Tag Archive | "Starlin Castro"

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Cubs Drop 1st Two Games in DC, Look to Rebound with Volstad on the Hill – Wrigley Field 9/4/12

Posted on 04 September 2012 by Lou

The Nationals have taken the 1st 2 games of the series against the Cubs with 2-1 and 11-5 victories.  The Nats improved their major league best record to 83-52.

Jeff Samardzija pitched well on Labor Day, but suffered the loss as the Cubs could not muster any offense. Samardzija fell to 8-13 on the season despite allowing just 1 ER on 7 hits and 1 walk in 7 innings pitched.  He struck out 8 and walked just 1 batter as he lowered his ERA to 3.91 and his WHIP to 1.26.  Starlin Castro and Wellington Castillo each had 2 hits in the loss and Castillo knocked in the only Cubs run with a single in the 9th inning that cut the Nats lead in half.  But it was too little too late.

Chris Rusin and the Cubs bullpen served up 6 homers to the Nationals in the 11-5 loss on Tuesday night.  Rusin lasted just 1 inning (he did not record an out in the 2nd inning) before being pulled by Skipper Dale Sveum.  His line was not pretty — 5 ER on 8 hits with a walk and a strikeout.  His WHIP ballooned to 2.00 as his ERA skyrocketed to 9.00.  It was his 2nd loss in 2 starts this season.  Alfonso Soriano did hit his 26th home run and tallied his 2nd triple of the season.  Luis Valbuena, Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro each had 2 hits in the loss.

The Cubs are a woeful 51-84 on the season and it looks like they could suffer a 100-loss season in 2012.  Ouch…

At least they are still finding ways to have fun – check out the picture of Rookie picture Jaye Chapman carrying the “Dora The Explorer Backpack” to the Cubs bullpen before the start of the game!

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Volstad Wins Again; Barney Streaking Along, Castro Big Money-Big Numbers – Wrigley Field 8/31/12

Posted on 31 August 2012 by Lou

Chris Volstad picked up his 2nd win in a row after going winless in 24 straight starts.  Volstad pitched 5 2/3 effective innings, allowing just 2 ER on 5 hits and 3 walks.  He is now 2-9 on the season.

In the Cubs 6-4 win, Anthony Rizzo, Alfonso Soriano and Wellington Castillo each had 2 hits.  Soriano hit his 24th homer of the season and drove in 3 runs.  Rizzo hit his 10th long ball of the season.

Darwin Barney played in his 116th straight errorless game at 2nd base, extending the National League single-season record that he set on Wednesday night.

And just 2 days after signing a monster 7-year, $60 million contract extension, Starlin Castro had 2 hits, 3 runs scored and 2 RBI’s in the Cubs dramatic, come-from-behind 12-11 win over the Brewers on Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field.  Castro is hitting .277 on the season with 12 home runs, 65 runs scored and 65 RBI’s.  Castro received a $6 million signing bonus and the rest of the deal breaks down like this — $5 million in 2013 and 2014; $6 million in 2015; $7 million in 2016; $9 million in 2017; $10 million in 2018 and $11 million in 2019.  Castro will be a fixture in the Cubs lineup for years to come…

Cubs continue the weekend series against the Giants on Saturday afternoon at 12 noon.

 

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Finally – Chris Volstad Picks Up 1st Win in 25 Starts! – Wrigley Field 8/26/12

Posted on 27 August 2012 by Lou

Chris Volstad finally ended the streak – picking up his 1st win in 25 starts.  Volstad had to endure 2 rain delays (1 for over 2 hours that delayed the start of the game and then 1 more after 8 innings that lasted a half hour before the umpires made the game official).  Volstad was glad to get the “monkey” off his back: “I got a pretty big welcome, reception whatever you want to call it when they called the game.  Everyone was prety happy. I was pretty happy, as well… There is a little sense of relief to get it over with.”

Volstad worked 6 2/3 scoreless innings to endure the win.  He scattered 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 3.

On the offensive side, David DeJesus, Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro each had 3 hits in the win.  Castro scored 3 runs.

The Cubs are now 49-77 and they host the Milwaukee Brewers for a 4-game set at Wrigley Field starting tonight.

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Cubs Take 2 of 3 From Marlins as Samardzija & Maholm Shine – Wrigley Field 7/19/12

Posted on 19 July 2012 by Lou

The Cubs took the final 2 games of the series against the Marlins to keep their winning ways rolling.  They took 5 of 6 games on the current homestand to open up the 2nd half of the MLB campaign.

