It’s noticeable, the Cubs don’t quit. After blowing a 4-2 lead in the sixth, and falling behind 8-5 in the 7th, the Cubs charged back, scoring four times over the final two innings to win 9-8. Trailing 8-6 in the ninth, the Cubs loaded the bases with no outs and Starlin Castro came through with his third hit of the evening to tie things up. Kris Bryant scored on a Welington Castillo ground out, and Hector Rondon shut the door, what an absolutely outstanding victory. With the win the Cubs have now won two games after trailing heading into the ninth, you know how many times that happened last year? Zero. Welcome to Chicago Cubs baseball, you should probably start watching.
At the Plate:
- Anthony Rizzo is an on base machine, he was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, and he was hit by another pitch.
- Jorge Soler finished strong in this 0ne, he was 2-for-5 with a double, and two runs scored.
- Kris Bryant, just wow, he was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, two RBI’s, and one run scored.
- Starlin Castro is shutting a lot of people up, he was 3-for-5 with a dinger, four RBI’s, and a run scored. He’s hitting .352 on the season.
- Welington Castillo got a start tonight, and he made it count, he was 2-for-5 with a homer, double, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
On the Mound:
- Travis Wood got the start tonight, and was decent, he worked five innings, giving up three runs on four hits while walking two, and striking out five.
- Brian Schlitter continued his rough 2015, he worked two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on three hits while walking one.
- Phil Coke got out of Schlitter’s trouble, he retired the last batter of the sixth.
- Jason Motte struggled tonight, he worked one inning, giving up three runs on two hits while walking one.
- Edwin Jackson was perfect tonight, and he picked up the win, he worked a scoreless inning while striking out one.
- Hector Rondon was just disgusting tonight, he worked a scoreless ninth for his third save of the season.
Kris Bryant with an RBI double.
Jake Arrieta had his typical no hit stuff against the Reds once again, at least until the fourth inning. The Reds scored three times on five singles in the fourth inning en route to a 3-2 victory to even up the three game series. The Cubs didn’t exactly go quietly, that seems to be their thing this year. Welington Castillo smacked a pinch hit homer in the 8th inning to bring the Cubs to within one, but they couldn’t get any closer. The Cubs had two more guys on base in the eighth and the ninth, but couldn’t come up with a big hit, this time. Being able to come back in games is a nice thing to be able to do, you just don’t want to be doing it every night.
At the Plate:
- Welington Castillo didn’t start but probably had the best game, he was 1-for-1 with a pinch hit dinger, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
- Matt Szczur, also coming off the bench, had two plate appearances, and walked each time.
- Dexter Fowler, Anthony Rizzo, Jorge Soler, and Starlin Castro had the other hits, one each.
On the Mound:
- Jake Arrieta got the start, and was just fine except for that fateful fourth inning, he worked 6.2 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits while walking one, and striking out five.
- Zac Rosscup made his 2015 debut, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings, he walked one, and struck out two.
- Pedro Strop worked a scoreless inning to give the Cubs a chance in the ninth, he struck out one in the process.
Through three games the Cubs have a total of seven hits, that’s not so good, the numbers with runners in scoring position are even worse. I guess the good news is that the Cubs continue to get opportunities with guys in scoring position, but they are less than clutch right now. The struggles were front and center this afternoon against the Rockies as the Cubs were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. In a park where walks are more dangerous than usual, the Cubs earned four of them, and Rizzo was hit by a pitch twice, that’s six free passes, but not one guy could come up with a big hit. Not so for the Rockies as they managed to push five runs across the plate on eleven hits en route to a 5-1 victory, Travis Wood picked up the loss.
It was still exciting, it was cool to get the national exposure on opening night, it sucked getting shut out, it is what it is. Jon Lester struggled with his command early and often, and the Cubs couldn’t find a clutch hit all night in a 3-0 loss to the Cardinals. A little more about not being clutch, the Cubs were 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position tonight, no bueno. Conversely the Cardinals went 3-got-14 and that was the difference. Wainwright was his usual self, but had trouble with his breaking pitches early on which drove up his pitch count. Waino was able to work his way through six innings to get the win. Lester took the loss in this one as he wasn’t able to escape the 5th inning, he gave up three runs on eight hits, while walking two, and striking out five.
One of the bright spots of the evening was the Cubs bullpen, Phil Coke, Jason Motte, Neil Ramirez, Pedro Strop, and Hector Rondon combined to work 4.2 scoreless inning, giving up two hits while waking two, and striking out five. I was happy with the at bats the Cubs players had tonight, not many of them were thrown away, they battled. You’re not going to face a pitcher the caliber of Wainwright every night , tip you cap and go take your frustrations out on Lance Lynn on Tuesday Night. One down, one hundred and sixty one to go, I still think there will be more good than bad, but can someone kidnap Heyward and send him to the Indians or something? All in all I think the new look/unfinished Wrigley held up well, I’m sure we will hear some horror stories from fans tomorrow, but on the surface it looked good.
