutelage.  Pitchers have had a good year or 2 and then regressed or gotten injured on his watch.  It’s about time that the new manager bring in his own staff with some fresh ideas and how to develop some of these young pitchers coming up in the Cubs organization.

Bret Myers had another dominant effort against the Cubs.  Myers had a perfect game going until he walked Geovany Soto in the 5th inning.  The Cubs ended up getting just 5 hits and 1 walk in the game.  They had more than 1 runner on base in only 3 innings.  In the 5th, Alfonso Soriano singled after Soto’s walk, but both players were left stranded on base.  Tyler Colvin had a double in the 7th inning, but couldn’t score on Soto’s shallow single to left field.  Both runners were left stranded.  In the 8th inning, Starlin Castro and Blake DeWitt had back-to-back singles, but neither player scored.  All in all, it was not a good offensive showing by the Cubs.

After an off-day today, the Cubs embark on a 9-game road trip that will have them playing the Brewers in Milwaukee, the Cardinals in St. Louis and the Marlins in Florida.  Oh boy – what fun.  Do you think the Cubs will even draw a total of 30,000 fans for the 3-game weekend series in Miami next weekend?  I doubt it…

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Soriano, DeWitt Lead Cubs to Big Win Over Mets @ Wrigley Field — Cubs 7, Mets 6 – 9/3/10

Posted on 04 September 2010 by Lou

Alfonso Soriano and Blake DeWitt each hit 3-run home runs to lead the Cubs to a 7-6 win over the New York Mets on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.  Soriano’s homer in the 4th inning gave the Cubs a 4-3 lead.  DeWitt’s homer in the 6th inning broke a 4-4 tie to give the Cubs a 7-4 lead.  They held on as the Mets hit 2 solo home runs in the 7th and 8th innings to cut the Cubs lead to just 1 run.  But Carlos Marmol worked a scoreless 9th inning – despite issuing ANOTHER walk – to pick up his 26th save on the season.

I really like this DeWitt kid.  In addition to the 3-run homer, he had another single.  He has a .327 on-base percentage and has a bit more pop in his bat than Ryan Theriot with his 5 HR’s and 46 RBI’s.  He is also a lot younger as he just turned 25 about 2 weeks ago.  It will be interesting to see how he matures under the tutelage of Rudy Jaramillo (and potentially Ryne Sandberg as the new Cubs skipper in 2011).  But I like the idea of DeWitt and Starlin Castro shining in the middle of the infield in the near future.

Speaking of Castro, he had 2 more hits and his batting average is now .319 which keeps him in 3rd place in the NL just 4 percentage points behind Joey Votto of the Reds.  Catching Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies (.331) might be tough, but anything can happen in the final 4 weeks of the season.

Xavier Nady continues to excel as he gets more playing time as the Cubs regular 1st baseman since Derrek Lee’s departure.  Nady had 3 hits, 1 RBI and 2 runs scored and always seems to be in the middle of Cubs rallies these days.

For the 2nd straight game, a Cubs pitcher picked up his 1st major league win.  Casey Coleman notched the win in the Cubs victory over the Pirates on Wednesday.  And on Friday, James Russell picked up his 1st major league win by recording the final out of the 6th inning.  Russell retired the only batter that he faced to get Randy Wells out of his jam.

Speaking of Wells, it was another so-so outing for Wells who is enduring a sophomore slump of a 2010 MLB schedule.  Wells surrendered 4 ER on 8 hits and 4 walks with 4 K’s.  He did not have a single 1-2-3 inning during his outing and his ERA is now 4.56 and his WHIP is now 1.44.  Not good.

Interesting fun fact — going into yesterday’s game, the Mets had not hit more than 1 home run in a game in 31 games.  Of course, against Cubs pitching, the Mets hit 2 home runs – 1 by David Wright and 1 by Luis Hernandez.

The Cubs and Mets play game 2 on Saturday afternoon – Carlos Zambrano takes the bump against .  Big Z is looking for his 3rd straight win in as many starts and his 4th win since returning to the starting rotation on August 9th.  Not bad, not bad at all.

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Gorzelanny Cracks Under Pressure in Cincinnati – Cubs 1, Reds 7 – 8/27/10 Great American Ballpark

Posted on 28 August 2010 by Lou

Tom Gorzelanny had a golden opportunity to continue to showcase his stuff for a 2010 starting rotation spot.  He was going up against the 1st place Reds in a hostile environment facing a lineup that loves to rake in its home park.  It was the perfect time to show that he can pitch on the big stage against one of the more productive lineups in the National League today, but Gorzelanny cracked under the spotlight, giving up 6 ER on 7 hits (including 3 home runs) over his 5 innings of work.  Maybe he just had an off-night, but he clearly showed that he is still simply a back-of-the-rotation starter on your average-to-bad major league ballclub.  Gorzelanny walked 2 and struck out 1 and fell to 7-8 on the season with a 3.98 ERA.  The ERA is still under 4.00 (a stat I like), but with his 1.46 WHIP, he gives too many teams too many chances throughout an outing.  And eventually, that usually comes back to haunt you like it did last night.  Jay Bruce stroked 3 home runs on the night (2 off of Gorzelanny) and Chris Valaika stroked the other homer off of Gorzelanny.

The Cubs offense left a lot to be desired as well.  The team only managed 6 hits off of Johnny Cueto and a Reds reliever.  They didn’t draw a single walk on the night.  Xavier Nady and Marlon Byrd each had 2 hits for the Cubs.  Tyler Colvin drove in the only Cubs run with a double in the 4th inning.  Blake DeWitt had the only other Cubs hit in the lead-off spot.

So, the Cubs 3-game winning streak has ended, and now it’s back to reality after winning 3 games in a row over the Nationals.  Sure the Nationals have a better record than the Cubs in 2010, but are they really that much better of a team?  Probably not.  But the Reds are one of the best teams in the NL this year, and it’s clear that the Cubs cannot compete at their level.  Randy Wells will give it a shot tonight as he takes on Bronson Arroyo in Game 2 of the series tonight at the Great American Ballpark.

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