Tagged: Kevin Gregg

Wood brilliant again as Cubs edge Cards

Cubs line 5-7

Full Box Score

As a baseball fan these games are fun to watch.  No matter what the records are the Cubs and Cardinals always seem to play close, hard-fought games.  Tonight was no different as Travis Wood and Lance Lynn were locked in a battle all night long.  The Cardinals took an early 1-0 lead on a solo home run from Allen Craig, and that’s all they would get the whole night.  The Cubs erased that deficit and turned it into a lead in the fourth inning, all with two outs as well, something this team hasn’t been great at.  Alfonso Soriano looped a Wood 5-7single to right then Nate Schierholtz put a good swing on a 3-1 fastball and deposited it in the right center, well more center than right center, bleachers to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead and that’s how this one would end.  Tremendous job top to bottom tonight from the Cubs, love beating the Cardinals, and hey, that’s two wins in a row!

At The Plate – Lance Lynn came into this one 5-0 and he didn’t disappoint as he matched Travis Wood pitch for pitch.  The Cubs didn’t generate a lot as they only had five hits, but it was enough for the win.  Starlin Castro had a rough night at the plate and made a questionable error, but did manage a double in his last at bat to finish the night 1-for-4.  Alfonso Soriano was a big part of the offense tonight going 2-for-3 with a run scored, fonsi has his average up to a respectable .276, need more production out of him however.  Nate Schierholtz was the offensive hero tonight going 1-for-3 with his fourth home run of the season, two RBI’s and a run scored.

On The Mound – How about Travis Wood, he was outstanding again tonight and has been all season.  Wood improved his record to 3-2 and lowered his ERA to a sparkling 2.33 by going 6.2 innings giving up one run on five hits while walking two and striking out eight.  Carlos Marmol (yes I held my breath when he came in) was really good in this one.  Marmol worked 1.1 scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking one, but he worked around the free pass.  Kevin Gregg has been reborn, he was spotless again in the ninth inning, he didn’t give up any hits and struck out one. 

Up Next – The Cubs go for the sweep, okay it’s only a two game series, but a sweep over the Cardinals is a SWEEP OVER THE CARDINALS.  Carlos Villanueva will battle Jake Westbrook at 1:20 PM CST, both pitchers have been outstanding this year, should be another good one.

Cubs 5-7 box

Game Highlights:

Schierholtz’s game winning two run homer

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs chase Chapman, but fall just short

Cubs May 3 line

Full Box Score

Well, how should we look at this loss?  Be thrilled that the Cubs fought back against arguably the best closer in the game only to fall just one run short.  Or say that this was the typical Cubs “fake rally” where they get just close enough to give us fans some hope, then fizzle out.  Maybe a little of both I guess, fact remains the Cubs left way too many guys on base in this one and that was the difference.  The Cubs trailed 4-0 in the sixth before getting two runs in the bottom half to pull within two.  Unfortunately the Cubs pen couldn’t keep the Reds in check over the next two innings as they built their lead back up to four runs heading to the ninth.  The Cubs, somewhat miraculously Soriano 5-3touched up the untouchable Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning, scoring three runs off the flamethrower.  Unfortunately, with the bases loaded and trailing 6-5 Darwin Barney struck out with the bases loaded to end the threat and the game, not a game to remember from Darwin Barney, more on that later.  So close, so frustrating, so encouraging, so many things pulling us in different directions, welcome to the 2013 Cubs.

At The Plate – The Cubs had a solid game at the plate, but on one hand they could have been so much better.  They scored five times on fifteen hits, that’s hard to do, too many opportunities wasted in this one.  Anthony Rizzo is now far removed from his early season struggles as he was 3-for-5 with a double, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .243 on the season.  Alfonso Soriano was 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored but it was the at bats he had where he didn’t get a hit that hurt the most.  The Cubs four hitter was 0-for-2 with zero RBI’s in this game with the bases loaded, both at bats came with less than two outs, unacceptable.  Nate Schierholtz had another good day going 2-for-4 with an RBI, but he also left five guys on base.  Luis Valbuena continues to string together good games here and there he was 3-for-4 in the loss.  Really rough game for Darwin Barney, he was 0-for-5, he left eight men on base, eight, by himself, including striking out with the bases loaded to end the game.  Tomorrow is another day, Darwin, go get em.

