Results tagged ‘ Starlin Castro ’

Cubs Use Extra Base Hits to Pound Rangers

Cubs April 18 line

Full Box Score

Now these are the games that I think a lot of Cubs fans can get used to.  Thirteen hits, and six runs, not just thirteen hits but nine extra base hits and many of them very loud.  Maybe they just sounded loud because there were only 217 people at today’s game, but they were squared up for sure.  The Cubs jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the fourth inning amid the rain drops and this time they were able to keep their opponent at bay behind some solid pitching and defense.  I’m not sure what was the bigger victory today, the Cubs win, or the fact that the game was actually played.  Most of Chicago and the suburbs are under water, me included, so great job by the Wrigley grounds Anthony Rizzocrew to get the field in the best shape possible.

At The Plate – Maybe the best day at the plate all year for the Cubs, big days all around.  David DeJesus went 2-for-4 from the lead-off spot with a triple, a double, a walk and a run scored.  Starlin Castro was solid as well as he went 1-for-3 with two walks, his first two of the year, a double, and a stolen base.  Anthony Rizzo went 1-for-4 with his fourth home run of the season, and the longest in the Majors this year, a 475 foot blast.  His day could have been better two as it included two line outs, good to see solid contact from Rizzo.  Alfonso Soriano also found some production, he went 1-for-5 with his first home run and first RBI of the season.  Welington Castillo continued his red-hot start to the season going 4-for-4 with a double and a run scored.  Luis Valbuena was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI’s.

On The Mound – The Cubs pitching was just as good as the hitting in this one. Carlos Villanueva was finally rewarded for a solid outing, he earned his first win of the season going seven innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking one and striking out six.  James Russell and Carlos Marmol each worked a scoreless inning to close this one out.  Carlos Marmol was particularly good in this one as he didn’t allow a hit or a walk while striking out two.

Up Next – The Cubs travel to Milwaukee to begin a three game series with the Brewers.  Jeff Samardzija will get things going for the Cubs against Marco Estrada at 7:10 PM CST.  I guarantee there will be no rain outs this weekend.

Cubs April 18 box

Cubs April 18 Box 1

Game Highlights:

Soriano goes deep
Rizzo hits a monster a shot, really far
Valbuena’s single puts the Cubs on top
Castro and Barney turn two
Valnbuena’s RBI double
Villanueva’s slick double play

 

Thanks for reading,
– George

Bats Wake Up Too Late in Loss to Rangers

Cubs 4-16 lineFull Box Score

The Cubs do have a flair for the dramatic, but as we have seen so often this season it usually ends with Cubs fans disappointed and another loss.  Hey!  That’s what happened tonight.  Through seven innings it was the Derek Holland and Travis Wood show as the Rangers Barney 4-16held a slim 1-0 lead.  The Rangers were able to tack on some insurance runs in the eighth which they ended up needing.  Trailing 4-0 heading to the bottom of the ninth the Cubs once again fought back and were one swing away from grabbing a victory but ended up falling short after scoring twice to make it 4-2.

At The Plate – The Cubs didn’t do much all night, but at least they were able to snap the 0-for-24 with RISP slump by going 2-for-4 tonight. Alfonso Soriano was 2-for-4 with a double and has his average all the way up to .275 for the season.  Nate Schierholtz continued his hot hitting, this time off the bench going 1-for-1 with a two-run double.  Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, and Welington Castillo each had one hit in the loss.

On The Mound – Travis Wood continued his strong start to the 2013 season, he went 7.1 innings giving up two runs on five hits while walking three and striking out three and was hung with the loss.  Shawn Camp is clearly not the Shawn Camp of 2012 just yet as he gave up two runs on two hits in just one-third of an inning.  James Russell and newcomer Kameron Loe had scoreless appearances.

Up Next – Game two of the series will feature Carlos Villanueva against Justin Grimm as long as they can get it in, the weather is not going to be very helpful.  The Chicago area is supposed to get hammered with rain on Wednesday and Thursday so we’ll see.

