Results tagged ‘ Carlos Villanueva ’

May 8, 2013 – Cardinals @ Cubs; Lineups!

What a beautiful day for a sweep.  It almost feels like summer as temperatures are in the high seventies and the sun is shining, definitely the best day of the year for baseball.  Carlos Villanueva gets the ball today as the Cubs look to win their third straight and sweep the Cardinals in this brief two game set.  The Cardinals will counter with veteran Jake Westbrook who has been nothing short of brilliant so far this year, first pitch is at 1:20 PM CST on CSN Chicago.  Here are the lineups.

May 8 lineups

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
- George

Wood brilliant again as Cubs edge Cards

Cubs line 5-7

Full Box Score

As a baseball fan these games are fun to watch.  No matter what the records are the Cubs and Cardinals always seem to play close, hard-fought games.  Tonight was no different as Travis Wood and Lance Lynn were locked in a battle all night long.  The Cardinals took an early 1-0 lead on a solo home run from Allen Craig, and that’s all they would get the whole night.  The Cubs erased that deficit and turned it into a lead in the fourth inning, all with two outs as well, something this team hasn’t been great at.  Alfonso Soriano looped a Wood 5-7single to right then Nate Schierholtz put a good swing on a 3-1 fastball and deposited it in the right center, well more center than right center, bleachers to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead and that’s how this one would end.  Tremendous job top to bottom tonight from the Cubs, love beating the Cardinals, and hey, that’s two wins in a row!

At The Plate – Lance Lynn came into this one 5-0 and he didn’t disappoint as he matched Travis Wood pitch for pitch.  The Cubs didn’t generate a lot as they only had five hits, but it was enough for the win.  Starlin Castro had a rough night at the plate and made a questionable error, but did manage a double in his last at bat to finish the night 1-for-4.  Alfonso Soriano was a big part of the offense tonight going 2-for-3 with a run scored, fonsi has his average up to a respectable .276, need more production out of him however.  Nate Schierholtz was the offensive hero tonight going 1-for-3 with his fourth home run of the season, two RBI’s and a run scored.

On The Mound - How about Travis Wood, he was outstanding again tonight and has been all season.  Wood improved his record to 3-2 and lowered his ERA to a sparkling 2.33 by going 6.2 innings giving up one run on five hits while walking two and striking out eight.  Carlos Marmol (yes I held my breath when he came in) was really good in this one.  Marmol worked 1.1 scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking one, but he worked around the free pass.  Kevin Gregg has been reborn, he was spotless again in the ninth inning, he didn’t give up any hits and struck out one. 

Up Next - The Cubs go for the sweep, okay it’s only a two game series, but a sweep over the Cardinals is a SWEEP OVER THE CARDINALS.  Carlos Villanueva will battle Jake Westbrook at 1:20 PM CST, both pitchers have been outstanding this year, should be another good one.

Cubs 5-7 box

Game Highlights:

Schierholtz’s game winning two run homer

Thanks for reading,
- George

Series Preview – Cardinals @ Cubs; May 7 – May 8, 2013

Cardinals preview header

Bring on the Cardinals.  The Red Birds and their fans descend on Wrigley Field tonight for a quick two game series against the Cubs.  The Cubs haven’t seen the Cardinals all year, but they know what to expect.  The Cardinals are scoring runs, as they usually do, they have scored 150 runs so far Cardinals previewthis year which is good for seventh in all of baseball.  The Cubs on the other hand have scored just 122 runs and sit twenty-second in the majors, but they are steadily improving.  The Cubs typically have the pitching advantage as they have started out so well this year, well that’s not the case in this series.  The Cardinals pitching is a big reason why they have the second most wins in the Majors (20-11), they have a team ERA of 3.09 which is tops in all of baseball. The Cubs are no slouch when it comes to team ERA as they sit at 3.82, good for eleventh in the Majors.  It should be a good series featuring some good pitching.  The team that makes the fewest mistakes will have the most success, that usually holds true throughout baseball, but it’s even more clear in this series.  Coming into this one the Cubs have committed a league worst twenty-seven errors, the Cardinals have only committed thirteen, fifth fewest in the Majors.  Pitch, hit, field…. win.

