Results tagged ‘ Johan Santana ’

Rizzo Clutch Again as Cubs Hang On

Okay, so I guess the Cubs can handle top of the rotation lefty’s, and have troubles with the mediocre ones.  It sure does seem that way as the Cubs have been horrible against left-handed pitchers all year, but have now beaten Johan Santana for the second time in just under two weeks.  Tonight was much different from the first game against Santana as the Cubs hit Santana all over the field.  Things got started just a couple of pitches into the game

with Reed Johnson launching a lead-off home run that went a long way to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead.  The Mets bounced right back, scoring a single run in the 2nd and 3rd to take a 2-1 lead.  The Cubs were able to tie the game in the fourth inning and then blew the game wide open.  The first two guys reached in the 5th inning setting the stage for Anthony Rizzo, and he delivered.  Santana threw a get me over slider and Rizzo made him pay, crushing the ball over the right center field fence to give the Cubs a 5-2 lead.  Another huge clutch hit from Rizzo, it’s awesome to see him make such an impact so quickly.

It looked like the Cubs would run away with this one, but you can never assume that when Carlos Marmol is on your roster.  Leading 8-4 heading to the bottom of the ninth Carlos Marmol entered the game, and Cubs fans everywhere didn’t breathe for about twenty minutes.  Marmol got the first out easy enough, then gave up a solo home run and things got worse from there.  Three straight walks and a single later and the Mets closed the gap to one with runners on first and second and only one out with Lucas Duda coming up.  Just when it looked like all hope was lost for Marmol and the Cubs they got a break.  Duda hit a soft liner back to the mound and Marmol snagged  it and easily doubled the runner off of first to end the game, Cubs win 8-7, exhale.  Anthony Rizzo and Reed Johnson were the stars at the plate as the Cubs had a few of them as they pounded out 18 hits.  Rizzo finished 4-for-5 with his fourth home run of the season and three RBI’s.  Reed Johnson just missed the cycle, falling a triple short, he finished 4-for-6 in the win.  Lost in all the offense was Travis Wood, who won his fourth straight decision.  Wood went six innings allowing three runs, two earned while walking four and striking out three.  Wood improved to 4-3 on the season, full box score and highlights after the jump.

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July 6, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Mets; No Castro

For the first time all year Starlin Castro will watch a Cubs game instead of playing in one.  A move that I’m sure doesn’t sit well with Castro, but with the all-star SS struggling it’s probably a necessary move.  However, that leaves Jeff Baker at second base tonight, oh boy!  Here is how the Cubs will line up against Johan Santana.

1. Johnson – RF
2. Barney – 2B
3. Rizzo – 1B
4. Soriano – LF
5. Baker – 2B
6. Soto – C
7. Mather – CF
8. Valbuena - 3B
9. Wood – P

Go Cubs!
- George

July 6 – 8; Cubs @ Mets – Series Preview

New York Mets Logo - Mets scripted in blue with an orange outline

The Cubs close out the first half of the 2012 season in New York against the Mets this weekend.  This should be a pretty good series as both clubs are playing pretty good baseball right now.  The Cubs, in probably their best stretch of the season, have gone 7-3 in their last ten games, while the wild card leading (Tied with the Giants) Mets are 6-4 in their last ten.  The Cubs got the best of the Mets at the end of June in Chicago when they took two out of three.  However, I’m sure the Cubs haven’t forgotten the one game they lost in that series, by the score of 17-1.  The Mets are a well-rounded squad as they are 3rd in the NL in runs scored, and 7th in ERA.  Not too many ways to beat this team at the moment, if the Cubs want to be successful they have to get into the Mets bullpen which is the worst in the National League with a 5.07 ERA.  Full preview/breakdown after the jump.

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Wood Dazzles; Cubs Finally Solve a Lefty

Many people labeled the Sean Marshall trade in the off-season as a loss for Theo Epstein and company solely based on the fact that Sean Marshall was named the closer for the Reds and that Travis Wood didn’t make the Cubs out of Spring Training.  Fast forward to tonight, and things aren’t looking like a loss at all for the Cubs as Travis Wood continued to take advantage of his opportunity in the rotation by shutting down the Mets en route to a 6-1 victory. Wood shut out the Mets over seven strong innings, only allowing five hits while walking one and striking out six.  With the win Wood improved to 2-3 on the season and lowered his ERA to 3.54.  Offensively the Cubs had maybe their best approach and game against a lefty all year.  Johan Santana came into the game pitching very well, but the Cubs made the veteran lefty work, they earned four walks in addition to pounding out seven hits and six runs.  Alfonso Soriano had another solid night at the plate as he shows no signs of slowing down, he went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.  Joe Mather had the big hit as he was 1-for-3 with his 4th home run of the season to put the Cubs up 2-0 in the fourth inning.  That’s all they needed behind Travis Wood, a solo shot from Ike Davis off of James Russell in the ninth spoiled the shut out bid.  It’s Anthony Rizzo day tomorrow as the Cubs top prospect makes his season debut, we will have full coverage.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

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June 25, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Mets

Thankfully this should, SHOULD be the last time we have to sit through a game with Jeff “Home Run” Baker at first base.  A lefty greets the Cubs, so the Cubs counter with their stellar lefty lineup which is 3-16 against lefties this year.  Travis Wood looks to continue his strong stretch of pitching tonight with this lineup backing him.

1. Johnson – RF
2. Barney – 2B
3. Castro – SS
4. Soriano – LF
5. Baker – 1B
6. Soto – C
7. Mather – CF
8. Valbuena - 3B
9. Wood – P

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
- George

June 25 – 27; vs. Mets – Series Preview

New York Mets Logo - Modernized Mr. Met logo

It seems like the most interesting news surrounding the Cubs is what is happening off the field than on, that’s probably true.  This is what most Cubs fans have waited for all year, the arrival of Anthony Rizzo.  Rizzo will not be a savior, and he might struggle, but if most Cubs fans are like me, just seeing Rizzo play is a welcome departure from watching a lifeless team go through the motions game after game.  Nothing is official yet, but it sounds like Anthony Rizzo could be in the Cubs lineup as early as Tuesday night.  The team he and the Cubs will be facing is one of the early season surprises, the New York Mets.  The Mets are currently five games over .500 and are in second place in the East, just 3.5 games behind the Nationals.  The Cubs will get a look at a big reason Monday night as they face a rejuvenated Johan Santana, but they will avoid knuckleball sensation R.A. Dickey.  The Cubs, per usual, are struggling, they can’t score runs, a big reason is a dreadful stretch with guys in scoring position (3-25 over the weekend in Arizona).  Maybe a Rizzo promotion will help in that department, stay tuned.  Full preview/breakdown after the jump.

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