Another frustrating loss, as I mentioned in the series preview the Cubs had an opportunity to take another step forward with a series win, instead they take a step back, as they have all year. Travis Wood was brilliant again, but the Cubs wasted multiple opportunities until the fifth inning when Wood took things into his own hands. With the game scoreless and the Cubs threatening to waste another lead-off double Travis Wood launched a two run homer out on to Waveland to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead. After the Mets got one run back in the sixth the Cubs answered right back in the bottom half to regain their two run lead. That’s when things unraveled as Wood gave up a two-out, two-run homer to Juan Lagares, yeah, the noted home run hitter, Juan Lagares. It was Lagares first home run of his career and it tied the game at three and seemingly took all the fight out of the Cubs. Kyuji Fujikawa quickly gave the Mets the lead in the eight giving up a lead-off homer to Daniel Murphy and just like that a series win turned into a series loss. If this loss doesn’t sum up 2013 I don’t know what does, a quality start wasted, a bunch of wasted opportunities offensively, and the bullpen took the loss, yep, your 2013 Chicago Cubs, so frustrating.
At The Plate - The Cubs problems with runners in scoring position came back to bite them again in this one as they were 1-for-10, yuck. David DeJesus was 2-for-4 from the lead-off spot with a double, he’s now hitting .294 on the season. Ryan Sweeney got the start in left for Soriano and produced just about as well as Soriano has. Sweeney was 2-for-3 with a double, his first home run of the season, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored. Welington Castillo was 2-for-4 with his tenth double of the season and a run scored. Travis Wood did all he could to get the win today, he was 1-for-2 with his first home run of the season with two RBI’s and a run scored.
On The Mound - Travis Wood delivered with his ninth straight quality start, and didn’t factor in the decision, again. Wood worked seven innings giving up three runs on five hits while walking two and striking out three. Kyuji Fujikawa didn’t take long to record his first loss of the season, he worked one inning giving up one run on a solo shot to lead off the inning while striking out two. Carlos Marmol worked a scoreless ninth because it wasn’t a save situation giving up one hit while striking out two.
Up Next – The Cubs are off tomorrow then they open an eight game road trip starting with a three game set in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Matt Garza will make his first start in ten months for the Cubs, I’m sure he will be more than ready to go.
Many thought that Shawn Camp would be DFA’d when Garza returned, but it’s Michael Bowden who has been sent packing. I suppose this makes sense as Dale Sveum loves Camp despite Camp’s horrible 2013 campaign and recently gave him a vote of confidence signaling that the Cubs were going to be patient with him. Based on performance, the guy who should be going is Camp because Bowden has at least shown the ability to get guys out, while Camp hasn’t. Now if Camp can regain his 2012 form then the Cubs pen becomes something to reckon with, but if he continues to flounder things could get messy, even more than now. I’ll keep you posted on what happens to Bowden, wouldn’t be surprised to see him end up elsewhere.
At The Plate – The losing ways continue for the Iowa Cubs and they can blame themselves as they made four errors in the loss. Logan Watkins was 1-for-4 with his seventh double of the season, and a run scored, he also made his fourth error of the season. Ian Stewart got a rare start and made it count going 2-for-4 with a double, and a run scored. Donnie Murphy was 2-for-3 with an RBI in the loss.
On The Mound – Chris Rusin got the start and didn’t help himself as he made on of the errors, but he battled. Rusin went 6.2 innings giving up four runs, three earned, on five hits while walking two and striking out three. Zach Putnam worked out of Rusin’s trouble in the seventh getting the final out on strikeout. Rafael Dolis worked a scoreless inning in relief giving up two hits while striking out one. Blake Parker worked a scoreless inning as well giving up on hit while walking one and striking out one.
At The Plate – The Smokies are on a roll again, with the win they are now three game above .500 for the season. Matt Szczur shows up in every recap, he was 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and two runs scored, he is now hitting .304 on the season. Ronald Torreyes was 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Arismendy Alcantara was all over the scoresheet in this one, he was 3-for-4 with his fifth home run of the season, two doubles, two RBI’s, and a run scored, he also made his fourteenth error of the season. Anthony Giansanti also had a big day, and has been awesome since he was promoted to Tennessee, he was 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, an RBI, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .353 on the season.
