Early baseball today as the Cubs and Reds battle at 12:05 PM CST at Wrigley Field, should be a tad warmer today, and dry for the most part. Jeff Samardzija takes the mound for the Cubs looking for a win, and some run support might help, he hasn’t gotten much of that so far this season. The Reds will counter with Tony Cingrani, a solid young lefty that the Cubs faced in Cincinnati and struggled with, here is how both teams will line up today.
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Well, how should we look at this loss? Be thrilled that the Cubs fought back against arguably the best closer in the game only to fall just one run short. Or say that this was the typical Cubs “fake rally” where they get just close enough to give us fans some hope, then fizzle out. Maybe a little of both I guess, fact remains the Cubs left way too many guys on base in this one and that was the difference. The Cubs trailed 4-0 in the sixth before getting two runs in the bottom half to pull within two. Unfortunately the Cubs pen couldn’t keep the Reds in check over the next two innings as they built their lead back up to four runs heading to the ninth. The Cubs, somewhat miraculously touched up the untouchable Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning, scoring three runs off the flamethrower. Unfortunately, with the bases loaded and trailing 6-5 Darwin Barney struck out with the bases loaded to end the threat and the game, not a game to remember from Darwin Barney, more on that later. So close, so frustrating, so encouraging, so many things pulling us in different directions, welcome to the 2013 Cubs.
At The Plate – The Cubs had a solid game at the plate, but on one hand they could have been so much better. They scored five times on fifteen hits, that’s hard to do, too many opportunities wasted in this one. Anthony Rizzo is now far removed from his early season struggles as he was 3-for-5 with a double, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .243 on the season. Alfonso Soriano was 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored but it was the at bats he had where he didn’t get a hit that hurt the most. The Cubs four hitter was 0-for-2 with zero RBI’s in this game with the bases loaded, both at bats came with less than two outs, unacceptable. Nate Schierholtz had another good day going 2-for-4 with an RBI, but he also left five guys on base. Luis Valbuena continues to string together good games here and there he was 3-for-4 in the loss. Really rough game for Darwin Barney, he was 0-for-5, he left eight men on base, eight, by himself, including striking out with the bases loaded to end the game. Tomorrow is another day, Darwin, go get em.
On The Mound - Carlos Villanueva didn’t have his best stuff in this one, but he did all he could to get deep into the game. Villanueva went 5.2 innings giving up four runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out four. Michael Bowden really struggled out of the pen, and it was his own doing as he worked 1.1 innings giving up one run on three walks, ugh. Kameron Loe wasn’t much better has he work one inning giving up one run on two hits while walking one. Kevin Gregg had another solid outing as he worked a scoreless ninth inning while walking one and striking out one.
Up Next - Game two of the series as the Cubs trying to even it up. Jeff Samardzija looks to get a little deeper in the game as lately his pitch counts have been elevated too early, it would be nice to see him get some run support as well. That won’t exactly be easy as the Reds will counter with Tony Cingrani who has been really good in the first few starts of his career.
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The Cubs come into this series playing well, okay, play well for most of the game I guess. The Cubs could have very easily taken three out of four from the Padres, or two out of three from the Reds last month, but they just can’t get out of their own way. Today the Cubs welcome those Reds to Wrigley Field for a three game weekend set, and hopefully some revenge as well. The Reds took two out of three from the Cubs in Cincinnati the last time these two teams met. It was a great series, and the Cubs pitchers shut down the Reds vaunted lineup, but couldn’t find a big hit the whole series, or a closer the whole series and ended up losing two out of three. It will be another challenge this weekend for the Cubs pitchers as the Reds continue to hit and score runs, they have scored 128 runs, good enough for sixth in baseball compared to the 100 runs the Cubs have scored which is 26th in baseball. The Reds team ERA is also impressive, currently they sit fourth in the Majors with a 3.32 ERA, the Cubs are not too far behind though, they have a team ERA of 3.72, that’s good for twelfth in the Majors. This should be a good series, hopefully the results are better this time around.
The Cubs split a four game series with the Padres at Wrigley.
The Reds lost two out of three to the Cardinals in St. Louis
Game Times and Broadcast Information:
- Friday, May 3, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on CSN Chicago
- Saturday, May 4, 2013 – 12:05 PM CST on CSN Chicago
- Sunday, May 5, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on WGN TV
Starting Pitchers Scheduled:
Game One – Carlos Villanueva (1-1, 2.29)
- Career vs. Reds (21 appearances, 6 GS) (2-2, 3.72)
Game Two – Jeff Samardzija (1-4, 3.35)
- Career vs. Reds (17 appearances, 3 GS) (1-2, 4.09)
Game Three – Edwin Jackson (0-4, 6.27)
- Career vs. Reds (3 GS) (1-0, 2.57)
Game One – Mike Leake (1-1, 4.34)
- Career vs. Cubs (11 GS) (4-2, 3.46)
Game Two – Tony Cingrani (2-0, 1.50)
- Career vs. Cubs (1 GS) (0-0, 2.57)
Game Three – Mat Latos (2-0, 1.83)
- Career vs. Cubs (6 GS) (3-2, 2.58)
The Cubs are playing better baseball, but it’s still not good enough to win games consistently at the Major League level. I think too many mistakes pop up again this weekend and the Cubs lose two out of three to the Reds. Prove me wrong….please?
