Cubs Fall Short of Sweep in Miami

Cubs April 28 Line

Full Box Score

The Cubs held early leads of 1-0 and 3-2 but couldn’t hang on as the Marlins scored four times in the final three innings en route to a 6-4 victory.  Giancarlo Stanton finally broke out, a day too soon for the Cubs as he blasted two home runs and drove in four of the six runs the Marlins scored.  The one guy that can’t beat you in this lineup is Stanton, and he beat the Cubs today.  Winning three out of four is good, especially on the road, but a sweep would have been nice.  DeJesus 4-28The Cubs couldn’t take advantage of a couple of opportunities they had in this one as they were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.  Today marked the first game all year that Carlos Villanueva gave up more than two runs, not a bad run at all.

At The Plate – A number of guys had solid days, unfortunately the guys that struggled did so with guys on base.  David DeJesus was 1-for-3 with a walk, and two runs scored.  Starlin Castro was 2-for-4 with a double, and two RBI’s.  Anthony Rizzo stayed hot going 2-for-3 with a walk, and an RBI.  Dioner Navarro was 1-for-4 with his third home run of the season leading off the ninth inning, but the Cubs couldn’t mount a rally after that.

On The Mound – Carlos Villanueva has been great all year, and until the sixth inning he was outstanding again.  Villanueva was hung with the loss, going six innings giving up four runs on four hits while walking three and striking out eight.  Kameron Loe was also roughed up out of the pen going two innings giving up two runs on three hits

Up Next – The Cubs return home to face the Padres, another four game series, and a chance for the Cubs to continue playing solid baseball and get some wins.  Jeff Samardzija will get the ball in game one, he will be opposed by Clayton Richard at 7:05 PM CST.

Cubs April 28 box

Game Highlights:

Rizzo’s RBI double
Castro’s great diving stop
Castro’s two-run double
Navarro goes deep in the ninth

Thanks for reading,
– George

Minor Matters – April 27, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Recaps)

Iowa 4-27 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – The Cubs had no chance in this one as the Storm Chasers scored more runs (6) in the first than the Cubs had hits (5) for the entire game.  The Cubs could only manage two runs on those five hits in the 13-2 defeat.  Logan Watkins was 2-for-4 with a triple, an RBI, and a run scored from the lead-off spot.  Brett Jackson returned to the lineup and was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.  Ian Stewart continues to struggle in what looks more like a permenant home than a rehab assignment, he was 0-for-3 with a walk, he’s hitting .100 on the season.

On The Mound – Cubs pitching was atrocious in this one, and it started with Drew Carpenter.  Carpenter went three innings giving up eight runs, seven earned on nine hits while walking two and striking out two.  Cory Wade wasn’t much better out of the pen going two innings giving up three runs on five hits while striking out one.  Casey Coleman was decent going two innings giving up one run on three hits.  Yoanner Negrin worked one inning giving up one run on four hits while walking one.

Daytona 4-27 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – Daytona couldn’t muster enough offense in this one as they could only manage seven hits and where 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.  John Andreoli was 2-for-4 with an RBI, he’s now hitting .329 on the season.  Javier Baez was 1-for-3 with a double, and walk, he also made his eighth error of the season.  Ben Carhart was 2-for-4 with a double in the loss.

On The Mound Austin Kirk didn’t have his best stuff and that results in his first loss of the season.  Kirk went five innings giving up four runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out two.  Luis Liria continued to struggle out of the pen giving up one run on one hit while walking one and striking out one in an inning of work.  Sheldon McDonald and Eduardo Figueroa each had a scoreless appearance, with McDonald going two innings and Figueroa going one.

Kane County 4-27 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – Finally some payback for Kane County as they blew  a few games earlier this week, they came back to return the favor last night.  The majority of the damage was done by the bottom of the order in this one as the four, five, six, and seven hitters were a combined 0-for-13 with three walks.  Wes Darvill was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, and an RBI.  Oliver Zapata was 1-for-3 with a walk, a triple, and two runs scored.  The Cougars walked five times and stole four bases in the victory.

On The Mound –  The Cougars were able to get through this one using just two pitchers.  Tayler Scott went six innings giving up two runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out four.  Brian Smith took it from there as he worked the final three innings and ended up getting the win, he gave up one run on three hits while striking out three.

NOTES:  The Smokies were rained out last night.

Thanks for reading,
– George

April 28, 2013 – Cubs @ Marlins; Lineups!

The Cubs go for the sweep this afternoon in Miami, not just a sweep, but a four game sweep, unheard of!  Carlos Villanueva will take the mound for the Cubs as he will battle Ricky Nolasco at 12:10 PM CST.  Here is how each team will line up this afternoon.

