No fake rally today boys and girls as the Cubs finally showed some life and came through with a successful rally, no, really! The Cubs were being owned by Johnny Cueto all day and thanks to some questionable behavior from Cueto, the Cubs woke up. Now, I’m not going to get into the problem with waiting to be woke up by the opponent versus being ready at first pitch right now, the point is Cueto woke the Cubs up, and paid for it. Trailing 4-0, the Cubs got one run back in the seventh, and scored three times in the eighth inning, the big blow was an Alfonso Soriano two-run homer to tie the game at four, all the damage was done with two outs. The Cubs went on top for good in then tenth inning as Welington Castillo‘s two out double scored Scott Hairston, and Kevin Gregg shut the door in the bottom half. The bullpen was outstanding in this one, as they worked a combined 5.2 scoreless innings giving up only one hit after Matt Garza left after four.
PICTURE OF THE GAME
Maybe it was because it was getaway day, maybe it was the hour and forty-seven minute rain delay, but the Cubs were seemingly ready to get out of Pittsburgh as fast as possible in this one. The Pirates jumped all over Edwin Jackson early as they scored twice in each of the first two innings, and that was plenty to silence the already quiet Cubs. To the Cubs credit, they shut the Pirates down the rest of the way but once again couldn’t find enough offense. The Cubs were able to score once in the fourth and once in the seventh, but they couldn’t string together a rally, not even a fake one. For the series, the Cubs only scored six times and walk away with three straight losses. Not a great start to an eight game road trip as the Cubs now head to Cincinnati for a three game weekend series, this trip could end up disastrous.
At The Plate – The Cubs could only manage seven hits in this one, and were 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position, so not a lot of chances all day. David DeJesus was back in the starting lineup and was 1-for-4 with a double, his thirteenth of the season. Starlin Castro was 2-for-4 with two singles in the loss to get his average back up to .270 on the season. Alfonso Soriano, Darwin Barney were the only other Cubs in the starting lineup to get hits, Scott Hairston and Ryan Sweeney added hits off the bench.
On The Mound – Edwin Jackson had a rough go of it, then the rains game to end is day. Jackson worked three innings giving up four runs on six hits while walking one and striking out six, his record fell to 1-7 on the season. The Cubs pen was outstanding in this one, go figure. They worked a combined five scoreless innings giving up three hits while walking two and striking out five. Rafael Dolis, Carlos Villanueva, Carlos Marmol, and Kyuji Fujikawa were the ones that did the stellar work.
Up Next – The Cubs travel to Cincinnati to take on the Reds this weekend, another stiff test. Series preview coming up shortly.
Just when you think that the Cubs have lost every way possible they go and gives us another disaster. At this point it seems as though the only thing that is holding the Cubs back, is the Cubs themselves. Travis Wood was outstanding in this one, as he has been so often this year, and yet again, somehow, the Cubs found a way to lose. After taking a late 2-0 lead on a clutch Scott Hairston home run the wheels fell of in the eighth. With two outs and two guys on it looked like the Cubs were going to get out of it, then the wind took over. Yonder Alonso, who had the day off until the eighth inning, hit a fly ball to right field, it turned into more of a pop up in short right field because of the wind. Julio Borbon, who made a spectacular catch to retire the previous batter charged in and called off Barney, then flat-out missed the ball, that allowed the Padres to score and make it 2-1, and extended the inning. That marked the end of the day for Wood, but not the end of the misery. Shawn Camp came in and Welington Castillo completed boxed the first pitch from Camp to allow the game tying run to score, not only was it a passed ball on Castillo, but he completely dogged it while “chasing” the ball down. The Padres runner didn’t break right away, and if Castillo hustles they have a great chance to get him at the plate, he didn’t, and when the dust finally settled the Padres led 4-2 and the Cubs were done. Yet again, a series the Cubs should have won, ends in a split, so very frustrating.
