Results tagged ‘ james russell ’

Bullpen fails Villanueva yet again; Cubs settle for split

Cubs 5-8 line

Full Box Score

  Carlos Villanueva can’t buy a win as he has left with a lead in five of his seven starts this year, the Cubs pen has blown the lead now in four of those five starts.  Villanueva didn’t have his best stuff today but still got into the seventh inning with a 4-3 lead.  The usually reliable James Russell took over in the seventh and gave up back-to-back hits which resulted in the Cardinals knotting the game up.  Michael Bowden worked the eighth inning and surrendered the game winning run as the Cubs couldn’t generate anything in the final two innings.  The bullpen was half the story, double plays and missed opportunities were the other half.  The Cubs seemingly had men on base all day long, but grounded into four double plays to thwart any rally they might have had.  The Cardinals weren’t much better, but did get the big hit in the eighth inning when they needed it, but they also grounded in to four double Rizzo 5-8plays, odd game in that regard for sure.  Really wanted a sweep for the Cubs, and of course they were in position to get one, eventually these blown leads have to stop…..I think.

At The Plate - The Cubs pounded out eleven hits, but could only manage four runs as they were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, and they had that double play issue that I already mentioned.  Luis Valbuena got a chance in the three spot today and delivered a solid game going 1-for-2 with two walks, and two runs scored.  Anthony Rizzo continues to roll, he was 3-for-4 with a double, and a run scored, all of a sudden he is hitting .269 on the season.  Cody Ransom continues to hit for the Cubs, he was 2-for-4 with two singles in the loss.

On The Mound - Carlos Villanueva wasn’t at his best, but did more than enough to pick up a win in this one, alas, a no decision for the funny facial hair guy.  Villanueva went 6.2 innings giving up three runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out two.  James Russell wasn’t his usual self in this one, he was asked to get the last out in the seventh, he did, but not after giving up a run on two hits.  Michael Bowden worked the eighth and took the loss, he gave up one run on two hits.  Kevin Gregg, the Cubs new closer (officially), worked a scoreless ninth to keep the Cubs in it, he walked one and struck out two.

Up Next – A day off tomorrow.  Then a three game weekend series in Washington, the full series preview will be up tomorrow, going to be a tough series for sure.

Cubs 5-8 box

Game Highlights:

Schierholtz’s two run double
Rizzo rips a double, Valbuena scores on error
Schierholtz with a sliding catch
Borbon called out on interference
Another tremendous catch by Schierholtz

Thanks for reading,
– George

Feldman turns in second straight gem to get Cubs back in win column

Cubs 5-6 line

Full Box Score

Those are fun games to watch, and this was the first game all year where everyone could sit back and enjoy the ride instead of worrying about how the Cubs would close it out.  Scott Feldman got plenty of run support in this one as the Cubs exploded for nine runs, their largest output of the season.  Feldman will gladly take the run support but really didn’t need it, he was brilliant for the second straight outing, and has really been a pleasant surprise Rizzo 5-6all year-long.  Tonight was a preview of what the Cubs want to be every night, solid at bats, deep counts, using the whole field, and solid starting pitching.  The trick is doing this consistently, it’s not there yet, but I think it’s heading in the right direction.  The Cubs were holding a tenuous 1-0 lead into the fourth inning when they exploded for five runs en route to a 9-2 victory, and a delayed series win over the Rangers..

At The Plate – So many good things tonight as the Cubs pounded out eleven hits and scored nine runs.  Starlin Castro was 2-for-4 with a walk, for reals, two RBI’s and three runs scored.  Anthony Rizzo is dialed in at the plate right now, and it’s fun to watch.  Rizzo was 3-for-4 with a walk, his ninth home run of the season, a double, four RBI’s, and a run scored, he is now hitting .262 on the season.  Luis Valbuena continues to defy logic as he went 3-for-4 with a double, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .271 on the season.

On The Mound – What else can be said about Scott Feldman, he was awesome against his former team tonight.  Feldman went seven plus scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking one and striking out three.  The only bad news was that Feldman had to leave the game in the eighth with a cramp in his throwing hand, after the game Sveum said that Feldman would be fine.  James Russell worked two-thirds of an inning giving up one hit and no runs.  Rafael Dolis, who was called up today, got some work in as well, he worked 1.1 innings giving up two runs, both unearned on two hits.

Up Next – The Cubs welcome the St. Louis Cardinals to Wrigley for a brief two game series starting tomorrow.  Travis Wood will get the ball and he will be opposed by Lance Lynn who already has five wins this season.  First pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM CST.

