Tag Archive | "Darwin Barney"

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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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Same Story Different Night – Cubs Lose to Rockies 4-3 – Wrigley Field 4/27/11

Posted on 27 April 2011 by Lou

The Cubs lost to the Rockies 4-3 in a familiar storyline that is getting oh-so-old.  After jumping out to a 2-0 lead on a Jeff Baker single that scored Starlin Castro and on a Troy Tulowitki error on a ball hit by Geovany Soto that scored Darwin Barney, the Cubs could not figure out a way to hold onto the lead and win.

James Russell is just not getting it done in the rotation – 4 IP, 4ER on 3 home runs and 3 walks.  Not good.  The bullpen kept them in the game with 5 scoreless innings of relief, but the Cubs couldn’t muster another run until the 9th inning when Alfonso Soriano led off the inning with a home run.

The Cubs have now lost 3 straight and sit at 10-13 on the season, 2 games back of the Cards and Brewers for 1st place in the lowly NL Central.  The Cubs are just 6-8 at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.

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Starlin Castro’s 3 Errors in 2nd Inning Pave Way for Loss – Wrigley Field 4/26/11

Posted on 26 April 2011 by Lou

After taking a 3-0 lead in the 1st inning, Starlin Castro helped give it all back in the top of the 2nd inning with 3 costly errors.  That set the tone for a major momentum swing as the Rockies rallied for the 5-3 win over the Cubs on a cool, wet night at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs jumped out to the 3-0 lead on a 2-run HR by Darwin Barney and a sacrifice fly by Alfonso Soriano in the bottom of the 1st inning.

But Castro’s 1st error allowed Troy Tulowitzki to reach 1st base to lead off the 2nd inning.  After a strikeout and a single, Castro’s next error on a groundball that popped out of his glove, allowed Tulowitzki to score with the Rockies 1st run.  Then with runners on 1st and 2nd, Castro fielded Chris Iannetta’s groundball cleanly, but then air-mailed the throw over Barney’s head at 2nd base into the right field bullpens which allowed both runners to score.  Just like that, the game was tied at 3.

The Cubs had their chances.  They got 8 hits and 4 walks off of Rockies’ starter Esmil Rogers in 5 1/3 innings, but were only able to score the 3 1st inning runs against him.  3 Rockies relievers then held the Cubs scoreless for the final 11 outs of the game to preserve the Rockies win.

Matt Garza had to deal with the 3 Castro errors and then his own error on a throw to 1st base in the 5th inning that allowed the game-winning run to score.  Garza worked 6 innings, allowing just 1 earned run on 3 hits and 1 walk with 7 K’s.  He lowered his WHIP to 1.47 and his ERA to 4.11, but he is still searching for his 1st Cubs win.  He’ll have 1 more chance to pick up that 1st win in the month of May when he takes on the DBacks in Arizona on Saturday – the last day of the month.

There were a few bright spots – Kosuke Fukudome hit lead-off and went 5 for 5 with 1 run scored.  He is now hitting .478!

Jeff Samardzija had another solid appearance.  He pitched 2 scoreless innings in the 7th and 8th to keep the game within reach.  He allowed just 1 hit and struck out 2 and has now made 5 straight appearances without allowing a run to score – streak spanning 8 1/3 innings.  Not too shabby.

Casey Coleman looks to rebound from an awful start last Wednesday as he takes on the Rockies tonight at Wrigley Field.

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Another Loss Weekend as Cubs Drop 2 of 3 to Dodgers – Wrigley Field 4/25/11

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.

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Cubs Can’t Complete Sweep of Padres – Wrigley Field 4/21/11

Posted on 21 April 2011 by Lou

After Reed Johnson’s dramatic walk-off home run to left field propelled the Cubs to a 2-1 win of the opener, there was hope that the Cubs would be able to pull off the sweep.  But it wasn’t meant to be as the Padres exploded for 3 home runs against James Russell in the game’s first 5 innings to rush out to a 4-0 lead.  The Cubs cut the lead to 4-2 on an RBI double from Reed Johnson and an RBI single by Darwin Barney in the bottom of the 5th inning and then again to 5-4 on Alfonso Soriano’s 2-run home run to deep left center field in the bottom of the 8th inning, but they didn’t have another rally left in the tank in the 9th.

After his heroics in the 1st game, Johnson made the most of his start in Game 2.  Johnson had 3 hits and an RBI, but was thrown out at 3rd base in the 5th inning on an overly aggressive base-running blunder that probably cost the Cubs a much-needed run.  After he was thrown out for the 2nd out in the inning, the Cubs started a 2-out rally with consecutive singles by Jeff Baker, Kosuke Fukudome and Barney.  If Johnson had been on base, who knows what would have happened with only 1 out and those 3 singles…  Fukudome hit lead-off and had 2 hits in 5 at-bats.  Barney had 2 hits as well and Starlin Castro went 1 for 4 as the team’s 3rd hitter in the lineup.  Castro had a rough day at the plate in the double-header – 1 for 9 with 5 runners left on base.