Central standings 5-7

Last Series:

The Cubs lost two out of three to the Reds at home, and beat the Rangers yesterday in a make up game.

The Cardinals swept the Brewers in Milwaukee, it was a three game sweep, and the Cardinals have won six straight.

Game Times and Broadcast Information:

  • Tuesday, May 7, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on WGN TV
  • Wednesday, May 8, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on CSN Chicago

Starting Pitchers Scheduled:

Cubs:

Game One – Travis Wood (2-2, 2.50)
- Career vs. Cardinals (6 GS) (2-2, 5.36)

Game Two – Carlos Villanueva (1-2, 2.85)
- Career vs. Cardinals (25 appearances, 7 GS) (5-3, 3.10)

Cardinals:

Game One – Lance Lynn (5-0, 2.75)
- Career vs. Cubs (5 appearances, 4 GS) (4-0, 2.73)

Game Two – Jake Westbrook (2-1, 1.07)
- Career vs. Cubs (8 GS) (5-2, 4.14)

Bold Prediction:

The Cardinals are playing their best baseball of the year, winning six straight heading into tonight.  The Cubs have shown flashes of brilliance yet still find ways to lose games because of themselves.  The result, I think the Cubs split with the Cardinals in this brief series.

Thanks for reading,
- George

Cubs chase Chapman, but fall just short

Cubs May 3 line

Full Box Score

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 Soriano 5-3touched 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.

Cubs 5-3 box

Game Highlights:

Castillo’s two run single
Barney turns a DP
Schierholtz RBI single
Soriano’s RBI Double
Castro makes a nice play

Thanks for reading,
- George

Series Preview – Reds @ Cubs; May 3 – May 5, 2013

Reds preview

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.  chapman previewIt 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.

Last Series:

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:

Cubs:

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)

Reds:

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)

Bold Prediction:

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?

Thanks for reading,
- George

Cubs snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

Cubs 5-2 line

Full Box Score

  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 wood 5-2late 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.

Borbon 5-2

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.

Cubs 5-2 box

Game Highlights:

Hairston’s two run homer
Castro’s slick play
Barney turns a line out into a double play
Borbon’s great catch
Full video recap
Castillo’s error’s

Thanks for reading,
- George

Cubs Fall Short of Sweep in Miami

Cubs April 28 Line

Full Box Score

The Cubs held early leads of 1-0 and 3-2 but couldn’t hang on as the Marlins scored four times in the final three innings en route to a 6-4 victory.  Giancarlo Stanton finally broke out, a day too soon for the Cubs as he blasted two home runs and drove in four of the six runs the Marlins scored.  The one guy that can’t beat you in this lineup is Stanton, and he beat the Cubs today.  Winning three out of four is good, especially on the road, but a sweep would have been nice.  DeJesus 4-28The Cubs couldn’t take advantage of a couple of opportunities they had in this one as they were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.  Today marked the first game all year that Carlos Villanueva gave up more than two runs, not a bad run at all.

At The Plate – A number of guys had solid days, unfortunately the guys that struggled did so with guys on base.  David DeJesus was 1-for-3 with a walk, and two runs scored.  Starlin Castro was 2-for-4 with a double, and two RBI’s.  Anthony Rizzo stayed hot going 2-for-3 with a walk, and an RBI.  Dioner Navarro was 1-for-4 with his third home run of the season leading off the ninth inning, but the Cubs couldn’t mount a rally after that.

On The Mound - Carlos Villanueva has been great all year, and until the sixth inning he was outstanding again.  Villanueva was hung with the loss, going six innings giving up four runs on four hits while walking three and striking out eight.  Kameron Loe was also roughed up out of the pen going two innings giving up two runs on three hits

Up Next - The Cubs return home to face the Padres, another four game series, and a chance for the Cubs to continue playing solid baseball and get some wins.  Jeff Samardzija will get the ball in game one, he will be opposed by Clayton Richard at 7:05 PM CST.

