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 27 June 2011 by Lou
The Cubs dropped the rubber game of the 3-game weekend series to the Royals in Kansas City by a 6-3 deficit. Randy Wells’ 2011 struggles continued as he allowed 4 1st inning runs to put the Cubs in an immediate hole. Wells ended up lasting 6 innings, but he allowed all 6 ER on 10 hits and 2 walks.
Geovany Soto had 3 hits in the loss, including his 7th HR of the season, but he is only hitting ,225 on the year. Soto had 2 of the Cubs 3 RBI’s. Blake Dewitt had 2 hits and drove in the other Cubs run. Starlin Castro went 1 for 4 to keep his hitting streak alive – now at 10 games in a row. Catsro has a .326 batting average which is good for 3rd best in the National League.
The Cubs played the Rockies today in a make-up of the April 27th game that was postponed due to rain. The Cubs won 7-3 – more on this in the morning…
Posted on 24 June 2011 by Lou
The Cubs used the scheduled Thursday off-day to plan for the weekend series against the Royals as well as for the future…
Manager Mike Quade opted to re-jigger the Cubs rotation after consulting with pitching coach Mark Riggins. Ryan Dempster will start tonight, while the Cubs will go with Carlos Zambrano on his regular 5 days rest on Saturday. That move pushes Randy Wells’ start back an extra day to Sunday. Matt Garza will make his next start on schedule on Monday against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field.
Off the field, GM Jim Hendry met with his scouts and executives to figure out the direction of the team as the July 31 trading deadline approaches. Hendry and the Cubs could entertain offers for Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano who have both said that they would like to continue to play in Chicago but that they would waive their no-trade clause if a suitable trade offer comes along. Aramis Ramirez, on the other hand, has already told the Cubs that he will not waive his no trade clause. Guess we’ll see how it all shakes out…
Posted on 20 June 2011 by Lou
The Cubs dropped the final 2 games of the Yankees series over the weekend at Wrigley Field to fall to 29-42 on the season – 10 gamed behind the Cards and Brewers. Both games were nationally televised broadcast losses and they erased some good “mojo” they had developed after taking 3 of 4 from the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley earlier in the week and the opener of the Cubs-Yankees series on Friday afternoon.
Randy Wells pitched 6 solid innings, allowing 4 ER on 5 hits and 4 walks. He was hurt by Starlin Castro’s quick attempt to get a double play in the 4th inning with a runner on 1st base and one out. Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano were both safe on Cano’s weak grounder in front of home when Castro pulled his foot off the bag at 2nd base on Geovany Soto’s throw. Castro should have made sure that he got the lead runner at 2nd base, but he didn’t, and then his throw to 1st in an attempt to get the speedy Cano was late. Both players were safe and both came around to score to cut the Cubs lead to 4-3.
Sean Marshall pitched a perfect 7th inning, but then surrendered back-to-back hits to start the 8th inning. Manager Mike Quade opted to go with the righty Chris Carpenter to make Nick Swisher bat from the left side and he made them pay with a 3-run jack to deep right field. Just like that, the Cubs 4-1 lead turned into a 7-4 deficit with a few key plays.
Reed Johnson had 2 hits and a run scored in the loss. Aramis Ramirez continued his hot hitting by going 4 for 5 with a run scored. Alfonso Soriano hit his 6th career homer off of Yankees’ starter CC Sabathia with his 3-run shot that gave the Cubs a 4-1 lead in the 3rd inning.
The Cubs travel down to the south side to take on the White Sox this week. Carlos Zambrano makes his 1st appearance in U.S. Cellular Field since he had a 1st inning outburst during last season’s inter-league play when he felt like certain players were not giving their all. Big Z was suspended for his actions and forced to take anger management classes. Zambrano goes against Gavin Floyd tonight in the opener of the 3-game series.
Posted on 15 June 2011 by Lou
The Cubs 5-4 come-from-behind win over the Brewers on Tuesday night was a welcome sight for the north-siders. We haven’t seen them rally like that and actually win the game in a long time.
Randy Wells was mostly ineffective again in his 3rd start since coming off of the DL. Wells allowed way too many baserunners — 8 hits and 3 walks — but did limit the damage to 3 runs (2 earned) over 5 innings of work.
