May 2012

June 1 – 4; @ Giants – Series Preview

San Francisco Giants Logo - Giants script in front of orange stiched baseball

Finally the Cubs have a reason to feel good about themselves as they are coming off a three game sweep over the Padres.  Hopefully they use that sweep to carry some momentum across the Country and into San Francisco as  the Cubs take on the Giants in a four game set.  In order for the Cubs to be successful they need more of the patience they exhibited in the series finale against the Padres.  The deeper hitters get into counts against this very good pitching staff the better off they will be.  The Giants come into this series with the 4th best ERA in the National League at 3.38.  On the plus side the Giants have some trouble scoring runs as they are tied for 10th in NL with 204 runs.

The Cubs will miss Tim Lincecum, but that might be a bad thing as he has been probably the worst Giants starter this year.  Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain head up the 2012 rotation and the quicker the Cubs get those two out of the game the better.  As I mentioned, the Giants are struggling to score runs, a big reason is the absence of Pablo Sandoval at third, they are a much different offense without him.  The Cubs pitchers need to pound the zone and use the ballpark to their advantage, the quicker the outs the better, if they can do that I don’t think a split is out of the question.  Full preview/breakdown after the jump.

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Cubs Roster Moves

The Cubs released LHP Nate Robertson because he was basically horrible this year, going 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA in 14 games in Iowa.

The subsequent move was signing Shane Lindsay and assigning him to AAA Iowa.  Lindsay might be familiar to Chicagoland baseball fans as he pitched last year in the White Sox organization.  He was named to the International League All-Star team with the AAA Charlotte Knights.  Lindsay was 2-2 with a 1.98 ERA and four saves in 45 games at Charlotte.  He also got some time in the bigs last September when the White Sox called him up, though it was limited (4 appearances).  He was released by the Dodgers earlier this month.

Thanks for reading,
– George

5/30: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Here is a recap of the Cubs minor league system from 5/30/12, enjoy.

Iowa was rained out, and that’s stupid.

FULL BOX SCORE

Not much went right for Peoria on Wednesday Night as they fell to Burlington 10-1.  Peoria made three errors on the night, which led to six unearned runs.  Ben Wells started for Peoria and he wasn’t too bad in three and a-third innings, he gave up one run, unearned on four hits.  Wes Darvill, and Yaniel Cabezas each had two hits in the loss with Cabezas knocking in the only Chiefs run.

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FULL BOX SCORE

 Trailing 5-3 heading into the ninth the Daytona Cubs rallied for three runs to knock off Brevard County 6-5 in a thriller.  Frank Del Valle had a rare off outing as he was only able to last four and a-third while giving up five runs, all earned on four hits.  The D-Cubs bullpen really did the job as they went the remaining four and two-thirds without giving up a run to keep the team in it.  John Andreoli was 2-for-3 in the lead-off spot with two walks and a run scored.  Arismendy Alcantara continued his stellar 2012 campaign as he went 2-for-5 at the plate, he is now hitting .304 on the season.  Greg Rohan continues to hit as he went 2-for-5 at the plate with his 10th home run of the season.

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FULL BOX SCORE

The Smokies only managed four runs on five hits en route to a 6-4 loss to Huntsville on Wednesday night.  Dallas Beeler has a rough outing as he only made it through four and a-third while giving up five runs, four earned on nine hits, he falls to 1-5 on the season but has an ERA of 4.22 which isn’t terrible.  Junior Lake was the one of the few Smokies going at the plate last night as he was 2-for-5 with his 3rd home run of the season.  Michael Brenly was 1-for-3 at the plate with his first home run of the season, he drove in two runs and scored two.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Patience Pays Off, as Cubs Walk Off

There was a few best’s at Wrigley Field on Wednesday afternoon, when it was all said and done the Cubs had won their third game in a row, a season best, and a big reason for that was their best effort yet in the patience department.  All year-long we as fans have been hearing about this new “Cubs Way” but we really haven’t seen much of it, until today.  The Cubs saw 180 pitches today, for comparison this same Cubs team saw 93 pitches in a game against the White Sox earlier this year, it was a loss, not a coincidence.  Patience is so important, the longer the pitcher has to work on you the more likely they are to make a mistake and that’s exactly what happened in the bottom of the ninth.  Darwin Barney got a hanging curve ball with two strikes from Kenny Powers, I mean Dale Thayer, and deposited it in the left field bleachers for an 8-6 win.  Ryan Dempster was not at his best this afternoon but he battled through four and a-third and got some help from his offense, finally, to get off the hook and finish with a no decision after giving up six earned runs.  Darwin Barney was the hero today, not just for his ninth inning efforts, he had a great day start to finish.  Barney was 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run, three RBI’s, TWO WALKS, and three runs scored, now that’s more like it.  Steve Clevenger returned to action behind the plate and was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI’s in the win.  The Cubs take their three game winning streak across the Country to San Francisco where they kick off a four game set against the Giants on Friday.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

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Cubs Working Out Carlos Correa Today

I mentioned yesterday that Carlos Correa could be a key to the whole Cubs draft, well today the Cubs are working him out at Wrigley Field per ESPN.com/Chicago.

Here is my take on Correa from my draft preview.  As I mentioned before if he is on the board, and all three college arms are gone, the Cubs pick comes down to Almora, Correa, and Fried… most likely between Almora and Correa if I had to guess.

