Results tagged ‘ Anthony Rizzo ’
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.
Berken’s Solid Outing
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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.
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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.
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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.
Barney’s Great Catch
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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.
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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
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The Cubs are heading into this series on a high note coming off a three game sweep in Pittsburgh, a sweep that put a major dent in the Pirates playoff hopes. It will be quite the different atmosphere in Houston as this three game set will be a battle for the first pick in the draft. Huge crowds usually don’t turn out for these types of series, couple that with the NFL season getting underway and it could be a very empty ballpark. The Cubs shouldn’t worry about that, they should worry about going out there and getting better with each game, and trying to win a job for next year. Two guys that have jobs locked up for next year, Starlin Castro, and Anthony Rizzo, are leading the Cubs charge as both are red-hot at the plate. Castro is hitting .333 in September, and Rizzo is hitting a whopping .382 during the month, unfortunately that hasn’t translated to many win as the Cubs are a less than stellar 3-6. If the Cubs want to extend their winning streak this week they are going to need the starting staff to step up as it will now be without Samardzija for the rest of 2012.
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Here are the pitching matchups for the four game series.
Season Series: Chicago leads 5-4
Prediction: Cubs win series 2-1
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Talk about an exclamation point on a season, Jeff Samardzija went the distance in his final 2012 start in a 4-3 victory over the Pirates. It was known for a couple of days that Samardzija would be making his last start of the season tonight, so he was ready to empty the tank tonight, and he did. Samardzija gave up three runs, two earned, on four hits while walking one and striking out nine in his first career complete game. A fantastic season for Shark as he was not guaranteed a spot in the rotation until the last week of spring training, he finished the year 9-13 with a 3.81 ERA, and 174.2 innings. The Cubs did just enough with the bats to help Samardzija get his ninth win of the season and put another dent in the Pirates playoff hopes. Four runs was just enough, but the Cubs could have had so much more tonight as they were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left ten guys on base. Tony Campana, hitting ninth tonight, was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, a walk, and a stolen base, the Cubs had four stolen bases in all. Alfonso Soriano went deep again tonight, his 27th home run of the season, David DeJesus and Welington Castillo each had two hits in the victory. Two in a row, the Cubs go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon.
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Let’s hope the Cubs have some fire left over from yesterday as they could use some of that on the field this weekend against the Pirates. The season is becoming historically bad, and facing another contender on the road is not going to make it any better. The Cubs come into this series losers of six straight with only two wins in their last ten games. Anthony Rizzo is one guy that has been earning his paycheck of late as he is hitting .423, with a double, three home runs and three RBI’s in his last seven games. The pitching staff on the other hand should give their money back to the organization. The Cubs staff has a record of 0-6 with a 7.20 ERA, such is life in September with a bunch of guys basically trying out for next season. The Pirates have been mediocre as of late as they try to summon the energy for one final push for the postseason, they trail both Atlanta and St. Louis in the race for the Wild Card by 1.5 games.
Season Series: Pirates lead 6-3
Prediction: Cubs Win Series 2-1, how do you like those apples?
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The Cubs could easily be accused as a team just going through the motions this year as they have a had a number of lifeless losses and currently sit 35 games under .500. Tonight was more of the same against the Nationals until Bo Porter, former Cub, and the Nationals third base coach, lit a fire under the club. After the Nationals stole a couple of bases, and Jayson Werth swung at a 3-0 pitch with a five run lead, catcher Steve Clevenger went to the dugout to get a new glove. Apparently Bo Porter didn’t like it, and started barking at the Cubs bench, Jaime Quirk took exception to Porter and the two got in a shouting match which resulted in benches clearing. Miraculously, Bo Porter, who started everything stayed at his post at third base, and Quirk was ejected. Fast forward to the 6th, the Cubs were determined to get the last word as Lendy Castillo threw at Bryce Harper, and missed. Harper walked towards the mound with Clevenger intercepting him before he could get too far, but the benches and bullpens were empty once again, this time with vigor. Nats reliever Michael Gonzalez kept running his mouth, which resulted in some more pushing and a possible sad attempt at a punch from Clevenger. Clevenger, and Corpas were ejected along with Gonzalez, that was the end of the extracurriculars, the butt kicking resumed after that. I will say this, it was nice to see a Cubs team answer the bell and finally say enough is enough, however when you are getting blasted night after night it makes you look rather sad. I was still happy to see it.
Now onto the third straight embarrassment on the field. Justin Germano got the start for the Cubs tonight, and didn’t fare much better then the Cubs starters that preceded him in this series. Germano was done after four innings, he gave up seven runs, six earned, on seven hits while walking two and striking out two. Germano left trailing 7-2, this was after the Cubs actually held a lead of 2-1 in the second inning. The Cubs had some success early against Nats starter Jordan Zimmermann as they scored in the first and second to take an early lead. Anthony Rizzo had a great day at the plate going 3-for-4 with his 12th home run of the season. Starlin Castro also did his best to keep the Cubs in this one as he was 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, and a run scored. On to Pittsburgh.
Incident #1 – Bo Porter NOT Ejected
Brett Jackson’s Great Catch
Barney Triples Home a Run
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