Volstad’s Winless Streak Ends at 24, Rejoice!

It was a long day at Wrigley today, to Chris Volstad the six and a half hour day was nothing compared to the over year-long wait to get back in the win column.  Twenty-four, that is how many times Chris Volstad made a start on a big league mound between wins.  For the majority of the day it didn’t look like this game would get played at all as the Cubs and Rockies sat through a two plus hour rain delay before getting underway just before four O’clock local time.  Volstad was on right away as he was locating on both sides of the plate and keeping the ball down consistently for really the first time all year.  Volstad avoided the big inning which is usually his downfall, he finished his day after 6.2 innings giving up no runs on three hits while walking three and striking out three to get the win.  The Cubs offensive attack was finally just that, an attack, as they pounded out nine hits and scored five runs in the victory.  Anthony Rizzo, who has been showing some fatigue of late had a solid day at the plate going 2-for-2 with two walks.  Starlin Castro also had a good day at the plate going 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and three runs scored.  Brett Jackson continued his solid series today as well as he was 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored, he finished the series 4-for-8 with two home runs, three RBI’s, and three runs scored.

FULL BOX SCORE

Game Highlights:
Volstad’s Great Outing
DeJesus’ RBI Single
Great Catch by Jackson
Castro’s Slick Play

Thanks for reading,
– George

August 26, 2012 – Cubs Lineup / Weather Permitting

The only reason I think the Cubs and Rockies will play today is that the Rockies do not come back to Wrigley this year.  That said, things don’t look too promising as rain is moving into the area and it is heavy and slow-moving.  We will keep you posted on any delay’s, if they do start here is how the Cubs will line up as they look to take the series from the Rockies.

DeJesus – RF
Valbuena – 3B
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
Castro – SS
Clevenger – C
Jackson – CF
Barney – 2B
Volstad – P

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
– George

The AZL Cubs Are in the Playoffs

On the same night the Boise Hawks won their division in the second half, the AZL Cubs have also clinched a playoff berth.  The Cubs are currently 35-18 and have at least clinched the wild card for the Arizona League.  They are still battling the Athletics for the Arizona League East division lead as they currently sit two games back with three to play, one being against the A’s.  Here are the playoff procedures for the Arizona League.  There will be three division leaders and one wild card team going to the playoffs.  The team with the best record will face the wild card team and the other two division winner will play each other in a one-game playoff.  The winners of those two games will then meet in the championship game.  It looks like the game for the Cubs will be against the Athletics no matter what as the East division winner will most likely have the best record and the other will be the wild card team.  When it becomes official we will let you know.

Thanks for Reading and Go Cubs!!!
-Mark

And Your Northwest League East Division 2nd Half Champs… The Boise Hawks

A big congrats goes out to the Boise Hawks who are the Northwest League East Division Champions for the second half.  Boise ran away with the second half as they are currently 21-11 and no other team in the East is above .500.  They will now play a three game series against the Yakima Bears who won the division in the first half.  Game 1 will be held at Boise on Monday, September 3, with games two and three being played at Yakima on the September 4th and 5th.  The winner of the series will then face the winner of the West division playoffs for a chance to play for the league championship.

Thanks for Reading and Go Hawks!!!
-Mark

8/25: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Saturday’s minor league recap.

FULL BOX SCORE

It was a game of big innings early, until the ninth when the AZL Cubs walked off with another win, this time 8-7.  Paul Blackburn started, but wasn’t at his best giving up three runs on four hits in three innings of work.  Rafael Dolis and Jasvir Rakkar each pitched an inning allowing two runs a piece.  Ethan Elias did a great job keeping the Giants at seven runs as pitched the next three innings allowing no runs on no hits, while walking two and striking out four.  The good luck charm Steve Perakslis improved his record to 4-0 as he got the win after pitching a scoreless ninth.  The Cubs had a lot of nice days offensively.  Carlos Penalver and Yasiel Balaguert each had two hits and drove in two a piece.  Ben Carhart was 2-for-6 with a walk off single and Shawon Dunston had one hit, a double and three RBIs.  Trevor Gretzky and David Bote both contributed with two hits and combined two score three runs for the Cubs.  Daniel Lockhart and Garrett Schlecht each had a hit and an RBI in the Cubs victory.  The victory clinched a spot in the playoffs for the Cubs.

FULL BOX SCORE

Boise got out to a quick start and held on to beat Vancouver 8-6.  After a recent struggle Jeimer Candelario appears to have broken out as he went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored, and three RBIs.  Stephen Bruno stayed red-hot going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.  Dan Vogelbach also had two hits, including a double and an RBI.  Wilson Contreras and Gioskar Amaya each had a hit with Contreras knocking in two and Amaya one.  Albert Almora left the game early with an apparent injury, but I have no word yet as to what the problem was.  Ian Dickson started, but did not factor in the decision as was only able to last 4.1 innings as he allowed four runs on seven hits.  Hunter Ackerman did get the victory as he threw the next 2.2 innings giving up one run and striking out five.  Eduardo Orozco got the ball to Nathan Dorris and Dorris closed out the win and the second half for Boise.  With the victory Boise is the second half winners and are headed to the playoffs.

