April 2013

Minor Matters – April 20, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Recaps)

Iowa 4-20 lineFull Box Score

At The Plate – The Cubs tried to stage a late rally but it wasn’t enough after they fell behind Memphis 8-2 in the fifth inning.  Logan Watkins was 1-for-4 with a double, a walk, and a caught stealing.  Ty Wright was 1-for-4 with a double, two RBI’s and a run scored.  Brian Bogusevic (2-for-4) and Luis Flores (2-for-4) each had two hits in the loss with Bigusevic scoring a run and Flores knocking one in.

On The MoundChris Rusin got the start, and got lit up by the Redbirds.  Rusin went 4.1 inning giving up seven runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out three, he took the loss, his second of the year.  Esmailin Caridad was decent out of the pen going 2.2 innings giving up one run on two hits while walking one ans striking out two.  Cory Wade worked a scoreless inning of relief surrendering one hit.

Smokies 4-20 lineFull Box Score

At The Plate – The Smokies are red hot as they easily dispatched the Biscuits, the Biscuits!  To win their fifth straight game, and this one was never in doubt.  Eight out of the nine Smokies players in the lineup last night had at least one hit.  Matt Szczur is out to prove himself this year, and he’s doing it so far, he went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, three RBI’s, and two runs scored from the lead-off spot, he’s now hitting .302 on the season.  Arismendy Alcantara was 1-for-4 with a home run, a walk, three RBI’s and a run scored, he also made his 8th error.  Johermyn Chavez was 2-for-5 with a double, three RBI’s and a run scored.  Christian Villanueva (2-for-5), Rubi Silva (2-for-4), and Rafael Lopez (2-for-3) all had two hits games in the victory.

On The Mound - Dallas Beeler was outstanding in this one to earn his first victory of the season.  Beeler went seven innings giving up four runs, two earned, on four hits while walking one and striking out three.  Both Zach Rosscup and Frank Batista worked scoreless inning out of the pen with Rosscup striking out two and Batista striking out one.

Daytona 4-20 lineFull Box Score

At The Plate – The top of the order did all the damage in this one, unfortunately that wasn’t enough to knock off the Yankees.  Timothy Saunders was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, and a two runs scored from the lead-off spot.  John Andreoli, who is red-hot, went 4-for-4 with a walk, an RBI, a stolen base, and two runs scored, he’s now hitting .356 on the season.  Javier Baez was 1-for-4 with an RBI, while Jorge Soler went 1-for-4 with a double, a walk, and two RBI’s.  The bottom five guys in the D-Cubs order went a combined 1-for-18 and Daytona as a team was 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

On The MoundBen Wells was okay in this one, but still took the loss, he went six innings giving up four runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out six.  Yeiper Castillo was dominant out of the pen working two scoreless, hit-less innings while striking out one.  Sheldon McDonald didn’t fare as well in his inning of work, he gave up two runs on two hits while walking two and striking out two.

Kane County 4-20 line game 1

Full Box Score

At The Plate – The Cougars put this one to rest rather early as they jumped all over the River Bandits building a 6-1 lead in the fourth and cruised to a 7-3 win.  Five different Cougars had multi-hit games in this one.  Marco Hernandez was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and two runs scored.  Daniel Vogelbach was 2-for-4 with a run scored, he’s now hitting .309 on the season.  Jeimer Candelario was 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI’s, and a run scored.  Rock Shoulders continued to pound the ball, he was 2-for-3 with a walk, a home run, his third, an RBI, and two runs scored.  The Cougars were an impressive 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

On The Mound –  Pierce Johnson had himself another strong outing and earned his first win of the season.  Johnson went five innings giving up one run, unearned, on three hits while walking one and striking out six.  Nathan Dorris was solid out of the pen tossing one scoreless inning while giving up one hit and striking out one.  Eddie Orozco had some trouble closing things down, but he did, he worked one inning giving up two runs on three hits while striking out one.

