Another game, another eight innings of scoreless baseball from the Cubs offense. That is now three games in a row where the Cubs offense couldn’t score any runs from inning number one to inning number eight. Of course the Cubs came to life in the ninth inning when the game was already decided with the Astros leading 8-0. Hopefully the feeling of scoring runs in the ninth was something the Cubs liked and that carries over to today, because they need it.
Matt Garza was awful, can’t blame the guy, he knows if he makes one mistake the game is probably over with the way the Cubs bats are going. But Garza made many mistakes as he only lasted three innings while giving up seven runs on five hits for his second loss of the season. One bright spot was the work of Randy Wells out of the bullpen. Wells went five innings, only allowing one run on three hits while saving the bullpen from any unnecessary work. I mentioned the Cubs “exploding” for four runs, well the final score was closer than the actual game. The Cubs put together a few hits, and got the help of a bank of lights to push across four runs in the ninth inning. It was a good day at the plate for guys that aren’t usually in the spotlight as Koyie Hill and Adrian Cardenas each had two hits in the defeat. Blake Lalli chipped in with his first major league hit, which scored two runs in the ninth. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
On a day when a little leaguer, a small one, could have hit a ball out of Wrigley the Cubs managed no runs on five hits en route to their sixth straight loss. Not only that, but they were swept by the Sox at home, which is pretty much the low point of the season. The Cubs were outscored 15-6 in the series and really had no shot yesterday or today. Paul Maholm looked good early on but couldn’t keep the ball down the longer the game went, couple that with the wind blowing straight out and that equals a disaster. Maholm went 6 and 1/3rd while giving up five runs on nine hits, he was tagged with the loss which drops him to 4-3 on the season.
The Cubs approach at the plate was better, but still not good enough. Waytoo many times hitters are going to the plate with one thing on their mind, swing. It doesn’t matter if the pitch is a strike, the situation doesn’t matter either. Bryan LaHair had one of his better games in the last week as he went 1-for-2 with two walks, that was basically it. The Cubs left the bases loaded twice towards the end of the game which just made the outcome that much more aggravating. Dale Sveum said he will make some lineup changes moving forward because of the lack of offense, that’s all well and good, but if the Cubs approach doesn’t change neither will the outcome. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
There really is no denying it, the Cubs never give up no matter how dire the situation may seem. The aggravating part is how they get into those situations. It was another horrible outing by Chris Volstad who has now gone 19 straight starts without earning a victory. In what could be his last game in the Cubs rotation Volstad was only able to get through two innings, giving up four runs on six hits while walking three. Unacceptable, Volstad has been given every opportunity to succeed here, and it’s clear that will not happen in the immediate future as he falls to 0-6 on the season with a 7.46 ERA. Blake Parker made his major league debut tonight out of the pen and held his own. Parker went an inning and 2/3rds, surrendering three unearned runs on two hits, while striking out two. Those unearned runs were on Parker as he threw a ball down the right field line which would have ended his second inning of work with no runs scoring, little did we know how big of a play that would be.
With the Cubs trailing 8-3 heading to the ninth they stage a furious rally that ended up one run short, with said tying run on base. David DeJesus continued his torrid pace at the plate by going 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored, he know has his average all the way up to .279 after a rough start to the season. Starlin Castro connected on his second home run of the season as he took Halladay deep in the seventh inning. The best day at the plate belonged to Welington Castillo who waited until the 8th inning to get going. Castillo lined a solo home run in the 8th inning of Halladay, then came through in the clutch with a bases clearing double in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. Castillo finished 2-for-4 with a double, home run and four RBI’s, maybe that will get him going. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
Another one of those weird games in St. Louis that featured the Cubs pounding out 14 hits, blowing a four run lead and then winning the game 6-4. The Cubs were spraying hits all over the field in the early innings but couldn’t get anything across the plate as they left seven guys on base through four innings. Ryan Dempster was strong once again going six innings and giving up four runs, all in the 6th after the Cardinals got a break on a David Freese check swing that wasn’t ruled as such. Shawn Camp got the win out of the bullpen and he deserved is after going two stellar innings, only surrendering one hit.
The Cubs were clicking at the plate as five different guys had multi-hit games. Starlin Castro was 2-for-5 with an RBI and a miserably failed sac bunt attempt late in the game, the Cubs won so I won’t go on about this. Bryan LaHair seems to be getting out of his funk as he went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI’s. The big hit of the night came from Alfonso Soriano who looped a base-hit into left field with two outs in the 8th to score the eventual winning run in Tony Campana. The Cubs go for the abbreviated sweep this afternoon. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
Chris Volstad has been put on notice in my opinion. For te 18th straight time Volstad walked away from a game in which he started with something other than a win. Volstad was good for a little while, then he was Chris Volstad in the 6th inning as he imploded giving up five runs all earned on his way to his fifth loss of the season. The Cubs offense didn’t do much to help him out as they only managed two runs on five hits against Shaun Marcum, why, because Marcum has a change-up and those guys usually baffle the Cubs. Tony Campana had a strong day at the plate going 2-for-4 with an RBI double.
The only good thing to take away from this game is the Cubs showing Ryan Braun that he can’t act like a 5-year-old on the field after getting hit by a pitch. Braun overreacted in a big way when he was hit by a Lendy Castillo pitch last night in the 13th inning by launching his bat some 20 feet in the air. He got what he deserved in the first inning when Volstad plunked him, Marcum returned the favor by hitting Soriano in the next inning, both teams were warned and that was the end of it. The Brewers however, got the last laugh as they walked away with the most important thing, a victory. Coming into this series the Cubs were playing well, and they were a few pitches away from starting this series with a win, now they have to win tomorrow to avoid a sweep and quite possibly a prolonged losing streak. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
Now that’s a baseball game right there, I hope you didn’t blink at all because if you did you probably missed another stellar Cubs victory. Paul Maholm and Tim Hudson were both at the top of their game this afternoon and the result was a 1-0 Cubs victory in just two hours and five minutes. After six straight shut down innings the door was open for the Cubs and they busted through. David DeJesus led the 7th off with a base hit, Campana sacrficed him to second, and Castro grounded out to the right side to move him to third with two outs. Then Bryan LaHair came up with a ginormous hit to put the Cubs on top 1-0 which was all they needed.
Cubs starters have been dominant, especially in this series, and Maholm was no different today. Maholm worked seven spotless innings only allowing three hits while earning not only his fourth win of the season but his fourth straight victory. A 4-2 home stand is good, it’s great considering the opponents. The Cubs won four of six from two of the best teams in the National League, they are showing just how good they can be, and it’s a treat to watch. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
Ryan Dempster hasn’t had a win in his last 13 starts going back to last season, make that 14, and it’s not for a lack of effort. Dempster was once again brilliant Tuesday night going 7 strong innings and only allowing one run. However, much like all of his starts this year the Cubs offense couldn’t put anything together. Randall Delgado and the Braves bullpen held the Cubs at bay all night, only allowing one run on five hits. The real damage done tonight was self-inflicted with most of it coming from Kerry Wood. Wood walked the first two hitters he faced in the 8th inning with the game tied at one, one of those hitters was giving up an out in an attempt to sacrifice a runner to second, that’s usually spells disaster. Wood finally found the strike zone with the bases loaded and Dan Uggla smacked that pitch into center field scoring two runs to give the Braves a 3-1 lead and that’s how it would end. Full box score and highlights after the jump.