Tag Archive | "Casey Coleman"

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Same Ol’ Story – Wasted Weekend with Poor Hitting – Wrigley Field 5/9/11

Posted on 09 May 2011 by Lou

The Cubs got some great pitching over the weekend against the Reds, but only came away with 1 win against their Division Rivals.  Not good… not good at all.  It is the same old alarming trend as the Cubs continue to fail to come through with the clutch hit to break open a close game.

The Red Sox stopped their 3-game skid with 2 impressive wins over the Twins at Fenway Park.

In Saturday’s 3-2 win, Casey Coleman gave the Cubs every chance it needed to win.  Coleman worked 6 solid innings, giving up 2 ER on 4 hits and 3 walks with 6 K’s.  After Coleman allowed the 1st 2 batters to reach base in the 7th inning, Kerry Wood couldn’t limit the damage and allowed the Reds to score 2 runs on a fielder’s choice and single.  That gave the Reds a 2-1 lead.

It came down to the 9th inning trailing 2-1 as Carlos Pena came through with the clutch home run to right field that tied the game at 1.  After Blake DeWitt’s single, it looked like the game was over as Jeff Baker’s double to deep center field would have easily scored DeWitt from 1st.  But the ball bounced over the well and was ruled a ground rule double since the center fielder Daniel Stubbs never made contact with the ball before it left the field of play.  That put the pressure on Kosuke Fukudome with runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs.  But Fukudome lived up to the challenge, stroking a no-doubt, line drive single up the middle to score DeWitt with the winning run.  Marcos Mateo picked up his 1st major league win by pitching a scoreless inning and a third.

On Mother’s Day on Sunday, Ryan Dempster made his second straight good start — 7 innings, 2 ER on 5 hits and no walks.  But this time, he did not come away with the win, as the Cubs bats went silent against Johnny Cueto who was making his 1st start of the season.  The Cubs managed just 6 hits and 2 walks during the game against Cueto and 4 Cubs relievers.  Jeff Samardzija worked his 9th straight appearance in which he has not allowed a run.  Carlos Marmol, who had not pitched since May 3rd against the Dodgers worked a scoreless 9th inning.  Starlin Castro continues to struggle even after getting the day off on Saturday.  Castro has only 2 hits in his last 25 at-bats, a streak spanning 5 games.  His batting average has dropped 48 points down to .300 during that stretch.

The Cubs are now 15-18 on the season and they trail the Cards by 4 games in the NL Central race.  The Cards come to town for 3 big games this week as the Cubs really have their backs up against the wall yet again.

 

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Blown Chances Cost Cubs 5-4 Loss To Reds – Wrigley Field 5/7/11

Posted on 07 May 2011 by Lou

The Cubs lost another frustrating 1-run game on Friday afternoon – 5-4 to the Reds.  The Cubs are now 4-6 in 1-run games and this will have to improve if they expect to stay in the NL race in 2011.

The Cubs blew so many scoring chances in the game – this really should have been a blowout Cubs win:

3rd inning – 1st and 3rd with 1 out, Starlin Castro grounded out to 3rd base and a run didn’t score. They did score a run on a passed ball, but it was a blown chance to have a big inning and the Reds answered with Jay Bruce’s 3-run home run in the top of the 4th inning to take a 3-1 lead.  It was a HUGE momentum swing…

4th inning – Bases loaded with nobody out and Geovany Soto grounds into a double-play.  Sure the Cubs got a run, but with the pitcher coming up, they only got 1.

5th inning – 3 singles in a row scored Darwin Barney, but then another costly double-play erases a 2 on, 1 out rally.

6th inning – Geovany Soto singles home a run with nobody out.  That knocks Edinson Volquez out of the 5-4 game.  Reed Johnson enters the game and is promptly hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out.  But Kosuke Fukudome struck out, Barney popped out to the catcher and Castro weakly grounded out to shortstop as the Cubs blow another golden opportunity to blow the game wide open.

The Cubs did score a single run in 4 consecutive innings, but they should have scored about 8 or 9 runs given the chances.  If the Cubs continue to fail to come through with the clutch hit with runners in scoring position, it is going to be a LONG season for the north siders.

Matt Garza was the tough-luck recipient of the Cubs lack of hitting, but he did not pitch the game the Cubs needed against the Reds.  Garza gave up 5 ER on 6 hits and 2 walks and he suffered his 4th loss because of it.

The Cubs fell to 14-17 on the season and trail the 1st place Cards by 4 games in the NL Central.