Kane County 4-20 line game 2Full Box Score

At The Plate – Game two was much closer, but ended the same way, with a Cougars win as they swept the double-header.  Daniel Vogelbach was 2-for-3 with a walk, and a run scored.  But game two, and really the whole day belonged to Rock Shoulders, he was 3-for-3 in game two with his fourth home run of the season, three RBI’s and a run scored, his average now sits at .418 on the season after going 5-for-6 in the double-header.  Marco Hernandez was 1-for-4 with a triple, and a run scored in the victory.

On The MoundTayler Scott did most of the work, double-header games are only seven innings in Minor League ball, Scott went six giving up three runs on five hits while walking one and striking out four to get the win.  Jeffry Antigua worked a scoreless final inning to earn his first save of the season, quite the day for the Cougars.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Continue to Beat Themselves

Cubs April 20 lineFull Box Score

I understand that the Cubs won’t be competitive this year, maybe competitive in games, but not to the point of winning anything substantial, but the one thing I expect to see at least is strong fundamental play.  When the roster is hollowed, which it is, one would expect to see the little things done right, and players paying attention.  We are only sixteen games into this season and it is clear that in some games the Cubs just aren’t mentally there.  I suppose I shouldn’t be as upset about it Alfonso Sorianobecause this kind of stuff happens on bad teams, and for the most part the Cubs have fought in games but today just got to me.  It also is starting to get to Dale Sveum, “”This is obviously getting old…we’re making mistakes that rookie ball people make.”   The Cubs only had four chances with runners in scoring position, they did convert once, but it wasn’t enough as four unearned runs did in the Cubs and Edwin Jackson, just frustrating.

At The Plate – The Cubs managed to out-hit the Brewers in this one 7-6, but the Brewers didn’t make any errors and thus they won.  Of the seven Cubs hits only two were of the extra-base variety.  David DeJesus was 1-for-3, as was Luis ValbuenaAlfonso Soriano was the only Cubs player to register an RBI, he was 1-for-4, and also made an error.  Starlin Castro was 1-for-4 and he also made an error, the other error was made by Edwin Jackson.  Nate Schierholtz, and Dave Sappelt were the only Cubs with extra base hits, both doubles.

On The Mound – Edwin Jackson had a “quality” start by definition of the rule book as he went six innings giving up five runs, one earned, on four hits while walking one and striking out four.  Hector Rondon, and Kameron Loe both worked scoreless innings in relief but by then the game was decided. 

Up Next – The Cubs will look to avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon as Scott Feldman battles Wily Peralta at 1:10 PM CST.

Cubs April 20 box

Cubs April 20 box 1

Game Highlights:

Soriano’s impressive RBI single….sigh
Castro’s Error, sums it up

Thanks for reading,
– George

April 20, 2013 – Cubs @ Brewers; Lineups!

The Cubs try to get back on the winning track tonight in Milwaukee behind Edwin Jackson.  Jackson and the Cubs will be taking on Hiram Burgos who is making is Major League debut, the Cubs usually struggle against pitchers that are making their debut, I have nothing to back that up just seems that way.  Here’s how the teams will lineup tonight at 6:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago.

April 20 lineupsThanks for reading, go Cubs!
– George

Minor Matters – April 19, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Recaps)

Iowa 4-19 lineFull Box Score

At The Plate - The Cubs didn’t do much at the plate in this one, but didn’t need to, as the two runs they got in the first were plenty on their way to a 5-o victory.  Logan Watkins had a solid day at the top of the lineup going 2-for-5 with a run scored.  Ian Stewart, who is trying to make his way back to the big club was 0-for-2 but did draw two walks and scored a run.  Brian Bogusevic was 1-for-2 with two walks, a double and a run scored in the win.

On The Mound – Barret Loux was outstanding in this one as he earned his second win of the season.  Loux went five scoreless innings giving up three hits while walking one and striking out six.  Casey Coleman, Zach Putnam, Rafael Dolis, and Blake Parker all worked scoreless innings to close the door on Nashville.

