Tag Archive | "Derrek Lee"

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Cubs Petition MLB to Forfeit Opening Games of Series for Rest of 2010 MLB Schedule?! — Cubs 3, Mariners 2, 13 INN – 6/24/10

Posted on 25 June 2010 by Lou

In an unprecedented move, the Cubs have petitioned MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to be able to forfeit all of their series openers for the rest of the 2010 MLB schedule.  The infallible Elias Sports Bureau (confirmed by our crack staff of researchers all things bizarre) has confirmed that no other major league baseball team in the modern baseball era has made such a petition before.

The reason behind the request is simple.  The Cubs have not won an opening game of a series since they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0 back on May 25th.  Since then, the Cubs have lost the series opener of 8 straight series and it looks like they are doing their best to make that 9 in a row (they trail the White Sox 6-0 in the 7th inning of today’s Crosstown Classic on the south side).  During that stretch, the Cubs have gone just 9-14 and they have fallen out of contention in both the NL Central race (they trail the St. Louis Cardinals by 8 games) and the NL Wild Card race (they trail the New York Mets by 9 games).  GM Jim Hendry and Manager Lou Pinella figure that since the Cubs can’t win the opening game of any series anyway, they may as well forfeit the game to give their players some extra rest during the dog days of summer.  Then they can focus their attention on winning the final 2 games of 3-game series in an effort to actually win more games during the final 3 months of the season.  They’ll be able to watch more tape of opposing pitchers and hitters, and they’ll have more time to work with the coaching staff on hitting, pitching and fielding.  Pinella has also hinted that the Cubs will play a lot more simulated games on the “forfeit” days in an attempt to keep the players “fresh”.

I must say that this is an interesting move for the north siders.  All the tweaking of batting orders and bullpen moves hasn’t really paid off, so this may be the next best thing.  I really hope Selig gives the Cubs a fair shot at being able to forfeit these games.  It could go a long for this struggling Cubs squad – wouldn’t it be great if this is all it takes for the Cubs to get back on track.  It could set a new trend for teams all across the country.

Oh yeah – by the way – the Cubs hung tough against the Mariners in the series finale on Thursday afternoon in Seattle.  Ted Lilly (6 INN, 1 ER on 5 hits and no walks, with 6 K’s) got another tough luck no decision as the Cubs didn’t give him any support at all.  The Cubs managed just 6 hits against Felix Hernandez and 4 Mariners’ relievers.  Derrek Lee had 2 of the hits but is still just hitting .233 for the season.  Mike Fontenot didn’t have a hit but he drove in the Cubs first run with a sacrifice fly in the 2nd inning.  Chad Tracy drove in the Cubs 2nd run with an RBI single in the 7th inning that gave the Cubs a short-lived 2-1 lead.  Marlon Byrd drove in the game-winning run in the top of the 13th inning with his only hit of the game.

On a “down” note, Andrew Cashner gave up his 1st run in 8 major league starts, blowing the 2-1 lead in the process. It was also his 1st major league blown save.

As for today’s game, we’ll have more on this later, but Carlos Zambrano served up 4 easy runs for the White Sox in the 1st inning (RBI double by Alex Rios and 3-run HR by Carlos Quentin) and then promptly started yelling at Derrek Lee in the dugout after the end of the inning.  It’s not exactly clear what Big Z was pissed off about, but he clearly still has a lot of anger issues to deal with.  Add Big Z’s name to the list of Cubs that will be traded before the July 31 trading deadline.  The only problem with moving Zambrano is working out how much of the $18+ million owed to him over each of the next 2 years the Cubs will have to eat in order to get some team to take him.  Good job Jim!!!

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Marlon Byrd Seeks to Void Contract with Cubs — Didn’t Realize he Had Signed Deal with Minor League Club — Cubs 0, Mariners 2 6/22/10

Posted on 23 June 2010 by Lou

Marlon Byrd is seeking help from the MLB players union to void his contract with the Chicago Cubs.  It looks like the Cubs fooled Byrd into thinking that he would be part of a major league level team during the 2010 MLB schedule when GM Jim Hendry signed him to a 3-year, $15 million this past January.  But as it turns out, the team the Cubs fielded for 2010 was simply a shell of a major league team and their results on the field thus far are proving Byrd’s allegations to a tee.