Cubs 4-16 box

Cubs 4-16 box 1

Game Highlights:

Gonzalez’s diving catch
Rizzo with a great throw to cut down the run
Schierholtz two-run double
Sappelt’s sliding catch

Thanks for reading,
– George

Series Preview – Rangers @ Cubs; April 16 – April 18, 2013

The Cubs welcome another tough opponent to Wrigley, quite the back-to-back series as the Cubs, who are coming off a series with Giants now entertain the Texas Rangers.  As bad as the weather was this past weekend it might be even worse this week.  Tomorrow’s game looks okay, but Wednesday and Thursday are supposed to be wet, very wet, 70% chance of rain each day.  Obviously with this being an inter-league series they will do everything they can to get these games in.  Darwin Barney is scheduled to make his return to the Cubs lineup tomorrow, and he has been missed greatly in the defensive lineup.  One could say the Cubs have had some bad luck in the early going this year, but they have made most of that luck, if they just convert their save opportunities this team could be no worse than .500, just have to keep fighting.

Last Series:

The Cubs lost three out of four to the Giants at home.

The Rangers split a four game series with the Mariners in Seattle.

Game Times and Broadcast Information:

  • Tuesday, April 16, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on CSN Chicago
  • Wednesday, April 17, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on WGN TV
  • Thursday, April 18, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on WGN TV. MLBN

Starting Pitchers Scheduled:

Cubs:

Game One – Travis Wood (1-0, 1.46)
– Career vs. Rangers (First appearance)

Game Two – Carlos Villanueva (0-0, 0.64)
– Career vs. Rangers (8 appearances, 2 GS) (1-1, 3.16)

Game Three – Jeff Samardzija (1-2, 2.75)
– Career vs. Rangers (First appearance)

Rangers:

Game One – Derek Holland (0-1, 2.40)
– Career vs. Cubs (1 GS)  (0-0, 3.00)

Game Two – Justin Grimm (0-1, 4.50)
– Career vs. Cubs (First appearance)

Game Three – Alexi Ogando (2-0, 1.08)
– Career vs. Cubs (First appearance)

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not:

Let’s start with “not” for the Cubs.  The bullpen, and defense, both have been a disaster lately, and for the most part of the year.  The pen has been bad at the worst time too, in the seventh inning or later the Cubs have a bullpen ERA of 5.67 Castro previewwhich is 29th in the Majors.  That number alone says a lot as the Cubs have had a chance to win pretty much every game they have played so far this year, maddening.  Carlos Villanueva has been a big part of getting the ball to the seventh inning this year as he has been outstanding, unfortunately he has nothing to show for it except a sparkling 0.64 ERA.  Starlin Castro has basically made up for his slow start in the last seven days as he is hitting .379 over that period of time.  The only guy hotter is David DeJesus who is hitting .381 over that same period of time.  Another big reason for the Cubs early season struggles has been their success or lack thereof with runners in scoring position, they are hitting a paltry .141, 29th in the Majors.

The Rangers look rather different this year, but still come into this series with an 8-5 record.  Gone are Josh Hamilton and Michael Young, but the Rangers have persevered early in the season.  A big reason is the play of two newcomers, Lance Berkman, and everyones favorite catcher, A.J. Pierzynski.  Berkman is hitting .389 in the early going, and Pierzynski is hitting .342 so far.  Ian Kinsler has found some power in the early going and has stayed healthy, he’s Rangershitting .292 with four home runs and nine RBI’s.  David Murphy is struggling mightily, he is hitting .160 on the season, that’s with fifty at bats too (8-for-50).   Yu Darvish is the high-profile name on the Rangers staff, but the guy that is pitching like a number one is Alexi Ogando, and the Cubs will see the latter in this series.  Ogando has been outstanding, he is 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA, and opponents are hitting only .194 against him this season.  The Rangers also boast the fourth best bullpen in all of baseball with a 2.06 ERA from their relief pitchers.  Moral of the story, get to their starters early.

