Tag Archive | "Derrek Lee"

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Frustrating End to Frustrating Home Stand, Cubs Lose to Astros 3-2 in 10

Posted on 19 April 2010 by Lou

It was a frustrating end to a frustrating homestand for the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.  The bullpen wasted another good start from Ryan Dempster (see season game 2 in 3-2 loss to Braves in Atlanta) as Carlos Marmol blew his 1st save of the season.  Dempster worked 7 2/3 amazing innings until he ran into a little trouble in the 8th inning.  After walking Michael Bourn to put 2 men on the 8th inning with 2 out (after 120 pitches), Manager Lou Pinella opted to go with closer Carlos Marmol to end the threat in the 8th.  Despite giving up an RBI single to Jeff Keppinger, he did strike out Pedro Feliz to preserve the 2-1 Cubs lead.  But Marmol had a mental lapse in the 9th inning giving up a single to Hunter Pence and a game-tying double to Geoff Blum that sent the game into extra innings.  In the 10th inning, Sean Marshall allowed the winning run to score after a lead-off double by Jason Michaels and a sacrifice fly by Pedro Feliz.

Just like that, the Astros – who came into the series against the Cubs with 1 win in 9 tries – had scored 1 run in each of the 8th, 9th and 10th innings to pull off the improbable road win and clinch their first series win in 2010.  Not good, not good at all.

Seems like the same old story through 2 weeks of the season.  Good starting pitching wasted by bad bullpen work and poor hitting.  The Cubs offense managed just 2 runs and 7 hits and 3 walks off of Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez and 3 relievers.  Marlon Byrd had 3 of the Cubs hits, but is still hitting just .244 early on.  Geovany Soto seems to have found his groove a little bit, notching 2 hits to increase his batting average to .308.  But the team is still not getting any clutch hitting and very little production from the middle of the lineup.

With the 3-3 homestand, the Cubs have started the season with a 5-7 record.  They are already 3 full games behind the 1st place St. Louis Cardinals and they have already lost 4 games in which they held the lead in the 7th inning or later.  Until this team can figure out how to win the close games, it is going to continue to be a long and frustrating year for Cubs fans all around the country.  GM Jim Hendry really needs to figure out a more veteran option for the bullpen very soon because the season could get away from this squad in a hurry.

The only good thing – the Cubs visit the 4-8 Mets for a 4-game series at CITI Field this week.  The Mets even had to play a 20-inning game on Saturday, taxing their bullpen and having to use starter Mike Pelfrey to close the game (Pelfrey is still scheduled to start Tuesday’s game against the Cubs).  If ever there was a team that the Cubs could find their way against, it would be the Mets.  Randy Wells looks to help the Cubs stop their 2-game losing streak.  He will square off against young lefty John Niese for the Mets.  Stay tuned Cubs fans – a bad showing in New York could mean a Lou Pinella explosion very soon…

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Carlos Silva Gets 1st Win, Cubs Rally for 7-2 Victory

Posted on 17 April 2010 by Lou

Carlos Silva pitched well again and the Cubs rallied with 6 runs in the bottom of the 7th inning to pull off their 3rd win in 4 games at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon.  The Cubs are now back at .500 with a 3-3 record.

Carlos Silva picked up his 1st win in a Cubs uniform.  He went 7 innings giving up just 2 unearned on 5 hits and no hits.  He also had 5 K’s. For the season Silva has miniscule 0.62 WHIP and 0.69 ERA.  John Grabow and Carlos Marmol worked 2 scoreless innings of relief to preserve the win.

Alfonso Soriano and Koyie Hill each had 2 hits for the Cubs in the win.  Derrek Lee also hit a 3-run home run to break the game open in the 7th inning.

The Cubs have now won 3 out of 4 games at Wrigley Field.

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Dempster, Bats Lead Cubs to 9-5 Opening Day Victory over Brewers @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 13 April 2010 by Lou

The Chicago Cubs defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 9-5 in the 2010 Cubs home opener at Wrigley Field on Monday afternoon.  After a few missed scoring opportunities in the early innings against Brewers starter Doug Davis, the Cubs broke the game open with a 5-run 3rd inning and a 3-run 4th inning.  Xavier Nady got the party started with a 3-run shot to deep left field that gave the Cubs an early 3-0 lead.  Two batters later, Jeff Baker crushed another ball out onto Waveland Avenue for a 2-run shot that increased the Cubs lead to 5 runs.  Derek Lee added an RBI single in the 4th inning and then Aramis Ramirez increased the Cubs lead to 8-1 with a home run to left center field that brought home Lee.

