Posted on 20 April 2012 by Lou
The losses keep piling up for skipper Dale Sveum and his mediocre ball club. The Reds handed the Cubs a 9-4 loss today at Wrigley Field in a brutally cold, annoying contest. I’m not sure how I missed this, especially after a lot of positives built up during a “successful” spring training. But this team is bad and it is going to take a LONG time for Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and staff to build it back up.
Chris Volstad dropped to 0-2 after giving up 6 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks in his 5 innings of work. His 1.38 WHIP and 6.19 ERA needs to improve. The Cubs position players didn’t help much – they committed 3 errors in the field and managed just 5 hits. The Reds committed 2 errors themselves leading to 3 unearned runs on the day. Not good when only 1 of your 4 runs scored was a legit run. The star of the day was clean-up hitter Bryan LaHair who had 2 doubles on the day.
The Cubs also got some bad news off the field. They placed Kerry Wood on the 15-day with shoulder tiredness. And Ryan Dempster has a sore right quadriceps muscles which he had examined in Chicago today. If he can’t go on Sunday against the Reds, Randy Wells will make the spot start for the Cubs in the series finale against the Reds.
The Cubs are now on a 6-game losing streak. Their 3-11 record is the worst in baseball and they trail the NL Central leading St. Louis Cardinals by 6.5 games already…
Posted on 05 April 2012 by Lou
For a while it looked like the Cubs might actually win on opening day, but it wasn’t meant to be as the Cubs ‘pen blew a great outing from Ryan Dempster. Dempster worked 7 2/3 innings, giving up just 2 hits and 3 walks while striking out 10 Nationals hitters. Dempster got out of 2 early jams (2nd and 3rd with only 1 out in the 1st inning; bases loaded and only 1 out in the 3rd inning) to keep the game scoreless against Nats ace Stephen Strasburg. The Cubs eventually took the lead in the 4th inning on a timely 2-out single by Marlon Byrd which gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Dempster worked all the way into the 8th and had 2 outs with a runner on base when Manager Dale Sveum made his move. Sure it is only Game 1 and sure Dempster had racked up 108 pitches, but leave the guy out there. Sveum brought in Kerry Wood – who had a limited spring due to injury – to try to get the final out of the inning. But Wood walked 3 straight batters to force in the tying run. Not good.
Then Sveum called on Carlos Marmol in the 9th with the game tied 1-1. After he got 2 quick outs, Marmol gave up a double to Chad Tracy and a game-winning single to Ian Desmond and just like that the Cubs has lost 2-1. Hey, I guess at least Marmol threw strikes and didn’t walk a batter, right?
The Cubs did make it interesting in the 9th when Ian Stewart “tripled” to right field when Jayson Werth lost the ball in the sun in that dreaded corner-outpost area. Joe Mather pinch-ran for Stewart and Mather was quickly gunned down at the plate in a bang-bang play on Jeff Baker’s grounder to 3rd.
I have a feeling we’re going to see a LOT of games like this. Cubs starters keep the Cubs in the game with a lot of 3-2, 2-1 scores. Cubs offense doesn’t produce enough run-support. Cubs bullpen blows game. Cubs lose. I wish I could be more optimistic, but this team just has way too many holes and with no dead-on power-hitter who can serve as an equalizer with a big home run with runners on base, the Cubs will have one of the poorest offenses in 2012. Who knows, maybe we’ll see Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson a lot sooner than President Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer have led on. Only time will tell…
Posted on 09 March 2012 by Lou
Another great started from a Cubs starter – Chris Volstad tossed 3 scoreless innings, allowing just 1 hit with 3 K’s. Kerry Wood made his spring debut with a scoreless 4th inning. But then Carlos Marmol bucked that trend with a disastrous 5th inning. He only recorded 2 outs (both by strikeout) before being yanked from the game. He was charged with 4 ER on 4 hits including a home run.
I guess you have to take the good with the bad – let’s just hope this was a blip on the radar for Marmol this spring and that he can bounce back in his next outing…
Posted on 16 January 2012 by Lou
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day from your friends at MyCubsToday.com!
After a riveting Cubs Convention this past weekend, Cubs Chariman Tom Ricketts indicated that he was very pleased that Theo, Jed and Kerry’s team were able to work out a deal that would keep Wood on the north side for 2012 and hopefully the rest of his career. After giving the Cubs a “bargain” $1.5 million deal in 2011, Wood decided that he wasn’t ready to retire and that although he wanted to stay with the Cubs, he also wanted to be compensated appropriately. He left $10 million on the table in 2011 for a deal with the White Sox and he left $5 million on the table from a deal with the Red Sox. He wasn’t going to do that again in 2012. While Woods was close to signing with another team (so much so that he almost took a physical for that team), Ricketts stepped in at the end to help get the 1-year, $3 million deal done so that Wood could be a part of the weekend’s convention festivities…
Ricketts had this to say – “I’m not sure why the timing ended up the way it did… Theo’s pretty communicative. We talk about all player decisions and Kerry’s no exception to that. We definitely talked about it. And we talked about what was the best for the organization and (signing Wood) was it… In the end, it works out great. This is exactly what everybody wanted. Every fan and everybody in the organization, and also Kerry.”
