Unfortunate news following a tremendous rally in Cincinnati. There are some reports surfacing that Kyuji Fujikawa could be headed back to the DL with the same forearm strain that had him on the DL earlier this year. There has been no confirmed reports from the Cubs, and no roster moves, but Fujikawa will be re-evaluated when the Cubs return to Chicago and then the Cubs will go from there. If the Cubs do have to put Fujikawa back on the DL I would expect to see newly signed Eduardo Sanchez get a shot in the Cubs pen as he has had success at this level with the Cardinals, and is already on the 40-man roster. Stay tuned for updates on Fujikawa, hopefully it’s a scare and he doesn’t need to go back on the DL, but forearm strains are tricky and it looks like he might not have been fulled healed from the first time it cropped up.
Another frustrating one run loss for the Cubs, just when you thought they might be starting to win these close games today happens. It was a stiff test as the Cubs were facing off against all everything Matt Harvey, and he was as good as advertised, well, after the first inning. After falling behind 1-0 on a David Wright home run in the first the Cubs answered right back with two runs in the bottom half to take a 2-1 lead. Edwin Jackson pitched right with Harvey for the whole game until Harvey got in his way, with the bat. That’s right, not only did Harvey get the win on the mound, but he got the game winning hit in the seventh inning. The Cubs still had a chance in this one, but a questionable send by third base coach David Bell took the Cubs out of the eighth inning. Bell has been fine all year, so I’m not going to pin this on him, but it hurts to have the game tying run cut down at the plate for the second out of the inning when it could have been first and third with one out with Castro and Rizzo coming to the plate.
At The Plate – The Cubs didn’t have much going against Harvey, but did have a very good first inning, and threatened late. The Cubs could only manage six hits on the day, but were 2-for-3 with runners in scoring position. Starlin Castro had a solid day going 2-for-4 with a run scored, he’s now hitting .287 on the season. Anthony Rizzo was 1-for-4 with a double, his twelfth of the season, and a run scored. Alfonso Soriano, David DeJesus, and Darwin Barney recorded the other hits in the game.
On The Mound – Edwin Jackson was solid, but ended up registering his sixth loss of the season. Jackson worked 6.2 innings giving up three runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out four. James Russell was solid out of the pen going 1.1 scoreless innings giving up one hit while striking out two. Kyuji Fujikawa was continues to string together good outings going one scoreless inning while striking out two.
As I mentioned in the series preview the Cubs look to be finding a groove and riding the momentum of some nice wins lately. Tonight was pure domination from beginning to end as the Cubs had a 5-0 lead after two innings en route to a 9-1 victory, their third straight win. These wins are coming against good teams as well, and they held their own in their most recent losses against the Reds, and Cardinals. I’m not saying the Cubs are going to be contenders next week, but they are playing some of the best baseball they have played in the last three years. Okay, I know, that really doesn’t take much, but watching this team every night I can see the change. Lost in the offensive awesomeness, say that five times fast, was the performance of Travis Wood. He was brilliant again, and is pitching like a true number one, this is the Travis Wood the Cubs’ brass was hoping they got when they traded Sean Marshall to the Reds. Actually this is probably more than what they expected this soon, just outstanding.
At The Plate – The best offensive night for the Cubs this year, they pounded out fourteen hits and scored nine runs. They were an impressive 6-for-18 with runners in scoring position and had eight extra base hits, six doubles, a triple, and a home run. David DeJesus was 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, two RBI’s, and two runs scored. Starlin Castro was on base all night going 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, two RBI’s, and a run scored. Alfonso Soriano padded his slugging numbers in this one going 2-for-4 with his fourth home run of the season, a double, two RBI’s and a run scored. Nate Schierholtz was 2-for-4 with a triple, and two RBI’s, he is now hitting .299 on the season. Welington Castillo and Travis Wood also had two hits in the victory, both of Castillo’s hits were doubles, what else is new, the Cubs lead the Majors in doubles.
On The Mound – Travis Wood was brilliant, what else can be said, he has been all year. Wood worked seven scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking three and striking out two. This was his eighth straight quality start to begin the season, he improved his record to 4-2, and lowered his ERA to 2.03 as well. Kyuji Fujikawa had another solid performance out of the pen tossing a scoreless inning while striking out two. Carlos Marmol worked the ninth inning giving up one run on one hit while striking out three.
