May 2012

And The Beat Goes On, Cubs Streak at 12

The losses are just running together at this point, add this one to the pile as the Cubs were never really in this one.  Garza came into this game awful on the road, he lived up to those expectations by tossing five horrendous innings.  He gave up six runs, five earned while walking only one (bonus!) and striking out six, he gave up three home runs.  Rafael Dolis continued his audition for the Iowa Cubs bullpen by giving up two runs on two hits with two walks without retiring a hitter.  Before the game Dale Sveum said that Dolis would no longer be the closer, not like we noticed really because when was the last time the Cubs needed a closer?  James Russell and Shawn Camp will get opportunities to close games if the situation ever arises again.  Once again the Cubs did nothing for the majority of the game with the bats until the game was decided then they went to work.  Starlin Castro was 1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI’s, and that was really it.  The Cubs were only able to get four runs across the plate on seven hits.  They only managed two hits in six inning off of Cy Young candidate Erik Bedard who came into this game at 2-5 on the season.  Twelve straight losses, two more to tie the all-tim Cubs record…  have to shoot for something right?  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

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Cubs Losing Streak O’ Meter

5/26: Around the Cubs Minor League System

FULL BOX SCORE

Gerardo Comcepcion record dropped to 1-4 as he struggled once again allowing 8 runs, 5 of which were earned on 12 hits in just 4.2 innings.  That was plenty for Wisconsin as they added more runs to beat the Peoria 11-3.  The Cubs lone bright spot came from SS Marco Hernandez who went 2-3 including a home run and a triple.  Jake Devoss also added two hits and an RBI in the game.

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 FULL BOX SCORE

Daytona got a great pitching performance from Matt Loosen as he improved his record to 2-1 on the season.  He gave up one run on four hits while striking out seven in six innings of work.  Daytona got the scroring started in the third with a two RBI single by Nelson Perez.  Rubi Silva who went 2-4 with a triple scored the second run on an RBI ground out by Elieser Boone.  After Clearwater cut the lead in half in the fifth with a solo homerun, Daytona scored in the seventh when Matt Szczur drove in John Andreoli who went 2-3 with two runs scored.  That was plenty for the Cubs as the newly promoted Jeff Lorick pitched two scoreless innings while only giving up one hit and striking one out.  Scott Weismann struck out two in the ninth to record his second save of the season.

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 FULL BOX SCORE

The Smokies got some pretty good pitching, but the offense never got going as Tennessee lost 3-0.  Trey McNutt’s record dropped to 2-4 when he took the tough luck loss on Saturday.  McNutt only went four innings giving up two earned runs on five hits.  Ty’Relle Harris pitched two scoreless innings while striking out two and walking one.  Mobile added a run in the eighth of of Marcus Hatley who also pitched two innings.  There really was not much excitement from the offense, but Michael Burgess had two hits.

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FULL BOX SCORE 

The Cubs hit four solo home runs  two power past Memphis 6-4.  Steve Clevenger, who ended the day 3-3 got the scoring started in the first with a home run.  After Memphis tied the game in the second Brett Jackson gave Iowa the lead back in the fourth when he hit his fifth home run of the season.  Memphis would score three in the fifth to take the lead 4-2.  Iowa tied the game in the sixth when Jackson stepped back to the plate and lined an RBI triple and would later score on a base hit by Ty Wright.  The Cubs took a lead in the eight when Anthony Rizzo connected on his league leading 17th home run of the season.  Josh Vitters hit a homer in the ninth to give the Cubs a little breathing room.  Mike MacDougal finished the game in the ninth recording his first save of the season.

Thanks for Reading,
Mark

May 27, 2012 Lineups

Matt Garza and the Cubs are looking to end an 11 game losing streak today as they face the Erik Bedard and Pirates today at 12:35 CT.  My bold prediction today is the Cubs will score more than two runs.