Cubs 5-6 box

Game Highlights:

Cubs five run fourth inning
Rizzo’s line drive home run
Cubs take the lead on Soriano ground out

Thanks for reading,
– George

Marmol leads Reds to victory

Cubs may 4 line

Full Box Score

Another game, another loss that the opponent didn’t have to earn.  Jeff Samardzija battled his way through six innings in this one and thanks to a pair of Alfonso Soriano two-run homers was in a position to get a win.  Then Carlos Marmol took over in the eighth inning.  It was apparent right from the get go that Marmol didn’t have it, he walked the first hitter he faced on four pitches, he then walked the next batter, then he hit Brandon Phillips on a 1-2 count, that was the end of Soriano 5-4the day for Marmol.  Sveum was forced to go to Hector Rondon to try to get out of it, but he allowed all three inherited runners to score, and just like that a 4-2 lead turned into a 6-4 deficit and this one was over.  The Cubs probably didn’t deserve this one based on their offensive performance, but there they were late in the game with chance to steal one, and the bullpen imploded once again, frustrating loss after frustrating loss, they really are piling up.

At The Plate – I’m shocked that the Cubs scored four times in this game, I’ll tell you why.  The Cubs only had three hits all day, and only had seven (3 hits, 2 walks, 2 HBP) base runners.  Alfonso Soriano was a one man Army in this one as he went 2-for-3 with two home runs, four RBI’s, a walk, and two runs scored.  Despite a couple of costly at bats yesterday from Alf, he seems to be getting locked in at the plate as he is now hitting .279 on the season.  Another guy that has been hot recently is Anthony Rizzo, he was the only other Cubs player to register a hit, he was 1-for-3 with two runs scored, he was also hit by a pitch.

On The Mound – Jeff Samardzija saw his pitch count rise quickly in this one, but was able to bear down towards the end of his outing to get deeper then many thought today.  Shark went six innings giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits while walking three and striking out five.  James Russell worked a scoreless inning while walking one walk and striking out one.  Carlos Marmol didn’t retire anyone in facing three hitters, he gave up three runs while walking two and hitting one.  Hector Rondon struggled with his command initially out of the pen but did a solid job.  Rondon went two innings out of the pen giving up one run on two hits while walking two (one intentional).

Up Next – The Reds will go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon as they send Mat Latos to the mound to face Edwin Jackson.  It’s time for Jackson to turn things around for the Cubs as he has been below average in the early going for his new team.  First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 PM CST on WGN, and the weather is supposed to be great.

Cubs May 4 box

Game Highlights:

Full video recap
Soriano goes deep, twice
Barney starts a double play
Sliding catch by DeJesus

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

Ransom, Bullpen Lead Cubs to Victory

Cubs April 29 line

Full Box Score

The Cubs fight finally paid off in this one, so often this year the Cubs have had the will to win….see what I did there?  But they have all too often come up short, but not tonight as they beat the Padres 5-3 to open the four game set.  Jeff Samardzija struggled with command in the early going which resulted in an earlier than normal exit.  That’s when the bullpen took over as they walked a fine line over the last four innings but shut the Padres down.  With Ransom 4-29the game tied in the sixth Cody Ransom and Darwin Barney came up huge with two outs to give the Cubs a 5-3 lead and they never looked back.  That’s four wins in their last five games for the Cubs, I think we can all get used to this.

At The Plate – The Cubs pounded out ten hits en route to scoring five runs in this one, and probably could have had more as they were 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position.  Alfonso Soriano broke out of his slump, at least for tonight as he went 2-for-4 with a double, and a run scored.  Cody Ransom was a hero for the Cubs with the bat and glove as he made a game saving play in the seventh.  Ransom was 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI’s, and two runs scored against his former team.  Darwin Barney also found some rare success as he was 2-for-3 with two doubles, two RBI’s, and a walk in the victory.

On The Mound – Jeff Samardzija battled, but he didn’t have his best command, the result was an elevated pitch count by the fifth inning.  Shark worked five innings giving up three runs on four hits while walking four and striking out eight, he did not factor into the decision.  Michael Bowden, Shawn Camp, James Russell, and Kevin Gregg all had scoreless outings out of the pen to nail this one down.  Bowden earned the win as he worked an inning while striking out one.  Camp and Russell each had some trouble, but were able to work out of it with the help of one another and Kevin Gregg.  Gregg worked his third perfect ninth for his fourth save of the year already with the Cubs.  Overall Gregg worked 1.1 scoreless innings while striking out two.

Up Next – Game two of the series tomorrow night at 7:05 PM CST, should be a great night for baseball as temperatures are supposed to soar into the 80’s.  Edwin Jackson gets the ball for the Cubs, he will be opposed by Edinson Volquez who always seems to have the Cubs number.