Cubs April 28 box

Game Highlights:

Rizzo’s RBI double
Castro’s great diving stop
Castro’s two-run double
Navarro goes deep in the ninth

Thanks for reading,
- George

April 28, 2013 – Cubs @ Marlins; Lineups!

The Cubs go for the sweep this afternoon in Miami, not just a sweep, but a four game sweep, unheard of!  Carlos Villanueva will take the mound for the Cubs as he will battle Ricky Nolasco at 12:10 PM CST.  Here is how each team will line up this afternoon.

April 28 lineups

Thanks for reading,
- George

Clutch Hitting, Pitching, and Defense Lead Cubs to Third Straight Win

Cubs april 27 line

Full Box Score

As far as team wins go this one might be at the top of the list.  For really the first time all year the Cubs put everything together for a solid victory that included clutch hits, outstanding pitching, and a handful of tremendous defensive plays.  Yes, this is the 2013 Cubs we are talking about here, and it was a pleasure to watch.  The Cubs jumped in front early again in this one taking a 1-0 lead in the first and a 2-1 lead in the second, both times they allowed the Marlins to tie it up.  The game stayed tied at two into the seventh inning and that’s where the Cubs came up clutch.  The Marlins went to Mike Dunn, a lefty specialist to take care of Julio Borbon, Borbon drew a walk, then Dunn DeJesus 4-27was tasked with retiring DeJesus, he couldn’t do that either.  With Castillo at second DeJesus smacked a ground ball base hit back up the middle to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead.  The Cubs pen did the job the rest of the way to secure their third straight win, with a whole bunch of help from Starlin Castro and his glove.

At The Plate – The Cubs finally found some clutch hitting in this one as they were 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position.  David DeJesus was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  Welington Castillo was also right in the middle of the action going 2-for-4, and scored the game winning run.  Luis Valbuena has been in a good stretch as well, he went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the victory.  Loved the Cubs approach tonight as they walked four times and struck out only five times.

On The Mound - Travis Wood was outstanding once again in this one as he earned his second win of the season.  Wood went six innings giving up two runs on just three hits while walking one and striking out five, he is now 2-1 on the season with a 2.25 ERA.  The bullpen then took over as they shut down the Marlins over the last three innings to preserve the win.  Kameron Loe worked a scoreless inning giving up a hit while walking one.  James Russell and Carlos Marmol teamed up to work a scoreless eighth inning, surrendering one hit and one walk.  Kevin Gregg once again pitched a flawless ninth inning for his third save of the season.

Up Next - The Cubs go for their fourth straight win and a series sweep of the Marlins tomorrow afternoon.  Carlos Villanueva will take the mound for the Cubs opposite Ricky Nolasco at 12:10 PM CST.

Cubs 4-27 box

Game Highlights:

Luis Valbuena RBI single
Schierholtz with a spectacular catch
DeJesus’ game winning single
Castro’s game saving play

Thanks for reading,
- George

Series Preview – Cubs @ Marlins; April 25 – April 28, 2013

Marlins Preview Header

Well, based on the records, this could be an ugly series as the Cubs come in at 6-14 with the Marlins sporting a 5-16 record, that’s a lot of losses.  As one could imagine, it hasn’t gone well of late for either team as the Cubs are 2-8 ion their last ten games, of course at least half of those losses could be wins, and the Marlins are 3-7 in their last ten.  The Marlins struggles are similar to the that of the Cubs, they can’t score runs.  The Marlins have the worst team batting average in all of baseball (.221), the Cubs aren’t much better at .229 (26th in MLB).  The Marlins are also dead last in runs scored with 54, eleven fewer than the Cubs on the season.  The Cubs also hold the edge in the pitching department as they sport a 3.44 team ERA which is 9th best in all of baseball, think about that for a second, the Cubs have the 9th best ERA yet sit eight games under .500 this year.  The Marlins team ERA is a full run worse than that of the Cubs, they sit 26th in the Majors at 4.50.  All signs point to a successful weekend in Miami for the Cubs, but they still have to go out there and perform.

