August 27, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Brewers

Justin Germano looks to have a much better outing this time around against the Brewers as the Cubs open a four game set with their neighbors to the North.  Here is how the Cubs will line up against Marco Estrada who earned his first victory of 2012 against the Cubs last week.

1. DeJesus – RF
2. Vitters – 3B
3. Rizzo – 1B
4. Soriano – LF
5. Castro – SS
6. Clevenger – C
7. Jackson – CF
8. Barney – 2B
9. Germano – P

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
– George


August 27 – 30, 2012; vs. Brewers – Series Preview

Milwaukee Brewers Mascot Wallpaper 

The Cubs look to continue their success on the longest home stand of the year as they welcome the Brewers to town for a four game set.  Revenge might also be on the Cubs mind as they were swept by the Brewers last week in Milwaukee.  At this point both teams are playing out the string, but it’s an important time for many young guys as they are trying to impress the front office heading into next year.  One guy that is doing that lately is Brett Jackson, after struggling immediately after his call up Jackson has made the necessary adjustments to find results.  It seems to be working as Jackson was 4-for-8 against the Rockies with two home runs and three RBI’s.  He will look to continue that success against a Brewers team that is finally finding some traction, just a little too late to salvage this season.  The Brewers are 7-3 in their last ten games and are playing much better baseball of late.  They are led by reigning MVP Ryan Braun who is putting up similar numbers this year, if the Cubs want to get that revenge against the Brewers they are going to have to shut Braun down.  Surprisingly the Cubs have limited Braun this year, sure he is hitting .304 against the Cubs this year but he only has one home run, and four RBI’s. 

August 27, 2012 – August 30, 2012; Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL



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Here are the pitching matchups for the four game series.

Monday August 27, 2012
Milwaukee: Marco Estrada (1-5, 4.23 ERA)
Cubs: Justin Germano (2-3, 5.40 ERA)

Tuesday August 28, 2012
Milwaukee: Yovanni Gallardo (13-8, 3.62 ERA)
Cubs: Travis Wood (4-10, 4.76 ERA)

Wednesday August 29, 2012
Milwaukee: Mike Fiers (7-6, 2.98 ERA)
Cubs: Jeff Samardzija (8-11, 4.09 ERA)

Thursday August 30, 2012
Milwaukee: Shaun Marcum (5-4, 3.19 ERA)
Cubs: Brooks Raley (1-2, 6.64 ERA)

Season Series:  Brewers lead 10-3;  What!?  That’s unacceptable

Prediction:  Cubs Split Series 2-2

Thanks for reading,
– George



Disastrous Inning Does in Cubs

If the Cubs can somehow have major league baseball remove the 5th inning from last nights game things would look much better.  That’s not going to happen, so the Cubs are going to have to live with the fact that they allowed the Brewers to plate eight runs in that fateful inning en route to a 9-5 defeat.  Justin Germano was cruising through the first four innings but ran into some big time trouble in the 5th.  Germano lost command and was leaving too many pitches over the heart of the plate, typically that’s not a great way to get major league hitters out.  When the dust settled the Brewers had a 9-3 lead and Germano was out of the game, he lasted 4.2 innings giving up seven runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out three.  The Cubs were able to create some offense of their own as they scored five runs on eight hits but it could have been so much more.  Half the players on this team still don’t know how to run out of the box, I’m looking at you Valbuena.  On top of the base running mistakes the Cubs were only 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.  Anthony Rizzo and Welington Castillo each had two hits in the loss, the two hits from Castillo bring his average to .288 on the season, not bad at all. 


Game Highlights:
Josh Vitters’ First Major League HR
Brett Jackson’s Great Catch
Rizzo’s RBI Double

Thanks for reading,
– George

August 20, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Brewers

Justin Germano takes the hill on Monday against Mark Rogers and the Milwaukee Brewers.  Anthony Rizzo is back in the lineup for the Cubs tonight.  Josh Vitters will get the start at third and Welington Castillo will do the catching.  Here is a look at the rest of the Cubs lineup tonight.

DeJesus – RF
Vitters – 3B
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
Castro – SS
Castillo – C
Jackson – CF
Barney – 2B
Germano – P

Go Cubs!!

Cubs Take Series Behind Germano’s Gem

Not bad at all for a guy that was acquired in a deal that many people forgot about because it was well before the trade deadline, and the madness that followed.  But Justin Germano has quietly made a name for himself in the Cubs rotation, and if he continues to pitch like he did today he will have a future on this team.  Germano earned his second win of the season going 6.1 innings giving up two runs on five hits while walking one and striking out six.  A couple starts back Germano got 14 runs from his offense, today he got seven, he must be the lucky charm the offense has been searching for.  I know that David DeJesus really likes when Germano is pitching as he was amazing today, having easily his best game as a Cub.  DeJesus was 4-for-4 at the plate with two home runs, he came in with only two on the whole season.  He finished the day with three RBI’s, a walk, and two runs scored, quite the day for the Cubs lead-off man.  Brett Jackson also turned in a solid performance at the plate going 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, an RBI, and a run scored.  It was great to see that as he has been struggling, so has Starlin Castro and he responded today as well going 3-for-4 with his 12th home run of the season and two RBI’s.  The Cubs have an off day tomorrow as they will travel to Cincinnati for a weekend series that includes a double header on Saturday.


