Cubs make Nats pay for mistakes

Cubs 5-11 line

Full Box Score

  Edwin Jackson match all everything Stephen Strasburg pitch for pitch for the first four innings, then the Cubs got a gift.  With two outs and nobody on in the top of the 5th Welington Castillo hit what looked like an inning ending ground out to Ryan Zimmerman.  Then Zimmerman’s horrible mechanics took over and he made an awful throw to keep the Cubs alive in the inning.  The next five Cubs hitters reached base, and when it was all said Jackson 5-11and done the Cubs led 4-0, with all four runs being unearned.  Not only did they take the lead but they knocked Strasburg out of the game after five then added on in the sixth.  Leading 4-1 the Cubs scored four more times in the sixth to take an 8-1 lead en route to an 8-2 victory.  Edwin Jackson earned his first win of the season, and the Cubs were outstanding with runners in scoring position, bizarro world, but I’ll take it.

At The Plate – The Cubs did get some help from Ryan Zimmerman and his awkwardness in the field, but they also took advantage.  The Cubs pounded out twelve hits and scored eight runs, six of those twelve hits were doubles, that gives the Cubs thirteen doubles in the last two games.    If that wasn’t enough, the Cubs were also 6-for-12 with runners in scoring position, that usually bodes well.  David DeJesus was 1-for-4 with a double, two RBI’s, a walk, and a run scored.  Anthony Rizzo has found his 2012 form, he was 3-for-5 with two RBI’s, he’s now hitting .288 on the season, he was hitting .173 on April 26th, think about that.  Alfonso Soriano was 2-for-5 with two doubles, and a run score in the victory.  One of the biggest hits came off the bat of Edwin Jackson, he laced a two-out, two-run double off of Strasburg to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead in the fifth.

Rizzo 5-11

On The Mound – Edwin Jackson was much better in this one, he worked 5.1 innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out three to earn his first win as a member of the Cubs.  The bullpen was solid as well as they worked the final 3.2 innings to close this one out.  Shawn Camp went 1.2 scoreless innings giving up two hits while striking out two.  Hector Rondon continues to impress as he went two scoreless innings while striking out two.

Up Next – The rubber game of the series on Mother’s Day as Scott Feldman looks to keep things rolling and get a series win for the Cubs.  He will be opposed by left hander Gio Gonzalez, who has uncharacteristically struggled in the early going.  First pitch is scheduled for 12:35 PM CST on WGN TV.

Cubs 5-11 box

Game Highlights:

Edwin Jackson’s big two-run double
Rizzo makes an amazing bobbling catch
Rizzo’s big two-run single
DeJesus with a two-run single

George header

Series Preview – Cubs @ Nationals; May 10 – May 12, 2013

Nats preview

The stretch of facing contenders continues for the Cubs this weekend in Washington as they take on the exciting Nationals.  The Cubs last trip to Washington didn’t go so well as they were swept in a four game series, well swept is to kind of a word, they were embarrassed in a four game series.  There was also a bench clearing incident between the two clubs which centered around Steve Clevenger and at the time third base coach of the Nats Bo Porter, Harper previewneither will be in Washington this weekend.  Here’s a fun fact that you probably were not aware of, the Cubs have actually scored more runs this year than the Nationals.  That’s right, the Cubs have scored 128 runs, and the Nats have scored 121, both teams are near the bottom of baseball in that category, however the Nats are above .500 and the Cubs, well, aren’t.  The Nationals get it done with pitching, but still are not that much better than the Cubs.  The Nats have a team ERA of 3.47 which is good for seventh in the Majors while the Cubs sit at thirteenth with a 3.77 ERA.  The difference is the Nationals bullpen more times than not gets the job done, they have a team ERA of 3.57 which is fifteenth best in baseball while the Cubs are twenty-fifth best with a 4.57 bullpen ERA.  Too many game this year have been lost by the Cubs pen, a failing bullpen will not be good enough against good teams, as evidenced by the Reds, and Cardinals series.  Should be a fun weekend, and hopefully we see a better showing than last year, nothing could be worse really.

Last Series:

The Cubs split a two game series with the Cardinals at Wrigley.

The Nats swept a two game series at home against Detroit, they have won four straight heading into tonights game.