On The Mound – Carlos Villanueva didn’t have his best stuff in this one, but he did all he could to get deep into the game.  Villanueva went 5.2 innings giving up four runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out four.  Michael Bowden really struggled out of the pen, and it was his own doing as he worked 1.1 innings giving up one run on three walks, ugh.  Kameron Loe wasn’t much better has he work one inning giving up one run on two hits while walking one.  Kevin Gregg had another solid outing as he worked a scoreless ninth inning while walking one and striking out one.

Up Next – Game two of the series as the Cubs trying to even it up.  Jeff Samardzija looks to get a little deeper in the game as lately his pitch counts have been elevated too early, it would be nice to see him get some run support as well.  That won’t exactly be easy as the Reds will counter with Tony Cingrani who has been really good in the first few starts of his career.

Cubs 5-3 box

Game Highlights:

Castillo’s two run single
Barney turns a DP
Schierholtz RBI single
Soriano’s RBI Double
Castro makes a nice play

Thanks for reading,
– George

Ransom, Bullpen Lead Cubs to Victory

Cubs April 29 line

Full Box Score

The Cubs fight finally paid off in this one, so often this year the Cubs have had the will to win….see what I did there?  But they have all too often come up short, but not tonight as they beat the Padres 5-3 to open the four game set.  Jeff Samardzija struggled with command in the early going which resulted in an earlier than normal exit.  That’s when the bullpen took over as they walked a fine line over the last four innings but shut the Padres down.  With Ransom 4-29the game tied in the sixth Cody Ransom and Darwin Barney came up huge with two outs to give the Cubs a 5-3 lead and they never looked back.  That’s four wins in their last five games for the Cubs, I think we can all get used to this.

At The Plate – The Cubs pounded out ten hits en route to scoring five runs in this one, and probably could have had more as they were 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position.  Alfonso Soriano broke out of his slump, at least for tonight as he went 2-for-4 with a double, and a run scored.  Cody Ransom was a hero for the Cubs with the bat and glove as he made a game saving play in the seventh.  Ransom was 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI’s, and two runs scored against his former team.  Darwin Barney also found some rare success as he was 2-for-3 with two doubles, two RBI’s, and a walk in the victory.

On The Mound – Jeff Samardzija battled, but he didn’t have his best command, the result was an elevated pitch count by the fifth inning.  Shark worked five innings giving up three runs on four hits while walking four and striking out eight, he did not factor into the decision.  Michael Bowden, Shawn Camp, James Russell, and Kevin Gregg all had scoreless outings out of the pen to nail this one down.  Bowden earned the win as he worked an inning while striking out one.  Camp and Russell each had some trouble, but were able to work out of it with the help of one another and Kevin Gregg.  Gregg worked his third perfect ninth for his fourth save of the year already with the Cubs.  Overall Gregg worked 1.1 scoreless innings while striking out two.

Up Next – Game two of the series tomorrow night at 7:05 PM CST, should be a great night for baseball as temperatures are supposed to soar into the 80’s.  Edwin Jackson gets the ball for the Cubs, he will be opposed by Edinson Volquez who always seems to have the Cubs number.

Cubs 4-29 box

Game Highlights:

Scott Hairston solo blast
Ransom goes back to back with Hairston
Barney with his first RBI double
Ransom with a huge RBI single
Barney’s second RBI double of the night

Thanks for reading,
– George

Clutch Hitting, Pitching, and Defense Lead Cubs to Third Straight Win

Cubs april 27 line

Full Box Score

As far as team wins go this one might be at the top of the list.  For really the first time all year the Cubs put everything together for a solid victory that included clutch hits, outstanding pitching, and a handful of tremendous defensive plays.  Yes, this is the 2013 Cubs we are talking about here, and it was a pleasure to watch.  The Cubs jumped in front early again in this one taking a 1-0 lead in the first and a 2-1 lead in the second, both times they allowed the Marlins to tie it up.  The game stayed tied at two into the seventh inning and that’s where the Cubs came up clutch.  The Marlins went to Mike Dunn, a lefty specialist to take care of Julio Borbon, Borbon drew a walk, then Dunn DeJesus 4-27was tasked with retiring DeJesus, he couldn’t do that either.  With Castillo at second DeJesus smacked a ground ball base hit back up the middle to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead.  The Cubs pen did the job the rest of the way to secure their third straight win, with a whole bunch of help from Starlin Castro and his glove.

