Results tagged ‘ Starlin Castro ’
The same old things keep plaguing the Cubs, not hitting with runners in scoring position, pitchers making errors, unearned runs, wasted doubles, all were present and accounted for in this one. Samardzija has no one to thank but himself for the Nationals taking a 2-1 lead in the second as he botched a ball right back at him then gave up a two out double. Then Samardzija just lost the feeling for everything in the fourth and fifth innings as the Nationals scored twice in the fourth and three times in the fifth to put this one to bed. For a game that featured ten total runs on nineteen total hits it was played at a breakneck pace, ending in just over two and a half hours. More on the Cubs misery with runners in scoring position below, they definitely had plenty of chances to keep this one close. I mentioned in the series preview that the Cubs would have to play mistake free baseball and capitalize on chances when they present themselves to win, the Cubs proved that true tonight.
At The Plate – The Cubs pounded out ten hits, one more than the Nats, but were only able to score three times. Of those ten hits seven were doubles, think about that for a second, and the Cubs only scored three times. Starlin Castro was given a chance to lead off for the first time this year and had a solid game going 2-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI, and a run scored. Anthony Rizzo turned in another solid performance going 2-for-4 with an RBI, he’s now hitting .276 on the season. Ryan Sweeney had a solid day getting the start in center, he went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored.
On The Mound - Jeff Samardzija needs to find a way to get through the fifth inning, or at least avoid the mind numbing innings that make his pitch count explode. Samardzija’s record fell to 1-5 with the loss, he went five innings giving up seven runs, five earned, on eight hits while walking two and striking out five. Hector Rondon, Kyuji Fujikawa, and Shawn Camp each worked a scoreless inning in relief to keep the deficit somewhat respectable.
Up Next – Game two of the series as Edwin Jackson takes the ball for the Cubs to face one of his former teams. Jackson needs a good outing, I’m not saying his spot in the rotation is in jeopardy, yet, but a good performance could go a long way. Stephen Strasburg will oppose Jackson and the Cubs at 3:05 PM CST.
As a baseball fan these games are fun to watch. No matter what the records are the Cubs and Cardinals always seem to play close, hard-fought games. Tonight was no different as Travis Wood and Lance Lynn were locked in a battle all night long. The Cardinals took an early 1-0 lead on a solo home run from Allen Craig, and that’s all they would get the whole night. The Cubs erased that deficit and turned it into a lead in the fourth inning, all with two outs as well, something this team hasn’t been great at. Alfonso Soriano looped a single to right then Nate Schierholtz put a good swing on a 3-1 fastball and deposited it in the right center, well more center than right center, bleachers to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead and that’s how this one would end. Tremendous job top to bottom tonight from the Cubs, love beating the Cardinals, and hey, that’s two wins in a row!
At The Plate – Lance Lynn came into this one 5-0 and he didn’t disappoint as he matched Travis Wood pitch for pitch. The Cubs didn’t generate a lot as they only had five hits, but it was enough for the win. Starlin Castro had a rough night at the plate and made a questionable error, but did manage a double in his last at bat to finish the night 1-for-4. Alfonso Soriano was a big part of the offense tonight going 2-for-3 with a run scored, fonsi has his average up to a respectable .276, need more production out of him however. Nate Schierholtz was the offensive hero tonight going 1-for-3 with his fourth home run of the season, two RBI’s and a run scored.
On The Mound - How about Travis Wood, he was outstanding again tonight and has been all season. Wood improved his record to 3-2 and lowered his ERA to a sparkling 2.33 by going 6.2 innings giving up one run on five hits while walking two and striking out eight. Carlos Marmol (yes I held my breath when he came in) was really good in this one. Marmol worked 1.1 scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking one, but he worked around the free pass. Kevin Gregg has been reborn, he was spotless again in the ninth inning, he didn’t give up any hits and struck out one.
Up Next - The Cubs go for the sweep, okay it’s only a two game series, but a sweep over the Cardinals is a SWEEP OVER THE CARDINALS. Carlos Villanueva will battle Jake Westbrook at 1:20 PM CST, both pitchers have been outstanding this year, should be another good one.
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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 all 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.
