May 2013

Garza returns to rotation Tuesday; Villanueva to pen

Welcome back Matt Garza.  The long and winding road that started just before the trade deadline last year has finally reached its end.  It’s a journey that is not lost on Garza, “I’m just excited, just happy that I don’t have to go rehab again. This actually means something. But I can’t wait. It’s been 10 months in the making. I’m excited to get back out there.”  There has definitely been more ups than downs, Garza Backbut Garza finally appears healthy and will return to the mound for the Cubs on Tuesday in Pittsburgh.  As it has been speculated by me and many others for the last week or so Carlos Villanueva has to give up his spot.  Villanueva has been good for the Cubs, he will look to use his stuff out of the pen now, and should be given a decent shot given the struggles of Shawn Camp.  Sveum respects how Villanueva handled it, 

Via the Daily Herald

“He was very professional about it and understood,” manager Dale Sveum said. “We all know that he’s kind of been in this role, the swingman, so to speak. So he understands it. He accepts it. Very professional about the whole thing.

“He’s got the ability to pitch late in the game because of the repertoire he has, according to matchups. You’re not afraid to use him against left-handed hitters with his changeup and his ability to backdoor breaking balls and do things like that. He’s obviously built up to do a lot of things.

A roster move will have to be made to get Garza back on the active roster, obviously I will pass that along once it had been announced.  This is great news as Garza should make the Cubs starting rotation just that much better, and it has already been well above average so far this season.  I don’t know about you but I am anxiously awaiting Garza’s first throw to first base, should be exhilarating.

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Minor Matters – May 17, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

Iowa 5-17 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – After battling back from an early 4-0 hole the Iowa Cubs found themselves leading heading into the late innings, that’s when things fell apart in 9-8 loss to Tucson.  Hits were all over the place in this one as the Cubs pounded out eighteen hits, and scored eight runs, they left 11 men on base as well.  Logan Watkins was 1-for-4 with a walk, his third home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.  Brett Jackson had a breakout game going 4-for-5 with a double, and a run, he’s now hitting .265 on the season. Josh Vitters had a solid game as well going 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  Darnell McDonald, Brent Lillibridge, and J.C. Boscan each had two hits in the loss.

On The MoundGuillermo Moscoso got the start for the Cubs, and pitched in and out of trouble having one costly inning.  Moscoso went five innings giving up four runs, two earned, on nine hits while striking out eight.  Esmailin Caridad was sub par to say the least, he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up three runs on four hits to take the loss.  Casey Coleman was roughed up a bit as well, he worked 2.1 innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking one.  Hisanori Takahashi worked a scoreless ninth inning to give the Cubs a shot to no avail.

Smokies 5-17 line

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At The Plate – The Smokies jumped on top of the Lookouts with four runs in the second and couldn’t add on the rest of the way, even still they were able to hang on for a 4-3 win.  Matt Szczur continues to find ways get on base for the Smokies as their lead-off man, he was 2-for-5 in this one, and he is now hitting .294 on the season.  Ronald Torreyes provided the production for the Smokies, he was 1-for-5 with two RBI’s in the win.  Christian Villanueva  had a huge game, he was 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI, and a run scored.

On The MoundKyle Hendricks has been so very good this year, and he was again in this one, he worked seven innings giving up three runs on six hits while walking one and striking out three to earn his third win of the season.  Tony Zych did a solid job out of the pen going one scoreless inning while striking out one.  Zach Rosscup was good as usual working a scoreless ninth inning for his first save of the season, he walked one and struck out the side.

Daytona 5-17 line game 1

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At The Plate – Daytona owned game one, and it was nice to see them put together a team game and get a win given their recent struggles.  As you will read, this day was owned by Jorge Soler and Dustin Geiger, maybe May 17 shall be known as Soler Geiger day moving forward.  Soler was a monster in game one, he was 4-for-4 with his sixth home run of the season, and three runs scored.  He scored three times because Dustin Geiger was hitting behind him, and he didn’t want Soler to have all the glory.  Geiger was outstanding, he was also 4-for-4 with three doubles, a triple (slugging madness!), and four RBI’s.  That was it, those two guys won the game for the D-Cubs.

