Archive for the ‘ Game Recaps ’ Category

Cardinals Get Payback Right Away

One day after the Cubs rallied in the ninth inning to tie the game and win in extra innings the Cardinals did the same thing.  After trailing for the majority of the game today the Cubs broke through in the 6th inning, scoring three times to take a 4-3 lead.  The Cubs pen held strong into the ninth, that’s when Carlos Marmol blew his first save in his last 20 chances by giving up a one out solo homer to Carlos Beltran to tie the game at four.  Jaye Chapman took over in the 10th for the Cubs and after retiring the first two hitters he walked the next two guys which is all the Cardinals needed to take advantage.  Jon Jay, who was 0-for-the series ripped a two out double down the right field line to put the Cardinals up for good.  For the second straight day a Cubs starter struggled with pitch count, today it was Travis Wood.  Wood went five innings giving up three runs on six hits while walking two and striking out seven, he settled for a no decision.  Offensively the Cubs couldn’t get much strung together against Adam Wainwright.  David DeJesus blasted his 8th home run of the season as he continues to haunt the Cardinals.  Dave Sappelt had the biggest hit of the afternoon, an RBI single in the sixth inning to put the Cubs up 4-3, he finished 1-for-3 with a walk.  The rubber game of the series will be tomorrow afternoon, which is also Kerry Wood appreciation day.

FULL BOX SCORE

Game Highlights:
Castillo’s Sac Fly
DeJesus Goes Deep
Barney’s Nice Play
Sappelt’s RBI Single

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Shock Cards; Walk-Off in 11th

Shortly after Pat Hughes said on WGN Radio that it was nearly impossible to hit a home run to left field given the wind shift and intensity, little Darwin Barney said not so fast, blasting a two-out, two-strike homer to tie the game at four in the bottom of the ninth.  Two innings later David DeJesus laced his fourth hit of the day into right field to score pinch runner Brett Jackson and give the Cubs a thrilling 5-4 victory.  If the Cardinals somehow miss the playoffs they might point to this game as a big reason why.  Chris Carpenter made his 2012 debut for the Cardinals and pitched well enough to win, Chris Volstad countered for the Cubs and found himself in trouble all day long.  All you had to do was look at his pitch count at the end of the 5th inning, it told the troublesome story for Volstad, 116 pitches.  Volstad bent but never really broke, he gave up three runs on six hits while walking three with no strikeouts.  Volstad gave his team a chance to win, which is really all you can ask a back of the rotation starter to do.  The Cubs bullpen was once again outstanding today as they pitched the final six innings giving up only one run on two hits while walking three and striking out seven.  As I mentioned, David DeJesus had a huge day at the plate, he finished the day 4-for-6 with a triple, an RBI, and two runs scored.  Darwin Barney, Luis Valbuena, and Welington Castillo all had two hits in the victory, none bigger than Barney’s two-run shot in the ninth.  Great win!

FULL BOX SCORE 

Sveum Postgame

Game Highlights:
Cubs Walk-Off
Barney and Rizzo Team Up
Barney’s Game-Tying Blast
Soriano’s RBI Double

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Waste Berken’s Solid Outing

 

After six innings this afternoon the game was scoreless, and looked like it was impossible to score runs given the missed opportunities.  Fast forward three innings and the Reds were 5-3 winners and clinched a spot in the 2012 playoffs.  Jason Berken made his second start as a Cub and this one was fantastic, and a really nice bounce back after his first start.  Berken went six strong innings only allowing two hits while walking two and striking out five.  Berken was in command all day, throwing 86 pitches, 54 of them for strikes.  Unfortunately the Cubs couldn’t solve Johnny Cueto, but they had a number of chances as they finished the day just 1-for10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 guys on in all.  Five different Cubs had two hits in this one, the only issue was only one other player had a hit in the game, usually makes it tough to score runs.    The Cubs were able to score singular runs in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings but it wasn’t enough as the Reds put a five-spot on the board against Manny Corpas in the seventh to build what turned out to be an insurmountable 5-0 lead.  Anthony Rizzo was 2-for-5 with a double, and two RBI’s giving him 45 on the season.  Starlin Castro also continued his hot hitting September going 2-for-4 with a triple.

