Archive for the ‘ 2012 Regular Season ’ Category

September 17, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs Pirates

I should caution that this is weather permitting as widespread rain is supposed to cover the area by game time, I hope that’s not the case because I want to watch Anthony Rizzo hit baseballs, hard.  Travis Wood gets the ball tonight as the Cubs try to win three out of four from the Pirates.  I’m sure the Pirates will be very happy to be done with the Cubs this year as they are a big reason why the Pirates are fading down the stretch.  Here is how the Cubs will line up tonight behind Travis Wood.

Thanks for reading, GO CUBS!
– George

Rizzo’s Huge Day Fuels Cubs Comeback

For the second day in a row the Cubs got down early and stormed back, unlike yesterday, Anthony Rizzo made sure that the Cubs completed the comeback this time.  Chris Volstad got the start today for the Cubs and was pretty horrible right from the get go.  Volstad only lasted 4.2 innings giving up six runs on ten hits while walking three and striking out three.  By the time Volstad left this one the Pirates had built up a 6-1 lead, but the Cubs were able to get a big chunk back in the bottom of the fifth.  The Cubs were able to score four times in the fifth thanks to a Joe Mather solo shot, an Anthony Rizzo two-run homer and a Welington Castillo run scoring single.  After all but squandering a five run lead the Pirates pushed across three more runs in the sixth to make it a 9-5 game.  To conclude what might be the craziest two innings of the year the Cubs exploded in the bottom of the inning for five runs to take a 10-9 lead.  The big blow was an Anthony Rizzo grand slam, the first of his career, and the second homer of the day giving him six RBI’s.  Just for good measure the Cubs scored three more times in the bottom of the eighth, and Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless ninth for a 13-9 victory.  Alfsonso Soriano also had a big day at the plate going 3-for-5 with a double, and two RBI’s, that’s now 101 RBI’s on the season, that is an absolutely amazing accomplishment from Soriano.  The final game of the four game set will be tomorrow night as the Cubs look to take three out of four.

FULL BOX SCORE

Game Highlights:
Rizzo’s Grand Slam
Game Ending Double Play
DeJesus’ Two Run Single
Soriano’s RBI Double
Barney’s Great Play
Rizzo’s Two-Run Homer
Mather’s Solo Homer
Soriano’s 100th RBI

Thanks for reading,
– George

September 16, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Pirates

Mather – CF
Barney – 2B
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
Castro – SS
Castillo – C
Sappelt – RF
Valbuena – 3B
Volstad – P

Go Cubs!!
-Mark

Cubs Rally Falls One Run Short

Sure these games don’t matter much to the Cubs, but watching them battle to the final out is at least fun to watch, for those of us who are still watching.  Jason Berken, who was claimed from the Orioles made his Cubs debut today and didn’t have his best stuff but he didn’t get any help from his defense.  Berken lasted four innings giving up six runs, only two earned, on eight hits, while walking one and striking out two.  The Pirates were able to build a 6-1 lead by the fifth inning and that’s when the Cubs started to turn the tide in this one.  The Cubs were able to push across two runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it 6-3, but the Pirates were able to get one back in the seventh on Clint Barmes solo shot to push the lead to four runs.  Refusing to quit the Cubs scored once in the eighth and two more times in the ninth to cut the Pirates led to one.  Unfortunately the Cubs couldn’t tie it up in the ninth as Dave Sappelt struck out with the bases loaded to end the threat, and the game. Four different Cubs had two hits in this one, Anthony Rizzo, Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro, and Dave Sappelt.  Darwin Barney also had a spectacular day with the glove as he made several fantastic plays to rob various Pirate hitters of base hits.  Game three of this series is tomorrow afternoon, and the series wraps up on Monday Night.

FULL BOX SCORE

Castro’s Trip..Double

Barney’s Great Catch

Game Highlights:
Soriano’s RBI Single
Valbuena’s RBI Single
Barney Great Play
Another Defensive Gem From Barney
Rizzo’s RBI Single

Thanks for reading,
– George

September 15, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Pirates

Jason Berken become the 12th starting pitcher the Cubs have used this year as he faces Wandy Rodriguez and the Pirates in his Cubs debut.  Here is a look at the rest of the lineup.