Up Next – The Cubs go for their fourth straight win as Carlos Villanueva looks to get things back on track. The Rockies counter with Jeff Francis, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM CST, and the weather is supposed to be very summer like.
Wood’s scoreless outing
DeJesus two-run single
Schierholtz two-run triple
Cubs turn two to end the fifth
Castro turns two
Castro’s two run double
Travis Wood helps himself with a double
Alfonso Soriano launches one out onto Waveland
The Cubs are usually on the other end of these games, I like winning these games WAY more than losing them. The Cubs had nothing going all day as they were being no hit through five innings, then they started to chip away at Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez. The Cubs loaded the bases in the sixth only to come up empty, but it signaled that the Cubs might be ready to make things difficult for the Nats. Gonzalez rebounded nicely in the seventh inning, but Nats manager Davey Johnson decided to pull Gio after only 86 pitches on the day, the Cubs thank you Davey. The Cubs went to work in the eighth as they played some small ball. Navarro singled to lead off the eighth, he was then moved to second on a sac bunt by Barney. Travis Wood pinch ran for Navarro and made a great base running play to tag up on a foul ball behind first base to make it to third with two outs. Starlin Castro delivered as he took a Drew Storen pitch back up the middle for game tying base hit. The Cubs used some aggressiveness in the ninth to take the lead an ultimately win the game. They put the first two guys on in the ninth then Ryan Sweeney struck out, I know I’m not the only Cubs fan to think here we go again. But on the very next pitch Soriano and Borbon executed a double steal and the Cubs finally got a break. Kurt Suzuki‘s throw to third hit Welington Castillo‘s bat and went down the third base line allowing Soriano to score the game winning run. Kevin Gregg was perfect in the ninth to secure the Cubs win, and the series win over the Nats.
At The Plate – As I mentioned the Cubs had nothing going all day long, but woke up just in time. Starlin Castro was 1-for-3 with a walk, and a game tying RBI from the lead-off spot. Cody Ransom had a solid day from the two spot going 2-for-4 with two singles. Dioner Navarro was one of the few guys who were locked in at the plate, he was 2-for-3 in the win.
On The Mound – Another really solid start for Scott Feldman, he had to settle for a no decision but that was better than an undeserved loss. Feldman went six innings giving up one run on five hits while walking three and striking out six. Kyuji Fujikawa was solid, and healthy for the second time this series. Fujikawa worked a scoreless inning while striking out one, very encouraging to see his velocity up near 93-94 MPH. James Russell worked a scoreless eighth inning while walking one to earn his first win of the season. Kevin Gregg was lights out yet again, what else would you expect? Gregg worked a scoreless ninth while striking out two earning his sixth save of the season.
The same old things keep plaguing the Cubs, not hitting with runners in scoring position, pitchers making errors, unearned runs, wasted doubles, all were present and accounted for in this one. Samardzija has no one to thank but himself for the Nationals taking a 2-1 lead in the second as he botched a ball right back at him then gave up a two out double. Then Samardzija just lost the feeling for everything in the fourth and fifth innings as the Nationals scored twice in the fourth and three times in the fifth to put this one to bed. For a game that featured ten total runs on nineteen total hits it was played at a breakneck pace, ending in just over two and a half hours. More on the Cubs misery with runners in scoring position below, they definitely had plenty of chances to keep this one close. I mentioned in the series preview that the Cubs would have to play mistake free baseball and capitalize on chances when they present themselves to win, the Cubs proved that true tonight.
At The Plate – The Cubs pounded out ten hits, one more than the Nats, but were only able to score three times. Of those ten hits seven were doubles, think about that for a second, and the Cubs only scored three times. Starlin Castro was given a chance to lead off for the first time this year and had a solid game going 2-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI, and a run scored. Anthony Rizzo turned in another solid performance going 2-for-4 with an RBI, he’s now hitting .276 on the season. Ryan Sweeney had a solid day getting the start in center, he went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored.