In Wednesday night’s rain-shortened 5-1 win, Jeff Samardzija struck out 9 in just 5 innings and limited the marlins to only 1 ER on 6 hits and 3 walks. James Russell picked up the win by pitching a scoreless 7th inning despite allowing 2 runners to reach base.  Starlin Castro tied the game at 1 in the 4th inning with his 8th homer of the season.  And the Cubs earned the win before the rains came by tallying 4 runs in the 7th.  Geovany Soto had an RBI single, Jeff Baker had a 2-run single and David DeJesus plated the final run with a sacrifice fly.

In Thursday’s matinee, Paul Maholm pitched 8 innings of 1-run ball, scattering 5 hits and 1 walk.  Maholm improved to 8-6 and lowered his WHIP to 1.29 and his ERA to 4.09.  Carlos Marmol made it interesting in the 9th when he walked the lead-off hitter and allowed him to score on a single.  But he closed out the game to pick up his 11th save and preserve the 4-2 win.  Alfonso Soriano hit his 18th homer to get the Cubs on the board in the 5th inning.  And Reed Johnson capped off the 4-run 5th inning with a 2-out, 2-run single to left field.  Johnson, Soriano, Jeff Baker and Darwin Barney each had 2 hits in the win.

Now it’s onto St. Louis to take on the Cardinals in what could be Ryan Dempster’s final 2012 start as a Cubs player on Friday night.

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Ozzie, Lee, Marlins Crush Wood, Cubs 9-5 @ Friendly Confines – Wrigley Field 07/17/12

Posted on 17 July 2012 by Lou

Travis Wood was due for a bad outing.  The lefty surrendered 8 ER on 8 hits and 2 walks before Manager Dale Sveum mercifully pulled the starter with 2 outs in the top of the 5th inning.  Wood did strike out 6 batters, but Carlos Lee’s 2 hits and grand slam were just too much for Wood to handle.  Lee continued his penchant for crushing the ball at Wrigley Field.

David DeJesus, Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Luis Valbuena each had 2 hits for the Cubs in the loss.

The game marked the return of former White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen and former Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano.  Zambrano was apologetic to the media and Cubs fans before the game: “I still love these fans… I apologize for any inconvenience and anything that I did.  The only thing that I wanted to do in Chicago is win, and I really apologize to the Cubs fans and the people here who treated me good.”  Ozzie, on the other hand, was less diplomatic.  Before the game, he issued a listed of Chicago media who were NOT ALLOWED to attend any of his media press conferences pre- or post-game.  One of those included on the list is long-time ESPN Radio 1000 sage Bruce Levine.  Bruce Levine has been in the baseball business for over a century and he has know Ozzie for almost 30 years.  But Ozzie took offense that Levine did not support Ozzie more when the Marlins suspended Ozzie for 5 games early in the season for statements he made about Cuba’s President Fidel Castro which angered the Miami Latina community.  Levine suggested that Ozzie should be suspended indefinitely until Ozzie, the Marlins baseball organization and the community could patch things up.  That did not sit well with Ozzie who immediately issued an apologetic statement after he made the Castro comments.  This is just another example of Ozzie being Ozzie – what do you expect?

In any event, Jeff Samardzija looks to kick off the 2nd half of the MLB season on a positive note.  He’ll square off against Josh JOhnson in Game 2 of the series tonight.

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Happy All-Star Game – Kansas City – Wrigley Field 7/10/12

Posted on 10 July 2012 by Lou

Happy All-Star Game from your friends at MyCubsToday.com!

Matt Cain gets the start for the National League while Justin Verlander goes for the American League.

Cubs fans get to root for Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair.

Go National League Go!!!

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Cubs Top Mets 7-0; Take 2 out of 3 @ CITI Field – Wrigley Field 7/9/12

Posted on 09 July 2012 by Lou

The Chicago Cubs beat the NY Mets 7-0 on Sunday to take 2 of 3 from the Mets on the weekend right before the All-Star Break.  Ryan Dempster earned his 4th win of the season, pitching 5 scoreless innings in his 1st start since being on the DL with a strained muscle.  He struck out 4 batters and more importantly did not walk a batter.  And he looks primed and ready to go for the 2nd half of the season once he gets traded to a contender.  Dempster will be in high demand.

Reed Johnson, Starlin Castro and Jeff Baker each had 2 hits to power the Cubs offense.  Castro hit a 3-run homer off of Jon Niese to break the game open in the 7th inning.

The Cubs finished the 1st half with a miserable 33-52 record.  They have a 1/2 game better record than the Houston Astros to avoid having the worst record in baseball at the break.  They trail the Cincinnati Reds by 15 games in the NL Central race.  Ha ha ha!

