Tagged: Jeff Samardzija

Series Preview – Padres @ Cubs; April 29 – May 2, 2013

Padres preview

The Cubs are playing better baseball of late, and they were finally rewarded with a few wins in Miami as they took three out of four.  The Cubs starting pitching really didn’t miss a beat this past weekend as they continued to turn in quality start after quality start.  The pitching has been better than anyone could have imagined up to this point in the season.  Currently the Cubs team Padres 4-29ERA is 3.42 that is ninth best in all of baseball.  Breaking that down even further, just looking at the starters the Cubs ERA is 3.14 which is good for fifth in the Majors, impressive.  The Cubs staff should have continues success this week against the Padres as they are twenty-sixth in all of baseball in runs scored, part of that has to do with where they play their home games, the other part has to do with their sub par lineup that has been slow to get going.  The Padres pitching hasn’t taken advantage of the comfortable surroundings of Petco Park however,  as they have a team ERA of 4.39 which is “good” enough for twenty-sixth in baseball.  All signs point to a successful series for the Cubs, but they still have to execute, if they do they should be able to win this series.

Last Series:

The Cubs won three out of four in Miami over the Marlins

The Padres swept a three game series from the Giants in San Diego

Game Times and Broadcast Information:

  • Monday, April 29, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on CSN+ (Channel Finder)
  • Tuesday, April 30, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on WCIU, MLBN
  • Wednesday, May 1, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on CSN Chicago
  • Thursday, May 2, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on CSN Chicago

Starting Pitchers Scheduled:

Cubs:

Game One – Jeff Samardzija (1-4, 3.03)
– Career vs. Padres (4 appearances, 2 GS) (2-1, 2.20)

Game Two – Edwin Jackson (0-3, 4.76)
– Career vs. Padres (8 appearances, 6 GS) (0-3, 4.32)

Game Three – Scott Feldman (1-3, 3.92)
– Career vs. Padres (2 appearances, 1 GS) (1-1, 5.40)

Game Four – Travis Wood (2-1, 2.25)
– Career vs. Padres (5 appearances, 4 GS) (0-1, 4.21)

Padres:

Game One – Clayton Richard (0-2, 7.94)
– Career vs. Cubs (2 GS) (2-0, 0.57)

Game Two – Edinson Volquez (1-3, 6.39)
– Career vs. Cubs (6 GS) (4-0, 2.21)

Game Three – Andrew Cashner (1-1, 3.26)
– Career vs. Cubs (2 appearances) (0-0, 9.00)

Game Three – Eric Stults (2-2, 5.67)
– Career vs. Cubs (4 GS) (1-3, 5.21)

Bold Prediction:

I like the direction of the Cubs right now, I know it’s hard to say that with a straight face, but this team could easily be contending in the Central without bullpen blow ups.  I think the good vibes continue in this series and the Cubs take three out of four again.  Committed is the Cubs slogan, maybe I should be with all my positive thoughts, go Cubs!

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Fall Short of Sweep in Miami

Cubs April 28 Line

Full Box Score

The Cubs held early leads of 1-0 and 3-2 but couldn’t hang on as the Marlins scored four times in the final three innings en route to a 6-4 victory.  Giancarlo Stanton finally broke out, a day too soon for the Cubs as he blasted two home runs and drove in four of the six runs the Marlins scored.  The one guy that can’t beat you in this lineup is Stanton, and he beat the Cubs today.  Winning three out of four is good, especially on the road, but a sweep would have been nice.  DeJesus 4-28The Cubs couldn’t take advantage of a couple of opportunities they had in this one as they were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.  Today marked the first game all year that Carlos Villanueva gave up more than two runs, not a bad run at all.

At The Plate – A number of guys had solid days, unfortunately the guys that struggled did so with guys on base.  David DeJesus was 1-for-3 with a walk, and two runs scored.  Starlin Castro was 2-for-4 with a double, and two RBI’s.  Anthony Rizzo stayed hot going 2-for-3 with a walk, and an RBI.  Dioner Navarro was 1-for-4 with his third home run of the season leading off the ninth inning, but the Cubs couldn’t mount a rally after that.

On The Mound – Carlos Villanueva has been great all year, and until the sixth inning he was outstanding again.  Villanueva was hung with the loss, going six innings giving up four runs on four hits while walking three and striking out eight.  Kameron Loe was also roughed up out of the pen going two innings giving up two runs on three hits

Up Next – The Cubs return home to face the Padres, another four game series, and a chance for the Cubs to continue playing solid baseball and get some wins.  Jeff Samardzija will get the ball in game one, he will be opposed by Clayton Richard at 7:05 PM CST.

