September 2012

September 20, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Reds

Jason Berken takes the ball for the Cubs today as they look to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Reds.  I see that accountability, actually I should say the LACK of accountability is on full display today as Valbuena is playing a night after getting picked off while playing with his batting gloves.  Here is how the rest of the Cubs will line up.

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

GO CUBS!
- George

Cubs Storm Back Only to Lose in Extras

It was a valiant effort from the Cubs, coming back from a 5-1 deficit against the soon to be Central Division champs, unfortunately the Cubs couldn’t close the deal and lost to the Reds 6-5 in eleven innings.  The outcome looked like it was going to be much different in the bottom of the 10th when the Cubs had 2nd and 3rd with only one out but couldn’t push across the winning run.  Welington Castillo struck out, Brett Jackson walked, and Steve Clevenger grounded out to leave the bases loaded and ned the threat.  Things got worse for the Cubs in the 11th after the first two hitters were retired, Brandon Phillips reached on a David DeJesus error and of course came around to score the winning run, unearned.  On a tough night to pitch with the wind howling straight out all game Chris Rusin did his best to keep his team in it.  He lasted five innings giving up five runs on ten hits while walking two and striking out two, not the greatest outing but not terrible given the conditions.  The Cubs pen did a solid job the final six innings, as they allowed only three hits the rest of the way.  Anthony Rizzo, and Luis Valbuena each has two hits in this one, but Valbuena was picked off second in spectacular fashion to end a Cubs threat in the 6th so I’m not too thrilled with anything else he did last night, terrible.  Starlin Castro had a great night at the plate going 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored to raise his average to .283 on the season.  The Cubs look to avoid the sweep this afternoon as Jason Berken makes his second start as a Cub.

FULL BOX SCORE   

Soriano’s Bomb

Game Highlights:
Castro’s Four Hit Game
Cubs Turn Four Double Plays
Barney’s Great Play
Castillo Walks to Tie it Up
Valbuena’s Double
Well Done Valbuena, Well Done

Thanks for reading,
- George

September 19, 2012 – Cubs lineup vs. Reds

Chris Rusin gets the start on Wednesday against Mike Leake and the Cincinnati Reds.  The game is set to start at 7:05 on CSN.  Here is a look at the rest of the Cubs lineup.

DeJesus – RF
Barney – 2B
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
Castro – SS
Valbuena - 3B
Castillo – C
Jackson – CF
Rusin – P

Go Cubs!!
-Mark

Cubs Make it Official: Reach an Agreement with Kane County

It has been speculated for about a month now, but today it became official, the Cubs have announced they have reached an agreement to move their single A affiliate from Peoria to Kane County.  Opening day for the Cougars will be Thursday, April 4.

“We are extremely excited about our new relationship with the Chicago Cubs,” said Cougars General Manager Curtis Haug.  “The close proximity between both organizations will be mutually beneficial in numerous ways.  We believe that the Cubs organization and their philosophies about the minor leagues, including scouting, player development, and involvement in the community, are a fantastic fit for our franchise.”

The Kane County Cougars are excited to bring the Cubs affiliate to town and so are the Cubs as the comments from Jason McLeod below.

“We are excited at the opportunity to work with the Kane County franchise,” said Cubs Senior Vice President of Scouting/Player Development Jason McLeod. “The benefits of having one of our minor league clubs this close to Chicago are numerous and we look forward to starting this new relationship.”

Not only is it exciting for the Cubs and the Cougars, but for so many Cub fans who can see some of the young, exciting Cubs talent so close to the Chicagoland area.  The new contract with Kane County will last for two years, running through the 2014 season.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

Cubs Bats Stay Cold on Tuesday

Justin Germano and Homer Bailey went back and forth early each throwing up zeros for the first five innings.  Germano ran into some problems in the sixth when he walked the first three batters in the sixth inning and just like that Germano’s night was done.  Manuel Corpas was brought into a tough spot and got Scott Rolen to fly out, but Ryan Hanigan delivered the big blow hitting a three run double into the right center gap.  Corpas got out of the inning and pitched the seventh as well not allowing another hit.  Alberto Cabrera and Jaye Chapman did their job keeping the Reds right where they were as they combined to pitch two scoreless innings.  The Cubs threatened in the eighth when with one out Darwin Barney delivered his second hit of the game and would later score the Cubs lone run when Bryan LaHair lined a double down the right field line.  Homer Bailey was really good for the Reds, but that would be the end of his night and in came our old friend Sean Marshall.  After hitting Dave Sappelt he struck out Josh Vitters and got Anthony Rizzo to ground out to end the Cubs threat in the eighth inning.  With no Aroldis Chapman the Cubs saw Jonathan Broxton in the ninth and did absolutely nothing going three up and three down to end the game losing 3-1.  The Cubs offense was not good again on Tuesday only able to muster up four hits against the Reds, two of which were by Barney who extended his hitting streak to 13.

FULL BOX SCORE

Game Highlights:
LaHair’s RBI Double
Jackson’s Running Catch
Sveum Postgame

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

Cubs Extend PDC With Daytona For Two More Years

daytona cubs logo

The Daytona Cubs will remain just that for the next two-years, Cubs.  The announcement was made yesterday via the Daytona Beach News Journal.  Here are some of the highlights from the article.

Daytona General Manager Bradly Ballard spoke to the excitement of not only being part of the Cubs organization still, but the direction as well.

“We’re very excited to know we’ll begin a third decade of affiliation with the Chicago Cubs,” Daytona general manager Brady Ballard said. “Especially with the Cubs’ renewed emphasis on player development since (team president) Theo Epstein and (general manager) Jed Hoyer joined the organization.”