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At The Plate - The Smokies swarmed the Braves in this one as the pounded out fourteen hits and scored seven runs to beat the Braves 7-0. Ronald Torreyes went 2-for-5 with a double, a run scored, and en error. Christian Villanueva had a solid game going 2-for-5 with an RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored. Rubi Silva continued his superb 2013 going 3-for-4 with a walk, a triple, and two runs scored, he’s now hitting .318 on the season. Rafael Lopez was 1-for-3 with his first home run of the season, he also walked twice, had an RBI, and scored two runs. Jonathan Mota was 2-for-3 with a walk, and two RBI’s in the victory.
On The Mound - Dallas Beeler was outstanding once again for the Smokies. Beeler went 6.2 scoreless innings giving up one hit while walking three and striking out five to earn his third win of the season. Zach Rosscup earned his sixth hold of the season as he worked 1.1 scoreless innings out of the pen while walking one and striking out two. Brian Schlitter worked a scoreless ninth, giving up two hits and walking one.
At The Plate - After falling behind 2-0 in the first inning the D-Cubs offense went tow work scoring six times over the next four innings to put this one away. John Andreoli was 2-for-5 with a run scored, and his ninth stolen base of the season. Stephen Bruno was 2-for-4 with a double, and RBI, and two runs scored, he’s now hitting .362 on the season. Dustin Geiger also had a solid night going 2-for-4 with a run scored in the win.
On The Mound – Austin Kirk had a weird night, but because he didn’t walk anyone he was able to survive giving up ten hits. Kirk went six innings giving up two runs on ten hits while striking out four to improve his record to 4-1 on the season. Austin Reed had was great out of the bullpen, and finally might be finding some confidence, he worked two scoreless innings giving up one hit while walking one. David Cales took care of the rest as he worked a scoreless ninth innings giving up one hit while walking one and striking out one.
NOTES: Kane County and Iowa were both rained out because the weather hates us all.
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Just when you think that the Cubs have lost every way possible they go and gives us another disaster. At this point it seems as though the only thing that is holding the Cubs back, is the Cubs themselves. Travis Wood was outstanding in this one, as he has been so often this year, and yet again, somehow, the Cubs found a way to lose. After taking a late 2-0 lead on a clutch Scott Hairston home run the wheels fell of in the eighth. With two outs and two guys on it looked like the Cubs were going to get out of it, then the wind took over. Yonder Alonso, who had the day off until the eighth inning, hit a fly ball to right field, it turned into more of a pop up in short right field because of the wind. Julio Borbon, who made a spectacular catch to retire the previous batter charged in and called off Barney, then flat-out missed the ball, that allowed the Padres to score and make it 2-1, and extended the inning. That marked the end of the day for Wood, but not the end of the misery. Shawn Camp came in and Welington Castillo completed boxed the first pitch from Camp to allow the game tying run to score, not only was it a passed ball on Castillo, but he completely dogged it while “chasing” the ball down. The Padres runner didn’t break right away, and if Castillo hustles they have a great chance to get him at the plate, he didn’t, and when the dust finally settled the Padres led 4-2 and the Cubs were done. Yet again, a series the Cubs should have won, ends in a split, so very frustrating.
At The Plate – The familiar issues were there once again for the Cubs as they tallied nine hits in this one but could only score twice as they were o-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Scott Hairston had the big blow for the Cubs, a two run homer in the seventh that looked like it would be the difference. Hairston finished the day going 1-for-3 with two RBI’s, said home run, and a run scored. Welington Castillo at least had a solid day at the plate going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
On The Mound - For the second straight game the Cubs starting pitching was the story, or should have been the story as Travis Wood was brilliant. Wood carried a perfect game through four and two-thirds, giving up a hit to Kyle Blanks with two outs in the fifth. Wood ended up going 7.2 innings giving up three runs on four hits while walking one and striking out three, and was tagged with the loss, mind numbing. Shawn Camp was charged with an earned run, and didn’t retire anyone as he walked the only batter he faced. James Russell didn’t have it today either as he gave up the difference making hit in two-thirds of an inning. Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless ninth inning, he hit a batter, and gave up a hit, but kept the Padres off the scoreboard.
Up Next - The Cubs welcome the Reds to Wrigley for a three game weekend set. Carlos Villanueva will get the ball for the Cubs in game one and the Reds will counter with Mike Leake, first pitch scheduled at 1:20 PM CST, weather permitting.
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Spectacular.. hat tip to Baseball by Paul for the gif. Just click the image.
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The Cubs go for their second straight four game series win today at 1:20 PM CST. Travis Wood gets the ball for the Cubs and he will be opposed by Eric Stults for the Padres, the weather has cooled considerably, but it’s not awful out there today. There is a threat of rain later this afternoon, but I think they should get this one in, here are the lineups.