April 28 lineups

Thanks for reading,
– George

Clutch Hitting, Pitching, and Defense Lead Cubs to Third Straight Win

Cubs april 27 line

Full Box Score

As far as team wins go this one might be at the top of the list.  For really the first time all year the Cubs put everything together for a solid victory that included clutch hits, outstanding pitching, and a handful of tremendous defensive plays.  Yes, this is the 2013 Cubs we are talking about here, and it was a pleasure to watch.  The Cubs jumped in front early again in this one taking a 1-0 lead in the first and a 2-1 lead in the second, both times they allowed the Marlins to tie it up.  The game stayed tied at two into the seventh inning and that’s where the Cubs came up clutch.  The Marlins went to Mike Dunn, a lefty specialist to take care of Julio Borbon, Borbon drew a walk, then Dunn DeJesus 4-27was tasked with retiring DeJesus, he couldn’t do that either.  With Castillo at second DeJesus smacked a ground ball base hit back up the middle to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead.  The Cubs pen did the job the rest of the way to secure their third straight win, with a whole bunch of help from Starlin Castro and his glove.

At The Plate – The Cubs finally found some clutch hitting in this one as they were 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position.  David DeJesus was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  Welington Castillo was also right in the middle of the action going 2-for-4, and scored the game winning run.  Luis Valbuena has been in a good stretch as well, he went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the victory.  Loved the Cubs approach tonight as they walked four times and struck out only five times.

On The Mound – Travis Wood was outstanding once again in this one as he earned his second win of the season.  Wood went six innings giving up two runs on just three hits while walking one and striking out five, he is now 2-1 on the season with a 2.25 ERA.  The bullpen then took over as they shut down the Marlins over the last three innings to preserve the win.  Kameron Loe worked a scoreless inning giving up a hit while walking one.  James Russell and Carlos Marmol teamed up to work a scoreless eighth inning, surrendering one hit and one walk.  Kevin Gregg once again pitched a flawless ninth inning for his third save of the season.

Up Next – The Cubs go for their fourth straight win and a series sweep of the Marlins tomorrow afternoon.  Carlos Villanueva will take the mound for the Cubs opposite Ricky Nolasco at 12:10 PM CST.

Cubs 4-27 box

Game Highlights:

Luis Valbuena RBI single
Schierholtz with a spectacular catch
DeJesus’ game winning single
Castro’s game saving play

Thanks for reading,
– George

April 27, 2013 – Cubs @ Marlins; Lineups!

The Cubs go for their third win in a row tonight, that’s called a winning streak, it has happened before, just not a lot recently.  Travis Wood gets the ball for the Cubs as he will oppose Alex Sanabia of the Marlins.  I feel like if the Cubs can take care of business tonight that they might be ready to go on a really nice run here.  Here are the lineups for tonight, 6:10 PM CST first pitch.

April 27 lineups

Thanks for reading,
– George

Minor Matters – April 26, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Recaps)

Iowa 4-26 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – Iowa fought back in this one scoring twice in the ninth inning to tie the game at four, only to lose it in the bottom of the tenth.    Ryan Sweeney continues to pound the ball as he went 2-for-5 with his fifth home run, two RBI’s, and a run scored, he’s hitting .404 this season.  Brian Bogusevic is just as hot as he went 3-for-4 in the loss, he’s hitting .394 on the season.  Brad Nelson extended the game in the ninth inning with a pinch hit two run homer, his fourth of the season to tie it at four.

On The MoundChris Rusin was really good just didn’t get any help from his offense is this one.  Rusin went six innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out one.  Hisanori Takahashi couldn’t keep things tied during his outing, he went one inning giving up one run on one hit while striking out one.  Blake Parker was decent out of the pen going two innings giving up one run on one hit while walking one and striking out three.  Zach Putnam took the loss in this one, he worked a third of an inning giving up one run on three hits.

Smokies 4-26 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – The Smokies just continue to roll on as they walked away with another win Friday Night.  Jae-Hoon Ha filled up the score book going 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base, and three runs scored.  Rubi Silva had a big night as well going 2-for-4 with a triple, a home run, three RBI’s, and a run scored.  Rafael Lopez knocked in the other run for the Smokies and that’s all they would need, Lopez finished the night 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.