The Cubs are 8 games under .500 at 31-39.  They are a miserable 10-16 in 1-run games and they have lost 8 more contests in games decided by 2 runs.  They are a pathetic 18-18 at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field and 8 games under .500 on the road.  Against the weak NL Central where only the Cards and Reds have winning records, the Cubs are an embarrassing 13-20.  Ouch – you can’t get much worse than that.

Byrd’s production in 2010 far exceeds several Cubs “stars” who are getting paid anywhere from $10 to $16 MILLION DOLLARS MORE than Byrd is earning in 2010.  Check out these shocking numbers:

Byrd – $3,000,000 ($12,000,000 owed over next 2 years) – leads team with .323 batting average.  Byrd has the 3rd highest on-base percentage (.366), the 2nd most home runs (9), the 2nd most RBI’s (34); the most runs scored (40); and the most doubles (25).  Byrd also has just 1 error in 178 fielding chances, good for a .994 fielding percentage.  Kosuke Fukudome and Koyie Hill are the only position player regulars who have not committed an error during the 2010 MLB schedule.  Xavier Nady and Chad Tracy have also committed just 1 error, but they have combined for only 72 fielding chances compared to Byrd’s 178.  Oh, and by the way, Byrd hustles on every single play and is considered a consummate teammate and leader in the clubhouse.

Now to the other Cubs “stars”:

Alfonso Soriano — $19,000,000 — – surprisingly, the most productive of the group who has stats just below Byrd’s – .279 batting average; .349 on-base percentage; 10 home runs: 36 runs scored; 35 RBI’s; 20 doubles; and 4 errors.

Aramis Ramirez — $16,750,000 — .168 batting average; .232 on-base percentage; 5 home runs: 17 runs scored; 22 RBI’s; 6 doubles; and 6 errors.

Kosuke Fukudome — $14,000,000 —  .281 batting average; .370 on-base percentage; 6 home runs: 24 runs scored; 24 RBI’s; 8 doubles; and 4 errors.0

Derrek Lee — $13,000,000 — .230 batting average; .336 on-base percentage; 10 home runs: 34 runs scored; 33 RBI’s; 10 doubles; and 4 errors.

When you consider that Carlos Zambrano is making just under $19,000,000 this season (and is owed another $37,875,000 over the next 2 years), it is shocking to think how poorly Hendry has concocted this team for the future.  Zambrano has gone just 3-5 with a hefty 5.10 ERA and 1.65 WHIP and has even worked out of the bullpen because of his inconsistency as a starter.

Given these facts, it is clear that Marlon Byrd is right.  The 2010 Cubs really don’t deserve to be considered a major league level team and he should be able to void his contract and join a team that actually has a shot to compete to win a baseball game night in and night out.

Now sure, I am clearly joking when I talk about Byrd’s plight in a Cubs uniform. But after watching another painful close loss last night (2-0 to the Mariners), it is clear to me that it is time for the Cubs to blow this group up and start over under “Year 2″ with the Ricketts Family taking more firm control.  The Cubs need a new manager, a new GM and then maybe, just maybe, they can get back to prominence in the National League in the near future once a few of Hendry’s bad contracts are finally off the books.

Oh yeah – the game – Byrd had 2 of the Cubs 6 hits.  The Cubs had only 4 hits during the game’s 1st 8 innings.  Soriano had 3 hits.  Ryan Dempster tossed another great game, but as it has happened so often, he has made 1 or 2 bad pitches and those bad pitched have come back to haunt him.  Despite giving up only 5 hits in 8 innings, 2 of those came in the 2nd inning and one of those happened to be a home run that plated 2 runs.  That would be the only scoring of the game.  Dempster is now 5-6 with a 1.16 WHIP and a 3.56 ERA – talk about a hard-luck loser in 2010.

