Tag Archive | "Xavier Nady"

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Cubs Arbitration Moves? – Wrigley Field 11/23/10

Posted on 23 November 2010 by Lou

It’s arbitration time in major league baseball, and for the 1st time in a while, the Cubs will likely have a quiet day of rest.  The Cubs have only 1 arbitration-eligible player – Xavier Nady – and because he does not have a ton of interest on the free agent market, it doesn’t really make any sense for the Cubs to offer him arbitration.  So, the Cubs won’t have to make any moves before tonight’s deadline.

The cross-town Chicago White Sox, however, will likely offer arbitration to 1st baseman Paul Konerko and reliever J.J. Putz.  The White Sox will likely not offer arbitration to either A.J. Pierzynski or Manny Ramirez.

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Cubs End 2010 Home Season on Down Note — Cubs 7, Cards 8 – 9/26/10 Wrigley Field

Posted on 27 September 2010 by Lou

The Cubs ended the 2010 home schedule on a down note with another loss to the Cardinals – 8-7 on Sunday at Wrigley Field.

Jeff Samardzija struggled mightily with his control – 7 walks in just 4 1/3 innings pitched.  He also gave up 7 hits.  That led to 8 runs for the Cards.  Not good.  Samardzija’s WHIP (2.12) and ERA (8.38) blew up with the awful start.

Blake DeWitt was the only Cubs player with more than 1 hit.  He also scored 2 runs, as did Xavier Nady and Bobby Scales (who walked 3 times and had 1 hit).

The Cubs end the season with a 7-game road trip to San Diego and Houston.  Carlos Zambrano takes the bump tonight against the Padres.

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Jeff Samardzija Picks up 1st Win in 2010 – Cubs 5, Cardinals 1 – 9/13/10

Posted on 14 September 2010 by Lou

Jeff Samardzija picked up his 1st win of 2010 despite getting into (and out of) a few jams.  The Cubs beat the Cardinals 5-1.

Samardzija made his 1st start in 2 MLB seasons.  He did not allow a single run in 5 2/3 innings.  He gave up 6 hits and 4 walks, but did a great job of keeping the Cards off the scoreboard.  After a good minor league season in which he went 10-3 at Triple-A Iowa, this is a good sign that Samardzija could be on the verge of pitching consistently at the major league level as well.

Sean Marshall struck out Tyler Greene to end the 8th inning and notch his 20th hold of the season. Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless 9th inning in a non-save situation.  Marshall (1.18 WHIP & 2.84 ERA) and Marmol (1.24 WHIP & 2.88 ERA) now each have WHIP’s under 1.25 and ERA’s under 3.00.

Xavier Nady had 2 hits and 2 runs scored.  Geovany Soto went 3 for 3 with a walk and 1 RBI.  Alfonso Soriano had a 2-run single in the 3rd inning that extended the Cubs lead to 4-0.

The Cubs take on the Cards in game 2 tonight – Randy Wells will battle Adam Wainwright.

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Soriano, DeWitt Lead Cubs to Big Win Over Mets @ Wrigley Field — Cubs 7, Mets 6 – 9/3/10

Posted on 04 September 2010 by Lou

Alfonso Soriano and Blake DeWitt each hit 3-run home runs to lead the Cubs to a 7-6 win over the New York Mets on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.  Soriano’s homer in the 4th inning gave the Cubs a 4-3 lead.  DeWitt’s homer in the 6th inning broke a 4-4 tie to give the Cubs a 7-4 lead.  They held on as the Mets hit 2 solo home runs in the 7th and 8th innings to cut the Cubs lead to just 1 run.  But Carlos Marmol worked a scoreless 9th inning – despite issuing ANOTHER walk – to pick up his 26th save on the season.

I really like this DeWitt kid.  In addition to the 3-run homer, he had another single.  He has a .327 on-base percentage and has a bit more pop in his bat than Ryan Theriot with his 5 HR’s and 46 RBI’s.  He is also a lot younger as he just turned 25 about 2 weeks ago.  It will be interesting to see how he matures under the tutelage of Rudy Jaramillo (and potentially Ryne Sandberg as the new Cubs skipper in 2011).  But I like the idea of DeWitt and Starlin Castro shining in the middle of the infield in the near future.