FULL BOX SCORE

Berken’s Solid Outing

Game Highlights:
Full Video Recap
Welington Castillo Goes Deep
Rizzo’s RBI Single
Castro’s Triple

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Storm Back Only to Lose in Extras

It was a valiant effort from the Cubs, coming back from a 5-1 deficit against the soon to be Central Division champs, unfortunately the Cubs couldn’t close the deal and lost to the Reds 6-5 in eleven innings.  The outcome looked like it was going to be much different in the bottom of the 10th when the Cubs had 2nd and 3rd with only one out but couldn’t push across the winning run.  Welington Castillo struck out, Brett Jackson walked, and Steve Clevenger grounded out to leave the bases loaded and ned the threat.  Things got worse for the Cubs in the 11th after the first two hitters were retired, Brandon Phillips reached on a David DeJesus error and of course came around to score the winning run, unearned.  On a tough night to pitch with the wind howling straight out all game Chris Rusin did his best to keep his team in it.  He lasted five innings giving up five runs on ten hits while walking two and striking out two, not the greatest outing but not terrible given the conditions.  The Cubs pen did a solid job the final six innings, as they allowed only three hits the rest of the way.  Anthony Rizzo, and Luis Valbuena each has two hits in this one, but Valbuena was picked off second in spectacular fashion to end a Cubs threat in the 6th so I’m not too thrilled with anything else he did last night, terrible.  Starlin Castro had a great night at the plate going 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored to raise his average to .283 on the season.  The Cubs look to avoid the sweep this afternoon as Jason Berken makes his second start as a Cub.

FULL BOX SCORE   

Soriano’s Bomb

Game Highlights:
Castro’s Four Hit Game
Cubs Turn Four Double Plays
Barney’s Great Play
Castillo Walks to Tie it Up
Valbuena’s Double
Well Done Valbuena, Well Done

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Bats Stay Cold on Tuesday

Justin Germano and Homer Bailey went back and forth early each throwing up zeros for the first five innings.  Germano ran into some problems in the sixth when he walked the first three batters in the sixth inning and just like that Germano’s night was done.  Manuel Corpas was brought into a tough spot and got Scott Rolen to fly out, but Ryan Hanigan delivered the big blow hitting a three run double into the right center gap.  Corpas got out of the inning and pitched the seventh as well not allowing another hit.  Alberto Cabrera and Jaye Chapman did their job keeping the Reds right where they were as they combined to pitch two scoreless innings.  The Cubs threatened in the eighth when with one out Darwin Barney delivered his second hit of the game and would later score the Cubs lone run when Bryan LaHair lined a double down the right field line.  Homer Bailey was really good for the Reds, but that would be the end of his night and in came our old friend Sean Marshall.  After hitting Dave Sappelt he struck out Josh Vitters and got Anthony Rizzo to ground out to end the Cubs threat in the eighth inning.  With no Aroldis Chapman the Cubs saw Jonathan Broxton in the ninth and did absolutely nothing going three up and three down to end the game losing 3-1.  The Cubs offense was not good again on Tuesday only able to muster up four hits against the Reds, two of which were by Barney who extended his hitting streak to 13.

FULL BOX SCORE

Game Highlights:
LaHair’s RBI Double
Jackson’s Running Catch
Sveum Postgame

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

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

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

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

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

Mental and Physical Errors Cost Cubs

The Cubs quest for a five game winning streak fell short last night thanks in large part to the Cubs not being able to get out of their own way.  Justin Germano got the ball for the Cubs and turned in one of his best outings of the year.  Germano lasted five innings giving up one run, unearned, on three hits while walking two and striking out eight.  Unfortunately that wasn’t good enough for a victory, not even a no decision as the Cubs couldn’t push a run across all night.  It’s not like the Cubs didn’t have their chances as they were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 guys on base in the loss.  They had a wonderful opportunity to tie the game in the 6th inning with runners on second and third with only one out.  Darwin Barney hit was seemed to be a sacrifice fly to center, inexplicably Dave Sappelt tried to tag up from second and make it to third.  In true Cubs fashion Sappelt was thrown out at third before Castro could cross the plate meaning the run doesn’t count.  There was no reason for Sappelt to tag, I like being aggressive but there was no reason for it, he was already in scoring position and the important run was Castro.  As I mentioned the Cubs had their chances but they weren’t really generating any offense, they only had six hits.  The Astros did all they could to give this one to the Cubs by committing four errors and walking two.  This loss could have been even more costly as Anthony Rizzo had to leave the game in the third inning after a violent collision at first base with Brett Wallace.  All reports after the game seemed to indicate that Rizzo was going to be fine and was just sore, let’s hope so.

FULL BOX SCORE 

Five First Responders Throw Out First Pitch

Rizzo’s Scary Collision

Game Highlights:
Cubs Cost Themselves a Run
Germano’s Solid Outing

Thanks for reading,
– George

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