Ryan Denmpster – in his 1st ever home opening start at Wrigley – wasn’t perfect, but he didn’t need to be as the Cubs offense finally got things going for their starting pitcher.  Dempster worked 6 1/3 innings, giving up 5 ER on 7 hits and 4 walks.  He struck out 5 and picked up his 1st win of the season — “It’s easy when your team goes out there and scores that many runs  I made it a little bit harder than it had to be.  It was more so fastball command. I wasn’t able to get ahead of too many guys.”

Marlon Byrd had 3 hits in his Wrigley Field debut, while Lee, Nady and Alfonso Soriano each had 2 hits in the win.

Randy Wells looks to keep the Cubs perfect at home in Wednesday’s start against the Brewers.  He will face Dave Bush in the 1:20 start that could see game time temperatures in the high 70’s!

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Cubs Cruise Past White Sox 8-4 Behind Wells & 4 Homers

Posted on 20 March 2010 by Lou

Randy Wells bounced back from a poor start and the Cubs bats came out firing on all cylinders as the Cubs defeated the White Sox 8-4 on Friday afternoon.

Wells was rocked in his previous outing, but he bounced back with a solid 4+ innings in the win.  The White Sox did manage 6 hits and 1 walk off the righty, but he limited the damage to just 2 runs.  He also worked out of a self-created no out, bases loaded jam in the 4th inning (2 hits and a hit batter) by forcing 2 come-backers and 1 line out.  Wells keeps logging the innings and he appears ready to hold down the fort with the #3 starting rotation spot until Ted Lilly is ready to return from his off-season surgery.  Wells has also made a decision regarding his visions.  Wells recently started wearing glasses for reading purposes and to see at night, but he has opted against wearing them during games.  “I think I’m going to bang the glasses.  I don’t need them to play baseball.  I don’t mind wearing glasses off the field.  It’s a non-issue… I’m still struggling to find the slider and get that sinker refined and where I need it to be day in and day out.  All in all, Friday was pretty good, when your back is against the wall to make pitches.”

The Cubs offense also produced to support Wells’ effort.  Ryan Theriot had another 2 hits and 2 runs scored and is now batting .536 on the spring.  Derrek Lee had a 2-run home run and 3 RBI’s. Alfonso Soriano had 2 hits including a 2-run home run and Marlon Byrd also had 2 hits with a solo home run.  This was a great sign out of the Cubs lineup – things seem to be falling into place for a lot of Cubs players.  If the team can get Aramis Ramirez back in the lineup on a consistent basis, the Cubs offense could be a pleasant surprise during the 2010 MLB schedule.

It’s always good to be the rival Sox.  Let’s hope a few more wins keep coming the Cubs way as spring training has just about 2 weeks left.  Wrigley Field home action is set to start on Monday, April 12th against the Milwaukee Brewers!

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Derrek Lee Dealing with Foot Injury

Posted on 14 March 2010 by Lou

Derrek Lee was a late scratch from the Cubs lineup against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday because of a foot injury.  Lee has a bruise on the top of his foot from a foul ball in the 4th inning in Wednesday’s Cubs game against the San Francisco Giants.  The Cubs do not consider the injury to be serious and he is listed as day-to-day.  Lee could even suit up for game action at some point this weekend.

This would be a significant injury for the Cubs if it turns into something worse than we think.  We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything more definitive.  Let’s hope we see Lee back in the lineup soon…

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Milton Bradley Continues Feud with Chicago Cubs

Posted on 11 March 2010 by Lou

Milton Bradley really needs to let this go – Bradley continues to berate the Cubs and the city of Chicago in a recent interview with Colleen Dominguez of ESPN.  Bradley was a complete failure for the Cubs after signing a 3-year, $30 million deal.  Instead of being a steady run-producer that the Cubs expected he would be, he performed horribly at the plate and in the field, and became a cancer in the club house.  The Cubs finally had enough of Bradley’s antics towards the end of the season, enough so that GM Jim Hendry suspended Bradley on September 20, 2009 for the rest of the season.  Hendry invoked the suspension because of Bradley’s conduct that was deemed to be detrimental to the team.

Bradley was coming off a career year with the Texas Rangers – .321 batting average, .436 on-base percentage, 22 HR’s 77 RBI’s and 78 runs scored – when the Cubs lured him to the city of Chicago.  Right from the start, Bradley deflected questions about prior stories of his “bad attitude” problems and he often blamed other people for those outbursts and tirades.  Bradley started off the season hitting poorly and struggling with an injury and his overall offensive numbers were atrocious – 12 HR’s, 40 RBI’s, 61 runs scored and a .257 batting average in 393 at-bats.  Bradley never once took responsibility for his poor play.

