One day after the Cubs teased us all with the possibility of a thrilling comeback they actually delivered. Trailing 3-0 early because of mostly defensive miscues the Cubs pitching shut the door and for the first time all year the offense sprung to life when the team needed it the most. After inching closer on RBI ground outs from Rizzo in the 5th and Castro in the 7th the Cubs found a new level of clutch tying the game in the seventh then breaking it open in the eighth inning. The last two games the Cubs have shown some fight with two comebacks, well one and a half, and at this point that’s all you can ask for, a team that fights.
At The Plate – Finally some production from the top of the order, after two listless at bats David DeJesus broke out. DeJesus was 3-for-5 with a double, two RBI’s, and two runs scored. Anthony Rizzo showed a much better approach tonight as he went 1-for-2 with a huge game tying single off of lefty Michael Gonzalez (previously 0-for-6 vs LHP), he also had two walks, and two RBI’s. Scott Hairston registered the game winning RBI with a sac fly in the eighth inning to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead.
On The Mound – Another outstanding effort from Travis Wood who could have easily mailed it in after a rough second inning in which his defense let him down. Wood ended up going 6.1 innings giving up three runs, two earned, on seven hits while walking three and striking out six. Hector Rondon continued his spotless work out of the bullpen as he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up nothing. Carlos Marmol entered the game in eighth, and I’m guessing I wasn’t the only one holding my breath. Marmol was effective, he worked one inning giving up a triple and the was it, he was bailed out by a spectacular play by Castro to end the eighth and keep the game tied at three. Marmol ended up getting the win as Kyuji Fujikawa earned the save, Kyuji worked the ninth giving up one hit and striking out two to earn his second save of the season.
Up Next – The rubber game of the series as Scott Feldman makes his Wrigley Field debut against Brewers newcomer Kyle Lohse. The weather is supposed to be craptastic, we’ll see if this one gets in, scheduled first pitch is 7:05 PM CST.
Stat Of The Night – David DeJesus had two hits on the season coming into this one, he had three hits tonight.
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Finally some home baseball! There really is nothing like the home opener at Wrigley, I love watching baseball there, on TV or in person. The Cubs welcome the banged up Brewers to town for a three game set. The Cubs need to find some hits and more importantly runs, both have been at a premium so far this season. The Brewers are struggling as well, I mentioned they were banged up, they are also losing, five straight in fact.
Cubs suffered a three game sweep at the hands of the Braves in Atlanta
The Brewers were swept in a three game series by the D-Backs at home
Game Times and Broadcast Information:
- Monday, April 8, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on WGN TV
- Tuesday, April 9, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on WGN TV
- Wednesday, April 10, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on CSN+ (click to find your channel)
Starting Pitchers Scheduled:
Game One – Edwin Jackson (0-1, 3.60 ERA)
– Career vs. Milwaukee (7 GS) (3-2, 3.06 ERA)
Game Two – Travis Wood (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
– Career vs. Milwaukee (7 appearances, 6 GS) (3-2, 3.40 ERA)
Game Three – Scott Feldman (0-1, 7.71 ERA)
– Career vs. Milwaukee (1 GS) (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Game One – Marco Estrada (0-0, 7.20)
– Career vs. Cubs (8 appearances, 3 GS) (2-0, 3.86 ERA)
Game Two – Wily Peralta (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
– Career vs. Cubs (First appearance)
Game Three – Kyle Lohse (0-0, 1.50 ERA)
– Career vs. Cubs (16 GS) (4-4, 5.17 ERA)
Who’s Hot / Who’s Not:
The Cubs are coming off a tough series in Atlanta where they should have had at least one win, maybe two. Unfortunately the bats remained cold as they rank 29th in the Majors in average, on base percentage, runs, and slugging percentage. The Cubs best hitter right now is Welington Castillo, “beef” is hitting .357 (5-for-14) on the season. There are a number of Cubs hitters struggling as I mentioned, Valbuena, DeJesus, and Soriano would have to be at the top of that list. The pitching on the other hand has been outstanding, sans Carlos Marmol of course. The Cubs have a team ERA of 3.75 which is 14th best in the Majors, and that includes the last two games where they gave up a total of eleven run.
To say the Brewers are banged up might be an understatement. Ryan Braun has missed the last three games, and might miss the series opener today, Jean Segura is hobbled, and Aramis Ramirez is out of the lineup indefinitely, and Corey Hart hasn’t played a game yet. The Brewers have been scoring runs, and hitting as of late, but three of the guys that I mentioned as being hurt are their top hitters so far. Rickie Weeks is having a bounce back year so far as he is hitting .333 on the season so far. Norichika Aoki has been on fire as well as he is hitting .370 (10-for-27) in the early going. Pitching is an issue for the Brewers as they have a team ERA of 5.68 “good” for 28th in the Majors.
I think the Cubs get the bats going this week at Wrigley, finally feeling comfortable being at home. The Cubs take two out of three from the Brewers this week, winning the first and third game of the series.
Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
The Cardinals used some two-out magic in the third inning against Justin Germano to build a 3-0 lead and eventually went on to win the rubber game of the series 6-3. The Cubs did try to make a game of it as they cut the lead to one two different times today but couldn’t come all the way back. Justin Germano got the start for the Cubs as he continues his 2013 tryout and had some good, some bad today. Germano went 5.2 innings giving up four runs on ten hits while walking one and striking out three. The Cubs only managed seven hits today, six of them coming from three guys, the four, five, and six hitters. The rest of the lineup could only register one hit as the Cubs went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Alfonso Soriano doesn’t want 2012 to end as he continues his tremendous season going 3-for-4 with his 31st home run of the season. Soriano also registered his 105th RBI of the season, a new career high which is amazing at this age and on this team. Welington Castillo was the only other offense for the Cubs as he went 2-for-4 with a double, RBI, and a run scored. Castillo is now hitting .282 on the season and has put up a really strong argument for why he should be the starting catcher in 2013.
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Another series, and another contender heads into Wrigley Field as the Cubs look to finish their 2012 season strong and play spoiler. The Cardinals are hitting their stride once again as they have won four straight and currently hold a 2.5 game lead over Milwaukee for the final wild card spot in the National League. It also sounds like they will be getting a boost to their rotation as Chris Carpenter is slated to make his 2012 debut against the Cubs in game one of the series. Up until the last series against the Reds the Cubs were playing pretty solid baseball, but the bats have gone cold, and the pitching has followed. It should be a good atmosphere at Wrigley all weekend as these games are usually close regardless of the record, and these games mean everything to the Cardinals. I’m expecting an awful lot of Cardinals fans at Wrigley, hopefully the Cubs can keep Wrigley quiet, wait, that doesn’t sound right at all.
Here are the pitching matchups for the series.
Friday September 21, 2012
St. Louis: Chris Carpenter (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Cubs: Chris Volstad (3-10, 6.26)
Saturday September 22, 2012
St. Louis: Adam Wainwright (13-13, 3.97 ERA)
Cubs: Travis Wood (6-12, 4.25 ERA)
Sunday September 23, 2012
St. Louis: Kyle Lohse (15-3, 2.71 ERA)
Cubs: Justin Germano (2-8, 6.17 ERA)
Season Series: Cardinals lead series 8-6
Prediction: Cubs win series 2-1
Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
To almost everyone’s surprise, Ryan Dempster started tonight in St. Louis against the Cardinals. Surprising in that Dempster was rumored to be pulled from his start by a number of baseball insiders because of a trade that was imminent. Well, the trade hasn’t happened yet, and Dempster wasn’t pulled from his start, so just a normal day I guess. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dempster’s head was elsewhere at the start of the game with everything that is going on, I’m sure he won’t admit it, but it’s hard not to notice. Dempster’s scoreless innings streak ended almost immediately as the Cardinals scored three times in the first inning after Dempster recorded an out, ending his streak at 33.1 scoreless innings. Dempster settled down however only allowing one more run over the next five innings. He finished the night after six innings giving up four runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out two, his ERA shoots all the way up to 2.11 on the season. The Cubs offense couldn’t get anything going against Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse, only recording seven hits and one run in the loss. David DeJesus had a good night at the plate going 2-for-4, and the only Cubs run came via a Darwin Barney sacrifice fly. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
The Cubs try to keep it rolling in St. Louis this weekend amid reports that Ryan Dempster is on the verge of being traded. Because of the trade being imminent, at least per reports, Ryan Dempster has been pulled from his start tomorrow. From the sound of it Casey Coleman will take Dempster’s start tomorrow as he was scratched from his Iowa Cubs start tonight. The report of Dempster being pulled is coming from MLB Network, but has not been confirmed by any of the local media or the Cubs themselves at the time of this preview. So, aside from all of that, the Cubs continue to be the hottest team in baseball since late June. They come into this series with the Cardinals on the heels of a 5-1 home stand, and a series win over the Marlins. Conversely the Cardinals come into this series limping as they are 4-6 in their last 10 games and have fallen into third place in the Central division, five full games out of first. The Cardinals have led the NL in runs scored for quite some time, but they are struggling as of late, only scoring 51 runs in July (14 games), which is good for 12th in the NL over that time. By comparison the Cubs have scored 63 runs in July, good for 6th in the NL. The only reason the Cardinals have kept their head above water this month has been their pitching, they boast a staff ERA of 2.65 in July, the best in the National League. The Cubs have been really good as well with a 3.19 ERA in July, good for 4th in the National League. Full preview/breakdown after the jump.
What a beautiful day for a sweep, I don’t care if it’s two games or not, I want a sweep. Paul Maholm takes the ball and looks to continue the dominance that he has displayed over his last four starts (4-0). Opposing him will be Kyle Lohse who just seems to just win ever since he came to the Cardinals. Early start today 12:45 PM CST, here are the lineups. Go Cubs!
Thanks for reading, go Cubs!