Results tagged ‘ Starlin Castro ’

Cubs Squander Early Lead

Dave Sappelt and the Cubs offense got going early, but the pitching staff could not hold the lead and the Cubs dropped game one to the Rockies 10-5 in a rain-shortened game.  Dave Sappelt led the game off with a towering home run to left and before the inning was over the Cubs would add two more runs, including an RBI double from Welington Castillo.  After Chris Rusin shut down the Rockies in the first, things did not go so well the rest of the way for him or the Cubs bullpen as Colorado would score in each of the next five innings.  Chris Rusin took the loss lasting only 3.2 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits.  Rafael Dolis continued to struggle, giving up three runs in just one 1.1 innings of relief and Manuel Corpas allowed one run in his inning of work.  Starlin Castro connected on his 14th home run of the season and Darwin Barney added an RBI in the loss.  After dealing with the rain for most of the game it was eventually called after a 48-minute rain delay following the top of the seventh.  Despite the cold and the rain the ball was really jumping out of Coors Field on Tuesday and the Cubs hope to take advantage of that on Wednesday and keep the Rockies at bay in doing so.

FULL BOX SCORE

  Game Highlights:
Dave Sappelt’s first career Home Run
Castillo RBI double
Castro Home Run
Barney RBI single

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

September 25 – 27, 2012; @ Rockies – Series Preview

It’s a battle for second worst!  Okay, that doesn’t sound so great but this series will go a long way in determining who gets the number two pick in the draft next year behind the Astros.  Coming into this series the teams are deadlocked at 59-94, and the winner of this series has a great shot at losing out on the second pick.  I for one would prefer to play as hard as you can and if you lose, you lose, no tanking it here.  The Cubs, to their credit, have done just that as many players and front office staff have made it quite clear that they do not want to lose 100 games.  It’s nice to have goals, but as a team you really never want to say that your goal is to stay under 100 losses, but it is what it is right now.  The Cubs tend to struggle in Colorado regardless of the record of the Rockies, and this series might be more of the same as the Cubs don’t exactly have a lights out staff, but you never know.  Of course the Rockies can score runs in this park, the Cubs will have to keep up if they want to win this series, I’m expecting a lot of offense over these three games.

Here are the pitching matchups for this week.

Tuesday September 25, 2012
Cubs:  Chris Rusin (1-2, 6.00 ERA)
Colorado:  Jorge De La Rosa (0-1, 12.27 ERA)

Wednesday September 26, 2012
Cubs:  Jason Berken (0-1, 1.80 ERA)
Colorado:  Drew Pomeranz (1-9, 5.30 ERA)

Thursday September 27, 2012
Cubs: Chris Volstad (3-10, 6.22 ERA)
Colorado: Jhoulys Chacin (2-5, 4.73 ERA)

Season Series:  Cubs lead 2-1

Prediction:  Rockies win series, 2-1

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
– George

Cubs Waste Berken’s Solid Outing

 

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.

FULL BOX SCORE

Berken’s Solid Outing

Game Highlights:
Full Video Recap
Welington Castillo Goes Deep
Rizzo’s RBI Single
Castro’s Triple

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Storm Back Only to Lose in Extras

It was a valiant effort from the Cubs, coming back from a 5-1 deficit against the soon to be Central Division champs, unfortunately the Cubs couldn’t close the deal and lost to the Reds 6-5 in eleven innings.  The outcome looked like it was going to be much different in the bottom of the 10th when the Cubs had 2nd and 3rd with only one out but couldn’t push across the winning run.  Welington Castillo struck out, Brett Jackson walked, and Steve Clevenger grounded out to leave the bases loaded and ned the threat.  Things got worse for the Cubs in the 11th after the first two hitters were retired, Brandon Phillips reached on a David DeJesus error and of course came around to score the winning run, unearned.  On a tough night to pitch with the wind howling straight out all game Chris Rusin did his best to keep his team in it.  He lasted five innings giving up five runs on ten hits while walking two and striking out two, not the greatest outing but not terrible given the conditions.  The Cubs pen did a solid job the final six innings, as they allowed only three hits the rest of the way.  Anthony Rizzo, and Luis Valbuena each has two hits in this one, but Valbuena was picked off second in spectacular fashion to end a Cubs threat in the 6th so I’m not too thrilled with anything else he did last night, terrible.  Starlin Castro had a great night at the plate going 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored to raise his average to .283 on the season.  The Cubs look to avoid the sweep this afternoon as Jason Berken makes his second start as a Cub.

