We have no Major League baseball until Friday, so why not take a look back at an eventful first half while we wait. First up, Jake Arrieta dominates the Angels on Opening Night to start 2016 the right way.
That was about as enjoyable of an opening day that you could have. The Cubs were unrelenting at the plate as they routinely pushed Richards off his game by working deep counts and not getting themselves out. They also had Jake Arrieta on the mound, so they only needed one, enjoy the highlights from last night.
Arrieta’s Strong Start
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How about those Cubs? I’m not going to lie, I’m excited, sure it’s only April, I don’t care, first place. Jon Lester was off again tonight, but the bullpen picked him up and gave the club a chance to comeback. That’s exactly what the Cubs did, they came back from two separate three run deficits to win 7-6 thanks for a walk-off single by Arismendy Alcantara. The game doesn’t get there without Jorge Soler who jacked a pair of two-run homers, what a thrilling night.
At the Plate:
- Anthony Rizzo was locked in tonight, he was 2-for-3 with two walks, and two runs scored.
- Jorge Soler was outstanding tonight, he went 3-for-5 with two dingers, four RBI’s, and three runs scored. He also had a tasty outfield assist.
- Chris Coghlan continued his torrid start to the season, he went 3-for-4 with a home run, a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored.
On the Mound:
- Jon Lester got the start and struggled, he worked six innings, giving up six runs on ten hits while striking out four.
- Brian Schlitter, Jason Motte, Pedro Strop, and Hector Rondon all tossed scoreless innings with Rondon picking up the win.
Alcantara wins it!
Soler with an unreal throw.
Soler ties it in the 8th with a bomb!
Soler’s first two-run shot.
It’s been a productive couple days for the Cubs lineup, yesterday they scored 14 runs, and they added seven more to their spring total today. Once again the long ball played a large role in the victory as Miguel Montero, Junior Lake, and Matt Szczur all had a dinger. Edwin Jackson turned in a good outing, and the Cubs defense threw the ball around the field with a purpose, things are coming together nicely.
Miguel Montero Dinger
Cubs Gun Down Gordon
Baez With a Solid Throw
Marmol coaster! It’s too early in the year for this kind of drama. The Cubs once again couldn’t find much offense, but managed just enough to get the win with Nate Scheirhioltz providing the big blow, a two-run homer in the ninth inning which the Cubs ended up needing. Travis Wood was outstanding in his first start of 2013 but had to sit on the edge of his seat with the rest of us as Carlos Marmol came within a small unit of measurement of blowing it. After allowing the Pirates to score twice in the ninth, Marmol got Alvarez to strikeout, and Walker to hit into a double play, never a doubt, Cubs win three to two…… Nice series win for the Cubs to start the season.
At The Plate – The Cubs only had two hits last night, today they had three, at least the result was different. Starling Castro was 1-for-4 with an RBI on the day and has the honor of being the first Cubs player to get a hit with a runner in scoring position this year, yep. Nate Schierholtz was the offensive hero going 1-for-3 with a walk, a run, and two RBI’s which came on a huge two-run homer in the top of the ninth to give the Cubs a three run cushion.
On The Mound – Travis Wood was outstanding this morning/afternoon, Wood went six scoreless innings, giving up one hit while walking two and striking out four to earn his first win of the season, barely. Shawn Camp, James Russell, and Kyuji Fujikawa were very good out of the bullpen as they tossed a combined two scoreless innings, giving up no hits, no walks, and struck out three. Cue the circus music… enter Carlos Marmol. Marmol wasn’t very good, again, as he gave up two runs on three hits while walking one and striking out one, but battled and ended up “earning” his first save of the season.
Stat Of The Night – The Cubs team ERA is 2.08, Carlos Marmol’s ERA is 20.25
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Break out the brooms, thanks to an outstanding effort from Travis Wood, and timely hitting, again, from Anthony Rizzo the Cubs swept away the Astros on Sunday, it was the Cubs fifth win in their last six games. After just under an hour rain delay both offenses seemed less than ready to swing the bats as both pitchers were breezing through the early innings. The Cubs staged a rally in the 6th, Starlin Castro was intentionally walked with Travis Wood at third and one out bring Anthony Rizzo to the plate in a big spot. Rizzo wasted no time, lacing an RBI single through the right side on a first pitch curve ball to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead, it turned out to be the game winning hit, Rizzo’s third in five games already. Jeff Baker followed with a double down the left field line that scored Castro and Rizzo all the way from first. That was more than enough for Travis Wood as he shut out the Astros over 7.2 innings only allowing three hits, while walking none and struck out four. Wood improved to 3-3 on the season and lowered his ERA to 3.05. Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his 8th save of the season, the third straight in this series. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
I’m not really sure how to explain tonight’s game, so many odd, weird, crazy, did I say odd, things happened. It was a pitchers duel early, Garza didn’t have his best stuff but was able to work out of jams to keep the game close. The game was close into the 7th inning where the Cubs trailed 1-0 with the bases loaded. David DeJesus pinch hit, and wasted no time sending the first pitch he saw from Cameron Lowe into the right field stands for a grand slam to give the Cubs a 4-1 lead. Pandemonium, everyone was jacked, it was a great time to be a cubs fan, then we all remembered that Carlos Marmol was coming into the game. Twenty minutes later, Carlos Marmol was hurt, Michael Bowden was in the game, and Jonathan Lucroy was sliding into third with a bases loaded triple, and the Brewers were up 5-4.
It didn’t end there, of course it didn’t. The Cubs, who have been resilient all year fought back again, thanks to the Brewers. Aramis Ramirez made an error to start the top of the 9th. David DeJesus, who else, made him pay for it as he ripped a one out triple to center to score Stewart to tie the game at five. Starlin Castro followed with his worst at bat of the year, it was so bad that he was able to reach first on a drop third strike and David DeJesus was able to score to give the Cubs a 6-5 lead. Joy! The Cubs weren’t done as Alfonso Soriano came through with a huge two out hit to give the Cubs a 7-5 lead heading to the bottom of the ninth.
No more joy. After Rafael Dolis seemed to hurt himself he hurt his team as he left a sinker up and the hapless Corey Hart ripped a two run homer to left to tie the game at 7. A lot of other stuff happened the rest of the way, most of it was really dumb or mind numbing or both, but the Brewers won the game in the 13th inning when Lendy Castillo came in the game and showed why he was the last guy in the bullpen. Full box score after the jump.