July 2 – 5; @ Braves – Series Preview

 

Atlanta Braves Logo - Crossed tomahawks on a blue circle with Atlanta Braves 1876 inside.  Worn on the sleeves of home alternate / throwback uniform.

The Cubs are riding quite possibly their best streak of the 2012 season as they roll into Atlanta for a four game series.  Winning five of their last six, the Cubs have been getting solid pitching and clutch hitting, the timely hits have mostly come from Anthony Rizzo.  Rizzo has played five major league games for the Cubs, the Cubs are 4-1 in those games with Rizzo getting the game winning hit in three of them.  The Braves have actually been better on the road then at home where they have an 18-20 record.  In order for the Cubs to keep rolling they are going to have to shut down a rather potent Atlanta offense, the Braves have scored the 4th most runs in the National League.  As long as the Cubs stay patient they should have a pretty good look at the Braves pitching staff, as they have walked the 5th most guys in the National League.  Finally some exciting baseball, let’s hope the Cubs can continue their strong play and at worst earn a split in Atlanta.  Full preview/breakdown after the jump.

Continue reading “July 2 – 5; @ Braves – Series Preview”

Rizzo Powers Cubs Past Astros

It hasn’t taken long for Anthony Rizzo to make an impact at the Major League level for the Cubs, today he might have made his biggest one.  After a punch less four innings the Cubs offense got going in the 5th inning.  Starlin Castro has a tremendous two out at bat which resulted in a line drive base hit to right field to cut the Astros lead to 2-1.  Anthony Rizzo followed with his biggest hit as a Cub, a towering two run home run off of left-handed starter J.A. Happ to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead heading to the 6th.  The Cubs bullpen surprisingly took it from there and shut the door on the Astros over the final four innings.  Matt Garza only lasted 5.1 innings, giving up two runs on nine hits while walking three and striking out one.  But thanks to Scott Maine, Manual Corpas, James Russell, Shawn Camp, and Carlos Marmol, Matt Garza earned his fourth win of the season.  Geovany Soto had a solid day at the plate going 2-for-3 with a walk, he also gunned down Jordan Schafer trying to steal second.  Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo were the big reasons the Cubs won today, and I have a feeling that’s something we will be saying after a lot of games in the future.  Cubs go for the sweep tomorrow, full box score and highlights after the jump.

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June 30, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Astros

Cubs Lineup vs. left-handed pitcher JA Happ.  The Cubs have been playing better as of late and will send Matt Garza to the mound to keep it going.  Nice to see LaHair back in the lineup after three hits yesterday.  Really hoping he does well against the lefty today to get him some confidence.  The game will start at 3:00 CST on WGN.

DeJesus – CF
Castro – SS
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
LaHair – RF
Soto – C
Barney – 2B
Valbuena – 3B
Garza – P

Go Cubs!
Mark

 

June 28 – 30; vs. Astros – Series Preview

Houston Astros Logo - Shooting gold star with Houston Astros script

The Cubs are slowly becoming fun to watch thanks to the promotion of Anthony Rizzo.  Finally something to watch and look forward to in an otherwise lost season for the Cubs.  The Astros have the fewest road wins in all of major league baseball(9) so that bodes well for the Cubs this weekend.  Nothing really jumps off the page that impresses you about the Astros, but they have been able to score some runs as they sit 9th in the NL.  Where they struggle is on the mound as their team ERA is good for 14th in the NL, just ahead of the Cubs.  The Cubs are going to have to take advantage of the poor Astros staff because you know the Astros hitters are going to score some runs as its projected to be in the mid 90’s all weekend, which usually means the ball with be flying all over the park.  The Cubs should have some extra incentive to stick it to the Astros as they swept the Cubs earlier this season in Houston.  Full preview/breakdown after the jump.

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Another Lefty Handcuffs Cubs; D-Backs Sweep

Another lefty on the mound and another loss for the Cubs in what is shaping up to be a historically bad season.  The Cubs record against left-handed pitchers dropped to 3-16 on the season after Wade Miley shut the door in a 5-1 victory for the Diamondbacks.  The Cubs did nothing all day, which is a shame because Matt Garza had one of, if not his best road outing of the season.  Garza went seven strong innings giving up three runs on five hits while walking one and striking out seven.  The loss drops Garza to 3-6 on the season with a 4.06 ERA.  As I said, the Cubs did nothing at the plate, Alfonso Soriano hit his 14th home run of the season in the seventh inning to bring the Cubs to within one run.  That was as close as they would get as the Diamondbacks tacked on one in seventh and two more in the eighth to make it 5-1.  The Cubs did threaten however in the 8th inning, and just missed tying the game on a Darwin Barney double that hit the yellow line at the top of the left field wall.  With 2nd and 3rd and nobody out, and down 3-1, Joe Mather stuck out, Luis Valbuena lined out to short, and David DeJesus grounded back to Miley to end the threat with no runs scoring.  Soriano and Darwin Barney were the only Cubs with hits, each getting two in the defeat.   Full box score and highlights after the jump.

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June 24, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. D-Backs

I do not have a good feeling about this, the Cubs are floundering, more than usual, and Matt Garza has been awful on the road this season, so I forsee a sweep by the D-Backs.  Maybe he will surprise me, here’s how the Cubs will line up behind Garza.

DeJesus CF
Johnson RF
Castro SS
Soriano LF
Baker 1B
Soto C
Barney 2B
Mather 3B
Garza P

My MVP of the day pick is Starlin Castro, he’s been hot and I think he will have another big game today.

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
– George

June 22 – 24; @ Diamondbacks – Series Preview

Arizona Diamondbacks Logo - Turquoise, purple and copper A above Diamond Backs in purple and copper

Finally a new team!  The Cubs head to Arizona to take on the D-Backs over the weekend, and the Cubs are riding high coming off of a series win at US Cellular Field over the White Sox.  Sure it’s just a series win, but considering it happened on the road it’s a big deal as the Cubs have a lot of trouble away from Wrigley.  The Cubs will battle a D-Backs team that is trying to find their way after being a pleasant surprise last season.  The D-Backs currently sit one game below .500 and in third place in the West, 7.5 games behind the Dodgers.  The normally potent Arizona lineup is good but it usually is so much better, a down season so far from Justin Upton, an injury plagued year from Chris Young, and a missing (injured) Stephen Drew all contributed to the less than stellar numbers, up until the last series.  The Cubs need to hit to stay in these games, the last two games against the Sox won’t be good enough in Arizona because I have a feeling they are about to explode, check that, continue their recent pace, as they scored 30 runs in a three game series against the Mariners.  Maybe the addition of one Anthony Rizzo might help, rumor has it that June 23rd is the day Rizzo could be called up and not lose a year of eligibility, nothing confirmed obviously, but stay tuned.  Full preview/breakdown after the jump.

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