Break up the Cubs, okay not really but after today’s win they have now won three out of four and for a team with 49 losses before July that’s something worth noting. Fans at Wrigley Field got the best of both Worlds today as they witnessed home runs and stellar pitching from Paul Maholm. Maholm was outstanding, as he had everything working and kept the Astros hitters off-balance all day. Unfortunately Maholm put two guys on in the ninth before he was lifted for Carlos Marmol, falling just short of his first complete game as a Cub. The final line for Maholm, 8.1 innings giving up no runs on four hits while walking one and striking out six to earn his 5th win of the season. As I mentioned, the fans were treated to the long ball today, three of them in fact. Luis Valbuena who has shown some solid power since getting recalled to the Cubs hit his third home run of the season to put the Cubs up 1-0 in the bottom of the second. Steve Clevenger joined the fun in the fourth inning launching his first major league home run, a two run shot to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead. Alfonso Soriano rounded out the scoring with his team leading 15th home run of the season to give the Cubs a 4-0 lead, Soriano finished the day 2-for-4. It was nice to see Bryan LaHair get back on track as he went 3-for-4 in the win, and Carlos Marmol continued his strong stretch since being plugged back into the closer role by earning his 6th save. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
Surely Anthony Rizzo couldn’t live up to all the hype surrounding his much-anticipated Cubs debut, but he did his best to try. Rizzo was 2-for-4 in his first game with the Cubs, including the game winning single, that turned into a double with two outs in the fourth inning. Rizzo also singled in his first at bat, which was originally scored an error, it was changed a couple of minutes later, and rightfully so, who gives him an error at home? While Rizzo was making his debut Randy Wells might have been throwing his last pitch as a member of the Chicago Cubs. Randy Wells has lost it, all of it, he could only last three innings, giving up three runs on six hits while walking four and striking out three. Thanks to Wells the Cubs got down 2-0 early before Rizzo and company charged back to take a 3-2 lead in the third inning. The Mets tied the game up in the fourth before Rizzo put the Cubs up for good in the bottom half. A huge effort from the Cubs bullpen today as Scott Maine, James Russell, Shawn Camp, and Carlos Marmol shut down the Mets the rest of the way. The game ended with Carlos Marmol earning his 100th career save, and one of his easier ones two. Five different Cubs had two hits in the win, Rizzo, David DeJesus, Luis Valbuena, Darwin Barney, and Steve Clevenger. While Anthony Rizzo won’t be a savior for the 2012 Cubs season, he might have made this one the most enjoyable games to watch all year, the Cubs go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
Regardless of where the teams are in the standings it is always fun to beat the White Sox, especially the way the Cubs did tonight. For the first time in what seems like forever the Cubs were on the right side of a blow out as the Cubs pounded out five home runs en route to a 12-3 victory. The Cubs jumped on Zach Stewart early as they got two runs in the third inning to take a 2-0 lead. It didn’t stop there, for once, as the Cubs scored three more in the fifth to make it 5-o. As it always is with this team you never when you can relax, as illustrated by the Sox mini rally. The Sox got one back in the bottom of the 5th to make it 5-1 and plated two more in the bottom of the sixth to make it 6-3. That’s as close as the Sox would get as the Cubs would have a huge seventh inning as they scored six times on five hits including a three run shot from Luis Valbuena to make it 12-3 and that’s how it would end.
Matt Garza didn’t need too much help as he pitched very well on a tough night to do so. It was a very hot and windy night which made the Cell play smaller than it actually is, but Garza limited the damage. Garza went six strong innings giving up three runs on five hits while walking one and striking out six. Every Cubs player had at least one hit in the blow out win. Starlin Castro and Luis Valbuena each had three hits on the night, with Castro belting a two run homer and Valbuena hitting a three run shot for good measure. Bryan LaHair, Alfonso Soriano, and Geovany Soto all had two hits, and all three guys hit home runs as well. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
Sure both of these teams aren’t near the top of the Major League’s but the last two days have been electric at the ballpark and hopefully a sign of things to come at Wrigley. I mentioned it in the game preview, if Samardzija could throw strikes he should be alright tonight because the wind would be howling out and you can’t afford to put guys on via walks. Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened, Samardzija struggled with his command and labored through 5.1 innings, giving up three runs on only four hits, but he issued three walks en route to his fifth loss of the season. The Red Sox managed to score twice in the fourth and push across single runs in the sixth and seventh to take a 4-0 lead. The Cubs rallied in the bottom half of the seventh as Luis Valbuena launched a deep three-run homer to the opposite field off of Jon Lester to cut the Red Sox lead to 4-3. That was as close as the Cubs would get as the Red Sox bullpen came in to shut the door over the final two innings to even the series. Jeff Baker who has had success off Lester in the past was 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and a run scored. Welington Castillo had a solid night in his return to the Cubs lineup, he was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored, plus he threw out Mike Aviles trying to steal. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
A look at the minor league system on Wednesday June 13.
Peoria scored early and often, scoring six runs in the first four innings. That would prove to be plenty for starter Jose Rosario as the Chiefs won 7-1. The offense pounded out 12 hits, including two-hit games by Zeke DeVoss, Dustin Geiger, Javier Baez, and Yasiel Balaguert. Baez and Geiger each hit a homer and each added two RBI’s. DeVoss, Balaguert, and Oliver Zapata also had RBI’s on the day. Not to be overlooked was the great pitching performance by Rosario who gave up one run on three hits in 6.1 innings of work. Hunter Cervenka through another scoreless inning while striking out two. He has not allowed a hit in 10.1 innings or a base runner in 8.2, his ERA is now down to 0.63.