FULL BOX SCORE   

Soriano’s Bomb

Game Highlights:
Castro’s Four Hit Game
Cubs Turn Four Double Plays
Barney’s Great Play
Castillo Walks to Tie it Up
Valbuena’s Double
Well Done Valbuena, Well Done

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Rally Falls One Run Short

Sure these games don’t matter much to the Cubs, but watching them battle to the final out is at least fun to watch, for those of us who are still watching.  Jason Berken, who was claimed from the Orioles made his Cubs debut today and didn’t have his best stuff but he didn’t get any help from his defense.  Berken lasted four innings giving up six runs, only two earned, on eight hits, while walking one and striking out two.  The Pirates were able to build a 6-1 lead by the fifth inning and that’s when the Cubs started to turn the tide in this one.  The Cubs were able to push across two runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it 6-3, but the Pirates were able to get one back in the seventh on Clint Barmes solo shot to push the lead to four runs.  Refusing to quit the Cubs scored once in the eighth and two more times in the ninth to cut the Pirates led to one.  Unfortunately the Cubs couldn’t tie it up in the ninth as Dave Sappelt struck out with the bases loaded to end the threat, and the game. Four different Cubs had two hits in this one, Anthony Rizzo, Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro, and Dave Sappelt.  Darwin Barney also had a spectacular day with the glove as he made several fantastic plays to rob various Pirate hitters of base hits.  Game three of this series is tomorrow afternoon, and the series wraps up on Monday Night.

FULL BOX SCORE

Castro’s Trip..Double

Barney’s Great Catch

Game Highlights:
Soriano’s RBI Single
Valbuena’s RBI Single
Barney Great Play
Another Defensive Gem From Barney
Rizzo’s RBI Single

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Send Pirates Further Into Downward Spiral

The Cubs are enjoying the role of spoiler right now as they have won six out of their last seven, four of those being against the wild card contending Pirates.  The Pirates have not only lost fours games recently to the Cubs but they have lost seven straight and are on the verge to falling back to five hundred for the first time in forever.  Chris Rusin got the ball for the Cubs today and earned his first major league victory behind five strong innings.  Rusin gave up two runs on four hits while striking out six.  After the Cubs jumped out to a 4-0 lead the Pirates made things a little uncomfortable for Rusin and company by scoring once in the sixth and twice in the seventh to make it a one run game.  Starlin Castro who had a big day at the plate opened the gap up again in the bottom of the seventh with his 13th home run of the season, a three run job to put the Cubs up 7-4.  The Pirates would get one run closer in the eighth but that is as close as they would come as Carlos Marmol closed the door for his 20th save of the season, his 19th straight.  We all remember how horrible Marmol was at the beginning of the year but he deserves major credit for his turnaround.  In his last 19 save opportunities (since May 2) Marmol is 19-for-19 with a 0.49 ERA (1 ER/18.1 IP), wow, that is elite right there.

FULL BOX SCORE

Rusin’s Postgame

Sveum’s Postgame

Game Highlights:
Rusin’s First Major League Win
Full Video Recap
Castro’s Huge Three-Run Homer
Rizzo’s Two-Run Double

Thanks for reading,
– George

Mental and Physical Errors Cost Cubs

The Cubs quest for a five game winning streak fell short last night thanks in large part to the Cubs not being able to get out of their own way.  Justin Germano got the ball for the Cubs and turned in one of his best outings of the year.  Germano lasted five innings giving up one run, unearned, on three hits while walking two and striking out eight.  Unfortunately that wasn’t good enough for a victory, not even a no decision as the Cubs couldn’t push a run across all night.  It’s not like the Cubs didn’t have their chances as they were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 guys on base in the loss.  They had a wonderful opportunity to tie the game in the 6th inning with runners on second and third with only one out.  Darwin Barney hit was seemed to be a sacrifice fly to center, inexplicably Dave Sappelt tried to tag up from second and make it to third.  In true Cubs fashion Sappelt was thrown out at third before Castro could cross the plate meaning the run doesn’t count.  There was no reason for Sappelt to tag, I like being aggressive but there was no reason for it, he was already in scoring position and the important run was Castro.  As I mentioned the Cubs had their chances but they weren’t really generating any offense, they only had six hits.  The Astros did all they could to give this one to the Cubs by committing four errors and walking two.  This loss could have been even more costly as Anthony Rizzo had to leave the game in the third inning after a violent collision at first base with Brett Wallace.  All reports after the game seemed to indicate that Rizzo was going to be fine and was just sore, let’s hope so.

