Tag Archive | "Mike Fontenot"

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Mike Fontenot, Mark DeRosa, Aaron Rowand & Juan Uribe Each Earn World Series Rings with San Francisco Giants

Posted on 02 November 2010 by Lou

Congrats to our former Chicago major league baseball players who earned World Series rings when the San Francisco Giants topped the Texas Rangers in Game 5 of the World Series last night.  Former Cubs players Mike Fontenot and Mark DeRosa and former White Sox players Aaron Rowand and Juan Uribe each won world series rings with the Giants win.  It was the 1st World Series rings for each of Fontenot and DeRosa.  Rowand and Uribe each played pivotal roles in the White Sox World Series win back in 2005.

Uribe started all 5 World Series games for the Giants – he had 3 hits (including a home run in Game 1), 3 runs scored and 5 RBI’s.

Rowand played in 2 World Series games for the Giants and had a pinch-hit 2-run triple in Game 1.  He also scored a run in Game 1.

Fontenot came into the Giants’ Game 2 9-0 win as a defensive replacement and did not earn an at-bat.

DeRosa has been hampered by injuries each of the last 3 seasons.  He played in only 26 games for the Giants in 2010 because of a wrist injury.

Congrats guys – you all deserve it!!!

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Anatomy of a Disastrous 9-Run Inning – Is this a Cruel Joke?! – Cubs 0, Reds 12 – 7/2/10

Posted on 03 July 2010 by Lou

I thought I was having a bad nightmare for a second during the middle of the day yesterday – 9 Reds runs in the 7th inning on only 3 hits?  Is that even possible?  Unfortunately when you’re dealing with the 2010 Cubs, it is not just possible, it is inevitable.

Bronson Arroyo and Ryan Dempster were cruising through a fast, well-played pitcher’s duel which the Reds led 1-0 through 6 innings at Wrigley Field.  Then the wheels fell of for the Cubs in the top of the 7th inning:

Walk; Walk; Mike Fontenot fielding error that allowed the bases to be loaded with no one out.

Dempster strikes out Daniel Stubbs – bases still loaded but 1 out.

Dempster walks the pitcher Arroyo forcing in a run?! 2-0 Reds.

Brian Schlitter replaces Dempster.  Schlitter walks in another run. 3-0 Reds.

Schlitter gets 2nd out of inning.  Bases Still loaded, but with 2 outs now.

Schlitter passed ball allows a run to score. 4-0 Reds.

So let’s get this straight – the Reds score 3 runs without even getting 1 lousy hit?!  How does this happen?!

Schlitter intentionally walks Reds-killer Joey Votto to load bases again.

Now things start to get ugly.  Scott Rolen RBI single; Johnny Gomes 2-run double; Ramon Hernandez 2-run double; la-di-da-di-da.  Reds 10, Cubs 0.

Jeff Stevens served up a 2-run bomb to Votto in the top of the 8th inning and just like that it was 12-0.

Now granted, the pitching and fielding in the 7th inning left a lot to be desired, but it all comes back to the pitching.  Maybe if the Cubs have ONE RUN and more than 2 hits through the game’s first 6 innings, Dempster and the relievers and the fielders would not feel like they need to be perfect out there.  In their last 13 games, the Cubs have scored 3 runs or less 11 times and they have been shut out 5 times!!!  You cannot wins games this way.  The 2 times the Cubs did score 3 runs, they won!!!  So it’s not the pitching that is costing them games in 2010.  The starting rotation has the 2nd most quality starts in all of baseball in 2010.  And the Cubs’ 3.84 team ERA  is the 7th best in all of baseball.  Something has to give.

The position players need to start hitting and they need to start hitting soon. If not, we could see a lot of faces moving cities in the next few weeks as the trading deadline looms.

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Cubs Petition MLB to Forfeit Opening Games of Series for Rest of 2010 MLB Schedule?! — Cubs 3, Mariners 2, 13 INN – 6/24/10

Posted on 25 June 2010 by Lou

In an unprecedented move, the Cubs have petitioned MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to be able to forfeit all of their series openers for the rest of the 2010 MLB schedule.  The infallible Elias Sports Bureau (confirmed by our crack staff of researchers all things bizarre) has confirmed that no other major league baseball team in the modern baseball era has made such a petition before.

