Posted on 09 July 2012 by Lou
The Chicago Cubs beat the NY Mets 7-0 on Sunday to take 2 of 3 from the Mets on the weekend right before the All-Star Break. Ryan Dempster earned his 4th win of the season, pitching 5 scoreless innings in his 1st start since being on the DL with a strained muscle. He struck out 4 batters and more importantly did not walk a batter. And he looks primed and ready to go for the 2nd half of the season once he gets traded to a contender. Dempster will be in high demand.
Reed Johnson, Starlin Castro and Jeff Baker each had 2 hits to power the Cubs offense. Castro hit a 3-run homer off of Jon Niese to break the game open in the 7th inning.
The Cubs finished the 1st half with a miserable 33-52 record. They have a 1/2 game better record than the Houston Astros to avoid having the worst record in baseball at the break. They trail the Cincinnati Reds by 15 games in the NL Central race. Ha ha ha!
At least we have Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair to root for in the All-Star Game and Anthony Rizzo to root for in the 2nd half of what is shaping up to be another frustrating season on the north side of Chicago.
Posted on 01 July 2012 by Lou
What a way to kick off the month of July as the Cubs swept the Astros in a 3-game weekend set at Wrigley Field.
Travis Wood continued his dominance since being called up to take the place of the struggling Chris Volstad. Wood tossed 7+ scoreless innings, scattering 3 hits and no walks in an almost perfect game. Wood picked up his 3rd win and lowered his WHIP to 1.09 and his ERA to 3.05. Theo & Co. are looking like genies for pulling off the Sean Marshall for Wood trade this past off-season. In his last 3 starts, Wood has yielded just 1 ER in his last 20 2/3 innings pitched – not too shabby…
Anthony Rizzo had another “game-winning hit” as his RBI single in the 6th scored Wood with the 1st run of the game. That lone run would be good enough for the Cubs to roll to a 3-0 victory. Jeff Baker followed that up with a 2-run single that gave Wood and the bullpen a little cushion.
And Carlos Marmol picked up his 8th save and looks to have things back on track since being removed from the closer role. He gave up a single in the 9th, but buckled down to strike out 2 and close out the win.
And what about Danica Patrick throwing out the first pitch?! I think the photos tell it all. Look at that form?! What do ya think James Russell was thinking after catching that strike to the plate?!
GO CUBS GO! The Cubs finished June with a nice 5-1 home stand. Sure they are 29-49 and they still trail the 1st place Reds by 14 games, but it’s been fun to watch this team the last week or so. Let’s hope they can continue playing good baseball on their road trip to Atlanta and New York before the All-Star Break. And then let’s hope they can keep the momentum going as the 2nd half starts up back at Wrigley Field on Friday July 13th!!!
Posted on 05 June 2012 by Lou
At last – the Cubs crushed the Brewers 10-0 at Miller Park ending their 11-game road losing streak. Ryan Dempster retired the 1st 15 batters that he faced in the game, flirting with a perfect game. But he allowed a lead-off single to Cody Ransom to lead off the 6th inning which ended his bid. Dempster ended up going 7 innings of 3-hit ball AND he picked up his 1st win of the season, ending an 18-start streak (dating back to August 18th of last year) in which he had not won a game. Dempster sounded relieved when the Cubs had won: “It felt nice. It’s been a while. It was nice to go out there and win a game like that, and see everybody, the guys played great defense and hit the ball and they made all the plays and scored a bunch of runs.”
Alfonso Soriano, Jeff Baker and Bryan LaHair all hit home runs. Starlin Castro had 3 hits.
Let’s hope they can keep it up against Zach Greinke on Wednesday night at Miller Park. Greinke is almost unbeatable at home, so Paul Maholm and the Cubs will have their work cut out for them.
Posted on 01 April 2012 by Lou
The Cubs ruined Angels’ ace Jeff Weaver’s spring finale with an 8-1 on April Fool’s Day. The Cubs touched up Weaver for 3 ER on 8 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings. The big blow came on Darwin Barney’s RBI triple in the 6th inning when the Cubs took a 3-0 lead over Weaver and the Angels. The Cubs then blew the game open with Jeff Baker’s 3-run jack off of Jason Isringhausen as part of a 5-run 8th inning. The Cubs racked up 13 hits – their most of the spring – including 2 hits apiece for David DeJesus and Starlin Castro.
