Cubs @ Cardinals – Series Preview (May 4 – May 7, 2015)

Series Preview ROAD Cardinals

Despite losing Adam Wainwright for the season, the Cardinals are off to their best start in basically forever.  They are 18-6 on the season, and sit at the top of the NL Central with a 4.5 game lead on the second place Cubs.  The Cardinals have won six straight games, and are 11-2 at home, which means they are bound to lose some games!  The Cubs come into this series limping on the offensive side of things, not a whole lot is going right at the plate.  Despite recent struggles, the Cubs are off to a pretty solid start of their own, and this series is probably the first “big” one of the year as the Cubs would love to split, and hold steady in second place.

Broadcast Information:

  • Monday, May 4, 2015 – 7:10 PM CST – CSN Chicago / ESPN
  • Tuesday, May 5, 2015 – 7:15 PM CST – WGN TV / MLB Network
  • Wednesday, May 6, 2015 – 7:15 PM CST – CSN Chicago
  • Thursday, May 7, 2015 – 12:45 PM CST – CSN Chicago

Pitching Matchups:

Who is Hot:

  • Cardinals:  Of course Matt Carpenter is taking it to another level this year, he’s been fantastic.  Over his last seven games he’s hitting .360 (9-for-25) with four doubles, a triple, a dinger, five RBI’s, and five walks.  Go away.
  • Cubs:  After a slow start to the year, Miguel Montero is turning it on.  Miggy is hitting .467 (7-for-15) over his last four starts with an RBI, and a walk.  Would like to see some extra base hits, but he’s squaring it up.

Who is Not:

  • Cardinals:  Well, it’s only a matter of time before Yadier Molina starts coming up with big hits, it’s usually against the Cubs.  Hopefully that doesn’t happen, the aging backstop is struggling, he’s hitting .111 (3-for-27) in his last seven with only two strikeouts, the BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is getting him.
  • Cubs:  It was probably a matter of time before Kris Bryant cooled down, he wasn’t going to hit .400 this year contrary to many reports from fans.  Bryant is hitting .190 (4-for-21) over his last six with four walks, and ten strikeouts.

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Brewers @ Cubs – Series Preview (May 1 – May 3, 2015)

Series Preview HOME Brewers

This series worries me, only because the Brewers have been bad all year, and they are bound to start playing some better baseball.  It’s a new test for the Cubs as good teams are immune, usually, from playing down to their competition.  Based on how these teams have played so far you would think that the Cubs would have an easy go of it, that’s why they play the games of course.  The Cubs are coming into this series winners in six of their last ten, and just two games behind the Cardinals for first place in the Central.  Conversely the Brewers have won just three times in their last ten, and are already ten games back of first in the Central.

Broadcast Information:

  • Friday, May 1, 2015 – 1:20 PM CST – CSN Chicago / MLB Network
  • Saturday, May 2, 2015 – 1:20 PM CST – CSN Chicago
  • Sunday, May 3, 2015 – 1:20 PM CST – WGN TV

Pitching Matchups:

Who is Hot:

  • Brewers:  Apparently Adam Lind is making the most of his regular playing time in Milwaukee.  The slugging first baseman is hitting .444 (12-for-27) in his last seven games with two doubles, three dingers, and six RBI’s.
  • Cubs:  It really doesn’t seem like Dexter Fowler has struggled at all this year because of his ability to get on base, but now he is red hot.  Fowler is hitting .450 (9-for-20) over his last five games with one double, two RBI’s, and a walk.

Who is Not:

  • Brewers:  The Brewers have been bitten by the injury bug so they are having to rely on players they normally wouldn’t, one of those guys is Logan Schafer.  Schafer is really struggling as he is hitting .200 (4-for-20) over his last seven games with one walk, and six strikeouts.
  • Cubs:  It seems as though teams have found Jorge Soler‘s swing and miss, it’s the weather.  Of course I’m not blaming the weather on his struggles, but he is cold, literally.  Over his last six games, Soler is hitting .091 (2-for-22) with twelve strikeouts.

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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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