Riding The Bus; Minor League Recaps for April 3, 2014

Riding the Bus Header

 

Welcome to “Riding the Bus” —  How about that graphic, eh??  We’re excited, as usual, to bring you recaps of every Cubs minor league game, every night.  Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoy it.

 

Kane County 4-3-2014

Full Box Score

At The Plate:

The Cougars brought their bats with them in the opener as they pounded Quad Cities pitching to the tune of eight runs on eleven hits.  Jake Hannemann did a nice job out of the lead-off spot tonight, going 2-for-5 with two runs scored.  DH for the evening, Ben Carhart was all over the base paths, Carhart was 1-for-2 with three walks (CUBS WAY!), an RBI, and three runs scored.  Dr. Doubles, I mean, Yasiel Balaguert was locked in tonight, he went 4-for-4 with three doubles, and two RBI’s.  The ninth spot in the order also got a spark tonight, Carlos Penalver went 3-for-3 with a walk, two stolen bases, and a run scored.

On The Mound:

All in all, a pretty solid effort from the Kane County staff tonight.  2012 first round draft pick Paul Blackburn made his single A debut tonight, and it was hit and miss.  Blackburn worked four innings, giving up four runs on nine hits (not so good), while walking none (good), and striking out three.  The pen was tremendous, Nathan Dorris, James Pugliese, and Jose Arias all had scoreless appearances.  Dorris got the win, as he worked two innings giving up one hit, while walking one and striking out three.

Daytona 4-3-2014

Full Box Score

At The Plate:

The Daytona Cubs mirrored the Major League club in this one as they dropped a tough 1-0 game to the Manatees.  The D-Cubs could only manage five hits while getting shut out by a quartet of Brevard County pitchers.  Dan Vogelbach was one of the few Cubs to register a hit, he was 1-for-3 in the loss.  Jeimer Candelario, and Marco Hernandez also finished the night going 1-for-3 with a single.  Gioskar Amaya was seeing the ball the best as he went 2-for-2 with a stolen base, and a walk.

On The Mound:

Nothing but good things from the Daytona staff in this one, unfortunately it wasn’t good enough.  Felix Pena got the opening day start and was great, he worked six innings giving up one run on three hits, while walking one and striking out three.  Zach Cates, and Arodys Vizcaino each worked a scoreless inning out of the bullpen.

Tennessee 4-3-14

Full Box Score

At The Plate:

Grumble, grumble, grumble.  A tough opening day loss for the Smokies as they built a 5-0 lead early, then lost it late.  Zeke DeVoss, a personal favorite, went 2-for-5 out of the lead-off spot with a triple, and an RBI.  Kris Bryant!  Bryant, making his AA debut tonight went 1-for-3 with his first home run of the season, a walk, an RBI, a stolen base, and two runs scored.  Fun fact here, Bryant went deep off Reds starter Mat Latos who was making a rehab start, then Bryant swung at a 3-0 pitch later in the game, then Latos hit him, sucks getting torched in AA doesn’t it, Mat?  Jorge Soler was 1-for-1 with a double in this one, he left early, and I think that was the plan ahead of time as he is coming back from a couple of injuries.

On The Mound:

Tough go of it for the Smokies pitching in this one as they seemed to lose their command as a group.  Dae-Eun Rhee got the start and was solid early, then the plate started jumping around on him.  Rhee worked four innings giving up three runs, two earned, on two hits while walking four, and striking out four.  Ryan Searle took over and was actually pretty good, he worked three innings giving up one run on one hit, while walking three, and striking out five.  Tony Zych took the loss in this one as he worked one inning, giving up two runs on five hits, he didn’t walk or strikeout anyone.

Iowa 4-3-2014

Full Box Score

At The Plate:

Not a lot went right tonight for the Iowa Cubs as they had trouble scoring, and keeping Memphis from scoring.  Javier Baez made his triple A debut tonight, going 0-for-3 with a walk, and an error.  A rededicated Josh Vitters has a solid night, he went 2-for-4 with his first home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.  Christian Villanueva, the new Iowa third baseman went 2-for-4 with a double, and a run scored in the loss.