On The Mound - Yeiper Castillo was all Daytona needed on the mound.  He spun a gem, going the distance (7 innings for DH’s), he worked seven innings giving up one run on four hits while walking one and striking out two.  He improved his record to 1-0 on the season, and lowered his ERA to 2.33, very impressive.

Daytona 5-17 line game 2

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At The Plate –  Daytona owned game one, and battled for a character win in game two to sweep the double-header.  Javier Baez was 2-for-5 with a walk, a triple, and three runs scored, he also had three errors, bring his 2013 total to seventeen.  Jorge Soler was a beast in game two as well, he went 3-for-6 with a double, and a run scored, he was 7-for-10 in the double-header and is now hitting .297 on the season.  Back to the other hero of the day Dustin Geiger, he was 3-for-4 in game two with a double, two walks, an RBI, and two runs scored.  He was 7-for-8 in the double-header with four doubles, and a triple, he is hitting .331 on the season.  Taiwan Easterling was 2-for-6 with a triple, a double, and two RBI’s in the win.

On The Mound –  Tough to have a second game of a double header go twelve innings, if not for the bullpen in game two the D-Cubs would have been in trouble, they came through big time.  Eduardo Figueroa got the start and was roughed up, he worked three innings giving up four runs on four hits while walking two and striking out one.  The bullpen took over and worked a combined nine scoreless innings giving up four hits while walking two and striking out six.  Austin Reed worked two of those innings, walking one and striking out two.  Sheldon McDonlad was outstanding working four innings giving up two hits while walking one and striking out one.  Frank Del Valle worked the final three innings to earn his first win of the season, he gave up two hits while striking out three.

Kane County 5-17 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate -  The Cougars fought hard in this one against the best team in the league only to fall short in twelve innings.  Bijan Rademacher continues to hit, he was 3-for-5 with a double, and two runs scored, he is now hitting .350 on the season.  Jeimer Candelario was 2-for-5 with a double, and a run scored, he also made his twelfth error of the season.  Gioskar Amaya was 2-for-5 with two singles in the loss.

On The Mound –  Dillon Maples had a solid outing, and again, finished the day healthy, which is the most important thing right now.  Maples worked five innings giving up two runs on two hits while walking one and striking out five.  Lendy Castillo took over and was solid as well, he worked five innings giving up on run on five hits while walking three and striking out four.  Nathan Dorris struggled with his command, which is rare, he suffered the loss as a result.  Dorris worked 1.1 innings giving up one run on two hits while walking two and striking out two.

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Feldman’s dominance continues in win over Mets

Cubs 5-18 line

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Scott Feldman is pitching every bit like a man trying to prove himself to the rest of the league, and the Cubs are reaping the benefits.  Feldman, who was signed to a one year deal in the off-season has been nothing short of brilliant, especially in his last five starts sporting a 4-0 record with a 1.28 ERA.  Feldman got plenty of help from his offense in this one after it looked like it could be a day of missed opportunities again.  After squandering a few chances early the Cubs broke through in the fourth inning as they scored four times, highlighted by a two-out, two-run double by Feldman, he does it all!  The Cubs added one in the fifth on an Anthony Rizzo solo shot, and three in Rizzo 5-18the eighth to put this one well out of reach.  The Mets spoiled the shut out bid in the ninth inning, the Cubs still don’t have a shut out this year, but more importantly they got another victory, an 8-2 rout.  Tomorrow brings an opportunity for the Cubs to win their third straight series, something that hasn’t been seen around these parts in a while.

At The Plate – An efficient, productive day at the plate for the Cubs as they pounded out eleven hits while scoring eight times.  David DeJesus got things started at the top of the order going 1-for-4 with a walk, and two RBI’s, he’s now hitting .288 on the season.  Anthony Rizzo had been locked in for a while now, he hasn’t struck out in thirty-four at bats and was 2-for-4 with his tenth home run of the season, an RBI, and a two runs scored.  Nate Schierholtz had a solid day going 2-for-4 with his fifth home run of the season, an RBI, and two runs scored.  The Cubs had three doubles in this one, giving them 97 for the season which is best in baseball.

