Here we go again I guess. In a season that has already featured a 12 game losing streak the Cubs are threatening to reach a new level of futility. When the Cubs lost 12 games in a row earlier this year they had veteran leadership in the clubhouse, and a more talented team, the talent is still there it’s just young an unproven. Because of that this losing streak has the opportunity to get much worse before it gets better, and that’s okay, and if you can’t stomach it, then turn away because it’s not going to change overnight. On Tuesday night the Cubs lost their seventh straight game in which it looked like each player was doing their own thing out there, playing as individuals instead of playing like a team. When that happens, performance usually suffers, and it is, as LaHair, Castro, Jackson, and Rizzo among others, look lost out there. Brooks Raley made his major league debut last night, and his line doesn’t tell the whole story. Raley was the victim of some bad luck in the form of broken bat hits, and seeing eye singles. He didn’t escape with his lumps however as he lasted 4.0 innings giving up seven runs, all earned on eight hits while walking three and striking out four. To borrow a term from Matt Garza, the offensive performance was a crapshow. The Cubs only managed five hits once again in the loss and were seemingly sleep walking through at bats. The lone bright spot was Josh Vitters ripping a pinch hit two run double for his first major league hit, the Cubs look to avoid the sweep and their eighth loss in a row this afternoon. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
No rest for the weary as the Cubs stumble into San Diego for a three game series starting tonight on the heels of being swept by the Dodgers. The Cubs have lost five straight games as they are now fully immersed in the rebuilding process. Despite the losses the Cubs are becoming a lot more fun to watch as the lineup moving forward will feature Josh Vitters, Brett Jackson, Anthony Rizzo, Welington Castillo, and Starlin Castro, all of these guys figure to be around when the Cubs are ready to contend on a yearly basis. That’s a little ways down the road right now, the task at hand will be trying to solve the Padres who red-hot at Petco Park, winning seven of their last nine games in their spacious home field. The Padres are winning most games with pitching, as expected in that pitchers paradise, but they do have some hot bats as well. Yonder Alonso is hitting near .400 in his last seven games, if the Cubs want to be in this series they are going to have to contain Alonso and find a way to generate runs. The latter might be a little easier as the Cubs reworked lineup yielded some solid results on Sunday in LA, hopefully they can build on that and not only win a series but put an end to their five game losing streak before it gets really out of hand, again.
August 6, 2012 – August 8, 2012; Petco Park, San Diego, CA
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Here are the pitching matchups for the three game series, at the time of this preview the Cubs have yet to name a Tuesday Night starter as Matt Garza will not make the start as he has been placed on the DL.
Monday August 6, 2012
Chicago: Travis Wood (4-7, 4.90 ERA)
San Diego: Eric Stults (1-2, 3.19 ERA)
I really like this matchup for Travis Wood, a big ballpark should suit him well. The key for Travis Wood will be to throw strikes, no brainer right? The reason I mention it is that he can use the ballpark to his advantage by letting the Padres elevate without the concern of the ball leaving the yard. If Wood can stay ahead of hitters he should be able to make his pitches to get outs. Eric Stults profiles as a guy the Cubs struggle with, however the Cubs have destroyed Stults in his career. Stults is 0-3 vs the Cubs in three career starts with a 7.24 ERA, that bodes well.
Tuesday August 7, 2012
Chicago: Some Guy (?-?, ?.?? ERA)
San Diego: Ross Ohlendorf (3-2, 6.27 ERA)
I really don’t like the chances of Some Guy vs the Padres on Tuesday night. All kidding aside usually when a team is forced to use a starter that might not be ready for the Majors it doesn’t work out well. That could be the case on Tuesday as the Cubs still have not announced a starter, mainly because the candidates for that start all pitched this past weekend in Iowa. The bright side here is that the Cubs face Ohlendorf who has been awful this year, so I’m saying there’s a chance.
Wednesday August 8, 2012
Chicago: Jeff Samardzija (7-9, 4.37 ERA)
San Diego: Clayton Richard (8-11, 4.01 ERA)
Game three sets up to be the best of the bunch as Samardzija battles Richard. Samardzija faced San Diego earlier this year and went seven strong innings in picking up a win at Wrigley Field. I expect much of the same from Shark on Wednesday as he looks to bounce back from one of his worst outings of the season last time out. The Cubs haven’t seen much of Richard as they have only faced him one time in the last three years, and Richard got the best of the Cubs that day. I expect this one to be the lowest scoring game of the series.
Season Series: Cubs lead 3-0
Prediction: Cubs win series, 2-1
Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
There was a few best’s at Wrigley Field on Wednesday afternoon, when it was all said and done the Cubs had won their third game in a row, a season best, and a big reason for that was their best effort yet in the patience department. All year-long we as fans have been hearing about this new “Cubs Way” but we really haven’t seen much of it, until today. The Cubs saw 180 pitches today, for comparison this same Cubs team saw 93 pitches in a game against the White Sox earlier this year, it was a loss, not a coincidence. Patience is so important, the longer the pitcher has to work on you the more likely they are to make a mistake and that’s exactly what happened in the bottom of the ninth. Darwin Barney got a hanging curve ball with two strikes from Kenny Powers, I mean Dale Thayer, and deposited it in the left field bleachers for an 8-6 win. Ryan Dempster was not at his best this afternoon but he battled through four and a-third and got some help from his offense, finally, to get off the hook and finish with a no decision after giving up six earned runs. Darwin Barney was the hero today, not just for his ninth inning efforts, he had a great day start to finish. Barney was 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run, three RBI’s, TWO WALKS, and three runs scored, now that’s more like it. Steve Clevenger returned to action behind the plate and was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI’s in the win. The Cubs take their three game winning streak across the Country to San Francisco where they kick off a four game set against the Giants on Friday. Full box score and highlights after the jump.