Tag Archive | "Bryan LaHair"

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Happy All-Star Game – Kansas City – Wrigley Field 7/10/12

Posted on 10 July 2012 by Lou

Happy All-Star Game from your friends at MyCubsToday.com!

Matt Cain gets the start for the National League while Justin Verlander goes for the American League.

Cubs fans get to root for Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair.

Go National League Go!!!

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Cubs Belt 5 Home Runs en Route to 12-3 Laugher Over White Sox – Wrigley Field 6/19/12

Posted on 19 June 2012 by Lou

It’s also nice to get an easy win – especially for the Cubs who still have the worst record in all of baseball at 23-44.  The Cubs belted 5 home runs and cruised to an easy 12-3 win over the White Sox on the south side.  It was the 1st time the Cubs beat the White Sox in 4 tries this year.  Matt Garza pitched 6 innings on a 90+-degree night and won just his 3rd game of the season. He gave up 3 ER on 2 home runs, but limited the damage while striking out 6.  He lowered his WHIP to 1.11, but his ERA is still over 4 at 4.07.

The Cubs clobbered 15 hits and scored 12 runs.  Starlin Castro had 3 hits (1 home run), 2 RBI’s and 3 runs scored.  Bryan LaHair added 2 hits, 2 RBI’s and 1 run scored on his 13th homer of the year.  Alfonso Soriano (1 home run) had 2 hits and 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored.  But the real star was Luis Valbuena who added 3 hits including a 3-run homer in the 7th inning.  He has raised his batting average to .294 while getting extended playing time while Ian Stewart is injured.

Jake Peavy and Travis Wood get to face the 90+degree elements tonight in what should be another high-scoring affair.  Look for lots more long balls – this time probably a few more from the south siders who “only” hit 2 on Monday night.

Go Cubs Go!!!

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At Last – Dempster Leads Cubs to 10-0 Road Win Over Brewers at Miller Park – Wrigley Field 6/5/12

Posted on 05 June 2012 by Lou

At last – the Cubs crushed the Brewers 10-0 at Miller Park ending their 11-game road losing streak.  Ryan Dempster retired the 1st 15 batters that he faced in the game, flirting with a perfect game.  But he allowed a lead-off single to Cody Ransom to lead off the 6th inning which ended his bid.  Dempster ended up going 7 innings of 3-hit ball AND he picked up his 1st win of the season, ending an 18-start streak (dating back to August 18th of last year) in which he had not won a game.  Dempster sounded relieved when the Cubs had won: “It felt nice.  It’s been a while.  It was nice to go out there and win a game like that, and see everybody, the guys played great defense and hit the ball and they made all the plays and scored a bunch of runs.”

Alfonso Soriano, Jeff Baker and Bryan LaHair all hit home runs.  Starlin Castro had 3 hits.

Let’s hope they can keep it up against Zach Greinke on Wednesday night at Miller Park.  Greinke is almost unbeatable at home, so Paul Maholm and the Cubs will have their work cut out for them.

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Maholm, Cubs Take Series Over Braves with 1-0 Shutout – Wrigley Field 5/9/12

Posted on 09 May 2012 by Lou

It was a pitcher’s duel series, as Paul Maholm out-dueled Tim Hudson in the series finale today at Wrigley Field.  Maholm pitched 7 scoreless innings, winning his 4th straight decision.  He scattered 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 3.  He lowered his WHIP to 1.08 and his ERA to 4.05.  Nice!

The Cubs were equally ineffective offensively – 5 hits and no walks.  Starlin Castro almost scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the 4th inning as his line drive down the right field line scooted past Jason Heyward.  He had a triple and tried to score an inside-the-park HR but was gunned down on a nice relay throw by Dan Uggla.  They had to wait until the 7th inning when David DeJesus led off with a single.  Dejesus moved over to 3rd base on a sac bunt by Tony Campana and groundout by Castro.  Then Bryan LaHair came up with the clutch 2-out single to left center field that plated DeJesus with the only run of the game.

James Russell made it interesting in the 8th inning when he put 2 runners on base, but he got Uggla to pop out to DeJesus to end the threat.  Then Rafael Dolis worked a perfect 9th inning for his 3rd save of the season.  Dolis got Chipper Jones to line out to left field to lead off the inning – that was likely his last at-bat for his illustrious career at Wrigley Field.

With the win, the Cubs improved to 13-18.  They have won 2 straight series and they split the 2 series before that against the Phillies and Reds, so they are actually playing some pretty good ball right now.

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Samardzija, Cubs Cool off Red-Hot Braves with 5-1 Win – Wrigley Field 5/7/12

Posted on 07 May 2012 by Lou

Jeff Samardzija improved to 4-1 with a dominant 5-1 win over the Braves on Monday night at Wrigley Field.  The Braves had won 3 in a row scoring 29 runs in a 3-game sweep over the Rockies in Colorado over the weekend, but Samardzija worked his magic and held the Braves to just 1 run on Jason Heyward’s homer in the 2nd inning.  Samardzija worked 7 innings and allowed just 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7.  He lowered his WHIP to 1.19 and his ERA to 3.03.  Samardzija continued to show great command and a mastery of mixing up his pitches to keep the hitters off-guard.

