Posted on 30 December 2011 by Lou
The Cubs inked Reed Johnson to a 1-year deal for the 2012 MLB season. After spending the 2010 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Johnson rebounded with the Cubs in 2011. He started 49 games and racked up 266 at-bats in 111 games. He gained significant playing time with a nice .309 batting average and an impressive .816 OPS. Johnson’s role with the Cubs will remain as the 4th outfielder behind Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd and recently acquired David DeJesus.
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 19 July 2011 by Lou
Wasn’t sure if I was dreaming last night or watching the unbelievable? Rodrigo Lopez topping Roy Halladay in the Cubs 6-1 win? Crazy stuff – I guess that’s why you play the games.
Lopez picked up his 2nd win of the season, scattering 5 hits over 6+ innings in an improbable win over arguably the best pitcher in baseball. He did not walk a batter and only allowed 1 run on Jimmy Rollins solo home run in the 4th inning. Manager Mike Quade decided to go with James Russell in the 7th after Lopez gave up 2 singles even though one single was erased on a double-play ball. Jeff Samardzija pitched a perfect 8th inning. Carlos Marmol made his 1st appearance since blowing 2 saves. Marmol retired the 1st 2 batters he faced before walking 2 batters with 2 outs. He got John Mayberry to strikeout to end the game.
Aramis Ramirez powered the Cubs offense with a solo home run and a sacrifice fly. Carlos Pena had 3 hits including his 20th HR of the season. Starlin Castro Darwin Barney and Marlon Byrd each had 2 hits in the win.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Cubs tonight. They will try to beat another “Phillies ace” in Cliff Lee – Lee has dominated the Cubs of late – 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA in 5 career starts against the north siders. Good luck with that Matt Garza…
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…
Posted on 20 May 2011 by Lou
I love to be wrong in situations like this, as Casey Coleman led the Cubs to a 2-game sweep of the Marlins in Miami with a convincing 5-1 win.
Coleman picked up his 2nd win of the season, throwing 109 pitches in 5 2/3 scoreless innings. Manager Mike Quade brought in the recently called up Scott Maine to get Coleman out of trouble in the bottom of the 6th inning after Coleman walked 2 batters with 2 outs in the inning. Maine made it a little scary but Byrd cuaght Wes Helms’ deep drive to center field to end the inning.
And how about John Grabow — he has given up just 1 ER in his last 10 appearances and he notched his 4th hold of the season with a scoreless 7th inning. If Grabow can regain the form that made him such an effective reliever before he signed a 3-year free agent deal with the Cubs, the Cubs bullpen will be that much deeper as the season progresses.
Kerry Wood gave up the Marlins only run on a homer to Mike Stanton. Wood is trending in the exact opposite direction as Grabow — in his last 5 trips to the mound, Wood has 2 blown saves and 2 losses, and has given up 7 runs (3 earned) on 10 hits and 3 walks. Not good.
Carlos Marmol worked a scoreless 9th inning in a non-save situation.
At the plate, Reed Johnson got the Cubs out to an early lead with an RBI double in the 2nd inning. Marlon Byrd continues to swing a hot bat. He had 2 more hits including a 2-run home run in the 4th inning that increased the Cubs lead to 3-0. And Starlin Castro had 2 hits including a 2-run double in the top of the 9th inning that gave the Cubs some breathing room heading into the bottom of the inning with a 4-run lead.
After an atrocious start to the tough road trip with 2 frustrating losses to the 1st place Reds, it was nice to see the Cubs bounce back against the Marlins. The Cubs now trail the Cards by 5.5 games in the NL Central and need a 3-game sweep over the Red Sox in Boston this weekend in order to get back within 1 game of the .500 mark…
Posted on 19 May 2011 by Lou
The Cubs rallied for a much-needed 7-5 win over the Marlins on Wednesday night in Miami. After falling behind 5-3 at the end of the 5th inning, the Cubs tied it up in the top of the 6th inning on pinch-hitter Reed Johnson’s 2-run bomb. The Cubs then took the lead for good in the 8th on Marlon Byrd’s solo shot to left field. The Cubs tacked on an insurance run on Jeff Baker’s fielder’s choice play later that inning.
Koyie Hill had a nice game at the plate – 3 for 3 with 3 runs scored. Kosuke Fukudome, Starlin Castro and Aramis Ramirez each had 2 hits on the night.
Ryan Dempster struggled through 5 innings – 5 ER on 8 hits and 2 walks. Jeff Samardzija earned his 3rd win of the season by pitching 2 scoreless innings. Sean Marshall notched his 9th hold of the 2011 campaign, and Carlos Marmol picked up his 9th save by pitching an inning and a third of scoreless ball.
Casey Coleman looks to help the Cubs sweep the quick 2-game series over the Marlins tonight in Miami. Then it’s off to Boston for a 3-game set against the Red Sox at historic Fenway Park.