Cubs Standings 4-24

Marlins Standings 4-24

Last Series:

The Cubs left Cincinnati wanting more, they lost two of three and could have easily won two of three.

The Marlins split a rain shortened series in Minnesota.

Game Times and Broadcast Information:

  • Thursday, April 24, 2013 – 6:10 PM CST on WCIU
  • Friday, April 25, 2013 – 6:10 PM CST on WGN TV
  • Saturday, April 26, 2013 – 6:10 PM CST on CSN+ (Channel Finder)
  • Sunday, April 27, 2013 – 12:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago

Starting Pitchers Scheduled:

Cubs:

Game One – Edwin Jackson (0-3, 4.84)
- Career vs. Marlins (8 appearances, 7 GS) (1-6, 6.69)

Game Two – Scott Feldman (0-3, 4.50)
- Career vs. Marlins (First appearance)

Game Three – Travis Wood (1-1, 2.08)
- Career vs. Marlins (2 GS) (0-2, 16.88)

Game Four - Carlos Villanueva (1-0, 1.53)
- Career vs. Marlins (10 appearances, 2 GS) (1-1, 5.79)

Marlins:

Game One – Kevin Slowey (0-2, 1.90)
- Career vs. Cubs (1 GS) (1-0, 4.50)

Game Two – Wade LeBlanc (0-3, 6.27)
- Career vs. Cubs (2 appearances, 1 GS) (1-0, 2.08)

Game Three – Alex Sanabia (2-2, 5.09)
- Career vs. Cubs (1 GS) (0-1, 3.18)

Game Three - Ricky Nolasco (1-2, 3.81)
- Career vs. Cubs (8 appearances, 7 GS) (4-2, 2.85)

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not:

The Cubs have struggled all season long with runners in scoring position, even more troubling is their inability to get runners in from third base and less than two outs.  That is a situation where contact needs to be made and the run needs to score.  So far this season the Cubs have had twenty-three at bats with a runner at third with less than two outs, they only have two hits, that’s a .077 average.  They have only scored eleven times in those twenty-three chances, David DeJesus, Starlin Castrofor one, they need more chances, and two they need to capitalize starting yesterday.  Anthony Rizzo is having better at bats as of late unfortunately that is not yielding better results.  Over his last six games Rizzo is hitting .185 (5-for-27), he does have three home runs and five RBI’s during that stretch.  Darwin Barney has struggled mightily at the plate since returning from the DL, he is hitting .174 (4-for-23) in his last six games, but does have a game winning homer.  David DeJesus has been lighting it up of late, he is hitting .368 (7-for-19) over the last six games with a double, a triple, two home runs, three RBI’s, and four walks.  On the mound, Carlos Villanueva has been outstanding in his last two starts going 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA only giving up seven hits in 15.1 innings.

The Marlins glaring issues are scoring runs, and then preventing them once the bullpen comes into the game, sounds familiar, eh?  I mentioned the Marlins offensive woes above, but their bullpen ERA is just as bad.  The Rob Brantly 4-24 previewMarlins sit 28th in the Majors in bullpen ERA with a 4.98 ERA, which is worse than the Cubs if you can believe that.  Get ready for a lot of names that you probably don’t know, starting now.  Not much has gone right at the plate for the Marlins, but Rob Brantly has been a bright spot lately.  Over the last five games Brantly is hitting .313 (5-for16) with three doubles, four RBI’s, and two walks.  Justin Ruggiano on the other hand has been awful in the last seven games hitting .207 (6-for-29), of those six hits two have left the park.  Ryan Webb has been one of the few bright spots out of the Marlins pen of late as he has tossed six innings over the last seven days giving up only one run.  Jon Rauch has been stupid bad in his last two appearances, giving up five runs on four hits in 1.2 innings.

Bold Prediction:

These close games are bound to start going in the favor of the Cubs, and I think that starts now.  The way the Cubs staff has been throwing the ball I like their chances against a weak Marlins line up.  I also think the Cubs will start getting some timely hits and take three out of four this weekend….please??

Thanks for reading,
- George

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,305 other followers