On The Mound – Jeff Samardzija needs to find a way to get through the fifth inning, or at least avoid the mind numbing innings that make his pitch count explode. Samardzija’s record fell to 1-5 with the loss, he went five innings giving up seven runs, five earned, on eight hits while walking two and striking out five. Hector Rondon, Kyuji Fujikawa, and Shawn Camp each worked a scoreless inning in relief to keep the deficit somewhat respectable.
Up Next – Game two of the series as Edwin Jackson takes the ball for the Cubs to face one of his former teams. Jackson needs a good outing, I’m not saying his spot in the rotation is in jeopardy, yet, but a good performance could go a long way. Stephen Strasburg will oppose Jackson and the Cubs at 3:05 PM CST.
At The Plate – A roller coaster game for the Cubs in this one as they held a 4-0 lead only to lose it, then an 8-4 lead only to see the Sky Sox get within two, luckily Iowa hung on for the victory. Alberto Gonzalez had a huge day at the plate going 4-for-5 with a walk, a double, and an RBI. Brian Bogusevic was 2-for-5 with a walk, his second home run of the season, one RBI, and two runs scored. Brad Nelson was 3-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI, and two runs scored. Darnell McDonald was 2-for-4 with a walk, two RBI’s, a stolen base, and a run scored. J.C. Boscan is having a great season so far, he was 3-for-4 with a walk and a run scored, he’s now hitting .344 on the year. Iowa probably could have scored more than eight runs as they pounded out sixteen hits but were 4-for-17 with runners in scoring position.
On The Mound – A mixed bag for the Iowa pitching on this night, but they did just enough. Barret Loux got the start and didn’t have it as he went four innings giving up four runs on eight hits while walking three and striking out four. Esmailin Caridad was really good out of the pen and earned the win, he went two scoreless innings while walking one and striking out one. Hisanori Takahashi was roughed up, he went 1.2 innings giving up two runs on three hits while striking out three. Blake Parker was solid again as he earned his fourth save, he went 1.1 scoreless innings while walking one and striking out one.
At The Plate – Another wild one in Tennessee as the Smokies trailed 6-0 after one inning, then 9-6 heading to the bottom of the ninth. The Smokies tied it in the ninth with three runs, then they trailed 11-9 heading to the bottom of the tenth, they tied it again with two in the tenth. Unfortunately they couldn’t come back to tie it a fourth time and lost 12-11 in fourteen innings. The Smokies pounded out fifteen hits in this one, drew seven walks, and made four costly errors. Arismendy Alcantara was 2-for-5 with two walks, a double, one RBI, and two runs scored. Ty Wright was 1-for-3 with two walks, a double, and three RBI’s. Rubi Silva was 2-for-7 with his fifth home run of the season, three RBI’s and a run scored. Rafael Lopez was 3-for-5 with two walks, a double, an RBI, and two runs scored. Tim Torres was 2-for-7 with his first home run of the season, two RBI’s, and two runs scored.
On The Mound – I wouldn’t say that the Smokies pitchers were bad, they just didn’t get a lot of help from their defense. Dallas Beeler got the start and struggled a bit with his command. Beeler went 4.2 innings giving up seven runs, four earned, on four hits while walking three and striking out four. Brian Schlitter was first out of the pen and worked 1.1 innings giving up one run, unearned, on two hits. Kyuji Fujikawa was excellent in what was probably his last rehab outing, he went two scoreless innings giving up a single base hit. Frank Batista was touched up, which is rare, he worked two innings giving up three runs on four hits while walking two and striking out one. Zach Rosscup was brilliant late in this one, he tossed three scoreless innings giving up two hits while striking out three. Marcus Hatley took the loss in this one, he worked one inning giving up one run on two hits while walking one and striking out one.
At The Plate – Daytona put up plenty of fight in this one, they just can’t figure out a way to beat St. Lucie. The D-Cubs trailed 5-3 in the eight and managed to tie things up with two in the eighth only to lose 6-5 in the ten innings. Tim Saunders was 2-for-5 with a triple, and two runs scored. Jorge Soler has responded from his benching in a big way, he was 3-for-4 with two doubles, his fifth home run of the season, a walk, two RBI’s, and two runs scored. Dustin Geiger was 1-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base, and two RBI’s in the loss.