Bold Prediction:

The Cubs win the two out of three if all games get played.  A few breaks have to start going the Cubs way soon….right….Go Cubs!

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Blow it, Then Walk-Off a Winner

Cubs line 4-12

Full Box Score

Baseball is a funny game, it’s also infuriating and thrilling, today had a little bit of everything.  Carlos Villanueva battled Matt Cain today, and got the best of him as he was brilliant all afternoon.  Villanueva left in the seventh inning with a 2-0 lead, things looked great!  Then the ninth inning rolled around, and that clearly has been a problem this year, and it’s not just Marmol either.  Kyuji Fujikawa struggled with his command and got hit Castro 4-12pretty hard as he gave up three runs to blow the save and put himself and the Cubs in line for the loss.  That’s when for the fourth straight game the Cubs showed some fight.  Dioner Navarro tied the game at three with a pinch hit home run off Sergio Romo, David DeJesus came up with a two-out single then Starlin Castro played hero.  Castro drove a 2-1 pitch off the center field wall for a walk-off double, just like that the Cubs were winners, as I said infuriating and thrilling all in one game, gotta love baseball.  My head hurts.

At The Plate – Top of the order magic again for the Cubs.  David DeJesus was 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, an RBI, and two runs scored.  Starlin Castro was the hero, he finished the day 2-for-5 with a double, a home run, two RBI’s, and a run scored.  Welington Castillo continued his torrid start to the season going 2-for-4.  Dioner Navarro came up large off the bench in the ninth delivering a game-tying solo home run, he finished 1-for-1.

On The Mound – What can be said about Carlos Villanueva?  He was absolutely outstanding today, and unfortunately for the second straight game he had to settle for a no decision.  Villanueva tossed 7.1 scoreless innings, he gave up three hits while walking one and striking out three.  James Russell worked tow-thirds of an inning and only allowed one hit.  Kyuji Fujikawa really struggled, he worked one inning giving up three runs on three hits, he earned the blown save, and the win, go figure.

Up Next – Game three of the series and it’s a good one.  Jeff Samardzija takes on Madison Bumgarner at 12:05 PM CST on Fox.

Cubs box 4-12

Cubs box 4-12 1

Game Highlights:

Castro’s solo shot
DeJesus goes deep
Navarro ties the game in the ninth
Castro wins it!

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Can’t Get Out of Their Own Way in Loss to Giants

Cubs April 11 line

Full Box Score

  I suppose this one sums up the Cubs season to this point, some good, some bad, some really bad, and a loss.  The Cubs looked like they were going to cruise in this one as they built a 5-0 lead in the third inning, but as quickly as they built it, they lost it.  The turning point seemed to be the 4th and 5th innings.  Scott Feldman was working a lot of deep counts so he wasn’t exactly cruising, but he was effective.  One the ropes again in the fifth Feldman looked to get an inning ending ground out but Castro booted it which allowed a run to score and the inning to continue.  Angel Pagan followed with a ground ball to the right side which should have been the end of the inning but a Rizzo 4-11combo of Feldman getting over to first slowly and Brent Lillibridge being Brent Lillibridge resulted in no out and the inning continued, again.  When it was all said and done it was a 5-4 Cubs lead heading to the 5th, that’s where the wheels came off again.  The Giants plated three runs in the 5th to take a 7-5 lead, the Cubs crept closer in the eighth and threatened in the ninth only to come up short in another mind numbing loss that was seemingly there for the taking.

At The Plate – Early on it seemed like the Cubs were going to break out in a big way as they scored five times through three innings, but as it happens so often, the offense stopped, and could only score one more time over the last six innings.  All eight position players had at least one hit in the Cubs lineup, with three guys having multi-hit games.  Starlin Castro was 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored, he’s now hitting .275 on the season.  Nate Schierholtz tried his best to make his former employer regret letting him go as he was 3-for-4 with two runs scored.  Welington Castillo continued to destroy the ball as he was 2-for-4 with a run scored, Brent Lillibridge and Anthony Rizzo each had two RBI’s, with Rizzo’s coming on a two-run home run in the third.