On The MoundAlberto Cabrera was outstanding for the Smokies going six innings giving up one run on three hits while walking three and striking out six to earn the win.  Kevin Rhoderick was touched up a little bit again, he went two-thirds of an inning giving up one run on two hits while walking one.  A.J. Morris also allowed Clearwater to get closer in his one inning of work, he gave up one run on one hit while walking one and striking out one.  Trey McNutt got the train back on the tracks in this one to earn his second save of the year.  McNutt went 1.1 scoreless innings giving up one hit and striking out one.

Daytona 4-26 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – Daytona jumped all over the Flying Tigers early and often en route to a 7-3 victory Friday Night.  Javier Baez is rounding into form right now, he went 2-for-4 in this one with a double, two RBI’s and a run scored, he’s now hitting .253 on the year and .341 in his last ten games.  Dustin Geiger was also productive going 2-for-4 with three RBI’s, he’s an RBI machine, he now has twenty-one on the season.  Chad Noble was 2-for-4 with two runs scored while Taiwan Easterling was 2-for-4 with a run scored, and a stolen base.

On The MoundBen Wells battled command issues but was able to work effectively enough to earn the win.  Wells went 5.2 innings giving up three runs, two earned, on one hit while walking five and striking out one.  Eduardo Figueroa found some trouble out of the pen going two-thirds of an inning giving up two hits while walking one and striking out one, and would have given up a couple runs if not for the work of Hunter Cervenka.  Cervenka bailed out Figueroa while working 2.2 scoreless innings to earn his second save of the season, he didn’t give up any hits while walking three and striking out four.

Kane County 4-26 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – Kane County might not have another loss all year that stings as much as this one, and they really only have themselves to blame.  The cougars lead 5-1 in the ninth inning but gave up four in the ninth and lost in the tenth, they made five errors in the process.  Rock Shoulders continues to hit, he was 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored, he’s hitting .403 on the season.  The bulk of the damage was done by the bottom of the Cougars order.  Eight hitter Oliver Zapata was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored.  Nine hitter Yaniel Cabezas was 3-for-4 with an RBI, and a run scored.

On The MoundPierce Johnson continues to dominate as of late, he went 5.2 innings giving up one run, unearned, on five hits while walking two and striking out seven.  Jeffry Antigua was great out of the pen going 2.1 scoreless innings giving up two hits while striking out three.  Then things went bad, Nathan Dorris was roughed up in one-third of an inning, he gave up four runs, two earned (sending a theme?), on three hits while walking one.  Eddie Orozco was officially charge with the blown save and the loss, he worked 1.1 innings giving up one run on three hits while walking two.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Win Second Straight Behind Rizzo’s Monster Shots

Cubs April 26 line

Full Box Score

If you are going to break out of a slump, do it in impressive fashion.  That’s exactly what Anthony Rizzo did tonight as he blasted two monster home runs, each two run shots and that’s all the Cubs would need.  Scott Feldman and company made those four runs hold up the rest of the way for the Cubs second win in as many games, the first time they have done that all year.  Scott Feldman worked out of a couple jams thanks to some slick defense, the Rizzo 4-26biggest play might have been Darwin Barney saving a throwing error and turning into a double play in the third inning.  Shawn Camp also faced some trouble in his inning of work but once again was able to wiggle off the hook.  Heading to the ninth with a two run lead Dale Sveum turned to Kevin Gregg and he delivered, pitching a spotless ninth for the save.

At The Plate – The Cubs scattered ten hits in this one while scoring four times.  The offense really only came from three guys in this one, Dave Sappelt, Anthony Rizzo, and Darwin Barney.  Rizzo had the huge game going 3-for-4 with two home runs, four RBI’s, a stolen base and two runs scored.  Dave Sappelt getting the start for DeJesus filled in admirably going 2-for-4 with two runs scored.  Barney was 3-for-3 with three singles in the victory.

On The Mound – Scott Feldman finally got that elusive first win tonight as he worked 6.2 innings giving up two runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out two.  With first and second and nobody out in the third Feldman almost threw it all away, literally.  Feldman grabbed a ball hit back to him and threw to second to start a big double play but the throw was high and if not for some defensive heroics from Darwin Barney this game might have ended differently.  Shawn Camp and James Russell each had scoreless appearances to get the game to the ninth.  Kevin Gregg took it from there as he worked a scoreless ninth for his second save of the year.

Up Next – The Cubs go for their first three game winning streak of the year tomorrow night with Travis Wood taking the mound.  Wood will oppose Alex Sanabia at 6:10 PM CST.

Cubs 4-26 box

Game Highlights:

Anthony Rizzo’s first home run of the night
Rizzo goes deep into the upper deck
Barney’s game saving play

Thanks for reading,
– George