Soler Takes Shark Deep, With Authority (VIDEO)

Soler Dinger

Welcome back, Jeff.  Jorge Soler absolutely annihilated that baseball to give the Cubs an early 2-0 lead over Jeff Samardzija and the White Sox.

 

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Kyle Hendricks Getting the Call

It was happy hugs in the Iowa dugout last night, as Kyle Hendricks was lifted after just two innings of work.  The reason?  He’s going to the show.  GM Jed Hoyer confirmed today that HendricksKyle Hendricks will be getting called up to the Cubs, and will make his Major League debut this week, most likely in Cincinnati.  The Cubs play a double-header on Tuesday, so that makes sense, and there was a spot on the 40-man roster created with the Samardzija/Hammel trade to Oakland.

I’ve been a fan of Hendricks for a while, and I’m super excited that he is getting his shot.  Ever since he was acquired from the Texas Rangers he has pitched his tail off to get to this spot.  The thing about Hendricks is he’s a pitcher, relying on command and not velocity, but something has changed this year.  The command is still there (23 walks in 102.2 innings), but he has been seen touching mid 90’s on the gun, a definite spike, and something that could take him to the next level.

Best of luck, Kyle.

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Cincinnati Reds @ Chicago Cubs – April 18, 2014 Stat Pack

 
Game Day Stat Pack Header

FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2014, 2:20 PM ET [WRIGLEY FIELD]
CINCINNATI REDS (6-9) @ CHICAGO CUBS (4-10)
TV: [CIN] FS-O, MLBN [CHC] WGN, MLBN

 

Samardzija 4-18-14

Shark’s last outing in St. Louis

Alfredo Simon’s last outing at home against Tampa Bay

cin chc lineups 4-18-14

Nate Schierholtz is hitting .333 in his last five games, with three doubles, and two RBI’s

Joey Votto is heating up, he is hitting .450 in his last six games with four home runs, and eight RBI’s

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Cubs Down Right Offensive Once Again

4-5-14 linescore

Full Box Score

Scoring runs in the Major Leagues is hard, it’s really hard for this Cubs group.  So far the 2014 season has featured outstanding pitching and horrendous clutch hitting, today Shark 4-5-14 picturewas no exception.  Jeff Samardzija was solid for the second straight time this year, and for the second straight time he walked away without a win.  Shark worked seven strong innings, giving up two runs on six hits, while walking three and striking out eight as he took the loss.

I can’t really say that the Cubs were totally inept with the bats because they were able to get a number off hits against Cliff Lee.  Ten hits to be exact, but that’s ten hits with no runs, mind numbing right now.  One bright spot today was Starlin Castro who has been having better at bats as of late, he went 3-for-4 in the loss.  The Cubs were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position today, and are 4-for-40 on the season, I’m sorry that I had to spell out the disaster that is the Cubs offense, it will get better, it has to.

4-5-14 box score

Game Highlights:

MLB.com has no Cubs highlights, seems about right.

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Philadelphia Phillies @ Chicago Cubs – Series Preview (3 Games)

Series Preview Opening Week 2014

 

Phillies wordmark

— Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL —

Friday, April 4, 2014 – 1:20 PM CST
(TV: MLBN, WGN) (RADIO:  WGN 720)

Saturday, April 5, 2014 – 1:20 PM CST
(TV: CSN) (RADIO:  WGN 720)

Sunday, April 6, 2014 – 1:20 PM CST
(TV:  WGN)  (RADIO:  WGN 720)

 

— Series Vitals —

 

Preview-Phillies

Preview-Cubs-Phillies

 

— Pitching Matchups —

 

Game One: Roberto Hernandez  (0 – 0; 0.00)  vs. Travis Wood  (0 – 0; 0.00)

Hernandez (Career vs. Cubs) (4 – 0; 1.95 ERA, 7 appearance, 7 starts)
Wood (Career vs. Phillies) (0 – 0; 2.11 ERA, 3 appearances, 3 starts)