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Too Little, too Late as Cubs Drop Frustrating Opener 7-6 to Angels at Wrigley Field

Posted on 18 June 2010 by Lou

It was another frustrating loss for the Cubs at Wrigley today – 7-6 to the Angels.  After winning 2 straight games over the A’s, the Cubs hoped to keep the momentum going against another AL West team.  But it wasn’t meant to be as Scott Kazmir shut the Cubs down through 6 innings, allowing just 2 ER on 5 hits and 3 walks.  The Cubs had their chances as they do in just about every game, but they could never come through with the big hit to break open an inning.  The Cubs defense also failed their relief pitchers in the 7th and 8th innings.  Jeff Baker’s 2 errors set up all 3 unearned runs off of Bob Howry in the 7th inning.  That turned a 3-2 Angels lead into a 6-2 Angels lead.  Then Derrek Lee’s throwing error in the 8th inning allowed Torri Hunter to score all the way from 2nd base to give the Angels a 7-2 lead.  Not good at all.

The Cubs made it interesting in the 9th inning.  Despite the 5-run deficit, Ryan Theriot and Chad Tracy coaxed walks to set up Tyler Colvin’s 3-run bomb out onto Sheffield.  Francisco Rodney retired the next 2 batters, but Derrek Lee stroked his 2nd home run of the game to deep left field to cut the Angels lead to 7-6.  But Rodney was able to get Geovany Soto out on a ground ball to 3rd base and the Cubs had lost at the Friendly Confines again.

Carlos Silva pitched so-so but came out of the game because of an undisclosed injury.  Silva allowed 3 ER on 6 hits over 6 innings of work.  He did not walk a batter and struck out 4 Angels’ hitters.  Silva has now dropped 2 in a row after winning his 1st 8 decisions as a Cub.

Ted Lilly looks to get the Cubs back in the win column Saturday afternoon against Jered Weaver.  Lilly has pitched very well all season long – 2.90 ERA and 1.00 WHIP – but he has been a tough-luck started getting very little run support.  He finally got his 2nd win of the season last Sunday against the White Sox, ending a 5-game losing streak.  He tossed 8 no-hit innings before getting removed in the top of the 9th inning after giving up a lead-off single to Juan Pierre.  Lilly hopes to throw a few more no-hit innings on Saturday against the Angels…

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Cubs Beat A’s 3-2; First Series Win Since May 27th?!

Posted on 17 June 2010 by Lou

WOW – it’s hard to believe it has been 21 days since the Cubs have won a series.  But that’s just what happened today, as the Cubs rallied for a 3-2 win over the A’s at Wrigley Field today.  The Cubs took the series win for the 1st time since they took 2 of 3 from the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field from May 25th through May 27th.  In between those 2 series wins, the Cubs had dropped 2 of 3 games to each of the Cardinals, Pirates, Astros, Brewers and White Sox.  Despite their poor play, the Cubs are shockingly only 6.5 games behind the Cincinnati Reds for 1st place in the NL Central.  The Cubs still have 10 games left against the Reds (7 at home at the Friendly Confines) and 12 games against the Cards (6 at home at the Friendly Confines), so as bad as they have played, they still have a chance to make things right for Cubs fans across the country.

Today’s unlikely hero was Kosuke Fukudome.  Fukudome had been sitting on the bench a lot during his annual June swoon, but he entered the game today as a pinch hitter in the 8th inning and started a 1-out rally with the Cubs trailing 2-1.  He moved to 2nd on Marlon Byrd’s single, to 3rd base on Derrek Lee’s walk and then scored the tying run on Xavier Nady’s sacrifice fly to right field.  Then in the 9th inning, after Jerry Blevins walked the bases loaded with only 1 out, Fukudome got another chance to be the hero.  His seeing-eye base hit through the right side of the drawn-in infield plated Geovany Soto with the winning run.