On The Mound – Dallas Beeler got the start and his fourth win of the season as he was solid. Beeler went six innings giving up three runs, two earned, on four hits while walking two and striking out six. Trey McNutt got back on track working one scoreless inning giving up one hit while striking out two. Kevin Rhoderick continues to struggle, he worked one inning giving up one run on two hits while walking one and striking out one. Brian Schlitter worked the ninth for his second save of the season, he went one inning giving up one run, unearned, on two hits while striking out one.
At The Plate – Nice response the last few days from Daytona as the bats have woke up in a big way, fifteen more hits today in the victory. The D-Cubs were only 5-for-20 with runners in scoring position in this one, but having twenty chances is rather impressive. Zeke DeVoss has been struggling but had a solid game going 2-for-5 with two singles, he was picked off as well. Javier Baez had another solid game going 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Jorge Soler picked up right where he left off from yesterday, he was 2-for-4 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored. Dustin Geiger also kept things rolling going 2-for-5 with yet another double, and a run scored. Ben Carhart supplied the power in this one going 1-for-5 with his first home run of the season, three RBI’s, and a run scored.
On The Mound - Zach Cates got the start and picked up his fourth win of the season going 5.2 innings giving up three runs on five hits while walking two and striking out one. David Cales was solid out of the pen going 2.1 innings giving up two runs, one earned, on three hits while walking one and striking out four. Hunter Cervenka was solid again working a scoreless ninth for his fourth save of the season.
At The Plate – Another solid game between the Cougars and the high-powered Kernels, this time Kane County got the best of them winning 4-0. Dan Vogelbach was 2-for-4 with his seventh double of the season, he’s now hitting .288 for the year. Rock Shoulders has been coming back down to Earth as of late, can’t really blame him, but was solid in this one going 2-for-4 with his ninth home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored. Oliver Zapata provided some surprising offense out of the nine spot going 3-for-4 with his third home run of the season, two RBI’s, and two runs scored.
On The Mound – Pierce Johnson was brilliant in this one as he shut down the prospect laden Kernels. Johnson went six scoreless innings giving up six hits while walking one and striking out nine to earn his second win of the season. Justin Amlung was solid out of the pen going two scoreless innings while walking two and striking out three. Jeffry Antigua closed the door in the ninth working a scoreless inning giving up on hit while striking out two.
What a beautiful day for baseball as the Cubs look to win their third straight series today. Travis Wood will get the ball for the Cubs and has been nothing short of brilliant this year, he will be opposed by Mets right hander Dillon Gee. First pitch scheduled for 1:20 PM CST on WGN, here are the lineups.
Welcome back Matt Garza. The long and winding road that started just before the trade deadline last year has finally reached its end. It’s a journey that is not lost on Garza, “I’m just excited, just happy that I don’t have to go rehab again. This actually means something. But I can’t wait. It’s been 10 months in the making. I’m excited to get back out there.” There has definitely been more ups than downs, but Garza finally appears healthy and will return to the mound for the Cubs on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. As it has been speculated by me and many others for the last week or so Carlos Villanueva has to give up his spot. Villanueva has been good for the Cubs, he will look to use his stuff out of the pen now, and should be given a decent shot given the struggles of Shawn Camp. Sveum respects how Villanueva handled it,
“He was very professional about it and understood,” manager Dale Sveum said. “We all know that he’s kind of been in this role, the swingman, so to speak. So he understands it. He accepts it. Very professional about the whole thing.
“He’s got the ability to pitch late in the game because of the repertoire he has, according to matchups. You’re not afraid to use him against left-handed hitters with his changeup and his ability to backdoor breaking balls and do things like that. He’s obviously built up to do a lot of things.
A roster move will have to be made to get Garza back on the active roster, obviously I will pass that along once it had been announced. This is great news as Garza should make the Cubs starting rotation just that much better, and it has already been well above average so far this season. I don’t know about you but I am anxiously awaiting Garza’s first throw to first base, should be exhilarating.