Mather – CF
Barney – 2B
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
Castro – SS
Castillo – C
Vitters – 3B
Sappelt – RF
Berken – P

Go Cubs!!
-Mark

Cubs Send Pirates Further Into Downward Spiral

The Cubs are enjoying the role of spoiler right now as they have won six out of their last seven, four of those being against the wild card contending Pirates.  The Pirates have not only lost fours games recently to the Cubs but they have lost seven straight and are on the verge to falling back to five hundred for the first time in forever.  Chris Rusin got the ball for the Cubs today and earned his first major league victory behind five strong innings.  Rusin gave up two runs on four hits while striking out six.  After the Cubs jumped out to a 4-0 lead the Pirates made things a little uncomfortable for Rusin and company by scoring once in the sixth and twice in the seventh to make it a one run game.  Starlin Castro who had a big day at the plate opened the gap up again in the bottom of the seventh with his 13th home run of the season, a three run job to put the Cubs up 7-4.  The Pirates would get one run closer in the eighth but that is as close as they would come as Carlos Marmol closed the door for his 20th save of the season, his 19th straight.  We all remember how horrible Marmol was at the beginning of the year but he deserves major credit for his turnaround.  In his last 19 save opportunities (since May 2) Marmol is 19-for-19 with a 0.49 ERA (1 ER/18.1 IP), wow, that is elite right there.

FULL BOX SCORE

Rusin’s Postgame

Sveum’s Postgame

Game Highlights:
Rusin’s First Major League Win
Full Video Recap
Castro’s Huge Three-Run Homer
Rizzo’s Two-Run Double

Thanks for reading,
– George

September 14, 2012 – Cubs Lineup

The Cubs open a three game weekend set with Pirates today at Wrigley.  Chris Rusin gets the ball in game one as the Cubs look to continue their strong play as of late.  Both Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson return from injuries today.

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

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
– George

September 14 – 17, 2012; vs. Pirates – Series Preview

The Pirates comes to town looking very much like the 2011 version of the club that collapsed down the stretch and finished with a below five hundred record yet again, and nothing like the surging contender earlier in the year.   The Pirates sit just two games over five hundred now and are losers of six straight games, three of those against the Cubs in Pittsburgh last week.  The Cubs on the other hand are playing solid baseball, winning five out of their last six games, all on the road which is really saying something given how bad they have been away from Wrigley this year.  Solid starting pitching and the long ball have paced the Cubs in September as they have ten home runs, 5th most in the National League this month.  No one has contributed more to that total than Alfonso Soriano as he has five home runs in just 12 games this month.  After being pulled in the third inning two nights ago, and missing yesterday’s game it sounds like Anthony Rizzo will be back in the Cubs lineup tomorrow, that collision could have been much worse.

Here are the pitching matchups for the four game series.

Friday September  14, 2012
Pittsburgh: James McDonald (12-7, 3.93 ERA)
Cubs: Chris Rusin (0-2, 5.73 ERA)

Saturday September 15, 2012
Pittsburgh: Jeff Locke (0-1, 4.11 ERA)
Cubs: Jason Berken (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Sunday September 16, 2012
Pittsburgh: Wandy Rodriguez (10-13, 3.72 ERA)
Cubs: Chris Volstad (3-10, 5.99 ERA)

Monday September 17, 2012
Pittsburgh: Kevin Correia (10-9, 4.29 ERA)
Cubs: Travis Wood (6-11, 4.23 ERA)

Season Series:  Series Tied 6-6

Prediction:  Cubs win series 3-1

Thanks for reading,
– George

Soriano Powers Cubs to Series Win

There is no slowing down for Alfonso Soriano, sure he would like to see his average a little higher but the aging slugger is putting up some eye-popping numbers this year.  With his huge performance last night, which led the Cubs to a 5-1 victory, he is now hitting .260 on the year with 29 home runs and 96 RBI’s, he’s actually within striking distance on the National League lead in RBI’s (102 – Headley).  Travis Wood also turned in an outstanding performance to register his 6th win of the season against eleven losses.  Wood tossed 7.2 strong innings giving up one run on four hits while walking one and striking out six.  Soriano wasn’t the only Cub with a great day at the plate, Dave Sappelt continued his hot play of late.  Sappelt was 3-for-3 with a walk, a double, and a run scored, he is now hitting .350 in limited duty since his call up.  Last night was the 20th straight day with a game for the Cubs, they have today off before welcoming the Pirates to town this weekend.  It was also the last time the Cubs will visit Houston while they are in the National League as they move over to the American League next year.  Hitters are probably not too thrilled with the move, but I’m sure some of the pitchers are just fine with it.

FULL BOX SCORE

Scary Moment for Storey

 

Game Highlights:
Soriano’s 29th Home Run
Wood’s Great Outing
Recker’s RBI Double
Soriano Doubles
Castillo’s RBI Single

Thanks for reading,
-George

September 12, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs Astros

Let’s hope this one comes in under four hours tonight, that’s all I ask.  The last two nights have been terrible, I guess the Astros figure the longer the game goes the better chance they have to win.  Travis Wood takes the ball tonight and will be backed by a very different lineup as Anthony Rizzo is out of the lineup after last nights collision.  From all accounts he is okay, just sore and in need of a day off.

1. Mather – CF
2. Barney – 2B
3. Castro – SS
4. Soriano – LF
5. Castillo – C
6. Vitters – 3B
7. Sappelt – RF
8. Recker – C
9. Wood

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
– George

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