Results tagged ‘ Anthony Rizzo ’
Over the course of 162 games there will be losses that are harder to take than others, this is one of those losses, in fact this might be the toughest one of the season. After an outstanding performance from Carlos Villanueva the Cubs held a 5-1 lead in the 8th inning. A poor outing from Kyuji Fujikawa made the game close and another Carlos Marmol meltdown gave the Braves a walk-off victory. All of this could have been avoided if the Cubs capitalized on a golden opportunity in the top of the 8th. The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs and failed to push across a run, that usually comes back to haunt you, and tonight is definitely did.
At The Plate – The Cubs finally found some offense, unfortunately it was the failed opportunities that will be remembered in this one. The Cubs pounded out thirteen hits, a season high by far, but unfortunately that wasn’t enough. Every Cubs hitter in the starting lineup registered at least one hit, even starting pitcher Carlos Villanueva. Anthony Rizzo got things going as he was 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI’s, and a run scored. Nate Schierholtz had another solid game going 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Welington Castillo and Luis Valbuena also had two hits with Valbuena hitting his first home run of the season.
On The Mound - A tale of two games for sure, Carlos Villanueva got the start and was outstanding. Villanueva went 6.2 innings giving up one run on six hits while walking two and striking out six. Kyuji Fujikawa had a rough inning as he could only throw his fastball for strikes. Fujikawa gave up three runs in one inning of work on four hits while walking one and striking out one. Carlos Marmol was a disaster, he entered the ninth with a lead and could only record one out before the game was over. Marmol gave up two runs, on two hits, a solo home run to B.J. Upton and a solo home run to Justin Upton. Look for Marmol to be officially removed from the closer roll as early as before first pitch tomorrow.
Stat Of The Night - Coming into the night the Cubs had 16 hits on the season, they registered 13 tonight.
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Every time the Cubs fought back in this one the Giants would tack on a couple of insurance runs to keep the Cubs at bay, the Cubs final push came in the ninth inning as they scored twice, but ran out of outs as they fell to the Giants 9-7. Carlos Villanueva made his second appearance of the Spring, and had a much better performance. Villanueva was able to make it through three innings, giving up one run on four hits while walking one, and striking out two. It was nice to see Villanueva find the strike zone repeatedly in this one, I’ll take giving up hits over walks any day, and he was able to work around the hits for the most part. Barret Loux came on in relief and didn’t have it today, he tossed two innings, giving up four runs, all earned on three hits while walking one and striking out one, Loux was hung with the loss. Jaye Chapman also struggled today as he surrendered two runs on two hits in his inning of work. After having a rough Spring debut, Robert Whitenack bounced back nicely today as he pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one.
The Cubs were once again productive at the plate as they scored seven runs while pounding out ten hits. Brian Bogusevic got the start in right field today and was stellar at the plate going 2-for-2 with a triple, a walk, and two runs scored. Dioner Navarro only had one hit but he had a productive day, he ended the day 1-for-3 with a walk, and two RBI’s. Steve Clevenger got the start at first base today, yes first base, and he did his best Anthony Rizzo impersonation going 2-for-3 with two RBI’s, Clevenger is having a solid Spring at the plate, hitting .500 (4-for-8) in the early going. Brett Jackson didn’t start, but had an eventful day nonetheless going 1-for-1 with a double, and a stolen base. Jackson is having a resurgent Spring, and a lot of that can be contributed to a new swing, and new-found confidence, he his slated to start 2013 in Iowa, but is doing everything he can to make that decision anything but a given, he’s hitting .375 (3-for-8) with two triples, and a double this Spring.
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On the surface it looks as though the Cubs staff struggled as a whole today, but that really wasn’t the case. Jeff Samardzija got the start and turned in the longest outing of any Cubs pitcher so far, tossing three innings giving up one run on one hit, while walking three and striking out one. It could have been much worse but Shark wiggled off the hook in the second after loading the bases with no outs. Obviously he didn’t have his best command as illustrated by the three walks, but he battled, and he wasn’t the only one that struggled with command today. Michael Bowden walked two in his inning of work, and Rafael Dolis imploded, walking three in a third of an inning while giving up four runs, three earned, on just one hit. Cory Wade, Blake Parker, James Russell, Casey Coleman, and Shawn Camp all had scoreless appearances.
The Cubs were able to plate two runs in the first inning off of Trevor Cahill, but that is all they would get in this one. Anthony Rizzo continued his strong spring going 2-for-3 with a double, and an RBI, he’s now hitting .364 (4-for-11) in the Cactus League. Luis Valbuena continues to make a strong case to be the starting third baseman going 1-for-2 with a run scored, he’s hitting a robust .571 (4-for-7) this Spring. Jorge Soler had a solid day at the plate going 1-for-2 with a triple, it’s impressive to see a guy that big run that well.