Casey Coleman looks to help the Cubs rally for a win against the Reds today at Wrigley.  Coleman has been downright bad of late – 11 ER on 12 walks and 14 hits in his last 3 starts – a streak spanning 13 1/3 innings pitched.  Coleman is 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA and 1.96 WHIP.  Please please – let’s get Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner back in the starting rotation!

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Cubs Just Miss Out on Series Win Over DBacks – Wrigley Field 5/2/11

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…

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Wrigley Finale with Rockies Postponed; Cubs Off to Arizona – Wrigley Field 4/28/11

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…

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Dodgers Pound Cubs 12-2 – Worst Pitching Ever? – Wrigley Field 4/22/11

Posted on 23 April 2011 by Lou

It was not the way the Cubs wanted to start the series with the Dodgers – an embarrassing 12-2 loss to a team that had been struggling to score runs.  Boy is this going to be another fun season!

The Cubs pitching was simply awful.

Casey Coleman worked out of trouble during the 1st two innings before finally getting touched for 6 ER while retiring just 2 batters in a 6-run 3rd inning.  Coleman’s line is a joke – 2 2/3 innings, 6 hits, 6 ER, 4 walks and a whopping 90 pitches!

Jeff Stevens line was not much better although he did allow just 1 hit in his 3 1/3 innings.  Stevens allowed 3 ER on the 1 hit and 6 walks and he tossed a whopping 89 pitches!  He really took one for the team which has major pitching issues with the recent injuries to Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner.  Never thought I would see the day when 179 pitches from just 2 pitchers would only get you through 6 lousy innings.

John Grabow was the lone bright spot – 2 scoreless innings with 2 K’s – before Marcos Mateo had another disastrous outing.  Mateo gave up 6 hits in the 9th inning as the Dodgers added 3 “insurance” runs to pad the lead.

Ugly, ugly, ugly.

Kosuke Fukudome was the lone hitting star for the Cubs – he had 3 hits in the lead-off spot.  Starlin Castro is still stuck in a “mini-slump”.  Castro has just 3 hits in his last 4 games, a streak spanning 17 at-bats.  But he is still hitting .369 on the season.

Let’s hope Ryan Dempster fares better today against the Dodgers and can get at least into the 7th inning when he can had it off to Kerry Wood or Sean Marshall or Carlos Marmol to close the door in a Cubs win…

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Cubs Open Up Weekend Series Against Los Angeles Dodgers – Wrigley Field 4/22/11

Posted on 22 April 2011 by Lou

The Cubs host the Los Angeles Dodgers in a weekend series at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.  The Cubs are an even 9-9 on the season, while the Dodgers are one game under .500 at 9-10.  The Dodgers are making more news off the field than they are on the field of late. Commissioner Bud Selig announced yesterday that Major League Baseball is taking over the business and day-to-day operations of the organization.  Owner Frank McCourt’s troubled financial issues and his unresolved divorce settlement from his wife have left the team in a huge mess.

Casey Coleman will start for the Cubs in search of his 2nd win in a row.  Coleman earned the Cubs only win over the Rockies last weekend at Coors Field in Denver.  He will face Chad Billingsley who has struggled early on this season.  Billingsley is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA, but he held the Cardinals to 8 scoreless innings in a 2-1 Dodgers win in his last start.

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Lost Weekend in Colorado – Wrigley Field 4/18/11

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.

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Carlos Silva Watch – Could He End up With Another Team When Camp Breaks – Wrigley Field West Mesa Arizona 3/18/11

Posted on 18 March 2011 by Lou

Will Carlos Silva be on the Cubs opening day roster when camp breaks at the end of March – that is a key question.  With the quality starts by Randy Wells all spring long and the emergence of Andrew Cashner as a viable 5th starter, the Cubs could be looking to move Carlos Silva when camp breaks at the end of March.  Lucky for the Cubs, they have some suitors.  The Washington Nationals and New York Yankees both have had scouts watching all of Silva’s starts this spring.  Both teams are in need of a 5th starter to round out their rotations and the Yankees could easily absorb all or a portion of Silva’s whopping $12 million salary for the 2011 MLB schedule.  Despite 2 rough starts to open up the spring and a dugout squirmish with Aramis Ramirez after a dreadful 1st inning in which Silva surrendered 6 runs when his defense committed 3 errors, Silva has put together 2 good starts and clearly still has what it takes to pitch at the major league level.  Silva even pitched 5 innings in his last outing and is building up his arm strength.