Ballplayer right here, no question about it.  The one thing you always hear about young SS is they will probably be moved because of defense, not Correa.  He can stick at SS, and that is why he is so attractive to so many teams.  He has an above average bat, and big power right now.  When I say big, I mean outstanding power, think middle of the order power with the ability to play short for his whole career.
Prediction - Drafted #7 overall – San Diego Padres
Cubs Chances - The key to the whole draft is Correa, if a team ahead of the Cubs chooses to take him instead of a college arm then the Cubs will get that arm that is left over.

 

Thanks for reading,
– George

May 30, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Padres

The go for the sweep today and look to get Ryan Dempster his first win of the year.  It would be nice to win three straight here before the Cubs hit the West Coast, and they will be doing so with Steve Clevenger back in the lineup, praise the Lord.  Here is how the Cubs will line up.

1. David DeJesus – RF
2. Starlin Castro – SS
3. Joe Mather – CF
4. Bryan LaHair – 1B
5. Alfonso Soriano – LF
6. Ian Stewart – 3B
7. Darwin Barney – 2B
8. Steve Clevenger – C
9. Ryan Dempster – P

Thanks, go Cubs!
– George

5/29: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Here is a recap of the Cubs minor league system from 5/29/12, enjoy.

FULL BOX SCORE

It almost took all night, well it actually did, but the Chiefs walked off in the 14th inning to beat Wisconsin 4-3.  Kyler Burke started for the Chiefs and was good, but struggled with his command.  He went five innings and only allowed two runs, one earned, on one hit.  Burke walked five guys which is why he did not go deeper into the game.  Ryan Cuneo was 2-for-5 with his fourth home run of the season.  Javy Baez was 0-for-5 on the night but did have a walk, a stolen base and a run scored.

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FULL BOX SCORE Game 1   /   FULL BOX SCORE Game 2

Game 1:  Robert Whitenack made his 2012 debut with the D-Cubs after coming back from Tommy John Surgery, and it didn’t go so well.  Whitenack gave up ten hits over four and a-third while giving up three runs to take the loss.  The D-Cubs couldn’t get anything going offensively as they only scored one run on six hits.  Richard Jones was 2-for-3 with a double at the plate in a losing effort.

Game 2:  PJ Francescon went the distance (only 7 innings in double-headers) but ended up on the wrong end of the decision as Brevard County completed the double-header sweep with a 5-2 win over Daytona.  Francescon went six innings and gave up five runs all earned, on eight hits, he walked three and struck out five.  Arismendy Alcantara was 2-for-2 with a walk and a run.  Greg Rohan was 1-for-3 at the plate with his 9th home run on the season and two RBI’s.

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FULL BOX SCORE

Nicholas Struck was outstanding as he shut down the Huntsville Stars over six innings to lead the Smokies to a 3-2 victory.  Struck didn’t give up any runs over six innings, he allowed only three hits, walked one, and struck out nine.  Junior Lake was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored in the lead-off spot.  Jae-Hoon Ha also had two hits in the victory, a victory that was closed out by Kevin Rhoderick.  Rhoderick has been lights out, he earned his 6th save of the season and lowered his ERA to 0.83.

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FULL BOX SCORE

The I-Cubs have something going right now, they staged a furious rally to beat Omaha 5-4 for their 5th straight victory.  Trailing 4-1 in the 8th inning against the first place team was nothing for this group.  The I-Cubs scored two runs in the 7th and added two more in the 8th to cap the thrilling victory.  Josh Vitters is on a roll once again as he was 2-for-4 at the plate with his 7th home run of the season, he also had a walk and two runs scored.  Dave Sappelt continues to be a two-hit machine as he was 2-for-4 in the victory.  Chris Rusin started for the Cubs, and ended with a no decision as he gave up four runs in six innings of work.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Shark Does it All as Cubs Win Second Straight

Jeff Samardzija is definitely getting the hang of this starter thing as he improved to 5-3 on the season with another stellar outing this afternoon against the Padres.  Samardzija went seven strong innings, giving up three runs on eight hits, while walking only one and striking out eight.  That’s been the most impressive thing from Samardzija, he is not only locating but pitching to contact when he can, thus limiting his pitches which is allowing him to go deeper into the game.  The outcome might have been different if it weren’t for Shawn Camp in the eighth inning.  Samardzija left in the eighth with a guy at 3rd and nobody out and Camp came in to get the next three hitters without allowing the run to score to preserve the 4-3 lead.  Joe Mather and Darwin Barney were each 2-for-3 at the plate with two doubles.  Every Cubs hitter had at least one hit, I’m not counting Koyie Hill as a hitter.  Alfonso Soriano hit his seventh home run of the season in the bottom of the 6th to make it 3-1, but the bigger play might have been in the top half as Soriano made an outstanding diving catch and doubled off Stultz at second to keep the Cubs ahead by one.  The Cubs go for the sweep tomorrow, if they win that game that’s officially a winning streak, it has happened before.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

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Massive 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft Preview

I started talking about the draft a few weeks ago, and how much prep time Theo and company were putting into it, well now we are close enough to the draft so you should get to know who the Cubs have been looking at.  The draft will be broadcast live on MLB Network at 7:00 PM EST, one hour earlier MLB Network will air a draft preview special.  Want to know who they will be talking about, and who the Cubs are thinking about taking at number six?  Then keep reading.

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Clevenger Back With Cubs

The good news keeps rolling in, a win yesterday and now Steve Clevenger has been officially activated by the Cubs.  Blake Lalli has been sent back to Iowa.  Koyie Hill is starting today, I expect Clevenger to get in there quite a bit now that he is back.

Thanks, Go Cubs!
– George

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