July 2012

White Sox Stay Active; Acquire Liriano

Another arm is off the market, not sure if he was ever “on the market” but Francisco Liriano is headed to the White Sox.  Kenny Williams has been busy this trade season as he sees an opportunity to win now and he’s going for it.  The Sox get Liriano for Eduardo Escobar, and Pedro Hernandez.  That’s two arms that could have went to the Braves in a deal, but didn’t.  Maybe that will make the Braves a little more desperate as we get closer to the deadline and come back at the Cubs for Dempster.  Same goes for the Dodgers, hopefully Garza proves himself healthy in his side session and a deal can be made, although it seems highly unlikely.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Catch Cards By Surprise, Even Series

If you only watched the first inning today you probably thought that the Cubs and Cards went toe-to-toe in another slugfest today, you would also be wrong.  Cardinals starter Joe Kelly and Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija both struggled in the first today.  But both guy got out of jams where it could have been much worse than it was.  Samardzija struggled with his command all day, but especially in the first where he walked the first three guys he faced to load the bases with none out.  Samardzija escaped with giving up only one run which was huge as the Cubs bounced right back.  Kelly had men on second and third with no outs and managed to tightrope out of the first giving up just two.  The game stayed 2-1 until the Cardinals tied things up in the 6th inning.  The Cubs looked like they might break things open in the seventh when they put the first two guys on 1st and 3rd, but struggled to push across a run.  With two outs and guys at 1st and 2nd still Reed Johnson caught everyone by surprise by laying down a two out safety squeeze.  It worked to perfection as Fuentes didn’t have a throw and pinch runner Tony Campana scored the go ahead run, which was also the winning run.  Carlos Marmol came on for the ninth and shut the Cardinals down, he is now 11-for-11 in save opportunities.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

(more…)

July 27, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Cardinals

Jeff Samardzija looks to get the Cubs back in the win column on Saturday against Joe Kelly and the Cardinals.  Here is what the rest of the lineup will look like as the Cubs take on the Cardinals at 12:05 CT on CSN.

DeJesus – CF
Castro – SS
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
LaHair – RF
Soto – C
Baker – 2B
Valbuena – 3B
Samardzija – P

Go Cubs!
-Mark

7/27: Around the Cubs Minor League System

A quick look at the Cubs minor leaguers on Friday, July 27.

FULL BOX SCORE

The AZL Cubs dropped a low scoring game to the AZL Athletics 3-1.  Lendy Castillo got the start as he continues to work his way back allowing one run on two hits in four innings.  He struck out six and took a no decision in this one.  Tyler Bremer gave up two runs and took the loss.  Carlos Martinez-Pumarino and Jin-Young Kim combined to pitch 3.2 scoreless innings, but the Cubs offense couldn’t come back.  The Cubs got their run in the first when Albert Almora hit a two-run double and then scored on a Jorge Soler RBI single.  Soler would add another hit on the night and stole a base.  Carlos Penalver was the only other Cubs player to record a hit on Friday.  This is not what we have come to expect from the Cubs, but they will get back on track soon.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

Boise exploded to beat Tri-City 8-3.  The Hawks had five players with multi-hit games.  Daniel Vogelbach was one of those going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.  Gioskar Amaya and Marco Hernandez each had two hits, wtih Amaya driving in two.  Trey Martin and Xavier Batista also added two hits a piece.  Wilson Contreras connected on his second home run of the season, a three run shot in the second inning.  Willengton Cruz got his second win of the season out of the bullpen.  He pitched two strong innings striking out four.  James Pugliese started and gave up three runs in four innings of work.  Michael Heesch and Su-Min Jung each pitched well in relief.  After a tough 1-0 loss last night, it was nice to see Boise come back strong tonight.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

Javier Baez gave Peoria a lead with a two-run shot in the eighth and the Chiefs held beating Cedar Rapids 3-2.  Baez’s 11th homer of the season turned out to be one of his biggest of his young career.  He finished the game 2-for-3 and is now hit a robust .341.  Wes Darvill also had two hits, including a double, a run scored, and an RBI.  Austin Reed recorded the win in relief, his fourth of the season.  Zach Cates got the start, pitching 5.1 innings allowing two runs on three hits, while striking out seven.  Sheldon McDonald pitched two scoress inning in relief dropping his ERA to 1.91 on the season.  It has been exciting following Baez this year and he continues to impress.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

Robert Whitenack and the staff were outstanding for the Daytona Cubs beating Bradenton 2-0.  Robert Whitenack got his first win since coming back from Tommy-John surgery.  He pitched five innings allowing no runs on two hits, while striking out four.  Eduardo Figuerora struck out four in three scoreless innings in relief.  AJ Morris closed the game out recording his second save of the season.  The offense lost Matt Szczur who was promoted to Tennessee was able to get enough to win.  Rebel Ridling hit his second home run of the season and had two hits.  Timothy Saunders also had two hits including a double and a run scored.  A big congrats to Robert and here’s to many more in the near future.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