Daytona 4-19 lineFull Box Score

At The Plate – The D-Cubs never really had a chance in this one as they fell behind 6-0 in the first and could never catch up.  Jorge Soler had another solid game going 1-for-3 with a walk, a double, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .414 on the season.  Dustin Geiger continues to pad his stats going 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, he now has fifteen RBI’s in just fourteen games.  Chad Noble was 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored in the loss.

On The Mound – Zach Cates didn’t have it tonight, and that might be putting it nicely.  He could only last two-thirds of an inning giving up six runs on three hits while walking three and striking out one.  Hunter Cervenka did a solid job out of the pen going two scoreless innings, he did walk three and struck out one, and didn’t give up any hits.  Luis Liria was good as well going 3.1 innings giving up one run on three hits while walking one and striking out five.  Frank Del Valle was effective as he usually is but didn’t have command at all, he worked 2.2 innings giving up one run on three hits while walking five(!) and striking out three.  In all D-Cubs pitchers walked twelve men in the loss.

Smokies 4-19 lineFull Box Score

At The Plate – Matt Szczur has had a solid start to the 2013 season and it continues last night as he was 2-for-5 with a triple, and two runs scored, he’s hitting .288 and has a .348 on base percentage.  Ronald Torreyes as been a house on fire since his return, he was 1-for-4 with a double, and two runs scored, he’s hitting .353 on the season.  Arismendy Alcantara continues to impress everyone associated with the Cubs, even their fans, he was 2-for-3 with a walk, two RBI’s, and a stolen base, his sixth in the last three games.  Christian Villanueva was 1-for-4 with a double, two RBI’s, and two runs scored, his average is only at .204 on the season but he already has twelve RBI’s.

On The Mound – Matt Loosen got the start and didn’t get the win but did some solid work, he just couldn’t get through five innings.  He went four scoreless innings giving up four hits while walking two and striking out eight.  A.J. Morris came on in relief to record the win as he went three innings giving up one run on three hits while walking two and striking out two.  Brian Schlitter shut things down over the last two innings, as he didn’t give up a run, he gave up three hits and struck out three.  I would also like to thank Born on Third friend Celeste Whiteside @aspenthisyear for sending along the following picture of Trey McNutt from last night, thanks so much Celeste!

Trey  McNutt

NOTES: Kane County doesn’t play games anymore, they were rained out, again.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Sloppy First Dooms Cubs

Cubs April 19 lineFull Box Score

Once again the Cubs put up a fight, and once again the Cubs lose a close game.  The damage was done early as Samardzija and the Cubs gave up four runs, I said “and the Cubs” because they contributed to the runs just as much as Shark did.  The game started with a Rizzo error, a soft single, a home run, a bloop double, a triple, and just like that it was 4-0.  The Cubs came right back using the long ball to make it 4-3 in the third inning, but could never even the score despite many Castro 4-19opportunities.  The Cubs put the lead-off man on in almost every inning tonight and couldn’t do anything with it, this one was as frustrating as they come.  Full credit to Samardzija for battling in this one, he could have folded in the first but didn’t and saved the pen.  Dale Sveum was ejected in this one, and I was 110% happy with it, after a non strike three call with Braun at the plate (the same pitch Shark was called out on with the bases loaded) Samardzija was visibly upset, said something and got back on the mound, the umpire showed him up by taking his mask off and stared down Samardzija, first Castillo got in his face then Sveum did, well done Dale.

At The Plate – The Cubs issues with runners in scoring position reared its ugly head again in this one as the Cubs pounded out ten hits, but went 0-for-7 when it mattered with runners in scoring position.  David DeJesus had a good night from the lead-off spot going 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI’s and a run scored.  Anthony Rizzo continues to make his hits count, he was 1-for-4 with a home run, his 5th of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.  Luis Valbuena was 1-for-3 with his 2nd home run of the season.  Unfortunately only one of those blasts came with a guy on base, and not getting guys in from second with less than two outs continues to drag this team down.  Newcomer Julio Borbon made a perfect Cubs debut by getting thrown out stealing second to end the game, he slid to soon, it was reminiscent of Willie Mays Hayes from “Major League.”  Ah, Cubs baseball, never a dull moment.

Enjoy..

