Posted on 22 June 2011 by Lou
Each team had 7 hits and no errors. Neither team scored more than 1 run in any given inning. But it was the White Sox who emerged with a 3-2 win after a lengthy rain delay because of heavy storms that pounded the Chicago area.
The White Sox took an early 2-run lead on Paul Konerko’s solo homer in the 2nd and Juan Pierre’s sac fly in the 3rd. It was Konerko’s 5th straight game with a home run, tying a franchise record.
Carlos Pena homered for the 2nd straight night in the 5th and Aramis Ramirez tied it up at 2 with a sac fly in the 6th.
Matt Garza tossed 5 solid innings before the rains came – 2 ER on 4 hits and 1 walk.
Jeff Samardzija pitched a perfect 6th inning before running into trouble in the 7th. Samardzija got Alex Rios to pop out with 1st and 3rd and nobody out, but then Brett Morel delivered the game-winning sac fly that gave the Sox a 3-2 lead.
The Cubs had their chances. They scored only 1 run in the 6th after having a 1st and 3rd, 1 out scenario. They had 2 on and 1 out in the 8th inning and came away empty.
Doug Davis will battle Jake Peavy in the series finale tonight at the Cell. Let’s hope Davis can duplicate his performance last Friday when he stymied the Yankees to just 1 run and 3 hits in 7+ innings of work.
Posted on 21 June 2011 by Lou
WOW – I thought this one was over after 1, but Carlos Zambrano proved that maybe he has “changed” in the Cubs 6-3 win over the Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday night. Zambrano allowed 3 of the first 4 batters he faced to score as Carlos Quentin delivered an RBI single and Paul Konerko delivered a 2-run home run in the 1st inning. Big Z could have cashed it in and given in to his demons (just a year ago, he got into an altercation with teammates in the dugout of this same cross-town classic rivalry and was suspended by the Cubs for his actions). Instead, Zambrano re-gained his focus during the break and went on to pitch 8 outstanding innings to give his club a chance to win an important game. Zambrano allowed 2 White Sox hitters to reach base only once more during the game. That was in the 5th inning when he put himself in a 1st and 3rd 1-out jam facing the middle of the lineup. But he battled and got Carlos Quentin to fly out and Paul Konerko to strike out to keep the Cubs trailing by just 1 run.
Starlin Castro was the other Cub player who stepped up big in the win. Castro’s 2-run single cut the White Sox lead to 3-2 in the 3rd inning. And after Big Z’s heroics in the 5th inning, Castro led of the 6th inning with a game-tying solo home run to deep left field. Gavin Floyd seemed shaken by the HR – he then surrendered a single to Blake DeWitt and a walk to Aramis Ramirez. Then it was time for Carlos Pena to deliver the game-changing 3-run bomb to deep right center field that gave the Cubs a 6-3 lead. And that’s how it stood the rest of the way.
Carlos Marmol made it interesting in the 9th inning – he gave up 1-out singles to A.J. Pierzynski and Alex Rios to bring the tying run to the plate. But marmol got Mark Teahen to line out to right field and Juan Pierre to ground out to 2nd base to preserve the 6-3 Cubs win. It was Marmol’s 15th save and it also gave Big Z his 6th win of the season.
Matt Garza and Mark Buehrle battle it out in game 2 of the cross-town classic series tonight at U.S. Cellular Field…
Posted on 14 June 2011 by Lou
Not a bad way to start the 7-game homestand on Monday night – a 1-0 win over the Brewers at Wrigley Field. Ryan Dempster had his best start of the season, tossing 7 scoreless innings and scattering 4 hits with 1 walk and 7 K’s in the process. He did not factor in the decision, but he lowered his bloated WHIP to 1.41 and his ERA to 5.48. Jeff Samardzija pitched a perfect 8th inning and notched his 4th win of the season when the Cubs scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the frame. Carlos Marmol walked Prince Fielder with 2 outs in the 9th inning, but he struck out former Cubs player Casey McGehee for the final out much to the delight of the Wrigley faithful. It was Marmol’s 13th save of the season.
As for the bottom of the 8th inning, Darwin Barney singled with 1 out and moved over to 3rd base on Carlos Pena’s double to deep left field. Aramis Ramirez did what he needed to do drive in the winning run. His groundball to shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt gave Barney just enough time to make it home with a nifty little hook slide around catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
While this team certainly doesn’t have what it takes to contend for a playoff spot, they’re probably not as bad as their 26-39 record indicates. The Cubs activated Jeff Baker from the DL and inserted him into the 3-spot in the lineup. He had one hit with 1 K, but it was Pena who pinch-hit for Baker in the 8th inning. The Cubs also put Kerry Wood on the DL with a nagging blister issue on his throwing hand. The Cubs trail both the Brewers and Cardinals by 11 games in the NL Central race.