Jacksonville was able to score two runs in three different innings defeating Tennessee 6-4.  Junior Lake continued his hot stretch in this one going 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs.  Greg Rohan had two hits and connected on his fourth home run with the Smokies.  Juan Apodaca also had two hits and an RBI.  In his first game with Tennessee Matt Szczur went 0-for-4 with two strike outs.  Ty’relle Harris started and took the loss going 2.2 innings allowing four runs on six hits.  Zach Rosscup gave up two runs in 3.2 innings, but struck out an impressive six batters.  Casey Harman and Kevin Rhoderick also pitched in the loss.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

Iowa wins, Iowa wins, Iowa wins.  It has been a rough go as of late so to beat Okalahoma City 5-0 is great to see.  Chris Volstad had his best start pitching eight scorelss innings.  He only surrendered four hits, walking three, and striking out five.  Alberto Cabrerea finished the game off throwing a scoreless ninth striking out two.  Alfredo Amezaga led off going 3-for-5 and scored a run.  Adrian Cardenas and Brian Esposito each had two hits with Cardenas hitting a double and scoring a run.  Dave Sappelt had a triple and drove in two on Friday.  Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson each recorded one hit and scored a run, Jackson also drove one in.  Hope this is signs to come for Chris Volstad and the Cubs.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

Greinke Traded to Angels; Braves Back on Dempster?

One of the big arms at the deadline has been dealt, Zack Greinke is on his way to Anaheim.  The Angels have acquired Greinke for infield prospect Jean Segura, and two Double-A pitchers, Ariel Pena, and John Hellweg.  What does this mean for the Cubs and specifically Dempster?  It could mean that the Braves, who are still in the market for a big arm, re-engage talks with the Cubs.  Everyone was waiting for the first pitching domino to fall, this would be it, I wouldn’t be surprised if things really start to pick up now.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cards Use The Long Ball to Down Cubs

The Cardinals were hitting home runs on a record pace this afternoon in Chicago as they pounded out five home runs en route to a 9-6 victory over the Cubs.  Not only did they hit five home runs, they did so in the first five innings against Travis Wood.  Wood, who was being viewed as a surprise earlier in the season has fallen on hard times recently.  Friday afternoon added to Wood’s recent struggles as he gave up eight runs on seven hits in five innings of work, he walked two and struck out two.  Almost all the scoring took place in the first five innings today, and it started right away as the Cardinals jumped out in front in the top of the first inning 1-0.  The Cubs bounced right back as they scored three times of Cardinals surprise ace Lance Lynn.  Starlin Castro singled home DeJesus, and Anthony Rizzo blasted a two run homer to give the Cubs a 3-1 lead.  That lead evaporated quickly as the Cardinals built up a 6-3 advantage by the third inning before the Cubs came back again.  Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo were part of the rally again as Castro tripled and Rizzo had an RBI single in the three run third inning and just like that it was 6-6.  Unfortunately the Cubs offense was done after the third and the Cardinals continued to tee off on Cubs pitching on their way to taking game one from the Cubs.  Rizzo finished the day going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI’s. Castro also had a solid day at the plate going 3-for-4 with a triple, and RBI, and two runs scored.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

(more…)

Matt Szczur is Headed to Tennessee

After an unfortunate injury to Jae-Hoon Ha last night, the Cubs have promoted Matt Szczur to Double-A Tennessee.  Sczcur has put together a solid season thus far hitting .295 with an OBP of .394.  He has stolen 38 bases and has scored 68 runs.  He also has 19 doubles, four triples, and two home runs while driving in 34. Coming into the year Szczur was the Cubs number four prospect and 94th overall according to Jonathan Mayo and MLB.com.  Here’s hoping continued success for Matt Szczur and a speedy recovery for Jae-Hoon Ha.

Thanks for Reading,
Mark

Matt Garza Update

Cubs fans collectively held their breath last week when Matt Garza left with an apparent injury.  Initially we got word that he would miss his next start and pitch on Monday, July 30, but today Cub fans got the news they didn’t want to hear.  An MRI showed that Garza still has fluid in his right tricep and  Dale Sveum told reporters today that he will not pitch Monday and will be pushed back to later in the week.  Later in the week means after the trade deadline on Tuesday, which is bad news for the Cubs as it becomes highly unlikely the Cubs will be able to move him before the deadline.  The Cubs are not placing Garza on the DL hoping to keep what little hope alive that a deal still might be struck.  One has to wonder when the Cubs will get some good news on the trade front.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

July 27, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Cardinals

The Cubs will look to avenge last week’s disaster as they face the Cardinals today.  Travis Wood will be pitching looking to get back on track as he has had a few rough starts since the All Star break.  The Cubs will honor Ron Santo today at Wrigley.  Here is how the Cubs will lineup against the Lance Lynn and the Cardinals today at 1:20 on CSN.

DeJesus – CF
Castro – SS
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
LaHair – RF
Soto – C
Barney – 2B
Valbuena – 3B
Wood – P

Go Cubs!
– Mark

7/26: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Taking you through the Cubs minor leagues on Thursday, July 26.

