May 2013

May 25, 2013 – Cubs @ Reds; Lineups

Travis Wood gets the ball for the Cubs against his former team at 3:05 PM CST on CSN Chicago.  The Reds will counter with Homer Bailey, the Cubs have seen a lot of Bailey, so if Wood can keep the tough Reds lineup in check they Cubs should have a solid chance to probably blow one late, I mean win.

May 25 lineups

 

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Minor Matters – May 24, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Recaps)

Iowa 5-24 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – The Cubs jumped out in front of the RedHawks 4-1 after one inning and 5-1 after three, they had to withstand a late charge but held on for the 5-4 victory.  The Iowa Cubs are surging as of late as they moved to within five of .500 for the first time since forever it seems.  The Cubs could only manage four hits in this one, but they made the most of them.  Brian Bogusevic, Dave Sappelt, and J.C. Boscan all had one hit on the night, all singles.  Josh Vitters had the big night for the Cubs going 1-for-2 with two walks, his third home run of the season, an RBI, and two runs scored.

On The MoundNick Struck struggled with his command in this one but worked deep enough and effective enough to earn his third win of the season.  Struck went 5.1 innings giving up three runs on six hits while walking five and striking out four.  Esmailin Caridad also struggled with his command in this one, he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up one run on no hits (yes, no hits), while walking two.  Hisanori Takahashi was effective out of the pen going one scoreless inning giving up one hit while walking one and striking out one.  Zach Putnam was excellent going two scoreless innings giving up one hit while walking one and striking out two to earn his third save of the season.

Smokies 5-24 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – The Smokies and Stars were locked in a 1-1 battle until the seventh when the Stars broke the game open, scoring five times over the last three innings to take this one 6-2.  Matt Szczur was 1-for-4 with a walk, a caught stealing, and his eighth double of the season.  Rubi Silva had a solid day going 2-for-4 with his eighth home run of the season, an RBI, and two runs scored.  Tim Torres was 1-for-3 with a walk, and an RBI in the loss, he’s now hitting .286 on the season.

On The MoundYeiper Castillo who was outstanding in Daytona was promoted up to Tennessee and his first start was tonight, and he was brilliant.  Castillo worked six innings giving up one run on three hits while striking out seven.  Trey McNutt took the loss in this one as he worked one inning giving up two runs on one hit while walking one.  Kevin Rhoderick continued to struggle with his command; he worked one inning giving up one run, unearned, on one hit while walking one.  Tony Zych was roughed up going one inning giving up two runs on three hits while striking out one.

Daytona 5-24 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – Daytona jumped on top of Lakeland with two runs in the first, unfortunately they couldn’t get much going after that and Lakeland exploded for seven runs late in a 7-3 victory.  John Andreoli continued his strong 2013 campaign going 3-for-5 with a double, two stolen bases (15), and a run scored.  Javier Baez is picking things up at the plate and making contact as well, he was 2-for-4 with a run scored, he also made two more errors bringing his 2013 total to twenty-two, and he’s now hitting .271 on the season.  Jorge Soler was 1-for-3 with a walk, his fourth stolen base of the season, and a run scored.  Dustin Geiger continued his assault Florida State League pitching; he was 2-for-4 with two RBI’s, which brings his total to forty-two on the season.

On The MoundBen Wells suffered the loss in this one, unfortunately he really didn’t have too much of a say in that.  Wells went five innings giving up three runs, one earned, on six hits while walking two and striking out two.  Frank Del Valle was roughed up in probably his worst outing of 2013, he worked two innings giving up four runs on three hits while walking one and striking out two.  Austin Reed was really good out of the pen going two scoreless innings while walking one and striking out two.

Kane County 5-24 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – The Cougars only needed two innings to blow this game open, they scored four times in the fourth inning and four times in the seventh en route to an 8-1 victory.  The Cougars had an excellent attack, they only had eight hits, but walked seven times, that’s how you score runs (hear that Cubs?).  Albert Almora continued his hot start to the season going 1-for-3 with two walks, and a run scored in the win.  Dan Vogelbach was 1-for-4 with a walk, and two runs scored, sensing a theme here?  Rock Shoulders is having a hard time finding hits as of late but was still productive today, he was 0-for-3 with two walks, an RBI, and two runs scored.  Yaniel Cabezas was 1-for-2 with two walks, a triple, three RBI’s, and a run scored.