Speaking of Castro, he had 2 more hits and his batting average is now .319 which keeps him in 3rd place in the NL just 4 percentage points behind Joey Votto of the Reds.  Catching Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies (.331) might be tough, but anything can happen in the final 4 weeks of the season.

Xavier Nady continues to excel as he gets more playing time as the Cubs regular 1st baseman since Derrek Lee’s departure.  Nady had 3 hits, 1 RBI and 2 runs scored and always seems to be in the middle of Cubs rallies these days.

For the 2nd straight game, a Cubs pitcher picked up his 1st major league win.  Casey Coleman notched the win in the Cubs victory over the Pirates on Wednesday.  And on Friday, James Russell picked up his 1st major league win by recording the final out of the 6th inning.  Russell retired the only batter that he faced to get Randy Wells out of his jam.

Speaking of Wells, it was another so-so outing for Wells who is enduring a sophomore slump of a 2010 MLB schedule.  Wells surrendered 4 ER on 8 hits and 4 walks with 4 K’s.  He did not have a single 1-2-3 inning during his outing and his ERA is now 4.56 and his WHIP is now 1.44.  Not good.

Interesting fun fact — going into yesterday’s game, the Mets had not hit more than 1 home run in a game in 31 games.  Of course, against Cubs pitching, the Mets hit 2 home runs – 1 by David Wright and 1 by Luis Hernandez.

The Cubs and Mets play game 2 on Saturday afternoon – Carlos Zambrano takes the bump against .  Big Z is looking for his 3rd straight win in as many starts and his 4th win since returning to the starting rotation on August 9th.  Not bad, not bad at all.

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Zambrano Sharp Again; Cubs Offense Explodes – Cubs 14, Pirates 2 – 8/30/10 Wrigley Field

Posted on 31 August 2010 by Lou

Carlos Zambrano is making it tough off the Cubs management with another “good” start in the Cubs 14-2 win over the Pirates on Monday night at Wrigley Field.  The Cubs handed interim manager Mike Quade his 1st managerial win at the Friendly Confines in an easy win.

Zambrano gave up just 1 unearned run in 5 1/3 innings as he evened his record at 6-6.  He scattered 4 hits and 4 walks while striking out 7 Pirates hitters.  While he hasn’t had the best control since returning to the rotation in early August, Zambrano has has not allowed more than 2 ER in any of his 5 starts.  In his last 3 starts, he has allowed just a total of 2 ER.  Zambrano is still owed $39 million over the next 2 years, so the Cubs have a major decision with what to do with the big righty.  If the Cubs can find a taker for Big Z without having to eat a major chunk of the remaining money owed to him, I would think that the Cubs would move him without thinking twice about it.  But if a team willing to take Zambrano would want the Cubs to pay a large chunk of that $39 million, the Cubs should pass on it.  Assuming Zambrano keeps his act together for the rest of this season and assuming he shows that he is willing to work hard in the off-season, it would be better for the Cubs to take their chances with the big righty.  He can still be effective as a starter as he has shown the last 5 starts and would fit in nicely in the middle of the rotation assuming the Cubs can bring in a bigger name free agent pitcher this off-season.

The Cubs offense exploded in the win:

Aramis Ramirez led the way with 2 hits and 4 RBI’s.

Starlin Castro had 3 hits and 3 runs scored and his .313 batting average now puts him 5th in the National League for the batting crown.

Jeff Baker in the lead-off spot again against the lefty Paul Maholm notched 2 hits, driving in 2 runs and scoring twice.

Marlon Byrd did the same – 2 hits, 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored.

Xavier Nady and Koyie Hill each had 2 hits, while Carlos Zambrano hit a 2-run home run in the 5th inning.

18 hits, 14 runs scored – one of the bets nights all season long for the Cubs.

Cubs fielding, however, continued to be an issue.  Errors by Darwin Barney and Alfonso Soriano led to unearned runs scoring in the 6th and 8th innings.  In a closer game, those errors could have come back to haunt the Cubs.