On The Mound – Scott Feldman was good and average I would say in this one.  He had solid command of his two-seam fastball, but after getting ahead early in counts he couldn’t put anyone away, the defense behind him didn’t help either.  Feldman could only last 4.1 innings giving up six runs, two earned, on seven hits while walking three and striking out three to fall to 0-2 on the season.  The turning point in my opinion was the ineffectiveness of Hisanori Takahashi out of the pen.  Takahashi went 1.2 innings giving up one run on two hits while walking two, and striking out two.  One of those walks was to opposing pitcher Ryan Vogelsong with the bases loaded to tie the game at five.  Michael Bowden, Shawn Camp, and James Russell all had scoreless appearances.

Up Next – The weather might be slightly better tomorrow, meaning that thing they call the sun might actually show its face, yes the sun has a face.  But temps are only supposed to be in the low 40’s again and there is a chance for afternoon showers.  Once things get started it will be Carlos Villanueva against Matt Cain.

Cubs April 11 box

Cubs April 11 box 1

Game Highlights:

Anthony Rizzo’s two-run homer
Lillibridge’s two-run single

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Tease at Thrilling Comeback, Fall Short

April 8 line score

Full Box Score


For most of this home opener it was the same old story for the Cubs, well, at least offensively.  Marco Estrada shut the Cubs down on a really tough day to pitch, winds were at 25 MPH gusting to 45 MPH blowing straight out for the majority of the game, pay attention to the majority part.  After getting behind 5-0 early and 7-2 late the Cubs mounted a furious rally in the ninth inning, but all to often the Cubs get just close enough to tease us that a comeback is Castro 4-8possible only to lose, and that’s exactly what happened.  Trailing 7-4 with the bases loaded Starlin Castro flew out to the right field warning track with the wind howling in….wait, what?  That’s right, the wind shifted in the late innings and was blowing straight in, if Castro hits that ball earlier in the game it’s a grand slam, amazing.

At The Plate – Starlin Castro ended the game at the plate, but was locked in today, he finished the day 2-for-5 with a double and a triple.  Welington Castillo continued his strong start to the season going 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI’s and a run scored.  Nate Schierholtz also stayed hot going 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.

On The Mound – Tough day to pitch, well for anyone other than Marco Estrada.  Edwin Jackson got the start and couldn’t find the plate early, when he did he found too much of it.  To Jackson’s credit he settled down after giving up four runs in the first inning, he ended up going six innings giving up five runs on eight hits while walking five and striking out six.  Shawn Camp couldn’t keep things close as he gave up two runs on three hits while walking two and striking out two in an inning of work.  Carlos Marmol worked a scoreless inning, but it wasn’t without the usual theatrics, he gave up one it, while walking one, throwing a wild pitch, and struck out two.

Up Next – The first night game of the season, Travis Wood looks to follow up his outstanding first start of the season against Brewers youngster Wily Peralta at 7:05 PM CST.

Stat Of The Night – The Cubs struggles with runners in scoring position continued today as they were 2-for-12 in the loss.

April 8 box score

April 8 box score1

Game Highlights:

Valbuena’s RBI single
Schierholtz RBI single
Castillo’s two-run homer

Thanks for reading,
– George

Samardzija’s Dominance Not Enough as Cubs Get Swept

April 6 line

Full Box Score

Jeff Samardzija was about as dominant as a pitcher could be today, unfortunately the final score really doesn’t tell the story.  The Cubs offense got back to normal as they could only manage five hits and one run against Braves starter Tim Hudson in the loss.  Samardzija 4-7The game changed in the sixth as the Braves looked to get a break as the home plate umpire ruled that Chris Johnson was hit by a pitch, it looked like it missed him on the replay but it was a close call.  That loaded the bases and Ramiro Pena followed with a ground ball base hit, which arguably could have been had by a Major League second baseman, unfortunately the Cubs had Alberto Gonzalez there.  Just like that it was 3-1 Braves and basically over given the Cubs lack of offensive anything.  Home opener tomorrow!