After his indefinite suspension, the Cubs ultimately traded Bradley to the Seattle Mariners for Carlos Silva.  The Cubs put Bradley in their rearview mirror, but Bradley just couldn’t let it go at that.  In spring training this week, Bradley sat down with ESPN’s Colleen Dominguez and gave a scathing report on the Cubs organization and the city of Chicago as a whole.  Here are some pertinent quotes: “It was pretty bad.  I would have rather tore my knee up and gone through rehab all over again then have to deal with that… When you get paid a lot of money to play this game, they expect miracles.  And when you don’t go out there and perform like that, then people don’t like it.  People don’t want to see a guy that’s brash and cocky and a little arrogant and kind of does his own thing making a lot of money. They were like, ‘He doesn’t deserve that.'”

Bradley said race played a role.  He said he was often racially taunted when in the field and he implied that he received hate mail from within the Cubs organization – “I could see from the envelope.  I could just tell, you get an envelope, no address on it, no postmark. it’s just in your mail.  How does that get in your cubby hole? I don’t know how that happens.”  Bradley went on to express his fears for himself and his family: “I was worried about my family, about my kids.  The worst part of it all, the last straw is when I found out that my kid has been called a derogatory name at school… I was a prisoner in my own home.  I pretty much stayed at home, ordered in every day, never went anywhere.”

Bradley clearly has some issues.  The Mariners are his 8th team in 11 years.  There is a reason clubs decide to part ways with Bradley after only a short time on their squad.  We’ve also confirmed with the Cubs that fans/individuals can drop off mail to the players at Wrigley Field without any postage or return address on the mail.  Assuming the letter/package does not seem threatening, the Cubs do pass that mail onto the players.  So the fact that Bradley got letters without postage and without a return address is not all that uncommon.  And it doesn’t mean that it came from someone within the Cubs organization.  Hearing slurs at Wrigley Field is obviously inappropriate, but as an athlete, they have to accept that fans are going to do stupid things at the ballpark.  I’m sure Bradly has heard similar things in all 29 other major league cities in which he has played games.  It’s unfortunate that this occurs, but racism clearly does still exist in our country, and it doesn’t necessarily make that city “bad” as a whole.  It’s just a few “bad apples” that give the city a bad name.

The Cubs had been trying to stay clear of the Milton Bradley subject this spring, but his latest comments forced GM Jim Hendry’s hand.  He called Bradley’s assertions that the Cubs sent Bradley hate mail “absolutely ridiculous.”  He went on to say the following – “That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  I think it’s time maybe Milton looked at himself in the mirror.  It is what it is.  He didn’t swing the bat; he didn’t get the job done.  His production was the only negative, or lack of… We have a long hsitory of quality people who want to play here.  I don’t believe in the last seven or eight years, under this regime, we lost a free-agent player we wanted to keep.  And that still is the case.”  Hendry pointed out that Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez have both indicated that they want to end their careers here in Chicago.  The Cubs also signed 2 players this off-season – Marlon Byrd and Kevin Millar – who are represented by the Levinson brothers – Bradley’s agents.  Hendry made it clear if things were really as bad as Bradley said, it would be highly unlikely that the Levinson brothers would advocate their clients signing deals with the Cubs to play in the city of Chicago.

This is a complete waste of time.  I’m sick to my stomach writing this post – it’s probably the longest post I’ve written in about 6 months.  Hearing Bradley’s response to Hendry’s statement today just goes to show how lost Bradley is.  I can’t believe the guy even said this – wait, yes I can: “I have nothing bad to say about Jim Hendry.  He gave me $30 million.  God bless Jim Hendry and his family.”

Good riddance Milton.  We look forward to plenty of strikeouts from you in June when the Cubs visit the Mariners in Seattle.  Better keep a close eye at the plate -we wouldn’t want you to get hit…

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Cubs Cruise to Easy 9-3 Win over A’s in Cactus League Opener

Posted on 05 March 2010 by Lou

The Chicago Cubs got off to a good start with a decisive 9-3 win over the Oakland A’s in the Cactus League opener.  Two important pitchers got off to good starts for the Cubs.  Randy Wells pitched 2 scoreless innings striking out 2 A’s batters, while Sean Marshall pitched 2 hitless and scoreless innings while striking out one.  Wells is locked in as the Cubs 3rd/4th starter, while Marshall is competing for a spot in the rotation and will end up in the bullpen if he doesn’t earn a starting spot.

