Results tagged ‘ Chris Coghlan ’

It’s Early, But Cubs Making Strides at the Plate

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A popular narrative the last couple of years has the been the Cubs ability, or inability to take walks, or make contact.  It was absolutely true, the Cubs were a team that would belt a dinger, but no one would be on base.  When someone was on base, the Cubs just couldn’t make contact, it wasn’t hard to see why they were 26th in the Majors in runs scored last year.  For the past few years the organization preached a “Cubs Way” that would see the team grind out at bats, make more contact, and be a general pain in the you know what for opposing pitchers.  While it’s early, we are starting to see glimpses of what an offense built around the “Cubs Way” will look like.

The Cubs organization was definitely targeting guys this off-season that could help push the club in this new direction.  What impresses me are the guys that were here last year have been so much better in their approach this year.  Arismendy Alcantara is only hitting .091 on the season, but he has an OBP of .259, he’s walked five times already this year.  We haven’t seen OBP numbers like this in what seems like forever, Chris Coghlan (.385), Jorge Soler (.382), Anthony Rizzo (.429), even Starlin Castro has contributed in this way (.364).  These are the kind of numbers that turn solo home runs into two run shots to tie the game in the eighth, kind of like Soler on Monday Night.  The importance of getting on base really can’t be understated, it really doesn’t matter how, just do it.

Let’s look at a comparison between 2014 and 2015, I know it’s a super small sample size, but the improvement in the numbers is striking.

Walk rates

Let’s extrapolate that out for a full 2015 season, the Cubs are on pace to walk 607 times, and strikeout 1,316 times.  That would mean that the Cubs would have 165 more guys on base via the walk over the course of the season compared to last year.  In regards to the strikeouts, the Cubs are on pace to strikeout 161 fewer times, that means those K’s turn into walks, or balls in play that the other team has to account for.  You couple this kind of turnaround at the plate with a lineup that has some additional power in it (Kris Bryant), and the Cubs aren’t going to be 26th in the Majors in scoring for very long, and that should mean more victories on the Northside.

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Cubs Outlast Dodgers For Another Win (VIDEO)

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You would think a five run lead with Jake Arrieta on the mound would be safe, it almost wasn’t.  The Dodgers knocked around Arrieta in the second inning as they scored four times to cut a five run deficit to one.  To Arrieta’s credit he battled and was able to work four innings, giving up said four runs on seven hits while walking two, and striking out five.  The bullpen did the job today as C.J. Edwards, Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon, and Joe Ortiz combined to work five scoreless innings, giving up five hits while walking one, and striking out four.

A lot of good swings from the Cubs today as they pounded out thirteen hits while scoring seven times.  Chris Coghlan made some loud noises with his bat, he finished the day 1-for-3 with a two-run blast, three RBI, and a run scored.  Jorge Soler, and Albert Almora both continued their strong springs this afternoon with two hits each.  Almora finished the day 2-for-3 with two doubles, two RBI, and two runs scored, he’s now hitting .353 on the spring.  After starting the spring 1-8-1, the Cubs have now won six of seven, and are playing all around better baseball.

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Cubs Falter Late (Twice) but Dingers Everywhere!

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The young Cubs provided the fireworks early against the Giants before the bullpen couldn’t find away to get outs, and blew a 5-0 lead en route to an 8-6 loss.  It was a lineup that had Cubs fans buzzing, Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, and Kyle Schwarber, oh my.  It was Schwarber who did the heavy lifting as he jacked a grand slam in his first at bat, giving the Cubs an early 4-0 lead.  The Cubs pitching made that hold up early on as Jacob Turner, and Pierce Johnson were on top of their game, Johnson was particularly impressive.

At the plate:

  • Kyle Schwarber was the star at the plate going 1-for-3 with said grand slam.
  • Jorge Soler hit a number of balls hard, he finished the day 1-for-3 with a run scored.
  • Billy McKinney came on late and went deep, he finished the day 1-for-1 with an RBI.
  • Kris Bryant went 0-for-2 with a walk, and a run scored.
  • Addison Russell was 1-for-3 with a run scored.
  • Albert Almora didn’t start but finished the day 2-for-2, good to see.