Mets 5-18

On The Mound – Scott Feldman was outstanding again, he worked 6.2 scoreless innings giving up seven hits while walking one and striking out six.  The win improved Feldman’s record to 4-3 on the season, coupled with a 2.19 ERA and wow, couldn’t ask for better.  James Russell was solid out of the pen as usual, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 0.54 on the season.  Hector Rondon struggled a bit, he worked one inning giving up two runs on two hits, including a two run homer.

Up Next - The rubber game of the series as the Cubs go for their third straight series win.  The Cubs send Travis Wood to the mound, he’s been just as good as Feldman if not better.  The Mets will counter with Dillon Gee, first pitch scheduled for 1:20 PM CST on WGN.

Cubs 5-18 box

Game Highlights:

Feldman’s great outing
Full video recap
DeJesus two run single
Schierholtz goes deep
Rizzo 10th home run of the season
Feldman’s two run double
Castillo’s RBI single
Cubs get out of a pickle

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Matt Harvey does it all to beat Cubs

Cubs 5-17 line

Full Box Score

Another frustrating one run loss for the Cubs, just when you thought they might be starting to win these close games today happens.  It was a stiff test as the Cubs were facing off against all everything Matt Harvey, and he was as good as advertised, well, after the first inning.  After falling behind 1-0 on a David Wright home run in the first the Cubs answered right back with two runs in the bottom half to take a 2-1 lead.  Edwin Jackson pitched right with Harvey for the Rizzo 5-17whole game until Harvey got in his way, with the bat.  That’s right, not only did Harvey get the win on the mound, but he got the game winning hit in the seventh inning.  The Cubs still had a chance in this one, but a questionable send by third base coach David Bell took the Cubs out of the eighth inning.  Bell has been fine all year, so I’m not going to pin this on him, but it hurts to have the game tying run cut down at the plate for the second out of the inning when it could have been first and third with one out with Castro and Rizzo coming to the plate.

At The Plate – The Cubs didn’t have much going against Harvey, but did have a very good first inning, and threatened late.  The Cubs could only manage six hits on the day, but were 2-for-3 with runners in scoring position.  Starlin Castro had a solid day going 2-for-4 with a run scored, he’s now hitting .287 on the season.  Anthony Rizzo was 1-for-4 with a double, his twelfth of the season, and a run scored.  Alfonso Soriano, David DeJesus, and Darwin Barney recorded the other hits in the game.

On The Mound – Edwin Jackson was solid, but ended up registering his sixth loss of the season.  Jackson worked 6.2 innings giving up three runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out four.  James Russell was solid out of the pen going 1.1 scoreless innings giving up one hit while striking out two.  Kyuji Fujikawa was continues to string together good outings going one scoreless inning while striking out two.

Up Next – Game two of the series at 12:05 PM CST.  The Mets will send Jeremy Hefner to the mound and the Cubs will counter with Scott Feldman

Cubs 5-17 box

Game Highlights:

Soriano’s infield single results in two runs
Barney and Castro turn two
Barney gunned down at the plate

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May 17, 2013 – Mets @ Cubs; Lineups!

The Cubs welcome the Mets to Wrigley for a three game set starting today at 1:20 PM CST on WGN TV.  Edwin Jackson will look to build on probably his best start the last time out against the Nats, the Mets will counter with young phenom Matt Harvey who has been pretty much unhittable this season.  Here is how both teams will line up, there are scattered thunderstorms in the forecast, hopefully those stay away.