Game Highlights:
DeJesus’ Multi-HR Game
Germano’s Stellar Outing
Rizzo’s Heads Up Play
Rizzo and Castro Turn Two
Castro’s 12th HR on the Season
Jackson’s RBI Triple

Thanks for reading,
– George

August 15, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Astros

Clearly Adrian Cardenas is doing something wrong behind the scenes, that is the only way to describe the way he is being used or not used I should say, since his recent call up.  Today would have been a perfect day to get Cardenas in the lineup, Barney is getting a day-off so Cardenas could slide in at second for a day.  Guess not.  Justin Germano takes the ball today as the Cubs look to win the series from the Astros, here is how the Cubs will line up.

1. DeJesus – RF
2. Vitters – 3B
3. Rizzo – 1B
4. Soriano – LF
5. Castro – SS
6. Valbuena – 2B
7. Jackson – CF
8. Clevenger – C
9. Germano – P

Thanks for reading, GO CUBS!
– George

August 13 – 15, 2012; vs. Astros – Series Preview

 Houston Astros Logo - Astrodome above Astros blue script on orange

If you are a fan of well-played baseball you might want to avoid turning on the Cubs the next three days as they welcome to lowly Astros to town.  The two teams are a combined 65 games under .500, the Astros being 40 under and the Cubs being 25 under.  If you are interested in watching a race for who gets the number one pick in next years draft then this one is for you.  The Cubs bats have gone silent, they were already pretty quiet to begin with by they are in full on mute mode right now.  They were shut out on Sunday by the Reds, it was their 11th time being shut out this season.  It was also the Cubs 11th loss in their last 12 games, and I would venture to say that this stretch of baseball is even worse than the 12 game losing streak earlier in the season.  The Astros might be exactly what the Cubs need to get back on track, although they are coming off a series win over the Brewers.  The good news is that the Cubs pitching staff won’t have to worry about Carlos Lee this time around as the Astros are much like the Cubs, full of guys trying to make a name for themselves heading into next year.

August 13, 2012 – August 15, 2012:  Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL



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Here are the pitching matchups for the three game series.

Monday August 13, 2012
Houston: Armando Galarraga (0-2, 4.70 ERA)
Cubs: Jeff Samardzija (7-10, 4.21ERA)

No one has really heard much from Armando Galarraga since his perfect game that wasn’t while he was with the Tigers.  That’s because he has been living in the minor leagues since then aside from a handful of starts with the D-Backs last year.  He is now getting a shot to see what he can do at the major league level with the Astros.  Galarraga has some experience against the Cubs, making three career starts going 2-1 with a 4.95 ERA and a 1.050 WHIP.  Jeff Samardzija is coming off a stellar seven inning start against the Padres and has seen a lot of the Astros, out of the bullpen.  He has only made one career start against the Astros, it came this year as Shark allowed two runs over six innings in a loss in Houston in May.   

Tuesday August 14, 2012
Houston: Lucas Harrell (9-8, 3.97 ERA)
Cubs: Chris Volstad (0-8, 6.94 ERA)

One of the very few bright spots for the Astros this year has been the performance of Lucas Harrell.  Harrell is above .500 this year, that is saying something considering the team his pitches for is 40 games under.  Harrell has very limited experience against the Cubs in his career, he only has two appearances out of the pen and has not given up a run.  Chris Volstad is coming off his best performance of the year, unfortunately it did not result in a win as Volstad is still searching for one of those, has been since July of last year.  In his career, Volstad has been decent against the Astros, he has a 3-0 record with a 4.40 ERA in five career starts.  He will win this game.

Wednesday August 15, 2012
Houston: Bud Norris (5-9, 4.93 ERA)
Cubs: Justin Germano (1-2, 4.26 ERA)

For as surprising as Harrell has been, Bud Norris has been equally as disappointing this season.  His ERA is hovering around five and he is four games under .500, however Norris has been much better as of late.  He has also been outstanding against the Cubs in his career.  Norris has had seven career appearances against the Cubs (6 starts), and is 3-3 with a 2.52 ERA.  Justin Germano came back to Earth in his last start and the last team he probably wants to see is the Astros.  In two career starts Germano is 0-2 with a 12.54 ERA, that’s really all that has to be said about that. 

Season Series:  Series tied 3-3

Prediction:  Cubs win series, 2-1

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
– George