Posted on 24 May 2010 by Lou
His overall numbers may not be the best of all the Cubs starters, but Carlos Silva’s 6 wins has him sitting pretty in a positive 2010 MLB schedule.
I doubt he’s going to go 20-0, but knowing that we got Silva to be able to get rid of Milton Bradley makes this all the more sweet. Even if he loses the rest of his starts this season, it will be a memorable 2010 season in a Cubs uniform for Silva and Cubs fans all over the country.
Posted on 22 May 2010 by Lou
This is almost comical – if it’s a 1-run game, the easy bet is that the Cubs are going to lose. After dropping a 5-4 decision to the Phillies on Thursday, the Cubs dropped a 2-1 decision to the Ranger son Friday night in Texas. What a joke. How bad can you get in 1-run games? The Cubs are now 5-10 in 1-run games, not a good sign for a team that is desperately searching for a post-season spot. At 19-24, the Cubs continue to play ho-hum baseball. They are 6 games back of the Cards and 5.5 games back of the Reds in the wild card race.
Ryan Theriot was the only Cubs player with more than 1 hit. The Cubs squandered another 1st and 3rd, nobody out scoring chance in the 2nd inning. Although they scored a run on Geovany Soto’s double play, that was the end of the threat. It would also be the only run that the Cubs scored in the game. Not good.
Ted Lilly pitched well — 6 2/3 innings – 2 ER on 6 hits and 3 walks with 4 K’s. He had only 1 bad inning – the 4th – where he gave up a leadoff single to Ian Kinsler who eventually made it to 3rd base on the play after errors by Mike Fontenot and Ryan Theriot. Vladmir Guerrero’s double plated Kinsler and then Guerrero came around to score the go-ahead run on Nelson Cruz’s RBI double. That would be all the scoring in the game.
Carlos Zambrano pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for the Cubs, giving up just 1 hit without any runs. Using only 2 pitchers helped get the much-maligned Cubs’ bullpen a little extra rest.
Randy Wells looks to snap the Cubs 2-game losing streak tonight in Texas.
Posted on 21 May 2010 by Lou
The Cubs begin interleague play with a visit to the AL West-leading Texas Rangers in Arlington this weekend.
In Game 1 on Friday night, Ted Lilly will take on Colby Lewis. After his winning his 1st start in 2010 with 6 scoreless innings against the Milwaukee Brewers, Lilly has struggle in his last 4 starts. He is 0-3 with a no decision during that stretch and he has given up 16 ER’s and 5 HR’s in 25 innings over that span. Lewis is 2-0 with a 3.54 in 3 home starts in 2010.
In Game 2 on Saturday night, Randy Wells looks to get back in the win column when he takes on 23-year old Derek Holland. Wells is 0-2 with a no decision in his last 3 starts. He only gave up 1 ER in 6+ innings in his last start against the Rockies, but he did not get a decision in the Cubs 4-2 extra innings win. Holland has won both of his starts this season with a sparkling 2.38 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.
In Game 3 on Sunday afternoon, Carlos Silva takes on C.J. Wilson. Silva is 5-0 with a 3.35 ERA but will be tested against the hot hitting Rangers in Texas. Despite giving up 7 ER’s in 4 1/3 innings of his last start against the Angels, Wilson still has a miniscule 2.55 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. Just goes to show you how good he has been in 2010.
Should be a fun weekend of interleague play for the Cubs in Texas. At 19-23, they still have their work cut out for them if they expect to get back in the NL Central hunt. They trail the 1st place Cards by 5 games and the 2nd place Reds by 4.5 games. Let’s hope for Cards losses against the Angels in St. Louis and Reds losses against the Indians in Cleveland over the weekend.
Posted on 17 May 2010 by Lou
For 7 innings, it looked like it was going to be another frustrating, disappointing loss for the Cubs on Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field. The Cubs trailed the Pirates 3-1 and despite numerous scoring chances they could never seem to come through with the clutch hit – as had happened so many times this season. It all turned around in the bottom of the 7th inning after a lead-off walk to Mike Fontenot. After reliever Evan Meek quickly recorded 2 outs on fly balls by Geovany Soto and Tyler Colvin, the Cubs finally got the clutch hitting they so desperately needed. Kosuke Fukudome single to right sending Fontenot scampering to 3rd base. Meek then threw a wild pitch allowing Fontenot to score and Fukudome to move to 2nd and into scoring position. Starlin Castro kept the inning alive as he hustled to 1st base safely after Ronny Cedeno’s fielding error. Derrek Lee – who had failed in this situation countless times before this season – finally delivered a hit that plated Fukudome with the tying run.