Two games into his Cubs career, Jason Hammel is 2-0, both wins coming against the NL Central rival Pirates. Hammel was brilliant once again, as he worked seven strong innings, giving up three runs on three hits (all solo HR’s, more on that later), while walking one, and striking out six. Pedro Strop made things interesting in the ninth as he gave up two more solo home runs to make things closer than they needed to be. The Pirates had six hits tonight, five of which left the ballpark, and the Cubs still won, baseball.
More good signs from the Cubs offense in this one as well, the Cubs scored seven times on fourteen hits in the win. (Insert Emilio Bonifacio had two hits sentence). Anthony Rizzo is scorching hot right now, he went 4-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI, and two runs scored, he’s now hitting .375 on the season. Mike Olt, finally getting a start, responded in a big way, he went 2-for-5 with his second home run of the season, three RBI’s, and a run scored. Same goes for Junior Lake, as he went 1-for-4 with his first home run of the season, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
** PHOTO CREDIT: BRIAN KERSEY/GETTY IMAGES
Such a tough evening, on one hand you have to be thrilled with the Cubs coming back two different times in this one, on the other, throw strikes!!! The Cubs offense was up to the task tonight, but the pitching was dreadful, it started with Edwin Jackson, and ended with Pedro Strop, and James Russell.
Edwin Jackson “walked” away with a no decision in this one, and probably deserved worse. Jackson worked 4.2 innings, giving up six runs on nine hits, while walking four (yuck), and striking out four. Pedro Strop, who got the loss, worked a third of an inning, giving up one run, while walking two, and striking out one. The issue in this one was James Russell coming on and failing to do his job against Pedro Alvarez, he walked Alvarez to load the bases and Russel Martin delivered a game winning sac-fly.
Starlin Castro! What a night from Castro, he was 3-for-4 with two home runs, four RBI’s, and two runs scored. It was Castro’s first time hitting two home runs in a major league game, it was awesome to see, Castro is now hitting .310 on the season, look at that. Emilio Bonifacio continues to get hits, almost every time up to the plate, he was 3-for-5 with an RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored. Anthony Rizzo is also going well at the plate right now, he was 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored in the loss.
I’ll leave you with this… STOP BUNTING! Goodnight.
** PHOTO CREDIT: ANDREW NELLES/AP
Welcome to “Riding the Bus” — How about that graphic, eh?? We’re excited, as usual, to bring you recaps of every Cubs minor league game, every night. Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoy it.
At The Plate:
The Cougars brought their bats with them in the opener as they pounded Quad Cities pitching to the tune of eight runs on eleven hits. Jake Hannemann did a nice job out of the lead-off spot tonight, going 2-for-5 with two runs scored. DH for the evening, Ben Carhart was all over the base paths, Carhart was 1-for-2 with three walks (CUBS WAY!), an RBI, and three runs scored. Dr. Doubles, I mean, Yasiel Balaguert was locked in tonight, he went 4-for-4 with three doubles, and two RBI’s. The ninth spot in the order also got a spark tonight, Carlos Penalver went 3-for-3 with a walk, two stolen bases, and a run scored.
On The Mound:
All in all, a pretty solid effort from the Kane County staff tonight. 2012 first round draft pick Paul Blackburn made his single A debut tonight, and it was hit and miss. Blackburn worked four innings, giving up four runs on nine hits (not so good), while walking none (good), and striking out three. The pen was tremendous, Nathan Dorris, James Pugliese, and Jose Arias all had scoreless appearances. Dorris got the win, as he worked two innings giving up one hit, while walking one and striking out three.
At The Plate:
The Daytona Cubs mirrored the Major League club in this one as they dropped a tough 1-0 game to the Manatees. The D-Cubs could only manage five hits while getting shut out by a quartet of Brevard County pitchers. Dan Vogelbach was one of the few Cubs to register a hit, he was 1-for-3 in the loss. Jeimer Candelario, and Marco Hernandez also finished the night going 1-for-3 with a single. Gioskar Amaya was seeing the ball the best as he went 2-for-2 with a stolen base, and a walk.
On The Mound:
Nothing but good things from the Daytona staff in this one, unfortunately it wasn’t good enough. Felix Pena got the opening day start and was great, he worked six innings giving up one run on three hits, while walking one and striking out three. Zach Cates, and Arodys Vizcaino each worked a scoreless inning out of the bullpen.
At The Plate:
Grumble, grumble, grumble. A tough opening day loss for the Smokies as they built a 5-0 lead early, then lost it late. Zeke DeVoss, a personal favorite, went 2-for-5 out of the lead-off spot with a triple, and an RBI. Kris Bryant! Bryant, making his AA debut tonight went 1-for-3 with his first home run of the season, a walk, an RBI, a stolen base, and two runs scored. Fun fact here, Bryant went deep off Reds starter Mat Latos who was making a rehab start, then Bryant swung at a 3-0 pitch later in the game, then Latos hit him, sucks getting torched in AA doesn’t it, Mat? Jorge Soler was 1-for-1 with a double in this one, he left early, and I think that was the plan ahead of time as he is coming back from a couple of injuries.