On the mound:

  • Jacob Turner got the start, and battled command early, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up one hit while walking two, and striking out one.
  • Pierce Johnson was outstanding, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up no hits while walking one, and striking out one.
  • Corey Black struggled, he worked one inning, giving up one run on one hit while walking two, and hitting Hunter Pence, breaking his forearm, ouch.
  • Hunter Cervenka was worse, he was only able to register one out, he gave up five runs, four earned, on four hits while walking two.

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A tie.  The Cubs and A’s tied today.  Mike Olt got the offense off and running early as he blasted a two-out, two-run bomb.  Unfortunately that was all the Cubs could muster as they went scoreless the rest of the way while scratching out only five hits.  The pitching was outstanding as Travis Wood, Neil Ramirez, and Drake Britton, among others, shut down the Athletics offense.

At the plate:

  • MIKE OLT!  Olt finished theday 1-for-2 with a home run, and two RBI.
  • Chris Coghlan was 1-for-1 with a run scored.
  • Newcomer Miguel Montero was 1-for-2 in the tie.

On the mound:

  • Travis Wood got the start, and was flawless.  Wood worked two scoreless innings giving up no hits, walking none while striking out two.
  • Neil Ramirez was stupid good per usual.  Ramirez worked one scoreless inning while striking out two.
  • Drake Britton was pretty good in his first audition for a bullpen spot.  Britton worked a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.
  • Gonzalez Germen had the plate jump around a bit, but he was fairly effective.  Germen worked two scoreless innings, giving up one hit while walking two, and striking out two.

 

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Riding the Bus; Cubs Minor League Reports (4/15/14)

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TUESDAY, APRIL 15, 2014

Iowa 4-15-14

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Looked like it was going to be a rough one right away tonight as the Zepghyrs put up five runs in the second inning, but Iowa bounced right back with four in their half of the second.  Unfortunately that was all that Iowa could do with the bats as they dropped this one to New Orleans 8-4.

At the Plate:

  • Chris Coghlan was 1-for-3 with a walk, and a run scored.
  • Chris Valaika continued his hot start, he was 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored, and is now hitting .333 on the season.
  • Logan Watkins had a big two run single tonight, he went 1-for-3 with a walk, two RBI’s, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Carlos Pimentel was beat up tonight, he took the loss as he worked five innings, giving up seven runs (oops) on six hits, while walking five (oops, again), and striking out five.
  • Yoanner Negrin, a personal favorite, was solid out of the pen.  Negrin worked 3.1 innings, giving up one run on five hits, while walking none, and striking out three.
  • Marcus Hatley mopped things up as he worked two-thirds of an inning, striking out both guys he faced.

Daytona 4-15-14

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The Daytona Cubs can’t find any offense, and recently their pitching has faltered as well, that’s not a good mix.  The trends continued tonight as the D-Cubs could only manage to score three runs on nine hits in a 10-3 loss to red hot Dunedin.

At the Plate:

  • Pin-Chieh Chen had a solid game at the top of the order, he went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
  • Tim Saunders is not having any trouble at the plate right now, he went 3-for-4 with two doubles, and two stolen bases tonight.  He is eight for his last fourteen at the plate, yikes.
  • Rock Shoulders had a big game tonight, he was 2-for-4 with a double, his first home run of the season, an RBI, and two runs scored.
  • Bijan Rademacher has been outstanding this year, it continued in this one, as he went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .379 on the season.

On the Mound:

  • Jose Rosario didn’t have much going for him in this one, he took the loss to drop to 0-2 on the season.  He worked 4.1 innings, giving up eight runs, six earned, on seven hits, while walking six, and striking out two, yuck.
  • Starling Peralta was really good out of the pen, he worked 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up no hits, he didn’t walk anyone, and he struck out three.
  • Stephen Perakslis struggles in relief, he worked one inning, giving up two runs on two hits, while walking one, and he didn’t record a strikeout.

Kane County 4-15-14 game one

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The Cougars could only manage two runs on two hits in game one, and that was enough for another win.  19 year-old Jen-Ho Tseng was brilliant in picking up his first win of 2014.