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Things didn’t exactly get going the right way for the Cubs and eventual winning pitcher Travis Wood. Wood walked the first batter he faced today, on four straight pitches, then threw 11 consecutive strikes to close out a solid two inning outing. He didn’t get out of the game unscathed as the lead-off walk he issued scored for the Angels which was part of a two run first inning. The Cubs quickly erased that deficit thanks to some clutch hitting in the third inning. After Luis Valbuena brought the Cubs to within one run in the second inning with a solo home run, the Cubs exploded for five runs in the third, all with two outs. The highlight of the inning had to be Brett Jackson‘s two run triple, his second triple of the game, he finished the day going 2-for-2 with two triples, two RBI’s and a run scored, guess that new swing is working out okay so far, it’s early, I know. Jorge Soler, and Anthony Rizzo had solid spring debut’s as they each registered a double in three plate appearances, Soler’s double brought in a run for his first RBI of the Spring season. Junior Lake also wowed the capacity crowd with a long solo home run, his only hit of the day in three plate appearances. Back to the pitching, it was outstanding, sure it wasn’t against the vaunted Angels every day lineup, but it was still an excellent performance for so early in the Spring. After Travis Wood, six Cubs pitchers joined the fun to close out the game, they tossed seven innings allowing four hits, one walk and no strikeouts.
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It’s finally here, baseball counts again, well for Spring Training records anyway, the Cubs get their Cactus League schedule underway today at 2PM CST against the Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles, West Coast, California. Here is how the Cubs will lineup with Travis Wood getting the start, a first step towards making his case to crack the Cubs starting five. The game is available on WGN Radio, and also on MLB.com, so tune in and enjoy. Other things to look for today, or I guess listen for, would be Brett Jackson’s new swing, and Anthony Rizzo’s first spring HR, because it will happen today.
Today’s lineup (for the first time through at least)
1. Logan Watkins, 2B
2. Dave Sappelt, CF
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. Scott Hairston, RF
5. Luis Valbuena, 3B
6. Welington Castillo, C
7. Brett Jackson, LF
8. Brent Lillibridge, SS
9. Darnell McDonald, DH
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Seems like just yesterday we here at Born on Third were getting ready to cover Opening Day, and just like that it’s over. Crazy how time flies, and I didn’t expect it to go so fast given how bad the Cubs were this year. I was expecting just the opposite, for it to drag on and on, and I guess it did towards the end there but the reality of no Cubs baseball for four months is starting to sink in. Let’s take a look back at some of the surprises and disappointments that we all barely lived through, this season.
Let’s start with the disappointments, there were plenty of them, I mean the team lost 101 games, you know how hard it was to write about 101 losses!? Sure the record was disappointing, but one could argue that it was expected, maybe 101 losses wasn’t expected, but the Cubs were going to be one of the worst teams in the league, we knew that. Let’s dig a little deeper into that futility, we should probably put on a Haz-Mat suit before doing so. The one thing we heard all offseason was this new “Cubs Way” – well that was thrown out there to mean a lot of things, one being patience, no not by the fans (we do need that though), but by the Cubs as a whole at the plate. So how did that go, you ask? Not very good, the Cubs drew 447 walks this season, that comes out to less than three a game, and was good for the fourth fewest in all of baseball. You could probably guess that the Cubs OBP was terrible as well, it was, the Cubs as a team had a .302 OBP this year, 2nd worst in baseball. This is something that has to change, and it will on Theo’s watch, I believe that it will. It’s hard to see that vision come to fruition however when the team on the field in “year one” was so terribly bad at it, or just refused to do it.
Let’s take a look at some poor individual performances…
Volstad, acquired in the Carlos Zambrano trade was a disaster, I can’t even say that he showed flashes of brilliance, maybe a flash, but not flashes. Volstad finished the season 3-12 with a 6.31 ERA, I can’t even spin that into anything positive. Volstad had a huge opportunity this year and took a step back, but all is not lost on the gigantic right hander. He will have every opportunity to pitch for this team next year, that is squarely on his shoulders, his huge shoulders, seriously, look at a picture of the guy pitching, it’s cartoonish.
For the first month or so of the season it looked as if Dolis’ name was going to end up on the surprise portion of the year-end recap, then things went bad. Dolis lost the strike zone, in doing so his confidence disappeared and his ERA sky rocketed. Dolis went from being the closer of the Cubs after taking over for Carlos Marmol to pitching and struggling at Triple-A. Dolis was called back up to finish off the season but the numbers were not good. He finished the year 2-4 with a 6.39 ERA and four saves. He does have one thing the Cubs need in the pen, a power arm, so he will have a shot to pitch for this team next year at 25 years old. If he wants to do so he has to clean up the walks, as he issued 23 in just 38 innings at the big league level this year.
I debated singling him out here, only because he was clearly hurt since last year in Colorado so I’m not sure how much we can really take from his season. But a lot more was expected from Ian Stewart, on the plus side he did play above average defense at third base. His season was shortened by much-needed wrist surgery, he finished the year hitting 5 home runs and 17 RBI’s. He did show the ability to work the count and take a walk, but at third base he was and will be expected to be a source of production. It remains to be seen if the Cubs will keep Stewart in their plans moving forward, I would like to see what a healthy Ian Stewart could do.
