FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2014, 2:20 PM ET [WRIGLEY FIELD]
CINCINNATI REDS (6-9) @ CHICAGO CUBS (4-10)
TV: [CIN] FS-O, MLBN [CHC] WGN, MLBN
Shark’s last outing in St. Louis
Alfredo Simon’s last outing at home against Tampa Bay
Nate Schierholtz is hitting .333 in his last five games, with three doubles, and two RBI’s
Joey Votto is heating up, he is hitting .450 in his last six games with four home runs, and eight RBI’s
For the second straight afternoon the Cubs showcased solid pitching, and big power, the result? Two straight wins.
At the Plate:
- Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-3 with a double, and two runs scored. Both hits came off left Tommy Milone, a good sign.
- Justin Ruggiano went 2-for-2 with his first home run of the spring, three RBI’s, a walk, and a run scored.
- Nate Schierholtz started in the DH spot today and went 2-for-3 with a double.
- Mike Olt came up huge today in his only at bat. Olt hit a two-run pinch hit home run in the 8th to give the Cubs a three run lead.
On the Mound:
- Kyle Hendricks made his spring debut and struggled with his control but was able to work out of trouble. Hendricks worked two innings, giving up one run, on one hit, while walking three, and striking out two.
- Carlos Pimentel was outstanding this afternoon as he worked two scoreless innings giving up one hit, while walking two, and striking out two.
- Jonathan Sanchez who is vying for a spot out of the bullpen was roughed up in this one. Sanchez worked two innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking one, and striking out one.
- Neil Ramirez, and Zac Rosscup each worked a scoreless inning in relief with Rosscup picking up the win.
- Brian Schlitter worked the ninth for his first save of the spring, but it wasn’t without issues. Thanks to a couple of errors, including one by Schlitter, the A’s threatened to tie things up. Schlitter worked one inning giving up one run, unearned, on two hits while striking out one.
Nate does it again! Unfortunately the Cubs couldn’t sweep the Cardinals yesterday, but taking two out of three in St. Louis is okay with me. More importantly (half kidding) Nate came through for a few people who put their faith in him. Below are the standings through yesterday, World Series Dreaming will have a post up later today that you will want to check out as well! Good luck!
Welcome to deadline day, the MLB non waiver deadline is 3:00 PM CST, so we have just about three and a half hours to go. Rumors today are that Nate Schierholtz and or David DeJesus could be moved, we will be tracking everything here so keep check back!
11:40 AM – The Pirates were breathing down the White Sox necks to get Alex Rios, well he fouled a ball off his foot last night and is now day-to-day. That has some people thinking that the Pirates are now going to go hard after Nate Schierholtz or David DeJesus. The Pirates are also looking for bullpen help and James Russell and or Kevin Gregg would fit nicely there.
11:46 AM – Per Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers are listening to offers for everyone, including recently acquired Matt Garza, wait, what?
11:57 AM – Ken Rosenthal reports that David DeJesus has the best chance to get traded today, even better than Schierholtz.
12:03 PM – The Cubs have been linked to Ian Kennedy of the Diamondbacks, sounds like Arizona is looking for relief help and have their eye on Luke Gregerson of the Padres. Cubs still a possible destination, but looking less likely.
12:13 PM – There is an awful lot of chatter surrounding Jeff Samardzija being dealt. I don’t see this happening but where there is smoke there is fire, I know Jed and Theo are listening to offers for him, and it would have to be a whopper of a return. That said, the Pirates are in play on this, and have the prospects to get something done, doubt they go as high as the Cubs want them to.
12:26 PM – Buster Olney is reporting that the Cubs could wait to deal Gregg, as in before the August waiver deadline. Says that the Cubs might want to hang on to him and see if a team develops a need for a guy like Gregg later in the season.
1:24 PM – Gordon Wittenmeyer confirms that Navarro could be a target of the Cardinals. Also confirmed that trading within the division is not a concern.
1:37 PM – Jayson Stark says that a Navarro to the Cardinals deal is possible but “not close” … seems to be gaining some steam.
2:06 PM – Per Nick Cafardo it sounds like Nate Schierholtz will be staying with the Cubs, kind of surprising.
It really doesn’t get much better than this, I mean I’m a Cubs fan, it’s the small victories that make me happy because the larger ones aren’t here yet and haven’t been for some time. I have faith the bigger wins will be here soon enough, until then I am going to bask in the glow of the Cubs beating the crap out of the White Sox this week. It was the Travis Wood show today as he worked six solid innings for his fifth win of the season, and blasted his second home run of the season which also happened to be a grand slam. The three game “series” between the Cubs this week ended with the Cubs winning all three, and outscoring the Sox 24-6. That’s fun to say.
PICTURE OF THE GAME
Scott Feldman is pitching every bit like a man trying to prove himself to the rest of the league, and the Cubs are reaping the benefits. Feldman, who was signed to a one year deal in the off-season has been nothing short of brilliant, especially in his last five starts sporting a 4-0 record with a 1.28 ERA. Feldman got plenty of help from his offense in this one after it looked like it could be a day of missed opportunities again. After squandering a few chances early the Cubs broke through in the fourth inning as they scored four times, highlighted by a two-out, two-run double by Feldman, he does it all! The Cubs added one in the fifth on an Anthony Rizzo solo shot, and three in the eighth to put this one well out of reach. The Mets spoiled the shut out bid in the ninth inning, the Cubs still don’t have a shut out this year, but more importantly they got another victory, an 8-2 rout. Tomorrow brings an opportunity for the Cubs to win their third straight series, something that hasn’t been seen around these parts in a while.
At The Plate – An efficient, productive day at the plate for the Cubs as they pounded out eleven hits while scoring eight times. David DeJesus got things started at the top of the order going 1-for-4 with a walk, and two RBI’s, he’s now hitting .288 on the season. Anthony Rizzo had been locked in for a while now, he hasn’t struck out in thirty-four at bats and was 2-for-4 with his tenth home run of the season, an RBI, and a two runs scored. Nate Schierholtz had a solid day going 2-for-4 with his fifth home run of the season, an RBI, and two runs scored. The Cubs had three doubles in this one, giving them 97 for the season which is best in baseball.
On The Mound – Scott Feldman was outstanding again, he worked 6.2 scoreless innings giving up seven hits while walking one and striking out six. The win improved Feldman’s record to 4-3 on the season, coupled with a 2.19 ERA and wow, couldn’t ask for better. James Russell was solid out of the pen as usual, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 0.54 on the season. Hector Rondon struggled a bit, he worked one inning giving up two runs on two hits, including a two run homer.
Up Next – The rubber game of the series as the Cubs go for their third straight series win. The Cubs send Travis Wood to the mound, he’s been just as good as Feldman if not better. The Mets will counter with Dillon Gee, first pitch scheduled for 1:20 PM CST on WGN.