The reason behind the request is simple.  The Cubs have not won an opening game of a series since they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0 back on May 25th.  Since then, the Cubs have lost the series opener of 8 straight series and it looks like they are doing their best to make that 9 in a row (they trail the White Sox 6-0 in the 7th inning of today’s Crosstown Classic on the south side).  During that stretch, the Cubs have gone just 9-14 and they have fallen out of contention in both the NL Central race (they trail the St. Louis Cardinals by 8 games) and the NL Wild Card race (they trail the New York Mets by 9 games).  GM Jim Hendry and Manager Lou Pinella figure that since the Cubs can’t win the opening game of any series anyway, they may as well forfeit the game to give their players some extra rest during the dog days of summer.  Then they can focus their attention on winning the final 2 games of 3-game series in an effort to actually win more games during the final 3 months of the season.  They’ll be able to watch more tape of opposing pitchers and hitters, and they’ll have more time to work with the coaching staff on hitting, pitching and fielding.  Pinella has also hinted that the Cubs will play a lot more simulated games on the “forfeit” days in an attempt to keep the players “fresh”.

I must say that this is an interesting move for the north siders.  All the tweaking of batting orders and bullpen moves hasn’t really paid off, so this may be the next best thing.  I really hope Selig gives the Cubs a fair shot at being able to forfeit these games.  It could go a long for this struggling Cubs squad – wouldn’t it be great if this is all it takes for the Cubs to get back on track.  It could set a new trend for teams all across the country.

Oh yeah – by the way – the Cubs hung tough against the Mariners in the series finale on Thursday afternoon in Seattle.  Ted Lilly (6 INN, 1 ER on 5 hits and no walks, with 6 K’s) got another tough luck no decision as the Cubs didn’t give him any support at all.  The Cubs managed just 6 hits against Felix Hernandez and 4 Mariners’ relievers.  Derrek Lee had 2 of the hits but is still just hitting .233 for the season.  Mike Fontenot didn’t have a hit but he drove in the Cubs first run with a sacrifice fly in the 2nd inning.  Chad Tracy drove in the Cubs 2nd run with an RBI single in the 7th inning that gave the Cubs a short-lived 2-1 lead.  Marlon Byrd drove in the game-winning run in the top of the 13th inning with his only hit of the game.

On a “down” note, Andrew Cashner gave up his 1st run in 8 major league starts, blowing the 2-1 lead in the process. It was also his 1st major league blown save.

As for today’s game, we’ll have more on this later, but Carlos Zambrano served up 4 easy runs for the White Sox in the 1st inning (RBI double by Alex Rios and 3-run HR by Carlos Quentin) and then promptly started yelling at Derrek Lee in the dugout after the end of the inning.  It’s not exactly clear what Big Z was pissed off about, but he clearly still has a lot of anger issues to deal with.  Add Big Z’s name to the list of Cubs that will be traded before the July 31 trading deadline.  The only problem with moving Zambrano is working out how much of the $18+ million owed to him over each of the next 2 years the Cubs will have to eat in order to get some team to take him.  Good job Jim!!!

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Saturday Massacre @ Wrigley Field — Weaver Angels Destroy Lilly, Cubs 12-0

Posted on 20 June 2010 by Lou

What a joke – things keep getting worse and worse on the north side.  The Cubs fell to the Angels 12-0 on Saturday afternoon.  It looked like none of the Cubs players even cared anymore.  This is really really frustrating.

Lilly – after tossing 8-no-hit scoreless innings last Sunday against the White Sox – could do no right against the Angels.  He ended up giving up 8 runs (6 earned) on 9 hits and 3 walks over 5 1/3 innings.

Meanwhile, Jered Weaver shut down the Cubs with ease.  He racked up 11 K’s in 7 innings and allowed just 2 hits.  Marlon Byrd and Mike Fontenot were the only 2 Cubs hitters to reach base during the laugher.

Carlos Zambrano looks to help the Cubs avoid the sweep today on Father’s Day – don’t hold your breathe Cubs fans…

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Game 2 Cubs-Cards Today; Plus Cubs Fun Fact of the Day — Randy Wells – No Outs in Start?!

Posted on 29 May 2010 by Lou

The Cubs and Cards square off in Game 2 of the big weekend series at Wrigley Field today.  Carlos Silva looks to go 7-0, while the Cubs bats must figure 1st time major league start Adam Ottavino.

