About Last Night (Cubs Highlights)

Rizzo

Another night, and another close game, what else is new.  Jon Lester turned in his best start of 2015, his only issue was Billy Hamilton who reached base twice, stole three bases, and scored twice.  Other than that, Lester was brilliant as he struck out ten in his six innings of work.  The Cubs were paced offensively by an Anthony Rizzo two run dinger, and a huge game tying solo shot by Chris Coghlan in the seventh.  After watching Jason Motte get out of bases loaded trouble in the bottom of the tenth, Jonathan Herrera came up with a big hit in the eleventh.  Herrera lined a base hit to right which scored Rizzo, got Bryant to third, and Herrera took second on the throw.  Both of those guys scored on a bases loaded David Ross double which put this one out of reach.

Rizzo’s two run blast.

Addison Russell with a web gem.

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Cubs @ Reds – Series Preview (April 24 – April 26, 2015)

Series Preview ROAD Reds

The Cubs head to Cincinnati to continue their seven game road trip, and they have a sour taste in their mouth.  Although a four game series split in Pittsburgh is all you can ask for, the Cubs feel that they should have won the series.  While they should have closed that one out yesterday, they probably should have lost game two, so I’ll call it even.  The Cubs bullpen is reeling however, and they will need some deep starts from their best pitchers in this series.  The Reds come into this series feeling pretty good about themselves as they took three out of four against a crapshow of a Milwaukee team, and sit just a half game behind the Cubs for second place in the Central.

Broadcast Information:

  • Friday, April 24, 2015 – 6:10 PM CST – CSN Chicago
  • Saturday, April 25, 2015 – 12:10 PM CST – ABC 7 Chicago
  • Sunday, April 26, 2015 – 12:10 PM CST – WGN TV

Pitching Matchups:

Who is Hot:

  • Reds:  Zack Cozart is out of his mind right now, he’s putting up almost impossible numbers over his last seven games.  Cozart is hitting .393 (11-for-25) with a double, FOUR dingers, and seven RBI’s, wut?
  • Cubs:  After a bumpy start, Starlin Castro has been scorching hot.  In his last seven games Castro is hitting .387 (12-for-31) with one homer, and seven RBI’s, looks like a middle of the order guy.

Who is Not:

  • Reds:  It appears that Marlon Byrd is regressing to meet the levels of his Cubs career.  Over his last six games he is hitting .095 (2-for-21) with one home run, and eight strikeouts.
  • Cubs:  The magic that Chris Coghlan had at the beginning of the season seems to be fleeting.  In his last seven games he is hitting .150 (3-for-20) with one RBI, one walk, and seven strikeouts.

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Kyle Schwarber Destroys Another Baseball (VIDEO)

I can’t stop giggling at the sound the ball makes off his bat.  I hope you enjoy watching Kyle Schwarber videos as much as I do, boom!

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Riding the Bus: April 23, 2015 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

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THURSDAY • APRIL 23, 2015

Iowa Cubs 4-23 Final

Full Box Score

This one was over before the fans could even get into their seats as New Orleans scored six times in the first en route to a 9-2 victory.

At the Plate:

  • Arismendy Alcantara was 1-for-4 with a run scored, that is his first AAA hit this year, hopefully that gets him going.
  • Chris Valaika supplied the only offense, he was 1-for-3 with a diner, two RBI’s, a walk, and a run scored.
  • Christian Villanueva made a couple of costly mistakes in the field (2 errors), and was 1-for-4.
  • Taylor Teagarden, and Taylor Davis each had one walk, and one hit in the loss.

On the Mound:

  • Jeffry Antigua got the start, and wasn’t so great, he worked 3.2 innings, giving up nine runs, four earned, on seven hits while walking four, and striking out two.
  • Andres Santiago did a solid job in relief, he worked 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up three hits while walking two, and striking out two.
  • Michael Wagner, and Armando Rivero each worked a scoreless inning in garbage time.

Myrtle Beach 4-23 Final

Full Box Score

It was all Daury Torrez in this one as the Pelicans starter was outstanding in shutting down Winston-Salem.  The Pelicans built a 6-0 lead by the fourth inning, and it was smooth sailing the rest of the way as Myrtle Beach improved to 9-4 on the season.

At the Plate:

  • Jacob Hannemann had quite the day from the lead-off spot, he was 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI, a stolen base, and two runs scored.
  • Billy McKinney has been on a roll of late, he was 2-for-4 tonight, and is now hitting .325 on the season.
  • Jeimer Candelario had a solid game, he was 1-for-3 with a walk, and a run scored.
  • Ben Carhart provided some production, he was 1-for-3 with a double, two RBI’s, a walk, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Daury Torrez got the start and the win tonight, he was outstanding.  Torrez worked seven scoreless innings, giving up four hits while striking out one.
  • Both Michael Heesch, and Jasvir Rakkar tossed a scoreless inning out of the bullpen.

