Posted on 11 May 2012 by Lou
It is a night of returns for the Cubs in the 1st game of a 3-game weekend set against the Brewers at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Matt Garza who skipped his last scheduled start because of a nasty flu bug penetrating the Cubs clubhouse will square off against Randy Wolf in the series opener. Garza is 2-1 on the season with a nasty 0.89 WHIP and solid 2.67 ERA. Garza loves facing the Brew Crew – he has a career 1.90 ERA against the club and in his last outing against the Brewers back on April 12th at Wrigley Field, he fell just 1 out shy of a complete game shutout as the Cubs won 8-0.
Dale Sveum spent the last 6 seasons on the Brewers coaching staff and is looking forward to his return – this time as the Cubs manager – “Yeah, I have a lot of memories there and a lot of friends, but when the games start, you don’t think about anything like that. You just think about winning the game and managing the baseball game.”
The Cubs and Brewers are both tied for last place in the NL Central – 13-18 – 7 games back of the 1st place St. Louis Cardinals. Let’s hope the Cubs can take at least 2 out of 3 this weekend with the starters they have going – Garza, Dempster and Samardzija…
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…
Posted on 12 April 2012 by Lou
Matt Garza was dominant in the Cubs 8-0 win over the Brewers today at Wrigley Field. Garza should have even had a complete game shutout if he hadn’t thrown the ball into the stands on Aoki’s come-backer with 2 outs in the 9th inning. That was his 119th pitch and Manager Dale Sveum decided it was time to pull the righty. Garza ended up going 8 2/3 innings, scattering 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 9. The Cubs have had some great starting pitching efforts so far this season from Ryan Dempster, Garza and Jeff Samardzija. Now if they could just get some consistent hitting, they might be able to string some wins together here.
The big inning for the Cubs came in the 3rd when they rocked Zach Greinke for 6 hits in 7 batters scoring 6 runs. Steve Clevenger had 2 doubles, a single and scored 2 runs. David DeJesus, Starlin Castro and Ian Stewart each had 2 hits. Castro and Alfonso Soriano each had 2 RBI’s.
The 2-5 start was not exactly what the Cubs wanted, but it is what it is, and now they need to get off to a better start on the road with games against the Cardinals in St. Louis and the Marlins in Miami…
Posted on 09 April 2012 by Lou
The Cubs rode Jeff Samardzija 8 2/3 innings to get their 1st win of the 2012 MLB campaign. Samardzija was one of the Cubs top pitchers all spring and he carried that over into the 2012 regular season. He should have gotten the complete game 4-1 win if not for Starlin Castro’s 9th inning error with 2 outs. Manager Dale Sveum then kept Samardzija in the game, but he served up Adam LaRoche’s 2-run home run which cut the Cubs lead to 4-3. That prompted Sveum to tab Cubs closer Carlos Marmol to close out the game.
Marmol suffered the loss in Thursday’s opener and gave up 2 more earned runs in Saturday’s loss to the Nats, but someone had to get the Cubs out of the jam. Despite walking Jayson Werth to put the tying run on base, Marmol induced former Cub Xavier Nady to pop out to Ian Stewart right in front of the Cubs dugout. That gave the Cubs their 1st 2012 win and Samardzija of what looks to be one of many wins this season.
Samardzija struck out 8 in his outing and most importantly, he did not walk a batter. He scattered 4 hits and gave up just 1 ER.
Satrlin Catrso had 2 hits, 2 runs and 2 RBI. Bryan LaHair – in his 1st start of the season – also had 2 hits. Alfonso Soriano drove in 2 runs with a single and a sacrifice fly.
It has been a rough opening weekend series for the Cubs who could have been 0-3, 2-1 or 3-0. Instead they are sitting at 1-2 in last place in the NL Central. What else is new?!
Posted on 30 March 2012 by Lou
The Cubs unveiled their 2012 starting lineup in Friday’s 6-3 loss to the Dodgers. Here it is: David DeJesus in Right Field; Darwin Barney at 2B; Starlin Castro at SS; Bryan LaHair at 1B; Alfonso Soriano in Left Field; Ian Stewart at 3B; Marlon Byrd in Center Field and Geovany Soto at catcher.
The team managed only 3 runs on 6 hits in the loss, but at least we know what we can expect from Manager Dale Sveum for at least the early part of the season.