On The Mound – I mentioned it above, but Jeff Samardzija really showed a lot tonight as he could have very easily packed it in tonight after a rough first inning that really wasn’t all his fault.  After giving up four runs in the first he settled down and gave the Cubs all he could going 7+ innings giving up five runs, four earned, on six hits while walking one and striking out four.  The two pitches he probably wants back is the 0-2 pitch to Braun that ended up being a three run shot, and the first pitch to Gomez in the eighth that left the park.  Kevin Gregg made his 2013 Cubs debut, it looked a lot like 2009 efforts, he gave up a hit and walked a batter, then he was removed.  Camp came in and got out of a jam thanks to the base running exploits by the Brewers, specifically Jean Segura who stole second and got caught stealing second in the same inning, I really don’t want to explain it, I will post the video if it’s available.

Jean Segura ladies and gentlemen

Up Next – Another thrilling Cubs game for sure, as this team doesn’t know any other way to play, no matter what it’s going to be close.  Edwin Jackson gets the start for the Cubs and he will take on Hiram Burgos who will be making his MLB debut, game starts at 6:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago.

Cubs April 19 box 1

Cubs April 19 box 2

Game Highlights:

DeJesus’ two-run homer
Valbuena goes deep
Check back later for more

Thanks for reading,
– George

April 19, 2013 – Cubs @ Brewers; Lineups!

The Cubs offense looks to help out Jeff Samardzija in Milwaukee tonight, something they haven’t been able to do so far this year as evidenced by Sharks 1-2 record with a 2.75 ERA.  The Cubs offense was outstanding yesterday, they will look to build off that tonight against Marco Estrada.  Here is how both teams will lineup tonight at 7:10 PM CST on WCIU.

April 19 lineups

 

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
– George

Series Preview – Cubs @ Brewers; April 19 – April 21, 2013

No rain outs this weekend!  It seems as though the Brewers have found a groove since playing the Cubs as they are playing better of late.  Yesterday’s Cubs game was very encouraging as far as the offense goes, it was some of the best contact of the year, and they will see the best weather they have all year in Milwaukee, thanks roof.  I really think the bats want to take off, Anthony Rizzo hit the ball hard in almost every at bat yesterday, Soriano hit his first home run yesterday, and Castro walked twice yesterday, all good things.  Always a fun series in Milwaukee as a lot of Cubs fans usually make the trip up there, and it is rather important that the Cubs get off to a good start to this trip in Milwaukee or this ten game trip might not turn out so great.

Standings 4-19

Last Series:

The Cubs split a rain shortened two game set with the Rangers at home.

The Brewers swept a three game series against the Giants in Milwaukee.

Game Times and Broadcast Information:

  • Friday, April 19, 2013 – 7:10 PM CST on WCIU
  • Saturday, April 20, 2013 – 6:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago
  • Sunday, April 21, 2013 – 1:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago

Starting Pitchers Scheduled:

Cubs:

Game One – Jeff Samardzija (1-2, 2.75)
– Career vs. Brewers (17 appearances, 3 GS) (2-3, 3.93)

Game Two – Edwin Jackson (0-2, 6.06)
– Career vs. Brewers (8 GS) (3-3, 3.57)

Game Three – Scott Feldman (0-2, 6.00)
– Career vs. Brewers (1 GS) (1-0, 0.00)

Brewers:

Game One – Marco Estrada (1-0, 4.50)
– Career vs. Cubs (9 appearances,  4 GS)  (3-0, 3.56)

Game Two – Hiram Burgos (0-1, 4.50)
– Career vs. Cubs (First appearance, Major League Debut)

Game Three – Wily Peralta (0-1, 6.19)
– Career vs. Cubs (1 GS) (0-0, 2.70)

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not:

The Cubs hitting seems to be picking things up, sure it’s really only one game, but at this point I’ll take it.  The Cubs could be considered to be falling on some back luck recently, especially in the Giants series.  The Cubs went 3-6 on the rain shortened home stand and the record Castillo previewcould have been the exact opposite if they could just close games out.  Welington Castillo has been red-hot really all season long, as he is hitting .425 on the season with three double, a home run, and four RBI’s.  Starlin Castro is also gaining traction at the plate as he has his average up to .311 with four doubles, a triple, two home runs, and six RBI’s.  Anthony Rizzo has been struggling a bit, but found some bad luck recently with line outs, I think he has a big series in Milwaukee, he looks better at the plate of late.  The Cubs starting pitching has been outstanding this year, the cumulative ERA is 3.15 which is sixth best in the Majors, conversely the bullpen ERA is 5.73 which is 29th in the Majors.  Obviously, if that number is just a little bit lower the Cubs could have four or five more wins.

