About Last Night (Cubs Highlights)

Rizzo

Another night, and another close game, what else is new.  Jon Lester turned in his best start of 2015, his only issue was Billy Hamilton who reached base twice, stole three bases, and scored twice.  Other than that, Lester was brilliant as he struck out ten in his six innings of work.  The Cubs were paced offensively by an Anthony Rizzo two run dinger, and a huge game tying solo shot by Chris Coghlan in the seventh.  After watching Jason Motte get out of bases loaded trouble in the bottom of the tenth, Jonathan Herrera came up with a big hit in the eleventh.  Herrera lined a base hit to right which scored Rizzo, got Bryant to third, and Herrera took second on the throw.  Both of those guys scored on a bases loaded David Ross double which put this one out of reach.

Rizzo’s two run blast.

Addison Russell with a web gem.

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Cubs @ Reds – Series Preview (April 24 – April 26, 2015)

Series Preview ROAD Reds

The Cubs head to Cincinnati to continue their seven game road trip, and they have a sour taste in their mouth.  Although a four game series split in Pittsburgh is all you can ask for, the Cubs feel that they should have won the series.  While they should have closed that one out yesterday, they probably should have lost game two, so I’ll call it even.  The Cubs bullpen is reeling however, and they will need some deep starts from their best pitchers in this series.  The Reds come into this series feeling pretty good about themselves as they took three out of four against a crapshow of a Milwaukee team, and sit just a half game behind the Cubs for second place in the Central.

Broadcast Information:

  • Friday, April 24, 2015 – 6:10 PM CST – CSN Chicago
  • Saturday, April 25, 2015 – 12:10 PM CST – ABC 7 Chicago
  • Sunday, April 26, 2015 – 12:10 PM CST – WGN TV

Pitching Matchups:

Who is Hot:

  • Reds:  Zack Cozart is out of his mind right now, he’s putting up almost impossible numbers over his last seven games.  Cozart is hitting .393 (11-for-25) with a double, FOUR dingers, and seven RBI’s, wut?
  • Cubs:  After a bumpy start, Starlin Castro has been scorching hot.  In his last seven games Castro is hitting .387 (12-for-31) with one homer, and seven RBI’s, looks like a middle of the order guy.

Who is Not:

  • Reds:  It appears that Marlon Byrd is regressing to meet the levels of his Cubs career.  Over his last six games he is hitting .095 (2-for-21) with one home run, and eight strikeouts.
  • Cubs:  The magic that Chris Coghlan had at the beginning of the season seems to be fleeting.  In his last seven games he is hitting .150 (3-for-20) with one RBI, one walk, and seven strikeouts.

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Padres Take Series as Lester Remains Winless

Cubs Final 4-19

Full Box Score

Things started out well enough today as the Cubs jumped on the listless Padres with two runs in the bottom of the first.  I say listless because the Padres were sleepwalking in the first, they made two errors and looked generally disinterested.  From that point on it was all Padres, as they scored five unanswered runs en route to a 5-2 win.  Jon Lester was just okay again today, he worked into the sixth inning but made far too many mistakes up in the zone, he needs a road start or two to settle in.  The Cubs threatened a few times as they left the bases-loaded twice, and were just 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

At the Plate:

  • Dexter Fowler has been swinging it well as of late, he went 2-for-5 with a run scored.
  • Jorge Soler remains productive while hitting second in the order, he was 1-for-5 with an RBI, his ninth of the season.
  • Kris Bryant had another solid game, he was 1-for-3 with his first double of the season, he was also hit by a pitch.

On the Mound:

  • Jon Lester got the start in this one, and also the loss, he worked 5.1 innings, giving up three runs on six hits while walking two, and striking out four.
  • Brian Schlitter couldn’t get out of Lester’s trouble, he worked two-thirds of an inning, giving up one hit while striking out one.
  • Jason Motte couldn’t keep things close, he tossed one inning, giving up two runs on two hits.
  • Edwin Jackson had a solid outing out of the pen today, he worked two scoreless innings, he surrendered one hit.

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Padres @ Cubs – Series Preview (April 17 – April 19, 2015)

Series Preview HOME Padres

The Padres come to town for a three game set this weekend, and look who will great them…. KRIS BRYANT!!  That’s right, it’s Bryant time on the Northside as the phenom will make hi major league debut today.  Both teams come into this series playing solid baseball as the Padres sit at 6-4 on the season and just took two out of three from the Diamondbacks.  The Cubs have played one of the toughest schedules in baseball, and have yet to lose a series, the Padres are another great test.

Broadcast Information:

  • Friday, April 17, 2015 – 1:20 PM – ABC 7 Chicago
  • Saturday, April 18, 2015 – 1:20 PM CST – CSN Chicago
  • Sunday, April 19, 2015 – 1:20 PM CST – WGN 9 Chicago

Pitching Matchups:

Who is Hot:

  • Padres:  Newcomer Justin Upton is paying dividends right away for the Padres.  Over the last seven games Upton has been unreal, he’s hitting .450 (9-for-20) with a double, two dingers, and four RBI’s.
  • Cubs:  The Cubs are starting to swing the bats much better, and it’s Jorge Soler leading the charge.  Soler has been pounding the ball as of late, he’s hitting .360 (8-for-22) over his last seven games, during that span he has two dingers, and seven RBI’s with an OPS of 1.081, loud noises!