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Well, how about that? Scott Feldman was brilliant right from the start and all night long as he tossed his first career complete game and had plenty of support from his offense. The Cubs had Andrew Cashner on the ropes right off the bat as they scored in each of the first four innings to take a 5-0 lead. That was all she wrote for Cashner who was already up to 96 pitches after four innings, that’s what you like to see from the offensive side of things. The Cubs were only able to manage one more run over the final four innings but they didn’t need it as Feldman was throwing darts all night long. With a win tomorrow the Cubs could take three out of four in their second straight series, I don’t care who the opponent is, that’s a huge step in the right direction.
At The Plate – Awesome job by the Cubs at the plate tonight as the pounded out nine hits, and six runs, while walking five times. They probably could have and should have had more, but beggars can’t be choosers I guess. David DeJesus continues to hit as he was 2-for-5 from the lead-off spot. Starlin Castro, getting a chance in the fifth spot today was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and two runs scored. Julio Borbon had another solid game going 1-for-4 with a walk, and two runs scored. Dioner Navarro had two RBI’s, Nate Schierholtz had one RBI, and Luis Valbuena has one RBI in the win.
On The Mound - It was the Scott Feldman show, as he was brilliant. Feldman went the distance for his first career complete game giving up two runs on three hits while walking one and striking out twelve(!). The twelve strikeouts were also a career high, quite the night for Feldman as he improved his record to 2-3 and watched his ERA improve to 3.34 on the season.
Up Next - The Cubs go for the series win tomorrow afternoon at 1:20 PM CST. Travis Wood looks to continue his strong start to 2013 as he will face off against Eric Stults who has been roughed up in the early going this year.
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The first twenty-five games of the Cubs season featured a fun fact, every game has been decided by four runs or less, that streak came to a crashing halt tonight in game twenty-six. Edwin Jackson was hit hard and often in the early going as the Padres built an 8-0 lead in the fifth inning. As the Cubs have done all year they fought right back and scored four times in the bottom half of the fifth to make it a game. Unfortunately the rest of the Cubs staff couldn’t miss any bats either as the Padres scored in the next three innings, five runs in total, to take a 13-5 lead in the eighth inning. The Cubs staged a minor rally in the ninth inning to make the score look somewhat presentable but they really never had a chance in this one, and that can be attributed to Edwin Jackson’s continued struggles.
At The Plate – Nice to see the Cubs really pound the ball in this one, too bad it wasn’t enough to keep pace with the Padres. The Cubs scored seven times on eleven hits, and were uncharacteristically good with runners in scoring position (3-for-9). Starlin Castro had a big game going 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI’s and two runs scored. Anthony Rizzo is locked in at the plate, and now the results are starting to come, he was 3-for-4 tonight with two doubles, a walk, an RBI, and a stolen base. Luis Valbuena, David DeJesus, and Cody Ransom all hit home runs in this one, Valbuena’s home run was a two-run shot, while DeJesus and Ransom each had solo homers.
On The Mound - Not a lot of success on the mound in this one and it started with Edwin Jackson who was torched. Jackson went 4.2 innings giving up eight runs on eleven hits while walking two and striking out six, his ERA ballooned to 6.27 for the season. Kameron Loe was okay in relief going 1.1 innings giving up one run on two hits while striking out two. Hector Rondon didn’t fare too well out of the pen going two innings giving up four runs on four hits while walking one. Shawn Camp was the only pitcher to escape unscathed in this one as he worked a scoreless inning.
Up Next - Game three of the series, and the Cubs will face a familiar face in Andrew Cashner. The Cubs will counter with Scott Feldman at 7:05 PM CST. Editors note: Congrats Blackhawks on winning game one! Go Chicago sports.
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The Cubs held early leads of 1-0 and 3-2 but couldn’t hang on as the Marlins scored four times in the final three innings en route to a 6-4 victory. Giancarlo Stanton finally broke out, a day too soon for the Cubs as he blasted two home runs and drove in four of the six runs the Marlins scored. The one guy that can’t beat you in this lineup is Stanton, and he beat the Cubs today. Winning three out of four is good, especially on the road, but a sweep would have been nice. The Cubs couldn’t take advantage of a couple of opportunities they had in this one as they were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Today marked the first game all year that Carlos Villanueva gave up more than two runs, not a bad run at all.