May 17 lineups

 

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Series Preview – Mets @ Cubs; May 17 – May 19, 2013

Mets preview

The Cubs are coming into this series playing their best baseball of 2013, and maybe of the last three years.  They have won two series in a row, both against contending teams in the Nationals, on the road, and the Rockies.  The Mets on the other hand are floundering as they are 3-7 in their last ten games and have fallen to 15-23 on the season.  Despite boasting one, if not the best young arm in baseball in Matt Harvey, the Mets pitching is what is doing them in.  Wright previewThey come into this series with a team ERA of 4.50, which is twenty-sixth best in all of baseball.  The Cubs hold the advantage here as they come into this series with a 3.72 team ERA which is good for twelfth in the Majors.  If you break it down even further you can see that the Mets bullpen has been a real issue in the early going, they have a bullpen ERA of 4.85, which is twenty-eighth in baseball, that won’t help you win a lot of games.  Slowly but surely the Cubs have improved offensively, they still aren’t a juggernaut but they are now twenty-third in baseball with 160 runs scored on the season.  The Mets aren’t much better as they have scored 165 runs which is good for twentieth in baseball.  The key to this series for the Cubs will be to get to the Mets pen as early as possible, not always an easy task but it would go a long way towards winning the series if they could exploit that weakness as they hold the starting pitching edge and should be able to limit the Mets offense.  To recap, get an early lead, Cubs starters shut down the Mets lineup, and exploit the Mets pen, ta-da!

Last Series:

The Cubs took two out of three from the Rockies at Wrigley earlier this week.

The Mets lost three out of four to the Cardinals in St. Louis.

Game Times and Broadcast Information:

  • Friday, May 17, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on WGN
  • Saturday, May 18 2013 – 12:05 PM CST on WGN
  • Sunday, May 19, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on WGN

Starting Pitchers Scheduled:

Cubs:

Game One – Edwin Jackson (1-5, 6.02)
– Career vs. Mets (4 GS) (1-1, 4.50)

Game Two – Scott Feldman (3-3, 2.53)
– Career vs. Mets (1 GS) (0-1, 10.80)

Game Three – Travis Wood (4-2, 2.03)
– Career vs. Mets (3 GS) (2-0, 2.55)

Mets:

Game One – Matt Harvey (4-0, 1.44)
– Career vs. Cubs (first appearance)

Game Two – Jeremy Hefner (0-4, 4.61)
– Career vs. Cubs (1 appearance, 0 GS) (0-0, 0.00)

Game Three – Dillon Gee (2-5, 6.13)
– Career vs. Cubs (3 GS) (2-1, 4.26)

Bold Prediction:

As I mentioned, the Cubs are playing well and I think this series is extremely important as we move forward in 2013.  I know that sounds odd considering we have just reached the quarter pole of the season, but hear me out.  The Cubs have shown flashes of great baseball, followed by huge let downs, it seems they take one step forward and two steps back.  Castro preview 5-17The first goal is to get back to .500 and winning this series goes a long way towards that in my opinion, if they lose this series we will see more of the same as they team hovers around 5-10 games under .500, which isn’t terrible for this group I guess.  But winning this series could put them on a really nice run, I think the Cubs will win this series, take two out of three at least, a sweep isn’t out of the question, but that all depends on what happens today as the Mets have a clear advantage on the mound.  If the Cubs win today, they sweep, if not, they take two out of three.  GO CUBS!

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Minor Matters – May 16, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

Iowa 5-16 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate - Iowa didn’t really have a lot going offensively, but they didn’t need it as the one run they scored in the second inning was enough for the win.  Brent Lillibridge was 1-for-3 with a walk in the win.  Dave Sappelt, Brian Bogusevic, and Josh Vitters all had base hits in this one.  Donnie Muphy had the biggest one, a run scoring single in the second, he finished the night 1-for-2 with said RBI.

On The MoundMatt Garza is just about ready to return to the Cubs and he showed it tonight.  Garza was brilliant going six scoreless innings giving up two hits while striking out six, he threw 75 pitches, 53 for strikes.  Brooks Raley took it from there as he worked three scoreless inning out of the pen for his first save of the year, he gave up two hits while walking one and striking out three.

