Posted on 01 July 2011 by Lou
The Cubs rallied for a 5-2, 13-inning win over the Giants at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon. After Aramis Ramirez’ solo home run tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the 9th inning, the Cubs needed to rally again when the Giants Pablo Sandoval hit a home run off of John Grabow in the top of the 13th inning to give the Giants a 2-1 lead. The Cubs did just that. Darwin Barney singled in Jeff Baker to tie the game at 2. Then after a walk to Starlin Castro, Geovany Soto stroked a game-winning, 3-run walk off home run to give the Cubs the 5-2 win. Hip Hip Hooray!
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 11 June 2011 by Lou
The Cubs 2-game winning streak ended with a frustrating 7-5 loss to the Phillies on Friday night. Carlos Zambrano did his best to keep his team in the game against the dominant Roy Halladay, but he ran out of steam in the 7th inning after throwing 128 pitches. But was Manager Mike Quade to blame for the loss. Why was Big Z still in there after throwing over 100 pitches in only 6 innings. The game was still close at 3-0, but when Zambrano served up Placido Polanco’s grand slam, the 3-run deficit quickly became a 7-run deficit. But the big question is why was Zambrano even still in the game? Big Z walked lead off hitter Jimmy Rollins. After a sacrifice bunt moved Rollins to 2nd base, the Cubs opted to walk Chase Utley intentionally to bring up slugger Ryan Howard. The move backfired as Zambrano walked Howard to load the bases. At this point, Big Z was over 120 pitches. Where is the bullpen help? Sure they used guys in the extra innings game the night before, but it was clear that Big Z had nothing left. That became obvious when Polanco crushed the grand slam to deep left.
Now I know there are a lot of factors to go into Quade’s decision. Sure Big Z had had success against Howard. And let’s say Big Z or a reliever gets the Cubs out of trouble and the lead is still 3-0, the Phillies probably bring Halladay back out for the 8th inning, instead of pulling him after 107 pitches in 7 innings. If they do that, then maybe the Cubs don’t rally for 5 runs off Halladay and the bullpen in the 8th inning. But you have to put your team in the best position to win. And leaving Big Z in the game and intentionally walking Utley to get to Howard when Big Z was clearly struggling just didn’t make sense to me.
In any event, Kosuke Fukudome and Starlin Castro each had 2 hits in the loss. Darwin Barney went 0 for 4 and hasn’t gotten a hit in 14 at-bats. When Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker come back off the DL next week, look for Barney to get more days off with Blake DeWitt and Baker getting more time at 2nd base.
Matt Garza goes against Cliff Lee in what should be a good pitching match-up this afternoon. Let’s hope the Cubs can steal today’s game or tomorrow’s game against Roy Oswalt before they return home for a nice 7-game homestand against the Brewers and Yankees.
Posted on 08 June 2011 by Lou
Another day, another loss as the Cubs fell to the Reds 8-2 for a 2nd straight night. The line was eerily similar, as each team racked up 10 hits apiece, but it was the Reds who came through with more clutch hits en route to an easy 8-2 win for a 2nd straight game.
It was all down hill for the Cubs after Blake DeWitt staked the Cubs to a 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning on an RBI double. Doug Davis lasted just 4 1/3 innings, allowing 4 ER on 7 hits and 3 walks. He has lost all 5 of his starts for the Cubs in 2011 and his ERA sits at a lofty 6.38. John Grabow took it on the chin in the 7th inning by allowing 4 ER on a grand slam to Miguel Cairo. Nice.
Blake DeWitt and Darwin Barney collected 3 hits apiece in the loss. DeWitt now leads the team with a .316 batting average after starting the season in a miserable slump.
The Cubs are now 23-36 and they trails the Cards by 12.5 games.
Good news, although I don’t want to celebrate prematurely — the Cubs lead the Reds 4-1 through 7 innings today. They have it perfectly set up for a Sean Marshall/Carlos Marmol finish (Ryan Dempster worked 6 innings and Kerry Wood pitched a scoreless 7th inning) to end the losing streak at 8 games. Keep your fingers crossed…
Posted on 07 June 2011 by Lou
Matt Garza returned from the disabled list, but was largely ineffective in the Cubs 8-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. Garza labored through 4 innings and left after 81 pitches on a hot, muggy night. Garza allowed 4 ER on 6 hits and 3 walks during his outing and his record fell to 2-5.
Gotta love these stats:
Through 5 innings against Reds starter Matt Leake – the Cubs had 10 hitters reach base, but scored just 2 runs and trailed 7-2.
The Cubs and Reds each had 10 hits, but the Reds made the most of theirs, scoring 8 runs to just 2 for the Cubs.
Jeff Samardzija has struggled of late. He allowed 3 ER on 3 hits in 2 innings of work. Samardzija has now allowed runs in 3 straight appearances and 4 of his last 6 appearances. Not good.
On a few positive notes, Kosuke Fukudome had 3 hits and his batting average is back up to .310. Darwin Barney’s 2 hits knocked him back over the .300 mark as well. And Blake DeWitt has really turned it on of late – he had 3 more hits in the loss and his batting average is now back up to .292. Maybe it jkust took some time before he got completely comfortable with his new hitting swing.
The Cubs have now lost 7 straight games. The Cubs are 23-35 – 12 games under .500. Only the Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins have worse records than the Cubs in all of baseball…
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 13 May 2011 by Lou
The Cubs defeated the Giants 11-4 in the opener of the weekend series against the defending world champions at Wrigley Field.
Ryan Dempster picked up his 2nd win of the season with 6 effective innings of 2-run ball. He struck out 11 and because of the high pitch count – 115 pitches – Manager Mike Quade removed him at the end of 6.
Starlin Castro, Reed johnson and Dawrin Barney each had 3 hits apiece in an explosive 14-hit, 11-run attack.
More to come tomorrow on the big Friday win at Wrigley…
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…