Minor League lefty Chris Rusin continued a nice spring by throwing 5 1/3 scoreless innings against a potent Angels offense. He gave up only 2 hits and most importantly, he did not walk a batter.
The only negative was that the Cubs fielders committed 3 infield errors – Ian Stewart, Castro and Blake DeWitt. While the pitchers bailed out the fielders in this game, the Cubs defensive players are going to have to be a lot more careful once regular season action starts later this week if they expect to stay in the NL Central hunt in 2012…
Posted on 25 July 2011 by Lou
Believe it or not – yesterday’s 5-4 win in 10 innings gave the Cubs their 1st 3- game winning streak of the 2011 campaign. The Cubs were the last team to reach that mark this season. What a joke…
Jeff Samardzija wasted another great outing from Matt Garza. Garza allowed just 2 ER on 5 hits and 3 walks over 7 impressive innings. He struck out 9 and lowered his ERA to 3.72 and his WHIP to 1.30. He left with a 3-2 lead, but when Samardzija served up Carlos Lee’s go-ahead 2-run HR in the 8th inning, he was forced to take another no decision.
Fortunately, 3 straight hits allowed the Cubs to tie the game on Alfono Soriano’s single to start off the 8th inning.
And after Carlos Marmol survived a bases loaded, 1-out jam in the 9th inning, karma seemed to be on the Cubs side when Hunter Pence lost Marlon Byrd’s flyball in the sun to lead off the 10th inning giving Byrd a “gimme” triple. After Geovany Soto struck out for the 1st out of the inning, the Astros walked the bases loaded intentionally. And Jeff Baker came through with the clutch game-winning line drive single to left field that plated Byrd with the winning run.
Byrd had 4 hits and 3 runs scored. Soto had 3 hits, an RBI and a run scored.
The Cubs are now 42-60 and they have opened up a “safe” 8.5 game lead over the Astros to avoid having the worst record in the NL. Now that’s something to cheer about – Go Cubs Go!!!
Posted on 16 June 2011 by Lou
Carlos Zambrano struggled for the 2nd straight start since calling out closer Carlos Marmol for blowing a save in which Big Z stood to get the win back on June 5th against the Cardinals. Since then, Zambrano has given up 12 ER on 16 hits and 9 walks to the Phillies and Brewers, both games which the Cubs have lost. After having some impressive outings earlier this season, Big Z has been a mess of late with his ERA rising to 4.59. So much for trading him when the iron was hot.
On a side note – maybe we’ll see Prince Fielder in a Cubs uni next year?!?!
Jeff Baker homered in the 1st to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead and Reed Johnson cut the Brewers 5-1 lead to 5-4 with his 3-run bomb in the 4th inning, but it wasn’t enough. Johnson, Blake DeWitt and DJ Lemahieu each had 2 hits in the loss. The Cubs committed an error for what seems like the 50th game in a row. It led to 2 unearned runs off of James Russell in the 7th inning that increased the Brewers lead to 7-4.
News Flash – Cubs defeated the Brewers today 12-7 to take 3 of 4 from the Brewers this week at Wrigley…
Posted on 21 May 2011 by Lou
Ouch — what an ugly loss – 15-5, 4 more errors from the Cubs defense. Just when you thought they might make a turn after winning 2 over the Marlins in Miami this week, they go back to their “old” losing ways in Boston.
Doug Davis was downright bad – 7 ER on 8 hits and 3 walks with 3 K’s in just 3 2/3 innings pitched. Scott Maine recorded just 1 out in his work durnig the 4th and 5th innings. He gave up 3 ER on 5 hits with 1 walk. And Jeff Samardzija had his 1st bad outing in a while, turning a 10-5 laugher into an embarrassing 15-5 riot. He gave up 5 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks in the bottom of the 8th inning. All in all, the Red Sox pounded out 19 hits including 2 home runs.
James Russell was the only effective Cubs pitcher as he tossed 3 scoreless innings in the middle of the game.
Jeff Baker did have a good night at the plate – 4 for 5 with 2 runs scored. Aramis Ramirez followed that up with 3 hits and an RBI. Alfonso Soriano and Reed Johnson each had 2 hits in the loss.