On The Mound – Austin Kirk has struggled his last couple times out, he worked five innings giving up nine hits while walking one and striking out four. Eduardo Figueroa worked two scoreless innings out of the pen while striking out three. Luis Liria took the loss as he went 2.2 innings giving up one run on one hit while walking one and striking out three.
At The Plate – The Cougars couldn’t get anything going at the plate in this one, and they were undone by one bad inning as Burlington scored four times in the fourth en route to a 4-0 victory. Dan Vogelbach was 1-for-4 with a double, he’s now hitting .297 on the season. Bijan Rademacher has been red-hot and it continued in this one as he was 2-for-2 with a walk, he’s now hitting .371 on the season and .412 in his last ten games.
On The Mound – Pierce Johnson only had one bad inning but it was enough for his second loss of the season. Johnson worked four innings giving up four runs on five hits while walking three and striking out five. Justin Amlung was really good out of the pen going two scoreless innings while walking one and striking out two. Matt Iannazzo was solid as well going two scoreless innings giving up one hit while walking one.
Thanks for reading,
At The Plate – The Cubs came awfully close to sweeping this double after two comebacks but in the end had to settle for a split. Logan Watkins was 1-for-4 with a triple, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored. Josh Vitters had a solid first game and a big second game going 3-for-5, he might be making the case to move ahead of Stewart on the organizational depth chart. Brian Bogusevic just hits, he was 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI, that raises his average to .418 on the season.
On The Mound – Brooks Raley was really good for Iowa going five innings giving up two runs on six hits while striking out four. Casey Coleman worked a scoreless inning out of the pen giving up one hit while striking out one. Yoanner Negrin was also solid, he went 1.1 scoreless innings giving up one hit while walking one and striking out three. Hisanori Takahashi went 1.2 innings giving up one run on one hit while striking out one. Cory Wade suffered the loss in this one as he went one inning giving up one run on two hits while walking one and striking out two.
At The Plate – The Cubs were locked in a battle into the fourth inning, that’s when they broke it open with three runs en route to a 5-2 win. Josh Vitters, who just returned to the team a couple of days ago was 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI’s and two runs scored. Brian Bogusevic continues to hit, he was 2-for-2 with two double, a walk, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .414 on the season. J.C. Boscan was 1-for-2 with two RBI’s, and a run scored in the win.
On The Mound – Guillermo Moscoso got the start in game one and was solid, but couldn’t make it to the fifth inning to get a win. Moscoso went four innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking three and striking out three. Esmailin Caridad, Kyuji Fujikawa, and Blake Parker all worked scoreless innings out of the pen. Fujikawa made his first game appearance since being put on the DL with a forearm issue. Blake Parker earned his third save of the year.
At The Plate – For the second straight game the Smokies had no answer for Braves pitching as they were shut out again in a 6-0 loss. The Smokies aren’t just having trouble scoring, they aren’t getting any hits either. The Smokies only had five hits in this one, all singles. Matt Szczur was 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, his ninth of the season.
On The Mound – Kyle Hendricks didn’t get any help from his defense, as he worked five innings giving up five runs, two earned, on nine hits while striking out five. Marcus Hatley, and Zach Rosscup each worked scoreless innings out of the bullpen, both guys have been outstanding all year long. Trey McNutt worked an inning giving up one runs on three hits.
At The Plate – Pitching at it’s finest in this one as the D-Cubs and Mets remained scoreless into the bottom of the ninth, that’s when the Mets pushed across a run for a 1-0 win. The D-Cubs could only manage three hits all day in this one, they did draw four walks but were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. John Andreoli, Dustin Geiger, and Ben Carhart were the only D-Cubs to record a hit, all singles.
On The Mound – Yeiper Castillo was brilliant once again, but unfortunately didn’t factor into the decision. Castillo went six scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking one and striking out seven. Hunter Cervenka was just as good out of the pen as he worked two scoreless innings. Luis Liria took the loss in this one, he was very Marmol like, he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up one run on one hit while walking three.