At The Plate – Nothing good really.  After yesterday’s “explosion” the Cubs could only manage five hits, and only one extra base hit.  Starlin Castro might be on the verge of getting hot as he was 2-for-4 with two singles.  Anthony Rizzo provided the only RBI of the game and finished the day 1-for-4, and David DeJesus doubled for his only hit of the game.  The Cubs left seven guys on base and were o-for-4 with runners in scoring position today.

On The Mound – It was the Jeff Samardzija show, and it’s really unfortunate that he didn’t get a win, or a no decision and was hung with a loss because he really didn’t deserve it.  Samardzija went 5.2 innings giving up four runs on four hits while walking four and striking out thirteen.  Hector Rondon had a solid inning of work out of the pen as he allowed nothing while striking out two.  Hisanori Takahashi gave up a run in his inning of work, a solo home run to Dan Uggla, he also struck out one.

Up Next – The home opener!  Something to get excited about after two mind numbing losses.  Edwin Jackson gets the honors and will face off against Marco Estrada and the Brewers.

Stat Of The Night – Jeff Samardzija set a career high with thirteen strikeouts in only 5.2 innings, besting his previous high of eleven.

Cubs April 7 box

Cubs April 7 box 1

Game Highlights:

Check back later

Thanks for reading,
– George

Wood Brilliant as Cubs Take Series From Pirates, Barely

April 4 line score

Full Box Score

Marmol coaster!  It’s too early in the year for this kind of drama.  The Cubs once again couldn’t find much offense, but managed just enough to get the win with Nate Travis Wood 4-4Scheirhioltz providing the big blow, a two-run homer in the ninth inning which the Cubs ended up needing.  Travis Wood was outstanding in his first start of 2013 but had to sit on the edge of his seat with the rest of us as Carlos Marmol came within a small unit of measurement of blowing it.  After allowing the Pirates to score twice in the ninth, Marmol got Alvarez to strikeout, and Walker to hit into a double play, never a doubt, Cubs win three to two……  Nice series win for the Cubs to start the season.

At The Plate – The Cubs only had two hits last night, today they had three, at least the result was different.  Starling Castro was 1-for-4 with an RBI on the day and has the honor of being the first Cubs player to get a hit with a runner in scoring position this year, yep.  Nate Schierholtz was the offensive hero going 1-for-3 with a walk, a run, and two RBI’s which came on a huge two-run homer in the top of the ninth to give the Cubs a three run cushion.

On The Mound – Travis Wood was outstanding this morning/afternoon, Wood went six scoreless innings, giving up one hit while walking two and striking out four to earn his first win of the season, barely.  Shawn Camp, James Russell, and Kyuji Fujikawa were very good out of the bullpen as they tossed a combined two scoreless innings, giving up no hits, no walks, and struck out three.  Cue the circus music… enter Carlos Marmol.  Marmol wasn’t very good, again, as he gave up two runs on three hits while walking one and striking out one, but battled and ended up “earning” his first save of the season.

Up Next – The Cubs head to Atlanta for a weekend series against the high-powered Braves.  Scott Feldman will make his Cubs debut against Atlanta lefty Mike Minor at 6:30 PM CST.