The Cubs have already blown 1 scoring chance.  After Mike Fontenot tripled with 1 out in the 2nd inning, the bottom part of the Cubs order could not bring him home.  Starlin Castro grounded out to 2nd base and Koyie Hill lined out to center field to end the threat.  Fortunately, Carlos Silva appears to have brought his A-game.  He has pitched 3 scoreless innings while striking out 7 of the first 10 batters he has faced.  He gave up a lone single to Matt Holliday to lead off the 2nd inning.

In Saturday’s 7-1 loss to the Cards, Randy Wells had his worst start ever as a major league pitcher.  He faced 6 batters and did not record a single out.  All 6 hitters reached base with hits and the Card scored 5 runs in that dreadful, game-changing first inning.  It was the 1st time a Cubs starter did not record an out in his game since Jeremy Gonzalez did so back in 1998.  James Russell came in and ended the threat and actually pitched great in a tough situation.  Russell ended up going a career-high 4 innings of scoreless ball giving up just 2 hits and  a walk.  He single-handedly kept the Cubs in the game and earned some great respect and praise from Manager Lou Pinella so did not have to go the bullpen too often.  The rest of the bullpen (save for John Grabow who gave up a 2-run HR in his 1 inning of work) also did a great job – Bob Howry 1 scoreless inning; Jeff Stevens 2 scoreless innings and Big Z 1 scoreless inning.  If the Cubs had talen advantage of some earlier scoring chances against Cards’ starter Chris Carpenter, they may have had a chance to win.

Oh well — let’s hope the Cubs bats come to life in this afternoon’s game.

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Cubs Take 2 of 3 from Dodgers @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 27 May 2010 by Lou

The Cubs took 2 of 3 from the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers as Wrigley Field this week.  It wasn’t all perfect, but at least the wins keep coming in.

I’m going to ignore most of the 8-5 loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday night.

Most notable – I was very disappointed in the Cubs hitting.  14 hits and you only manufacture 5 runs?!  The Cubs left 2 runners on base in each of the 1st 2 innings and only pushed 1 run across during those scoring chances.  In the 3rd inning, the Cubs actually had the bases loaded and nobody out, and they only scored 1 run on a Mike Fontenot hit by pitch.  Starlin Castro then grounded out to force an out at home, Koyie Hill struck out and Tom Gorzelanny grounded out to end the threat.  The Cubs had runners on base in every single inning but the 9th inning, but never seemed to be able to push through more than a run at a time.  The lowlight – Ryan Theriot grounded into inning-ending double plays in each of the 6th and 8th innings.  Not good.

Tom Gorzelanny – we may have seen the last of TG as a starter with the return of Carlos Zambrano looming.  Gorzelanny never seemed comfortable out there and he gave up a season high 7 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits and 3 walks over 5 innings.  It least he gave the team the 5 innings though – gotta give him credit for that.

Now on to bigger and better things.  Although it was a pitcher’s/defensive battle between Ted Lilly and Chicago-area native John Ely today, the Cubs eked out the 1-0 win late to make the Wrigley-faithful happy. The Dodgers actually out-hit the Cubs 5-4, but the Cubs made their hits count in the 8th inning.  Mike Fontenot entered the game in the 8th inning after an undisclosed injury to Jeff Baker and he promptly led off the bottom of the 8th inning with a triple down the right field line that Xavier Nady had trouble fielding.  After Geovany Soto struck out, Tyler Colvin (also in his 1st at-bat as he entered the game for defensive purposes), doubled to right field to drive in Fontenot with the 1st and only run of the game.  It was frustrating to watch Ryan Theriot pop out on a bunt attempt that would have brought another run in because the Cubs continue to struggle in those situations.  When you get a man on 3rd and less than 1 out, you have to get him home somehow, some way, and the Cubs have not been consistent doing that this year.

Ted Lilly was great –7 scoreless innings giving up just 3 hits and 3 walks with 5 K’s.  He did not receive a decision however.

Sean Marshall pitched a scoreless 8th inning although he did give up 2 singles in the inning.