On The Mound:

Not so good.  Chris Rusin, who just lost out to Carlos Villanueva for the number five start spot in Chicago, struggled.  Rusin worked 3.2 innings, giving up five runs on six hits, while walking four, and striking out two.  Yoanner Negrin was lights out tonight, he worked 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit, walking none, and striking out four, stellar.  Casey Coleman, yes, he’s still here, wasn’t sharp, he worked one inning, giving up five runs, four earned, on four hits while walking two, and striking out one.  Mop up duty belonged to Marcus Hatley, and he did a fine job, working one scoreless innings while striking out two.

Thanks for reading!

Geo header

May 5, 2013 – Reds @ Cubs; Lineups!

Edwin Jackson is the Cubs last hope in this series as the Reds go for the sweep.  Jackson has not been good so far this year, so what better time to start than today.  It won’t be easier as he and the Cubs will face red-hot (get it?) Mat Latos, first pitch scheduled for 1:20 PM CST on WGN, the weather is perfect for a baseball game, let’s go Cubs!  Here are the lineups.

May 5 lineups

Thanks for reading,
– George

Marmol leads Reds to victory

Cubs may 4 line

Full Box Score

Another game, another loss that the opponent didn’t have to earn.  Jeff Samardzija battled his way through six innings in this one and thanks to a pair of Alfonso Soriano two-run homers was in a position to get a win.  Then Carlos Marmol took over in the eighth inning.  It was apparent right from the get go that Marmol didn’t have it, he walked the first hitter he faced on four pitches, he then walked the next batter, then he hit Brandon Phillips on a 1-2 count, that was the end of Soriano 5-4the day for Marmol.  Sveum was forced to go to Hector Rondon to try to get out of it, but he allowed all three inherited runners to score, and just like that a 4-2 lead turned into a 6-4 deficit and this one was over.  The Cubs probably didn’t deserve this one based on their offensive performance, but there they were late in the game with chance to steal one, and the bullpen imploded once again, frustrating loss after frustrating loss, they really are piling up.

At The Plate – I’m shocked that the Cubs scored four times in this game, I’ll tell you why.  The Cubs only had three hits all day, and only had seven (3 hits, 2 walks, 2 HBP) base runners.  Alfonso Soriano was a one man Army in this one as he went 2-for-3 with two home runs, four RBI’s, a walk, and two runs scored.  Despite a couple of costly at bats yesterday from Alf, he seems to be getting locked in at the plate as he is now hitting .279 on the season.  Another guy that has been hot recently is Anthony Rizzo, he was the only other Cubs player to register a hit, he was 1-for-3 with two runs scored, he was also hit by a pitch.

On The Mound – Jeff Samardzija saw his pitch count rise quickly in this one, but was able to bear down towards the end of his outing to get deeper then many thought today.  Shark went six innings giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits while walking three and striking out five.  James Russell worked a scoreless inning while walking one walk and striking out one.  Carlos Marmol didn’t retire anyone in facing three hitters, he gave up three runs while walking two and hitting one.  Hector Rondon struggled with his command initially out of the pen but did a solid job.  Rondon went two innings out of the pen giving up one run on two hits while walking two (one intentional).

Up Next – The Reds will go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon as they send Mat Latos to the mound to face Edwin Jackson.  It’s time for Jackson to turn things around for the Cubs as he has been below average in the early going for his new team.  First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 PM CST on WGN, and the weather is supposed to be great.