Carlos Marmol made his 1st appearance after being removed from the closer’s role.  In the 8th inning, he walked the 1st two batters and threw wild pitch before getting the next 3 batters without allowing a run.  It wasn’t pretty, but at least he preserved the lead.

James Russell worked the 9th – he allowed a hit with 2 K’s and closed the door for the Cubs 3rd win in 4 games.

Bryan LaHair hit his 8th home run off the season to tie the game at 1.  Ian Stewart followed up with a back-to-back homer right after that and Reed Johnson almost made it 3 in a row, but his shot fell just short of the wall in deep left.  Starlin Castro added 2 hits including an RBI single in the 7th inning that increased the Cubs lead to 3-1.  Geovany Soto gave the Cubs some much needed insurance runs with a 2-run blast in the 8th inning.

It’s always good to get the 1st win in a series, so let’s hope the Cubs can clinch another series win with a big W on Tuesday night at the Friendly Confines…

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Cubs Settle for Split with Phillies After 6-4 Loss – Wrigley Field 5/1/12

Posted on 01 May 2012 by Lou

The Cubs were looking for their 2nd straight series win, but settled for a split with the Phillies after losing 6-4 on Monday night.  It was not a pretty night for Chris Volstad yet again as he surrendered 4 1st inning runs to put the Cubs in an early hole.  Volstad ended up going a full 6 innings (4ER on 8 hits and 3 walks) to his credit, but he can’t keep having these sub-par outings.

Give the Cubs some credit for battling back against the Phillies though.  Geovany Soto wasted a golden opportunity with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 7th when he grounded into a double play.  But at least he didn’t strike out I guess.

In the 8th, Tony Campana walked, stole 2nd and scored on Starlin Castro’s RBI single.  Then it was Bryan LaHair who stroked a game-tying 2-run jack to deep right center field to give the Cubs new life.

But it was short-lived as the Cubs bullpen couldn’t force extra innings.  Scott Maine plunked Juan Pierre with 1 out in the 8th.  Then Rafael Dolis served up a Jimmy Rollins single which put runners on the corners with 2 outs.  Dolis couldn’t close the door as he gave up a game-winning 2-run double to Placido Palonco to give the Phils a 6-4 win.

The Cubs go to Cincinnati to take on the Reds – they are 8-15 – 7 games back of the 1st place St. Louis Cardinals.

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Volstad Loses Again – Cubs Can’t Pull Off Sweep of Cards – Wrigley Field 4/26/12

Posted on 26 April 2012 by Lou

Chris Volstad is 3 for 3 – not in a good way – he has lost each of his last 3 starts.  The Cubs dropped the series finale to the Cardinals 5-1 on Wednesday afternoon, just missing out on their 1st sweep of the young campaign.

Volstad actually didn’t pitch all that bad, but a 3-run 6th inning did him in.  He allowed a go-ahead double to Carlos Beltran and then a 2-run bomb to deep left field to David Freese.  Just like that, a 1-1 tie turned into a 4-1 deficit.  Volstad finished the 6th and was hit up for 4 ER on 6 hits.  The good news was that he did not walk a batter.  The bad news was that he lost his 3rd straight decision and still has an ERA of 6.14.

The Cubs offense didn’t do him any favors on Wednesday.  They managed just 6 hits and 2 walks against surprise “ace” Lance Lynn.  Lynn is 4-0 with a nasty 0.81 WHIP and 1.33 ERA.  However, the Cubs had their chances – but never seemed to put a solid inning together.  In the 2nd, Ian Stewart erased Alfonso Soriano’s lead-off single with a double play.  The next hitter Steve Clevenger doubled, but nobody was on base.  In the 5th inning, Darwin Barney reached 3rd base with only 1 out, but Tony Campana and Starlin Castro could not deliver him home.  The Cubs lone run scored on Bryan LaHair’s solo shot in the 4th inning.  LaHair has lived up to the pressure of playing 1st base at Wrigley Field so far.  He leads the teams with 4 home runs and 11 RBI’s and he is hitting .364 with a plentiful .463 on-base percentage.

The Cubs now start on a difficult 7-game road trip through Philadelphia and Cincinnati.  At least the Phillies are still without Ryan Howard and Chase Utley which should give the Cubs pitchers a slightly better chance…

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2 in a Row – Cubs Rally for 3-2 10th Inning Win Over Cards – Wrigley Field 4/25/12

Posted on 25 April 2012 by Lou

WOW – 2 nights in a row, the Cubs pull off the walk-off win.  It gave the Cubs their 1st winning streak of the season (2 games) and their 1st series win of the season.  Even if the Cubs lose to the Cards today (which it looks like they will), they’ll still have won 2 of the 3 games this series en route to their 1st series win.  18 games seems a long way to wait for that elusive win, but we’ll take it.  At 6-12, the Cubs trail the 1st place Cards by just 5 games now.