At The Plate – After battling back from an early 4-0 hole the Iowa Cubs found themselves leading heading into the late innings, that’s when things fell apart in 9-8 loss to Tucson. Hits were all over the place in this one as the Cubs pounded out eighteen hits, and scored eight runs, they left 11 men on base as well. Logan Watkins was 1-for-4 with a walk, his third home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored. Brett Jackson had a breakout game going 4-for-5 with a double, and a run, he’s now hitting .265 on the season. Josh Vitters had a solid game as well going 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Darnell McDonald, Brent Lillibridge, and J.C. Boscan each had two hits in the loss.
On The Mound – Guillermo Moscoso got the start for the Cubs, and pitched in and out of trouble having one costly inning. Moscoso went five innings giving up four runs, two earned, on nine hits while striking out eight. Esmailin Caridad was sub par to say the least, he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up three runs on four hits to take the loss. Casey Coleman was roughed up a bit as well, he worked 2.1 innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking one. Hisanori Takahashi worked a scoreless ninth inning to give the Cubs a shot to no avail.
At The Plate – The Smokies jumped on top of the Lookouts with four runs in the second and couldn’t add on the rest of the way, even still they were able to hang on for a 4-3 win. Matt Szczur continues to find ways get on base for the Smokies as their lead-off man, he was 2-for-5 in this one, and he is now hitting .294 on the season. Ronald Torreyes provided the production for the Smokies, he was 1-for-5 with two RBI’s in the win. Christian Villanueva had a huge game, he was 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI, and a run scored.
On The Mound – Kyle Hendricks has been so very good this year, and he was again in this one, he worked seven innings giving up three runs on six hits while walking one and striking out three to earn his third win of the season. Tony Zych did a solid job out of the pen going one scoreless inning while striking out one. Zach Rosscup was good as usual working a scoreless ninth inning for his first save of the season, he walked one and struck out the side.
At The Plate – Daytona owned game one, and it was nice to see them put together a team game and get a win given their recent struggles. As you will read, this day was owned by Jorge Soler and Dustin Geiger, maybe May 17 shall be known as Soler Geiger day moving forward. Soler was a monster in game one, he was 4-for-4 with his sixth home run of the season, and three runs scored. He scored three times because Dustin Geiger was hitting behind him, and he didn’t want Soler to have all the glory. Geiger was outstanding, he was also 4-for-4 with three doubles, a triple (slugging madness!), and four RBI’s. That was it, those two guys won the game for the D-Cubs.
On The Mound - Yeiper Castillo was all Daytona needed on the mound. He spun a gem, going the distance (7 innings for DH’s), he worked seven innings giving up one run on four hits while walking one and striking out two. He improved his record to 1-0 on the season, and lowered his ERA to 2.33, very impressive.
At The Plate – Daytona owned game one, and battled for a character win in game two to sweep the double-header. Javier Baez was 2-for-5 with a walk, a triple, and three runs scored, he also had three errors, bring his 2013 total to seventeen. Jorge Soler was a beast in game two as well, he went 3-for-6 with a double, and a run scored, he was 7-for-10 in the double-header and is now hitting .297 on the season. Back to the other hero of the day Dustin Geiger, he was 3-for-4 in game two with a double, two walks, an RBI, and two runs scored. He was 7-for-8 in the double-header with four doubles, and a triple, he is hitting .331 on the season. Taiwan Easterling was 2-for-6 with a triple, a double, and two RBI’s in the win.
On The Mound – Tough to have a second game of a double header go twelve innings, if not for the bullpen in game two the D-Cubs would have been in trouble, they came through big time. Eduardo Figueroa got the start and was roughed up, he worked three innings giving up four runs on four hits while walking two and striking out one. The bullpen took over and worked a combined nine scoreless innings giving up four hits while walking two and striking out six. Austin Reed worked two of those innings, walking one and striking out two. Sheldon McDonlad was outstanding working four innings giving up two hits while walking one and striking out one. Frank Del Valle worked the final three innings to earn his first win of the season, he gave up two hits while striking out three.