In a pre-game ceremony, the Cubs honored Andre Dawson for his 2010 induction into the Hall of Fame.  Dawson spent 6 seasons on the north side of Chicago and he won the NL MVP Award with the Cubs back in 1987.  Dawson was excited to share the special night with his favorite Cubs fans — “You are the greatest fans ever.  Without you I wouldn’t be standing here tonight.”

Ryan Dempster looks to make it 2 in a row for the Cubs over Jeff Karstens and the Pirates.  Dempster has had a great August — 4-0 with a 1.31 ERA in 5 starts — and he has 12 wins with a 3.42 ERA overall.

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Gorzelanny Cracks Under Pressure in Cincinnati – Cubs 1, Reds 7 – 8/27/10 Great American Ballpark

Posted on 28 August 2010 by Lou

Tom Gorzelanny had a golden opportunity to continue to showcase his stuff for a 2010 starting rotation spot.  He was going up against the 1st place Reds in a hostile environment facing a lineup that loves to rake in its home park.  It was the perfect time to show that he can pitch on the big stage against one of the more productive lineups in the National League today, but Gorzelanny cracked under the spotlight, giving up 6 ER on 7 hits (including 3 home runs) over his 5 innings of work.  Maybe he just had an off-night, but he clearly showed that he is still simply a back-of-the-rotation starter on your average-to-bad major league ballclub.  Gorzelanny walked 2 and struck out 1 and fell to 7-8 on the season with a 3.98 ERA.  The ERA is still under 4.00 (a stat I like), but with his 1.46 WHIP, he gives too many teams too many chances throughout an outing.  And eventually, that usually comes back to haunt you like it did last night.  Jay Bruce stroked 3 home runs on the night (2 off of Gorzelanny) and Chris Valaika stroked the other homer off of Gorzelanny.

The Cubs offense left a lot to be desired as well.  The team only managed 6 hits off of Johnny Cueto and a Reds reliever.  They didn’t draw a single walk on the night.  Xavier Nady and Marlon Byrd each had 2 hits for the Cubs.  Tyler Colvin drove in the only Cubs run with a double in the 4th inning.  Blake DeWitt had the only other Cubs hit in the lead-off spot.

So, the Cubs 3-game winning streak has ended, and now it’s back to reality after winning 3 games in a row over the Nationals.  Sure the Nationals have a better record than the Cubs in 2010, but are they really that much better of a team?  Probably not.  But the Reds are one of the best teams in the NL this year, and it’s clear that the Cubs cannot compete at their level.  Randy Wells will give it a shot tonight as he takes on Bronson Arroyo in Game 2 of the series tonight at the Great American Ballpark.

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Cubs Drop 2 of 3 to Brewers in Milwaukee

Posted on 10 June 2010 by Lou

It was mostly bad for the Cubs in Milwaukee this week.  The Cubs dropped 2 of 3 to the Brewers and now trail the 1st place Cincinnati Reds by 7.5 games in the NL Central race.

The Cubs defeated the Brewers 9-4 on Wednesday night for their only win of the series.  Carlos Zambrano struggled through 5 innings but picked up his 2nd win of the season.  He gave up 3 ER on 2 hits and 5 walks.  He almost imploded in the 4th inning when he issued a walk on a call that he thought was a strike that the home plate umpire called a ball.  He promptly walked the next batter and served up a 2-run double to the Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf that tied the game at 3.  Miraculously, Big Z actually got out of the jam and pitched a scoreless 5th inning to become eligible for the win.

The Cubs bats broke out against Wolf with 9 runs and 12 hits, including 5 home runs.  Marlon Byrd hit 2 home runs and drove in 3 runs.  Geovany Soto also had 2 home runs and 3 RBI’s.  Derrek Lee struck a 2-run shot as well.  Jeff Baker had 3 hits, 2 runs scored and 1 RBI.