Cubs April 28 box

Game Highlights:

Rizzo’s RBI double
Castro’s great diving stop
Castro’s two-run double
Navarro goes deep in the ninth

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Baffled by Latos in Loss

Cubs 4-24 line

Full Box Score

If you like a good old fashion pitchers duel, then this one was for you.  Jeff Samardzija and Mat Latos went toe-to-toe in this one, and it almost didn’t even happen.  Both pitchers received visits from the trainer in the first inning, Latos after being hit with a hard ground ball off the bat of Julio Borbon, and Samardzija ripped up the nail of his index finger on his pitching hand while trying to knock down a ground ball.  Both pitchers stayed in the game, Samardzija Shark 4-24with blood dripping from his hand and both were outstanding.  Todd Frazier was the only player to make an impact on offense for either team as he connected on an estimated 480 foot home run in the sixth inning, and that was enough for Latos and the Reds.  The Cubs threatened in the eighth but once again couldn’t make contact to score a run.  Alfonso Soriano pinch hit in the eighth and struck out with runners at second and third with only one out.  Then DeJesus was robbed by Zack Cozart on a ground ball back up the middle, if it gets through the Cubs lead 2-1, it didn’t, Cubs lose.

At The Plate – As I mentioned, the Cubs really didn’t get much going off of Latos, Broxton, and Chapman in this one.  Julio Borbon had a solid day as he made good contact a few times, he went 1-for-3 with a double.  Both Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo were 1-for-4 in the loss, Castro was also caught stealing.  Luis Valbuena and Cody Ransom were the only other Cubs that registered his in the loss.

On The Mound – Jeff Samardzija was solid again, this time while battling an injury, and still ended up with a loss, his fourth of the season despite an ERA of 3.03, sounds like much of the Cubs staff.  Samardzija went six innings giving up one run on seven hits while walking three and striking out eight.  Shawn Camp and James Russell gave the Cubs a shot late as they each tossed a scoreless inning out of the pen.

Up Next – The Cubs travel to Miami to take on the Marlins in a four game weekend set.  Edwin Jackson will start things off against Kevin Slowey at 6:10 PM CST.

Cubs 4-24 box

Game Highlights:

Samardzija’s gutsy outing
Samardzija get’s nicked up
Navarro guns down Votto
DeJesus with a diving grab

Thanks for reading,
– George

April 24, 2013 – Cubs @ Reds; Lineups – Game Delayed (UPDATE)

Solid match up today as Jeff Samardzija takes on Mat Latos in the rubber game of the series.  It’s raining in Cincinnati at the moment and the game will not start as scheduled (11:35 AM), instead everyone involved will meet to see if they should postpone the game or just wait it out around 11:15 AM.  Here are the lineups for today should we get underway.  (UPDATE)  Game scheduled to start at 1 PM CST now, could change, but that’s the plan.

April 24 lineups

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Find a Way to Win Despite Another Blown Save

Cubs April 23 line

Full Box Score

Same thing every night it seems as once again the Cubs blew a ninth inning lead, this time it was Carlos Marmol giving up a game tying single to Joey Votto.  Marmol then loaded the bases and narrowly escaped the jam, lucky he did as the Cubs responded right away in the tenth.  An unlikely power source did the trick, Darwin Barney took Manny Parra deep to start the tenth, how unlikely you ask?  I’ll tell you my inquisitive friend, that was Barney’s first home run away from Wrigley Field, in his career.  The Cubs were able to tack on another insurance run for good measure and Kevin Gregg nailed down the save, with the tying run on base of course.  Lost in this was the Castillo 4-23 winperformance by Carlos Villanueva, he was sensational, but had to settle for a no decision and Carlos Marmol got the win…. yeah, the win stat in baseball doesn’t always tell the truth, sometimes it’s just a dirty liar, okay, Cubs win!