It was a full team effort.  Jeff Samardzija was masterful again – it was great to see him bounce back from his poor outing in Miami when he uncharacteristically walked 5 batters and gave up 8 hits and 5 ER in just 3+ innings of work.  On Tuesday night, Samardzija was mixing his speeds and pitches, keeping the Cards hitters guessing and off their game.  Samardzija tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 9.  He did not factor in the decision, but he kept his club in the game.

The bullpen almost blew the lead – Rafael Dolis walked Rafael Furcal in the 8th and then Matt Holiday stroked the go-ahead 2-run homer off of Carlos Marmol to give the Cards a 2-1 lead.

But Bryan LaHair’s lead-off homer in the 9th inning tied the game at 2 and sent the contest into extra innings.

With 1 out in the 10th, Tony Campana singled and stole second base on a controversial play in which it appeared that the Cardinals 2nd baseman – Tyler Greene – blocked the bag before Campana could reach 2nd.  Cards Manager Mike Matheny argued the call and was eventually thrown.  After a Starlin Castro strikeout (he struck out in each of his last 3 at-bats!!!), the interim bench coach opted to walk the hot-hitting LaHair to face the light-hitting Alfonso Soriano.  That move back-fired, as Soriano hit a bad-hop single right at Greene that brought home Campana with the running run.

James Russell pitched a perfect top of the 10th with 2 K’s to pick up his 1st win of 2012.  He has not allowed an ER all season.  Michael Bowden – who was acquired from the Red Sox for Marlon Byrd over the weekend – made his Cubs debut.  He loaded the bases in the top of the 9th by issuing 2 walks and a single, but he got out of the jam to keep the Cubs within 1 run for LaHair’s heroics.

The Cubs have some momentum going.  Let’s hope they can come back again today to get the win before they head off on a 7-game tough road trip through Philadelphia and Cincinnati.

 

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6 & Counting – Cubs Drop Series Opener to Reds 9-4 — Wrigley Field 4/20/12

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Lou

The losses keep piling up for skipper Dale Sveum and his mediocre ball club.  The Reds handed the Cubs a 9-4 loss today at Wrigley Field in a brutally cold, annoying contest.  I’m not sure how I missed this, especially after a lot of positives built up during a “successful” spring training.  But this team is bad and it is going to take a LONG time for Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and staff to build it back up.

Chris Volstad dropped to 0-2 after giving up 6 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks in his 5 innings of work.  His 1.38 WHIP and 6.19 ERA needs to improve.  The Cubs position players didn’t help much – they committed 3 errors in the field and managed just 5 hits.  The Reds committed 2 errors themselves leading to 3 unearned runs on the day.  Not good when only 1 of your 4 runs scored was a legit run. The star of the day was clean-up hitter Bryan LaHair who had 2 doubles on the day.

The Cubs also got some bad news off the field.  They placed Kerry Wood on the 15-day with shoulder tiredness.  And Ryan Dempster has a sore right quadriceps muscles which he had examined in Chicago today.  If he can’t go on Sunday against the Reds, Randy Wells will make the spot start for the Cubs in the series finale against the Reds.

The Cubs are now on a 6-game losing streak.  Their 3-11 record is the worst in baseball and they trail the NL Central leading St. Louis Cardinals by 6.5 games already…

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Lost Weekend in St. Louis – Cubs Drop 2 of 3 to Cards – Wrigley Field 4/15/12

Posted on 15 April 2012 by Lou

It was a lost weekend for the Cubs in St. Louis, especially after Jeff Samardzija pitched the Cubs to the opening win of the series on Friday.  Game 1 went smoothly for the Cubs.  Ian Stewart gave the Cubs an early lead with his 3-run homer in the 1st inning.  Bryan LaHair’s 1st career grand slam opened that lead up to 8-0 in the 3rd inning.  Sure, Samardzija made it interesting with his 5-run 5th inning, but the bullpen shut down the Cards offense the rest of the way.  Rafael Dolis worked 2 scoreless innings allowing just 1 hit.  James Russell and Kerry got 3 outs in the 8th inning to set it up for closer Carlos Marmol in a non-save situation in the 9th.  Marmol pitched a perfect 9th with 2 K’s and just like that, the Cubs had their 1st winning streak of 2012.

But the rest of the weekend was awful.  The bats went quiet against Lance Lynn in a 5-1 loss on Saturday and against Jake Westbrook in a 10-3 drubbing on Sunday.  On Saturday and Sunday, the Cubs offense combined for just 4 runs on 12 total hits.  And on Saturday, Chris Volstad pitched 6 innings, but a 4-run 4th inning (due in part to 2 Starlin Castro errors) doomed him and the Cubs.  Volstad only gave up 6 hits and didn’t walk a batter, but Cubs pitchers are going to have to be better than that night in and night out.  On Sunday, Paul Maholm had his 2nd straight awful start giving up 6 ER on 6 hits in just 4 innings of work.  A veteran used to pitching to NL central ball clubs has now racked up a 1.88 WHIP and 13.50 ERA in 2 starts.  Ouch…

The Cubs now travel to Miami to take on Ozzie Guillen, Carlos Zambrano and the new-look Marlins in a much-anticipated series.  I can’t wait…

 

 

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