With the split, the Cubs were tied for 1st place in the NL Central with 3 other teams – the Brewers, Reds and Cards – all with 9-9 records…

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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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Cubs Visit Denver to Take on Rockies at Coors Field – Wrigley Field 4/15/11

Posted on 15 April 2011 by Lou

The Cubs take on the Rockies at Coors Field tonight.  Matt Garza looks to pick up his 1st win of 2011 and his 1st win as a Cub.  So far, Garza has been less than consistent – he has a 5.68 ERA with a 1.82 WHIP.  He is 0-1.  The Cubs hope that Starlin Castro,  Darwin Barney and Marlon Byrd keep up their hot hitting against the Rockies.

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Cubs Hold on for 5-4 Win Over Astros in Houston – Wrigley Field 4/12/11

Posted on 12 April 2011 by Lou

The Cubs wins never seem to be pretty this year, but with this club, any win is a good win.  Ryan Dempster was dominant for 6 innings (1 ER on just 3 hits), but once he got over the 100-pitch count, he seemed to lose a little zip and control on his pitches.  The Astros rallied with an inside the park home run by Bill Hall and a 2-run home run by Angel Sanchez in the bottom of the 7th inning off of Dempster to cut the Cubs lead to 5-4.  John Grabow made it interesting by allowing the first two batters he faced to reach base with a walk and a hit with 1 out.  But Grabow was able to preserve the 1-run lead by inducing a flyout and groundout to end the threat.  It didn’t get any easier in the 8th as Sean Marshall allowed 2 runners with 2 outs, but Closer Carlos Marmol ended the threat by striking out Sanchez to end the inning.  And Marmol had some issues of his own in the 9th (a 2-out walk and single to put the go-ahead runs on base), but he was able to strike out Joe Inglett to pick up his 4th save of the season and get the Cubs back to .500 at 5-5.  It was Dempster’s first win of the season.

Starlin Castro was the Cubs hitting star.  As the leadoff hitter, Castro had 3 hits and scored 3 runs to pace the Cubs out to an early 5-0 lead.  Darwin Barney also looked good in the 2-hole, going 2 for 3 with 2 walks, 2 runs scored and an RBI.  Marlon Byrd had 2 hits and 2 RBI’s, while Alfonso Soriano came through with a clutch — yes I said the word clutch — 2-out, 2-run double in the 1st inning to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead.

James Russell gets his 1st start of the season replacing Andrew Cashner in the starting lineup.  Russell squares off against Bret Myers who has been almost unhittable in his 1st 2 games against the Reds and Phillies.  Myers has allowed just 3 ER and 9 hits in those 2 games, although he did not receive a decision in either start.  Let’s see if the Cubs can inch back over.500 with a win…

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Darwin Barney Cubs Starter at 2nd Base in Home Opener – Wrigley Field 3/31/11

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Lou

Manager Mike Quade announced that Darwin Barney will be the Cubs starting 2nd baseman for the 2011 club on Friday.  Barney will be the first rookie to start on Opening Day since Kosuke Fukudome started in right for the Cubs as a 30-year old rookie back in 2008.  Barney compiled a solid .340 batting average in 21 spring training games.  Jeff Baker put up a good fight with Barney, hitting .360 in 19 Cactus League games, but Quade opted to go with the rookie right off the bat.  Barney is excited to make the start – “No butterflies yet, but I’m excited.  It’s a great opportunity, but there’s one thing on my mind, and that’s trying to win the ballgame.  And I think that’s what this whole team is looking to do.  We’re looking to get off to a good start.”

Blake DeWitt, who was considered the front runner heading into spring training this February for the starting 2nd base job, had a rough spring.  DeWitt hit only .186 in 21 spring games as he continues to work through the mechanics of a new swing with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo.  That being said, Quade also indicated that the left-handed hitting DeWitt will likely start at 2nd base against a right-handed pitcher early on this season – probably in the 1st week.

This is a surprising outcome, but if you go with performance, Barney clearly had the bet showing in spring training this year.  It is also great to see that Quade has control over the team and can make his own decisions without having to worry about GM Jim Hendry trying to influence things too much.  Naming Ryan Dempster the Cubs’ opening day starter instead of Carlos Zambrano is another example of Quade making his own decisions and doing whatever it takes to give his club the best chance to win each day.  I like his attitude and make–up so far.  Now we’ll have to see if it translates consistently into W’s this season…

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