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Well, how about that? Scott Feldman was brilliant right from the start and all night long as he tossed his first career complete game and had plenty of support from his offense. The Cubs had Andrew Cashner on the ropes right off the bat as they scored in each of the first four innings to take a 5-0 lead. That was all she wrote for Cashner who was already up to 96 pitches after four innings, that’s what you like to see from the offensive side of things. The Cubs were only able to manage one more run over the final four innings but they didn’t need it as Feldman was throwing darts all night long. With a win tomorrow the Cubs could take three out of four in their second straight series, I don’t care who the opponent is, that’s a huge step in the right direction.
At The Plate – Awesome job by the Cubs at the plate tonight as the pounded out nine hits, and six runs, while walking five times. They probably could have and should have had more, but beggars can’t be choosers I guess. David DeJesus continues to hit as he was 2-for-5 from the lead-off spot. Starlin Castro, getting a chance in the fifth spot today was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and two runs scored. Julio Borbon had another solid game going 1-for-4 with a walk, and two runs scored. Dioner Navarro had two RBI’s, Nate Schierholtz had one RBI, and Luis Valbuena has one RBI in the win.
On The Mound - It was the Scott Feldman show, as he was brilliant. Feldman went the distance for his first career complete game giving up two runs on three hits while walking one and striking out twelve(!). The twelve strikeouts were also a career high, quite the night for Feldman as he improved his record to 2-3 and watched his ERA improve to 3.34 on the season.
Up Next - The Cubs go for the series win tomorrow afternoon at 1:20 PM CST. Travis Wood looks to continue his strong start to 2013 as he will face off against Eric Stults who has been roughed up in the early going this year.
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At The Plate – The Cubs couldn’t scratch out a run in this one as they could only manage four hits in a 1-0 loss. Logan Watkins did nearly all the work today for Iowa as he was 3-for-3 with a walk, Ryan Sweeney was the only other Iowa player with a hit. The Cubs were 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position but that one hit did not result in a run.
On The Mound – Chris Rusin was outstanding in this one, but saw his record fall to 1-3 with the loss. Rusin went seven innings giving up one run on six hits while striking out five. Hisanori Takahashi, and Zach Putnam each tossed a scoreless inning out of the bullpen to keep things close.
At The Plate – Yeah, only five innings as this one was shortened by rain. In those five innings the Smokies did nothing, well almost nothing, they did get singles, yep that’s it. The Smokies didn’t even have a chance to hit with anyone in scoring position in this one. Rubi Silva and Rafael Lopez were each 1-for-2 in the loss.
On The Mound – Much more important things taking place on the mound in this one as Matt Garza made his first rehab start. That’s the other part of minor league baseball, sometimes it’s not for development, it’s for getting healthy, and Garza took his first step towards that today. Garza went 2.2 innings giving up one run on one hit while walking two, but more importantly made it out of today seemingly healthy, so that’s good news. Kevin Rhoderick tossed 1.1 scoreless innings while walking two and striking out one. Matt Loosen couldn’t keep things close “late” as he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up two runs on two hits while walking one.
At The Plate – Really solid game all around from the D-Cubs in this one as they found just enough offense to knock off the Cardinals. Jorge Soler was 1-for-3 with a double, and a stolen base, nice to see Soler starting to get a few hits here and there after slumping, his average is back up to .275 on the season. Ben Carhart is on fire of late, that continued tonight as he went 2-for-3 with two doubles, two RBI’s, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .312 on the season. Anthony Giansanti was 2-for-3 with an RBI in the win.
On The Mound – Ben Wells was outstanding today, and really has been good all year. Wells went seven innings giving up one run on three hits while walking one and striking out three. Eduardo Figueroa took it from there as he worked two scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking one and striking out three to earn his first save of the season.
At The Plate – Looked like the Cougars were going to cruise to a victory, but as we have learned so far this season, nothing is easy for the Cougars and they needed ten innings to get the win. Pin-Chieh Chen was 2-for-5 with a double, a stolen base, and two runs scored. Gioskar Amaya was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored. Daniel Vogelbach played the hero tonight as he was 1-for-5 with two RBI’s, that one was a huge one, a walk-off single in the tenth inning.
On The Mound – Pierce Johnson has been disgusting (in a good way) as of late, and tonight was no different. Johnson went 6.2 innings giving up one run on four hits while walking one and striking out four. Eddie Orozco did a solid job out of the pen tossing a scoreless inning while giving up one hit while walking two and striking out two. Jeffry Antigua had a rough go of it as he blew the save, but also got the win, he went 2.1 innings giving up three runs on five hits while striking out four.
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With each team taking a game so far in this series Scott Feldman will look to give the Cubs a chance to win this series on Thursday with a big performance tonight. He will be opposed by hard throwing Andrew Cashner, the player the Cubs traded to San Diego to get Anthony Rizzo, six degrees of awesomeness! It’s another summer night at Wrigley, if Feldman and Cashner leave the ball up it will be another shoot out, here are the lineups.
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