Chris Rusin was outstanding Thursday afternoon, which is nothing new this Spring as he has been nothing short of brilliant. The lefty is slated to start the 2013 season in the Iowa rotation, and if he has continued success like this don’t be surprised if he is back at Wrigley sooner than later, either starting or coming out of the pen.
Brent Lillibridge made a triumphant return to the lineup going 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. Welington Castillo got the start behind the plate and was 1-for-2 with a triple, two RBI’s and a run scored. Luis Valbuena (1), Brian Bogusevic (2), Dave Sappelt (1), and Darnell McDonald (1) had the rest of the runs knocked in.
As I mentioned, Chris Rusin was awesome. Rusin tossed five nearly perfect innings, giving up no runs on one hit while walking one, and striking out one. Raley improved to 2-0 on the Spring with a 0.69 ERA, he has worked thirteen innings this spring and has given up one run. Drew Carpenter, Jaye Chapman, and Blake Parker all had scoreless appearances in the victory.
Split squad action tomorrow as half the team will face the White Sox on the road, and the other half will face off against Team Japan. Travis Wood will make the start against Team Japan, and Scott Feldman will work against the White Sox.
Thanks for reading,
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.
Thanks for reading,
After not getting what he wanted from the Mets (2 years, $8 million) Scott Hairston found a deal he liked on the North Side. Ken Rosenthal was first to report that the Cubs agreed to a two year deal with Hairston, and Bruce Levine later confirmed that the deal could be for two years and six million dollars. It’s a tremendous signing if those numbers hold true as Hairston can play any outfield position and is a nightmare for left handed pitchers, which Cubs teams have struggled with in the past. The Cubs have been in the market for a right handed bat for some time, and this signing quenches that thirst for the Cubs, Hairston will be in the mix with the likes of Schierholtz and possibly Sappelt as situational players, spot starts and coming off the bench so to speak.
Thanks for reading,
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.
Thanks for reading,
That’s right, the Cubs not only lost last night in Colorado, but they were shut out in the process, that’s not easy to do. The Cubs, like their fans seem ready for the season to end given their effort the last couple of nights. Last night was a sleepwalk effort if I have ever seen one as they could only muster five hits in the loss. I can’t really blame them as these games really don’t matter, but I still would like to see a better effort and of course a better result.
Jason Berken got the start for the Cubs, and struggled through his Coors Field debut, as many pitchers usually do. Berken only lasted four innings giving up six runs on nine hits while walking two and striking out two, the loss dropped Berken to 0-2 with the Cubs. As I mentioned the Cubs offense left a lot to be desired but they did have their chances as they earned five walks on the night. Unfortunately the Cubs couldn’t get a hit when they needed it as they were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight guys on base in the loss. Dave Sappelt got a chance to lead off again, and for the second straight night was productive as he went 2-for-4 with a double. Sappelt is making a very strong case to be a fourth outfielder on the Cubs 2013 roster with his September performance.
Thanks for reading,
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.
Thanks for Reading,
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!