Cubs May 4 box

Game Highlights:

Full video recap
Soriano goes deep, twice
Barney starts a double play
Sliding catch by DeJesus

Thanks for reading,
– George

Series Preview – Reds @ Cubs; May 3 – May 5, 2013

Reds preview

The Cubs come into this series playing well, okay, play well for most of the game I guess.  The Cubs could have very easily taken three out of four from the Padres, or two out of three from the Reds last month, but they just can’t get out of their own way.  Today the Cubs welcome those Reds to Wrigley Field for a three game weekend set, and hopefully some revenge as well.  The Reds took two out of three from the Cubs in Cincinnati the last time these two teams met.  chapman previewIt was a great series, and the Cubs pitchers shut down the Reds vaunted lineup, but couldn’t find a big hit the whole series, or a closer the whole series and ended up losing two out of three.  It will be another challenge this weekend for the Cubs pitchers as the Reds continue to hit and score runs, they have scored 128 runs, good enough for sixth in baseball compared to the 100 runs the Cubs have scored which is 26th in baseball.  The Reds team ERA is also impressive, currently they sit fourth in the Majors with a 3.32 ERA, the Cubs are not too far behind though, they have a team ERA of 3.72, that’s good for twelfth in the Majors.  This should be a good series, hopefully the results are better this time around.

Last Series:

The Cubs split a four game series with the Padres at Wrigley.

The Reds lost two out of three to the Cardinals in St. Louis

Game Times and Broadcast Information:

  • Friday, May 3, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on CSN Chicago
  • Saturday, May 4, 2013 – 12:05 PM CST on CSN Chicago
  • Sunday, May 5, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on WGN TV

Starting Pitchers Scheduled:

Cubs:

Game One – Carlos Villanueva (1-1, 2.29)
– Career vs. Reds (21 appearances, 6 GS) (2-2, 3.72)

Game Two – Jeff Samardzija (1-4, 3.35)
– Career vs. Reds (17 appearances, 3 GS) (1-2, 4.09)

Game Three – Edwin Jackson (0-4, 6.27)
– Career vs. Reds (3 GS) (1-0, 2.57)

Reds:

Game One – Mike Leake (1-1, 4.34)
– Career vs. Cubs (11 GS) (4-2, 3.46)

Game Two – Tony Cingrani (2-0, 1.50)
– Career vs. Cubs (1 GS) (0-0, 2.57)

Game Three – Mat Latos (2-0, 1.83)
– Career vs. Cubs (6 GS) (3-2, 2.58)

Bold Prediction:

The Cubs are playing better baseball, but it’s still not good enough to win games consistently at the Major League level.  I think too many mistakes pop up again this weekend and the Cubs lose two out of three to the Reds.  Prove me wrong….please?

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Baffled by Latos in Loss

Cubs 4-24 line

Full Box Score

If you like a good old fashion pitchers duel, then this one was for you.  Jeff Samardzija and Mat Latos went toe-to-toe in this one, and it almost didn’t even happen.  Both pitchers received visits from the trainer in the first inning, Latos after being hit with a hard ground ball off the bat of Julio Borbon, and Samardzija ripped up the nail of his index finger on his pitching hand while trying to knock down a ground ball.  Both pitchers stayed in the game, Samardzija Shark 4-24with blood dripping from his hand and both were outstanding.  Todd Frazier was the only player to make an impact on offense for either team as he connected on an estimated 480 foot home run in the sixth inning, and that was enough for Latos and the Reds.  The Cubs threatened in the eighth but once again couldn’t make contact to score a run.  Alfonso Soriano pinch hit in the eighth and struck out with runners at second and third with only one out.  Then DeJesus was robbed by Zack Cozart on a ground ball back up the middle, if it gets through the Cubs lead 2-1, it didn’t, Cubs lose.

At The Plate – As I mentioned, the Cubs really didn’t get much going off of Latos, Broxton, and Chapman in this one.  Julio Borbon had a solid day as he made good contact a few times, he went 1-for-3 with a double.  Both Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo were 1-for-4 in the loss, Castro was also caught stealing.  Luis Valbuena and Cody Ransom were the only other Cubs that registered his in the loss.

On The Mound – Jeff Samardzija was solid again, this time while battling an injury, and still ended up with a loss, his fourth of the season despite an ERA of 3.03, sounds like much of the Cubs staff.  Samardzija went six innings giving up one run on seven hits while walking three and striking out eight.  Shawn Camp and James Russell gave the Cubs a shot late as they each tossed a scoreless inning out of the pen.