Posted on 11 May 2011 by Lou
Chris Carpenter and Carlos Zambrano each pitched 7 innings and the game was tied at 4-4 when both pitchers departed. But the Cards got the best of the Kerry Wood in the 8th inning, scoring 2 runs off of the dependable righty. Wood allowed 2 hits and 3 walks in the inning as the 2 winning runs scored on Daniel Descalso’s 2-out bases loaded single.
The Cubs pounded out 13 hits and drew 3 walks, but only managed to score 4 runs. The 1st inning set the tone once again. The 1st 4 Cubs batters reached base as they scored 2 runs on Aramis Ramirez’s single up the middle. But with 1st and 2nd and nobody out, Alfonso Soriano grounded into a double play and even though the Cubs loaded the bases again, they failed to push across another run. Ramirez ended the night with 3 hits and the 2 RBI’s, while Darwin Barney had 3 hits and 2 runs scored. Marlon Byrd also had 2 hits and 1 run scored. In the 7-hole, Starlin Castro came through with an RBI single in the bottom of the 7th inning which tied the game at 4.
Zambrano gave up 4 ER on 8 hits and 2 walks in his outing. He did not factor in the decision.
Matt Garza goes up against Jake Westbrook in game 2 of the series tonight. They need Garza to be the “stopper” tonight if they look to avoid the sweep with the Cards having a favorable match-up tomorrow – Jaime Garcia (4-0, 1.99 ERA) v. Casey Coleman (1-2, 6.29 ERA). Good luck with that one…
Posted on 05 May 2011 by Lou
Carlos Zambrano had his best start of the 2011 MLB campaign as the Cubs defeated the Dodgers 5-1 to take 2 out of 3 in L.A. Zambrano worked 8 amazing innings, allowing just 1 ER on 5 hits and 1 walk with 4 K’s. Big Z is now 4-1 with a 4.23 ERA and a nifty little 1.19 WHIP. Gotta love Big Z bringing his “A” game early in the season.
The Cubs scored all of their runs via the long ball – Geovany Soto gave the Cubs a -1-0 lead in the 5th inning with his 3rd HR of the season. Carlos Pena hit his 2nd HR in as many days to increase the Cubs lead to 2-0 in the 6th inning. Later that inning, Marlon Byrd broke the game open with his 1st HR of the season. His 3-run shot gave Big Z a 5-run cushion.
The Cubs need to get Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner back in a hurry. I’m sick of seeing Casey Coleman and James Russell on the bump – it’s almost an automatic loss. This NL Central is completely up for grabs right now and with our 5 starters going, the Cubs have a good shot at staying in the thick of the race this summer. At 14-16, the Cubs trail the Cards by 2.5 games and they have 6 big games coming up against the Reds this weekend and the Cards next week. This is a HUGE 6-game stretch for the north siders…
Posted on 15 April 2011 by Lou
The Cubs take on the Rockies at Coors Field tonight. Matt Garza looks to pick up his 1st win of 2011 and his 1st win as a Cub. So far, Garza has been less than consistent – he has a 5.68 ERA with a 1.82 WHIP. He is 0-1. The Cubs hope that Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney and Marlon Byrd keep up their hot hitting against the Rockies.
Posted on 13 April 2011 by Lou
Bret Myers was finally rewarded for another good start as the Astros raced out to an early 5-0 lead and never looked back. Michael Bourn and Angel Sanchez each reached on bunt singles to start the game, making starter-turned reliever-turned starter James Russell look like he had never practiced fielding a bunt before. Each player came around to score later that inning. Bourn also had 2 stolen bases, while the top 3 Astros in the lineup – Bourn, Sanchez and Hunter Pence – went a combined 9 for 15, with 7 RBI’s and 7 runs scored. Ouch.
Russell ended up lasting just 1 2/3 innings in his spot start for Andrew Cashner. He gave up 4 ER on 7 hits and given the outing, the Cubs should really try to figure out a way to use just 4 starters for as long as possible when they can with some off days coming up. Jeff Samardzija wasn’t all that much better – 2 ER on 3 hits in 3 innings of work. His season ERA is 7.50 and his season WHIP is 2.17. Since Samardzija doesn’t have any options, he is going to either have to get better in a hurry or the Cubs may be forced to outright release him. And John Grabow continued to pitch poorly as he recovers from a 2010 injury. Grabow gave up 3 ER on 5 hits in the 8th inning and now has a 2.31 WHIP and 8.31 ERA.
The Cubs did manage to have 11 hits, but scored just 2 runs, one on a solo home run by Tyler Colvin. Marlon Byrd is on fire after a slow start. He had 3 more hits and has a .391 batting average. Starlin Castro had 2 more hits and is hitting .367. If only someone else in the lineup besides the first 3 batters would start hitting, maybe the Cubs could put together some sustained rallies.
Carlos Zambrano and Wandy Rodriguez square off in the rubber game of the series tonight in Houston…