I suppose this one sums up the Cubs season to this point, some good, some bad, some really bad, and a loss. The Cubs looked like they were going to cruise in this one as they built a 5-0 lead in the third inning, but as quickly as they built it, they lost it. The turning point seemed to be the 4th and 5th innings. Scott Feldman was working a lot of deep counts so he wasn’t exactly cruising, but he was effective. One the ropes again in the fifth Feldman looked to get an inning ending ground out but Castro booted it which allowed a run to score and the inning to continue. Angel Pagan followed with a ground ball to the right side which should have been the end of the inning but a combo of Feldman getting over to first slowly and Brent Lillibridge being Brent Lillibridge resulted in no out and the inning continued, again. When it was all said and done it was a 5-4 Cubs lead heading to the 5th, that’s where the wheels came off again. The Giants plated three runs in the 5th to take a 7-5 lead, the Cubs crept closer in the eighth and threatened in the ninth only to come up short in another mind numbing loss that was seemingly there for the taking.
At The Plate – Early on it seemed like the Cubs were going to break out in a big way as they scored five times through three innings, but as it happens so often, the offense stopped, and could only score one more time over the last six innings. All eight position players had at least one hit in the Cubs lineup, with three guys having multi-hit games. Starlin Castro was 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored, he’s now hitting .275 on the season. Nate Schierholtz tried his best to make his former employer regret letting him go as he was 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Welington Castillo continued to destroy the ball as he was 2-for-4 with a run scored, Brent Lillibridge and Anthony Rizzo each had two RBI’s, with Rizzo’s coming on a two-run home run in the third.
On The Mound – Scott Feldman was good and average I would say in this one. He had solid command of his two-seam fastball, but after getting ahead early in counts he couldn’t put anyone away, the defense behind him didn’t help either. Feldman could only last 4.1 innings giving up six runs, two earned, on seven hits while walking three and striking out three to fall to 0-2 on the season. The turning point in my opinion was the ineffectiveness of Hisanori Takahashi out of the pen. Takahashi went 1.2 innings giving up one run on two hits while walking two, and striking out two. One of those walks was to opposing pitcher Ryan Vogelsong with the bases loaded to tie the game at five. Michael Bowden, Shawn Camp, and James Russell all had scoreless appearances.
Up Next – The weather might be slightly better tomorrow, meaning that thing they call the sun might actually show its face, yes the sun has a face. But temps are only supposed to be in the low 40’s again and there is a chance for afternoon showers. Once things get started it will be Carlos Villanueva against Matt Cain.
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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.
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:
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)
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?
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!
Nightly minor league recap for August 2, 2012.
The AZL Cubs let things get interesting in the ninth, but they held on to win 6-5. It was a good night for the highly touted prospects of the Cubs. Albert Almora was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Jorge Soler also had a double and drove in two runs on Thursday. Shawon Dunston and Jacob Rogers each had two hits with Dunston driving one run in. Anthony Prieto started and pitched two scoreless innings. He was relieved by 2012 3rd round pick Ryan McNeil who got his first professional win. McNeil struck out two in two innings of work. Jin-Young Kim came in to close things down recording the final two outs of the game and earning his second save. As much as it got close it was still good to see the Cubs get the win.
As good as Boise has been lately Thursday was not there night losing 15-1. In a game like that there just aren’t too many highlights, but we will try to find a couple. Marco Hernandez and Daniel Vogelbach each had two hits, which those four were the only hits the Hawks had all night. Vogelbach drove in his sixth run since being landing in Boise. James Pugliese got the start and took the loss, but all five runs he gave up were unearned in his five innings of work. Michael Heesch, Rafael Diplan, and Lance Rymel all struggled in relief. hopefully the Hawks can forget about this one and get back on track tomorrow.
Peoria just didn’t have enough to get the win tonight dropping Thursday’s game to Quad Cities 6-4. Starling Peralta started and took the loss in this one going five innings giving up three runs on three hits, while walking three and striking out six. The game took a turn for the worse when Justin Berg entered and he gave up three runs, unfortunately for him all were unearned in his two innings of work. Sheldon McDonald threw a scoreless ninth striking out one. After an eight RBI two home run performance how could Dustin Geiger do anything close. Well, he went 3-for-4 with a double and a home run staying red-hot. Bijan Rademacher and Pin-Chieh Chen each had two hits, with Chen driving in two. Oliver Zapata had a hit and an RBI and Wes Darvill hit a triple. Javier Baez had a rare rough day going 0-for-4. Peoria will look back to getting on track tomorrow.
Daytona stayed hot and won another one Thursday defeating Fort Myers 8-2. The story of the night came from newly acquired Christian Villanueva who came over in the Ryan Dempster deal. In his first two at bats in the Cubs organization he hit two home runs. He ended the night going 2-for-3 with two home runs, two runs scored, and two RBIs. Ronald Torreyes continues to just hit going 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs. John Andreoli, Rafael Lopez, and Timothy Saunders all had two hits a piece with Lopez driving in one. Robert Whitenack started, but didn’t last long enough to get the win, as he only allowed one run, but struggled with his control walking four. Ryan Searle got the win in relief, his fifth of the season. He struck out five in 3.1 innings allowing only one run on two hits. AJ Morris threw the last two inning allowing no runs and striking out one. Daytona is trying to make a push here as they are really playing well as of late.
Not much good came out of this one as Tennessee lost to Pensacola 6-1. Tennessee was only able to muster up two hits, both coming off the bat of Logan Watkins. Watkins ended the game 2-for-4 with a home run. In his first appearance in the Cubs organization Jacob Brigham only lasted three innings allowing three runs, two earned on five hits. He also walked three and struck out two. Zach Rosscup pitched five innings in relief allowing one run and striking out four and Tony Zych struggled in his one inning of relief. Tomorrow is a new day.
Iowa lost another losing to Colorodo Springs 7-4 on Thursday. Brooks Raley took the loss giving up six runs on 10 hits in six innings. Marcus Hatley pitched two really nice innings striking out three and not allowing a base runner. Josh Vitters and Dave Sappelt each got back on track as they both went 3-for-5. Greg Rohan followed his big day yesterday with another two hit, two RBI performance tonight. James Adduci had two more hits and drove in one run. Brett Jackson had one hit and stole his 26th base of the season. There isn’t much more that can be said for Iowa that hasn’t been said already.
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Finally the Cubs have a reason to feel good about themselves as they are coming off a three game sweep over the Padres. Hopefully they use that sweep to carry some momentum across the Country and into San Francisco as the Cubs take on the Giants in a four game set. In order for the Cubs to be successful they need more of the patience they exhibited in the series finale against the Padres. The deeper hitters get into counts against this very good pitching staff the better off they will be. The Giants come into this series with the 4th best ERA in the National League at 3.38. On the plus side the Giants have some trouble scoring runs as they are tied for 10th in NL with 204 runs.
The Cubs will miss Tim Lincecum, but that might be a bad thing as he has been probably the worst Giants starter this year. Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain head up the 2012 rotation and the quicker the Cubs get those two out of the game the better. As I mentioned, the Giants are struggling to score runs, a big reason is the absence of Pablo Sandoval at third, they are a much different offense without him. The Cubs pitchers need to pound the zone and use the ballpark to their advantage, the quicker the outs the better, if they can do that I don’t think a split is out of the question. Full preview/breakdown after the jump.