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, RF
2. Starlin Castro, SS
3. Joe Mather, 3B
4. Alfonso Soriano, LF
5. Jeff Baker, 1B
6. Reed Johnson, CF
7. Darwin Barney, 2B
8. Koyie Hill, C
9. Matt Garza, P

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

1. Jose Tabata, LF
2. Josh Harrison, SS
3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
5. Neil Walker, 2B
6. Garrett Jones, RF
7. Matt Hague, 1B
8. Michael McKenry, C
9. Erik Bedard, P

Go Cubs!!
Mark

New Way to Reach Same Result, Cubs Drop 11th Straight

No matter how the game is going right now, Cubs fans and players alike are just expecting the worst and once again the Cubs delivered.  Rafael Dolis buried a 2-2 sinker into the ribs of the “dangerous” Matt Hague with the bases loaded to give the Pirates the win.  Common theme during this streak and really the whole year, the Cubs never allow themselves to get beat, they beat themselves.  Once again an opponent was trying to give up an out with a sac bunt in the ninth and Dolis couldn’t get a pitch close enough to the strike zone for the hitter to offer at it and he walked him.  The inning would have been much different with McCutchen up with one out and a guy at second instead of 1st and 2nd and no outs.  Anyway, Paul Maholm struggled with his command but battled his way through five innings in his return to Pittsburgh settling for a no decision.  Alfonso Soriano was 1-for-4 at the plate with his 5th home run of the season, his solo shot brought the Cubs back to within one in the 4th inning.  Starlin Castro was 1-for-4 at the plate as well with a big two-out RBI triple in the 5th inning to tie the game at two.  Unfortunately for the Cubs they only managed six hits, and couldn’t string anything together, one thing they are good at stringing together is losses, the streak now sits at 11.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

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The Anatomy of a Ten Game Losing Streak

As Cubs fans we have seen a lot of bad baseball, what we are seeing this year might be the worst of it all, and that is saying something for this organization.  Friday Night the Cubs lost their tenth straight game, dropping their record from a respectable 15-20 all the way down to 15-30 and all but dropping the them out of contention this year.  What’s more mind numbing about this season is that first place in the central is currently five games over .500, meaning all the Cubs had to do was play .500 baseball and they would very much be in it.  So how does a team go from being a competitive bunch, and only five games under .500 to the worst team in baseball?  I’ll try to explain through fancy numbers.

First, let’s take a look at how the Cubs have “swung” the bats during the ten game slide.

That’s not very good, don’t worry it gets worse.

***

Let’s take a look at how the Cubs fared with runners in scoring position, something the Cubs needed to improve upon this year after a horrendous 2011.


To quote the late great Ron Santo, OH NO!  It’s hard to be that bad over 10 consecutive games, but should make it very clear why the Cubs have lost 10 in a row.

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Given how bad the Cubs have been with runners in scoring position one would think that the Cubs have been leaving a lot of guys on base.  Well lately that is true, but over the 10 game stretch that’s not the case at all.


In the grand scheme of things that is not that bad all, but when you look at it game by game it tells a different story.  47 of those guys left on base were left on in the last five games, and that also shows that in the first five games of this streak the Cubs just never had anyone on base.

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Enough about the hitting, and the situational hitting, let’s take a look at the runs scored numbers over the last 10 games from hell.



Well, that makes sense I guess, I expected it to be bad, but getting doubled up (and then some) over the last 10 games is embarrassing.

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Just for fun let’s take a look at how the Cubs pitchers have fared, here’s a warning, it’s not good.

There you have it, and I’m sorry.  Let’s just remember one thing, it will not get worse than this, how could it?  I still have faith in the regime that this thing will turn around and I really think it’s a lot closer than a lot of people think.  But it’s awfully hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now, in fact most people probably think that light belongs to a train.  Streak ends tonight, 50% of the time I’m wrong.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Javier Baez Heading to Peoria!

Javier Baez is being optioned from extended Spring training to the Peoria Chiefs.  This is a great move for the Cubs as it shows that they are rewarding performance and are not afraid to push Baez through the system (2011 1st round draft pick).  Baez was outstanding in extended spring training as we have documented a few times.  Baez will make his Peoria debut this weekend, and it will be a treat for Peoria fans to watch this kid play everyday.  Congrats Javy!