The Cubs then took full advantage in the bottom of the 8th inning. Alfonso Soriano singled and stole 2nd base with 2 outs to get into scoring position (he was even able to advance to 3rd base on the wild throw). The Pirates then walked Geovany Soto to force the Cubs to use a pinch-hitter. Xavier Nady was 0 for 9 as a pinch-hitter since July 2008, but he delivered the game winning single that scored Soriano with the winning run.
Kudos to the Cubs pitchers too. Ted Lilly hung in there after giving up 3 runs in the 2nd inning. He ended up going 7 innings, allowing just those 3 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks. It wasn’t his best game, but he did what he had to do to give his club a shot at the end. Sean Marshall delivered again with another scoreless inning of relief. His 0.87 WHIP and 2.45 ERA are simply amazing. And then Carlos Marmol came through with one of the biggest saves of his career – seriously. Just think if he had gotten into trouble in the 9th inning. The Cubs offense finally came through with 3 runs to take the lead at the end of the game. It would have been the perfect time for the Cubs bullpen to do something wrong to blow the game once again. But Marmol did the exact opposite – throwing a perfect inning with 2 K’s.
Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t think that this is going to send the Cubs on a 10-game winning streak. They still are too inconsistent at this point in the season to get my hopes up too much. But this NL Central division is up for grabs. No one is going to run away with this. The Reds are now in 1st place, and the Cubs are still just 5.5 games out of the division lead. Anything is possible – they just need to hang in there and stay as positive as possible. It’s not easy, but you never know. As Manager Lou Pinella said — “I’d like to see people get hot and stay hot and win games, and everything will take care of itself. I wouldn’t be getting asked these questions day in and day out, OK? And having to make excuses and everything else, OK? So, if we start doing the things that we’re capable of doing, I won’t have to answer these questions all the time…If the talent that we had was playing up to [expectations], I’d tell you I didn’t think it would happen. We’re confident that we’ll get it going but we’ve got to score more runs consistently and we’ve got to keep [opponents] from scoring, especially late, because you can’t come back from those things… Everybody’s trying. Nobody’s going through the motions. It’s just a question of being more consistent. Once we do that, we’ll win more baseball games. And then everybody will be happy. The media will be happy. The manager will be happy. Tghe players will be happy. The fans will be happy.”
Amen to that…
Posted on 14 May 2010 by Lou
Tom Gorzelanny and the Cubs host the Pittsburgh Pirates @ Wrigley Field this weekend in a 3-game set. The Pirates swept the Cubs in Pittsburgh last week, outscoring the Cubs
Friday’s game has been pretty ugly so far — the Pirates scored 3 runs off of Gorzelanny in the 1st inning, but the Cubs answered with 4 of their own in the bottom of the inning. The Cubs have also had leads of 5-4 and 6-4, but the Pirates kept chipping away with single runs in the 5th and 6th innings to tie the game at 6. Marlon Byrd has 2 hits, 1 RBI and 2 runs scored, while Alfonso has 2 hits with 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored.
The rest of the weekend shapes up like this –
Saturday @ 12:05PM – Paul Malholm v. Ryan Dempster (looking to avoid his 4th straight loss).
Sunday @ 1:20PM – Ross Ohlendorf v. Ted Lilly (looking to avoid his 3rd straight loss).
Anything short of a sweep over the Pirates will certainly be a major disappointment for the Cubs this weekend at Wrigley…
Posted on 11 May 2010 by Lou
Ted Lilly took a no-hitter into the 6th inning of last night’s 4-2 loss to the Florida Marlins at Wrigley Field. Then the wheels came off as the Cubs dropped another close game during this extremely frustrating 2010 MLB schedule. How bad can it get?
How did it all go down? Starlin Castro’s high throw to 1st base on a routine groundball by Brett Carroll allowed Carrol to get to 1st to lead off the 7th inning. One out later, Lilly allowed an RBI double to Chris Coghlan – it was the 1st hit and 1st run of the game for the Marlins. The Cubs quickly rebounded when Soriano drove in his 2nd run of the game with a single to left field that gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead. But Lilly floundered again. With one out in the 7th inning, Lilly gave up a single to Dan Uggla and then a go-ahead and game-winning home run to Ronny Paulino that gave the Marlins a 3-2 lead. The Marlins scored another run on a double-steal with 2 outs, but by then, the wind was already out of the Cubs sails.
