Tagged: Nate Schierholtz

Bats Wake Up Too Late in Loss to Rangers

Cubs 4-16 lineFull Box Score

The Cubs do have a flair for the dramatic, but as we have seen so often this season it usually ends with Cubs fans disappointed and another loss.  Hey!  That’s what happened tonight.  Through seven innings it was the Derek Holland and Travis Wood show as the Rangers Barney 4-16held a slim 1-0 lead.  The Rangers were able to tack on some insurance runs in the eighth which they ended up needing.  Trailing 4-0 heading to the bottom of the ninth the Cubs once again fought back and were one swing away from grabbing a victory but ended up falling short after scoring twice to make it 4-2.

At The Plate – The Cubs didn’t do much all night, but at least they were able to snap the 0-for-24 with RISP slump by going 2-for-4 tonight. Alfonso Soriano was 2-for-4 with a double and has his average all the way up to .275 for the season.  Nate Schierholtz continued his hot hitting, this time off the bench going 1-for-1 with a two-run double.  Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, and Welington Castillo each had one hit in the loss.

On The Mound – Travis Wood continued his strong start to the 2013 season, he went 7.1 innings giving up two runs on five hits while walking three and striking out three and was hung with the loss.  Shawn Camp is clearly not the Shawn Camp of 2012 just yet as he gave up two runs on two hits in just one-third of an inning.  James Russell and newcomer Kameron Loe had scoreless appearances.

Up Next – Game two of the series will feature Carlos Villanueva against Justin Grimm as long as they can get it in, the weather is not going to be very helpful.  The Chicago area is supposed to get hammered with rain on Wednesday and Thursday so we’ll see.

Cubs 4-16 box

Cubs 4-16 box 1

Game Highlights:

Gonzalez’s diving catch
Rizzo with a great throw to cut down the run
Schierholtz two-run double
Sappelt’s sliding catch

Thanks for reading,
– George

Series Preview – Giants @ Cubs; April 11 – April 14, 2013

Ah, Spring in Chicago, either it’s great or horrible, usually no in between.  Hopefully the weather cooperates today, and all weekend as the Cubs welcome the defending champion San Francisco Giants to town for a four game set.  Should be some great baseball on display this weekend, hopefully for both teams.  As usual the Giants boast of formidable pitching staff that will most definitely pose a challenge for the Cubs anemic offense.

Last Series:

The Cubs split the two game series with the Brewers as the final game was rained out.

The Giants swept the Rockies in a three game series at home.

Game Times and Broadcast Information:

  • Thursday, April 11, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on CSN Chicago
  • Friday, April 12, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on CSN Chicago
  • Wednesday, April 13, 2013 – 12:05 PM CST on FOX
  • Sunday, April 14, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on WGN TV

Starting Pitchers Scheduled:

Cubs:

Game One – Scott Feldman (0-1, 7.71)
– Career vs. Giants (4 appearances, 2 GS)  (0-3, 5.54)

Game Two – Carlos Villanueva (0-0, 1.35)
– Career vs. Giants (13 appearances, 1 GS) (2-1, 4.15)

Game Three – Jeff Samardzija (1-1, 2.63)
– Career vs. Giants (6 appearances, 1 GS) (0-0, 2.53)

Game Four – Edwin Jackson (0-2, 5.73)
– Career vs. Giants (5 appearances, 4 GS) (2-2, 4.73)

Giants:

Game One – Ryan Vogelsong (0-1, 8.44)
– Career vs. Cubs (15 appearances, 9 GS)  (4-5, 5.73)

Game Two – Matt Cain (0-1, 8.38)
– Career vs. Cubs (13 GS) (6-2, 2.45)

Game Three – Madison Bumgarner (2-0, 1.32)
– Career vs. Cubs (6 GS) (3-2, 2.79)

Game Four – Tim Lincecum (1-0, 4.91)
– Career vs. Cubs (10 GS) (4-4, 3.43)

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not:

Something happened in the Brewers series, the Cubs found some offense, not only offense, but clutch offense.  In both games the Cubs mounted comebacks, one successful, and one not so successful.  Regardless, it was good to see guys having good at bats and driving the ball when they needed to.  Welington Castillo has been a consistent threat at the plate since day one for the Cubs, he’s hitting .381 on the season with two doubles, a home run, and five RBI’s.  Nate Schierholtz is also swinging a hot bat as he is hitting .304 on the season, and sports an impressive .385 OBP.  Alfonso Soriano is scuffling, he’s back to missing his pitch and then getting himself out on the pitchers pitch.  He’s hitting .194 on the season and has no extra base hits, or RBI’s.  The Cubs pitching is starting to show some dents, but for the most part the starters have been great.  Hector Rondon has been very good out of the pen, while Shawn Camp has struggled of late.

It’s a former Cub that is leading the offensive attack for the Giants, Angel Pagan is hitting .361 in the early going.  Pablo Sandoval is also swinging a hot bat hitting .345 on the season with two home runs and six RBI’s, and has only struck out once in 29 at bats.  Brandon Belt is struggling at the plate as he is only hitting .148 with only two extra base hits and no RBI’s.  The Cubs won’t see Barry Zito in this series, usually that’s a bad thing, but not this year, Zito started on his comeback trail last year, and has continued it this year as he hasn’t given up a run so far this year in two starts over fourteen innings.  Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain have been knocked around a bit as Vogelsong has a 8.44 ERA, and Cain has a 8.38 ERA, when was the last time you saw that?

Bold Prediction:

The Cubs usually play up to their competition, at home at least, I think they play well enough to split this four game series.  If they get a surprisingly solid performance from Feldman and Villanueva they might take three of four.

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
– George

Cubs Tease at Thrilling Comeback, Fall Short

April 8 line score

Full Box Score


For most of this home opener it was the same old story for the Cubs, well, at least offensively.  Marco Estrada shut the Cubs down on a really tough day to pitch, winds were at 25 MPH gusting to 45 MPH blowing straight out for the majority of the game, pay attention to the majority part.  After getting behind 5-0 early and 7-2 late the Cubs mounted a furious rally in the ninth inning, but all to often the Cubs get just close enough to tease us that a comeback is Castro 4-8possible only to lose, and that’s exactly what happened.  Trailing 7-4 with the bases loaded Starlin Castro flew out to the right field warning track with the wind howling in….wait, what?  That’s right, the wind shifted in the late innings and was blowing straight in, if Castro hits that ball earlier in the game it’s a grand slam, amazing.

At The Plate – Starlin Castro ended the game at the plate, but was locked in today, he finished the day 2-for-5 with a double and a triple.  Welington Castillo continued his strong start to the season going 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI’s and a run scored.  Nate Schierholtz also stayed hot going 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.

On The Mound – Tough day to pitch, well for anyone other than Marco Estrada.  Edwin Jackson got the start and couldn’t find the plate early, when he did he found too much of it.  To Jackson’s credit he settled down after giving up four runs in the first inning, he ended up going six innings giving up five runs on eight hits while walking five and striking out six.  Shawn Camp couldn’t keep things close as he gave up two runs on three hits while walking two and striking out two in an inning of work.  Carlos Marmol worked a scoreless inning, but it wasn’t without the usual theatrics, he gave up one it, while walking one, throwing a wild pitch, and struck out two.

Up Next – The first night game of the season, Travis Wood looks to follow up his outstanding first start of the season against Brewers youngster Wily Peralta at 7:05 PM CST.

Stat Of The Night – The Cubs struggles with runners in scoring position continued today as they were 2-for-12 in the loss.

April 8 box score

April 8 box score1

Game Highlights:

Valbuena’s RBI single
Schierholtz RBI single
Castillo’s two-run homer

Thanks for reading,
– George

Marmol Coaster Comes Off Tracks in Loss to Braves

April 6 line score

Full Box Score

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 Braves Walk off 4-6lead 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.

Up Next – Jeff Samardzija takes the hill for the Cubs in the series finale against Tim Hudson at 12:35 PM CST.  Samardzija looks to build off his dominant performance in the season opener.