Thanks,
– George

May 26, 2012 – Lineups!

Paul Maholm faces a familiar foe as he takes the mound for his 97th career start at PNC Park, and he will end the Cubs 10 game losing streak tonight, book it.  Here are the lineups!

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

1. Jose Tabata, LF
2. Josh Harrison, RF
3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
5. Neil Walker, 2B
6. Matt Hague, 1B
7. Rod Barajas, C
8. Clint Barmes
9. Kevin Correia, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

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. Blake Lalli, C
9. Paul Maholm, P

 

Thanks, go Cubs!
– George

5/25: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Here is a recap of the Cubs minor league system from 5/25/12, enjoy.


FULL BOX SCORE

Peoria jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and that was all they needed as they knocked off Clinton 3-1.  Starling Peralta was very good for the Chiefs as he worked four innings only allowing one run on five hits while walking one and striking out two.  Zeke DeVoss got things started at the top as he was 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and a run scored.  Paul Hoilman continues to hit the ball hard as he went 1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI, he is now hitting .298 on the season.

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FULL BOX SCORE

Heartbreaking, that’s the only way you can describe the D-Cubs loss to Clearwater as they fell 2-1, giving up both runs in the top of the ninth.  The blown save spoiled Austin Kirk’s outstanding performance on the mound.  Kirk, who has been one of the best pitchers in the Cubs organization this year went 8 scoreless innings, only allowing seven hits, walking none, and striking out four, his ERA is now at 2.34 on the season.  Micah Gibbs, Rubi Silva, and Dustin Harrington all had three hits at the plate as Daytona finished with one run on nine hits.

***

FULL BOX SCORE

The Smokies held Mobile in check all night, but that was almost not good enough as Mobile’s comeback came up short giving the Smokies a 4-3 win.  Mobile only had two hits on the night, but managed to plate three runs, timely hitting I guess.  Eric Jokisch was really good for the Smokies tossing five innings of one hit baseball, he only allowed two runs, walked one, and struck out three.  Kevin Rhoderick came on in relief and was lights out, what else is new, his ERA drops to 0.90 on the season.  Luis Flores was 2-for-4 at the plate with a double, a home run and an RBI.  Jae-Hoon Ha popped his second home run of the season, and James Adduci finished his day 2-for-2, he’s now hitting .312 on the year.

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FULL BOX SCORE

Anthony Rizzo did not start so might as well skip this game, I’m kidding of course.  Rodrigo Lopez started this game and left after one pitch with a sore groin.  Jay Jackson jumped into duty and was terrific going five innings allowing one run on three hits, he walked two, and struck out five.  Carlos Marmol got some work in on his way back to the Cubs, he worked one inning, giving up a hit and a walk with a strike out.  The I-Cubs only managed five hits, but had just enough to pull out a 2-1 win.  Luis Valbuena was 1-for-4 at the plates with a game winning solo home run in the ninth inning.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Less Than Perfect 10, Cubs Streak Continues

I think Dale Sveum said it best after this one, “I’m a little lost for words now. It’s kind of the same thing” you’re not the only one Dale.  Just when you think the Cubs have found every way possible to lose a game they go out and find another excruciating way to do so.  Ryan Dempster was on the mound again for the Cubs so odds are it was going to be a low scoring game, and it was.  Dempster was brilliant, what else is new?  He went 7 and 1/3rd and only gave up one run on seven hits.  Dempster had his command once again tonight as he only walked one guy while striking out seven, his ERA drops to 2.14, and his record falls to 0-3, amazing.  Offensively the Cubs actually had something going, they pounded out 10 hits, but couldn’t push any runs across the plate, that’s hard to do.  Starlin Castro, hitting in the two-hole for the first time this year was 2-for-5, but made the final out of the game by striking out against Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan with the tying run on third.  David DeJesus made the biggest out just before Castro as he struck out looking with said tying run on third when a fly ball would have got the job done.  Just terrible, the Cubs were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 11 guys on base, what more is there to say, that tells you everything you need to know.  Full box score, and highlights after the jump.

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