Other guys that I would say had disappointing years would be Darwin Barney’s bat, a sub .300 OBP from him is not acceptable. Lendy Castillo had a 7+ ERA, but Castillo is so young and could be a huge part of this teams bullpen when they are contending. Steve Clevenger took a nose dive after a very strong start, Starlin Castro’s mental lapses and subsequent errors. I think Castro improved greatly defensively, I think the errors were a result of focus or lack thereof. Should I mention the 12 game losing streak? I just did.
Now onto the positives, sure there were some.
He lived up to the hype, and there was plenty of it heading into the season and that hype only grew as he tore the cover off the ball in Iowa. He finally was called up to the Cubs on 6/26/2012, he had two hits in that game and never really looked back. Rizzo finished the campaign hitting .285 with 15 home runs, and 48 RBI’s in 87 games, so just over half a Major League season. The biggest thing here is that Rizzo showed the ability to adjust to major league pitchers. I’m not just talking about rebounding from last years dud with the Padres, this year he had a few skids but came out of those before they became too overwhelming. He is the Cubs 2013 starting first baseman, and will be for many years to come.
Wow. There really is no other word to describe his 2012 season, I guess shocked would apply to me. I was just that, shocked at what Soriano was able to accomplish not only with the bat, but with the glove. Soriano made one error all season, think about that for a second. This is the same guy that made 11 in 2009, 7 in 2010, and 7 in 2011, he worked his butt off and showed real improvement. Offensively he set a career high in RBI’s with 108, folks the Cubs only scored 613 runs as a team this season. Soriano also found the long ball again hitting 32 home runs, the most in one season since he hit 33 in 2007. There’s no telling he has earned the right to be back here next year, and that is somewhat up to him, but we will see how the Cubs deal with him in the coming months.
I really don’t care what other people think of him, but Starlin Castro had a fantastic year, and a couple of mental lapses got in the way of making it something really special. Castro became the first Cubs shortstop to play in all 162 games, ever. That shows me that he wants to be out there, mental errors can come with that kind of workload, he probably needed a day off here or there to avoid some of that but he just kept going out there. Castro hit .283 with 14 home runs (a career high), and 78 RBI’s (a career high), he also had 29 doubles and 12 triples for good measure. Castro inked a 7 year extension during the season, he will be a Cub for a long time, and that is a good thing.
There are a number of other guys that deserve to be mentioned as bright spots this year. Darwin Barney’s glove, Barney tied a major league record for consecutive error-less games at 141, and got to everything on the infield it seemed. Carlos Marmol’s second half, after a terrible first half Marmol finished the season strong and looked to be back to his un-hittable self late in the year. Travis Wood stepped into the rotation and did an adequate job for this team, if he can replicate those numbers or even improve upon them he can be a serviceable back of the rotation guy for the Cubs. Bryan LaHair’s first half was fun while it lasted, and earned him a trip to the all-star game, no reason to ignore that. Welington Castillo played his way into the 2013 starting lineup behind the plate as
It was a trying year for many, Dale Sveum included, and as I said around the all-star break I think Dale Sveum gets an incomplete for this season. There was not enough talent on this team to win baseball games, not matter how he managed them. What I did like seeing was the compete level of this team on most nights, sure over the course of a 162 game season there are going to be lackluster efforts. For the most part this team really never gave up, I will be interested to see how Sveum does when he starts getting pieces he can use to compete in games on a consistent basis, that’s when he can accurately be judged as a manager. I could have written about so much more but I think that sums up enough of what happened this season without going on forever, I’m really excited about the direction of this team, most of that excitement stems from the minor league system which we will continue to profile all offseason. Patience is still something fans will have to have as the Cubs are not going to have a team ready to be a contender next year. Sure, they should improve, and that’s what we need to look for, and it’s important we see that, one step at a time, thankfully for all of us I think the worst part just ended.
Thanks for reading all season long, we don’t take breaks so we will have great Cubs coverage all offseason for you. Go Cubs!
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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The Cubs seem to spring to life in the ninth inning today, unfortunately poor at bats from Starlin Castro and Josh Vitters brought a would be rally to a grinding halt. Trailing 7-3 heading into the ninth inning the Cubs strung together four straight hits which resulted in two quick runs but that’s as far as it would get. With runners at second and third, trailing by two with nobody out, Castro and Vitters both struck out and looked bad in doing so, and the Cubs inched closer to the 100 loss mark. Chris Volstad was Chris Volstad bad today as he could only last for three innings giving up seven runs on ten hits while walking none and striking out none, with the loss he falls to 3-11 on the season. The Cubs were actually uncharacteristically clutch, I mean not counting the ninth inning. The Cubs pounded out 13 hits, and were 5-for-12 with runners in scoring position, but still managed to leave 11 guys on base. Anthony Rizzo snapped out of a mini funk by going 3-for-3 with his 15th home run of the season, two RBI’s, two walks, and a run scored. Alfonso Soriano added to his career high RBI total in this one as well, registering an RBI double in the ninth inning to give him 106 for the season. The Cubs now head to Arizona where they will meet the Diamondbacks and possibly 100 losses.
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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.
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