Posted on 21 August 2010 by Lou
You could see this one coming from a mile away. Ryan Dempster stymied the Braves all game long. He gave up just 2 ER over his 8 stellar innings, scattering 4 hits and 2 walks during the process. He struck out 7, but he labored through the 8th inning, upping his pitch count over the 100-pitch mark. With a slim 1-run lead, it made sense to go to Closer Carlos Marmol to finish off the game. 3 walks later and a bases-clearing triple to Rick Ankiel with 2 outs in the 9th inning, and the Cubs had lost another frustrating game in 2010. The loss was the “Major League Team Called the Cubs” 5th straight loss of the week – Monday through Friday – all at Wrigley Field. It was the Cubs 8th straight loss at home dating back to the last homestand in which the Reds swept them in a weekend series in early August. What is it going to take for this team to win on a consistent basis again?
The simple answer is “A LOT”.
The Cubs offense racked up 10 hits but once again, the team only scored 3 runs. Aramis Ramirez had 2 hits and 2 RBI’s. Kosuke Fukudome continued his hot hitting with 2 more hits in the lead-off role. Koyie Hill even had 2 hits and an RBI tryuing to make up for his bonehead fielding play the day before. But it wasn’t enough as the Cubs wasted way too many scoring chances all day long.
Derrek Lee made his 1st start for the Braves against his former team – must have been weird for him getting ready in the other locker room and donning a Braves uniform at the Friendly Confines. The Cubs fans gave him a standing ovation during his 1st at-bat in the 1st inning. He went 0 for 4 as Dempster and Marmol each struck him out once.
It’s up to Tom Gorzelanny to try to stop the bleeding today at Wrigley Field — good luck guy!
Posted on 30 April 2010 by Lou
The Cubs bats finally came to life in their 11-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon.
It looked like it might be another long day as the Cubs fell behind 4-1 through 4 1/2 innings, but the Cubs scored in each of the 4th through 8th innings and finally broke it open with Alfonso Soriano’s 3-run homer in the 6th inning that gave the Cubs their 1st lead of the game at 6-4. Although Chris Snyder’s leadoff home run off of Randy Wells cut the lead back to 1 run in the 7th inning, the Cubs added 3 insurance runs in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Derrek Lee and on bases loaded walks to Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano. The Cubs finally had their first back-to-back homer game as well when Geovany Soto and Marlon Byrd went back-to-back in the 8th inning. All in all it was a good showing from the northsiders who desperately needed a win after 2 close losses to the Nats and a blowout loss by Ted Lilly yesterday. Kosuke Fukudome also hit a home run for the Cubs and now leads the team with 5 long balls (and a solid .344 batting average).
Randy Wells improved to 3-0 despite giving up 5 ER on 8 hits in 6 innings pitched. He did however have 8 strikeouts with no walks. John Grabow, Carlos Zambrano and Carlos Marmol each worked scoreless innings of relief to preserve the win.
Go Cubs! Let’s make it 2 in a row when Carlos Silva takes on Dan Haren at Wrigley Field on Saturday afternoon at 12:05…
Posted on 08 November 2009 by Lou
Let’s take a look at our outfield – I wish we didn’t have to. The trio of Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukodome and Milton Bradley left a LOT to be desired…
Kosuke Fukudome – Center Field
2009 Report Card Grade – B. One of the few “bright spots” for the Cubs in 2009 and I use that term loosely. Fukudome appeared to play better in his 2nd major league season, but when you look at the numbers, it really doesn’t play out that way.
2009 stats – 146 games; 499 at-bats; .259 batting average; .375 on-base percentage; 11 HR’s, 54 RBI’s; 79 runs scored; 112 K’s; 93 walks.
2008 stats – 150 games; 501 at-bats; .257 batting average; .359 on-base percentage; 10 HR’s, 58 RBI’s; 79 runs scored; 104 K’s; 81 walks.
In any event, because Fukudome didn’t have such stark differences between his 1st and 2nd half in 2009, he seemed to be a more consistent player in 2009. Fukudome showed good stretches during the 2009 campaign, but the .259 average and 100+ strikeouts 2 years in a row is a little concerning. Fukudome just finished the 2nd year of his 4-year contract. Paying an unproven 30-year old Japanese outfielder close to $50 million for a 4-year deal seemed a bit much at the time Jim Hendry convinced Kosuke to play for the Cubs. And once again (see Soriano), the numbers proved that true. Kosuke probably did not deserve a 4-year deal and he definitely did not deserve almost $50 million. This will go down as another bad outfield move by Hendry – it followed the Soriano debacle and preceded the Bradley debacle, so Hendry really has to feel the pressure to produce over the next couple of years. The Cubs payroll is mortgaged and inflexible because of the moves that Hendry has made the last 3 seasons, particularly in the outfield. If the players don’t produce, or if the Cubs miss out on younger, more dependable free agent outfielders over the next few season (see Jason Bay, Matt Holliday), someone has to be held accountable. And guess what Cubs fans, that person would be Jim Hendry.
On a positive note, Fukudome seemed to be a little more comfortable playing at the major league level in 2009. If he can continued to find his rhythm here in the states, that could translate into better numbers. He is also a fan favorite at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field so that also helps his cause. Let’s hope Kosuke can right the ship a little bit more in 2010…