Go Cubs Go!!!
Posted on 14 March 2012 by Lou
Chris Volstad has a new lease on life and he has Cubs new pitching coach Chris Bosio to thank for it. Bosio has worked a little magic already with a few Cubs pitchers and it is paying off big time. Volstad tossed another gem in his 2nd start of the spring. He went 3 scoreless innings giving up just 2 hits with no walks and 1 strikeout. He and Jeff Samardzija have been the biggest surprises of the spring thus far and are going to make it tough on Bosio and Dale Sveum when figuring out the starting rotation in the next few weeks.
Lefty reliever Scott Maine worked a scoreless inning and he too has impressed so far. Maine has not given up an earned run this spring.
Posted on 08 March 2012 by Lou
Jeff Samardzija is making a strong case to be named a starter for the Cubs during the 2012 campaign. Manager Dale Sveum predicted that the Kansas City Royals would not be able to hit Samardzija in Wednesday’s cactus league came, and his prediction almost came true. Samardzija bearly broke a sweat, tossing 3 scoreless innings with 3 K’s. The only hit allowed was a cheap blooper by Chris Getz in the 2nd inning. Samardzija needed just 35 pitches. Many baseball people around the country named Samardzija the most improved pitcher during the course of the 2011 MLB season. Samardzija has been on a “mission” this winter, vowing to do whatever it takes to make the Cubs starting rotation in 2012. So far so good for the big righty. He consistently through his fastball in the mid 90’s and he already has great control on his slider and changeup. That is a lethal combo. Look for Samardzija to continue to put pressure on Dale Sveum and the Cubs front office who might be reluctant to move Samardzija out of the bullpen where he was so effective last year.
Cubs hitters also played well – 6 runs on 15 hits – including 2 hits apiece for Starlin Castro, Reed Johnson and Bryan LaHair.
Posted on 04 March 2012 by Lou
The Chicago Cubs lost to the Oakland A’s 12-10 in their spring opener under new manager Dale Sveum.
Rodrigo Lopez pitched 2 scoreless innings with 2 strikeouts. He did not allow a base runner. Carlos Marmol also retired all3 batters that he faced in the 3rd inning with 1 strikeout. Sveum was especially pleased with Lopez’s strong outing – “He looked great. The guy is smart. He knows what to do. He came into camp in incredible shape. He’s definitely in the mix.”
9 runs allowed in the 4th and 5th innings did the Cubs in. Jeff Beliveau gave up 4 earned runs – 3 walks and a run-scoring single to Josh Reddick. Dae-eun Rhee did not fare much better in his 1 2/3 innings pitched – 4 earned runs on 6 hits, including 2 home runs.
Darwin Barney had 2 hits and 2 RBI’s in his debut. Adrian Cardenas, another guy competing for the 2nd base job, drove in 3 runs with a triple and he scored a run.
The Cubs and A’s battle again on Monday in Arizona…
Posted on 27 February 2012 by Lou
Manager Dale Sveum announced that Rodrigo Lopez will start the Cubs Cactus League opener against the Oakland A’s this Sunday March 4th at HoHoKam Stadium. Ryan Demspter will start the next day and Matt Garza will start game 3. That lineup lines up Garza to start opening day for the Cubs against the Washington Nationals on Thursday April 5th at Wrigley Field – pitching every 5th day during the spring. Dempster could also skip one day at some point during the spring to line up as the Cubs opening day starter at Wrigley (Dempster was the Cubs opening day starter last year knocking for Cubs Carlos Zambrano out of the spot that he had held for 6 straight seasons). When asked for more specifics about his intentions, Sveum was elusive – “No, we’ll probably make that decision in the middle of the Cactus League schedule.”
Let the drama begin…
Posted on 18 February 2012 by Lou
Pitchers and catchers report to the Cubs spring training camp in Mesa today. New Manager Dale Sveum and new pitching coach Chris Bosio are thrilled to get things going.
Sveum stated – “We have all the parts. They just have to get it done in the big leagues. We have plenty of guys who can have productive years.”
I like his optimism. With the new regime in place, let’s hope some guys feel a little added pressure and realize that they’re going to have to work hard and bring their “A-game” each and every day if they expect to find playing time for Sveum, Epstein and Hoyer for years to come.
Let’s Go Cubs!