Game Times and Broadcast Information:

  • Friday, May 10, 2013 – 6:05 PM CST on WGN TV
  • Saturday, May 11, 2013 – 3:05 PM CST on CSN Chicago
  • Sunday May 12, 2013 – 12:05 PM CST on WGN TV

Starting Pitchers Scheduled:

Cubs:

Game One – Jeff Samardzija (1-4, 3.09)
– Career vs. Nationals (9 appearances, 2 GS) (1-1, 1.48)

Game Two – Edwin Jackson (0-5, 6.39)
– Career vs. Nationals (2 appearances, 1 GS) (0-0, 1.13)

Game Three – Scott Feldman (3-3, 2.70)
– Career vs. Nationals (First appearance)

Nationals:

Game One – Ross Detwiler (1-3, 2.50)
– Career vs. Cubs (3 GS) (2-1, 2.60)

Game Two – Stephen Strasburg (1-4, 3.45)
– Career vs. Cubs (1 GS) (0-0, 1.29)

Game Three – Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.97)
– Career vs. Cubs (3 GS) (1-1, 5.74)

Bold Prediction:

The Nationals have gotten hot recently, winning four straight games heading into this series.  The Cubs will need to play error free baseball and get improved performances from their bullpen if they want to compete in this series.  I still think the Nationals will take two out of three this weekend.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Feldman turns in second straight gem to get Cubs back in win column

Cubs 5-6 line

Full Box Score

Those are fun games to watch, and this was the first game all year where everyone could sit back and enjoy the ride instead of worrying about how the Cubs would close it out.  Scott Feldman got plenty of run support in this one as the Cubs exploded for nine runs, their largest output of the season.  Feldman will gladly take the run support but really didn’t need it, he was brilliant for the second straight outing, and has really been a pleasant surprise Rizzo 5-6all year-long.  Tonight was a preview of what the Cubs want to be every night, solid at bats, deep counts, using the whole field, and solid starting pitching.  The trick is doing this consistently, it’s not there yet, but I think it’s heading in the right direction.  The Cubs were holding a tenuous 1-0 lead into the fourth inning when they exploded for five runs en route to a 9-2 victory, and a delayed series win over the Rangers..

At The Plate – So many good things tonight as the Cubs pounded out eleven hits and scored nine runs.  Starlin Castro was 2-for-4 with a walk, for reals, two RBI’s and three runs scored.  Anthony Rizzo is dialed in at the plate right now, and it’s fun to watch.  Rizzo was 3-for-4 with a walk, his ninth home run of the season, a double, four RBI’s, and a run scored, he is now hitting .262 on the season.  Luis Valbuena continues to defy logic as he went 3-for-4 with a double, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .271 on the season.

On The Mound – What else can be said about Scott Feldman, he was awesome against his former team tonight.  Feldman went seven plus scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking one and striking out three.  The only bad news was that Feldman had to leave the game in the eighth with a cramp in his throwing hand, after the game Sveum said that Feldman would be fine.  James Russell worked two-thirds of an inning giving up one hit and no runs.  Rafael Dolis, who was called up today, got some work in as well, he worked 1.1 innings giving up two runs, both unearned on two hits.

Up Next – The Cubs welcome the St. Louis Cardinals to Wrigley for a brief two game series starting tomorrow.  Travis Wood will get the ball and he will be opposed by Lance Lynn who already has five wins this season.  First pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM CST.

Cubs 5-6 box

Game Highlights:

Cubs five run fourth inning
Rizzo’s line drive home run
Cubs take the lead on Soriano ground out

Thanks for reading,
– George

May 6, 2013 – Rangers @ Cubs; Lineups!

Nothing like having a game on day when you thought you wouldn’t!  That’s right, the Cubs and Rangers will make up their postponed game from April tonight, and the weather is great.  Scott Feldman will get the ball, he’s coming off a stellar outing which saw his first career complete game and a career high twelve strikeouts.  Opposing Feldman and the Cubs will be Nick Tepesch, here is how both teams will line up for the 7:05 PM CST first pitch.

May 6 lineups

Thanks for reading,
– George

Feldman goes the distance to get Cubs back in win column

Cubs 5-1 line

Full Box Score

Well, how about that?  Scott Feldman was brilliant right from the start and all night long as he tossed his first career complete game and had plenty of support from his offense.  The Cubs had Andrew Cashner on the ropes right off the bat as they scored in each of the first four innings to take a 5-0 lead.  That was all she wrote for Cashner who was already up to 96 pitches after four innings, that’s what you like to see from the offensive side of things.  Feldman 5-1The Cubs were only able to manage one more run over the final four innings but they didn’t need it as Feldman was throwing darts all night long.  With a win tomorrow the Cubs could take three out of four in their second straight series, I don’t care who the opponent is, that’s a huge step in the right direction.