South Bend 4-23 Final

Full Box Score

 The South Bend Cubs have had issues with blowing leads early in the season, but they figured out a way to resolve that, slaughter their opponent.  After scoring sixteen times last night, the Cubs tallied ten times tonight and only allowed Great Lakes to record four hits in the win.

At the Plate:

  • Trey Martin was in the middle of things again, he was 2-for-5 with two runs scored.
  • Chesny Young continued his hot start, he was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, and a run scored.
  • Gioskar Amaya has a solid night, he was 1-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored.
  • Cael Brockmeyer provided some production, he was 1-for-4 with a double, two RBI’s, a walk, and two runs scored.
  • Gleyber Torres had another impressive game, he was 2-for-3 with two stolen bases, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Yasiel Balaguert is getting back into games, and was solid tonight, he went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, three RBI’s, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Erick Leal got the start, and was stellar, he worked five scoreless innings, giving up three hits while walking one, and striking out six.
  • Tyler Ihrig might have been better, he tossed four scoreless innings to pick up his first save of the year.  Ihrig only surrendered one hit, didn’t walk anyone, and struck out five.

Tennessee Smokies 4-23 Final

Full Box Score

After falling behind early 1-o, the Smokies outscored Jackson 9-1 the rest of the way en route to a 9-2 victory.  A much needed victory for the Smokies as the last two nights they watch late inning leads disappear in horrible fashion.

At the Plate:

  • Kyle Schwarber had a monster game, he went 3-for-6 with his second dinger of the season, two RBI’s, and two runs scored.
  • Dan Vogelbach was 1-for-3 with a double, three walks(!), and two runs scored.
  • Willson Contreras had a solid game, he was 2-for-3 with two doubles, an RBI, two walks, and two runs scored.
  • Ryan Dent was great, he went 3-for-4 with three RBI’s.

On the Mound:

  • Felix Pena got the start and picked up his second win of the season, he worked 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits while walking two, and striking out eight.
  • Matt Brazis was solid, he worked a scoreless inning, giving up one hit while walking two, and striking out one.
  • P.J. Francescon, and Michael Jensen each had a scoreless appearance out of the pen.

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Chris Denorfia Makes a Stupid Good Catch (VIDEO)

Thanks again to Matt Clapp for being the VINE master, Chris Denorfia is doing some things this morning with the glove, WOW.

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Riding the Bus: April 22, 2015 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

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WEDNESDAY • APRIL 22, 2015

Iowa Cubs 4-22 Final

Full Box Score

The Iowa Cubs are struggling a bit since the departure of Kris Bryant, today was no different as they blew a late 3-2 lead en route to a 6-3 defeat.

At the Plate:

  • Jonathan Mota has had a hot start to 2015, he was 2-for-4 with an RBI, he’s now hitting .355 on the season.
  • Junior Lake was solid, he was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and an RBI.
  • John Andreoli was all over the bases, he was 1-for-2 with a double, two walks, a stolen base, and a run scored.
  • Taylor Davis, and Matt Szczur each had one hit in the loss this afternoon.

On the Mound:

  • Tsuyoshi Wada is working his way back from injury, he tossed 5.1 innings, giving up two runs on six hits while walking four, and striking out five.
  • Hunter Cervenka struggled in his return to AAA, he worked 1.2 innings, giving up three runs on three hits while walking four, and striking out three.
  • Joe Ortiz struggled with his command, he worked two innings, giving up one run on one hit while walking two, and striking out one.

Myrtle Beach 4-22 Final

Full Box Score

Things got off to a promising start for Myrtle Beach as they pushed across a run in the first, but that was it as they fell to Winston-Salem 4-1.

At the Plate:

  • Mark Zagunis had a decent day, he went 1-for-3 with a walk, and yet another outfield assist.
  • Wes Darvill had the best day, and he didn’t even start, he went 3-for-3 with a double, and a stolen base.
  • Billy McKinney, and Victor Caratini each had one hit in the loss.

On the Mound:

  • Jonathan Martinez got the start, and the loss today as be struggled with finding the plate.  Martinez worked five innings, giving up three runs on five hits while walking four (see?), and striking out one.
  • Josh Conway was knocked around a bit, he worked 1.1 innings, giving up one run on two hits while walking two.
  • Gerardo Concepcion was outstanding again today, he worked 1.2 scoreless innings, he did not surrender a hit, and struck out two.

South Bend 4-22 Final

Full Box Score

There really isn’t much to say about this one, everything went right for South Bend as they destroyed Great Lakes 16-3.  The Cubs pounded out twenty hits, and we the beneficiary of five errors in the win.