Key Move of the Game – Manager Lou Pinella brought in Carlos Marmol with a runner on 3rd base and only 1 out with the game tied at 2 in the top of the 9th inning.  Although Marmol walked Cliff Pennington, he got Gabe Gross to foul out to Starlin Castro and then got Rajai Davis to ground out to end the threat.

Randy Wells looked much better in today’s game after some recent struggles (5 or more ER allowed in 3 of his last 4 outings).  Wells pitched seven great innings, giving up just 2 ER on 7 hits and 1 walk.  He also struck out 6 A’s batters and seemed to gain confidence as the game wore on.

In Wednesday night’s win, Ryan Dempster was solid on the mound.  Although Dempster gave up 8 hits and 2 walks in 6 2/3 innings, he was in control all game long and always seemed to work out of jams.  He struck out 7 batters and evened his record at 5-5 with another quality start.  Sean Marshall and Carlos worked the final 2 1/3 innings to preserve the Cubs 6-2 win.

At the plate, Derrek Lee and Xavier Nady each had 2 hits for the Cubs.  Starlin Castro and Alfonso Soriano each had a hit and 2 RBI’s, so it was a total team effort.

Let’s hope the Cubs can keep the winning vibe going at Wrigley Field against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim over the weekend.

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Cubs Lose Again – This is Getting Ridiculous

Posted on 16 June 2010 by Lou

How bad can it get on the north side in 2010?  Just when you think it can’t get any worse, the Cubs find new ways to lose.  The Cubs dropped the opener to the A’s 9-5 after waiting out an hour and forty minute rain delay before the start of the game.  Everything unraveled for the Cubs in the top of the 4th inning of a scoreless game.  After Carlos Zambrano issued a walk, a single and another walk to load the bases with nobody out, Big Z gave up a run scoring single to Mark Ellis.  Big Z coaxed a force out at home plate to keep the bases loaded with 1 out and a chance to get out of the inning with minimal damage.  But then Derrek Lee did something he had never done in his entire career — he committed fielding errors on back-to-back infield groundballs allowing 3 unearned runs to score.  Instead of getting out of the inning with a 1-run deficit, the Cubs found themselves in a 4-0 hole.  Not a good thing for a scuffling team.

Big Z actually helped his team get back into it in the bottom of the 5th inning with a run scoring single.  He came around to score the Cubs’ 2nd run on Starlin Castro’s single.  But he gave back the run in the top of the 6th inning on a single and a double to lead off the inning.  Big Z ended up going 6 innings, giving up 5 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits and 3 walks.  He also had 4 K’s.

The 7th inning brought more poor pitching from Jeff Stevens (3 runs (2 earned) on 3 hits and 1 walk) and more poor fielding from Tyler Colvin (2 fielding errors that led to an unearned run).

Tyler Colvin was the only Cubs player to have more than 1 hit – he also had the lone HR for the Cubs in the 8th inning.  The Cubs lineup also had 9 strikeouts with only 2 walks.

Questionable Move of the Night – The Cubs had just cut the A’s lead to 5-4 with an RBI double from Chad Tracy and an RBI single from Koyie Hill with 2 outs in the 6th inning.  Hill even advanced to 2nd base on the throw home, getting into scoring position with the tying run.  So why did Manager Lou Pinella elect to stay with Zambrano at the plate instead of going with a pinch-hitter.  Especially since Pinella replaced Big Z with Stevens in the top of the inning, it seemed like a perfect time to use a Xavier Nady or Jeff Baker against the lefty Blevins to try to get the tying run home.  Pinella never gave a clear answer, throwing even more confusion into the disastrous night at the Friendly Confines.

Not sure how much more we can take of this awful play from the Cubs.  Manager Lou Pinella must be just about ready to hand in his resignation papers at this point – I know I would be…

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Cubs Joke of a Season Continues – Lose 10-5 to White Sox

Posted on 11 June 2010 by Lou

Ouch – Cubs continue losing ways against the Chicago White Sox in the opener of the 2010 Crosstown Classic at Wrigley Field today.  This team keeps getting worse and worse.  Not really much to say here.

