Welcome to deadline day, the MLB non waiver deadline is 3:00 PM CST, so we have just about three and a half hours to go. Rumors today are that Nate Schierholtz and or David DeJesus could be moved, we will be tracking everything here so keep check back!
11:40 AM – The Pirates were breathing down the White Sox necks to get Alex Rios, well he fouled a ball off his foot last night and is now day-to-day. That has some people thinking that the Pirates are now going to go hard after Nate Schierholtz or David DeJesus. The Pirates are also looking for bullpen help and James Russell and or Kevin Gregg would fit nicely there.
11:46 AM – Per Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers are listening to offers for everyone, including recently acquired Matt Garza, wait, what?
11:57 AM – Ken Rosenthal reports that David DeJesus has the best chance to get traded today, even better than Schierholtz.
12:03 PM – The Cubs have been linked to Ian Kennedy of the Diamondbacks, sounds like Arizona is looking for relief help and have their eye on Luke Gregerson of the Padres. Cubs still a possible destination, but looking less likely.
12:13 PM – There is an awful lot of chatter surrounding Jeff Samardzija being dealt. I don’t see this happening but where there is smoke there is fire, I know Jed and Theo are listening to offers for him, and it would have to be a whopper of a return. That said, the Pirates are in play on this, and have the prospects to get something done, doubt they go as high as the Cubs want them to.
12:26 PM – Buster Olney is reporting that the Cubs could wait to deal Gregg, as in before the August waiver deadline. Says that the Cubs might want to hang on to him and see if a team develops a need for a guy like Gregg later in the season.
1:24 PM – Gordon Wittenmeyer confirms that Navarro could be a target of the Cardinals. Also confirmed that trading within the division is not a concern.
1:37 PM – Jayson Stark says that a Navarro to the Cardinals deal is possible but “not close” … seems to be gaining some steam.
2:06 PM – Per Nick Cafardo it sounds like Nate Schierholtz will be staying with the Cubs, kind of surprising.
Carlos Villanueva made his return to the rotation this afternoon and was good but was on a pitch limit, so the Cubs needed a real big effort from their pitchers, and they got it. Villanueva and Hector Rondon each gave up a run today, but other than that the Cubs pitchers were spotless, all seven of them. Oh, except for Kevin Gregg, leading 3-2 in the ninth the Pirates were down to their last strike when Starling Marte launched a game tying solo shot, gut punch. Matt Guerrier came on in relief and gave the Cubs a chance to win and the Cubs did just that. After loading the bases with nobody out Dioner Navarro hit a game winning sacrifice fly to right field, and just like that the Cubs had a series win, their fourth in their last five. Sure this season is lost, but it is nice to see some positive results on the North Side, finally.
PICTURE OF THE GAME
The Cubs are usually on the other end of these games, I like winning these games WAY more than losing them. The Cubs had nothing going all day as they were being no hit through five innings, then they started to chip away at Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez. The Cubs loaded the bases in the sixth only to come up empty, but it signaled that the Cubs might be ready to make things difficult for the Nats. Gonzalez rebounded nicely in the seventh inning, but Nats manager Davey Johnson decided to pull Gio after only 86 pitches on the day, the Cubs thank you Davey. The Cubs went to work in the eighth as they played some small ball. Navarro singled to lead off the eighth, he was then moved to second on a sac bunt by Barney. Travis Wood pinch ran for Navarro and made a great base running play to tag up on a foul ball behind first base to make it to third with two outs. Starlin Castro delivered as he took a Drew Storen pitch back up the middle for game tying base hit. The Cubs used some aggressiveness in the ninth to take the lead an ultimately win the game. They put the first two guys on in the ninth then Ryan Sweeney struck out, I know I’m not the only Cubs fan to think here we go again. But on the very next pitch Soriano and Borbon executed a double steal and the Cubs finally got a break. Kurt Suzuki‘s throw to third hit Welington Castillo‘s bat and went down the third base line allowing Soriano to score the game winning run. Kevin Gregg was perfect in the ninth to secure the Cubs win, and the series win over the Nats.