At The Plate - The Cougars fought hard in this one against the best team in the league only to fall short in twelve innings. Bijan Rademacher continues to hit, he was 3-for-5 with a double, and two runs scored, he is now hitting .350 on the season. Jeimer Candelario was 2-for-5 with a double, and a run scored, he also made his twelfth error of the season. Gioskar Amaya was 2-for-5 with two singles in the loss.
On The Mound – Dillon Maples had a solid outing, and again, finished the day healthy, which is the most important thing right now. Maples worked five innings giving up two runs on two hits while walking one and striking out five. Lendy Castillo took over and was solid as well, he worked five innings giving up on run on five hits while walking three and striking out four. Nathan Dorris struggled with his command, which is rare, he suffered the loss as a result. Dorris worked 1.1 innings giving up one run on two hits while walking two and striking out two.
Scott Feldman is pitching every bit like a man trying to prove himself to the rest of the league, and the Cubs are reaping the benefits. Feldman, who was signed to a one year deal in the off-season has been nothing short of brilliant, especially in his last five starts sporting a 4-0 record with a 1.28 ERA. Feldman got plenty of help from his offense in this one after it looked like it could be a day of missed opportunities again. After squandering a few chances early the Cubs broke through in the fourth inning as they scored four times, highlighted by a two-out, two-run double by Feldman, he does it all! The Cubs added one in the fifth on an Anthony Rizzo solo shot, and three in the eighth to put this one well out of reach. The Mets spoiled the shut out bid in the ninth inning, the Cubs still don’t have a shut out this year, but more importantly they got another victory, an 8-2 rout. Tomorrow brings an opportunity for the Cubs to win their third straight series, something that hasn’t been seen around these parts in a while.
At The Plate – An efficient, productive day at the plate for the Cubs as they pounded out eleven hits while scoring eight times. David DeJesus got things started at the top of the order going 1-for-4 with a walk, and two RBI’s, he’s now hitting .288 on the season. Anthony Rizzo had been locked in for a while now, he hasn’t struck out in thirty-four at bats and was 2-for-4 with his tenth home run of the season, an RBI, and a two runs scored. Nate Schierholtz had a solid day going 2-for-4 with his fifth home run of the season, an RBI, and two runs scored. The Cubs had three doubles in this one, giving them 97 for the season which is best in baseball.
On The Mound – Scott Feldman was outstanding again, he worked 6.2 scoreless innings giving up seven hits while walking one and striking out six. The win improved Feldman’s record to 4-3 on the season, coupled with a 2.19 ERA and wow, couldn’t ask for better. James Russell was solid out of the pen as usual, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 0.54 on the season. Hector Rondon struggled a bit, he worked one inning giving up two runs on two hits, including a two run homer.
Up Next - The rubber game of the series as the Cubs go for their third straight series win. The Cubs send Travis Wood to the mound, he’s been just as good as Feldman if not better. The Mets will counter with Dillon Gee, first pitch scheduled for 1:20 PM CST on WGN.
Another frustrating one run loss for the Cubs, just when you thought they might be starting to win these close games today happens. It was a stiff test as the Cubs were facing off against all everything Matt Harvey, and he was as good as advertised, well, after the first inning. After falling behind 1-0 on a David Wright home run in the first the Cubs answered right back with two runs in the bottom half to take a 2-1 lead. Edwin Jackson pitched right with Harvey for the whole game until Harvey got in his way, with the bat. That’s right, not only did Harvey get the win on the mound, but he got the game winning hit in the seventh inning. The Cubs still had a chance in this one, but a questionable send by third base coach David Bell took the Cubs out of the eighth inning. Bell has been fine all year, so I’m not going to pin this on him, but it hurts to have the game tying run cut down at the plate for the second out of the inning when it could have been first and third with one out with Castro and Rizzo coming to the plate.
