Posted on 06 June 2011 by Lou
This 2011 Cubs season keeps getting more and more frustrating as Albert Pujols delivered 2 walk-off home runs on Saturday and Sunday to propel the Cardinals to a 3-game sweep over the lowly Cubs.
On Saturday, the Cubs welcomed the 2 start for Randy Wells after returning from the DL. Save for a 2-run homer to Albert Pujols in the 4th inning and some trouble in the 6th inning when the Cards tied the game at 4, Wells pitched well. He allowed only 3 hits and 1 walk in 5 2/3 innings, but all 4 of those batters who reached base ended up scoring. Sean Marshall, Kerry Wood, James Russell and Carlos Marmol all worked 5 scoreless innings, but it wasn’t enough. Jeff Samardzija retired the 1st 2 batters that he faced in the bottom of the 12th inning, but then he served up Pujols’ game-winning walk home run as the Cubs lost 5-4.
Then it was time for Pujols to crush a
On Sunday, Carlos Zambrano pitched his 2nd straight unbelievable start to put the Cubs in position to win 2-1 in the 9th inning. Big Z held the Cards to just 1 ER over 7 innings, allowing 5 hits and 2 walks. But Carlos Marmol served up Ryan Theriot’s game-tying 2-out double that notted the game at 2. The very next inning, Rodrigo Lopez gave up Pujols’ lead-off walk home run as the Cards won 3-2.
With the 3-game weekend sweep, the Cubs fell to 23-34 on the season and they now trail the Cards by a whopping 11-games. OUCH!
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 27 May 2011 by Lou
The Cubs offense took it to the Mets pitching twice this series – today it was a 17-hit, 9-run attack that paved the way for an easy 9-3 win at Wrigley on Thursday afternoon. Like Ryan Dempster in Tuesday night’s big win, Carlos Zambrano was the beneficiary of the big day. Zambrano worked 6+ innings, giving up just 2 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits and 2 walks in a solid effort. Big Z picked up his 5th win of the season and also added 3 hits, 1 RBI and 1 run scored.
Kosuke Fukudome broke out of his little mini slump with 3 hits, including a solo home run off of Jason Isringhausen in the 8th inning. It was his 1st homer of the year and only his 4th RBI on the season. Tony Campana also added 3 hits in the win and Darwin Barney, Blake DeWitt and Alfonso Soriano each had 2 hits as well. Carlos Pena clubbed homer #6 on the season in the 4th inning – his 2-run shot gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead.
Kudos to Big Z for not losing his cool in the top of the 3rd inning. Jose Reyes lined an extra base hit down the right field line. As Reyes cruised into 2nd base, Fukudome’s errant throw to Darwin Barney got away from him and Reyes was able to move over to 3rd base on the error. But then Barney made matters worse by trying to throw out Reyes at 3rd base. Barney’s throw eluded 3rd baseman Blake DeWitt and Reyes was able to race home with the game’s 1st run. It literally looked like a little league home run, but what else do you expect from this under-achieving Cubs squad in 2011? Check out the video here — .
The Cubs improved their record to 22-26, but they still trail the Cards by 6.5 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 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 10 May 2011 by Lou
Carlos Zambrano and Chris Carpenter will square off in the opener of the Cubs-Cards series at Wrigley Field tonight. Big Z is 4-1 on the season with a 4.23 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. He has allowed just 3 ER over 14 innings in his last 2 starts against the DBacks and Dodgers on the road. In his last start at Wrigley, the Dodgers rocked Zambrano for 6 ER in just 5 innings pitched – his shortest outing of the season thus far.
One interesting game note – Mike Quade has moved Starlin Castro down to the #7 spot in the lineup – his lowest spot all season. Castro is in the middle of a bad slump and Quade wants to take some pressure off the youngster and offer some protection for Carlos Pena who is hitting in the 6-hole and starting to show pop in his bat with several home runs over the last few games. We’ll see how this one plays out and hoe quickly Quade moves Castro back up in the lineup.