The Brewers are coming off an impressive showing against the defending champion Giants sweeping the three game set and outscoring them 21 to 13.  Carlos Gomez is scorching hot for the Lucroy previewBrewers, over the last five games he’s hitting .556 (10-for18) with a triple, home run, and two RBI’s.  Jonathan Lucroy seems to have snapped out of his early season slump as well, he is hitting .350 (7-for-20) in his last five games with two home runs and five RBI’s.  Ryan Braun has gone ice-cold, some are blaming a neck injury that he is coming off of because you just don’t see these types of numbers from him, he’s hitting .091 (2-for-22) in his last six games, those two hits were home runs.  Milwaukee’s pitching is what is holding them back right now, and it’s been a mix of starters not getting the job done, and the bullpen being very unpredictable.  Their team ERA is 4.75 which is good for 26th in the Majors.

Bold Prediction:

I like the way the Cubs swung the bats against the Rangers yesterday and I think the warm weather (inside) in Milwaukee will continue that trend.  I think the Cubs win two out of three this weekend, and might have an opportunity to sweep on Sunday.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Claim Julio Borbon From Rangers (UPDATE: Gonzalez DFA’d)

Julio Borbon was designated for assignment by the Rangers last week, they were unable to work out a trade so he was placed on waivers on Wednesday.  The Cubs Borbonclaimed Borbon today, intriguing move considering they already signed Ryan Sweeney, a left-handed hitting outfielder, which is what Borbon is, and now a spot on the 40 man roster needs to be cleared to make room for him.  Borbon has also produced, he’s a career .283 hitter having 685 at bats in the Majors, and a career .324 on base percentage.  All of these numbers coming at the age of twenty-three to twenty-five, then didn’t play last year, one would think he would be a candidate to be on the active roster given the fact that he is out of minor league options.  This also could be the start of something else that is going on, I don’t want to speculate too much but there are simply too many players right now that are on the 40 man roster that are similar to Borbon.  The Cubs have Brett Jackson at Iowa, Ryan Sweeney at Iowa, Brian Bogusevic at Iowa, Dave Sappelt in Chicago, and David DeJesus in Chicago.  My guess is that he will replace Sappelt on the active roster and Sappelt will hit waivers but that’s just an educated guess at this point.

(UPDATE) Alberto Gonzalez has been DFA’d in a corresponding move to make room for Borbon.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Minor Matters – April 18, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Recaps)

Smokies 4-18 lineFull Box Score

At The Plate – The Smokies trailed 3-0 early but fought their way all the way back to win this one 5-3.  Arismendy Alcantara continues to be a threat in the Smokies lineup, he was 3-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base (his 5th in the last two games), and a run scored.  Jae-Hoon Ha was 1-for-4 with a two walks, and two runs scored.  Justin Bour had the biggest hit of the day, and he was the most productive, he was 1-for-3 with three walks, and three RBI’s.

On The Mound – The Smokies nearly exhausted all their options on the mound as they used six pitchers in the victory.  Kyle Hendricks got the start, he only made it through two innings giving up three runs on five hits while walking one.  The next five Smokies pitchers went nine scoreless innings combined, giving up just two hits, they did walk six guys, and struck out four.  Trey McNutt got the win out of the pen going two scoreless innings giving up one hit and walking one.