Castro’s night was just downright bad – not the way he wanted to kick of his rookie season in front of the hometown crowd. Castro committed his 1st error of the game on a high throw to first that allowed Cody Ross to reach base in the 3rd inning. Castro committed his 3rd error of the game when he let Hanley Ramirez’ groundball in the hole go under his glove. But he made matters worse by not hustling after the ball in shallow left field which allowed Ramirez to reach 2nd base as fans at the “Friendly Confines” booed the young rookie sensation. Manager Lou Pinella “gently criticized” Castro for not making the play on the ball, and Castro chalked it up to a “rookie mistake”. Castro better get his act together quickly or else he could be on the wrong side of the fence with Pinella AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, the fans.
One positive — Alfonso Soriano kept up his hot hitting. Soriano had 2 singles and a double and drove in both of the Cubs runs. He is now hitting .340 on the season.
Another positive — Carlos Zambrano worked a scoreless inning of relief, recovering from his disastrous appearance on Saturday against the Reds in Cincinnati in which he gave up 2 ER on 3 hits in 1 inning of work.
Randy Wells looks to snap the Cubs current 3-game losing streak as the Cubs continue the series against the Marlins at Wrigley Field tonight.
Posted on 06 May 2010 by Lou
The Cubs lost another close game to the Pirates in Pittsburgh – 4-2 – on Wednesday night. They look to avoid the sweep tonight as Randy Wells takes the hill.
Ted Lilly had another poor start – 6 innings pitched – 4 ER on 9 hits. He now has a 1.35 WHIP and a 5.29 ERA. Not good.
This time, however, the Cubs bats were limited by Charlie Morton who held the Cubs to just 5 hits and no walks in his 6 innings. The Cubs scored their 2 runs in the 4th inning on a sacrifice fly by Aramis Ramirez and an RBI single by Mike Fontenot. 3 relievers then held the Cubs hitless from the 7th through the 9th innings.
Manager Lou Pinella has gotta be getting frustrated again – look for another Lou outburst if the Cubs get swept tonight…
Posted on 05 May 2010 by Lou
It was another frustrating road loss for the Cubs as the bats went dead and the pitching wasn’t “perfect” enough to win the close 3-2 ball game against the Pirates.
Ryan Dempster lost 3-2 for the 2nd start in a row. He pitched well again, but a 1st inning home run to Andy LaRoche and a 6th inning 2-run home run to Ryan Church ended up being just enough for the Pirates to pick up the W. Dempster ended up pitching 7 innings of 3-run, giving up 8 hits and 1 walk with 7 strike outs. He lowered his WHIP to 1.03 and his ERA to 2.95, but he has just 2 wins on the season, mainly because of poor run support.
Against Paul Malholm, the Cubs managed 8 hits and 3 walks in 6 innings. But the lack of clutch hitting meant that the Cubs would only score twice – on solo home runs from Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto. Other than that, it was the same old story – getting guys in scoring position with 1 out or no outs, and not coming away with any runs at all. Even plating one run in those situations would mean a tie ball game and extra innings, but it seems like the Cubs go into these funks where no one comes through with the clutch hit.
Ted Lilly looks to bounce back tonight against the Pirates after a rough 2nd start to his 2010 season. He served up 7 ER to the DBacks last Thursday at Wrigley Field.
Posted on 29 April 2010 by Lou
Ted Lilly was awful and the Cubs offense managed just 2 hits through the game’s 1st 6 innings as they lost to the DBacks 13-5 at Wrigley Field.
Ted Lilly looked sharp through the game’s 1st 3 innings, but he got into trouble in the 4th when he lost all control of the strike zone. Lilly walked Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds to start the inning and then served up Adam LaRoche’s 3-run bomb to deep left center field. After a double to Cole Gillespie, then Lilly served up a 2-run bomb to deep left field that put the DBacks up 5-1. Lilly worked through the 5th inning, but served up another homer to LaRoche in that inning as well. Not good.
It didn’t help that the Cubs bats were non-existent during the early part of the game. Sure they got on the board 1st with Ryan Theriot’s RBI single in the 3rd inning, but that would be all the excitement you would see until Kosuke Fukudome’s Grand Slam off of Ian Kennedy in the 8th inning. Kennedy and 1 reliever held the Cubs to just 6 hits during the game.
Out of the bullpen, Jeff Gray struggled again – giving up 2 ER on 2 hits and 1 walk in 1 1/3 inning. James Russell didn’t fare much better, although 4 of the 5 runs he gave up were “unearned” because of Aramis Ramirez’s throwing error.
The lone bright spots — Justin Berg and Sean Marshall each worked perfect innings to close out the game. Both Berg (3.60 ERA and 1.20 WHIP) and Marshall (3.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP) have been consistent for the Cubs out of the bulpen right from the start of this disappointing season. Manager Lou Pinella had a “mini” blow-up during yesterday’s post-game conference. Man, I definitely wouldn’t want to be in there today – he might take somebody’s head off…
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…