Posted on 10 June 2011 by Lou
Could this be the win that turns the Cubs 2011 season around? Probably not, but you have to like the resolve that the Cubs showed in erasing a 3-0 2nd inning deficit against one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball. Little by little, the Cubs chipped away at the Phillies lead. Starlin Castro drove in the Cubs first run with a single in the 6th inning. Carlos Pena delivered a nice run-scoring double in the top of the 8th inning that brought the Cubs within 1 run. And Geovany Soto tied it up off of closer Ryan Madsen with a 1-out solo home run in the 9th inning. And when Tyler Colvin crushed a ball that appeared to be another home run that put the Cubs ahead 4-3, the Cubs thought they might have their first winning streak in a long, long time. But reply of the “home run” showed that a fan touched the ball before it went over the wall, so the umpires ruled it a ground rule double. The Cuibs failed to drive Colvin home, so it was off to extra innings. And Colvin finally got his chance at redemption when he scored the game winning run from 2nd base after Placido Polanco threw Darwin Barney’s groundball away with 2 outs in the 11th inning. Just like that, the Cubs finally had it in the bags.
Give some credit to the Cubs bullpen who stepped up to the plate after Manager Mike Quade pulled Randy Wells after a long rain delay after just 2 1/3 innings pitched. Rodrigo Lopez, James Russell, John Grabow, Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol kept the Phillies off the board the rest of the way which enabled the Cubs to make the comeback. Lopez, Grabow and Marshall each worked at least 2 innings. Gotta love it. Marshall got the win – his 3rd of the season – and Marmol picked up his 12th save.
Now I know it’s only 2 wins in a row, but the Cubs need to take it one game at a time. Now it’s time for Carlos Zambrano to out-pitch Roy Halladay tonight at Citizen’s Bank Ballpark…
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 17 May 2011 by Lou
Monday was just not a good day for the Cubs organization as the Reds beat the Cubs 7-4 in Cincinnati. The night started off so well – Carlos Zambrano and the Cubs had a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the 6th inning and Big Z had only given up 1 hit to that point. But then the wheels came off. After striking out lead-off hitter Miguel Cairo, Big Z could not get another player out the rest of the inning, surrendering 4 singles, a walk and a double before being lifted for Marcos Mateo. By that point the game was still tied at 4 and the Reds had 2nd and 3rd with only 1 out. A Mateo wild pitch and then a 2-run home run to Johnny Gomes propeled the Reds to the 7-4 win. What a joke…
The only positives on an all-around bad day – Darwin Barney had 3 hits and is now hitting .345. Carlos Pena hit his 4th home run of the season – a 2-run shot that gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead.
The Cubs also announced that Tyler Colvin was being sent down to the Triple-A Iowa to “re-find” his swing with some regular at-bats.
Andrew Cashner also took a setback in his rehab from shoulder stiffness when he experienced a twinge in a Mesa, Arizona workout.
Oh yeah, the Cubs sent Mateo down to Triple-A Iowa after another bad outing.
And oh yeah – Manager Mike Quade held a closed-door meeting to talk to his players about accountability after yet another loss. Yippee – think he’s ready to be done managing this squad?
The Cubs have now fallen a season high 5 games under .500. Ouch. They are 17-22 and they trail the 1st place Reds by 6 games…
Posted on 05 May 2011 by Lou
Carlos Zambrano had his best start of the 2011 MLB campaign as the Cubs defeated the Dodgers 5-1 to take 2 out of 3 in L.A. Zambrano worked 8 amazing innings, allowing just 1 ER on 5 hits and 1 walk with 4 K’s. Big Z is now 4-1 with a 4.23 ERA and a nifty little 1.19 WHIP. Gotta love Big Z bringing his “A” game early in the season.
The Cubs scored all of their runs via the long ball – Geovany Soto gave the Cubs a -1-0 lead in the 5th inning with his 3rd HR of the season. Carlos Pena hit his 2nd HR in as many days to increase the Cubs lead to 2-0 in the 6th inning. Later that inning, Marlon Byrd broke the game open with his 1st HR of the season. His 3-run shot gave Big Z a 5-run cushion.
The Cubs need to get Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner back in a hurry. I’m sick of seeing Casey Coleman and James Russell on the bump – it’s almost an automatic loss. This NL Central is completely up for grabs right now and with our 5 starters going, the Cubs have a good shot at staying in the thick of the race this summer. At 14-16, the Cubs trail the Cards by 2.5 games and they have 6 big games coming up against the Reds this weekend and the Cards next week. This is a HUGE 6-game stretch for the north siders…
Posted on 04 May 2011 by Lou
Ryan Dempster finally turned in a good outing and Carlos Pena finally delivered his 1st home run of 2011 as the Cubs rallied late to beat the Dodgers 4-1 in Los Angeles.
Dempster pitched 7 effective innings in his best start of 2011. Dempster allowed just 1 ER on 6 hits and 2 walks during his outing and although he didn’t factor in the decision, he was thrilled that he finally gave his team a chance to win during one of his starts.