On The Mound:
Tough go of it for the Smokies pitching in this one as they seemed to lose their command as a group. Dae-Eun Rhee got the start and was solid early, then the plate started jumping around on him. Rhee worked four innings giving up three runs, two earned, on two hits while walking four, and striking out four. Ryan Searle took over and was actually pretty good, he worked three innings giving up one run on one hit, while walking three, and striking out five. Tony Zych took the loss in this one as he worked one inning, giving up two runs on five hits, he didn’t walk or strikeout anyone.
At The Plate:
Not a lot went right tonight for the Iowa Cubs as they had trouble scoring, and keeping Memphis from scoring. Javier Baez made his triple A debut tonight, going 0-for-3 with a walk, and an error. A rededicated Josh Vitters has a solid night, he went 2-for-4 with his first home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored. Christian Villanueva, the new Iowa third baseman went 2-for-4 with a double, and a run scored in the loss.
On The Mound:
Not so good. Chris Rusin, who just lost out to Carlos Villanueva for the number five start spot in Chicago, struggled. Rusin worked 3.2 innings, giving up five runs on six hits, while walking four, and striking out two. Yoanner Negrin was lights out tonight, he worked 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit, walking none, and striking out four, stellar. Casey Coleman, yes, he’s still here, wasn’t sharp, he worked one inning, giving up five runs, four earned, on four hits while walking two, and striking out one. Mop up duty belonged to Marcus Hatley, and he did a fine job, working one scoreless innings while striking out two.
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That didn’t take very long, as the Cubs record their 100th loss of the season in a shade under three hours at Wrigley tonight. For the second straight time, Lucas Harrell absolutely dominated the Cubs on their home field. The Cubs could only manage two hits all night, and had a number of quick, thoughtless at bats, maybe they wanted to make sure they were done in time for the second half of the Bears game. Jason Berken got the start for the Cubs tonight and pitched well enough given the fact he wasn’t allowed to go very deep into the game. Berken lasted 4.2 innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking one and striking out two. The loss drops Berken to 0-3 with the Cubs and ends his 2012 season. David DeJesus led the game off with a single, then Anthony Rizzo got a hit, and that was it, nothing else happened tonight. The Cubs could only manage one walk, and struck out 11 times, I can’t think of a more perfect game to lose for number 100. Meaningless baseball for most continues tomorrow, where the Cubs look to avoid loss number 101.
It was the 100th loss of the season, there are no highlights.
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It took all year, but the Cubs finally managed to register a victory on the road against a National League West opponent, yikes. For five innings today it was much of the same for the Cubs as they trailed 2-1 and couldn’t get anything going offensively. That changed in the sixth as the Cubs found some clutch hits, but received a whole lot of help from the D-backs as they committed three errors in the game. The Cubs scored four times in the sixth to take a 5-2 lead and never looked back, taking this one 7-2 to win their final road game of the season. Chris Rusin made his final start of 2012 and it was a solid one. Rusin went five strong innings giving up two runs, only one earned, on three hits while walking two and striking out four to earn his second career victory. The Cubs bullpen was lights out over the final four innings to preserve the victory. Anthony Rizzo, who hasn’t that great of a road trip had a solid day at the plate going 3-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI, and a run scored. Starlin Castro joined the fun as well going 2-for-4 at the plate as he continues his strong finish to the season. The Cubs return home to finally put the 2012 season out of its misery and need a sweep of the Astros to avoid the dreaded 100 loss mark.
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After falling behind by two runs early the Cubs were able to tie things up at two in the fifth inning. But, the Cubs couldn’t get a shutdown inning in the bottom half as the Diamondbacks pushed across three runs to take a 5-2 lead and they never looked back on their way to a 8-3 victory. Travis Wood got the start for the Cubs and didn’t have his best stuff as he could only last five innings giving up five runs on five hits while walking three and striking out two. The Cubs wasted a really good opportunity as well as Ian Kennedy clearly had less than his best as he walked six guys and couldn’t make it through the sixth. Dave Sappelt was the majority of the Cubs offense in this one as he finished the night 1-for-5 with his second home run of the season, he is now hitting .288 since his September call up. Starlin Castro continued his strong finish to the season as well as he had three hits in the loss, including his 27th double of the season. I guess the big news of the night was the error-less streak of Darwin Barney coming to an end. Barney’s streak ends at 141 games which ties the Major League record (Placido Polanco), and falls one inning short of holding it by himself. If that doesn’t sum up this season I don’t know what does, nice streak Darwin.
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