Stat Of The Night – Coming into the night the Cubs had 16 hits on the season, they registered 13 tonight.

April 6 box score

 

April 6 box score 1

 

Game Highlights:

Schierholtz RBI Single
Luis Valbuena goes deep
Rizzo’s two-run shot

Thanks for reading,
– George

Series Preview: Cubs @ Braves; April 5 – April 7, 2013

Consider this a stiff test for the Cubs, nothing against the Pirates, but the Braves are a different animal.  The weather should be much nicer than it was in Pittsburgh so hopefully that means that Cubs bats will heat up with the temperatures as they have been cold as ice so far.  That said, the Cubs enter the series with a 2-1 record, the same as the Braves, below you will find all the important information pertaining to the upcoming series, everything you need to know in one convenient place.

Last Series:

Cubs won two out of three against the Pirates in Pittsburgh

Braves won two out of three against the Phillies at home

Game Times and Broadcast Information:

  • Friday, April 5, 2013 – 6:30 PM CST on CSN+ (click to find your channel), MLBN
  • Saturday, April 6, 2013 – 6:10 PM CST on WGN TV
  • Sunday, April 7, 2013 – 12:35 PM CST on CSN Chicago

Starting Pitchers Scheduled:

Cubs:

Game OneScott Feldman (0-0, 0.00)
– Career vs. Atlanta (1 GS)  (0-0, 2.57 ERA)

Game TwoCarlos Villanueva (0-0, 0.00)
– Career vs. Atlanta (10 appearances, 1 GS) (1-2, 7.20 ERA)

Game ThreeJeff Samardzija (1-0, 0.00)
– Career vs. Atlanta (8 appearances, 2 GS) (2-0, 2.66 ER)

Braves:

Game One – Mike Minor (0-0, 0.00)
– Career vs. Cubs (4 GS)  (4-0, 4.30 ERA)

Game Two – Julio Teheran (0-0, 0.00)
– Career vs. Cubs (First appearance)

Game Three Tim Hudson (0-0, 6.23)
– Career vs. Cubs (6 GS) (2-1, 3.44 ER)

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not:

For the Cubs, the entire offense is frigid, only scoring six runs over the first three games of the season.  They aren’t getting hits either as they have the worst team batting average in all of baseball at .121, they don’t ask how, just how many when it comes to wins….or something like that.  Closest thing resembling a hot hitter would be Nate Schierholtz, Nate had a huge two-run homer yesterday, and is hitting .333 on the season.  The Cubs pitching has been fantastic, well Cubs pitching not including anyone named Carlos Marmol.  The Cubs are 8th in the Majors with a 2.08 team ERA, a big reason why they are 2-1.

The Braves have as many home runs as the Cubs do runs (six).  Freddie Freeman is on a mission in the early going, hitting .500 (5-for-10) with one double, one home run, and six RBI’s.  One of the Braves newcomers isn’t finding things so easy, B.J. Upton has been slow out of the gate going 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts.  The Braves are hovering around the middle of the pack when it comes to team ERA with a respectable 3.00, surprisingly Tim Hudson isn’t helping as his only start was a rough one where he gave up three runs in 4.1 innings of work.

Bold Prediction:

Look for the Cubs bats to get healthier in this series despite having to face two young stars in Minor and Teheran, and one solid veteran in Hudson.  Unfortunately the Braves will continue their hot hitting and take two out of three from the Cubs this weekend.

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
– George

Wood Brilliant as Cubs Take Series From Pirates, Barely

April 4 line score

Full Box Score

Marmol coaster!  It’s too early in the year for this kind of drama.  The Cubs once again couldn’t find much offense, but managed just enough to get the win with Nate Travis Wood 4-4Scheirhioltz providing the big blow, a two-run homer in the ninth inning which the Cubs ended up needing.  Travis Wood was outstanding in his first start of 2013 but had to sit on the edge of his seat with the rest of us as Carlos Marmol came within a small unit of measurement of blowing it.  After allowing the Pirates to score twice in the ninth, Marmol got Alvarez to strikeout, and Walker to hit into a double play, never a doubt, Cubs win three to two……  Nice series win for the Cubs to start the season.