Randy Wells was bad again.  He put his team in a 2-0 1st inning hole and then gave up 3 more runs in the 5th inning.  He left with the Cubs trailing 5-2. All 5 runs were earned on 10 hits and 3 walks.  Not good at all.  He is now 3-5 with a 1.49 WHIP and 5.15 ERA.

Another bad offensive showing as Jake Peavy shut down the Cubs with ease.  Peavy who has struggled all season looked like Cy Young against the over-matched Cubs hitters.  He gave up 2 ER on 6 hits and 1 walk over 7 innings.  His only mistake was a 2-run bomb to Alfonso Soriano.

James Russell had another bad outing.  He gave up 4 ER and didn’t retire any of the 4 batters that he faced.  That makes 4 out of 5 appearances in which he has given up at least 1 ER.  Hello Triple-A!

While all Cubs hitters looked bad today, Derrek Lee was especially bad.  Lee went 1 for 4 with 3 K’s inlcuding the game-ending strikeout with 2 runners on base in the 9th inning.

Can Carlos Silva save the day on Saturday and out-pitch another struggling White Sox pitcher – Mark Buehrle (3-6, 1.49 WHIP, 5.40 ERA).  Don’t hold your breathe…

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Cubs Drop 2 of 3 to Brewers in Milwaukee

Posted on 10 June 2010 by Lou

It was mostly bad for the Cubs in Milwaukee this week.  The Cubs dropped 2 of 3 to the Brewers and now trail the 1st place Cincinnati Reds by 7.5 games in the NL Central race.

The Cubs defeated the Brewers 9-4 on Wednesday night for their only win of the series.  Carlos Zambrano struggled through 5 innings but picked up his 2nd win of the season.  He gave up 3 ER on 2 hits and 5 walks.  He almost imploded in the 4th inning when he issued a walk on a call that he thought was a strike that the home plate umpire called a ball.  He promptly walked the next batter and served up a 2-run double to the Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf that tied the game at 3.  Miraculously, Big Z actually got out of the jam and pitched a scoreless 5th inning to become eligible for the win.

The Cubs bats broke out against Wolf with 9 runs and 12 hits, including 5 home runs.  Marlon Byrd hit 2 home runs and drove in 3 runs.  Geovany Soto also had 2 home runs and 3 RBI’s.  Derrek Lee struck a 2-run shot as well.  Jeff Baker had 3 hits, 2 runs scored and 1 RBI.

The celebration didn’t last long, as the Cubs looked out of sorts in a 5-4 10-inning loss to the Brewers on Thursday afternoon.  Ryan Dempster pitched his shortest outing of the season – 5 1/3 innings pitched, 3 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits and 5 walks.  Not one of his better showings.  The defense didn’t help the Cubs pitchers at all.  3 of the Brewers 5 runs were unearned.  Leading 4-3 with 2 outs in the 5th inning, Starling Castro committed his 8th error in 31 games allowing Jim Edmonds to reach 2nd base when his throw bounced into the Brewers dugout (would Derrek Lee have caught the low throw – probably?).  Xavier Nady is no Derrek Lee.  Edmonds would eventually come around to score when Tom Gorzelanny and Jeff Stevens proceeded to walk the next 3 batters.  The winning run also scored on an error.  Bob Howry walked Carlos Gomez to lead off the 10th inning.  Gomez stole 2nd base as Craig Counsell executed a sacrifice bunt.  When Gomez raced to 3rd base, Nady attempted to throw out Gomez at 3rd base, but he made a poor throw that skipped into the stands, and just like that the Brewers had won 5-4.  The Brewers 3rd run was also unearned – set up by a Chad Tracy error.

The bats were pretty quiet after the 5 home runs clubbed in Wednesday night’s win.  Nady did hit a 2-run home run that gave the Cubs a brief 4-3 lead.

Next up – the crosstown classic against the White Sox at Wrigley Field.  Jake Peavy v. Randy Wells could get pretty ugly in a hurry with the way both pitchers have fared of late.