And while the Cubs trailed for most of the game – 3-0 and then 4-1 – they rallied for to tie the game off of the Brewers bullpen in the bottom of the 8th inning. Kosuke Fukudome and Starlin Castro had back-to-back doubles to cut the lead to 4-2. And then Aramis Ramirez tied it up with a home run to deep left field.
Carlos Marmol worked a scoreless 9th inning and Jeff Samardzija worked a scoreless 10th inning to keep the game tied at 10. Tony Campana started things off with a “hussle” double to shallow left field to get into scoring position. After Kosuke Fukudome bunted him over to 3rd with 1 out, Castro delivered the game winning hit with a sharp single to right field. Game over. Just like that, Samardzija picked up the win for the 2nd night in a row and the Cubs took 2 in a row from the Brew Crew.
Posted on 10 June 2011 by Lou
Could this be the win that turns the Cubs 2011 season around? Probably not, but you have to like the resolve that the Cubs showed in erasing a 3-0 2nd inning deficit against one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball. Little by little, the Cubs chipped away at the Phillies lead. Starlin Castro drove in the Cubs first run with a single in the 6th inning. Carlos Pena delivered a nice run-scoring double in the top of the 8th inning that brought the Cubs within 1 run. And Geovany Soto tied it up off of closer Ryan Madsen with a 1-out solo home run in the 9th inning. And when Tyler Colvin crushed a ball that appeared to be another home run that put the Cubs ahead 4-3, the Cubs thought they might have their first winning streak in a long, long time. But reply of the “home run” showed that a fan touched the ball before it went over the wall, so the umpires ruled it a ground rule double. The Cuibs failed to drive Colvin home, so it was off to extra innings. And Colvin finally got his chance at redemption when he scored the game winning run from 2nd base after Placido Polanco threw Darwin Barney’s groundball away with 2 outs in the 11th inning. Just like that, the Cubs finally had it in the bags.
Give some credit to the Cubs bullpen who stepped up to the plate after Manager Mike Quade pulled Randy Wells after a long rain delay after just 2 1/3 innings pitched. Rodrigo Lopez, James Russell, John Grabow, Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol kept the Phillies off the board the rest of the way which enabled the Cubs to make the comeback. Lopez, Grabow and Marshall each worked at least 2 innings. Gotta love it. Marshall got the win – his 3rd of the season – and Marmol picked up his 12th save.
Now I know it’s only 2 wins in a row, but the Cubs need to take it one game at a time. Now it’s time for Carlos Zambrano to out-pitch Roy Halladay tonight at Citizen’s Bank Ballpark…
Posted on 06 June 2011 by Lou
This 2011 Cubs season keeps getting more and more frustrating as Albert Pujols delivered 2 walk-off home runs on Saturday and Sunday to propel the Cardinals to a 3-game sweep over the lowly Cubs.
On Saturday, the Cubs welcomed the 2 start for Randy Wells after returning from the DL. Save for a 2-run homer to Albert Pujols in the 4th inning and some trouble in the 6th inning when the Cards tied the game at 4, Wells pitched well. He allowed only 3 hits and 1 walk in 5 2/3 innings, but all 4 of those batters who reached base ended up scoring. Sean Marshall, Kerry Wood, James Russell and Carlos Marmol all worked 5 scoreless innings, but it wasn’t enough. Jeff Samardzija retired the 1st 2 batters that he faced in the bottom of the 12th inning, but then he served up Pujols’ game-winning walk home run as the Cubs lost 5-4.
Then it was time for Pujols to crush a
On Sunday, Carlos Zambrano pitched his 2nd straight unbelievable start to put the Cubs in position to win 2-1 in the 9th inning. Big Z held the Cards to just 1 ER over 7 innings, allowing 5 hits and 2 walks. But Carlos Marmol served up Ryan Theriot’s game-tying 2-out double that notted the game at 2. The very next inning, Rodrigo Lopez gave up Pujols’ lead-off walk home run as the Cards won 3-2.
With the 3-game weekend sweep, the Cubs fell to 23-34 on the season and they now trail the Cards by a whopping 11-games. OUCH!
Posted on 04 June 2011 by Lou
Another day, another losss for the Cubs as they fell 9 games behind the 1st place Cards with a 6-1 loss on Friday night. Dempster served up a 3-run HR to Lance Berkman in the bottom of the 1st inning and that was all she wrote as Jaime Garcia stifled the Cubs once again during the 2011 campaign. Dempster allowed all 6 Cards runs on 8 hits and 3 walks in just 5 innings of work. While Garcia tossed 8 innings of 1-run ball with 8 K’s en route to his 6th win of the season.