At The Plate – Awesome job by the Cubs at the plate tonight as the pounded out nine hits, and six runs, while walking five times.  They probably could have and should have had more, but beggars can’t be choosers I guess.  David DeJesus continues to hit as he was 2-for-5 from the lead-off spot.  Starlin Castro, getting a chance in the fifth spot today was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and two runs scored.  Julio Borbon had another solid game going 1-for-4 with a walk, and two runs scored.  Dioner Navarro had two RBI’s, Nate Schierholtz had one RBI, and Luis Valbuena has one RBI in the win.

On The Mound – It was the Scott Feldman show, as he was brilliant.  Feldman went the distance for his first career complete game giving up two runs on three hits while walking one and striking out twelve(!).  The twelve strikeouts were also a career high, quite the night for Feldman as he improved his record to 2-3 and watched his ERA improve to 3.34 on the season.

Up Next – The Cubs go for the series win tomorrow afternoon at 1:20 PM CST.  Travis Wood looks to continue his strong start to 2013 as he will face off against Eric Stults who has been roughed up in the early going this year.

Cubs 5-1 box

Game Highlights:

Castro’s RBI single
Feldman’s RBI double, he does it all
Navarro’s two run double
Schierholtz RBI double

Thanks for reading,
– George

May 1, 2013 – Padres @ Cubs; Lineups!

With each team taking a game so far in this series Scott Feldman will look to give the Cubs a chance to win this series on Thursday with a big performance tonight.  He will be opposed by hard throwing Andrew Cashner, the player the Cubs traded to San Diego to get Anthony Rizzo, six degrees of awesomeness!  It’s another summer night at Wrigley, if Feldman and Cashner leave the ball up it will be another shoot out, here are the lineups.

May 1 lineups

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
– George

Edwin Jackson still searching for a win, pounded by Padres

Cubs april 30 line

Full Box Score

The first twenty-five games of the Cubs season featured a fun fact, every game has been decided by four runs or less, that streak came to a crashing halt tonight in game twenty-six.  Edwin Jackson was hit hard and often in the early going as the Padres built an 8-0 lead in the fifth inning.  As the Cubs have done all year they fought right back and scored four times in the bottom half of the fifth to make it a game.  Unfortunately the rest of the Castro 4-30Cubs staff couldn’t miss any bats either as the Padres scored in the next three innings, five runs in total, to take a 13-5 lead in the eighth inning.  The Cubs staged a minor rally in the ninth inning to make the score look somewhat presentable but they really never had a chance in this one, and that can be attributed to Edwin Jackson’s continued struggles.

At The Plate – Nice to see the Cubs really pound the ball in this one, too bad it wasn’t enough to keep pace with the Padres.  The Cubs scored seven times on eleven hits, and were uncharacteristically good with runners in scoring position (3-for-9).  Starlin Castro had a big game going 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI’s and two runs scored.  Anthony Rizzo is locked in at the plate, and now the results are starting to come, he was 3-for-4 tonight with two doubles, a walk, an RBI, and a stolen base.  Luis Valbuena, David DeJesus, and Cody Ransom all hit home runs in this one, Valbuena’s home run was a two-run shot, while DeJesus and Ransom each had solo homers.

On The Mound – Not a lot of success on the mound in this one and it started with Edwin Jackson who was torched.  Jackson went 4.2 innings giving up eight runs on eleven hits while walking two and striking out six, his ERA ballooned to 6.27 for the season.  Kameron Loe was okay in relief going 1.1 innings giving up one run on two hits while striking out two.  Hector Rondon didn’t fare too well out of the pen going two innings giving up four runs on four hits while walking one.  Shawn Camp was the only pitcher to escape unscathed in this one as he worked a scoreless inning.

Up Next – Game three of the series, and the Cubs will face a familiar face in Andrew Cashner.  The Cubs will counter with Scott Feldman at 7:05 PM CST.  Editors note:  Congrats Blackhawks on winning game one!  Go Chicago sports.

Cubs 4-30 box

Game Highlights:

Valbuena’s two-run homer
Castro’s two-run shot
David DeJesus’ reviewed home run

Thanks for reading,
– George