Finally some home baseball! There really is nothing like the home opener at Wrigley, I love watching baseball there, on TV or in person. The Cubs welcome the banged up Brewers to town for a three game set. The Cubs need to find some hits and more importantly runs, both have been at a premium so far this season. The Brewers are struggling as well, I mentioned they were banged up, they are also losing, five straight in fact.
Cubs suffered a three game sweep at the hands of the Braves in Atlanta
The Brewers were swept in a three game series by the D-Backs at home
Game Times and Broadcast Information:
- Monday, April 8, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on WGN TV
- Tuesday, April 9, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on WGN TV
- Wednesday, April 10, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on CSN+ (click to find your channel)
Starting Pitchers Scheduled:
Game One – Edwin Jackson (0-1, 3.60 ERA)
– Career vs. Milwaukee (7 GS) (3-2, 3.06 ERA)
Game Two – Travis Wood (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
– Career vs. Milwaukee (7 appearances, 6 GS) (3-2, 3.40 ERA)
Game Three – Scott Feldman (0-1, 7.71 ERA)
– Career vs. Milwaukee (1 GS) (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Game One – Marco Estrada (0-0, 7.20)
– Career vs. Cubs (8 appearances, 3 GS) (2-0, 3.86 ERA)
Game Two – Wily Peralta (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
– Career vs. Cubs (First appearance)
Game Three – Kyle Lohse (0-0, 1.50 ERA)
– Career vs. Cubs (16 GS) (4-4, 5.17 ERA)
Who’s Hot / Who’s Not:
The Cubs are coming off a tough series in Atlanta where they should have had at least one win, maybe two. Unfortunately the bats remained cold as they rank 29th in the Majors in average, on base percentage, runs, and slugging percentage. The Cubs best hitter right now is Welington Castillo, “beef” is hitting .357 (5-for-14) on the season. There are a number of Cubs hitters struggling as I mentioned, Valbuena, DeJesus, and Soriano would have to be at the top of that list. The pitching on the other hand has been outstanding, sans Carlos Marmol of course. The Cubs have a team ERA of 3.75 which is 14th best in the Majors, and that includes the last two games where they gave up a total of eleven run.
To say the Brewers are banged up might be an understatement. Ryan Braun has missed the last three games, and might miss the series opener today, Jean Segura is hobbled, and Aramis Ramirez is out of the lineup indefinitely, and Corey Hart hasn’t played a game yet. The Brewers have been scoring runs, and hitting as of late, but three of the guys that I mentioned as being hurt are their top hitters so far. Rickie Weeks is having a bounce back year so far as he is hitting .333 on the season so far. Norichika Aoki has been on fire as well as he is hitting .370 (10-for-27) in the early going. Pitching is an issue for the Brewers as they have a team ERA of 5.68 “good” for 28th in the Majors.
I think the Cubs get the bats going this week at Wrigley, finally feeling comfortable being at home. The Cubs take two out of three from the Brewers this week, winning the first and third game of the series.
Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
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 lead 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.
Stat Of The Night – Coming into the night the Cubs had 16 hits on the season, they registered 13 tonight.
Thanks for reading,
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.
Thanks for reading,
It was rather obvious early, the Cubs offense was awfully disinterested in this one. Wandy Rodriguez and the cold temperatures combined to keep the Cubs at bay as they could only manage two hits all night. The Cubs opportunity came in the seventh inning when they put the first two on, and then loaded the bases with one out only to come up empty. It really was a story of one inning both ways tonight for the Cubs as Edwin Jackson was decent except for the fourth inning. Jackson struggled with his command in the fourth and gave up two runs in the frame which was more than enough for the Pirates in this one.
At The Plate – How many ways can I say bad? I guess I’ll just leave it at that, the Cubs approach and the subsequent results or lack there of left a lot to be desired. Alfonso Soriano and Alberto Gonzalez were the only Cubs to register hits in this one, both singles.
On The Mound – Edwin Jackson was really good early, then got into deep count after deep count and had to exit after five innings of work. Jackson gave up two runs on three hits while walking one and striking out five in his Cubs debut. Hector Rondon made his Major League debut, tossing a scoreless inning while walking two, and striking out two. Michael Bowden gave up one run in his inning of work on two hits. Shawn Camp and Hasanori Takahashi each had scoreless outings.
