September 2012

Cubs Instructs 2012: Soler Goes Boom

Jorge Soler connected on his first home run of the Instructional League as the Cubs beat up the Giants 8-3 yesterday afternoon.  Pierce Johnson was outstanding on the mound for the Cubs going 2.2 innings allowing no runs on only one hit, he walked two and struck out one in his instructs debut.  Ryan McNeil also got a chance to pitch yesterday afternoon, he struggled with command but had a decent outing.  McNeil went 1.1 innings giving up one run on one hit while walking two and striking out one.

As I mentioned already, Jorge Soler launched a solo shot in the victory, he finished the day 1-for-2 with a walk, RBI, and two runs scored.  Chadd Krist also got a hold of one in the victory, he was 1-for-2 with a home run, and an RBI.  Trevor Gretzky also had a big day at the plate going 2-for-2 with two singles, and two RBI’s.  The instructional league is just that, a league for instruction and it’s pretty clear that the Cubs are buying what the Cubs brass is trying to teach.  Over the first three games in Arizona the Cubs have drawn 20 walks, 20!  That is outstanding, and something worth noting as that is exactly what the Cubs front office wants to see, young prospects working counts and taking their walks.

Marco Hernandez; 2-for-2, double, RBI, SB
Shawon Dunston Jr.; 1-for-2, RBI, SB
Ben Carhart; 1-for-2, double, RBI

Please visit The Cub Reporter for a full box score and recap of Monday’s game.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Instructs 2012: Trey Martin Taken to Hospital

The outcome of the game really didn’t matter much on Saturday Night during the Cubs instructional league.  The Diamondbacks won 17-3, nothing went right, but the game was the furthest thing from the minds of the players.  In the top of the 5th inning Cubs prospect Trey Martin was hit in the head with a pitch.  This resulted in a 25 minute on field delay as paramedics were called to the field by the Diamondbacks head trainer.  The ambulance drove right up to home plate where Martin was laying on his back.  It was a very scary moment for sure, Martin was loaded into the ambulance and was taken to a nearby hospital for observation.  Martin was conscious at the time that he was loaded into the ambulance, and there has been no further update on his condition, once we get some sort of update we will pass it along of course.

Back to the game, as I said, nothing went right.  Dillon Maples started, and his command was all over, he only surrendered one run, but walked three and had two wild pitches in his inning of work.  Carlos Martinez really got knocked around, giving up seven run, all earned in his inning of work.  Austin Reed turned in the best performance on the mound as he went two scoreless innings, but also struggled with command as he walked two.  Offensively the Cubs were lacking as well as the Cubs could only manage five hits in the loss.  Jesse Hodges made his Cubs organizational debut, and had a solid game going 1-for-2 with an RBI and a deep fly out.


Almora: 0-for-3 with a walk.
Soler: o-for-2 with a walk.
Candelario: 1-for-2

Full Box Score and Recap from AZ Phil at The Cub Reporter, thanks again to him for the reporting!

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Can’t Overcome Early Deficit

The Cardinals used some two-out magic in the third inning against Justin Germano to build a 3-0 lead and eventually went on to win the rubber game of the series 6-3.  The Cubs did try to make a game of it as they cut the lead to one two different times today but couldn’t come all the way back.  Justin Germano got the start for the Cubs as he continues his 2013 tryout and had some good, some bad today.  Germano went 5.2 innings giving up four runs on ten hits while walking one and striking out three.  The Cubs only managed seven hits today, six of them coming from three guys, the four, five, and six hitters.  The rest of the lineup could only register one hit as the Cubs went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.  Alfonso Soriano doesn’t want 2012 to end as he continues his tremendous season going 3-for-4 with his 31st home run of the season.  Soriano also registered his 105th RBI of the season, a new career high which is amazing at this age and on this team.  Welington Castillo was the only other offense for the Cubs as he went 2-for-4 with a double, RBI, and a run scored.  Castillo is now hitting .282 on the season and has put up a really strong argument for why he should be the starting catcher in 2013.


Sveum Postgame

Game Highlights:
Kerry Wood and Family Sings the Stretch
Soriano Goes Deep
Cubs Slick DP
Kerry Wood Honored By Cubs
Castillo’s RBI Double

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cardinals Get Payback Right Away

One day after the Cubs rallied in the ninth inning to tie the game and win in extra innings the Cardinals did the same thing.  After trailing for the majority of the game today the Cubs broke through in the 6th inning, scoring three times to take a 4-3 lead.  The Cubs pen held strong into the ninth, that’s when Carlos Marmol blew his first save in his last 20 chances by giving up a one out solo homer to Carlos Beltran to tie the game at four.  Jaye Chapman took over in the 10th for the Cubs and after retiring the first two hitters he walked the next two guys which is all the Cardinals needed to take advantage.  Jon Jay, who was 0-for-the series ripped a two out double down the right field line to put the Cardinals up for good.  For the second straight day a Cubs starter struggled with pitch count, today it was Travis Wood.  Wood went five innings giving up three runs on six hits while walking two and striking out seven, he settled for a no decision.  Offensively the Cubs couldn’t get much strung together against Adam Wainwright.  David DeJesus blasted his 8th home run of the season as he continues to haunt the Cardinals.  Dave Sappelt had the biggest hit of the afternoon, an RBI single in the sixth inning to put the Cubs up 4-3, he finished 1-for-3 with a walk.  The rubber game of the series will be tomorrow afternoon, which is also Kerry Wood appreciation day.