FULL BOX SCORE 

Five First Responders Throw Out First Pitch

Rizzo’s Scary Collision

Game Highlights:
Cubs Cost Themselves a Run
Germano’s Solid Outing

Thanks for reading,
– George

Sappelt, Volstad Lead Cubs to Fourth Straight Victory

It’s up to you, the reader, to decide whether or not you want to believe my headline, but I assure you that it is valid, and not a joke.  This one was a struggle to get through, not only were two of the worst teams in baseball playing, but they did so for just under four hours.  It’s hard to play a four hour game and only have five total runs scored, but the Cubs and Astros “accomplished” that feat last night.  All’s well that ends well I guess as the Cubs wraped up what felt like the longest game of the year with a 4-1 victory.  Chris Volstad was solid yet again for the Cubs as he tossed five strong innings giving up one run on four hits while walking five and striking out four.  Volstad struggled with his command, see the five walks he surrendered, but he battled and made it through the fifth to not only qualify for, but register his third win of the season.  The Cubs had an unlikely hero at the plate, I only say unlikely because Dave Sappelt doesn’t get a lot of playing time and hasn’t been up with the big club for very long this season.  Cubs fans might want to get used to him because he most likely will have a role on the 2013 team, performances like last nights will go a long way in securing a spot on the roster next year for Sappelt.  Sappy was 2-for-5 with two doubles, three RBI’s and a run scored in the victory, the three RBI’s are a career high.

FULL BOX SCORE

Game Highlights:
Full Video Recap
Marmol Gets the Save
Sappelt’s Big Day
Volstad’s Outing

Thanks for reading,
– George

September 10 – 12, 2012; @ Astros – Series Preview

The Cubs are heading into this series on a high note coming off a three game sweep in Pittsburgh, a sweep that put a major dent in the Pirates playoff hopes.  It will be quite the different atmosphere in Houston as this three game set will be a battle for the first pick in the draft.  Huge crowds usually don’t turn out for these types of series, couple that with the NFL season getting underway and it could be a very empty ballpark.  The Cubs shouldn’t worry about that, they should worry about going out there and getting better with each game, and trying to win a job for next year.  Two guys that have jobs locked up for next year, Starlin Castro, and Anthony Rizzo, are leading the Cubs charge as both are red-hot at the plate.  Castro is hitting .333 in September, and Rizzo is hitting a whopping .382 during the month, unfortunately that hasn’t translated to many win as the Cubs are a less than stellar 3-6.  If the Cubs want to extend their winning streak this week they are going to need the starting staff to step up as it will now be without Samardzija for the rest of 2012.

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Here are the pitching matchups for the four game series.

Monday September  10, 2012
Cubs: Chris Volstad (2-10, 6.23 ERA)
Houston: Dallas Keuchel (1-7, 5.54 ERA)

Tuesday September 11, 2012
Cubs: Justin Germano (2-6, 6.95 ERA)
Houston: Jordan Lyles (3-11, 5.55 ERA)

Wednesday September 12, 2012
Cubs: Travis Wood (5-11, 4.42 ERA)
Houston: Fernando Abad (0-3, 5.30 ERA)

Season Series:  Chicago leads 5-4

Prediction:  Cubs win series 2-1

Thanks for reading,
– George

Samardzija Saves His Best for Last

Talk about an exclamation point on a season, Jeff Samardzija went the distance in his final 2012 start in a 4-3 victory over the Pirates.  It was known for a couple of days that Samardzija would be making his last start of the season tonight, so he was ready to empty the tank tonight, and he did.  Samardzija gave up three runs, two earned, on four hits while walking one and striking out nine in his first career complete game.  A fantastic season for Shark as he was not guaranteed a spot in the rotation until the last week of spring training, he finished the year 9-13 with a 3.81 ERA, and 174.2 innings.  The Cubs did just enough with the bats to help Samardzija get his ninth win of the season and put another dent in the Pirates playoff hopes.  Four runs was just enough, but the Cubs could have had so much more tonight as they were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left ten guys on base.  Tony Campana, hitting ninth tonight, was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, a walk, and a stolen base, the Cubs had four stolen bases in all.  Alfonso Soriano went deep again tonight, his 27th home run of the season, David DeJesus and Welington Castillo each had two hits in the victory.  Two in a row, the Cubs go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon.

FULL BOX SCORE

Game Highlights:
Samardzija Goes the Distance
Castro Hit by Pitch
RBI Single from DeJesus
Soriano’s 27th Home Run

Thanks for reading,
– George

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