Results tagged ‘ Johnny Cueto ’
Solid pitching? Check. Just enough hitting? Check.
It seems simple, but the Cubs have played some solid baseball over the past 90 games (45-45 before tonight), and they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down with their latest win in Cincinnati tonight, their fourth straight. Travis Wood found his 2013 magic against his former employer, he worked six scoreless innings, giving up just two hits, while walking one, and striking out five. The Cubs pen shut, no, slammed the door once again, as Neil Ramirez, Pedro Strop, and Hector Rondon were lights out. Wood picked up his eighth win of the season, and Rondon registered his 22nd save of the year.
Offensively the Cubs got started in the first, and that was all they needed. Anthony Rizzo hit an absolute bomb off of Cy Young candidate Johnny Cueto in the first, it was his 30th home run of the season, that’s impressive. Starlin Castro returned from the bereavement list tonight, and picked up right where he left off, he went 2-for-4 in the win. Arismendy Alcantara joined the fun late, as he blasted a two-run shot to give the Cubs some insurance in the seventh.
Get ready for Jorge Soler, he debuts tomorrow!
Note: Anthony Rizzo left the game late with some back tightness, he should be fine.
I think I mentioned that it was imperative for the Cubs to get off to a good start on this road trip to avoid a disaster, well that didn’t happen. The Cubs limp into this weekend series against the Reds after getting swept by the Pirates and losing five out of their last six. That’s why I said that the Mets series would have either been a step forward or a big step back, they lost that series and spiraled since, that would be a step back as they sit ten games under .500 now which is a low water mark. Things aren’t going to get any easier as the Cubs start a three game series in Cincinnati tonight, a place where the Reds are 16-6 on the season, and have won eight of their last ten overall. If there is any good news heading into this series it’s that the Cubs have played the Reds tough all year-long, that doesn’t necessarily mean wins, guess we’ll have to rely on moral victories at this point. The Reds are back to scoring runs in bunches again and have scored 225 on the season, that’s good for sixth in the majors. They hold a huge edge in the department over the Cubs and the 179 runs they have scored this season. Scoring runs isn’t the only thing the Reds do well, they are pretty good at preventing the other team from doing so. They have a 3.31 team ERA which is third best in the Majors, you add up that kind of offense, and pitching and you get a team that is 29-18 on the season. The Cubs will need a perfect series in order to take two out of three this weekend.
The Cubs were swept in Pittsburgh, three games that we should all just forget about.
The Reds are rolling as they have won three straight, and eight out of their last ten. They are coming off a three game sweep of the Mets in New York.
Game Times and Broadcast Information:
- Friday, May 24, 2013 – 6:10 PM CST on WGN
- Saturday, May 25, 2013 – 3:10 PM CST on WGN
- Sunday, May 26, 2013 – 12:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago
Starting Pitchers Scheduled:
Game One – Scott Feldman (4-3, 2.19)
– Career vs. Reds (first appearance)
Game Two – Travis Wood (4-2, 2.24)
– Career vs. Reds (3 GS) (0-1, 4.42)
Game Three – Matt Garza (0-0, 0.00)
– Career vs. Reds (4 GS) (1-2, 3.80)
Game One – Bronson Arroyo (4-2, 3.25)
– Career vs. Cubs (28 appearances, 26 GS) (11-9, 2.99)
Game Two – Homer Bailey (2-3, 3.09)
– Career vs. Cubs (10 GS) (5-2, 5.12)
Game Three – Johnny Cueto (2-0, 3.22)
– Career vs. Cubs (18 GS) (8-6, 3.01)
The Cubs send their number four, five, and one starters to the mound in this series, and oddly enough that might be their best chance to win. Travis Wood, and Scott Feldman have been as good as any pitcher this year, not just on the Cubs either. With that said, the Reds are finding their groove and the Cubs look disinterested so I think they lose two out of three this weekend. HOWEVER, of course there is a however, I think if they can steal the first game tonight they could win two out of three, fingers crossed.
Cub to Watch:
Time for Anthony Rizzo to get back on track as he has struggled since signing his big contract extension. Could that be a product of Rizzo trying to justify his contract, I don’t think so, I think he is just pressing at the moment knowing he is a big part of this offense and is struggling. Rizzo has had success against Arroyo in the past (3-for-8), if he has a big night tonight then expect a big series as Rizzo usually parlays one big game into a torrid week or so.
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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The Reds come to Chicago for a three game series starting Tuesday, September 18. The Reds have all but locked up the division, but are just 5-5 in their last ten, including losing series’ to both the Marlins and the Astros. The Reds have gotten Joey Votto back since we last saw them, but Aroldis Chapman has been shut down for a little bit and the Cubs will not face him this weekend. The Cubs on the other hand have been playing good baseball as of late going 7-3 in their last ten and splitting their most recent series against the Pirates. The Cubs can’t really play spoiler against the Reds, but they can postpone the Reds clinching the division for a few days and hopefully against somebody else. Alfonso Soriano went over the 100 RBI plateau last week and he will look to hit his 30th home run this series against the Reds.
Record: 88-59 (road, 41-31) 1st in Central
Runs Scored: 627 – 8th in NL
Team ERA: 3.44 – 2nd in NL
Last 10: 5-5
Last Series: Lost two of three to the Marlins
Record: 58-89 (home, 36-36) 5th in Central
Runs Scored: 565 – 15 in NL
Team ERA: 4.46 – 14th in NL
Last 10: 7-3
Last Series: Split with the Pirates
Here are the pitching matchups for the series.