Stat Of The Night – Here I will feature a stat, either from the game, or a trend, could be good, or bad, or alarming. Tonight it’s alarming, the Cubs are 0-for-13 as a team with RISP, yikes.
The Cubs had two hits, there are no highlights worth watching, I promise.
Thanks for reading,
Cold weather usually favors the pitchers, while it was cold, I think both guys didn’t need any help today. Jeff Samardzija and A.J. Burnett had themselves a nice tidy pitching duel today in the opener with Samardzija getting the better of the tattooed righty while spinning a masterpiece. The Cubs jumped out in front early on a loud, and long home run from Anthony Rizzo, and that was all the Cubs needed as Shark shut the door the whole day. The Cubs had to endure the customary Marmol implosion in the ninth inning, but Sveum showed a quick hook in getting Marmol out-of-the-way so Russell and Fujikawa could finish off the victory.
At The Plate – The Cubs only managed six hits on the day, but they were productive. Starlin Castro was 2-for-4 with two singles, a stolen base, and one run scored. As I mentioned, Anthony Rizzo had the big blow, Rizzo ended the day 1-for-4 with that massive two-run homer in the first. Nate Schierholtz enjoyed a solid Cubs debut as he was 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored. Welington Castillo rounded out the offense today going 2-for-4 with two opposite field doubles, and an RBI.
On The Mound – It was the Jeff Samardzija show from start to almost finish. Shark went eight dominant innings giving up no runs on two hits while walking one and striking out nine Pirates. He turned things over to Marmol in the ninth, and things got sketchy. Marmol was only able to retire one hitter in the ninth, he hit McCutchen and gave up one hit, and a run as well. James Russell took over and retired the only hitter he faced, then the new Cubs import Kyuji Fujikawa retired the only man he faced, on two pitches, two earn his first Major League save.
Up Next – The Cubs have tomorrow off, which is the worst after a winning opening day, now we have to wait till Wednesday to watch them play again. That is when Edwin Jackson will make his Cubs debut against Wandy Rodriguez at 6:05 PM CST.
Thanks for reading,
Chris Rusin was outstanding Thursday afternoon, which is nothing new this Spring as he has been nothing short of brilliant. The lefty is slated to start the 2013 season in the Iowa rotation, and if he has continued success like this don’t be surprised if he is back at Wrigley sooner than later, either starting or coming out of the pen.
Brent Lillibridge made a triumphant return to the lineup going 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. Welington Castillo got the start behind the plate and was 1-for-2 with a triple, two RBI’s and a run scored. Luis Valbuena (1), Brian Bogusevic (2), Dave Sappelt (1), and Darnell McDonald (1) had the rest of the runs knocked in.
As I mentioned, Chris Rusin was awesome. Rusin tossed five nearly perfect innings, giving up no runs on one hit while walking one, and striking out one. Raley improved to 2-0 on the Spring with a 0.69 ERA, he has worked thirteen innings this spring and has given up one run. Drew Carpenter, Jaye Chapman, and Blake Parker all had scoreless appearances in the victory.
Split squad action tomorrow as half the team will face the White Sox on the road, and the other half will face off against Team Japan. Travis Wood will make the start against Team Japan, and Scott Feldman will work against the White Sox.
Thanks for reading,
The Cubs used the long ball early and often against Chad Billingsley and the Dodgers staff to build a 6-2 lead through three innings. Nate Schierholtz hit a solo shot in the first, and then Welington Castillo went back to back with Darnell McDonald in the third inning. McDonald padded the RBI numbers with a three run homer, a no doubter. Unfortunately that was about it for the Cubs offense as they couldn’t scratch across another run the rest of the afternoon. Carlos Villanueva made his Cubs debut and it could have been better as he struggled with his command. Villanueva couldn’t make in through the first inning as he walked two guys, and gave up two runs in two-thirds of an inning. Blake Parker and Barret Loux had solid outings, each turning in a scoreless effort. Robert Whitenack struggled today, giving up three runs, while not allowing a hit, yes he struggled with command as well, walking two in two-thirds of an inning. The news of the day came from Dontrelle Willis, not because he made his debut, but because he only threw seven pitches before leaving with what is being described as shoulder stiffness, he took the loss.
Thanks for reading,