Who is Not:

  • Padres:  Jedd Gyorko is still terrible, sorry.  Gyorko has been really bad again this year, and he’s only hitting .091 (1-for-11) over his last seven games with zero walks, and four strikeouts.
  • Cubs:  Miguel Montero is still looking for some solid footing on his new club as he has struggled out of the gate.  Montero is hitting .143 (2-for-14) over his last seven games with just two RBI’s.

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Cubs GameDay – April 13, 2015 (Lineup, Broadcast Info)

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First Pitch:  7:05 PM CST
TV: CSN Plus
Radio: WBBM Newsradio 780 AM
Weather:  Clear, 62 degrees, winds WNW @ 9 MPH

Cubs Lineup:

1. Fowler – CF
2. Rizzo – 1B
3. Soler – RF
4. Coghlan – LF
5. Castro – SS
6. Olt – 3B
7. Ross – C
8. Lester – SP
9. Alcantara – 2B

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Reds @ Cubs – Series Preview (April 13 – April 15, 2015)

Series Preview HOME Reds

The Cubs are flying high after a dramatic win yesterday in Colorado thanks to Dexter Fowler‘s two-out, two-strike bomb.  Waiting for the Cubs at Wrigley Field is a Reds team that was feeling the same way heading into this past weekend, not so much now.  The Reds beat the Cardinals on Friday to push their record to 4-0 on the season but lost the last two games of said series.  It’s still been a solid start for the Reds as they have thrown the ball well, and been able to get big hits when needed.  The Cubs have a great opportunity to get a bit of a winning streak going as they will turn to Lester and Arrieta in games one and two of the series.

Broadcast Information:

  • Monday, April 13, 2015 – 7:05 PM CST – CSN+ (Channel Finder)
  • Tuesday, April 14, 2015 – 7:05 PM CST – CSN Chicago
  • Wednesday, April 15, 2015 – 7:05 PM CST – WPWR

Pitching Matchups:

Who is Hot:

  • Reds:  It appears that Joey Votto has once again found his power stroke, the Reds’ first baseman has blasted three dingers so far this season.  He is hitting .333 (8-for-24) on the season with said three homers, eight RBI’s, four walks, and two stolen bases.
  • Cubs:  Dexter Fowler had a rough first few games in a Cubs uniform, but he put that well behind him over the last two games.  Fowler had a monster series in Colorado, registering two triples, and a monster home run to give the Cubs a comeback win yesterday.  On the season he’s hitting .238 (5-for-21) with a double, two triples, a home run, four RBI’s, two walks, and a stolen base.  He fills up the box score.

Who is Not:

  • Reds:  After a breakout year last year, Devin Mesoraco is having a rough start to the season.  Mesoraco is hitting just .095 (2-for-21) on the season, with five strikeouts, he can stay in that slump until about Friday of this week.
  • Cubs:  It’s been a rough go of it for Arismendy Alcantara as far as getting hits, he has none.  He has been having really good plate appearances though, he’s just struggling to find that first hit of the 2015 season (0-for-12).

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Cardinals @ Cubs – Series Preview (April 5 – April 8, 2015)

Series Preview HOME Cardinals

The 2015 season is finally here, and the Cubs get a golden opportunity on National television to serve notice that they are a team to be reckoned with in the NL Central.  Sure, I think winning the NL Central in 2015 is a reach, but that doesn’t mean the Cubs can’t make some noise, and turn some heads.  A revamped roster, and a confidence that hasn’t been seen here in the better part of a decade should help the Cubs compete, something they actually did last year when facing the Cardinals.  Despite another down year in 2014 the Cubs finished the season 9-10 against the Cardinals, all things considered that is not that bad seeing as the Red Birds won 90 games and the Central a year ago.  Speaking of things that are new this year…. the video board.

Yes, Wrigley Field is undergoing a massive face lift, and the video board will be on full display Sunday night, it’s extra-mongus, just like the 2015 expectations.  The other thing about the Wrigley construction is that it’s not done yet, and I’m sure ESPN will cover it extensively tonight.  There was a rumored plan to place Ernie Banks memorial tarps over the construction in the bleachers, I wasn’t thrilled about it, but it came out great, looks like it belongs.

Wrigley opening night

Game One (April 5, 2015 – 7:05 PM CST – ESPN2)
Adam Wainwright  vs.  Jon Lester

Wainwright:
2014 – (20 – 9, 2.42 ERA)
Career vs. Cubs [36 G/ 27 GS] – (11 – 7, 4.09 ERA)

Lester:
2014 – (16 – 11, 2.46 ERA)
Career vs. Cardinals [1 G / 1 GS] – (0 – 0, 2.45 ERA)

Game Two (April 7, 2015 – 7:05 PM CST – WGNTV)
Lance Lynn  vs.  Jake Arrieta

Lynn:
2014 – (15 – 10, 2.74 ERA)
Career vs. Cubs – [11 G / 10 GS] – (6 – 3, 3.18 ERA)

Arrieta:
2014 – (10 – 5, 2.53 ERA)
Career vs. Cardinals – [5 G/ 5 GS] – (2 – 0, 0.92 ERA)

Game Three (April 8, 2015 – 1:20 PM CST – ABC 7)
John Lackey  vs.  Jason Hammel

Lackey:
2014 – (14 – 10, 3.82 ERA)
Career vs. Cubs – [3 G / 3 GS] – (1 – 1, 2.70 ERA)

Hammel:
2014 – (10 – 11, 3.47 ERA)
Career vs. Cardinals – [4 G / 4 GS] – (1 – 2, 6.10 ERA)

Prediction:
Cubs win two out of three games, and Jorge Soler does bad things to Cardinals pitching.

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