At The Plate – As I mentioned the Cubs had nothing going all day long, but woke up just in time. Starlin Castro was 1-for-3 with a walk, and a game tying RBI from the lead-off spot. Cody Ransom had a solid day from the two spot going 2-for-4 with two singles. Dioner Navarro was one of the few guys who were locked in at the plate, he was 2-for-3 in the win.
On The Mound – Another really solid start for Scott Feldman, he had to settle for a no decision but that was better than an undeserved loss. Feldman went six innings giving up one run on five hits while walking three and striking out six. Kyuji Fujikawa was solid, and healthy for the second time this series. Fujikawa worked a scoreless inning while striking out one, very encouraging to see his velocity up near 93-94 MPH. James Russell worked a scoreless eighth inning while walking one to earn his first win of the season. Kevin Gregg was lights out yet again, what else would you expect? Gregg worked a scoreless ninth while striking out two earning his sixth save of the season.
Well, how about that? Scott Feldman was brilliant right from the start and all night long as he tossed his first career complete game and had plenty of support from his offense. The Cubs had Andrew Cashner on the ropes right off the bat as they scored in each of the first four innings to take a 5-0 lead. That was all she wrote for Cashner who was already up to 96 pitches after four innings, that’s what you like to see from the offensive side of things. The Cubs were only able to manage one more run over the final four innings but they didn’t need it as Feldman was throwing darts all night long. With a win tomorrow the Cubs could take three out of four in their second straight series, I don’t care who the opponent is, that’s a huge step in the right direction.
At The Plate – Awesome job by the Cubs at the plate tonight as the pounded out nine hits, and six runs, while walking five times. They probably could have and should have had more, but beggars can’t be choosers I guess. David DeJesus continues to hit as he was 2-for-5 from the lead-off spot. Starlin Castro, getting a chance in the fifth spot today was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and two runs scored. Julio Borbon had another solid game going 1-for-4 with a walk, and two runs scored. Dioner Navarro had two RBI’s, Nate Schierholtz had one RBI, and Luis Valbuena has one RBI in the win.
On The Mound – It was the Scott Feldman show, as he was brilliant. Feldman went the distance for his first career complete game giving up two runs on three hits while walking one and striking out twelve(!). The twelve strikeouts were also a career high, quite the night for Feldman as he improved his record to 2-3 and watched his ERA improve to 3.34 on the season.
Up Next – The Cubs go for the series win tomorrow afternoon at 1:20 PM CST. Travis Wood looks to continue his strong start to 2013 as he will face off against Eric Stults who has been roughed up in the early going this year.
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Every game seems winnable with this team, more often than not, it still ends up as a loss. Heading into today it looked like a solid pitching match up on paper, and both guys delivered for the most part as Samardzija battled Bumgarner through six innings. The Giants built a 3-0 lead after six and a half innings and for the fifth straight game the Cubs wouldn’t go quietly. Dioner Navarro has a flare for dramatics it seems as for the second straight day he delivered a pinch hit home run. Today it was a two-run shot that brought the Cubs within one run, unfortunately that’s as close as they would get despite a wonderful opportunity. That was the story of the day for the Cubs, wasted opportunities, they had multiple chances to drive runs in while making outs, whether it be a ground ball or a sac fly, and the Cubs couldn’t do either, which isn’t that surprising. Welington Castillo had two great opportunities and failed both times. The latest was a bases loaded opportunity with one out in the eighth inning, he swung at the first pitch and grounded into an inning ending double play.
At The Plate – Alfonso Soriano finally showed some signs of life at the plate today going 3-for-4 with a stolen base. Alberto Gonzalez was 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored. Dioner Navarro, who will probably get the start tomorrow, was 1-for-1 off the bench with a two-run homer, yesterday he did it from the left side today from the right.
