Posted on 01 May 2012 by Lou
The Cubs were looking for their 2nd straight series win, but settled for a split with the Phillies after losing 6-4 on Monday night. It was not a pretty night for Chris Volstad yet again as he surrendered 4 1st inning runs to put the Cubs in an early hole. Volstad ended up going a full 6 innings (4ER on 8 hits and 3 walks) to his credit, but he can’t keep having these sub-par outings.
Give the Cubs some credit for battling back against the Phillies though. Geovany Soto wasted a golden opportunity with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 7th when he grounded into a double play. But at least he didn’t strike out I guess.
In the 8th, Tony Campana walked, stole 2nd and scored on Starlin Castro’s RBI single. Then it was Bryan LaHair who stroked a game-tying 2-run jack to deep right center field to give the Cubs new life.
But it was short-lived as the Cubs bullpen couldn’t force extra innings. Scott Maine plunked Juan Pierre with 1 out in the 8th. Then Rafael Dolis served up a Jimmy Rollins single which put runners on the corners with 2 outs. Dolis couldn’t close the door as he gave up a game-winning 2-run double to Placido Palonco to give the Phils a 6-4 win.
The Cubs go to Cincinnati to take on the Reds – they are 8-15 – 7 games back of the 1st place St. Louis Cardinals.
Posted on 14 March 2012 by Lou
Chris Volstad has a new lease on life and he has Cubs new pitching coach Chris Bosio to thank for it. Bosio has worked a little magic already with a few Cubs pitchers and it is paying off big time. Volstad tossed another gem in his 2nd start of the spring. He went 3 scoreless innings giving up just 2 hits with no walks and 1 strikeout. He and Jeff Samardzija have been the biggest surprises of the spring thus far and are going to make it tough on Bosio and Dale Sveum when figuring out the starting rotation in the next few weeks.
Lefty reliever Scott Maine worked a scoreless inning and he too has impressed so far. Maine has not given up an earned run this spring.
Posted on 21 May 2011 by Lou
Ouch — what an ugly loss – 15-5, 4 more errors from the Cubs defense. Just when you thought they might make a turn after winning 2 over the Marlins in Miami this week, they go back to their “old” losing ways in Boston.
Doug Davis was downright bad – 7 ER on 8 hits and 3 walks with 3 K’s in just 3 2/3 innings pitched. Scott Maine recorded just 1 out in his work durnig the 4th and 5th innings. He gave up 3 ER on 5 hits with 1 walk. And Jeff Samardzija had his 1st bad outing in a while, turning a 10-5 laugher into an embarrassing 15-5 riot. He gave up 5 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks in the bottom of the 8th inning. All in all, the Red Sox pounded out 19 hits including 2 home runs.
James Russell was the only effective Cubs pitcher as he tossed 3 scoreless innings in the middle of the game.
Jeff Baker did have a good night at the plate – 4 for 5 with 2 runs scored. Aramis Ramirez followed that up with 3 hits and an RBI. Alfonso Soriano and Reed Johnson each had 2 hits in the loss.
The pressure is now on Carlos Zambrano and Matt Garza to try to salvage the series against the Red Sox at Fenway park in Boston this weekend.
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 24 March 2011 by Lou
The Cubs cut 4 pitchers from there spring training camp roster this week. Lefty Scott Maine and righty Justin Berg were 2 of the casualties and they will start the season at Triple-A Iowa. There was an outside chance that Maine was going to make the opening day roster, but with a healthy Sean Marshall, John Grabow and James Russell, the Cubs decided not to keep 4 lefties in the bullpen. Manager Mike Quade had this to say about Maine’s progress – “He pitched great for me last year and he’s had an OK spring but it’s command with him and experience. He was a starter for a long time and is continuing to learn abuot pitching out of the pen and how to make 18 pitches work for you instead of having 70 or 80 to figure it out.” Maine appeared in 13 MLB games for the Cubs in 2010. He had a nifty 2.08 ERA with 11 K’s in 13 innings pitched and looks to have a bright future with the Cubs at only 26 years of age.
Berg, on the other hand, had a rough spring. He only pitched 4 innings and gave up 10 ER (7 runs in one outing) on 8 hits in the process. Berg had trouble with his control and keeping pitches down, so he will head to the minors to continue to get ready for the upcoming season.
Todd Wellemeyer and Angel Guzman were the other 2 players cut. Guzman is recovering from right shoulder surgery and is scheduled to make his first appearance in a game next week. Wellemeyer was a non-roster invitee and has been bothered by a sore hip all spring. It is unclear what Wellemeyer plans to do for the rest of the season.
We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything else on who ends up winning the 5th starting spot in the rotation and the 2nd base job that is still up for grabs as well.