***

Game Two: Cliff Lee   (1 – 0; 14.40)  vs. Jeff Samardzija  (0 – 0; 0.00)

Lee (Career vs. Cubs) (6 – 2; 3.19 ERA, 10 appearances, 10 starts)
Samardzija (Career vs. Phillies) (1 – 3; 10.80 ERA, 9 appearances, 3 starts)

***
Game Three: A.J. Burnett  (0 – 0; 1.50)  vs. Carlos Villanueva   (0 – 2; 13.50)

Burnett (Career vs. Cubs) (7 – 2; 2.99 ERA, 11 appearances, 11 starts)
Villanueva (Career vs. Phillies) (2 – 0; 1.71 ERA, 14 appearances, 1 start)

 

Let’s go Cubs!

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Cubs Come Up Empty in Opener

3-31-14 line score

FULL BOX SCORE

  The Cubs did some good things today, getting hits with runners in scoring position was not one of them.  But about those good things, the Cubs pitching was stellar, and their defense was just as good.  Jeff Samardzija loves facing the Pirates, especially in Pittsburgh, one year 3-31-14 pictureafter going eight scoreless against the Buccos, he went seven scoreless but settled for a no decision.  Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm, and James Russell all did their job out of the bullpen, Carlos Villanueva, not so much.  Villanueva faced one batter, and that was it, Neil Walker blasted a walk-off home run to move the Cubs to 0-1 on the young season.

The Cubs struggles were front and center at the plate as they went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, yikes.  They also struck out a lot, eleven times to be exact as they were baffled by Francisco Liriano all day long.  I did like the Cubs approach today though, as they worked deep counts and were able to get to the Pirates pen by the 7th inning, it just didn’t work out.  Emilio Bonifacio had a big day at the plate in his debut as he went 4-for-5 with a double, the Cubs as a whole only had six hits in the loss.

3-31-14 box score

3-31-14 pitching line

Highlights:

Great DP by Castro
Bonifacio with a lead-off double in the 8th
Neil Walker, walks off to beat the Cubs

* Photo credit: GENE PUSKAR/AP

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Opening Series Preview! Cubs @ Pirates (3 Games)

Series Preview Opening Week 2014

 

2307— PNC PARK, Pittsburgh, PA —

Monday, March 31, 2014 – 12:05 PM CST
(TV: ESPN, WGN) (RADIO:  WGN 720)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 – 6:05 PM CST
(TV: CSN+) (RADIO:  WGN 720)

Thursday, April 3, 2014 – 11:35 AM CST 
(TV:  MLBN, CSN)  (RADIO:  WGN 720)

*

— Series Vitals —

Cubs vitals 3-31

Pirates vitals 3-31

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— Pitching Matchups —

Game One:  Jeff Samardzija (0 – 0; 0.00)  vs.  Francisco Liriano (0 – 0; 0.00)

Samardzija (Career vs. Pirates) (4 – 3; 2.11 ERA, 18 appearances, 7 starts)
Liriano (Career vs. Cubs) (3 – 2; 2.72 ERA, 6 appearances, 6 starts)

***

Game Two:  Edwin Jackson (0 – 0; 0.00)  vs.  Charlie Morton (0 – 0; 0.00)

Jackson (Career vs. Pirates) (6 – 2; 3.19 ERA, 10 appearances, 10 starts)
Morton (Career vs. Cubs) (2 – 4; 4.91 ERA, 9 appearances, 9 starts)

***
Game Three:  Jason Hammel (0 – 0; 0.00)  vs.  Wandy Rodriguez (0 – 0; 0.00)

Hammel (Career vs. Pirates) (2 – 1; 4.35 ERA, 4 appearances, 3 starts)
Rodriguez (Career vs. Cubs) (9 – 7; 3.60 ERA, 24 appearances, 24 starts)

*

— Weather —

3-31-14 weather

4-2 - 4-3 weather

 

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