Carlos Marmol struck out the side in the 9th inning although he did walk Blake DeWitt with 1 out.  It was Marmol’s 11th save in 13 chances and he has shown that he can close out games on a consistent basis this year.  He continues to lower both his WHIP (1.14) and ERA (1.52) with good outings.

Next up is a HUGE 3-game set with the Cardinals at Wrigley Field this weekend.  It should be a fun Randy Wells-Chris Carpenter duel on Friday afternoon at t he Friendly Confines – lucky for us, the Cards have a late afternoon game in San Diego today before heading to Chicago tonight – wonder who scheduled that one?

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Cubs Salvage Series with 4-3 Win over Marlins

Posted on 13 May 2010 by Lou

It wasn’t pretty once again, but at least this time the Cubs came out on top with a 4-3 win over the Florida Marlins at Wrigley Field on Wednesday afternoon to avoid the sweep.  Carlos Silva notched another quality start pitching into the 7th inning and earning hie 4th win of the season without a loss.  Although he did give up 7 hits and 2 walks, he managed to stay out of too much trouble allowing just a total of 2 ER.  He was helped by 2 unassisted double plays turned by shortstop Starlin Castro in each of the 1st 2 innings.  Sean Marshall helped Silva get out of a jam in the 7th inning by inducing an inning-ending double play to preserve the 4-2 lead.  Carlos Zambrano —  see our Cubs Fun (Sad) Fact of the Day today — had trouble staying out of trouble in the 8th inning.  After retiring the 1st 2 batters he faced, Big Z walked Jorge Cantu and then gave up a single to Dan Uggla.  That prompted Manager Lou Pinella to pull Zambrano for his closer Carlos Marmol who quickly disposed of pinch-hitter John Baker with a strikeout to end the threat.  Marmol allowed a run in the 9th inning to make things interesting, but was able to strike out Hanley Ramirez with runners on 1st and 2nd to pick up the save for the Cubs.  It was Marmol’s 5th save in 6 tries this season.

The Cubs put runners on base for a 3rd straight game with 8 hits and 4 walks.  But they only scored 4 runs, failing to come through with clutch hits on several occasions.  Mike Fontenot had a 2-RBI double in the 2nd inning and Marlon Byrd had an RBI double in the 5th inning to put the Cubs head for good.

Derrek Lee seems to have responded to Pinella’s move to the 4th spot.  Lee had 2 doubles in Tuesday night’s loss and 2 more singles in Wednesday’s win.  Castro keeps swinging a hot bat too – adding 2 more singles to increase his batting average to .364.

Tom Gorzelanny kicks things off for the Cubs against his former team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.  After sweeping the Cubs in Pittsburgh last week, the Pirates have dropped 5 of their last 6 games and haven’t scored a single run in their last 2 games.  Let’s hope their struggles keep up against the Cubs this weekend at Wrigley.  It will be a MAJOR disappointment for the Cubs if they can’t win this series this weekend…

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Starlin Castro Leads Cubs to 14-7 over Reds in Cincinnati

Posted on 08 May 2010 by Lou

WOW — Starlin Castro’s 6 RBI’s helped propel the Cubs to an easy 14-7 victory over the Reds in Cincinnati on Friday night.  It wasn’t enough that Castro was making history by becoming the youngest Cubs player to make his debut at the shortstop position in almost 100 years, he just had to go and have one of the most memorable nights in recent Cubs history.  With the Cubs offense scuffling to just 5 runs in a 3-game sweep at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates and with Marlon Byrd and Aramis Ramirez failing to drive in runs with 1st and 3rd and only 1 out in the 1st inning, it was up to Castro to come through in the clutch with 2 and nobody out in the 2nd inning.  And boy did he deliver – with a 3-run bomb to right field that gave the Cubs an early 3-0 lead.  Marlon Byrd’s 2-run home run an inning later staked the Cubs to a 5-0 lead.  And Castro’s bases-clearing triple in the 5th inning extended the lead to 9-0.  WOW!  Mike Fontenot’s Grand Slam in the 8th inning capped all the scoring for the Cubs en route to an easy 14-7 win.  We certainly haven’t been able to say that a lot these days.

Carlos Silva did just enough to earn his 3rd win of the season, although it wasn’t his best outing.  Silva pitched 5 innings, giving up 4 ER on 10 hits and 1 walk.  The bullpen (save for John Grabow) did another good job — Justin Berg, Sean Marshall and James Russell each tossed scoreless innings.