Cubs 4-29 box

Game Highlights:

Scott Hairston solo blast
Ransom goes back to back with Hairston
Barney with his first RBI double
Ransom with a huge RBI single
Barney’s second RBI double of the night

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

Cubs Win Second Straight Behind Rizzo’s Monster Shots

Cubs April 26 line

Full Box Score

If you are going to break out of a slump, do it in impressive fashion.  That’s exactly what Anthony Rizzo did tonight as he blasted two monster home runs, each two run shots and that’s all the Cubs would need.  Scott Feldman and company made those four runs hold up the rest of the way for the Cubs second win in as many games, the first time they have done that all year.  Scott Feldman worked out of a couple jams thanks to some slick defense, the Rizzo 4-26biggest play might have been Darwin Barney saving a throwing error and turning into a double play in the third inning.  Shawn Camp also faced some trouble in his inning of work but once again was able to wiggle off the hook.  Heading to the ninth with a two run lead Dale Sveum turned to Kevin Gregg and he delivered, pitching a spotless ninth for the save.

At The Plate – The Cubs scattered ten hits in this one while scoring four times.  The offense really only came from three guys in this one, Dave Sappelt, Anthony Rizzo, and Darwin Barney.  Rizzo had the huge game going 3-for-4 with two home runs, four RBI’s, a stolen base and two runs scored.  Dave Sappelt getting the start for DeJesus filled in admirably going 2-for-4 with two runs scored.  Barney was 3-for-3 with three singles in the victory.

On The Mound – Scott Feldman finally got that elusive first win tonight as he worked 6.2 innings giving up two runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out two.  With first and second and nobody out in the third Feldman almost threw it all away, literally.  Feldman grabbed a ball hit back to him and threw to second to start a big double play but the throw was high and if not for some defensive heroics from Darwin Barney this game might have ended differently.  Shawn Camp and James Russell each had scoreless appearances to get the game to the ninth.  Kevin Gregg took it from there as he worked a scoreless ninth for his second save of the year.

Up Next – The Cubs go for their first three game winning streak of the year tomorrow night with Travis Wood taking the mound.  Wood will oppose Alex Sanabia at 6:10 PM CST.

Cubs 4-26 box

Game Highlights:

Anthony Rizzo’s first home run of the night
Rizzo goes deep into the upper deck
Barney’s game saving play

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Baffled by Latos in Loss

Cubs 4-24 line

Full Box Score

If you like a good old fashion pitchers duel, then this one was for you.  Jeff Samardzija and Mat Latos went toe-to-toe in this one, and it almost didn’t even happen.  Both pitchers received visits from the trainer in the first inning, Latos after being hit with a hard ground ball off the bat of Julio Borbon, and Samardzija ripped up the nail of his index finger on his pitching hand while trying to knock down a ground ball.  Both pitchers stayed in the game, Samardzija Shark 4-24with blood dripping from his hand and both were outstanding.  Todd Frazier was the only player to make an impact on offense for either team as he connected on an estimated 480 foot home run in the sixth inning, and that was enough for Latos and the Reds.  The Cubs threatened in the eighth but once again couldn’t make contact to score a run.  Alfonso Soriano pinch hit in the eighth and struck out with runners at second and third with only one out.  Then DeJesus was robbed by Zack Cozart on a ground ball back up the middle, if it gets through the Cubs lead 2-1, it didn’t, Cubs lose.

At The Plate – As I mentioned, the Cubs really didn’t get much going off of Latos, Broxton, and Chapman in this one.  Julio Borbon had a solid day as he made good contact a few times, he went 1-for-3 with a double.  Both Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo were 1-for-4 in the loss, Castro was also caught stealing.  Luis Valbuena and Cody Ransom were the only other Cubs that registered his in the loss.

On The Mound – Jeff Samardzija was solid again, this time while battling an injury, and still ended up with a loss, his fourth of the season despite an ERA of 3.03, sounds like much of the Cubs staff.  Samardzija went six innings giving up one run on seven hits while walking three and striking out eight.  Shawn Camp and James Russell gave the Cubs a shot late as they each tossed a scoreless inning out of the pen.

Up Next – The Cubs travel to Miami to take on the Marlins in a four game weekend set.  Edwin Jackson will start things off against Kevin Slowey at 6:10 PM CST.