At The Plate – The Cougars are on a roll, today’s win marks the sixth straight victory for Kane County and brought their record back above .500 on the season. Gioskar Amaya was 2-for-4 with a double, and a run scored in the win. Dan Vogelbach was 1-for-2 with two walks, a double and an RBI. Oliver Zapata was 2-for-3 with an RBI, he’s now hitting .280 on the season. Seven different players had at least one hit for the Cougars, and they were 3-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
On The Mound – Michael Heesch was outstanding going 7.1 scoreless innings giving up four hits while striking out five to earn his second win of the season. Nathan Dorris has been great all year, and was again today, he worked 1.2 scoreless innings giving up one hit to earn his second save of the season.
Thanks for reading,
Baseball is a funny game, it’s also infuriating and thrilling, today had a little bit of everything. Carlos Villanueva battled Matt Cain today, and got the best of him as he was brilliant all afternoon. Villanueva left in the seventh inning with a 2-0 lead, things looked great! Then the ninth inning rolled around, and that clearly has been a problem this year, and it’s not just Marmol either. Kyuji Fujikawa struggled with his command and got hit pretty hard as he gave up three runs to blow the save and put himself and the Cubs in line for the loss. That’s when for the fourth straight game the Cubs showed some fight. Dioner Navarro tied the game at three with a pinch hit home run off Sergio Romo, David DeJesus came up with a two-out single then Starlin Castro played hero. Castro drove a 2-1 pitch off the center field wall for a walk-off double, just like that the Cubs were winners, as I said infuriating and thrilling all in one game, gotta love baseball. My head hurts.
At The Plate – Top of the order magic again for the Cubs. David DeJesus was 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, an RBI, and two runs scored. Starlin Castro was the hero, he finished the day 2-for-5 with a double, a home run, two RBI’s, and a run scored. Welington Castillo continued his torrid start to the season going 2-for-4. Dioner Navarro came up large off the bench in the ninth delivering a game-tying solo home run, he finished 1-for-1.
On The Mound – What can be said about Carlos Villanueva? He was absolutely outstanding today, and unfortunately for the second straight game he had to settle for a no decision. Villanueva tossed 7.1 scoreless innings, he gave up three hits while walking one and striking out three. James Russell worked tow-thirds of an inning and only allowed one hit. Kyuji Fujikawa really struggled, he worked one inning giving up three runs on three hits, he earned the blown save, and the win, go figure.
Thanks for reading,
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.
Thanks for reading,
Over the course of 162 games there will be losses that are harder to take than others, this is one of those losses, in fact this might be the toughest one of the season. After an outstanding performance from Carlos Villanueva the Cubs held a 5-1 lead in the 8th inning. A poor outing from Kyuji Fujikawa made the game close and another Carlos Marmol meltdown gave the Braves a walk-off victory. All of this could have been avoided if the Cubs capitalized on a golden opportunity in the top of the 8th. The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs and failed to push across a run, that usually comes back to haunt you, and tonight is definitely did.
At The Plate – The Cubs finally found some offense, unfortunately it was the failed opportunities that will be remembered in this one. The Cubs pounded out thirteen hits, a season high by far, but unfortunately that wasn’t enough. Every Cubs hitter in the starting lineup registered at least one hit, even starting pitcher Carlos Villanueva. Anthony Rizzo got things going as he was 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI’s, and a run scored. Nate Schierholtz had another solid game going 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Welington Castillo and Luis Valbuena also had two hits with Valbuena hitting his first home run of the season.
On The Mound – A tale of two games for sure, Carlos Villanueva got the start and was outstanding. Villanueva went 6.2 innings giving up one run on six hits while walking two and striking out six. Kyuji Fujikawa had a rough inning as he could only throw his fastball for strikes. Fujikawa gave up three runs in one inning of work on four hits while walking one and striking out one. Carlos Marmol was a disaster, he entered the ninth with a lead and could only record one out before the game was over. Marmol gave up two runs, on two hits, a solo home run to B.J. Upton and a solo home run to Justin Upton. Look for Marmol to be officially removed from the closer roll as early as before first pitch tomorrow.
Stat Of The Night – Coming into the night the Cubs had 16 hits on the season, they registered 13 tonight.
Thanks for reading,