Now it’s time to see how Castro plays today in Game 2.  Hopefully Game 1 won’t go to his head.  Tom Gorzelanny looks to pick up another win, and if the they do that, Ryan Dempster will look for the sweep on Sunday…

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Cubs Fun Fact of the Day — Cubs Suck in Close Games

Posted on 29 April 2010 by Lou

Simply put, the Cubs suck in close games in 2010, following a trend that killed the Cubs during the disappointing 2009 MLB campaign.  So far this year, the Cubs have played 12 games in which the outcome was decided by 2 runs or less.  How many of those games do you think the Cubs have won?  You guessed it — just 4.  Not good, not good at all.  Going 4-8 in close games is not gonna get it done for Manager Lou Pinella and his club.  They are 10-12 and they already trail the 1st place St. Louis Cardinals by 4.5 games in the NL Central race.

Pinella snapped at a reporter after the Cubs lost 3-2 to the Nationals at Wrigley Field when he suggested that Pinella should have had Mike Fontenot bunt after Marlon Byrd led off the 8th inning with a double.  Pinella responded — “Bunting what? With a left-handed hitter up, you want to bunt?  What kind of baseball do you play? How about getting him in? Or getting him over by swinging? How about that?”

Well, Lou, I hate to disagree with you, but given how anemic the Cubs offense has been in close games, that’s precisely the reason you have Fontenot bunting in that situation.  With a runner on 3rd and only 1 out, that gives Koyie Hill or Geovany Soto the chance to drive in the tying run.  And if either of them can’t get it done, then you still have a pinch hitter coming up with 2 outs needing only a hit or error to drive in the tying run.  Call me crazy, but when you’re pressing in close games, you have to make it easy as possible to get any run across the plate, even if it means giving up an out.  You’d think Lou’s been around long enough to know that, but it seems he’s being a little stubborn by not playing small ball.

Oh yeah, check out our Cubs Fun Fact of the Day from yesterday! So much for Ted Lilly making it 7 straight quality starts for Cubs starting pitchers.  Yikes – Lilly gave up 6 ER on 7 hits and 2 walks (including 3 home runs) in only 5 innnigs of work.  That is definitely NOT a quality start…

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Bullpen Blows Another Game, Cubs Lose 5-4 to Reds

Posted on 11 April 2010 by Lou

Wow – this team just doesn’t know how to win.  Talk about trends.  I feel like this is 2009 all over again…

The Cubs lost to the Reds 5-4 on Friday night as the team wasted another solid outing from a starting pitcher.  This time it was Carlos Silva who tossed 6 innings of 1-run ball, giving up just 3 hits and no walks.  He had 3 K’s and he left the game with the Cubs leading 3-1.

That all evaporated as Esmailin Caridad imploded in the 8th inning.  After having a stellar end to 2009 and an incredible spring, Caridad looked like a deer in headlights on Friday night with the game on the line.  He walked the 1st 2 batters and then the Cubs couldn’t record an out on a great sacrifice bunt by pinch-hitter Chris Dickerson.  With the bases loaded and nobody out, Caridad promptly served up a game-winning grand slam to Drew Stubbs.  5-3 Reds lead — game over…

Sure Derrek Lee hit a solo HR off of Reds’ closer Francisco Cordero in the top of the 9th inning to cut the lead to 1, but you knew this team wouldn’t finish off the rally.

Now I know it seems like I am blaming this all on Caridad, but the Cubs offense is also to blame.  Despite cracking out 11 hits (4 by Mike Fontenot who seems to have found his stroke), the Cubs scored just 3 runs.  In each of the 1st 3 innings, the Cubs left 2 runners on base.  The 6th inning was the only inning that the Cubs were retired in order.  The Cubs had their chances, yet they failed to come through with a clutch hit that would have broken the game wide open.  This is also a trend.

Poor bullpen work + poor clutch hitting = many, many losses.  With a team already playing tight because of the awful 2009 season and the high expectations, this is not the way Manager Lou Pinella wanted his team to start the season.  Time is of the essence guys – let’s get it going soon, or it’s going to be too late very soon.  I can’t wait to hear the “boo birds” at Wrigley Field at the home opener on Monday if this club starts the season losing 5 of its 1st 6 games…

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