Cubs 4-24 box

Game Highlights:

Samardzija’s gutsy outing
Samardzija get’s nicked up
Navarro guns down Votto
DeJesus with a diving grab

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Find Another Mind Numbing Way to Lose

Cubs Line 4-22

Full Box Score

This is starting to get out of hand, maybe it already is out of hand, but the way the Cubs are losing games is almost hard to believe, even for the Cubs.  The latest chapter in this horrific story of a season took place tonight in Cincinnati where the Cubs seemingly did everything to win.  They received a tremendous performance from starter Travis Wood, jumped out to an early lead, had a strong performance from the bullpen for the most part, and yet still lost.  Such is life as a Cubs fan and Cubs team at this point, every game this year has been decided by four runs or less, think about that, all of them.  You know what decides close games in the majors?  Bullpen and clutch hitting, Travis  Wood 4-22usually with runners in scoring position, two things the Cubs have been terrible at.  Luis Valbuena hit a monster two-run shot in the top of the thirteenth to give the Cubs a two run lead, nothing could go wrong, until it did.  Before anyone could even savor that two-run homer, Michael Bowden, who didn’t get much help from Sappelt in right field, gave up three runs and the game was over, ho-hum, another mind numbing loss.

At The Plate – David DeJesus got things going right away in this one as he led the game off with a home run, he finished the day 2-for-5 with a home run, two walks, an RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored.  Nate Schierholtz was solid as well going 3-for-6, but also had three strikeouts.  Luis Valbuena had the big hit for the Cubs, that two-run homer that I mentioned, and finished the day 2-for-6 with two RBI’s, and a run scored.  Darwin Barney was 2-for-6 with a run scored, the Cubs left 12 men on base in this one, that didn’t help either.

On The Mound – Travis Wood was great again, against a tough lineup, and once again had nothing to show for it.  He went 6.1 innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out five.  Shawn Camp worked a third of an inning, but balked in the tying run, yes, again.  James Russell, Carlos Marmol, and Kevin Gregg all had scoreless appearances out of the pen.  Marmol was particularly strong going two scoreless innings while walking two and striking out two.  Michael Bowden was good, then really bad, he took the loss going 1.2 innings giving up three runs on four hits. 

Up Next – Carlos Villanueva looks to play stopper tomorrow night against Tony Cingrani, the Reds highly touted prospect.  First pitch scheduled for 6:10 PM CST.

Cubs 4-22 box 1

Cubs 4-22 box 2

Game Highlights:

Valbuena’s two-run homer
Castro RBI single
DeJesus lead-off homer

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Use Extra Base Hits to Pound Rangers

Cubs April 18 line

Full Box Score

Now these are the games that I think a lot of Cubs fans can get used to.  Thirteen hits, and six runs, not just thirteen hits but nine extra base hits and many of them very loud.  Maybe they just sounded loud because there were only 217 people at today’s game, but they were squared up for sure.  The Cubs jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the fourth inning amid the rain drops and this time they were able to keep their opponent at bay behind some solid pitching and defense.  I’m not sure what was the bigger victory today, the Cubs win, or the fact that the game was actually played.  Most of Chicago and the suburbs are under water, me included, so great job by the Wrigley grounds Anthony Rizzocrew to get the field in the best shape possible.

At The Plate – Maybe the best day at the plate all year for the Cubs, big days all around.  David DeJesus went 2-for-4 from the lead-off spot with a triple, a double, a walk and a run scored.  Starlin Castro was solid as well as he went 1-for-3 with two walks, his first two of the year, a double, and a stolen base.  Anthony Rizzo went 1-for-4 with his fourth home run of the season, and the longest in the Majors this year, a 475 foot blast.  His day could have been better two as it included two line outs, good to see solid contact from Rizzo.  Alfonso Soriano also found some production, he went 1-for-5 with his first home run and first RBI of the season.  Welington Castillo continued his red-hot start to the season going 4-for-4 with a double and a run scored.  Luis Valbuena was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI’s.

On The Mound – The Cubs pitching was just as good as the hitting in this one. Carlos Villanueva was finally rewarded for a solid outing, he earned his first win of the season going seven innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking one and striking out six.  James Russell and Carlos Marmol each worked a scoreless inning to close this one out.  Carlos Marmol was particularly good in this one as he didn’t allow a hit or a walk while striking out two.

Up Next – The Cubs travel to Milwaukee to begin a three game series with the Brewers.  Jeff Samardzija will get things going for the Cubs against Marco Estrada at 7:10 PM CST.  I guarantee there will be no rain outs this weekend.

Cubs April 18 box

Cubs April 18 Box 1

Game Highlights:

Soriano goes deep
Rizzo hits a monster a shot, really far
Valbuena’s single puts the Cubs on top
Castro and Barney turn two
Valnbuena’s RBI double
Villanueva’s slick double play

 

Thanks for reading,
– George

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,463 other followers