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Cubs Fun Fact of the Day — Derrek Lee is On Fire

Posted on 27 May 2010 by Lou

Well, not really, but he is starting to swing the bat better.  Not counting today’s game, Lee had 3 hits in each of the 1st 2 games against the Dodgers this week.  He hit a home run and drove in all 3 Cubs runs in their 3-0 win on Tuesday night.  He had 2 runs scored in their 8-5 loss last night.  He has his batting average back up to .242 and his on-base percentage is still a respectable .343.  The numbers are well below his career numbers (.283 and .343), but at least he seems to be on the right track.  The more patient he gets and the more pitches he sees with runners on base, the better it is going to get.

Let’s hope the warm days of summer that lie ahead also bring some good power numbers for Lee during the rest of the 2010 MLB schedule.

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Dempster, Lee Lead Cubs Past Dodgers 3-0 @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 26 May 2010 by Lou

Ryan Dempster and Derrek Lee had great performances to help lead the Cubs past the Dodgers 3-0 on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.  It was the 3rd straight win for the Cubs who are now just 2 games under .500 on the season.  At 22-24, the Cubs are now just 4 games out of 1st place behind the Cards and Reds who both lost.

Ryan Dempster overcame some early control issues to turn in his best performance of the season.  He gave up all 3 of his hits and his only walk in the game’s 1st three innings, but never surrendered a run.  He cruised the rest of the way, tossing 8 scoreless innings with 7 K’s.  His ERA is now 3.31 and his WHIP is now 1.03 and he has a 3-4 record.

Carlos Marmol worked a perfect 9th inning with 2 K’s to earn his 10th save of the season.

Derrek Lee had 3 of the Cubs 6 hits, driving in the Cubs 1st run with an RBI single in the 6th inning.  He gave the Cubs a little cushion with his 2-run bomb to deep right field that increased the Cubs lead to 3-0.

Marlon Byrd was the only other position player with a hit for the Cubs – he had 2 hits.  Dempster was the only other Cubs player with a hit.

Tom Gorzelanny looks to make it 2 in a row over the Dodgers in tonight’s Cubs game at Wrigley Field.

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Cubs Win Series with 5-4 Win over Rangers

Posted on 24 May 2010 by Lou

The Cubs defeated the Rangers 5-4 for the 2nd game in a row and the Cubs won a big road series over the 1st place team in the AL West.  The Cubs struck early and often – getting 4 runs off C.J. Wilson in the 1st inning.  Derrek Lee had an RBI single, Marlon Byrd had an RBI groundout and Alfonso Soriano knocked in the final 2 runs of the inning with his 9th HR of the season.  The Cubs went into a shell for most of the rest of the game, but Koyie Hill’s RBI single in the 6th inning helped extend the Cubs lead to 5-3.  That proved to be a big run as the Rangers cut the lead to 5-4 with Michael Young’s RBI double in the 7th inning.

Carlos Silva picked up his 6th win of the season by tossing 5 1/3 innings of 1-run ball.  Bob Howry made his 1st appearance since being acquired last week off the waiver wire and did not look so hot.  He came in to the game in the bottom of the 7th inning to try to work out of John Grabow’s 2 on, 1-out jam.  But Howry gave up an RBI double to Young, got Ian Kinsler to pop out and then intentionally walked Vladimr Guerrero and then gave way to Sean Marshall to quell the threat.  Marshall has proven invaluable out of the pen as he induced Josh Hamilton to line out to 2nd base to preserve the 1-run lead.  And although he walked a batter in the 8th inning, he got out of the jam with 2 K’s and kept the lead at 1 for closer Carlos Marmol.  Marmol worked a scoreless 9th inning with 3 K’s and 1 walk to pick up his 9th save of the season.

The Cubs are trying desperately to get back to .500.  A successful 3-2 road trip against division leaders helped a lot.  Now they need to keep that momentum going against the red hot Dodgers and the 1st place Cardinals this week at Wrigley Field.

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