Results tagged ‘ Starlin Castro ’

Starlin Castro with a Sensational Play (GIF)

Wow, that’s one of the better plays you will see.

 

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Cubs @ Reds – Series Preview (April 24 – April 26, 2015)

Series Preview ROAD Reds

The Cubs head to Cincinnati to continue their seven game road trip, and they have a sour taste in their mouth.  Although a four game series split in Pittsburgh is all you can ask for, the Cubs feel that they should have won the series.  While they should have closed that one out yesterday, they probably should have lost game two, so I’ll call it even.  The Cubs bullpen is reeling however, and they will need some deep starts from their best pitchers in this series.  The Reds come into this series feeling pretty good about themselves as they took three out of four against a crapshow of a Milwaukee team, and sit just a half game behind the Cubs for second place in the Central.

Broadcast Information:

  • Friday, April 24, 2015 – 6:10 PM CST – CSN Chicago
  • Saturday, April 25, 2015 – 12:10 PM CST – ABC 7 Chicago
  • Sunday, April 26, 2015 – 12:10 PM CST – WGN TV

Pitching Matchups:

Who is Hot:

  • Reds:  Zack Cozart is out of his mind right now, he’s putting up almost impossible numbers over his last seven games.  Cozart is hitting .393 (11-for-25) with a double, FOUR dingers, and seven RBI’s, wut?
  • Cubs:  After a bumpy start, Starlin Castro has been scorching hot.  In his last seven games Castro is hitting .387 (12-for-31) with one homer, and seven RBI’s, looks like a middle of the order guy.

Who is Not:

  • Reds:  It appears that Marlon Byrd is regressing to meet the levels of his Cubs career.  Over his last six games he is hitting .095 (2-for-21) with one home run, and eight strikeouts.
  • Cubs:  The magic that Chris Coghlan had at the beginning of the season seems to be fleeting.  In his last seven games he is hitting .150 (3-for-20) with one RBI, one walk, and seven strikeouts.

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Cubs Rally to Win a Wild One

Cubs Final 4-21

Full Box Score

It’s noticeable, the Cubs don’t quit.  After blowing a 4-2 lead in the sixth, and falling behind 8-5 in the 7th, the Cubs charged back, scoring four times over the final two innings to win 9-8.  Trailing 8-6 in the ninth, the Cubs loaded the bases with no outs and Starlin Castro came through with his third hit of the evening to tie things up.  Kris Bryant scored on a Welington Castillo ground out, and Hector Rondon shut the door, what an absolutely outstanding victory.  With the win the Cubs have now won two games after trailing heading into the ninth, you know how many times that happened last year?  Zero.  Welcome to Chicago Cubs baseball, you should probably start watching.

At the Plate:

  • Anthony Rizzo is an on base machine, he was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, and he was hit by another pitch.
  • Jorge Soler finished strong in this 0ne, he was 2-for-5 with a double, and two runs scored.
  • Kris Bryant, just wow, he was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, two RBI’s, and one run scored.
  • Starlin Castro is shutting a lot of people up, he was 3-for-5 with a dinger, four RBI’s, and a run scored.  He’s hitting .352 on the season.
  • Welington Castillo got a start tonight, and he made it count, he was 2-for-5 with a homer, double, two RBI’s, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Travis Wood got the start tonight, and was decent, he worked five innings, giving up three runs on four hits while walking two, and striking out five.
  • Brian Schlitter continued his rough 2015, he worked two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on three hits while walking one.
  • Phil Coke got out of Schlitter’s trouble, he retired the last batter of the sixth.
  • Jason Motte struggled tonight, he worked one inning, giving up three runs on two hits while walking one.
  • Edwin Jackson was perfect tonight, and he picked up the win, he worked a scoreless inning while striking out one.
  • Hector Rondon was just disgusting tonight, he worked a scoreless ninth for his third save of the season.

Kris Bryant with an RBI double.

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“The Future” Pushes Arrieta to a Victory

Cubs Final 4-20

Full Box Score

It was a rough start for the Cubs tonight as Jake Arrieta got knocked around in the first, but escaped only giving up one run, then he shut it down.  Arrieta retired the next sixteen hitters on his way to a stellar seven inning performance to pick up his second win of the season.  He doesn’t get that win without the exploits of the Cubs future, and well, present, in the middle of the order.  After a double by Soler, and a walk by Rizzo, Kris Bryant crushed a two-run double, and ended up scoring on the same play to give the Cubs a 4-1 lead en route to a 5-2 victory.

Note:  A fan was hit in the back of the head by a Starlin Castro‘s line drive foul ball.  She was behind the protective screen, but was resting on the screen and the ball really smoked her.  The result was a 23 minute on field delay, the update is that she was conscious and thanking the people helping here into the ambulance.  Hopefully she’s okay.

Kris Bryant‘s Little League Homer.

Kris Bryant RBI single.

At the Plate:

  • Hip hip, Jorge!  Soler was a beast in this one, he went 4-for-5 with a double, and two runs scored.
  • Anthony Rizzo was all over the bases, per usual.  Rizzo went 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored.
  • Kris Bryant had a rough debut, he’s been everything advertised since, he was 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, three RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Starlin Castro is getting lost in the hype train, but he is having an outstanding 2015, he was 2-for-4 in this one, and his now hitting .327 on the season.

On the Mound:

  • Jake Arrieta with some more hot fire tonight, he worked seven strong innings, he gave up one run on four hits while striking out seven.
  • Pedro Strop was spotless as usual, he worked a scoreless inning while striking out two.
  • Rosscup came on to protect a four run lead, something the Cubs couldn’t do on Saturday, and he did just fine.  He worked an inning, giving up one run on one hit while striking out one.