Good job guys. Jeff Samardzija, Wood and Closer Carlos Marmol are going to need to bring their A-games in 2012 if the Cubs want to make a run at the weak NL Central division crown. They are going to need everything they can milk out of these 3 guys…
Posted on 14 January 2012 by Lou
All is good on the north side, as Theo & Co. and Kerry Wood figured out a way to keep the veteran reliever with the Cubs in 2012. The Cubs and Wood signed a 1-year, $3 million deal just before the start of the 2012 Cubs Convention on Friday night. The deal includes a club option for 2013. Wood pitched in 55 games for the Cubs in 2011, going 3-5 with a 3.35 ERA.
It was a win-win situation for both sides. With the departure of Sean Marshall via trade to the Reds, the Cubs needed a veteran presence in the bullpen besides Carlos Marmol. Wood will help anchor the back-end of the bullpen with Marmol and Jeff Samardzija.
Although it got a little scary at times during negotiations, Wood is thrilled to be back with the Cubs and is glad that he did not have to retire. “I didn’t want to be forced into that. I still love the game. I still have plenty left… It all worked out in the end. I’m back in Chicago and I’m back where I want to be.”
Let’s hope it is a productive season for the both Wood and the Cubbies…
Posted on 13 January 2012 by Lou
The 2012 Cubs Convention kicks off tonight at the Hilton Chicago at 720 South Michigan Avenue. The Convention goes from 3pm-6pm on Friday, 9am-12 midnight on Saturday and 9am-1pm on Sunday. With each weekend pass, you have access to question and answer sessions, limited player/coach autograph sessions and other vendor booths.
One person we know who won’t be there, however, is Kerry Wood, who has yet to come to terms with the Cubs on another deal for the 2012 MLB season…
Posted on 01 December 2011 by Lou
In addition to Cubs President Theo Epstein being open to Carlos Zambrano’s return to the Cubs clubhouse, it looks like veteran reliever Kerry Wood would also be open assuming it is done the “right way”. Wood spoke with ESPN Radio 1000′s Carmen, Jurko and Harry show yesterday and had this to say about Big Z: “I think it’s something that he’s going to have a lot of new teammates that haven’t been through the history with him. I think Z has got to worry more about the guys he’s done this to a few times. He can have a better impression on the new teammates. The ultimate result is we need him to be a part of this team and help us win. He can be a big part of that… It’s going to be something he’s going to have to address when he comes in and talks to guys and obviously we go from there. But if he wants to be a part of this team and help us win, if he can do it the right way, guys will be willing to have him back in there.”
I think Theo & Co. realize that they are going to have to eat a HUGE chunk of his salary just to “get rid of him”. At this point, even though he’s already had a ton of chances, why not give him another shot and see if he can earn some respect and pitch well at the beginning of the season. Big Z had some great starts in the first part of the season, but GM Jim Hendry missed the boat in moving him when his stock was high. Something tells me that that won’t happen on Theo’s watch. If he has a good April or May, and shows that he can keep his head on straight, then Theo & Co can potentially make a move where you bring in a few young players from a playoff contender that is dealing with a starting pitcher injury issue. At that point, the “buying” club might even be able to take on a little more of his salary too.
Essentially, it’s a lose-lose situation for the Cubs, but if you give him a little more leash into April/May, it may simply become a less of a “lose-lose” situation. I guess we’ll know more about what Theo & Co. intend to do with Big Z after next week’s GM meetings…
Posted on 24 August 2011 by Lou
Randy Wells made his best start of the 2011 season with a dominating 6+ inning effort in Wednesday night’s 3-2 win over the Braves. Wells gave up just 1 run on 2 hits and 2 walks as he worked into the 7th inning. His lone run came on a solo home run to Jason Heyward. Wells even got into the offensive act in the 2nd inning as the Cubs plated all 3 runs in the frame. Alfonso Soriano hit a 2-run home run and then Wells’ RBI groundout added the much needed 3rd run.
The bullpen did the rest as Sean Marshall, Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol closed the door on the Braves bid for a comeback. Marmol worked a perfect 9th inning with 2 K’s to notch his 30th save of 2011.
Posted on 18 July 2011 by Lou
It was not the way the Cubs wanted to start their 2nd half of the 2011 season – with 3 losses in 4 games to the Marlins at Wrigley Field. In Sunday’s 7-5 loss, Kerry Wood was the goat – giving up 3 ER on 2 hits and 2 walks in the 8th inning with the game tied at 4. Just like that, the Cubs were on their way to another loss.
Randy Wells had pitched OK in his 6 innings – 4 ER on 8 hits and 3 walks with 4 K’s. On a humid, steamy day, Wells gave the bullpen a much-needed break with his 102-pitch effort. His 1.74 WHIP and 6.71 ERA are well above his career averages. Coming off of a solid spring, Wells was injured in his 1st start and has struggled mightily since he returned to the Cubs starting rotation back on May 28th.
Aramis Ramirez had 2 hits, 2 RBI’s and a run scored in the loss. He is now hitting .300 on the season. Reed Johnson and Starlin Castro each had a hit, an RBI and a run scored in the game.
The Cubs host the Phillies at Wrigley Field for a 3-game set this week. They get to face Roy Halladay tonight, Cliff Lee on Tuesday and rookie stud Vance Worley (5-1, 2.15 ERA) on Wednesday. Can you say sweep?!?!
Posted on 15 July 2011 by Lou
What a joke – Carlos Marmol blew Matt Garza’s gem by allowing 5 runs in the 9th as the Cubs fell to the Marlins 6-3 to start the 2nd half on a down note.
Maybe the Cubs should consider dealing Marmol for some young talent in return…