At The Plate – The familiar issues were there once again for the Cubs as they tallied nine hits in this one but could only score twice as they were o-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Scott Hairston had the big blow for the Cubs, a two run homer in the seventh that looked like it would be the difference. Hairston finished the day going 1-for-3 with two RBI’s, said home run, and a run scored. Welington Castillo at least had a solid day at the plate going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
On The Mound – For the second straight game the Cubs starting pitching was the story, or should have been the story as Travis Wood was brilliant. Wood carried a perfect game through four and two-thirds, giving up a hit to Kyle Blanks with two outs in the fifth. Wood ended up going 7.2 innings giving up three runs on four hits while walking one and striking out three, and was tagged with the loss, mind numbing. Shawn Camp was charged with an earned run, and didn’t retire anyone as he walked the only batter he faced. James Russell didn’t have it today either as he gave up the difference making hit in two-thirds of an inning. Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless ninth inning, he hit a batter, and gave up a hit, but kept the Padres off the scoreboard.
Up Next – The Cubs welcome the Reds to Wrigley for a three game weekend set. Carlos Villanueva will get the ball for the Cubs in game one and the Reds will counter with Mike Leake, first pitch scheduled at 1:20 PM CST, weather permitting.
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One day after the Cubs teased us all with the possibility of a thrilling comeback they actually delivered. Trailing 3-0 early because of mostly defensive miscues the Cubs pitching shut the door and for the first time all year the offense sprung to life when the team needed it the most. After inching closer on RBI ground outs from Rizzo in the 5th and Castro in the 7th the Cubs found a new level of clutch tying the game in the seventh then breaking it open in the eighth inning. The last two games the Cubs have shown some fight with two comebacks, well one and a half, and at this point that’s all you can ask for, a team that fights.
At The Plate – Finally some production from the top of the order, after two listless at bats David DeJesus broke out. DeJesus was 3-for-5 with a double, two RBI’s, and two runs scored. Anthony Rizzo showed a much better approach tonight as he went 1-for-2 with a huge game tying single off of lefty Michael Gonzalez (previously 0-for-6 vs LHP), he also had two walks, and two RBI’s. Scott Hairston registered the game winning RBI with a sac fly in the eighth inning to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead.
On The Mound – Another outstanding effort from Travis Wood who could have easily mailed it in after a rough second inning in which his defense let him down. Wood ended up going 6.1 innings giving up three runs, two earned, on seven hits while walking three and striking out six. Hector Rondon continued his spotless work out of the bullpen as he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up nothing. Carlos Marmol entered the game in eighth, and I’m guessing I wasn’t the only one holding my breath. Marmol was effective, he worked one inning giving up a triple and the was it, he was bailed out by a spectacular play by Castro to end the eighth and keep the game tied at three. Marmol ended up getting the win as Kyuji Fujikawa earned the save, Kyuji worked the ninth giving up one hit and striking out two to earn his second save of the season.
Up Next – The rubber game of the series as Scott Feldman makes his Wrigley Field debut against Brewers newcomer Kyle Lohse. The weather is supposed to be craptastic, we’ll see if this one gets in, scheduled first pitch is 7:05 PM CST.
Stat Of The Night – David DeJesus had two hits on the season coming into this one, he had three hits tonight.
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More of the same from the Cubs offense tonight in Atlanta as they could only manage five hits and one run in a 4-1 loss. Sure Mike Minor was pounding the zone, but Cubs hitters made things way too easy on Braves pitching by having way too many aggressive at bats. The Cubs have two losses now, both with the “lefty lineup” on display, meaning DeJesus and Schierholtz on the bench. Not saying that they would have made a difference, but the Cubs always seem to struggle against lefties. Scott Feldman was all over the place, but battled, the result was being over 100 pitches and out the game before the end of the fifth inning. It’s not the end of the World, the Cubs are 2-2 which is probably a fair record at this point, if not better than it should be given the offensive struggles.
At The Plate – Another night, another low number in the hit column for the Cubs. Alfonso Soriano, Scott Hairston, Welington Castillo, and Alberto Gonzalez were all 1-for-3. Hairston provided the only offense of the night with a solo home run in the fifth inning off of Minor.
On The Mound – Scott Feldman made his Cubs debut and really never settled into a groove. For the most part he was able to pitch around trouble but couldn’t get out of the 5th. Feldman went 4.2 innings giving up four runs on five hits while walking four and striking out one. The bright spot was the bullpen, Michael Bowden and Hector Rondon shut the door over the last 2.1 innings but it was to no avail.
Up Next – Carlos Villanueva will make his Cubs debut opposite Julio Teheran at 6:00 PM CST. The Cubs will have their hands full again as Teheran is a high-class talent that will give them fits if they aren’t patient.
Stat Of The Night – The Cubs have 16 hits in the first four games of the season.
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