At The Plate – The Cubs finally found some clutch hitting in this one as they were 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position.  David DeJesus was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  Welington Castillo was also right in the middle of the action going 2-for-4, and scored the game winning run.  Luis Valbuena has been in a good stretch as well, he went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the victory.  Loved the Cubs approach tonight as they walked four times and struck out only five times.

On The Mound – Travis Wood was outstanding once again in this one as he earned his second win of the season.  Wood went six innings giving up two runs on just three hits while walking one and striking out five, he is now 2-1 on the season with a 2.25 ERA.  The bullpen then took over as they shut down the Marlins over the last three innings to preserve the win.  Kameron Loe worked a scoreless inning giving up a hit while walking one.  James Russell and Carlos Marmol teamed up to work a scoreless eighth inning, surrendering one hit and one walk.  Kevin Gregg once again pitched a flawless ninth inning for his third save of the season.

Up Next – The Cubs go for their fourth straight win and a series sweep of the Marlins tomorrow afternoon.  Carlos Villanueva will take the mound for the Cubs opposite Ricky Nolasco at 12:10 PM CST.

Cubs 4-27 box

Game Highlights:

Luis Valbuena RBI single
Schierholtz with a spectacular catch
DeJesus’ game winning single
Castro’s game saving play

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Win Second Straight Behind Rizzo’s Monster Shots

Cubs April 26 line

Full Box Score

If you are going to break out of a slump, do it in impressive fashion.  That’s exactly what Anthony Rizzo did tonight as he blasted two monster home runs, each two run shots and that’s all the Cubs would need.  Scott Feldman and company made those four runs hold up the rest of the way for the Cubs second win in as many games, the first time they have done that all year.  Scott Feldman worked out of a couple jams thanks to some slick defense, the Rizzo 4-26biggest play might have been Darwin Barney saving a throwing error and turning into a double play in the third inning.  Shawn Camp also faced some trouble in his inning of work but once again was able to wiggle off the hook.  Heading to the ninth with a two run lead Dale Sveum turned to Kevin Gregg and he delivered, pitching a spotless ninth for the save.

At The Plate – The Cubs scattered ten hits in this one while scoring four times.  The offense really only came from three guys in this one, Dave Sappelt, Anthony Rizzo, and Darwin Barney.  Rizzo had the huge game going 3-for-4 with two home runs, four RBI’s, a stolen base and two runs scored.  Dave Sappelt getting the start for DeJesus filled in admirably going 2-for-4 with two runs scored.  Barney was 3-for-3 with three singles in the victory.

On The Mound – Scott Feldman finally got that elusive first win tonight as he worked 6.2 innings giving up two runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out two.  With first and second and nobody out in the third Feldman almost threw it all away, literally.  Feldman grabbed a ball hit back to him and threw to second to start a big double play but the throw was high and if not for some defensive heroics from Darwin Barney this game might have ended differently.  Shawn Camp and James Russell each had scoreless appearances to get the game to the ninth.  Kevin Gregg took it from there as he worked a scoreless ninth for his second save of the year.

Up Next – The Cubs go for their first three game winning streak of the year tomorrow night with Travis Wood taking the mound.  Wood will oppose Alex Sanabia at 6:10 PM CST.

Cubs 4-26 box

Game Highlights:

Anthony Rizzo’s first home run of the night
Rizzo goes deep into the upper deck
Barney’s game saving play

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

Cubs Roster Move Extravaganza (Barney, Ransom, Gregg, Loe, Lillibridge, Takahashi, Dolis, oh my)

The Cubs look much different heading into this Rangers series than they did during the off day yesterday, as they announced a flurry of moves.  I mentioned on Sunday that the Cubs signed Kevin Gregg and claimed Kameron Loe from the Mariners, well both pitchers have been added to the major league roster.  Also being Barney backadded to the major league roster is Darwin Barney who is coming off the DL tonight.  That wasn’t the only addition, the Cubs also claimed infielder Cody Ransom, with all the players being added to the active roster, a few had to go, and that’s what happened.  The Cubs DFA’d Brent Lillibridge, and Hisanori Takahashi, and optioned Rafael Dolis back to Iowa.  The Cubs will have ten days to trade, waive or release Lillibridge and Takahashi.  My guess is that Lillibridge will end up in Iowa as long as he isn’t claimed by another team, and Takahashi will no longer be a member of the Cubs.  Busy day for the Cubs and the game hasn’t even started yet, such is life with an under-performing club.  Barney, Gregg, and Loe are on the roster for tonight’s game, Ransom will most likely be ready to go tomorrow.

Thanks for reading,
– George