At The Plate – I know it’s easy to pin the blame on the bullpen with all of these close losses, but one of the other fingers has to be pointed at the offense as well, tonight was a perfect example.  The Cubs jumped on the board early in this one, plating two runs in the second, that was it until the tenth, more times than not, that won’t be good enough.  Hello Cody Ransom!  Ransom made his Cubs debut tonight as was terrific, he went 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  Alfonso Soriano has located the fountain of youth, it’s in Cincinnati, weird place for it, but anyway.  Soriano was 3-for-4 but his aggressiveness on the base paths was refreshing, he stole second and third on consecutive pitches which set up the first run, the Cubs need more of that.  The Cubs stole four bases tonight, the two from Soriano, one from Sappelt, and one from Julio Borbon.  Dave Sappelt had a solid night out of the lead-off spot as well going 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, and an RBI.  Darwin Barney had the game winning hit, a solo home run in the tenth which was his only hit in four at bats.

On The Mound – What else can be said about Carlos Villanueva, he has been outstanding in the early going and only has one win to show for it.  Villanueva went 8.1 innings giving up two runs on just three hits while walking two and striking out six.  Carlos Marmol blew the save, he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up one hit which allowed the tying run to score while walking two and striking out one.  Kevin Gregg did a solid job in nailing this one down, I don’t expect any Cubs pitcher to go 1-2-3 in a save situation, he gave up two hits while striking out two to earn the save.

Up Next – Great match up in the series finale tomorrow morning at 11:30 AM CST on CSN Chicago.  Jeff Samardzija battles Mat Latos, a series win would be fantastic, but again, the Cubs are trying to win a series tomorrow when they could be going for a sweep.

Cubs 4-23 box 1

Cubs 4-23 box 2

Game Highlights:

Cody Ransom goes deep in debut
Big double play
Darwin Barney’s game winning blast
Sappelt’s RBI single
Slick play here from Cody Ransom

Thanks for reading,
– George

Series Preview – Cubs @ Reds; April 22 – April 24, 2013

Time to start playing good baseball, and getting some wins, and no better time than right now.  The Cubs travel to Cincinnati to take on the first place Reds for a three game series beginning tonight.  The Reds have been playing solid baseball as of late as they are 6-4 in their last ten games, and have won seven of eight.  The Cubs are the exact opposite, having lost three straight and only winning three times in their last ten games.  The Reds are also clicking on all cylinders at home as they have an impressive 10-3 home record, if they could do anything on the road they might have a three or four game lead in the division, but they are only 1-5 away from Great American Ballpark.  As bad as the Cubs have been, they are only 4.5 games out of first in a tightly packed Central Division, time to get hot, hopefully it starts tonight.

Central Standings 4-22

Last Series:

The Cubs came up empty in Milwaukee, getting swept in the three game series.

The Reds took three out of four from the Marlins in Cincinnati.

Game Times and Broadcast Information:

  • Monday, April 22, 2013 – 6:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago
  • Tuesday, April 23, 2013 – 6:10 PM CST on WGN TV
  • Wednesday, April 24, 2013 – 11:35 AM CST on CSN Chicago, MLBN

Starting Pitchers Scheduled:

Cubs:

Game One – Travis Wood (1-1, 1.83)
– Career vs. Reds (2 GS) (0-1, 5.25)

Game Two – Carlos Villanueva (1-1, 1.83)
– Career vs. Reds (20 appearances. 5 GS) (2-2, 3.99)

Game Three – Jeff Samardzija (1-3, 3.38)
– Career vs. Reds (16 appearances, 2 GS) (1-1, 4.67)

Reds:

Game One – Mike Leake (1-0, 4.26)
– Career vs. Cubs (10 GS)  (4-2, 3.56)

Game Two – Tony Cingrani (1-0, 1.80)
– Career vs. Cubs (First appearance)

Game Three – Mat Latos (0-0, 2.73)
– Career vs. Cubs (5 GS) (2-2, 3.16)

Bold Prediction:

I’m going into this series extremely positive, the Cubs have been in too many close games to keep losing at the clip they are.  Unfortunately, this is a tough place to play and the Reds are playing well and have more talent, I think the Reds take two of three from the Cubs.  BUT, if the Cubs defense actually defends I think the Cubs take two out of three.  Keep an eye on Tony Cingrani in game two of the series, he is an outstanding young talent, and highly touted pitching prospect.  Soon the Cubs will have guys like that, at least I hope they will.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Sloppy First Dooms Cubs

Cubs April 19 lineFull Box Score

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 Castro 4-19opportunities.  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.

Enjoy..

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.

Cubs April 19 box 1

Cubs April 19 box 2

Game Highlights:

DeJesus’ two-run homer
Valbuena goes deep
Check back later for more

Thanks for reading,
– George