Daytona 4-18 lineFull Box Score

At The Plate – Another high scoring wild game for the Daytona Cubs, unfortunately the D-Cubs came out on the short end last night.  Zeke DeVoss had another solid game from the lead-off spot going 2-for-4 with a walk, and an RBI.  Javier Baez is starting to get locked in at the plate going 2-for-4 with an RBI, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .226 on the season (six hits in the last three games).  Jorge Soler made his return to the D-Cubs lineup after serving his five game suspension, he went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.  Stephen Bruno continues his hot start going 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored, he’s hitting .407 on the season.

On The Mound –  P.J. Francescon got beat up again but didn’t get the loss, he worked three innings giving up seven runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out two.  Eduardo Figueroa took the loss in this one, as he worked three innings giving up two runs on three hits while walking four and striking out two.  Austin Reed was beat up as well, he worked 1.2 innings giving up four runs on four hits while walking four as well, and striking out two.  Sheldon McDonald worked 1.1 scoreless innings, he walked two and struck out one.

Kane County 4-18 lineFull Box Score

At The Plate – Kane County trailed 5-0 early but came right back to take a 8-5 lead by the 4th inning but stumbled late in losing 9-8 to the River Bandits.  Five different players had at least two hits for the Cougars.  Gioskar Amaya was 2-for-5 with two doubles, and two runs scored from the lead-off spot.  Marco Hernandez was 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored, with a caught stealing.  Willson Contreras was 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBI’s, a walk, and a run scored.  Daniel Vogelbach was 2-for-5 with an RBI, and a run scored in the loss.

On The MoundLendy Castillo was roughed up in this one, as he worked four innings with five runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out six.  Justin Amlung didn’t fare much better out of the bullpen going 3.2 innings giving up three runs on three hits while walking two and striking out one.  Steve Perakslis took the loss going 2.1 innings giving up one run on two hits while walking one and striking out one.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Use Extra Base Hits to Pound Rangers

Cubs April 18 line

Full Box Score

Now these are the games that I think a lot of Cubs fans can get used to.  Thirteen hits, and six runs, not just thirteen hits but nine extra base hits and many of them very loud.  Maybe they just sounded loud because there were only 217 people at today’s game, but they were squared up for sure.  The Cubs jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the fourth inning amid the rain drops and this time they were able to keep their opponent at bay behind some solid pitching and defense.  I’m not sure what was the bigger victory today, the Cubs win, or the fact that the game was actually played.  Most of Chicago and the suburbs are under water, me included, so great job by the Wrigley grounds Anthony Rizzocrew to get the field in the best shape possible.

At The Plate – Maybe the best day at the plate all year for the Cubs, big days all around.  David DeJesus went 2-for-4 from the lead-off spot with a triple, a double, a walk and a run scored.  Starlin Castro was solid as well as he went 1-for-3 with two walks, his first two of the year, a double, and a stolen base.  Anthony Rizzo went 1-for-4 with his fourth home run of the season, and the longest in the Majors this year, a 475 foot blast.  His day could have been better two as it included two line outs, good to see solid contact from Rizzo.  Alfonso Soriano also found some production, he went 1-for-5 with his first home run and first RBI of the season.  Welington Castillo continued his red-hot start to the season going 4-for-4 with a double and a run scored.  Luis Valbuena was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI’s.

On The Mound – The Cubs pitching was just as good as the hitting in this one. Carlos Villanueva was finally rewarded for a solid outing, he earned his first win of the season going seven innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking one and striking out six.  James Russell and Carlos Marmol each worked a scoreless inning to close this one out.  Carlos Marmol was particularly good in this one as he didn’t allow a hit or a walk while striking out two.

Up Next – The Cubs travel to Milwaukee to begin a three game series with the Brewers.  Jeff Samardzija will get things going for the Cubs against Marco Estrada at 7:10 PM CST.  I guarantee there will be no rain outs this weekend.

Cubs April 18 box

Cubs April 18 Box 1

Game Highlights:

Soriano goes deep
Rizzo hits a monster a shot, really far
Valbuena’s single puts the Cubs on top
Castro and Barney turn two
Valnbuena’s RBI double
Villanueva’s slick double play

 

Thanks for reading,
– George

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,523 other followers