The Cubs are 15-18 and they trail the Cards by 4 games in the NL Central race. After losing 2 of 3 to the Reds over the weekend, the Cubs really need to get a series win over the Cards this week. Let’s hope they get off to a good start tonight…
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 29 April 2011 by Lou
It was that Ryan Dempster would love to get back – he lasted only 1/3 of an inning of the shortest start of his career. Dempster faced 10 batters and allowed all but one to reach base. He gave up a grand slam with nobody out as the DBacks took a 4-0 lead. After recording an out on a groundout. Dempster promptly walked the bases loaded. Three consecutive singles later, the DBacks had added on 3 more runs and Manager Mike Quade finally showed Dempster some mercy and took him out of the game. Ouch. Dempster saw his ERA rise from 7.63 all the way up to 9.58 – the highest of any starter in baseball today. His fastball was consistently in the 85-90 MPH range, 4 MPH shy of where he normally throws. He has allowed at least 4 ER in each of his 6 starts and he has not finished 7 full innings even once. And this is your Cubs opening day starter?!
Carlos Zambrano looks to end the Cubs 4-game skid tonight against the DBacks. Good luck with one…
Posted on 28 April 2011 by Lou
Mother nature helped the Cubs out on Wednesday – the forecasted rains caused the Cubs and MLB to re-schedule the Cubs-Rockies series finale to a date when the weather should be just a little bit nicer (hopefully) – Monday June 27th. It was an off-day for both teams. The Cubs play in Kansas City the day before and will continue with a home stand at Wrigley Field. The Rockies play the Yankees in New York the day before and will stop in Chicago to make up the game on Monday before heading home for a scheduled home stand.
The Cubs used the day off for some rest and for some early travel to Arizona where they begin a 7-game road trip against the DBacks. The Cubs will skip Casey Coleman in the rotation to keep the 3 “aces” on their scheduled 4 days between starts. Ryan Dempster (1-2, 7.63 ERA) , Carlos Zambrano (2-1, 5.28 ERA) and Matt Garza (0-3, 4.11 ERA) will start the 1st 3 games of the series while Coleman will pitch in the series finale on Sunday. The Cubs have not named who will start their game on Monday night against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Looking at the numbers of the Cubs 3 “aces”, it is shocking that the Cubs even have a 10-13 record. Crazy stuff once again for the Cubs in what is shaping up to be another LONG season…
Posted on 25 April 2011 by Lou
It was another lost weekend for the Cubs at Wrigley Field as the Cubs dropped 2 of 3 to the Dodgers and fell to 10-11 overall.
Saturday’s come-from-behind 10-8 win was a wild roller-coaster ride. The Cubs jumped out to a 5-1 lead after 4 innings – courtesy of a sacrifice fly by Aramis Ramirez in the 1st inning; an RBI single from Darwin Barney in the 3rd inning; and an RBI double from Reed Johnson and back-to-back RBI singles from Starlin Castro and Barney in the 4th inning.
But the Dodgers rallied to re-take the lead from Ryan Dempster with 3 runs in each of the 5th and 6th innings. Dempster could not hold the lead again and has had a brutal start to the season. He could not make it out of the 6th inning, giving up 7 ER on 9 hits (3 home runs) and 3 walks with only 3 K’s. The Dodgers added an insurance run in the 7th to increase their lead to 8-5. But a disastrous bottom of the 8th inning for Matt Guerrier cost them the win. Castro drove in 2 runs with a bases loaded single to center field that cut the lead to 1. Barney fielder’s choice groundout allowed Kosuke Fukudome to score with the tying run. And then Jeff Baker’s 2-out, 2-run, game-winning double to the gap in right field put the Cubs ahead for good 10-8.
Jeff Samardzija struck out 3 of the 4 batters that he faced in his inning and a third work to pick up the W. Carlos Marmol picked up his 5th save by working a scoreless 9th inning despite issuing another walk. He has now issued 7 walks in 10+ innings of work. Thos walks eventually come back to haunt you, as they already have in his 2 blown saves this season.
In Sunday’s 7-3 loss, Carlos Zambrano allowed a 5-run 1st inning and the Cubs could never recover. Big Z ended up lasting 5 innings, but he gave up 6 ER on 8 hits with 4 K’s. His 10-game winning streak is now over as he suffered his 1st loss of 2011. He has a 1.30 WHIP and a 5.28 ERA.
Kosuke Fukudome, Darwin Barney, Aramis Ramirez and Marlos Byrd each had 2 hits in the loss. The Cubs drew only one walk all game long.
The Cubs host the Rockies for 3 games this week at Wrigley Field before embarking on a 7-game road trip to Arizona and Los Angeles on Thursday. Matt Garza starts tonight for the Cubs still looking for his 1st win in a Cubs uniform.