At The Plate – A number of guys had solid days, unfortunately the guys that struggled did so with guys on base. David DeJesus was 1-for-3 with a walk, and two runs scored. Starlin Castro was 2-for-4 with a double, and two RBI’s. Anthony Rizzo stayed hot going 2-for-3 with a walk, and an RBI. Dioner Navarro was 1-for-4 with his third home run of the season leading off the ninth inning, but the Cubs couldn’t mount a rally after that.
On The Mound - Carlos Villanueva has been great all year, and until the sixth inning he was outstanding again. Villanueva was hung with the loss, going six innings giving up four runs on four hits while walking three and striking out eight. Kameron Loe was also roughed up out of the pen going two innings giving up two runs on three hits
Up Next - The Cubs return home to face the Padres, another four game series, and a chance for the Cubs to continue playing solid baseball and get some wins. Jeff Samardzija will get the ball in game one, he will be opposed by Clayton Richard at 7:05 PM CST.
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How was that for exciting, for the second time in the last week Luis Valbuena belted a clutch home run to put the Cubs up late, this time they actually won the game. Things weren’t looking so good early on as Edwin Jackson was struggling with his command and the Marlins jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the second inning. Usually that spells the end of the game for the Cubs given their offensive woes, but not tonight. The Cubs scored once in the fourth on back to back doubles by Nate Schierholtz and Welington Castillo, and then tied it in the sixth on a home run by you guessed it, Schierholtz again. Jackson settled in, and the Cubs pen did a great job to get the game tied at three and then Valbuena delivered the game winning shot in the top of the ninth. Carlos Marmol came on to get the save, and of course made it very interesting for everyone involved by putting the first two men on before escaping the jam, Cubs win!
At The Plate – The Cubs were only able to manage six hits in this one, but they made them count as they were 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position. David DeJesus was 1-for-4 with a double, and a run scored from the lead-off spot. Starlin Castro got the Cubs on the board early with an RBI single, he finished the day 1-for-4. Nate Schierholtz was 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, an RBI, and two runs scored. Luis Valbuena, the hero on this night went 1-for-4 with a home run, an RBI, and a run scored.
On The Mound - It didn’t look like Edwin Jackson was going to make it through four innings in this one but he battled his way to a quality start. Jackson went six innings giving up three runs on five hits while walking four and striking out four. The Cubs pen shined in this one as Hector Rondon, Shawn Camp, and Carlos Marmol all tossed scoreless innings in the victory. Impressive job by Marmol after it looked like things were going to unravel, he walked the first guy, gave up a hit to the next guy then settled in as he struck out the Marlins best hitter Giancarlo Stanton with the tying run in scoring position to end this one.
Valbuena’s game winner
Great defensive play in the ninth
Marmol gets the save
Schierholtz ties it with a home run
Castro’s RBI single
Great catch by Barney
Castillo’s RBI double
Slick play by Barney and Castro
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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 with 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.
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I understand that the Cubs won’t be competitive this year, maybe competitive in games, but not to the point of winning anything substantial, but the one thing I expect to see at least is strong fundamental play. When the roster is hollowed, which it is, one would expect to see the little things done right, and players paying attention. We are only sixteen games into this season and it is clear that in some games the Cubs just aren’t mentally there. I suppose I shouldn’t be as upset about it because this kind of stuff happens on bad teams, and for the most part the Cubs have fought in games but today just got to me. It also is starting to get to Dale Sveum, “”This is obviously getting old…we’re making mistakes that rookie ball people make.” The Cubs only had four chances with runners in scoring position, they did convert once, but it wasn’t enough as four unearned runs did in the Cubs and Edwin Jackson, just frustrating.
At The Plate – The Cubs managed to out-hit the Brewers in this one 7-6, but the Brewers didn’t make any errors and thus they won. Of the seven Cubs hits only two were of the extra-base variety. David DeJesus was 1-for-3, as was Luis Valbuena. Alfonso Soriano was the only Cubs player to register an RBI, he was 1-for-4, and also made an error. Starlin Castro was 1-for-4 and he also made an error, the other error was made by Edwin Jackson. Nate Schierholtz, and Dave Sappelt were the only Cubs with extra base hits, both doubles.