On The Mound Pierce Johnson was outstanding again, this time he had enough support from his offense to get a win and improve his record to 3-3 on the season.  Johnson worked 6.2 innings giving up one run on six hits while walking two and striking out eight.  Steve Perakslis was solid out of the pen to close this one out; he worked 2.1 scoreless innings while striking out two.

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Feldman better at the plate than on the mound in loss to Reds

Cubs 5-24 line

Full Box Score

Scott Feldman and the Cubs pitchers have basically said that’s enough and are tired of waiting around for their offense to do anything so they are taking things into their own hands.  Feldman launched a two run shot to give the Cubs an early 3-0 lead but you know those don’t last, silly.  Feldman had one really bad inning which included a Ryan Hanigan 330′ three run homer, and the Cubs couldn’t find anymore offense the rest of the way as the Reds took game one of the series 7-4.

PICTURE OF THE GAME

Picture of the game 5-24

Cubs 5-24 box

Game Highlights:

Valbuena’s RBI Single
Great catch by Scheirholtz
Barney with a beauty of a play
Barney Sac Fly

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May 24, 2013 – Cubs @ Reds; Lineups!

I’m predicting ten runs tonight, for the Cubs, not the Reds, because frankly I don’t really care if I’m wrong, and I’m tired of watching losing baseball especially when the majority of the time the Cubs play well enough to win like sixty percent of the time, okay that doesn’t make any sense.  Tonight is game one as Scott Feldman takes the mound, he will be opposed by the 54 MPH throwing Bronson Arroyo.  Here are the lineups for tonight.

May 24 lineups

 

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Series Preview – Cubs @ Reds; May 24 – May 26, 2013

Reds preview

I think I mentioned that it was imperative for the Cubs to get off to a good start on this road trip to avoid a disaster, well that didn’t happen.  The Cubs limp into this weekend series against the Reds after getting swept by the Pirates and losing five out of their last six.  That’s why I said that the Mets series would have either been a step forward or a big step back, they lost that series and spiraled since, that would be a step back as they sit ten games under .500 now which is a low water mark.  Things aren’t going to get any easier as the Cubs start a three game series in Cincinnati tonight, a place where the Reds are 16-6 on the season, and have won eight of their last ten overall.  Reds preview 5-24If there is any good news heading into this series it’s that the Cubs have played the Reds tough all year-long, that doesn’t necessarily mean wins, guess we’ll have to rely on moral victories at this point.  The Reds are back to scoring runs in bunches again and have scored 225 on the season, that’s good for sixth in the majors.  They hold a huge edge in the department over the Cubs and the 179 runs they have scored this season.  Scoring runs isn’t the only thing the Reds do well, they are pretty good at preventing the other team from doing so.  They have a 3.31 team ERA which is third best in the Majors, you add up that kind of offense, and pitching and you get a team that is 29-18 on the season.  The Cubs will need a perfect series in order to take two out of three this weekend.

Last Series:

The Cubs were swept in Pittsburgh, three games that we should all just forget about.

The Reds are rolling as they have won three straight, and eight out of their last ten.  They are coming off a three game sweep of the Mets in New York.

Game Times and Broadcast Information:

  • Friday, May 24, 2013 - 6:10 PM CST on WGN
  • Saturday, May 25, 2013 – 3:10 PM CST on WGN
  • Sunday, May 26, 2013 – 12:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago

Starting Pitchers Scheduled:

Cubs:

Game One – Scott Feldman (4-3, 2.19)
- Career vs. Reds (first appearance)

Game Two – Travis Wood (4-2, 2.24)
- Career vs. Reds (3 GS) (0-1, 4.42)

Game Three – Matt Garza (0-0, 0.00)
- Career vs. Reds (4 GS) (1-2, 3.80)

Reds:

Game One – Bronson Arroyo (4-2, 3.25)
- Career vs. Cubs (28 appearances, 26 GS) (11-9, 2.99)

Game Two – Homer Bailey (2-3, 3.09)
- Career vs. Cubs (10 GS) (5-2, 5.12)

Game Three – Johnny Cueto (2-0, 3.22)
- Career vs. Cubs (18 GS) (8-6, 3.01)

Bold Prediction:

The Cubs send their number four, five, and one starters to the mound in this series, and oddly enough that might be their best chance to win.  Travis Wood, and Scott Feldman have been as good as any pitcher this year, not just on the Cubs either.  With that said, the Reds are finding their groove and the Cubs look disinterested so I think they lose two out of three this weekend.  HOWEVER, of course there is a however, I think if they can steal the first game tonight they could win two out of three, fingers crossed.Rizzo 5-24

Cub to Watch:

Time for Anthony Rizzo to get back on track as he has struggled since signing his big contract extension.  Could that be a product of Rizzo trying to justify his contract, I don’t think so, I think he is just pressing at the moment knowing he is a big part of this offense and is struggling.  Rizzo has had success against Arroyo in the past (3-for-8), if he has a big night tonight then expect a big series as Rizzo usually parlays one big game into a torrid week or so.

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Minor Matters – May 23, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

Iowa 5-23 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – The Cubs jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning and that’s all they would need in this one, they tacked on two more to take a 4-0 and that’s how it ended.  Logan Watkins had a good day from the leadoff spot going 2-for-4 with his fourth home run of the season, two RBI’s, and one run scored.  Dave Sappelt was 2-for-3 with a walk, and an RBI, he also had a caught stealing, he’s now hitting .308 since his demotion to Iowa.  Josh Vitters had a solid day as it was good to see him back in the lineup, he was 2-for-3 with a walk, and a run scored.

On The MoundChris Rusin was outstanding in this one to earn his third win of the season against four losses, despite a solid 3.88 ERA.  Rusin went six scoreless innings giving up six hits while walking two and striking out four.  Yoanner Negrin was solid per usual going two scoreless innings giving up one hit while striking out two.  Eduardo Sanchez made his organizational debut and was good going one scoreless inning while walking one and striking out two.

Smokies 5-23 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – The Smokies couldn’t get much going offensively but they didn’t need to in order to get the win, they only managed four hits and two runs in the 2-0 victory.  Arismendy Alcantara was 1-for-2 with two walks (Cubs Way!), sixth home run, an RBI, and a run scored.  Rafael Lopez, Tim Torres, and Jonathan Mota were the other Smokies to record hits and with Torres’ being an RBI double.

On The MoundKyle Hendricks was outstanding, and really has been all year, quite an impressive start.  Hendricks worked seven scoreless innings giving up three hits while walking one and striking out seven to earn his fourth win of the season and lower his ERA to 2.44, wow.  Brian Schlitter doesn’t give up runs, ever, or at least it seems that way.  Schlitter worked a scoreless inning in relief giving up two hits; his ERA is now 0.90 on the season.  Marcus Hatley worked a scoreless ninth inning for his second save of the season giving up one hit while walking one and striking out one.

Daytona 5-23 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – Daytona pounded out twelve hits but could only manage to score four times as they lost 8-4 to Jupiter, the Cubs were 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.  Wes Darvill was 1-for-3 with two walks, a double, and a run scored, he’s having a rough go of it, only hitting .167 on the season.  John Andreoli continues to have a solid season, he was 3-for-5 with his sixth (!) triple of the season, and two runs scored.  Jorge Soler was 1-for-3 with a walk, his tenth double of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.  Dustin Geiger is making a case for a promotion with his play, he was 2-for-3 with an RBI, his 40th of the season, he’s played in 44 games.  Tim Saunders was 2-for-4 with his thirteenth stolen base of the season in the loss.

On The MoundZach Cates didn’t have his best stuff in this one, he worked five innings giving up four runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out four.  Jeffrey Lorick, who very rarely gives up anything, worked one inning giving up one run on one hit while walking three.  Sheldon McDonald was also touched up; he worked two innings giving up three runs, one earned, on two hits while walking one.

Cougars 5-23 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – Long, odd night in Peoria that resulted in the Cougars losing 9-8 in fourteen innings.  Here’s the odd part, the score was 8-8 after four, the Cougars couldn’t score over the next ten innings and the Chiefs only scored once for the win.  Pin-Chieh Chen had a solid night at the top of the lineup going 1-for-5 with two walks, two RBI’s, and three runs scored.  Albert Almora has returned to Kane County swinging the bat, he was 4-for-7 in this one with two doubles, an RBI, and a run scored, he’s 7-for-11 since returning from injury.  Jeimer Candelario had a productive night going 2-for-7 with his sixteenth double of the season, and four RBI’s, he’s got his average on the rise, it’s now at .267 on the season and he is hitting .333 over his last ten games.  Dan Vogelbach was 1-for-6 with a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored in the loss.