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FULL BOX SCORE

A three run fourth was enough for Joseph Zeller and the Cubs bullpen as they beat Wisconsin 3-2.  Zeller pitched quite well giving up one run on seven hits in six innings.  Sheldon McDonald pitched the next two innings allowing one run, but got the ball to Larry Suarez who notched his fifth save of the season striking out two in a scoreless ninth.  Timothy Saunders had another nice night going 2-for-4 with a homer and a double.  Chadd Krist also hit a home run, a two run shot in the fourth inning.  Oliver Zapata had a hit, two walks, and two stolen bases and Zeke DeVoss also added a hit in the Chiefs win.

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FULL BOX SCORE

Daytona lost game one to Tampa 3-2.  Although they only had three hits, they threatened late, but couldn’t finish.  Ronald Torreyes, Elieser Bonne, and Vladimir Frias were the only Cubs to have hits on Saturday.  Nelson Perez drove in the two Cubs runs in game one without the benefit of a hit.  Eduardo Figueroa started, but took a no decision as didn’t give up a run in four inning, while striking out six.  Matt Spencer took the loss as he really struggled with his command walking five and allowing all three of the Yankees runs to score in just 0.2 innings.  Matt Iannazzo finished game one out throwing a scoreless 1.1 innings.

FULL BOX SCORE

Daytona returned the favor in game two as Ryan Searle and staff only allowed three hits in a 4-1 win.  Searle started and pitched pretty good going five innings allowing one run on three hits and striking out five.  From there Jeff Lorick pitched a scoreless sixth and Scott Weismann notched his fourth save of the season throwing a perfect seventh.  John Andreoli and Ronald Torreyes hit one-two in the order and set the table of the Cubs in this one.  Torreyes was 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored, and an RBI.  John Andreoli was also 2-for-4 with a double, triple, and two runs scored.  Rebel Ridling had two hits of his own and drove in one run and Nelson Perez drove in another run, again not having a hit.  Javier Baez broke through with a double in the victory.

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FULL BOX SCORE

Mobile scored one in the ninth to tie it and got one in the 10th to beat Tennessee 4-3.  Nicholas Struck was in line for the win pitching seven innings, allowing two runs, one earned on six hits, while striking out six.  Zach Rosscup did his job getting the ball to Frank Batista, but Batista couldn’t get the save in this one allowing the ninth inning run.  Casey Harman took the loss allowing an unearned run in the 10th.  Rubi Silva had a nice night at the plate going 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs.  Jae-Hoon Ha had three hits and Junior Lake had two hits and a run scored.  Logan Watkins was 1-for-5 with a home run for the Smokies in the tough loss on Saturday.

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FULL BOX SCORE

Things have been better for Iowa as of late and Saturday was no different as they beat Oklahoma City 4-1.  Ty’Relle Harris started and got the win pitching six strong innings.  He allowed one run on four hits while striking out six.  Miguel Socolovich and Jeff Beliveau each pitched a perfect frame to get the ball to Jairo Asencio who struck out two and pitched a scoreless ninth to record his fifth save of the season.  The Cubs had a few nice nights offensively on Saturday starting with Diory Hernandez who had a home run and three RBIs.  Dave Sappelt was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Matt Tolbert also had two hits with a run scored.  Greg Rohan and Jeff Frazier each had two hits a piece with Frazier having two doubles and Rohan having one.  It is good to see Iowa finishing the season strong.

It was an exciting night, Congrats to Boise Hawks and the AZL Cubs in clinching a playoff birth.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

Rockies Return the Favor, Rally to Beat Cubs

One day after the Cubs rallied from a three run deficit to win the Rockies did the same thing.  The Cubs built a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning only to see the Rockies get two right back in the fifth.  The Rockies didn’t stop there as they  scored single runs in the 6th and 7th to take a 4-3 lead.  The Rockies bullpen took it from there as they tossed five shutout innings to shut down the Cubs to even the series at one.  Brooks Raley was in line for the win before the Cubs pen blew a one run lead.  Raley finished his day after five innings giving up two runs on five hits while walking three and striking out four.  The Cubs looked poised to put up big offensive numbers today after scoring three times in the fourth inning, but they could only manage one hit over the final five innings.  Brett Jackson is really turning it on at the plate, he was 2-for-3 today with his 3rd home run of the season, a double, a walk, and two RBI’s.  Anthony Rizzo, Alfonso Soriano, and Starlin Castro were the only other Cubs to record a hit in the loss, all singles.  The Cubs ran themselves out of two innings as Joe Mather and Starlin Castro were caught stealing in big spots.

FULL BOX SCORE

Game Highlights:
Jackson’s Two Run Blast

Thanks for reading,
– George