FULL BOX SCORE

The AZL Cubs lost a rough one on Thursday to the Ranger 5-4.  Leading most of the night, the Cubs gave up two in the eight, one in the ninth, and one in the tenth to blow what appeared to be a win.  Those relievers who struggled were Ryan Hartman, Nathan Dorris, and losing pitcher Daniel Adrian.  It wasn’t all bad on the mound as Carl Lang and Ethan Elias each pitched three solid innings combing to strike out seven and surrender only one run on four hits.  Every night we look forward to seeing how Albert Almora and Jorge Soler and tonight was no different.  Almora started strong with hit first double, but ended the night 1-for-5.  Soler ended the night 1-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base.  Garrett Schlecht had a night he won’t forget as he hit his first home run of his professional career, a two-run shot in the fourth.  Shawon Dunston Jr. stayed hot adding two more hits, raising his average to .296.  Carlos Penalver also had two hits and Jacob Rogers added a double.  The AZL Cubs havn’t had too many disappointments, but tonight was one of them.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

Boise lost a low scoring game to Yakima 1-0.  Although there was only one run scored there was plenty of excitement in this one as there were ejections and the benches almost cleared.  It all started a few nights ago when Wilson Contreras was bowled over twice and then was hit by a pitch in this game.  Starting pitcher Jose Arias took exception and retaliated hitting a Bears player in the seventh.  Arias and manager Mark Johnson were promtly ejected.  Things didn’t end there though.  Contreras found his way on and bowled over the Yakima catcher and on his way back to the dugout had words for the Bears dugout.  Benches almost cleared and Contreras was ejected from the game.  Back to the baseball part of it.  Jose Arias pitched quite well taking the tough loss on Thursday.  He gave up one run on three hits in six innings, he also walked two and struck out three.  Michael Hamann and Eduardo Orozco combined to pitch three innings of scoreless baseball in relief.  Offensively there wasn’t much to talk about.  The highlights were Marco Hernandez having two hits and Daniel Vogelbach getting another hit.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

Peoria scored early and it held up as they beat Cedar Rapids 7-2.  The Chiefs got two in the first, one in the third, and three more in the fourth to get an early lead.  Javier Baez had a nice night once again going 2-for-2 with a double, two runs scored, and two RBIs.  Zeke DeVoss and Yaniel Cabezas also had twho hits with DeVoss driving a run and scoring two.  Chadd Krist continued his great performance at the plate adding another hit, his sixth double and driving in two runs.  On the mound Michael Jensen was at it again winning his ninth game of the year.  He pitched six solid innings, surrendering two runs on four hits, while striking out six and walking zero.  Larry Suarez and Bryce Shafer finished this one off pitched three scoreless innings to end the game.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

Daytona outlasted Bradenton beating them 9-7 in a high scoring battle.  The Cubs offense had a few big innings, scoring three in the second, the fourth, and two in the seventh.  Offensively they were led by Rafael Lopez who was 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs.  Lopez was not the only Cubs player to have a big night as John Andreioli was 2-for-4 with a triple, two RBIs, four runs scored, and his 36th steal of the year.  Matt Szczur added two hits and he also drove in a pair, raising his average to .295.  Rubi Silva and Elieser Bonne each had two hits as well and Bonne drove in two on the evening.  Austin Kirk started and got the win, his fifth of the year.  He allowed four runs on six hits in six innings, walking five and striking out three.  Ryan Searle pitched the last three holding on the record his first save of the season.

 ****

FULL BOX SCORE

Despite scoring four Tennessee dropped the game to Jacksonville losing 6-4.  Dallas Beeler started, but did not factor in the decision allowing four runs, three earned and striking out eight in five innings pitched.  Tony Zych took the loss as he allowed two runs in his two innings of work.  On the bright side, there were some nice things that happened at the plate.  Junior Lake stayed hot going 3-for-5 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI.  Justin Bour and Greg Rohan each connected for a home run on Thursday.  Nate Samson added three hits of his own.  In an unfortunate accident Jae-Hoon Ha had to leave the game early on a stretcher after he hit his head on a cement wall wall that had no padding.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Jae-Hoon and hope to have good news on this soon.  We will keep you updated as we know more.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

How many different ways can Iowa find to lose, because it seems like they find a new one every night.  After having a lead most of the night they gave up a single run in the fifth and six to tie the game.  After scoring two in the tenth, they gave up three to lose 6-5.  Michael Bowden to the loss allowing all three runs in the tenth.  Casey Coleman was solid pitching 5.2 innings giving up three runs on seven hits.  Jay Jackson pitched well in relief allowing no runs in his two innings of work.  The Cubs were led by James Adduci at the plate having his best game in Iowa.  He went 4-for-5 with a home run, double, a run scored, and two RBIs.  Josh Vitters was the other bright spot from the offense going 3-for-4 with a double, triple, and a run batted in.  Nothing is going right for Iowa at this time, hope they can turn it around and end the year on a high note, but only time will tell.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,541 other followers