On The Mound - Edwin Jackson had a ”quality” start by definition of the rule book as he went six innings giving up five runs, one earned, on four hits while walking one and striking out four. Hector Rondon, and Kameron Loe both worked scoreless innings in relief but by then the game was decided.
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No rain outs this weekend! It seems as though the Brewers have found a groove since playing the Cubs as they are playing better of late. Yesterday’s Cubs game was very encouraging as far as the offense goes, it was some of the best contact of the year, and they will see the best weather they have all year in Milwaukee, thanks roof. I really think the bats want to take off, Anthony Rizzo hit the ball hard in almost every at bat yesterday, Soriano hit his first home run yesterday, and Castro walked twice yesterday, all good things. Always a fun series in Milwaukee as a lot of Cubs fans usually make the trip up there, and it is rather important that the Cubs get off to a good start to this trip in Milwaukee or this ten game trip might not turn out so great.
The Cubs split a rain shortened two game set with the Rangers at home.
The Brewers swept a three game series against the Giants in Milwaukee.
Game Times and Broadcast Information:
- Friday, April 19, 2013 – 7:10 PM CST on WCIU
- Saturday, April 20, 2013 – 6:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago
- Sunday, April 21, 2013 – 1:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago
Starting Pitchers Scheduled:
Game One - Jeff Samardzija (1-2, 2.75)
- Career vs. Brewers (17 appearances, 3 GS) (2-3, 3.93)
Game Two - Edwin Jackson (0-2, 6.06)
- Career vs. Brewers (8 GS) (3-3, 3.57)
Game Three - Scott Feldman (0-2, 6.00)
- Career vs. Brewers (1 GS) (1-0, 0.00)
Game One - Marco Estrada (1-0, 4.50)
- Career vs. Cubs (9 appearances, 4 GS) (3-0, 3.56)
Game Two - Hiram Burgos (0-1, 4.50)
- Career vs. Cubs (First appearance, Major League Debut)
Game Three - Wily Peralta (0-1, 6.19)
- Career vs. Cubs (1 GS) (0-0, 2.70)
Who’s Hot / Who’s Not:
The Cubs hitting seems to be picking things up, sure it’s really only one game, but at this point I’ll take it. The Cubs could be considered to be falling on some back luck recently, especially in the Giants series. The Cubs went 3-6 on the rain shortened home stand and the record could have been the exact opposite if they could just close games out. Welington Castillo has been red-hot really all season long, as he is hitting .425 on the season with three double, a home run, and four RBI’s. Starlin Castro is also gaining traction at the plate as he has his average up to .311 with four doubles, a triple, two home runs, and six RBI’s. Anthony Rizzo has been struggling a bit, but found some bad luck recently with line outs, I think he has a big series in Milwaukee, he looks better at the plate of late. The Cubs starting pitching has been outstanding this year, the cumulative ERA is 3.15 which is sixth best in the Majors, conversely the bullpen ERA is 5.73 which is 29th in the Majors. Obviously, if that number is just a little bit lower the Cubs could have four or five more wins.
The Brewers are coming off an impressive showing against the defending champion Giants sweeping the three game set and outscoring them 21 to 13. Carlos Gomez is scorching hot for the Brewers, over the last five games he’s hitting .556 (10-for18) with a triple, home run, and two RBI’s. Jonathan Lucroy seems to have snapped out of his early season slump as well, he is hitting .350 (7-for-20) in his last five games with two home runs and five RBI’s. Ryan Braun has gone ice-cold, some are blaming a neck injury that he is coming off of because you just don’t see these types of numbers from him, he’s hitting .091 (2-for-22) in his last six games, those two hits were home runs. Milwaukee’s pitching is what is holding them back right now, and it’s been a mix of starters not getting the job done, and the bullpen being very unpredictable. Their team ERA is 4.75 which is good for 26th in the Majors.
I like the way the Cubs swung the bats against the Rangers yesterday and I think the warm weather (inside) in Milwaukee will continue that trend. I think the Cubs win two out of three this weekend, and might have an opportunity to sweep on Sunday.
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