Smokies 5-16 line

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At The Plate – The Smokies broke through with two runs in the sixth inning to break a 4-4 tie, and eventually win 6-4, the win pushes them one game over .500 on the season.  Arismendy Alcantara was 2-for-4 with a double and a runs scored in the win.  Ty Wright had a huge night for the Smokies going 2-for-4 with two home runs, four RBI’s, and two runs scored, Wright came into this one with no home runs on the season.  Jonathan Mota was 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Rafael Lopez was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.

On The Mound –  Matt Loosen never really found his command in this one as he worked four innings giving up four runs on three hits while walking six(!), and striking out five.  Then the bullpen took over for the Smokies and won the game.  A.J. Morris was perfect going three scoreless innings while striking out three to get his second win of the season.  Marcus Hatley worked a scoreless eighth inning giving up one hit.  Frank Batista worked a scoreless ninth to earn his fifth save of the season while striking out one.

Daytona 5-16 line

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At The Plate –  The Daytona bats finally woke up, unfortunately that wasn’t enough to win tonight as they drop another disappointing one to Charlotte.  Daytona scored seven times but left a lot out there as they were only 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position.  Dustin Geiger is putting together a solid season and had another good night going 3-for-5 with his fourth home run of the season, a double, an RBI, and two runs scored, he is now hitting .298 on the season.  Ben Carhart was 1-for-4 with a walk, and two runs scored in the loss.  Huge night for Chadd Krist, he went 3-for-3 with a walk, two doubles, and five RBI’s, not bad for his second game with Daytona.

On The Mound – Probably the worst outing you will ever see P.J. Francescon have, he had nothing.  Francescon went five innings giving up ten runs, eight earned, on nine hits while walking five and striking out three, his record fell to 3-3 on the season.  Jeffrey Lorick was decent out of the pen going 1.2 innings giving up one run, unearned, on one hit while walking one and striking out one.  David Cales was okay out of the pen going 1.1 innings giving up one run on one hit while walking one and striking out one.  Hunter Cervenka worked a scoreless inning giving up one hit, he has a sparkling 1.62 ERA on the season.

Kane County 5-16 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – Game one was all Cougars, they didn’t break it open until late but they only needed one as they beat the Chiefs in game one 5-0.  Pin-Chieh Chen was 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored from the lead-off spot.  Gioskar Amaya had a big game going 3-for-4 with a double, three RBI’s, and a run scored.  Dan Vogelbach was 1-for-4 with a double, and an RBI in the win.  Willson Contreras is locked in right now, he was 2-for-3 with a walk, he is now hitting .307 on the season.  Marco Hernandez was perfect in game one going 3-for-3 with a double, and two runs scored.

On The Mound -  Brian Smith was awesome for the Cougars, in fact he was almost perfect.  Smith worked four scoreless, and hit-less innings while walking two and striking out two.  Eddie Orozco took over and was very good, he worked two scoreless innings giving up one hit while striking out one to earn his second win of the season.  Jeffry Antigua came on to close this one out, he worked a scoreless inning while striking out one.

Kane County 5-16 line game 2

Full Box Score

At The Plate – The Chiefs got payback in game two as they routed the Cougars 8-2, the Cougars could only manage three hits in this one.  What’s worse is they committed six errors in seven innings, that usually doesn’t end well.  Jeimer Candelario was one of the few Cougars who had a strong game two at the plate, he was 2-for-3 with two doubles, he also committed three errors.  Marco Hernandez proved to be the only offense for the Cougars going 1-for-3 with his first home run of the season, two RBI’s, a run scored, and you guessed it, an error.

On The Mound – As you could imagine the Cougars pitching didn’t get a lot of help from their defense.  Michael Heesch got the start and took the loss, he worked three innings giving up six runs, two earned, on four hits while walking two.  Steve Perakslis was solid out of the pen working three scoreless innings giving up three hits while striking out two.  Bijan Rademacher, the Cougars starting right fielder, worked one inning giving up two runs, unearned, on two hits while walking one.

