It was a rough start for the Cubs tonight as Jake Arrieta got knocked around in the first, but escaped only giving up one run, then he shut it down. Arrieta retired the next sixteen hitters on his way to a stellar seven inning performance to pick up his second win of the season. He doesn’t get that win without the exploits of the Cubs future, and well, present, in the middle of the order. After a double by Soler, and a walk by Rizzo, Kris Bryant crushed a two-run double, and ended up scoring on the same play to give the Cubs a 4-1 lead en route to a 5-2 victory.
Note: A fan was hit in the back of the head by a Starlin Castro‘s line drive foul ball. She was behind the protective screen, but was resting on the screen and the ball really smoked her. The result was a 23 minute on field delay, the update is that she was conscious and thanking the people helping here into the ambulance. Hopefully she’s okay.
Kris Bryant‘s Little League Homer.
Kris Bryant RBI single.
At the Plate:
- Hip hip, Jorge! Soler was a beast in this one, he went 4-for-5 with a double, and two runs scored.
- Anthony Rizzo was all over the bases, per usual. Rizzo went 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored.
- Kris Bryant had a rough debut, he’s been everything advertised since, he was 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, three RBI’s, and a run scored.
- Starlin Castro is getting lost in the hype train, but he is having an outstanding 2015, he was 2-for-4 in this one, and his now hitting .327 on the season.
On the Mound:
- Jake Arrieta with some more hot fire tonight, he worked seven strong innings, he gave up one run on four hits while striking out seven.
- Pedro Strop was spotless as usual, he worked a scoreless inning while striking out two.
- Rosscup came on to protect a four run lead, something the Cubs couldn’t do on Saturday, and he did just fine. He worked an inning, giving up one run on one hit while striking out one.
After having eight of their first eleven games at home the time has come for the Cubs to hit the road, and face some stiff NL Central competition. Tonight’s game in Pittsburgh starts a seven game road trip that will see the Cubs battle the Pirates for four, then head to Cincinnati for three. The Pirates are playing solid baseball right now as they have won three straight games, and sit a half game behind the Cubs for second place in the Central. The Cubs are coming off a tough series loss to the Padres, their first of the season. All three games could have went the Cubs way, but a burnt out bullpen, short starts, and lack of clutch hitting came back to bite them.
- Monday, April 20, 2015 – 6:05 PM CST – CSN Chicago Plus (Channel Finder)
- Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – 6:05 PM CST – WGN 9 Chicago
- Wednesday, April 22, 2015 – 6:05 PM CST – CSN
- Thursday, April 23, 2015 – 11:35 AM CST – CSN, MLB Network
- Game One: Jake Arrieta (1-1, 1.98) vs. A.J. Burnett (0-1, 2.25)
- Game Two: Travis Wood (1-1, 2.31) vs. Francisco Liriano (0-1, 2.08)
- Game Three: Jason Hammel (1-0, 5.11) vs. Vance Worley (1-1, 5.84)
- Game Four: Kyle Hendricks (0-0, 6.10) vs. Jeff Locke (2-0, 1.93)
Who is Hot:
- Pirates: After a slow start, and a big new contract, Josh Harrison is starting to heat up at the plate. He is hitting .292 (7-for-24) over his last seven with a double, homer, and two RBI’s.
- Cubs: Anthony Rizzo was getting on base earlier in the year but wasn’t seeing too many hits dropping, that is changing. Rizzo is hitting .318 (7-for-22) over his last six games with a home run, three RBI’s, a double, and SIX walks.
Who is Not:
- Pirates: After a productive 2014, Jordy Mercer has come out of the gate struggling. Mercer is hitting just .118 (2-for-17) over his last seven games with only one walk, two strikeouts, and no runs scored.
- Cubs: Second base is an issue for the Cubs right now, as both Jonathan Herrera, and Arismendy Alcantara are scuffling. Herrera is hitting just .158 (3-for-19) over his last six games, while Alcantara comes in at a .143 (2-for-14) clip, with six strikeouts.
— Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL —
Friday, April 4, 2014 – 1:20 PM CST
(TV: MLBN, WGN) (RADIO: WGN 720)
Saturday, April 5, 2014 – 1:20 PM CST
(TV: CSN) (RADIO: WGN 720)
Sunday, April 6, 2014 – 1:20 PM CST
(TV: WGN) (RADIO: WGN 720)
— Series Vitals —
— Pitching Matchups —
Hernandez (Career vs. Cubs) (4 – 0; 1.95 ERA, 7 appearance, 7 starts)
Wood (Career vs. Phillies) (0 – 0; 2.11 ERA, 3 appearances, 3 starts)
Lee (Career vs. Cubs) (6 – 2; 3.19 ERA, 10 appearances, 10 starts)
Samardzija (Career vs. Phillies) (1 – 3; 10.80 ERA, 9 appearances, 3 starts)
Burnett (Career vs. Cubs) (7 – 2; 2.99 ERA, 11 appearances, 11 starts)
Villanueva (Career vs. Phillies) (2 – 0; 1.71 ERA, 14 appearances, 1 start)
Let’s go Cubs!
Carlos Villanueva gets the start today for the Cubs as they try to take the series from the Pirates this afternoon in the rubber game. The Pirates will counter with A.J. Burnett who has been outstanding against the Cubs this year. Villanueva was really good as a starter earlier this year but was relegated to bullpen duties when Matt Garza returned to the rotation, now that Feldman is gone his spot in the rotation is Villanueva’s.
Oh offense, are you there?? If so, can you please show up today, thanks. The Cubs have been absolutely shut down the last two days by the Pirates pitching, first by Francisco Liriano, then yesterday by A.J. Burnett. Today the Cubs will tasked with solving Jeff Locke who has been outstanding for the Pirates. The Cubs will counter with Edwin Jackson who has been anything but outstanding for the Cubs, first pitch is scheduled for 1:20 PM CST, there is a threat of rain, but should be dry until after the game.
1. Barney – 2B
2. Ransom- 3B
3. Rizzo – 1B
4. Soriano – LF
5. Hairston – RF
6. Navarro – C
7. Castro – SS
8. Sweeney – CF
9. Jackson – P
1. Marte – LF
2. Snider – RF
3. McCutcen – CF
4. Jones – 1B
5. Martin – C
6. Alvarez – 3B
7. Walker – 2B
8. Barmes – SS
9. Locke – P
Cold weather usually favors the pitchers, while it was cold, I think both guys didn’t need any help today. Jeff Samardzija and A.J. Burnett had themselves a nice tidy pitching duel today in the opener with Samardzija getting the better of the tattooed righty while spinning a masterpiece. The Cubs jumped out in front early on a loud, and long home run from Anthony Rizzo, and that was all the Cubs needed as Shark shut the door the whole day. The Cubs had to endure the customary Marmol implosion in the ninth inning, but Sveum showed a quick hook in getting Marmol out-of-the-way so Russell and Fujikawa could finish off the victory.
At The Plate – The Cubs only managed six hits on the day, but they were productive. Starlin Castro was 2-for-4 with two singles, a stolen base, and one run scored. As I mentioned, Anthony Rizzo had the big blow, Rizzo ended the day 1-for-4 with that massive two-run homer in the first. Nate Schierholtz enjoyed a solid Cubs debut as he was 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored. Welington Castillo rounded out the offense today going 2-for-4 with two opposite field doubles, and an RBI.
On The Mound – It was the Jeff Samardzija show from start to almost finish. Shark went eight dominant innings giving up no runs on two hits while walking one and striking out nine Pirates. He turned things over to Marmol in the ninth, and things got sketchy. Marmol was only able to retire one hitter in the ninth, he hit McCutchen and gave up one hit, and a run as well. James Russell took over and retired the only hitter he faced, then the new Cubs import Kyuji Fujikawa retired the only man he faced, on two pitches, two earn his first Major League save.
Up Next – The Cubs have tomorrow off, which is the worst after a winning opening day, now we have to wait till Wednesday to watch them play again. That is when Edwin Jackson will make his Cubs debut against Wandy Rodriguez at 6:05 PM CST.
Thanks for reading,