At The Plate – The Cubs only had two hits last night, today they had three, at least the result was different.  Starling Castro was 1-for-4 with an RBI on the day and has the honor of being the first Cubs player to get a hit with a runner in scoring position this year, yep.  Nate Schierholtz was the offensive hero going 1-for-3 with a walk, a run, and two RBI’s which came on a huge two-run homer in the top of the ninth to give the Cubs a three run cushion.

On The Mound – Travis Wood was outstanding this morning/afternoon, Wood went six scoreless innings, giving up one hit while walking two and striking out four to earn his first win of the season, barely.  Shawn Camp, James Russell, and Kyuji Fujikawa were very good out of the bullpen as they tossed a combined two scoreless innings, giving up no hits, no walks, and struck out three.  Cue the circus music… enter Carlos Marmol.  Marmol wasn’t very good, again, as he gave up two runs on three hits while walking one and striking out one, but battled and ended up “earning” his first save of the season.

Up Next – The Cubs head to Atlanta for a weekend series against the high-powered Braves.  Scott Feldman will make his Cubs debut against Atlanta lefty Mike Minor at 6:30 PM CST.

Stat Of The Night – The Cubs team ERA is 2.08, Carlos Marmol’s ERA is 20.25

April 4 box score 1

April 4 box score 2

Game Highlights:

Nice diving catch by Schierholtz
Russell gets a big strikeout
Starlin Castro puts the Cubs on the board
Schierholtz goes deep in the ninth

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Pitching, Castro, Beat Up Against Dodgers

Cactus League Header

Cubs-Dodgers Line Score 2-27-13

Full Box Score

  Now THAT is an early Spring Training game if I’ve ever seen one, and I didn’t even see this one.  It was a long, messy game that ended with the Cubs on the losing end of an 11-7 final, and holding their breath about a potential injury to their franchise shortstop, more on that later.  It was a tale of two games for both teams really as seventeen of the eighteen runs scored in the game crossed the plate in the first five innings.  Raley 2-27-13Cubs pitching finally had a rough day, and it started with Brooks Raley.  Raley was really knocked around, he was able to go one plus inning giving up four runs on five hits while walking one and striking out one.  Thanks to an early surge by the Cubs offense Raley wasn’t on the hook for the loss, that honor went to Trey McNutt.  McNutt didn’t pitch terribly in his outing, but he was hung with the loss as he couldn’t bail out Raley after he left and allowed an earned run of his own in an inning of work on two hits.  Jaye Chapman, and Alberto Cabrera were also beat up pretty bad today as they combined to give up five runs, four earned, on six hits over three innings.  Chapman was particularly bad as he only lasted a third of an inning giving up three runs, two earned, on two hits while walking two.  The foursome of Michael Bowden, Hisanori Takahashi, Shawn Camp, and James Russell stopped the bleeding but it was too little too late.

  As I mentioned the Cubs bats were alive and well early this afternoon as they held a 4-1 lead and pushed across seven runs in the first four innings.  Both Nate Schierholtz and Darwin Barney had two hits, and they were productive as Schierholtz knocked in one with Barney driving in two.  Javier Baez drew some oohs and aahs with a screaming line drive base hit that almost decapitated the Dodgers shortstop, the hit had twitter abuzz, and drew comparisons to Gary Sheffield after the game from Dale Sveum.  Back to the Cubs holding their breath, Starlin Castro was 1-for-3 on the day, but had to leave the game after pulling up lame crossing first base after grounding out.  Castro said after the game that he was worried when he first felt it, but he is confident it’s more tightness then a pull, he’s feelings were echoed by Sveum as well after the game, fingers crossed.

Cubs-Dodgers Box Score 2-27-13

Cubs-Dodgers Pitchers Box Score 2-27-2013

Thanks for reading,
– George