Game Highlights:
Castillo’s Sac Fly
DeJesus Goes Deep
Barney’s Nice Play
Sappelt’s RBI Single

Thanks for reading,
– George

September 22, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs Cardinals

Still on a high from yesterday’s comeback/walk-off victory the Cubs will try to win a second straight game over their rival, and continue to play the role of a playoff roadblock.  Travis Wood takes the ball for the Cubs today on a cool, and wet day at Wrigley Field, it’s dry now but they are expecting rain at some point today.  Here is how the Cubs will line up at 12:05 PM CST on WGN.

1. DeJesus CF
2. Barney 2B
3. Rizzo 1B
4. Soriano LF
5. Castro SS
6. Castillo C
7. Sappelt RF
8. Vitters 3B
9. Wood P

Go Cubs!!
– George

Cubs Open Instructional League With a Win





HUGE thanks to AZ Phil over the TCR (The Cub Reporter) for reporting back the information for this game, you should check out their blog if you haven’t already, it’s a must read.

Thanks for reading,
– George


Cubs Shock Cards; Walk-Off in 11th

Shortly after Pat Hughes said on WGN Radio that it was nearly impossible to hit a home run to left field given the wind shift and intensity, little Darwin Barney said not so fast, blasting a two-out, two-strike homer to tie the game at four in the bottom of the ninth.  Two innings later David DeJesus laced his fourth hit of the day into right field to score pinch runner Brett Jackson and give the Cubs a thrilling 5-4 victory.  If the Cardinals somehow miss the playoffs they might point to this game as a big reason why.  Chris Carpenter made his 2012 debut for the Cardinals and pitched well enough to win, Chris Volstad countered for the Cubs and found himself in trouble all day long.  All you had to do was look at his pitch count at the end of the 5th inning, it told the troublesome story for Volstad, 116 pitches.  Volstad bent but never really broke, he gave up three runs on six hits while walking three with no strikeouts.  Volstad gave his team a chance to win, which is really all you can ask a back of the rotation starter to do.  The Cubs bullpen was once again outstanding today as they pitched the final six innings giving up only one run on two hits while walking three and striking out seven.  As I mentioned, David DeJesus had a huge day at the plate, he finished the day 4-for-6 with a triple, an RBI, and two runs scored.  Darwin Barney, Luis Valbuena, and Welington Castillo all had two hits in the victory, none bigger than Barney’s two-run shot in the ninth.  Great win!


Sveum Postgame

Game Highlights:
Cubs Walk-Off
Barney and Rizzo Team Up
Barney’s Game-Tying Blast
Soriano’s RBI Double

Thanks for reading,
– George

September 21, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Cardinals

The Cubs look to spoil Chris Carpenter’s 2012 debut at 1:20 PM CST at Wrigley today.  Chris Volstad will be tasked with shutting down the Cards potent offense, here is the lineup that will back him.

1. DeJesus – CF
2. Barney – 2B
3. Rizzo – 1B
4. Soriano – LF
5. Castro – SS
6. Valbuena – 3B
7. Castillo – C
8. Sappelt – RF
9. Volstad – P

Go Cubs!
– George

September 21 – 23, 2012; vs. Cardinals – Series Preview

Another series, and another contender heads into Wrigley Field as the Cubs look to finish their 2012 season strong and play spoiler.  The Cardinals are hitting their stride once again as they have won four straight and currently hold a 2.5 game lead over Milwaukee for the final wild card spot in the National League.  It also sounds like they will be getting a boost to their rotation as Chris Carpenter is slated to make his 2012 debut against the Cubs in game one of the series.  Up until the last series against the Reds the Cubs were playing pretty solid baseball, but the bats have gone cold, and the pitching has followed.  It should be a good atmosphere at Wrigley all weekend as these games are usually close regardless of the record, and these games mean everything to the Cardinals.  I’m expecting an awful lot of Cardinals fans at Wrigley, hopefully the Cubs can keep Wrigley quiet, wait, that doesn’t sound right at all.


Here are the pitching matchups for the series.

Friday September 21, 2012
St. Louis: Chris Carpenter (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Cubs: Chris Volstad (3-10, 6.26)

Saturday September 22, 2012
St. Louis:  Adam Wainwright (13-13, 3.97 ERA)
Cubs:  Travis Wood (6-12, 4.25 ERA)

Sunday September 23, 2012
St. Louis:  Kyle Lohse (15-3, 2.71 ERA)
Cubs:  Justin Germano (2-8, 6.17 ERA)

Season Series:  Cardinals lead series 8-6

Prediction:  Cubs win series 2-1

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
– George

Cubs Waste Berken’s Solid Outing


After six innings this afternoon the game was scoreless, and looked like it was impossible to score runs given the missed opportunities.  Fast forward three innings and the Reds were 5-3 winners and clinched a spot in the 2012 playoffs.  Jason Berken made his second start as a Cub and this one was fantastic, and a really nice bounce back after his first start.  Berken went six strong innings only allowing two hits while walking two and striking out five.  Berken was in command all day, throwing 86 pitches, 54 of them for strikes.  Unfortunately the Cubs couldn’t solve Johnny Cueto, but they had a number of chances as they finished the day just 1-for10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 guys on in all.  Five different Cubs had two hits in this one, the only issue was only one other player had a hit in the game, usually makes it tough to score runs.    The Cubs were able to score singular runs in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings but it wasn’t enough as the Reds put a five-spot on the board against Manny Corpas in the seventh to build what turned out to be an insurmountable 5-0 lead.  Anthony Rizzo was 2-for-5 with a double, and two RBI’s giving him 45 on the season.  Starlin Castro also continued his hot hitting September going 2-for-4 with a triple.


Berken’s Solid Outing

Game Highlights:
Full Video Recap
Welington Castillo Goes Deep
Rizzo’s RBI Single
Castro’s Triple

Thanks for reading,
– George