The Cubs lost to the Rockies 2-0 yesterday, that’s alright, because the bigger news was that Starlin Castro returned to the lineup and looked no worse for wear.
At the plate:
Darwin Barney had a solid day going 2-for-3, Brett Jackson, Steve Clevenger, and Starlin Castro were all 1-for-1, and Scott Hariston tallied the only other hit for the Cubs. They only managed six all day, and all of them were singles.
On the mound:
Edwin Jackson was stellar, going five innings giving up one run on three hits while walking one and striking out two. Kyuji Fujikawa had a rare sub par outing as he struggled with command giving up one run in one inning of work on one hit, while walking two and striking out two. Cory Wade, Carlos Marmol, and Jensen Lewis all tossed scoreless, uneventful innings in the loss.
Spring Record: (7-11)
Cubs face the Dodgers, and Chris Rusin gets the ball, Rusin has been pretty darn good so far this Spring, and is slated to join the Iowa rotation this year.
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If the Cubs can bottle this Spring pitching and take in North when they break camp they will be more than just an improved team in 2013. The pitching this afternoon was fantastic, and it all started with Edwin Jackson making not only his Spring debut, but his Cubs debut. Jackson was stellar, tossing two scoreless innings while pounding the strike zone. He surrendered two hits, didn’t walk anyone and didn’t strike out anyone, you have a defense behind you, use it! Drew Carpenter followed Jackson and was the eventual winning pitcher for the Cubs as he also went two innings giving up one run on two hits while walking one and striking out one. Chris Rusin, Zach Putnam, and Nick Struck combined to closed out the final five innings for the victory. Both Rusin and Struck went two innings, Struck picked up the save giving up one run on two hits, while striking out one. The Cubs didn’t knock out too many hits on the day (6) but they made them count as they were able to push across four runs. Christian Villanueva got the Cubs on the board in the third inning with a solo home run off of Jorge De La Rosa. Dave Sappelt had a strong day at the plate going 2-for-2 with a home run of his own, an RBI, and he scored two runs. Starlin Castro doubled, Javier Baez and Logan Watkins rounded out the hits for the Cubs, and Baez recorded his first stolen base as well.
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It took all year, but the Cubs finally managed to register a victory on the road against a National League West opponent, yikes. For five innings today it was much of the same for the Cubs as they trailed 2-1 and couldn’t get anything going offensively. That changed in the sixth as the Cubs found some clutch hits, but received a whole lot of help from the D-backs as they committed three errors in the game. The Cubs scored four times in the sixth to take a 5-2 lead and never looked back, taking this one 7-2 to win their final road game of the season. Chris Rusin made his final start of 2012 and it was a solid one. Rusin went five strong innings giving up two runs, only one earned, on three hits while walking two and striking out four to earn his second career victory. The Cubs bullpen was lights out over the final four innings to preserve the victory. Anthony Rizzo, who hasn’t that great of a road trip had a solid day at the plate going 3-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI, and a run scored. Starlin Castro joined the fun as well going 2-for-4 at the plate as he continues his strong finish to the season. The Cubs return home to finally put the 2012 season out of its misery and need a sweep of the Astros to avoid the dreaded 100 loss mark.
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After getting swept by the Rockies, the Cubs will now travel to Arizona to finish up the road part of their schedule. The Cubs went into the Colorado series looking to put themselves in a good position to lose less than 100 games, unfortunately after the sweep it is starting to look very bleak. The Cubs will attempt to not only win their first road series against a western division team, but unbelievably their first road win against the division. They are currently 0-16 and according to Stats Inc no team has ever gone winless against one division on the road in a single season. It will be tough for the Cubs as we have seen there is basically no pitching left and the offense has been rather quiet, even after going to Colorado. Hope we see the Cubs play hard these last six games and maybe, just maybe win the last two series of the season.
Record: 78-78 (Home 38-37); 3rd in West
Runs Scored: 705 (5th NL)
Team ERA: 3.98 (10th NL)
Last 10: 6-4
Last Series: Lost two of three to the Giants
Record: 59-97 (Road 22-56); 5th in Central
Runs Scored: 596 (14th NL)
Team ERA: 4.92 (14th NL)
Last 10: 1-9
Last Series: Swept by the Rockies
Friday, September 28 – 8:40 PM CST – CSN
Saturday, September 29 – 7:10 PM CST – WGN
Sunday, September 30 – 3:10 PM CST – WGN
Pitching Matchups for the weekend.
Friday, September 28
Cubs: Travis Wood (6-12, 4.23 ERA)
Diamondbacks: Ian Kennedy (14-11, 4.14 ERA)
Saturday, September 29
Cubs: Justin Germano (2-9, 5.65 ERA)
Diamondbacks: Trevor Cahill (12-12, 3.86 ERA)
Sunday, September 30
Cubs: Chris Rusin (1-3, 7.30 ERA)
Diamondbacks: Josh Collmenter (5-3, 3.80 ERA)
Prediction: Cubs lose series 2-1
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Dave Sappelt and the Cubs offense got going early, but the pitching staff could not hold the lead and the Cubs dropped game one to the Rockies 10-5 in a rain-shortened game. Dave Sappelt led the game off with a towering home run to left and before the inning was over the Cubs would add two more runs, including an RBI double from Welington Castillo. After Chris Rusin shut down the Rockies in the first, things did not go so well the rest of the way for him or the Cubs bullpen as Colorado would score in each of the next five innings. Chris Rusin took the loss lasting only 3.2 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits. Rafael Dolis continued to struggle, giving up three runs in just one 1.1 innings of relief and Manuel Corpas allowed one run in his inning of work. Starlin Castro connected on his 14th home run of the season and Darwin Barney added an RBI in the loss. After dealing with the rain for most of the game it was eventually called after a 48-minute rain delay following the top of the seventh. Despite the cold and the rain the ball was really jumping out of Coors Field on Tuesday and the Cubs hope to take advantage of that on Wednesday and keep the Rockies at bay in doing so.
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Chris Rusin gets the ball tonight against the Rockies. Here is what the rest of the Cubs lineup looks like against Jorge De La Rosa. The game is set to start at 7:40 on WGN.
Sapplet – RF
Barney – 2B
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
Castro – SS
Castillo – C
Vitters – 3B
Mather – CF
Rusin – P
It’s a battle for second worst! Okay, that doesn’t sound so great but this series will go a long way in determining who gets the number two pick in the draft next year behind the Astros. Coming into this series the teams are deadlocked at 59-94, and the winner of this series has a great shot at losing out on the second pick. I for one would prefer to play as hard as you can and if you lose, you lose, no tanking it here. The Cubs, to their credit, have done just that as many players and front office staff have made it quite clear that they do not want to lose 100 games. It’s nice to have goals, but as a team you really never want to say that your goal is to stay under 100 losses, but it is what it is right now. The Cubs tend to struggle in Colorado regardless of the record of the Rockies, and this series might be more of the same as the Cubs don’t exactly have a lights out staff, but you never know. Of course the Rockies can score runs in this park, the Cubs will have to keep up if they want to win this series, I’m expecting a lot of offense over these three games.
Here are the pitching matchups for this week.
Thursday September 27, 2012
Cubs: Chris Volstad (3-10, 6.22 ERA)
Colorado: Jhoulys Chacin (2-5, 4.73 ERA)
Season Series: Cubs lead 2-1
Prediction: Rockies win series, 2-1
Thanks for reading, go Cubs!