At the Plate (just going to list them):

  • Trey Martin went 2-for-6 with a double, and two runs scored.
  • Chesny Young was 3-for-3 with a stolen base, and four runs scored.
  • Gioskar Amaya went 1-for-3 with two walks, an RBI, and three runs scored.
  • Cael Brockmeyer was 3-for-4 with a walk, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Justin Marra was 1-for-1 with his second dinger, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Jesse Hodges went 2-for-6 with a double, three RBI’s, and two runs scored.
  • Gleyber Torres was 2-for-5 with two RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Charcer Burks was 2-for-3 with two walks, and a run scored.
  • Rashad Crawford went 2-for-5 with two RBI’s.

On the Mound:

  • Jeremy Null didn’t much help at all in this one, he worked six scoreless innings, giving up three hits, surrendering no walks, and striking out four.
  • Tommy Thorpe picked up the save, yes, a save.  He worked three innings giving up three runs, one earned, on five hits while walking one, and striking out one.

Tennessee Smokies 4-22 Final

Full Box Score

Another monster blow out tonight, this time it was the Smokies going all sorts of crazy on the Jackson Generals.  After breaking out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first, the Smokies gave all four of them back to tie the game up.  It was all Smokies, scoring eight runs over the next eight innings en route to a 13-4 win.

At the Plate:

  • Pin-Chieh Chen went 3-for-4, with a double, two walks, two runs scored.
  • Albert Almora was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and a two runs scored.
  • Kyle Schwarber went 4-for-6 with an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Dan Vogelbach was 2-for-5 with a double, a dinger, a walk, five RBI’s, and two runs scored.
  • Stephen Bruno was 2-for-5 with a walk, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Elliot Soto went 3-for-4 with a walk, a double, two RBI’s, and two runs scored.
  • Ryan Dent wasnt 2-for-5 with a dinger, an RBI, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Ivan Pineyro got the start, and picked up the win, he tossed 5.2 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits while striking out six.
  • Zach Cates was solid tonight, he worked 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit while walking one, and striking out three.
  • Starling Peralta worked 1.2 scoreless innings while striking out three.

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Castro Full of Confidence With The Glove (VIDEO)

Castro Log Off 2

There is no denying that Starlin Castro has struggled defensively since being summoned to the majors five years ago.  But there is also no denying that he has improved with the glove every year since, and in his sixth major league season he is playing at an elite level, get over it.  Here are some of his best plays this season.

Fielding %

2010 – .950
2011 – .961
2012 – .964
2013 – .967
2014 – .973
2015 – .985

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Cubs Rally to Win a Wild One

Cubs Final 4-21

Full Box Score

It’s noticeable, the Cubs don’t quit.  After blowing a 4-2 lead in the sixth, and falling behind 8-5 in the 7th, the Cubs charged back, scoring four times over the final two innings to win 9-8.  Trailing 8-6 in the ninth, the Cubs loaded the bases with no outs and Starlin Castro came through with his third hit of the evening to tie things up.  Kris Bryant scored on a Welington Castillo ground out, and Hector Rondon shut the door, what an absolutely outstanding victory.  With the win the Cubs have now won two games after trailing heading into the ninth, you know how many times that happened last year?  Zero.  Welcome to Chicago Cubs baseball, you should probably start watching.

At the Plate:

  • Anthony Rizzo is an on base machine, he was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, and he was hit by another pitch.
  • Jorge Soler finished strong in this 0ne, he was 2-for-5 with a double, and two runs scored.
  • Kris Bryant, just wow, he was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, two RBI’s, and one run scored.
  • Starlin Castro is shutting a lot of people up, he was 3-for-5 with a dinger, four RBI’s, and a run scored.  He’s hitting .352 on the season.
  • Welington Castillo got a start tonight, and he made it count, he was 2-for-5 with a homer, double, two RBI’s, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Travis Wood got the start tonight, and was decent, he worked five innings, giving up three runs on four hits while walking two, and striking out five.
  • Brian Schlitter continued his rough 2015, he worked two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on three hits while walking one.
  • Phil Coke got out of Schlitter’s trouble, he retired the last batter of the sixth.
  • Jason Motte struggled tonight, he worked one inning, giving up three runs on two hits while walking one.
  • Edwin Jackson was perfect tonight, and he picked up the win, he worked a scoreless inning while striking out one.
  • Hector Rondon was just disgusting tonight, he worked a scoreless ninth for his third save of the season.

Kris Bryant with an RBI double.

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Cubs GameDay – April 21, 2015 (Lineups, Broadcast Info, Weather)

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First pitch:  6:05 PM CST
TV:  WGN TV
Radio:  WBBM Newsradio 780
Weather:  56 degrees, cloudy.  10% of rain

Cubs Lineup:

1. Fowler – CF
2. Rizzo – 1B
3. Soler – RF
4. Bryant – 3B
5. Castro – SS
6. Denorfia – LF
7. Castillo – C
8. Wood – SP
9. Russell – 2B    (LOUD NOISES!)

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We Have Lift Off, VOGELBOMB! (VIDEO)

Dan Vogelbach was the minor league player of the week last week, he should have been as he has been on a torrid pace to open the season.  Last night he belted his first dinger of the season, off a lefty as well.

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