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Cubs win second straight series behind strong Samardzija

Cubs 5-15 line

 

Full Box Score

I know it sounds funny given the Cubs struggles, but they are playing their best baseball of the year right now.  They have played well for the majority of games earlier this year, but now they are putting together more complete efforts and the result is more wins.  With the win the Cubs take the series from the Rockies, this is the Cubs second straight series victory, both over winning ball clubs.  The Cubs jumped on the Rockies right away as David DeJesus led the game Shark 5-15off with a solo home run.  After the Rockies got that run back in the second Jeff Samardzija helped his own cause in the third by launching a two run homer to give the Cubs a 3-1 lead.  The Rockies pulled to within one run in the sixth but the Cubs broke it open with a three run seventh inning en route to a 6-3 victory.  Samardzija earned his second win of the season, his first since opening day, hopefully he can build on that, what was most important for him was finally being able to work deep into a game and control the outcome instead of handing it over to the pen in the fifth or sixth inning.

At The Plate – The Cubs made the most of their hits as they pounded out nine while scoring six times.  The top of the order did most of the damage as the Cubs one, two, three hitters were a combined 6-for-10 with three RBI’s, and three runs scored.  David DeJesus was 2-for-3 with his fifth home run of the seasonCastro 5-15, an RBI, and two runs scored.  Starlin Castro was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .282 on the season.  Anthony Rizzo continues to produce, he was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, and an RBI, he now has twenty-nine RBI’s on the season.  Darwin Barney is starting to find a groove at the plate he was 1-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base, and two runs scored.  Jeff Samardzija had a great day all around, he was 1-for-2 with his first home run of the season, two RBI’s, and a run scored.

On The Mound – Really nice to see Samardzija pitch instead of just throw and try to miss bats.  He has the stuff to miss bats but also get quick outs, and that’s what he did today.  Shark went eight innings giving up two runs on five hits while walking two and striking out seven to earn his second win of the season.  James Russell worked just one-third of an inning striking out the only hitter he faced.  Kevin Gregg took it from there, things got sketchy, but he was able to get out of the ninth to preserve the win.  Gregg worked two-thirds of an inning giving up one run, unearned (on a Gregg error), on two hits.

Up Next - The Cubs welcome the Mets to Wrigley Field for a three game weekend set starting Friday.  The Cubs are off tomorrow, their second straight Thursday without a game.

Cubs 5-15 box

 

Game Highlights:

Samardzija goes deep
Samardzija’s strong outing
DeJesus with a sweet grab to end the game
Castro scores in the seventh
Rizzo’s RBI single
Castro with a big insurance RBI
Great defense from the Cubs
DeJesus’ lead-off homer

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Minor Matters – May 15, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

Smokies 5-15 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – It was smooth sailing for the Smokies until the eighth inning when they saw their 4-2 lead turn into an 8-4 deficit that the Smokies couldn’t overcome.  In an odd stat, the Smokies were caught stealing four times in this game, that’s usually doesn’t bode well when you make that many outs on the bases.  Arismendy Alcantara was 2-for-3 with a run scored in the loss.  Rubi Silva was 1-for-3 with a walk, a double, and two caught stealings.  Jair Fernandez had a big day going 2-for-3 with a walk, his first home run of the season, two RBI’s, and a run scored.

On The Mound -  Eric Jokisch was solid in this one, but did not factor into the decision.  He went 6.2 innings giving up two runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out five.  Trey McNutt was roughed up out of the pen going two-thirds of an inning giving up two runs on two hits.  Brian Schlitter wasn’t much better as he took the loss, he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up four runs, two earned, on three hits while striking out one.

Daytona 5-15 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – Another day, and another disaster turned in by Daytona, at this rate they probably wish the weather turned crappy again.  They were thoroughly dominated by the 15-23 Stone Crabs as Daytona still can’t find their offense that has been MIA since all the rain outs.  The D-Cubs could only manage one run on five hits in this one, all five hits were singles, they only walked once, and struck out ten times.  John Andreoli, Javier Baez, Dustin Geiger, Ben Carhart, and Chadd Krist all recorded one base hit each in the loss.