The pressure is now on Carlos Zambrano and Matt Garza to try to salvage the series against the Red Sox at Fenway park in Boston this weekend.
Posted on 09 May 2011 by Lou
The Cubs got some great pitching over the weekend against the Reds, but only came away with 1 win against their Division Rivals. Not good… not good at all. It is the same old alarming trend as the Cubs continue to fail to come through with the clutch hit to break open a close game.
The Red Sox stopped their 3-game skid with 2 impressive wins over the Twins at Fenway Park.
In Saturday’s 3-2 win, Casey Coleman gave the Cubs every chance it needed to win. Coleman worked 6 solid innings, giving up 2 ER on 4 hits and 3 walks with 6 K’s. After Coleman allowed the 1st 2 batters to reach base in the 7th inning, Kerry Wood couldn’t limit the damage and allowed the Reds to score 2 runs on a fielder’s choice and single. That gave the Reds a 2-1 lead.
It came down to the 9th inning trailing 2-1 as Carlos Pena came through with the clutch home run to right field that tied the game at 1. After Blake DeWitt’s single, it looked like the game was over as Jeff Baker’s double to deep center field would have easily scored DeWitt from 1st. But the ball bounced over the well and was ruled a ground rule double since the center fielder Daniel Stubbs never made contact with the ball before it left the field of play. That put the pressure on Kosuke Fukudome with runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs. But Fukudome lived up to the challenge, stroking a no-doubt, line drive single up the middle to score DeWitt with the winning run. Marcos Mateo picked up his 1st major league win by pitching a scoreless inning and a third.
On Mother’s Day on Sunday, Ryan Dempster made his second straight good start — 7 innings, 2 ER on 5 hits and no walks. But this time, he did not come away with the win, as the Cubs bats went silent against Johnny Cueto who was making his 1st start of the season. The Cubs managed just 6 hits and 2 walks during the game against Cueto and 4 Cubs relievers. Jeff Samardzija worked his 9th straight appearance in which he has not allowed a run. Carlos Marmol, who had not pitched since May 3rd against the Dodgers worked a scoreless 9th inning. Starlin Castro continues to struggle even after getting the day off on Saturday. Castro has only 2 hits in his last 25 at-bats, a streak spanning 5 games. His batting average has dropped 48 points down to .300 during that stretch.
The Cubs are now 15-18 on the season and they trail the Cards by 4 games in the NL Central race. The Cards come to town for 3 big games this week as the Cubs really have their backs up against the wall yet again.
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.
Posted on 09 April 2011 by Lou
Carlos Zambrano didn’t have his best stuff, but he tossed 6 effective innings and matched a career-high with his 9th win in a row (dating back to last season). Zambrano gave up 4 ER on 7 hits and 3 walks, with 5 K’s, but had a quick 1-2-3 6th inning to keep the lead at 6-4 after his 112th pitch of the game. It was clear that he still had enough gas left in the tank and despite his less-than-stellar outing, he kept his wits about him and focused on getting through 6 innings to hand the ball off to the Cubs promising bullpen.
And boy did they do a great job. Sean Marshall worked an 11-pitch 1-2-3 7th inning with 1 K – hold #2 on the season. Kerry Wood worked a 9-pitch 1-2-3 8th inning – hold #3 on the season. And while Carlos Marmol allowed 2 batters to reach base, he struck out 2 in the 9th inning to preserve the win and pick up his 3rd save. Manager Mike Quade has gotta be pleased with this formula and as long as these guys stay healthy (Wood especially), there’s no reason to think that the Cubs shouldn’t feel comfortable with a late-inning lead.
The Cubs offense also pounded out 12 hits and 7 runs, lead by Jeff baker’s 4-hit game. Baker hit a go-ahead 3-run HR in the 4th inning and the Cubs never looked back. He had 4 RBI’s and 2 runs scored and is just crushing left-handed pitching. Geovany Soto hit a 2-run HR that tied the game at 2 in the 4th inning, while Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano each had 2 hits in the win.
Matt Garza takes the bump against Chris Narverson in Game 2 of the series at Miller Park tonight. Let’s see if they can make it 2 in a row…