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

Rizzo 5-24

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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Wood Dazzles in Win Over Reds

Cubs Final 4-15

Full Box Score

Travis Wood was dominant all night long as the lefty shut down the Reds, and led the Cubs to a 5-0 victory to take the series.  It didn’t take long for the Cubs to grab a lead as Anthony Rizzo blasted his first home run of the season in the first, a majestic two-run shot to right.  The Cubs flashed the leather all night behind Wood, Starlin Castro in particular, he made two outstanding plays to help preserve the shut out, and the lead.  The only bad news in this one was an injury to Neil Ramirez, the right-hander left after just three pitches in the ninth inning.  Ramirez will go for an MRI tomorrow, the initial diagnosis is right shoulder discomfort, that doesn’t sound great.  First place!

At the Plate:

  • Dexter Fowler is proving to be a solid lead-off hitter for the Cubs, he was 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, and two runs scored.
  • Anthony Rizzo finally got on the board with a dinger, he was 1-for-4 with said homer, a walk, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Jorge Soler continued his production, he was 1-for-3 with a walk, and an RBI.
  • Starlin Castro had an outstanding game, he was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, and a run scored.

Rizzo goes way back!

On the Mound:

  • All Travis Wood tonight, stellar.  He worked seven scoreless innings, giving up just three hits while walking two and striking out seven.
  • Phil Coke worked a solid scoreless inning in relief.
  • Neil Ramirez got hurt in the ninth, so Brian Schlitter had to close it out, he worked a scoreless inning, giving up one hit while striking out one.

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One Bad Inning Does in Cubs

Cubs Final 4-14

Full Box Score

Jake Arrieta had his typical no hit stuff against the Reds once again, at least until the fourth inning.  The Reds scored three times on five singles in the fourth inning en route to a 3-2 victory to even up the three game series.  The Cubs didn’t exactly go quietly, that seems to be their thing this year.  Welington Castillo smacked a pinch hit homer in the 8th inning to bring the Cubs to within one, but they couldn’t get any closer.  The Cubs had two more guys on base in the eighth and the ninth, but couldn’t come up with a big hit, this time.  Being able to come back in games is a nice thing to be able to do, you just don’t want to be doing it every night.

At the Plate:

  • Welington Castillo didn’t start but probably had the best game, he was 1-for-1 with a pinch hit dinger, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Matt Szczur, also coming off the bench, had two plate appearances, and walked each time.
  • Dexter Fowler, Anthony Rizzo, Jorge Soler, and Starlin Castro had the other hits, one each.

On the Mound:

  • Jake Arrieta got the start, and was just fine except for that fateful fourth inning, he worked 6.2 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits while walking one, and striking out five.
  • Zac Rosscup made his 2015 debut, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings, he walked one, and struck out two.
  • Pedro Strop worked a scoreless inning to give the Cubs a chance in the ninth, he struck out one in the process.

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Arrieta Powers Past Cardinals

Cubs 4-8-15 Scorecard

I’m so glad the Cubs didn’t cancel the season after Sunday, because that was fun.  It was a pitchers day at Wrigley, but I’m not sure if 80 degrees and sun would have mattered as Jake Arrieta, and Lance Lynn were brilliant.  Luckily for the Cubs, Arrieta was better, but not by much.  Both guys were dealing, and the winning run came as a result of a hit batter, and a wild throw on a pick-off, go figure.  After Rizzo was hit by a pitch in the 7th, and advanced to second on said wild pick-off, Starlin Castro delivered the game winning single, it was a super lazy single though…

Back to Arrieta, early on he didn’t have his best stuff as he had to battle through trouble in the first and third inning before settling into a groove.  Arrieta worked seven scoreless innings, giving up three hits while walking three, and striking out seven en route to his first win of the season.  For the second straight game the Cubs bullpen displayed just how dangerous they could be, dangerous in a good way, not a Carlos Marmol way.  Phil Coke, Neil Ramirez, Pedro Strop, and Hector Rondon combined to pitch the last two innings with Rondon picking up his first save of the season.

Cubs 4-8 box scor

 

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Hammel Leads Cubs Back Into Win Column

cubs-royals-3-17

Full Box Score

Jason Hammel cemented his status as the Cubs number three starter this afternoon by baffling the defending AL Champ Royals in a 4-3 win.  Hammel was brilliant going four scoreless innings, giving up two hits while striking out three, the outing lowered his spring ERA to six, it’s been rough.  Phil Coke, Zac Rosscup, and Stephen Perakslis all had scoreless outings with Perakslis nailed down the save.  Anthony Rizzo who has struggled in finding his timing this spring had a solid game, he went 2-for-2 with an RBI, his second of the spring.  Junior Lake, Starlin Castro, and Jonathan Herrera all chipped in with one RBI each in the win.

cubs-royals-3-17-hitters

cubs-royals-3-17-pitchers

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Spring Fever – March 9, 2015 (Lineups, Broadcast Info)

 

edwinjacksoncubsslide

Big day for Edwin Jackson, today is his first chance to show the new Cubs staff that he belongs as the number five starter.  Travis Wood has already been solid this spring, so E-Jax needs to get going, now.  I for one want Jackson to succeed, it means a better Cubs rotation, and the possibility of another team wanting his services.  First pitch is 3:05 PM CST at beautiful Sloan Park, and can be heard on mlb.com if you have an account.  There is no TV for today’s game as of right now, here is how the Cubs will lineup, Rizzo back in that familiar three spot.

1. Fowler – CF
2. Denorfia – RF
3. Rizzo – 1B
4. Castro – SS
5. Montero – DH
6. Olt – 3B
7. Ross – C
8. Coghlan – LF
9. Hererra – 2B

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