On The Mound – Rough start for Dillon Maples, his worst one since returning to the Kane County rotation, his offense bailed him out so he did not factor in the decision.  Maples worked 3.2 innings giving up eight runs, five earned, on six hits while walking three and striking out four.  Lendy Castillo was about as good as you could be, he worked 5.1 scoreless innings out of the pen giving up five hits while walking two and striking out nine.  Jeffry Antigua was also solid out of the pen going two scoreless innings while striking out four.  Justin Amlung did everything he could to keep this one going but ended up suffering his second loss of the season.  Amlung worked 2.1 innings giving up one run on one hit while striking out three.

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Cubs listless as Pirates finish off sweep

Cubs 5-23 line

Full Box Score

Maybe it was because it was getaway day, maybe it was the hour and forty-seven minute rain delay, but the Cubs were seemingly ready to get out of Pittsburgh as fast as possible in this one.  The Pirates jumped all over Edwin Jackson early as they scored twice in each of the first two innings, and that was plenty to silence the already quiet Cubs.  To the Cubs credit, they shut the Pirates down the rest of the way but once again couldn’t find enough offense.  The Cubs were able to score once in the fourth and once in the seventh, but they couldn’t string together a rally, not even a fake one.  For the series, the Cubs only scored six times and walk away with three straight losses.  DeJesus 5-23Not a great start to an eight game road trip as the Cubs now head to Cincinnati for a three game weekend series, this trip could end up disastrous.

At The Plate - The Cubs could only manage seven hits in this one, and were 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position, so not a lot of chances all day.  David DeJesus was back in the starting lineup and was 1-for-4 with a double, his thirteenth of the season.  Starlin Castro was 2-for-4 with two singles in the loss to get his average back up to .270 on the season.  Alfonso Soriano, Darwin Barney were the only other Cubs in the starting lineup to get hits, Scott Hairston and Ryan Sweeney added hits off the bench.

On The Mound – Edwin Jackson had a rough go of it, then the rains game to end is day.  Jackson worked three innings giving up four runs on six hits while walking one and striking out six, his record fell to 1-7 on the season.  The Cubs pen was outstanding in this one, go figure.  They worked a combined five scoreless innings giving up three hits while walking two and striking out five.  Rafael Dolis, Carlos Villanueva, Carlos Marmol, and Kyuji Fujikawa were the ones that did the stellar work.

Up Next – The Cubs travel to Cincinnati to take on the Reds this weekend, another stiff test.  Series preview coming up shortly.

Cubs 5-23 box

Game Highlights:

Full video recap
Jackson’s outing
Sweeney’s RBI single
Rizzo’s RBI groundout

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Samardzija dominant, Cubs waste it of course

Cubs 5-22 line

Full Box Score

Yet another outstanding effort from a Cubs starting pitcher ends up in a Cubs loss, as it has so often in 2013.  It was Jeff Samardzija‘s turn to get screwed over as he was dominant all night only to see his record get worse as the Cubs couldn’t push a single run across the plate.  Sure, Francisco Liriano was solid, but the vaunted “righty lineup” did what it usually does, come up empty, often.  The turning point in this one took place in the third inning when the Cubs loaded the bases with nobody out with the top of the order coming up.  The Cubs couldn’t score in that situation, it wasn’t the first time this year, and it won’t be the last, and a team that can’t score in that situation Smardzija 5-22doesn’t deserve to win the game.  It wouldn’t be a Cubs loss without another fake rally in the ninth inning and that’s exactly what happened as the Cubs had runners on first and second with only one out and came away empty-handed yet again.  If it’s not the bullpen blowing a game, it’s the offense not helping out a starter after he has done way more than enough to win, these losses are really starting to get on everyone’s nerves.

At The Plate – The Cubs could only manage four hits in the loss, they walked only once, and struck out eleven times.  Here are a couple more depressing stats, they were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left eight guys on base.  Julio Borbon, and Cody Ransom each had a hit in the loss while Welington Castillo had two singles.

On The Mound – Jeff Samardzija did everything he could to get the win tonight, I guess he was supposed to hit a home run as well, unfortunately he didn’t.  Shark worked seven innings giving up one run on three hits while walking one and striking out eight.  The loss drops his record to 2-6 on the season as he lowered his ERA to 3.25 for the year, amazing.  Carlos Villanueva was available tonight, guess he wasn’t available twenty-four hours ago, he worked a scoreless inning while walking one.