On The Mound – Jeff Samardzija turned in another solid outing and walks away with another loss. Samardzija went six innings giving up two runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out five. He falls to 0-2 on the season with a sparkling 2.75 ERA. Michael Bowden came on in relief and gave up one run in one inning of work on two hits. Both Carlos Marmol and James Russell tossed scoreless innings to keep it close late.
Up Next – Game four of the series as the Cubs will try to salvage a split when it all honesty they could be going for a sweep. Edwin Jackson will get the start for the Cubs, he will oppose Tim Lincecum at 1:20 PM CST. Much warmer temperatures tomorrow, so there’s that.
Check back later, FOX is horrible.
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Baseball is a funny game, it’s also infuriating and thrilling, today had a little bit of everything. Carlos Villanueva battled Matt Cain today, and got the best of him as he was brilliant all afternoon. Villanueva left in the seventh inning with a 2-0 lead, things looked great! Then the ninth inning rolled around, and that clearly has been a problem this year, and it’s not just Marmol either. Kyuji Fujikawa struggled with his command and got hit pretty hard as he gave up three runs to blow the save and put himself and the Cubs in line for the loss. That’s when for the fourth straight game the Cubs showed some fight. Dioner Navarro tied the game at three with a pinch hit home run off Sergio Romo, David DeJesus came up with a two-out single then Starlin Castro played hero. Castro drove a 2-1 pitch off the center field wall for a walk-off double, just like that the Cubs were winners, as I said infuriating and thrilling all in one game, gotta love baseball. My head hurts.
At The Plate – Top of the order magic again for the Cubs. David DeJesus was 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, an RBI, and two runs scored. Starlin Castro was the hero, he finished the day 2-for-5 with a double, a home run, two RBI’s, and a run scored. Welington Castillo continued his torrid start to the season going 2-for-4. Dioner Navarro came up large off the bench in the ninth delivering a game-tying solo home run, he finished 1-for-1.
On The Mound – What can be said about Carlos Villanueva? He was absolutely outstanding today, and unfortunately for the second straight game he had to settle for a no decision. Villanueva tossed 7.1 scoreless innings, he gave up three hits while walking one and striking out three. James Russell worked tow-thirds of an inning and only allowed one hit. Kyuji Fujikawa really struggled, he worked one inning giving up three runs on three hits, he earned the blown save, and the win, go figure.
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Every time the Cubs fought back in this one the Giants would tack on a couple of insurance runs to keep the Cubs at bay, the Cubs final push came in the ninth inning as they scored twice, but ran out of outs as they fell to the Giants 9-7. Carlos Villanueva made his second appearance of the Spring, and had a much better performance. Villanueva was able to make it through three innings, giving up one run on four hits while walking one, and striking out two. It was nice to see Villanueva find the strike zone repeatedly in this one, I’ll take giving up hits over walks any day, and he was able to work around the hits for the most part. Barret Loux came on in relief and didn’t have it today, he tossed two innings, giving up four runs, all earned on three hits while walking one and striking out one, Loux was hung with the loss. Jaye Chapman also struggled today as he surrendered two runs on two hits in his inning of work. After having a rough Spring debut, Robert Whitenack bounced back nicely today as he pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one.
The Cubs were once again productive at the plate as they scored seven runs while pounding out ten hits. Brian Bogusevic got the start in right field today and was stellar at the plate going 2-for-2 with a triple, a walk, and two runs scored. Dioner Navarro only had one hit but he had a productive day, he ended the day 1-for-3 with a walk, and two RBI’s. Steve Clevenger got the start at first base today, yes first base, and he did his best Anthony Rizzo impersonation going 2-for-3 with two RBI’s, Clevenger is having a solid Spring at the plate, hitting .500 (4-for-8) in the early going. Brett Jackson didn’t start, but had an eventful day nonetheless going 1-for-1 with a double, and a stolen base. Jackson is having a resurgent Spring, and a lot of that can be contributed to a new swing, and new-found confidence, he his slated to start 2013 in Iowa, but is doing everything he can to make that decision anything but a given, he’s hitting .375 (3-for-8) with two triples, and a double this Spring.
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