Carlos Pena has struggled all season long and he was still looking for his 1st home run heading into last night’s game. Pena came through with a clutch game-tying home run in the top of the 7th inning off of Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley. Pena also came around to score on Geovany Soto’s game-winning double after he worked a 1-out walk in the top of the 9th inning that moved the winning run over into scoring position. Soto delivered the big game winning hit with 2 outs and Blake DeWitt followed that up with an RBI single to give the Cubs a 4-1 cushion.
After Dempster left the game, the bullpen did what they’ve been doing for the majority of 2011. Kerry Wood worked a 1-2-3 8th inning and ended up picking up his 1st win of 2011 when the Cubs scored 3 in the 9th. Carlos Marmol then notched his 8th save of 2011 with a 1-2-3 9th inning. Wood and Marmol both have WHIP’s under 1.09 and ERA’s under 1.84. This gives Manager Mike Quade and the Cubs a TON of confidence when they have the lead in the late innings and they know they can hand the ball over to Wood, Marmol and Sean Marshall. Cubs sit at 13-16 with 1 more game left against the Dodgers on Wednesday afternoon.
Posted on 02 May 2011 by Lou
The Cubs fell just short of getting a series win for the 1st time since they took 2 of 3 from the Padres at Wrigley Field back on April 20th.
Casey Coleman suffered another loss giving up 4 ER on 4 hits and 5 walks in just 5 innings of work. Coleman is 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA and a 1.96 WHIP. In 18 1/3 innings pitched in 4 starts, Coleman has given up 15 ER on 23 hits and 13 walks. Why is this guy still in the rotation? Isn’t there someone else in the minors that can give the Cubs more meaningful innings?
Geovany Soto, Darwin Barney and Marlon Byrd each had 2 hits in the Cubs loss. Soto had 2 doubles in the game, the 2nd of which cut the DBacks lead from 4-1 to 4-3 in the top of the 7th inning. The Cubs then stranded Soto at 2nd base in the 7th. After stranding the tying run in scoring position in the 8th inning too, Carlos Pena almost put the Cubs ahead in the top of the 9th with a deep drive to right field that Upton caught right at the wall. Marlon Byrd had doubled to lead off the inning and moved over to 3rd base with only 1 out. The DBacks then walked to Geovany Soto to get to a pinch-hitter. Jeff Baker only needed to hit a fly ball to tie the game but instead he swung at J.J. Putz’s first pitch and grounded into a game-ending double play. Not good.
The Cubs have only won 3 series all season long and have a 12-15 record. Lucky for them that no one else in the NL Central has put together a good stretch of baseball to try to gain a little space between the rest of the pack. Despite the slow start, the Cubs trail the 1st place Cards by only 3.5 games. Every time Casey Coleman and James Russell take the mound, you know the Cubs are likely going to lose, so knowing that Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner are both on the mend and hopefully back in the mix in the next few weeks can only mean improved play for the club. After these 3 final road games against the Dodgers in L.A., the Cubs open up a critical 9-game homestand against the Cincinnati Reds, Cardinals and San Francisco Giants which could leave them still right in the thick of things or getting ready for 2012…
Posted on 18 April 2011 by Lou
It was a lost weekend for the Chicago Cubs against the Rockies at Coors Field in Denver Colorado. The Rockies shut out the Cubs on Friday 5-0 and then after Casey Coleman’s great start and a 8-3 win on Saturday, the Cubs couldn’t get the win on Sunday to take the series from the NL’s best team.
On Saturday, Casey Coleman worked into the 6th inning holding one of the best hitting teams in baseball to just 1 ER on 4 hits and 3 walks. He picked up his 1st win of 2011.
Coleman got plenty of help from his teammates to get the win. Starlin Castro led the way with 4 hits including a home run and a double. He drove in 3 and scored 1 run. Darwin Barney had 2 hits an RBI and a run scored, while Carlos Pena had 2 hits and a run scored. Alfonso Soriano also had a big day with 3 hits including a home run and 2 RBI’s.
On Sunday, however, Ryan Dempster dug his squad into an early hole by giving up 4 runs in the 1st inning. He ended up giving up 5 ER on 7 hits and 2 walks and left with the game tied at 5. Jeff Samardzija kept the game close with 2 scoreless innings of relief in his best outing of the season. But it was Marcos Mateo who had a rare bad outing (he had made 5 consecutive scoreless appearances heading into the game) when allowed a 4-run 8th inning rally to the Rockies that gave the home team a win. Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney kept up their hotting. Castro had 3 more hits with an RBI and a run scored and is now hitting .418 on the season. Barney had 2 hits and a run scored and is hitting .333. The 1-2 combination of Castro and Barney at the top of lineup has given the Cubs offense a much-needed spark early in the season. Let’s hope they can keep it up.
The Cubs fell to 7-8 on the season, but still only trail the 1st place Cincinnati Reds by 2 games in the NL Central. Carlos Zambrano goes for his 3rd straight win of the season (and 12th win overall dating back to last season) as the Cubs square off against the San Diego Padres tonight at Wrigley Field.