Derrke Lee had 2 hits including a home run to lead off the club’s 4th inning.  Marlon Byrd and Sam Fuld also hit home runs in the win, while Starlin Castro showed off his speed with a triple in the 8th inning.

Good news all around Cubs fans.  Pitching is the key to any team’s chances of winning a pennant, so it’s good to see Wells and Marshall look sharp in their 1st appearances of the spring.

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Alfonso Soriano To Start Against White Sox on Saturday in Cactus League Play

Posted on 04 March 2010 by Lou

Alfonso Soriano continues to improve his conditioning this Spring and it looks like he will be ready to start against the cross-town-rival White Sox on Saturday in Mesa.  Soriano’s rehabbed knee is responding well so far and he has been working with new Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo (his old hitting coach with the Texas Rangers) on shortening his stride during his swing.  Hopefully all the extra work will pay off for Soriano in 2010.

Manager Lou Pinella is optimistic about getting much better production from the $18-million man this season: “He’s healthy, and we expect him to be a better all-around player. We’re not going to expect 30 stolen bases from him or anything like that.  Hitting in the 6th hole, he can save his legs a little more… What we need from Alfonso is some power and RBI production… Let’s hope he has an injury-free season and gets back to where he was a couple of years ago and [is] a little more disciplined and [has] a healthy season, and a productive one.”

Amen to that — Soriano can’t be as bad as his .241 batting average and .303 on-base percentage during the 2009 MLB schedule.  Despite playing in only 109 games in 2008 due to injuries, he still clubbed 29 HR’s and drove in 75 runs in 453 at-bats.  If he can get close to that in 2010, that would be a huge improvement for the Cubs.  It would also mean that Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez would have a little more protection in the middle of the lineup.  That can only mean good things for the Cubs offensive production in 2010…

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Spring Training is Right Around the Corner

Posted on 13 February 2010 by Lou

Spring Training is right around the corner as pitchers and catchers report to the Cubs Mesa, Arizona facility next week.  Despite a 3rd straight winning season for Manager Lou Pinella and his Cubs, the team did not qualify for post-season play in 2009.  That left a bitter taste in their mouths, especially since the team was swept out of the 1st round of the playoffs the previous 2 seasons.

But a new season brings new hopes.  And Cubs fans all across the country believe that this could be the year!  Ha ha ha!  Well I guess anything is possible, but it is going to take a lot for this team to rebound and play at a high level all season long to keep pace with the Central Division favorites – the hated St. Louis Cardinals.  The Cardinals have 2 elite pitchers – Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright – to go with 2 of the game’s best sluggers – Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday – so the Cards are not going to lose a lot of games.

That means the Cubs are going to need to stay healthy and play together as a team if they are going to regain that 2008 winning form, which saw the team win 95 games and finish with the best record in the National League.

We’ll be touching on a lot of these subjects over the next few weeks of Spring Training and will keep you posted with any injury updates, etc.  To wet your appetite a little bit, feast your eyes on the Cubs projected opening day lineup for MLB baseball at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.  Although they will start the season away from Wrigley, I can’t wait for opening day to get here – it can’t come soon enough…

SS Ryan Theriot; RF Kosuke Fukudome; 1B Derrek Lee; 3B Aramis Ramirez; CF Marlon Byrd; LF Alfonso Soriano; C Geovany Soto; and 2B Mike Fontenot/Jeff Baker.

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Cubs, Millar Agree to Minor League Deal

Posted on 05 February 2010 by Lou

The Chicago Cubs and Kevin Millar agreed upon a minor league deal on Thursday as we previously speculated earlier this week.  Millar is a long shot to make the team – he will battling Micah Hoffpauir and Chad Tracy for the back-up role at 1st base behind Derrek Lee.  At 38 years of age, coming off a down year in which he hit just .223 in 78 games with the Blue Jays, he has his work cut out for him.

Millar will certainly be an entertaining presence in Mesa this Spring Training.  Millar is a goofy, affable guy like his former Marlins teammate Ryan Dempster.  Both mouthed off to each during Spring Training 2008 when Millar was with the Baltimore Orioles, so there should be some funny pranks to write about over the next 2 months.

One funny Millar-fact – he hit his 1st major league home run at Wrigley Field – of the inside-the-park-variety – on May 24, 1999.  Maybe we’ll see him hit a home run at Wrigley Field during the 2010 MLB schedule…

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