Up Next - Game three of the series, hopefully the Cubs can find a way to salvage one game of this series.  Edwin Jackson gets the start for the Cubs, he will be opposed by Jeanmar Gomez at 11:35 AM CST tomorrow morning.

Cubs 5-22 box

 

Game Highlights:

Check back later, MLB.com has no Cubs highlights yet, oh right, they probably won’t.

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Minor Matters – May 22, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

Iowa 5-22 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – The Cubs were out of this one right away as Las Vegas piled up eight runs in the first four innings to make it 8-2 en route to a 9-4 victory.  Edwin Maysonet was 2-for-5 with his second home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.  Brian Bogusevic doesn’t stop hitting, he was 1-for-2 with his fifth home run of the season, a stolen base, an RBI, three walks (Cubs Way!), and a run scored.  Brett Jackson was 1-for-3 with his third triple of the season, and a run scored in the loss.  Donnie Murphy also got in on the home run fun, he was 1-for-3 with a walk, his third home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.

On The MoundGuillermo Moscoso got the start and was torched by the 51’s as he suffered his first loss of the season.  Moscoso worked four innings giving up eight runs on six hits while walking four and striking out seven.  Casey Coleman was brilliant out of the pen going three scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking one and striking out two.  Hisanori Takahashi worked two innings giving up one run on three hits while striking out two.

Daytona 5-22 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – The D-Cubs jumped all over Jupiter early, taking a 6-1 lead in the third en route to an 8-4 victory, their second straight.  Daytona pounded out twelve hits in the win, and were 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position.  John Andreoli was outstanding going 3-for-5 with two runs scored; he surprisingly didn’t steal a base in this one.  Javier Baez was 1-for-5 with his twelfth double of the season, an RBI, and two runs scored, and he committed his twentieth error of the 2013.  Jorge Soler was 1-for-3 with two walks, and two RBI’s, he’s now hitting .299 on the season after slumping for a few weeks.  Dustin Geiger loves to drive in runs, he was 2-for-5 with a double, and two RBI’s, that gives him 39 on the season.  Chadd Krist had a solid game going 1-for-3 with a walk, a double, and two runs scored in the win.

On The MoundAustin Kirk got the start tonight and righted the ship to get his fifth win of the season.  Kirk worked five innings giving up one run on three hits while walking two and striking out two, nice to see this kind of outing from Kirk who had struggled mightily in May.  Luis Liria struggled out of the pen going 1.2 innings giving up two runs on two hits while walking one and striking out one.  Hunter Cervenka has been so very good this year, and was effective tonight.  Cervenka worked 2.1 innings giving up one run on four hits while walking three and striking out two, earning his fifth save of the season.

Kane County 5-22 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – The Cougars fell behind 5-0 by the second inning and were really never in it as they wound up losing 9-2 to the Chiefs.  The Cougars had the same amount of hits as the Chiefs did (10), but scored seven less runs as they were 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.  The big news of the night was the return of Albert Almora who was making his 2013 debut after recovering for surgery to remove a broken hamate bone.  Almora didn’t disappoint as he was 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored, too bad he wasn’t up with guys on base tonight.  Eight of the nine starters had hits for the Cougars in this one; it really was a challenge to score only two runs.  The Cougars had three extra base hits in the loss, the Almora double, a Dan Vogelbach double, and a Gioskar Amaya triple.

On The MoundMichael Heesch was very good in the early going this year, but has struggled recently, that includes tonight.  Heesch suffered his fourth loss of the season as he worked 6.2 innings giving up five runs, four earned, on six hits while walking one and striking out three.  Eddie Orozco wasn’t much better out of the pen as he could only retire one hitter giving up two runs on three hits while striking out one.  Brian Smith was also touched up as he worked one inning giving up two runs, one earned, on one hit while walking two and striking out two.

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May 22, 2013 – Cubs @ Pirates; Lineups

Jeff Samardzija battles Francisco Liriano in game two at 6:05 PM CST on WGN.  There is some bad weather in the Pittsburgh area so there could be a delay or two, no word on if the game will start on time, all indications are that it will, but that could change.  Here is how both teams will line up.

May 22 lineups

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