September 18 – 20, 2012 vs. Reds – Series Preview

 

The Reds come to Chicago for a three game series starting Tuesday, September 18.  The Reds have all but locked up the division, but are just 5-5 in their last ten, including losing series’ to both the Marlins and the Astros.  The Reds have gotten Joey Votto back since we last saw them, but Aroldis Chapman has been shut down for a little bit and the Cubs will not face him this weekend.  The Cubs on the other hand have been playing good baseball as of late going 7-3 in their last ten and splitting their most recent series against the Pirates.  The Cubs can’t really play spoiler against the Reds, but they can postpone the Reds clinching the division for a few days and hopefully against somebody else.  Alfonso Soriano went over the 100 RBI plateau last week and he will look to hit his 30th home run this series against the Reds.

Record:  88-59 (road, 41-31) 1st in Central
Runs Scored:  627 – 8th in NL
Team ERA:  3.44 – 2nd in NL
Last 10:  5-5
Last Series:  Lost two of three to the Marlins

Record:  58-89 (home, 36-36) 5th in Central
Runs Scored:  565 – 15 in NL
Team ERA:  4.46 – 14th in NL
Last 10:  7-3
Last Series:  Split with the Pirates

Here are the pitching matchups for the series.

Tuesday September 18, 2012
Cincinnati: Homer Bailey (11-9, 3.93 ERA)
Cubs: Justin Germano (2-7, 5.60)

Wednesday September 19, 2012
Cincinnati:  Mike Leake (8-9, 4.69 ERA)
Cubs:  Chris Rusin (1-2, 5.06 ERA)

Thursday September 20, 2012
Cincinnati:  Johnny Cueto (16-9, 2.92 ERA)
Cubs:  Jason Berken ( 0-1, 7.20 ERA)

Season Series:  Reds lead series 9-4

Prediction:  Cubs lose series 2-1

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

Cubs Delayed [UPDATE #3] 10:40 PM Start Time

The tarp is on the field, and the Cubs game will not start on time.  We’ll keep you posted if and when a new start time is announced..

[UPDATE]  Looked like the game was going to start around 8:00 PM CST, but another wave of rain came through, still expecting baseball tonight.

[UPDATE #2] It’s now 10:00 PM CST, and we are still in a delay, and nothing has been called yet, still waiting.  Almost three hours and counting, at least 30 minutes of field prep after tarp is off, game might not start till 10:30 PM CST at the earliest.

[UPDATE #3] First pitch, 10:40 PM CST, not kidding.

– George

September 17, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs Pirates

I should caution that this is weather permitting as widespread rain is supposed to cover the area by game time, I hope that’s not the case because I want to watch Anthony Rizzo hit baseballs, hard.  Travis Wood gets the ball tonight as the Cubs try to win three out of four from the Pirates.  I’m sure the Pirates will be very happy to be done with the Cubs this year as they are a big reason why the Pirates are fading down the stretch.  Here is how the Cubs will line up tonight behind Travis Wood.

Thanks for reading, GO CUBS!
– George

Rizzo’s Huge Day Fuels Cubs Comeback

For the second day in a row the Cubs got down early and stormed back, unlike yesterday, Anthony Rizzo made sure that the Cubs completed the comeback this time.  Chris Volstad got the start today for the Cubs and was pretty horrible right from the get go.  Volstad only lasted 4.2 innings giving up six runs on ten hits while walking three and striking out three.  By the time Volstad left this one the Pirates had built up a 6-1 lead, but the Cubs were able to get a big chunk back in the bottom of the fifth.  The Cubs were able to score four times in the fifth thanks to a Joe Mather solo shot, an Anthony Rizzo two-run homer and a Welington Castillo run scoring single.  After all but squandering a five run lead the Pirates pushed across three more runs in the sixth to make it a 9-5 game.  To conclude what might be the craziest two innings of the year the Cubs exploded in the bottom of the inning for five runs to take a 10-9 lead.  The big blow was an Anthony Rizzo grand slam, the first of his career, and the second homer of the day giving him six RBI’s.  Just for good measure the Cubs scored three more times in the bottom of the eighth, and Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless ninth for a 13-9 victory.  Alfsonso Soriano also had a big day at the plate going 3-for-5 with a double, and two RBI’s, that’s now 101 RBI’s on the season, that is an absolutely amazing accomplishment from Soriano.  The final game of the four game set will be tomorrow night as the Cubs look to take three out of four.

FULL BOX SCORE

Game Highlights:
Rizzo’s Grand Slam
Game Ending Double Play
DeJesus’ Two Run Single
Soriano’s RBI Double
Barney’s Great Play
Rizzo’s Two-Run Homer
Mather’s Solo Homer
Soriano’s 100th RBI

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Rally Falls One Run Short

Sure these games don’t matter much to the Cubs, but watching them battle to the final out is at least fun to watch, for those of us who are still watching.  Jason Berken, who was claimed from the Orioles made his Cubs debut today and didn’t have his best stuff but he didn’t get any help from his defense.  Berken lasted four innings giving up six runs, only two earned, on eight hits, while walking one and striking out two.  The Pirates were able to build a 6-1 lead by the fifth inning and that’s when the Cubs started to turn the tide in this one.  The Cubs were able to push across two runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it 6-3, but the Pirates were able to get one back in the seventh on Clint Barmes solo shot to push the lead to four runs.  Refusing to quit the Cubs scored once in the eighth and two more times in the ninth to cut the Pirates led to one.  Unfortunately the Cubs couldn’t tie it up in the ninth as Dave Sappelt struck out with the bases loaded to end the threat, and the game. Four different Cubs had two hits in this one, Anthony Rizzo, Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro, and Dave Sappelt.  Darwin Barney also had a spectacular day with the glove as he made several fantastic plays to rob various Pirate hitters of base hits.  Game three of this series is tomorrow afternoon, and the series wraps up on Monday Night.

FULL BOX SCORE

Castro’s Trip..Double

Barney’s Great Catch

Game Highlights:
Soriano’s RBI Single
Valbuena’s RBI Single
Barney Great Play
Another Defensive Gem From Barney
Rizzo’s RBI Single

Thanks for reading,
– George

September 15, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Pirates

Jason Berken become the 12th starting pitcher the Cubs have used this year as he faces Wandy Rodriguez and the Pirates in his Cubs debut.  Here is a look at the rest of the lineup.

Mather – CF
Barney – 2B
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
Castro – SS
Castillo – C
Vitters – 3B
Sappelt – RF
Berken – P

Go Cubs!!
-Mark