At the Plate:

  • Ben Carhart is having a solid 2014 so far, and he was able to find some success in this one, he went 1-for-2 with a double, and a walk.
  • Yasiel Balaguert is unconsious at the plate right now, he was 1-for-2 with an RBI, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .409 on the season.

On the Mound:

  • All Jen-Ho Tseng, all the time.  Tseng was stellar, he worked 5.1 scoreless innings, giving up six hits, while walking none, and striking out six.
  • Zack Godley was just as good out of the pen to pick up his second save of the season.  Godley worked 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit, while striking out four of the five guys he faced.

Kane County 4-15-14 game two

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Another light hitting game for the Cougars, and another win, how about that?  The Cougars are rolling and it’s because of their pitching, Blackburn followed Tseng with a “one up you” performance, and that was great to see tonight.

At the Plate:

  • Jacob Hannemann was 1-for-4 out of the lead-off spot, with his fifth stolen base of the season.
  • Carlos Penalver had the only run scoring hit of the game, for either team, he was 1-for-3 with a double, and an said RBI.
  • Ben Carhart capped off a productive doubleheader going 1-for-3 in the win.

On the Mound:

  • Paul Blackburn couldn’t have been much better tonight as he picked up his first win of 2014.  He worked six scoreless innings, surrendering one lone hit, while walking one, and striking out six, hot fire!
  • Jose Arias worked the final inning for the save, how’s this for a line?  One scoreless inning pitched, no hits, walked one, and struck out FOUR, in one inning, yep.

 

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Riding The Bus; Minor League Reports for April 9, 2014

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

 

Iowa 4-9-14

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At The Plate:

A much better day all around for Iowa as they found some offense to go with the solid pitching to beat Nashville 6-1.  Javier Baez seems to be rounding into form at the plate, he was 2-for-4 with a double off the center field wall, and two runs scored.  Josh Vitters was able to return to the lineup today, and he continued his hot hitting, he went 1-for-3 with his second home run of the season, two RBI’s, a walk, and a run scored.  Chris Coghlan also joined the fun as he went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  Vitters didn’t have the only home run today, Brett Jackson also went deep, and finished the day 1-for-4 with an RBI, and a run scored.

On The Mound:

What an outstanding day for Iowa pitching, collectively they struck out sixteen hitters, and only walked one.  Carlos Pimentel was dominant, he worked six innings, giving up one run on three hits, while walking one, and striking out ten(!).  Zac Rosscup was brilliant out of the pen today, he worked two scoreless innings, allowing only one hit, and striking out four.  Marcus Hatley closed things out with a scoreless inning, he allowed only one hit, and struck out two more.

Kane County 4-9-14

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At The Plate:

Everything looked great for the Cougars in this one until the 8th inning, and that’s when things started to unravel as the Cougars blew a late 4-2 lead and lost 7-4 in ten innings.  Weird box score, the Cougars had eight hits in this one, each of the first eight hitters in the lineup had one hit, odd.  Jacob Rogers was 1-for-4 with his first home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.  Shawon Dunston looked to have the game winning hit in this one, a two-run single in the sixth, he finished the day 1-for-4 with two RBI’s.

On The Mound:

Some good things early, some bad things late.  Paul Blackburn made his second start of the season and was solid, he worked five innings, giving up two runs on two hits, while walking two, and striking out four.  James Pugliese was sailing right along through two innings of relief then ran into some trouble in his third inning of work.  Pugliese worked 2.1 innings, giving up one run on two hits, while walking two, and striking out two.  Nathan Dorris was able to come on and get Pugliese out of the jam, he worked the final two-thirds of the eighth without giving up a hit or run.  Jose Arias had a rough go of it today, he worked two innings, giving up four runs, one earned (oops), on three hits while walking one, he blew the save, and took the loss.

Daytona 4-9-14 game one

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At The Plate:

Nothing going right for the Daytona offense as they could only manage four hits in game one as they were shut out.  Albert Almora continued to do his part however, as he was 2-for-3 with two doubles, he’s now hitting .364 on the season.  Marco Hernandez, and Pin-Chieh Chen were the only other D-Cubs to get a hit in the loss.