At The Plate – The Cubs didn’t have much going against Harvey, but did have a very good first inning, and threatened late. The Cubs could only manage six hits on the day, but were 2-for-3 with runners in scoring position. Starlin Castro had a solid day going 2-for-4 with a run scored, he’s now hitting .287 on the season. Anthony Rizzo was 1-for-4 with a double, his twelfth of the season, and a run scored. Alfonso Soriano, David DeJesus, and Darwin Barney recorded the other hits in the game.
On The Mound – Edwin Jackson was solid, but ended up registering his sixth loss of the season. Jackson worked 6.2 innings giving up three runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out four. James Russell was solid out of the pen going 1.1 scoreless innings giving up one hit while striking out two. Kyuji Fujikawa was continues to string together good outings going one scoreless inning while striking out two.
The Cubs welcome the Mets to Wrigley for a three game set starting today at 1:20 PM CST on WGN TV. Edwin Jackson will look to build on probably his best start the last time out against the Nats, the Mets will counter with young phenom Matt Harvey who has been pretty much unhittable this season. Here is how both teams will line up, there are scattered thunderstorms in the forecast, hopefully those stay away.
The Cubs are coming into this series playing their best baseball of 2013, and maybe of the last three years. They have won two series in a row, both against contending teams in the Nationals, on the road, and the Rockies. The Mets on the other hand are floundering as they are 3-7 in their last ten games and have fallen to 15-23 on the season. Despite boasting one, if not the best young arm in baseball in Matt Harvey, the Mets pitching is what is doing them in. They come into this series with a team ERA of 4.50, which is twenty-sixth best in all of baseball. The Cubs hold the advantage here as they come into this series with a 3.72 team ERA which is good for twelfth in the Majors. If you break it down even further you can see that the Mets bullpen has been a real issue in the early going, they have a bullpen ERA of 4.85, which is twenty-eighth in baseball, that won’t help you win a lot of games. Slowly but surely the Cubs have improved offensively, they still aren’t a juggernaut but they are now twenty-third in baseball with 160 runs scored on the season. The Mets aren’t much better as they have scored 165 runs which is good for twentieth in baseball. The key to this series for the Cubs will be to get to the Mets pen as early as possible, not always an easy task but it would go a long way towards winning the series if they could exploit that weakness as they hold the starting pitching edge and should be able to limit the Mets offense. To recap, get an early lead, Cubs starters shut down the Mets lineup, and exploit the Mets pen, ta-da!
The Cubs took two out of three from the Rockies at Wrigley earlier this week.
The Mets lost three out of four to the Cardinals in St. Louis.
Game Times and Broadcast Information:
- Friday, May 17, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on WGN
- Saturday, May 18 2013 – 12:05 PM CST on WGN
- Sunday, May 19, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on WGN
Starting Pitchers Scheduled:
Game One – Edwin Jackson (1-5, 6.02)
- Career vs. Mets (4 GS) (1-1, 4.50)
Game Two – Scott Feldman (3-3, 2.53)
- Career vs. Mets (1 GS) (0-1, 10.80)
Game Three – Travis Wood (4-2, 2.03)
- Career vs. Mets (3 GS) (2-0, 2.55)
Game One – Matt Harvey (4-0, 1.44)
- Career vs. Cubs (first appearance)
Game Two – Jeremy Hefner (0-4, 4.61)
- Career vs. Cubs (1 appearance, 0 GS) (0-0, 0.00)
Game Three – Dillon Gee (2-5, 6.13)
- Career vs. Cubs (3 GS) (2-1, 4.26)
As I mentioned, the Cubs are playing well and I think this series is extremely important as we move forward in 2013. I know that sounds odd considering we have just reached the quarter pole of the season, but hear me out. The Cubs have shown flashes of great baseball, followed by huge let downs, it seems they take one step forward and two steps back. The first goal is to get back to .500 and winning this series goes a long way towards that in my opinion, if they lose this series we will see more of the same as they team hovers around 5-10 games under .500, which isn’t terrible for this group I guess. But winning this series could put them on a really nice run, I think the Cubs will win this series, take two out of three at least, a sweep isn’t out of the question, but that all depends on what happens today as the Mets have a clear advantage on the mound. If the Cubs win today, they sweep, if not, they take two out of three. GO CUBS!