This would be a great coup for the Cubs if they can find someone to take Silva, even they end up paying for part of his salary to get a deal done.  Silva is not in the Cubs long-term plans and by moving Silva for something (a prospect, draft pick, saving some cash), it would be much better than outright releasing the big righty.  It would also free up a spot for Cashner to open the season as the Cubs 5th starter.  And even if the Cubs have an injury problem or Wells or Cashner struggles out of the gate, they still have some other young options to fall back on with James Russell and Casey Coleman who will most likely start the 2011 campaign starting in the minor leagues.

 

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Catching up with Cubs Reliever Andrew Cashner – Wrigley Field 11/11/10

Posted on 11 November 2010 by Lou

Andrew Cashner was a pleasant surprise for the Cubs out of the bullpen during the 2010 MLB schedule.  Cashner appeared in 53 games, going 2-6 with 16 holds and 1 blown save.  He had a 4.80 ERA and a 1.56 WHIp, with 50 K’s and 30 walks in 54 1/3 innings.  Cashner started off well, but hit the wall a little bit at the end of July and in early August.  He gave up 6 ER in back-to-back appearances on July 27th and July 30th, and then had a stretch where he gave up 7 total ER in a stretch of 4 out of 5 appearances in the middle of August.  But he rebounded after that – from August 23rd on (which coincided with the Mike Quade regime), Cashner worked in 18 games and gave up just a total of 3 ER in 19 1/3 innings pitched.  He appeared to regain his confidence and he pitched with a sense of purpose in some stressful situations for Quade and the Cubs late in the season.  Let’s hope he can keep it up and improve on the consistency during the off-season so that he is ready and able to lead a successful bullpen reformation during the 2011 MLB season.

Cashner recently had some interesting insight into pitching at the major league level and discussing how he plans to prepare for 2011: “I always thought I had good enough stuff to pitch here.  The biggest surprise to me is all the material you can use here every day.  The biggest thing I’ve learned is how much the hitters make adjustments.  You can face a guy at the beginning of the season in the Minors and get him out, and then face him three months later and he’s still the same guy.  The hitters here are constantly making adjustments.  I see our guys doing it all the time — they’re always working on something. The outs are a little harder to get later in the game… I’ll take some time off this year.  It’s been a really long year.  I’m going to shut it down for three, four weeks.  I have a trainer I work out with and I won’t see him until November 1.  Then, I’ll start five days a week first of November.  The throwing program usually doesn’t start until December.

Cashner will play a large role in how well the Cubs bullpen performs in 2011.  There are a lot of talented, but young arms in their, so it’s imperative that they stay focused and come prepared to pitch in pressure situations each and every day.  If guys like Cashner, Russell and Casey Coleman can continue to make a positive impact, it could be a sign of good things to come for the Cubs in 2011 and the very near future…

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Will Larry Rothschild Decide to Stay on as Cubs Pitching Coach in 2011?

Posted on 09 October 2010 by Lou

Larry Rothschild has only a few days left to decide whether he wants to exercise his option to remain the Cubs pitching coach in 2011.  He must inform the Cubs by Monday if he wants to stay on as Cubs pitching coach for the 2011 MLB season.  The odd thing is, even if he exercises the option, once the Cubs hire a new manager this winter, that new skipper could decided he doesn’t want Rothschild on his staff.

Rothschild’s Cubs pitching staff finished the season with a 4.18 team ERA – good for 13th in the National League.  That was the worst that his team has performed in years given the fact that there were so many rookies making their major league debuts in 2010.  The team had finished in the top 5 in ERA each of the last 3 seasons.  Despite the high ERA, Cubs starting pitchers had the most quality starts in the NL in 2010 with 96. That is a prett high number for a club that won only 75 games.

Despite the good numbers produced over the years by Rothschild, something is wrong there and I think the club would be wise to try to get a new guy in there.  He’s had so many talented pitchers of late — Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Carlos Zambrano — but he never seems to be able to get a consistent 100% out of any of them.  The Cubs have some talented young pitcher coming up through the ranks – Andrew Cashner, James Russell, Casey Coleman, Jeff Samardzija just to name a few.  It is the perfect time for the “right” pitching coach to take these guys to the next level (just like Leo Mazzoni did with young pitchers like Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Steve Avery back with the Braves in the 1990′s).  If Rothschild doesn’t have what it takes to mold these players into the superstars of the future, then the time to part ways with the guy is now.

Keep your head up high, Larry, because I think you have a friend on your side.  With the way the Ricketts continue to endorse GM Jim Hendry and the “great” job he has done, it doesn’t seem like the new owners are to anxious to make any rash moves right now.  I guess we’ll have to wait 3-5 years and suffer through a few more awful seasons, before they realize they need to make change if they expect to end the longest World Series drought in major league history…

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