At least we have Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair to root for in the All-Star Game and Anthony Rizzo to root for in the 2nd half of what is shaping up to be another frustrating season on the north side of Chicago.

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Cubs Belt 5 Home Runs en Route to 12-3 Laugher Over White Sox – Wrigley Field 6/19/12

Posted on 19 June 2012 by Lou

It’s also nice to get an easy win – especially for the Cubs who still have the worst record in all of baseball at 23-44.  The Cubs belted 5 home runs and cruised to an easy 12-3 win over the White Sox on the south side.  It was the 1st time the Cubs beat the White Sox in 4 tries this year.  Matt Garza pitched 6 innings on a 90+-degree night and won just his 3rd game of the season. He gave up 3 ER on 2 home runs, but limited the damage while striking out 6.  He lowered his WHIP to 1.11, but his ERA is still over 4 at 4.07.

The Cubs clobbered 15 hits and scored 12 runs.  Starlin Castro had 3 hits (1 home run), 2 RBI’s and 3 runs scored.  Bryan LaHair added 2 hits, 2 RBI’s and 1 run scored on his 13th homer of the year.  Alfonso Soriano (1 home run) had 2 hits and 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored.  But the real star was Luis Valbuena who added 3 hits including a 3-run homer in the 7th inning.  He has raised his batting average to .294 while getting extended playing time while Ian Stewart is injured.

Jake Peavy and Travis Wood get to face the 90+degree elements tonight in what should be another high-scoring affair.  Look for lots more long balls – this time probably a few more from the south siders who “only” hit 2 on Monday night.

Go Cubs Go!!!

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Cubs Drop Final 2 Games to Red Sox as Samardzija, Maholm Struggle – Wrigley Field 6/18/12

Posted on 18 June 2012 by Lou

The Red Sox took the final 2 games against the Cubs during the weekend set at Wrigley Field.  Jeff Samardzija’s struggles continued in the heat on Saturday night at the Friendly Confines.  He gave up 3 ER on 4 hits and 3 walks in just 5 1/3 innings.  He racked up 6 K’s but his high 108-pitch count forced Manager Dale Sveum to pull the big righty early in the game.  The Cubs tallied their 3 runs on Luis Valbuena’s 1st career major league home run – a 3-run blast off of Jon Lester that cut the Red Sox lead to 4-3.  But the game would end like that.

Franklin Morales started for the injured Josh Beckett on Sunday night and he out-dueled Cubs starter Paul Maholm.  Maholm pitched OK – 3 ER on 6 hits and 1 walk, with 6 K’s – but it wasn’t good enough.  The Red Sox scored 3 runs in the 7th and 1 in the 8th to break open a 3-3 tie.  Starlin Castro finally broke out of his slump with 3 hits, including a double and a triple.  He drove in 2 of the Cubs 3 runs.

The Cubs fell to 22-44 with the series loss to the Red Sox – they once again have the worst record in baseball.  The Cubs “travel” south to take on the White Sox for 3 games at U.S. Cellular Field starting tonight.  Matt Garza will square off against Zach Stewart in the series opener.

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Cubs Make Move For Future While Finishing Up Dismal 2-8 Road Trip – Wrigley Field 6/11/12

Posted on 11 June 2012 by Lou

Ryan Dempster won for the 2nd time on the Cubs atrocious 2-8 road trip through San Francisco, Milwaukee and Minnesota.  It were Dempster’s first 2 wins of the 2012 MLB season.  He pitched 8 scoreless innings to help the Cubs avoid the sweep by the Twins.  He scattered 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6.  He has an amazing 1.03 WHIP and 2.31 ERA, but only has a 2-3 record as the Cubs have failed to provide him much run support in his starts.  Starlin Castro led the Cubs 9-hit attack by going 3 for 5 with 3 runs scored.  Reed Johnson added 2 hits and 3 runs scored in the lead-off spot.

Off the field, the Cubs landed highly touted Cuban prospect Jorge Soler in the “free agent” market.  The 20-year old outfielder was considered the next biggest star out of Cuba after Yoenis Cespedes signed with Oakland for $36 million earlier this spring.  The Cubs were able to negotiate a 9-year, $30 million deal for the player they have set their sights on for quite a while now.  Other top teams – the Yankees, White Sox, Phillies and Red Sox – were all believed to be involved in the bidding for Soler, but the Cubs got him.  The Cubs did not make any public announcement about the deal today, but look for some news later this week.

At 20-40, the Cubs are on pace to finish with more than 100 losses for only the 3rd time in franchise history.  Both the 1962 and 1966 Cubs finished 59-103.  Not good – not good at all, but at least it looks like new ownership has a plan in place, and the tools necessary to implement that plan…

 

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