Daytona was trailing 3-1 in the the third when the game was suspended due to weather. The game will pick up in the fourth inning tomorrow and will then play a seven inning game after the conclusion of the first game.
Tennessee fell behind early, but came back to score six straight to win 6-3. Dae-Eun Rhee gave up three early runs, but stayed around long enough to get his fourth win of the season. Justin Bour had two hits including his 16th double and he also drove his 50th run of the season. Junior Lake added two hits as well including a triple. James Adduci hit his fifth homer of the season and also had two RBI’s on the day. Jae-Hoon Ha, Wellington Castillo, and Michael Burgess all contributed with RBI’s as well. Frank Batista closed the game out pitching two scoreless innings, and notching his ninth save of the season.
Not much excitement at Iowa today as the Cubs lost 5-2. Not only did Iowa lose, but there was no Anthony Rizzo as he is day-to-day with a right knee contusion and there was no Brett Jackson in the lineup as well. Rodrigo Lopez pitched six innings allowing three runs on eight hits. Continuing his rehab Geovany Soto caught some today and also hit a double. Luis Valbuena had two hits including a double and an RBI. Blake Lalli had the only other RBI on the day.
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A look around the minor leagues on Tuesday.
Peoria took a tough loss on Tuesday losing 5-4. After Peoria took a 3-1 lead, Beloit came back in the fourth and scored four of there own. Michael Jensen took the lossfor the Chiefs, but was not helped out by his defense who committed five errors, three coming from Javier Baez and two coming from Dustin Geiger. Baez went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base. Zeke DeVoss had a double and also drove in a run. Pin-Chieh Chen, Yasiel Balaguert, and Yaniel Cabezas all added RBI’s on Tuesday. The loss dropped Peoria to 32-33 on the season.
Daytona got seven early runs, which proved to be plenty as they beat Brevard County 8-3. Nelson Perez led the attack with three hits including his eleventh homerun of the season. Greg Rohan and John Andreoli each had two hits on the night as well. Arismendy Alcantara and Richard Jones each added a hit and two RBI’s a piece. Eduardo Figueroa only could last three innings, but Ryan Searle came in relief to get his fourth win of the season. Joseph Zeller and Jeffrey Lorick also pitched two innings a piece on Tuesday. Daytona improved their record to 29-34.
A five run first for Omaha proved to be too much for Iowa to overcome. Chris Volstad gave up six runs in five innings of work, including four walks and six hits. Offensively Ty Wright had two hits including a double and a run scored. Blake Lalli, Alfredo Amezaga each had an RBI and Luis Valbuena hit a two-run homer in the ninth. Geovany Soto was the DH in the game and delivered a double in four AB’s. The Cubs got quite a scare as Anthony Rizzo left early with a leg injury when he crashed into a fence in front of the dugout. Thankfully xrays were negative and he is listed as day-to-day with a right knee contusion.
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A productive day for the most part, but a crushing loss for Iowa, here’s is your Minor League recap for June 5th, 2012.
Peoria was off
In a game that looked like it was lost in the late innings the D-Cubs stormed back to take the lead and eventually beat Bradenton 6-5. Austin Kirk was outstanding once again for the D-Cubs. Kirk tossed six strong innings giving up one run on four hits, he walked three and struck out seven as he lowered his ERA to 2.72 in the no decision. The middle of the Daytona order continues to mash the ball on a nightly basis. Nelson Perez is usually leading that charge, on this night he was 2-for-3 with his 10th home run of the season, he also knocked in his 41st RBI, and had two runs scored, he is now hitting .307 on the season. Greg Rohan and Rubi Silva also chipped in, Rohan with one hit, Silva with two as they both hover around the .300 mark.
The Smokies showed no mercy Tuesday night as they blitzed Montgomery 12-3. Erik Jokisch was the beneficiary of the offense but he didn’t need it. Jokisch was awesome once again as he went seven scoreless innings only giving up five hits while walking one and striking out one. He improved to 2-0 on the season for the Smokies and his ERA now sits at 1.47. There were a lot of big days at the plate for the Smokies, Justin Bour‘s day might have been the biggest. Bour was 4-for-6 at the plate with a double, and two RBI’s. Not to be outdone Jae-Hoon Ha was 2-for-3 with a triple, three RBI’s and two walks in the victory. What’s impressive about the Smokies effort is they did all of this without hitting a home run, doubles and triples work just fine too.
A loss can’t be harder than the one the I-Cubs suffered last night. Leading 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning Brad Snyder, now on Oklahoma City, launched a 1-2 pitch over the wall for a walk-off three run homer. Jay Jackson was outstanding in relief as he gave up one run over five innings of work on four hits, he didn’t walk anyone and struck out four. Rafael Dolis continued to struggle as he gave up the three run homer in the ninth inning, Dolis’ ERA is now 9.00 since his demotion to Iowa. The I-Cubs only managed three hits in the loss, and two of their runs scored were un-earned. Brett Jackson, Diory Hernandez, and Luis Valbuena were the only I-Cubs with hits.
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