On The MoundAustin Kirk wants April back as he has been atrocious in May.  Kirk got the start today and was handed his second loss as he went four innings giving up six runs on seven hits while walking four and striking out four.  Luis Liria did a solid job out of the pen as he worked two scoreless innings giving up three hits while striking out one.  Sheldon McDonald was good as well going two scoreless innings giving up three hits while striking out one, no that’s not a typo they had the exact same numbers.  Frank Del Valle struggled a bit going one inning giving up one run on two hits while walking two and striking out two.

Kane County 5-15 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – Solid win for the Cougars as they brought their record back up to .500 at 18-18, and it’s a win over the Cardinals system so that’s always fun.  The Cougars pounded out eleven hits while scoring four runs and were 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position.  Bijan Rademacher likes to hit baseballs, he was 2-for-4 with a run scored in this one, he is now hitting .360 on the season.  Dan Vogelbach was 2-for-4 at the plate with two strikeouts, I only mention that because it’s rare, he usually puts the bat on the ball.  Willson Contreras is putting a nice little season together right now, he was 2-for-4 with a triple, two RBI’s, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .294 on the season.  Marco Hernandez was 2-for-3 with an RBI, and a caught stealing, one of two by the Cougars in the game.

On The Mound –  Tayler Scott is having himself quite a season so far, and he was dominant today.  Scott went 7.1 scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking two and striking out two to get his second win of the season.  Nathan Dorris has been even better this year, he worked 1.2 scoreless innings to earn his third save of the year, he gave up one hit in doing so.

The Venezuelan Summer League Cubs were back in action today, and things went much better as they didn’t give up twenty-two runs again, but they still lost 8-7 to the VSL Phillies, full box score is here.

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Villanueva makes case for spot in the pen as Rockies rout Cubs

Cubs 5-14 line

Full Box Score

  Carlos Villanueva was so very good for parts of this season, but the last few times out have not gone so well.  With the recent struggles it wouldn’t be surprising to see Villanueva head to the bullpen when Matt Garza returns.  I know who he can replace, Shawn Camp , more on him later, he didn’t help his or the Cubs cause tonight.  The Cubs were never in this one and it was over before it started it seemed as the Rockies jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the third inning.  Things got worse in the fifth as the Rockies added two more to take a 7-0 lead, that’s when the Cubs woke up, with some help from the Rockies.  The Cubs scored once in the fifth, and twice in the eighth to Helton 5-14make it 7-3 but they wouldn’t get any closer.  The Rockies tacked on two more runs in the ninth thanks to Carlos Gonzalez putting an exclamation point on his night with his second home run, he ended is evening 5-for-5 with two home runs, and three RBI’s.  Seems about right when it comes to Car-Go and the Cubs.  Two games in this series and two blow outs, one each way, wonder what tomorrow will bring.

At The Plate – The Cubs could only manage seven hits in this one, but they had their chances to score more than the four runs they did.  The Cubs were only 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position in this one, and they left seven men on.  David DeJesus was 2-for-5 with a run scored as he raised his average to .281 on the season.  Darwin Barney found some magic in this one, he was 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, and two RBI’s, that performance raised his average to .186, going to need a few more of those from Darwin.

On The Mound – Carlos Villanueva was hit hard all night, even the outs were loud outs.  Villanueva worked five innings giving up seven runs on twelve hits while striking out one, the loss dropped his record to 1-3 on the season.  Hector Rondon continues to prove he belongs out of the pen as he worked a scoreless inning while walking one and striking out one to lower his ERA to 3.68 on the season.  Michael Bowden also seems to be finding a comfort zone out of the pen, he worked two scoreless inning giving up two hits while striking out one.  The only thing comfortable about Shawn Camp is how opposing hitters feel in the box against him.  Camp is getting really close to be designated for assignment, he worked one inning tonight giving up two runs on three hits while striking out one, his ERA climbed to a robust 7.31 for the season.

Up Next – The rubber match of the series as Jeff Samardzija looks for his second win of the season.  He will be opposed by a familiar face, Jon Garland, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM CST.

Cubs 5-14 box

 

Game Highlights:

Thank you, Rockies
Barney goes deep, imagine that

George header

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