The Cubs managed only 5 hits on the night, including the 1st career hit for DJ LeMahieu who was just called up to play some 3rd base with the recent facial injury to Aramis Ramirez.
Randy Wells will have to beat one of the hottest pitchers in baseball today – Kyle Lohse (7-2, 2.13 ERA) – if the Cubs are going to be able to snap their 4 game skid.
Posted on 02 May 2011 by Lou
The Cubs fell just short of getting a series win for the 1st time since they took 2 of 3 from the Padres at Wrigley Field back on April 20th.
Casey Coleman suffered another loss giving up 4 ER on 4 hits and 5 walks in just 5 innings of work. Coleman is 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA and a 1.96 WHIP. In 18 1/3 innings pitched in 4 starts, Coleman has given up 15 ER on 23 hits and 13 walks. Why is this guy still in the rotation? Isn’t there someone else in the minors that can give the Cubs more meaningful innings?
Geovany Soto, Darwin Barney and Marlon Byrd each had 2 hits in the Cubs loss. Soto had 2 doubles in the game, the 2nd of which cut the DBacks lead from 4-1 to 4-3 in the top of the 7th inning. The Cubs then stranded Soto at 2nd base in the 7th. After stranding the tying run in scoring position in the 8th inning too, Carlos Pena almost put the Cubs ahead in the top of the 9th with a deep drive to right field that Upton caught right at the wall. Marlon Byrd had doubled to lead off the inning and moved over to 3rd base with only 1 out. The DBacks then walked to Geovany Soto to get to a pinch-hitter. Jeff Baker only needed to hit a fly ball to tie the game but instead he swung at J.J. Putz’s first pitch and grounded into a game-ending double play. Not good.
The Cubs have only won 3 series all season long and have a 12-15 record. Lucky for them that no one else in the NL Central has put together a good stretch of baseball to try to gain a little space between the rest of the pack. Despite the slow start, the Cubs trail the 1st place Cards by only 3.5 games. Every time Casey Coleman and James Russell take the mound, you know the Cubs are likely going to lose, so knowing that Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner are both on the mend and hopefully back in the mix in the next few weeks can only mean improved play for the club. After these 3 final road games against the Dodgers in L.A., the Cubs open up a critical 9-game homestand against the Cincinnati Reds, Cardinals and San Francisco Giants which could leave them still right in the thick of things or getting ready for 2012…
Posted on 07 April 2011 by Lou
It was not a good day for the Cubs as Ryan Dempster fell to 0-2 as the Cubs lost to the DBacks 6-4. Dempster gave up 5 runs (4 earned) on 10 hits over 7 innings pitched. It was the most hits he had allowed in a game since 2008. Dempster did strike out 8 DBacks hitters, but his ERA rose to 6.59 and his WHIP rose to 1.46. Not good for your “ace” of the staff.
Aramis Ramirez hit his 1st home run of the season and has gotten off to a hot start – .333 batting average. Alfonso Soriano hit his 3rd home run of the season, but they have all been solo shots and he is only hitting .273. After a very slow start, Marlion Byrd had 2 hits in the loss and is now up over .300. And Kosuke Fukudome had 2 hits and is hitting .357. Now we just need the rest of the team to start swinging a good bat.
As for the other losses, they came off the field. Randy Wells woke up with a strained forearm the day after his Monday start, but an MRI showed no structural damage. Wells with not pick up a baseball for 2 weeks and should be able to pitch fairly soon after that assuming no further pain develops. Wells was the Cubs most consistent pitcher all spring and he followed that up with a great first start – only 1 ER allowed over 6 innings pitched in the Cubs 4-1 win on Monday.
Andrew Cashner was having a similar great 1st start on Tuesday when he developed shoulder soreness in his throwing shoulder. An MRI revealed that he has a mild strain of the back of the rotator cuff of his right arm. Cashner will not do anything for two weeks too, but look for the Cubs to be even more careful with Cashner. He has a powerful arm and is seen as a top major league starter for years to come.
Casey Coleman was called up from Triple-A Iowa and will start against the Brewers in Milwaukee on Sunday. James Russell – who has pitched out of the bullpen thus far this season – could end up starting for the Cubs against the Astros in Houston next week. We’ll keep you posted as soon as the Cubs decide exactly what to do with the 5th starter…