With the new regime now in charge the Minor League facilities have been under the microscope, and that was evident in Daytona as the Cubs brass weren’t blown away by the facilities.

Although there has been some speculation the Chicago Cubs might look elsewhere, Ballard said he never got any indication the National League club ever considered moving. However, the team had some concerns about improving on-site weight training and fitness facilities for players and cramped clubhouse conditions, Ballard said.

Because of that concern the Daytona facility will be getting some much-needed improvements, and should come out of this as one of the nicer Florida State League ballparks.

Those concerns are addressed in a $1.25 million improvement project for Jackie Robinson Ballpark that goes before the Daytona Beach City Commission on Wednesday night. The proposed improvements that directly affect players and coaching staff include construction of a 750-square-foot weight training/fitness room on the north end of the home clubhouse and converting office space used by Ballard and his staff to additional locker and office space for the baseball team’s manager, coaches and roving coaches.

“Having a weight room is a must for a professional baseball team,” Ballard said. “What we’ve been using is essentially a 12-by-12-foot room that can’t fit more than two or three guys working out. Having a real weight room here will allow the players to get their workouts in before having lunch or to work out after the game.”

Jason McLeod issued a statement about the extension as well.

“The (Chicago) Cubs are pleased to extend our relationship with Daytona for at least two more years, and to continue a partnership that dates to 1993,” said Jason McLeod, senior vice president for scouting and player development. “The Daytona franchise and (its) great fans have always been tremendous supporters of our players and of the Cubs organization.”

Definitely good news coming out of Daytona heading into next year, now if they could just do something about those rain outs…

Thanks for reading,
- George

Peoria Chiefs and St. Louis Cardinals Together Again

Peoria Chiefs Logo -

Consider this the start of the movement that will culminate with the Cubs single A affiliate becoming the Kane County Cougars.  Today the Peoria Chiefs announced a PDC that will begin next year, thus confirming the Chiefs and Cubs split.  So we now hate the Peoria Chiefs, I’m kidding, there are a lot of good people who work with the Chiefs and I wish them nothing but the best.

The Peoria Chiefs and St. Louis Cardinals have announced that the two clubs have reached a four-year PDC agreement which reunites the former affiliation partners. The Chiefs were a Cardinals affiliate from 1995 to 2004 making the playoffs four times and winning their lone Midwest League Championship in 2002. The two organizations will hold a press conference on the agreement on Tuesday, September 25 at Peoria Chiefs Stadium. Details of the press conference, including the start time, will follow later in the week.

“This is a great day for baseball in Peoria and Central Illinois,” said Chiefs President Rocky Vonachen. “We are thrilled to bring the color red back to the ballpark with one of the greatest organizations and fan bases in baseball. We hope that with all the great young talent the Cardinals have produced the last few seasons to bring another MWL Championship to Peoria as they continue to bring World Series trophies to St. Louis.”

Stay tuned for details about the Cubs new Single A affiliate, we should get some sort of announcement soon.

Thanks for reading,
- George

Born on Third Player Card: Logan Watkins

Current Season

Career

For full statistics please click here to be taken to Logan Watkin’s Baseball-Reference page

Thanks for reading,
- Mark

Graphics by George

September 18, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs Reds

Justin Germano will take the mound to face Homer Bailey and the first place Reds tonight.  Here is how the Cubs will lineup for this evening.  The game is set to start at 7:05.

DeJesus – RF
Valbuena – 3B
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
Castro – SS
Clevenger – C
Jackson – CF
Barney – 2B
Germano – P

Go Cubs!!
-Mark

September 18 – 20, 2012 vs. Reds – Series Preview

 

The Reds come to Chicago for a three game series starting Tuesday, September 18.  The Reds have all but locked up the division, but are just 5-5 in their last ten, including losing series’ to both the Marlins and the Astros.  The Reds have gotten Joey Votto back since we last saw them, but Aroldis Chapman has been shut down for a little bit and the Cubs will not face him this weekend.  The Cubs on the other hand have been playing good baseball as of late going 7-3 in their last ten and splitting their most recent series against the Pirates.  The Cubs can’t really play spoiler against the Reds, but they can postpone the Reds clinching the division for a few days and hopefully against somebody else.  Alfonso Soriano went over the 100 RBI plateau last week and he will look to hit his 30th home run this series against the Reds.

Record:  88-59 (road, 41-31) 1st in Central
Runs Scored:  627 – 8th in NL
Team ERA:  3.44 – 2nd in NL
Last 10:  5-5
Last Series:  Lost two of three to the Marlins

Record:  58-89 (home, 36-36) 5th in Central
Runs Scored:  565 – 15 in NL
Team ERA:  4.46 – 14th in NL
Last 10:  7-3
Last Series:  Split with the Pirates

Here are the pitching matchups for the series.

Tuesday September 18, 2012
Cincinnati: Homer Bailey (11-9, 3.93 ERA)
Cubs: Justin Germano (2-7, 5.60)

Wednesday September 19, 2012
Cincinnati:  Mike Leake (8-9, 4.69 ERA)
Cubs:  Chris Rusin (1-2, 5.06 ERA)

Thursday September 20, 2012
Cincinnati:  Johnny Cueto (16-9, 2.92 ERA)
Cubs:  Jason Berken ( 0-1, 7.20 ERA)

Season Series:  Reds lead series 9-4

Prediction:  Cubs lose series 2-1

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

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