Once again the Cubs put up a fight, and once again the Cubs lose a close game. The damage was done early as Samardzija and the Cubs gave up four runs, I said “and the Cubs” because they contributed to the runs just as much as Shark did. The game started with a Rizzo error, a soft single, a home run, a bloop double, a triple, and just like that it was 4-0. The Cubs came right back using the long ball to make it 4-3 in the third inning, but could never even the score despite many opportunities. The Cubs put the lead-off man on in almost every inning tonight and couldn’t do anything with it, this one was as frustrating as they come. Full credit to Samardzija for battling in this one, he could have folded in the first but didn’t and saved the pen. Dale Sveum was ejected in this one, and I was 110% happy with it, after a non strike three call with Braun at the plate (the same pitch Shark was called out on with the bases loaded) Samardzija was visibly upset, said something and got back on the mound, the umpire showed him up by taking his mask off and stared down Samardzija, first Castillo got in his face then Sveum did, well done Dale.
At The Plate – The Cubs issues with runners in scoring position reared its ugly head again in this one as the Cubs pounded out ten hits, but went 0-for-7 when it mattered with runners in scoring position. David DeJesus had a good night from the lead-off spot going 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI’s and a run scored. Anthony Rizzo continues to make his hits count, he was 1-for-4 with a home run, his 5th of the season, an RBI, and a run scored. Luis Valbuena was 1-for-3 with his 2nd home run of the season. Unfortunately only one of those blasts came with a guy on base, and not getting guys in from second with less than two outs continues to drag this team down. Newcomer Julio Borbon made a perfect Cubs debut by getting thrown out stealing second to end the game, he slid to soon, it was reminiscent of Willie Mays Hayes from “Major League.” Ah, Cubs baseball, never a dull moment.
On The Mound – I mentioned it above, but Jeff Samardzija really showed a lot tonight as he could have very easily packed it in tonight after a rough first inning that really wasn’t all his fault. After giving up four runs in the first he settled down and gave the Cubs all he could going 7+ innings giving up five runs, four earned, on six hits while walking one and striking out four. The two pitches he probably wants back is the 0-2 pitch to Braun that ended up being a three run shot, and the first pitch to Gomez in the eighth that left the park. Kevin Gregg made his 2013 Cubs debut, it looked a lot like 2009 efforts, he gave up a hit and walked a batter, then he was removed. Camp came in and got out of a jam thanks to the base running exploits by the Brewers, specifically Jean Segura who stole second and got caught stealing second in the same inning, I really don’t want to explain it, I will post the video if it’s available.
Jean Segura ladies and gentlemen
Up Next – Another thrilling Cubs game for sure, as this team doesn’t know any other way to play, no matter what it’s going to be close. Edwin Jackson gets the start for the Cubs and he will take on Hiram Burgos who will be making his MLB debut, game starts at 6:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago.
Thanks for reading,
Finally some home baseball! There really is nothing like the home opener at Wrigley, I love watching baseball there, on TV or in person. The Cubs welcome the banged up Brewers to town for a three game set. The Cubs need to find some hits and more importantly runs, both have been at a premium so far this season. The Brewers are struggling as well, I mentioned they were banged up, they are also losing, five straight in fact.
Cubs suffered a three game sweep at the hands of the Braves in Atlanta
The Brewers were swept in a three game series by the D-Backs at home
Game Times and Broadcast Information:
- Monday, April 8, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on WGN TV
- Tuesday, April 9, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on WGN TV
- Wednesday, April 10, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on CSN+ (click to find your channel)
Starting Pitchers Scheduled:
Game One – Edwin Jackson (0-1, 3.60 ERA)
– Career vs. Milwaukee (7 GS) (3-2, 3.06 ERA)
Game Two – Travis Wood (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
– Career vs. Milwaukee (7 appearances, 6 GS) (3-2, 3.40 ERA)
Game Three – Scott Feldman (0-1, 7.71 ERA)
– Career vs. Milwaukee (1 GS) (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Game One – Marco Estrada (0-0, 7.20)
– Career vs. Cubs (8 appearances, 3 GS) (2-0, 3.86 ERA)
Game Two – Wily Peralta (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
– Career vs. Cubs (First appearance)
Game Three – Kyle Lohse (0-0, 1.50 ERA)
– Career vs. Cubs (16 GS) (4-4, 5.17 ERA)
Who’s Hot / Who’s Not:
The Cubs are coming off a tough series in Atlanta where they should have had at least one win, maybe two. Unfortunately the bats remained cold as they rank 29th in the Majors in average, on base percentage, runs, and slugging percentage. The Cubs best hitter right now is Welington Castillo, “beef” is hitting .357 (5-for-14) on the season. There are a number of Cubs hitters struggling as I mentioned, Valbuena, DeJesus, and Soriano would have to be at the top of that list. The pitching on the other hand has been outstanding, sans Carlos Marmol of course. The Cubs have a team ERA of 3.75 which is 14th best in the Majors, and that includes the last two games where they gave up a total of eleven run.
To say the Brewers are banged up might be an understatement. Ryan Braun has missed the last three games, and might miss the series opener today, Jean Segura is hobbled, and Aramis Ramirez is out of the lineup indefinitely, and Corey Hart hasn’t played a game yet. The Brewers have been scoring runs, and hitting as of late, but three of the guys that I mentioned as being hurt are their top hitters so far. Rickie Weeks is having a bounce back year so far as he is hitting .333 on the season so far. Norichika Aoki has been on fire as well as he is hitting .370 (10-for-27) in the early going. Pitching is an issue for the Brewers as they have a team ERA of 5.68 “good” for 28th in the Majors.
I think the Cubs get the bats going this week at Wrigley, finally feeling comfortable being at home. The Cubs take two out of three from the Brewers this week, winning the first and third game of the series.
Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
One of the big arms at the deadline has been dealt, Zack Greinke is on his way to Anaheim. The Angels have acquired Greinke for infield prospect Jean Segura, and two Double-A pitchers, Ariel Pena, and John Hellweg. What does this mean for the Cubs and specifically Dempster? It could mean that the Braves, who are still in the market for a big arm, re-engage talks with the Cubs. Everyone was waiting for the first pitching domino to fall, this would be it, I wouldn’t be surprised if things really start to pick up now.
Thanks for reading,