The celebration didn’t last long, as the Cubs looked out of sorts in a 5-4 10-inning loss to the Brewers on Thursday afternoon.  Ryan Dempster pitched his shortest outing of the season – 5 1/3 innings pitched, 3 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits and 5 walks.  Not one of his better showings.  The defense didn’t help the Cubs pitchers at all.  3 of the Brewers 5 runs were unearned.  Leading 4-3 with 2 outs in the 5th inning, Starling Castro committed his 8th error in 31 games allowing Jim Edmonds to reach 2nd base when his throw bounced into the Brewers dugout (would Derrek Lee have caught the low throw – probably?).  Xavier Nady is no Derrek Lee.  Edmonds would eventually come around to score when Tom Gorzelanny and Jeff Stevens proceeded to walk the next 3 batters.  The winning run also scored on an error.  Bob Howry walked Carlos Gomez to lead off the 10th inning.  Gomez stole 2nd base as Craig Counsell executed a sacrifice bunt.  When Gomez raced to 3rd base, Nady attempted to throw out Gomez at 3rd base, but he made a poor throw that skipped into the stands, and just like that the Brewers had won 5-4.  The Brewers 3rd run was also unearned – set up by a Chad Tracy error.

The bats were pretty quiet after the 5 home runs clubbed in Wednesday night’s win.  Nady did hit a 2-run home run that gave the Cubs a brief 4-3 lead.

Next up – the crosstown classic against the White Sox at Wrigley Field.  Jake Peavy v. Randy Wells could get pretty ugly in a hurry with the way both pitchers have fared of late.

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Cubs Salvage Weekend Series with 4-3 Come-From-Behind Win Over Pirates @ Wrigley Field

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…

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Dempster, Bats Lead Cubs to 9-5 Opening Day Victory over Brewers @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 13 April 2010 by Lou

The Chicago Cubs defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 9-5 in the 2010 Cubs home opener at Wrigley Field on Monday afternoon.  After a few missed scoring opportunities in the early innings against Brewers starter Doug Davis, the Cubs broke the game open with a 5-run 3rd inning and a 3-run 4th inning.  Xavier Nady got the party started with a 3-run shot to deep left field that gave the Cubs an early 3-0 lead.  Two batters later, Jeff Baker crushed another ball out onto Waveland Avenue for a 2-run shot that increased the Cubs lead to 5 runs.  Derek Lee added an RBI single in the 4th inning and then Aramis Ramirez increased the Cubs lead to 8-1 with a home run to left center field that brought home Lee.

Ryan Denmpster – in his 1st ever home opening start at Wrigley – wasn’t perfect, but he didn’t need to be as the Cubs offense finally got things going for their starting pitcher.  Dempster worked 6 1/3 innings, giving up 5 ER on 7 hits and 4 walks.  He struck out 5 and picked up his 1st win of the season — “It’s easy when your team goes out there and scores that many runs  I made it a little bit harder than it had to be.  It was more so fastball command. I wasn’t able to get ahead of too many guys.”

Marlon Byrd had 3 hits in his Wrigley Field debut, while Lee, Nady and Alfonso Soriano each had 2 hits in the win.

Randy Wells looks to keep the Cubs perfect at home in Wednesday’s start against the Brewers.  He will face Dave Bush in the 1:20 start that could see game time temperatures in the high 70’s!

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Xavier Nady Right @ Home @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 02 February 2010 by Lou

New Cubs outfielder Xavier Nady has had great success at Wrigley Field during his career.  He has played 28 games at Wrigley Field and he has a career .304 batting average at the Friendly Confines – including 3 separate 4-hit games.  Nady has hit 2 HR’s and 8 doubles with 15 RBI’s in his career against the Cubs at Wrigley.  That bodes well for his return to Wrigley Field in 2010 – this time in Cubbie blue.

Nady has also performed well against left-handed pitchers during his career  – he has a career .308 batting average against lefties.  That means when Manager Lou Pinella picks his spots for Nady to spell either Alfonso Soriano or Kosuke Fukudome, you could see Nady facing lefties early and often in 2010.

Nady is a great veteran presence in the clubhouse as well.  Assuming his surgically repaired arm is healthy – a big if at this point – Nady could provide some production both at the plate and in the field for the Cubs during the 2010 MLB season…

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