Season Series: Reds lead series 9-4
Prediction: Cubs lose series 2-1
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For the second straight game the Reds used the long ball to power their way past the Cubs. Jeff Samardzija was on the wrong end of the power surge today giving up three home runs on the way to his 11th loss of the season. Shark lasted five innings in game one of the double-header giving up four runs on six hits while striking out five, his ERA climbed to 4.17 on the season. Early on it looked like the Cubs were going to provide a formidable challenge to Cy Young contender Johnny Cueto, but the good feeling didn’t last too long. Alfonso Soriano launched his 22nd home run of the season in the first inning to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead, it was Soriano’s 1,000th career RBI, quite the accomplishment. Soriano was basically it for the Cubs offense as they could only manage five hits on the day and Soriano had two of them. The Cubs made things interesting in the ninth inning as they were able to push across a run against Reds closer Aroldis Chapman. Unfortunately Chapman took it to another level against Joe Mather with the tying runs on base, striking him out to end the threat and the game. Welington Castillo also had a solid day at the plate going 2-for-4 with an RBI in the loss. Brooks Raley was officially called up before game two as he will get the start in the night-cap.
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Tons of baseball to be played this weekend in Cincinnati as the Cubs and Reds square off in a four game series. Yes, that’s right, four games in three days as the teams will play a double-header on Saturday which is making up a rain out from May. After not seeing the Reds for three months the Cubs will round out this weekend seeing them in eight of the last eleven games. The Reds just took three out of four from the Cubs at Wrigley so it’s time for the Cubs to return the favor. If they plan on doing so they are going to have to put up more performances like they did against the Astros in the series finale. The Cubs offense has been awful as of late as they struggle to find consistency with a very young lineup. Surprisingly the Reds are having the same troubles, I guess it’s to be expected as they are still without Joey Votto but the Reds have only scored the 9th most runs in the National League. Equally surprising is how good the Reds pitching staff has been, they have the second best ERA in the national league, it will be a formidable challenge for this Cubs offense.
Saturday August 18, 2012 – Game 2
Cubs: TBD (Most likely Raley)
Season Series: Reds lead 6-3
Prediction: Reds win series, 3-1
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The Cubs look to finish the series with a split today after letting a late lead slip away yesterday. Brooks Raley will make his second Major League start and he has quite the opponent, 14 game winner Johnny Cueto. Here is how the Cubs will line up behind Raley.
DeJesus – RF
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
Castro – SS
Valbuena – 3B
Jackson – CF
Clevenger – C
Raley – P
Thanks for reading, go Cubs!!
Talk about a weird schedule, the Cubs and Reds will play each other a total of 17 times during the 2012 season. They have played each other only five times this year (one rain out) so far, and haven’t seen each other since May 3rd, a full three months ago. Since then the Reds have taken off and the Cubs have sunk to the bottom of the Central division, which was somewhat expected. The Reds have been rolling as they sit atop the Central division with a 2.5 game lead over the Pirates. July was rather spectacular for the Reds as they had 19 wins, a Major League best (tied with Oakland). They have leveled off here in August going 4-4 so far as they have lost their last four games, but they are doing this without their best player Joey Votto, quite the void to fill. To be fair the Reds have beat up on lesser opponents while Votto has been out, and it continues in Chicago this weekend. I hate saying that but it’s true, the Cubs are 0-for August, no wins in seven games and have lost eight straight. The Cubs offensive woes might get even worse as they face a Reds team that is third in the National League in ERA at 3.38.
Mike Leake has been beat up a little bit over his last three starts, but has turned in a decent season for the Reds up to this point. Leake has started against the Cubs 8 times in his career and he has been good. In those 8 starts Leake is 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.189 WHIP. Volstad on the other hand has been very bad, for a while. His numbers against the Reds in his career don’t exactly give me a lot of confidence that Volstad will record his first win in over a year. In four career starts against the Reds, Volstad is 1-3 with a 5.32 ERA, and a 1.479 WHIP, at least he has a win.
Justin Germano has been a pleasant surprise for the Cubs this season after being acquired mid-season from the Red Sox. Germano has been versatile for the Cubs, pitching out of the pen and the rotation. He is not going to light up the radar gun but he knows how to pitch, and pitchers have a chance against the Reds as opposed to throwers. Likewise, Homer Bailey has also been a nice surprise this season for the Reds as he is starting to fulfill some of that potential that everyone was so excited about. In his career, Bailey has been roughed up by the Cubs. In 8 career starts, Bailey is 3-2 with a 5.60 ERA, and 1.667 WHIP.
Travis Wood should have some extra incentive going into this one as the Reds are the only other team he has pitched for in his career. After struggling a bit in July, Wood has been pretty good the last two times out, however he has no wins to show for it. Bronson Arroyo profiles as a guy the Cubs struggle with, changes speeds, more slow than hard and the Cubs refuse to be patient. The numbers back this up, in 26 games (24 starts) against the Cubs in his career he is 9-9 with a 2.97 ERA and a 1.138 WHIP. If the Cubs want success against Arroyo they need to take pitches and force him to elevate.
Talk about being thrown into the fire, Brook Raley will make his second career start against a first place team and a 14 game winner. Raley was the victim of some bad luck in his major league debut where balls were just finding holes. He was unable to work out of jams after those dink and dunk hits and that’s what hurt him. I’m sure nerves will be an issue once again for Raley as he will be making his Wrigley Field debut. Johnny Cueto is having an outstanding season for the Reds, he has been just okay against the Cubs however. In 15 career starts, Cueto is 5-6 with a 3.55 ERA with a 1.320 WHIP.
Season Series: Reds lead 3-2
Prediction: Reds win series, 3-1
Thanks for reading, go Cubs!