Up Next – The Cubs travel to Miami to take on the Marlins in a four game weekend set.  Edwin Jackson will start things off against Kevin Slowey at 6:10 PM CST.

Cubs 4-24 box

Game Highlights:

Samardzija’s gutsy outing
Samardzija get’s nicked up
Navarro guns down Votto
DeJesus with a diving grab

Thanks for reading,
– George

April 24, 2013 – Cubs @ Reds; Lineups – Game Delayed (UPDATE)

Solid match up today as Jeff Samardzija takes on Mat Latos in the rubber game of the series.  It’s raining in Cincinnati at the moment and the game will not start as scheduled (11:35 AM), instead everyone involved will meet to see if they should postpone the game or just wait it out around 11:15 AM.  Here are the lineups for today should we get underway.  (UPDATE)  Game scheduled to start at 1 PM CST now, could change, but that’s the plan.

April 24 lineups

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Find a Way to Win Despite Another Blown Save

Cubs April 23 line

Full Box Score

Same thing every night it seems as once again the Cubs blew a ninth inning lead, this time it was Carlos Marmol giving up a game tying single to Joey Votto.  Marmol then loaded the bases and narrowly escaped the jam, lucky he did as the Cubs responded right away in the tenth.  An unlikely power source did the trick, Darwin Barney took Manny Parra deep to start the tenth, how unlikely you ask?  I’ll tell you my inquisitive friend, that was Barney’s first home run away from Wrigley Field, in his career.  The Cubs were able to tack on another insurance run for good measure and Kevin Gregg nailed down the save, with the tying run on base of course.  Lost in this was the Castillo 4-23 winperformance by Carlos Villanueva, he was sensational, but had to settle for a no decision and Carlos Marmol got the win…. yeah, the win stat in baseball doesn’t always tell the truth, sometimes it’s just a dirty liar, okay, Cubs win!

At The Plate – I know it’s easy to pin the blame on the bullpen with all of these close losses, but one of the other fingers has to be pointed at the offense as well, tonight was a perfect example.  The Cubs jumped on the board early in this one, plating two runs in the second, that was it until the tenth, more times than not, that won’t be good enough.  Hello Cody Ransom!  Ransom made his Cubs debut tonight as was terrific, he went 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  Alfonso Soriano has located the fountain of youth, it’s in Cincinnati, weird place for it, but anyway.  Soriano was 3-for-4 but his aggressiveness on the base paths was refreshing, he stole second and third on consecutive pitches which set up the first run, the Cubs need more of that.  The Cubs stole four bases tonight, the two from Soriano, one from Sappelt, and one from Julio Borbon.  Dave Sappelt had a solid night out of the lead-off spot as well going 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, and an RBI.  Darwin Barney had the game winning hit, a solo home run in the tenth which was his only hit in four at bats.

On The Mound – What else can be said about Carlos Villanueva, he has been outstanding in the early going and only has one win to show for it.  Villanueva went 8.1 innings giving up two runs on just three hits while walking two and striking out six.  Carlos Marmol blew the save, he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up one hit which allowed the tying run to score while walking two and striking out one.  Kevin Gregg did a solid job in nailing this one down, I don’t expect any Cubs pitcher to go 1-2-3 in a save situation, he gave up two hits while striking out two to earn the save.

Up Next – Great match up in the series finale tomorrow morning at 11:30 AM CST on CSN Chicago.  Jeff Samardzija battles Mat Latos, a series win would be fantastic, but again, the Cubs are trying to win a series tomorrow when they could be going for a sweep.

Cubs 4-23 box 1

Cubs 4-23 box 2

Game Highlights:

Cody Ransom goes deep in debut
Big double play
Darwin Barney’s game winning blast
Sappelt’s RBI single
Slick play here from Cody Ransom

Thanks for reading,
– George