Stat Of The Night – The Cubs team ERA is 2.08, Carlos Marmol’s ERA is 20.25

April 4 box score 1

April 4 box score 2

Game Highlights:

Nice diving catch by Schierholtz
Russell gets a big strikeout
Starlin Castro puts the Cubs on the board
Schierholtz goes deep in the ninth

Thanks for reading,
– George

Samardzija Filthy in Victorious Opener

april 1 line score

Full Box Score

  Cold weather usually favors the pitchers, while it was cold, I think both guys didn’t need any help today.  Jeff Samardzija and A.J. Burnett had themselves a nice tidy pitching duel today in the opener with Samardzija Shark Opening Daygetting the better of the tattooed righty while spinning a masterpiece.  The Cubs jumped out in front early on a loud, and long home run from Anthony Rizzo, and that was all the Cubs needed as Shark shut the door the whole day.  The Cubs had to endure the customary Marmol implosion in the ninth inning, but Sveum showed a quick hook in getting Marmol out-of-the-way so Russell and Fujikawa could finish off the victory.

At The Plate – The Cubs only managed six hits on the day, but they were productive.  Starlin Castro was 2-for-4 with two singles, a stolen base, and one run scored.  As I mentioned, Anthony Rizzo had the big blow, Rizzo ended the day 1-for-4 with that massive two-run homer in the first.  Nate Schierholtz enjoyed a solid Cubs debut as he was 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.  Welington Castillo rounded out the offense today going 2-for-4 with two opposite field doubles, and an RBI.

On The Mound – It was the Jeff Samardzija show from start to almost finish.  Shark went eight dominant innings giving up no runs on two hits while walking one and striking out nine Pirates.  He turned things over to Marmol in the ninth, and things got sketchy.  Marmol was only able to retire one hitter in the ninth, he hit McCutchen and gave up one hit, and a run as well.  James Russell took over and retired the only hitter he faced, then the new Cubs import Kyuji Fujikawa retired the only man he faced, on two pitches, two earn his first Major League save.

Up Next – The Cubs have tomorrow off, which is the worst after a winning opening day, now we have to wait till Wednesday to watch them play again.  That is when Edwin Jackson will make his Cubs debut against Wandy Rodriguez at 6:05 PM CST.

April 1 box score

April 1 box score 1

Game Highlights:

Anthony Rizzo’s BOMB
Jeff Samardzija’s Awesome Start
Full Video Recap
Castillo’s RBI Double

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Edge A’s Behind 12 Hit Attack

Cactus League Header

Cubs-Athletics Line Score 2-28-13

Full Box Score

  The Cubs got back to basics this afternoon and also back into the win column, that’s not a coincidence.  After yesterdays game, which was one to forget, the Cubs pitching shut the A’s down all day while the offense pounded out twelve hits, and the defense was solid making no errors, a complete ballgame.  Scott Feldman got the start for the Cubs, his first as a North Sider, and 2-28-13 picturestruggled a bit with his command but was able to pitch around some self-imposed trouble.  Feldman worked two innings giving up one run on two hits while walking two and striking out two.  Travis Wood followed Feldman out of the pen, and ended up with the victory as he also went two innings, he gave up one run on two hits while walking none and striking out two.  Kyuji Fujikawa had his second straight strong outing as he worked a scoreless inning giving up one hit and striking out one, he now has three strikeouts in two innings of work this Spring.  Jensen Lewis made things interesting in the ninth inning as he allowed one run on three hits, but got a couple of clutch strikeouts to earn the save.

   The Cubs sprayed the ball all over the field offensively today, registering twelve hits with zero leaving the ballpark.  Junior Lake had an impressive day at the plate going 2-for-3 with a double, and an RBI, he is now hitting .300 on the Spring (3-for-10).  Darnell McDonald had a strong day at the plate as well going 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  Jorge Soler flashed some of his tools in the game today, he finished 1-for-3 at the plate with two strikeouts, but gunned down Josh Reddick at 3rd base from right field.  Javier Baez got the start at shortstop today while Starlin Castro nurses a tight hamstring, and went 1-for-3 with a run scored, he didn’t endanger any infielders’ lives today, which is good I guess.  I know it’s early, and it’s only Spring, but it’s nice to see a Cubs team competitive from the start.

Cubs-Athletics Box Score 2-28-13

Cubs-Athletics Pitchers Box Score 2-28-13

Thanks for reading,
– George

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