On The Mound:

Really good outing from Felix Pena in this one, unfortunately he fell to 0-2 on the season, but lowered his ERA to 1.50.  Pena worked six innings, giving up one run on five hits, while walking no one, and striking out five.  Michael Jensen finished this one off as he worked a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, and striking out one.

Daytona 4-9-14 game two

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At The Plate:

Still nothing doing offensively for Daytona, however, they did push four runs across the plate in game two, but only had five hits in the loss.  Pin-Chieh Chen had another solid game, he was 1-for-2 with a double, a run scored, an RBI, and a walk.  Albert Almora continued his own personal hit parade, he was 1-for-3 with a run scored in the second game.  Dan Vogelbach finally connected in this one, he was 1-for-3 with his first home run of the season, three RBI’s, and a run scored.

On The Mound:

The offense finally finds some runs, and the pitching falters, such is the life of a struggling ball club.  Jose Rosario got the start and the loss, he worked five innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on three hits, while walking three, and striking out four.  Starling Peralta really struggled, he was only able to get through one-third of an inning, giving up four runs, two earned (errors!), on three hits, while striking out one.  Andrew McKirahan did a great job keeping the D-Cubs close, he worked 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits, while striking out three.

Tennessee 4-9-14

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At The Plate:

The Smokies found just enough offense in this one as they scored three runs on seven hits to take care of the lookouts.  Stephen Bruno had a solid game, going 2-for-4 with two singles.  Kris Bryant was back in the lineup, and went 1-for-4 with a run scored in the win.  Rafael Lopez was the difference maker as he went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, two RBI’s, and a run scored.

On The Mound:

I love C.J. Edwards nights, the mini flame thrower was on full display tonight and didn’t disappoint.  Edwards worked 5.2 innings, giving up one run on five hits, while walking four, and striking out five, walks drove his pitch count up for sure tonight.  P.J. Francescon was solid once again out of the pen, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings, he didn’t give up any hits, struck out two, and took home the win.  Jeff Lorick worked two-thirds of an inning late, giving up one hit, and striking out one.  Armando Rivero was brilliant to close this one out, he worked 1.1 scoreless, hit-less innings, while striking out three to earn his second save of the season.

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Riding the Bus; Minor League Reports for April 8, 2014

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

 

Iowa 4-8-14

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At The Plate:

The Iowa Cubs are having trouble consistently scoring runs, one night they explode, the next they can’t buy a hit, like tonight.  The I-Cubs could only manage four hits, and one run in the loss tonight.  Chris Valaika, and Chris Coghlan each finished the night going 1-for-4, and that was about it.  Christian Villanueva continued his hot stretch, he went 1-for-3 with a double, and a run scored in the loss.  The only RBI tonight belonged to Eli Whiteside, he was 1-for-3.

On The Mound:

Not a bad job at all from the Cubs staff, they are just in a position where they can’t afford to make any mistakes.  Chris Rusin had a much better second start, but fell to 0-2 on the season.  Rusin worked six innings, giving up three runs, two earned (Baez error), he didn’t walk anyone, and struck out five.  Alberto Cabrera was decent out of the pen, he worked two innings, giving up one run on three hits, while striking out one.  Marcos Mateo finished things up tonight by working one scoreless inning.

Kane County 4-8-14

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At The Plate:

An exciting home opener for the Cougars as they walk off in the 12th inning with a 4-3 victory.  Jacob Hannemann has had a good start to 2014, he was 2-for-5 with an RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored in the win.  Yasiel Balaguert, Daniel Canela, Trey Martin, and Carlos Penalver all finished the night going 1-for-5 as the Cougars could only manage six hits in the twelve inning victory.

On The Mound:

It was an outstanding night for the Cougars pitching, not just the results but who was pitching, very exciting.  Nineteen year old Jen-Ho Tseng got the start and was very good, he just had one rough inning.  Tseng worked five innings, giving up three runs on eights hits, while walking none, and striking out five.  Gerardo Concepcion was the next arm on for the Cougars, and he was brilliant, working three scoreless innings, while walking none, and striking out three.  Both Tyler Bremer, and Zack Godley each worked two scoreless innings out of the pen with Godley picking up the win.

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