Results tagged ‘ Welington Castillo ’

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

Series Preview – Brewers @ Cubs; April 8 – April 10, 2013

Finally some home baseball!  There really is nothing like the home opener at Wrigley, I love watching baseball there, on TV or in person.  The Cubs welcome the banged up Brewers to town for a three game set.  The Cubs need to find some hits and more importantly runs, both have been at a premium so far this season.  The Brewers are struggling as well, I mentioned they were banged up, they are also losing, five straight in fact.

Last Series:

Cubs suffered a three game sweep at the hands of the Braves in Atlanta

The Brewers were swept in a three game series by the D-Backs at home

Game Times and Broadcast Information:

  • Monday, April 8, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on WGN TV
  • Tuesday, April 9, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on WGN TV
  • Wednesday, April 10, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on CSN+ (click to find your channel)

Starting Pitchers Scheduled:

Cubs:

Game One – Edwin Jackson (0-1, 3.60 ERA)
– Career vs. Milwaukee (7 GS)  (3-2, 3.06 ERA)

Game Two – Travis Wood (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
– Career vs. Milwaukee (7 appearances, 6 GS) (3-2, 3.40 ERA)

Game Three – Scott Feldman (0-1, 7.71 ERA)
– Career vs. Milwaukee (1 GS) (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

Brewers:

Game One – Marco Estrada (0-0, 7.20)
– Career vs. Cubs (8 appearances, 3 GS)  (2-0, 3.86 ERA)

Game Two – Wily Peralta (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
– Career vs. Cubs (First appearance)

Game Three – Kyle Lohse (0-0, 1.50 ERA)
– Career vs. Cubs (16 GS) (4-4, 5.17 ERA)

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not:

The Cubs are coming off a tough series in Atlanta where they should have had at least one win, maybe two.  Unfortunately the bats remained cold as they rank 29th in the Majors in average, on base percentage, runs, and slugging percentage.  The Cubs best hitter right now is Welington Castillo, “beef” is hitting .357 (5-for-14) on the season.  There are a number of Cubs hitters struggling as I mentioned, Valbuena, DeJesus, and Soriano would have to be at the top of that list.  The pitching on the other hand has been outstanding, sans Carlos Marmol of course.  The Cubs have a team ERA of 3.75 which is 14th best in the Majors, and that includes the last two games where they gave up a total of eleven run.

To say the Brewers are banged up might be an understatement.  Ryan Braun has missed the last three games, and might miss the series opener today, Jean Segura is hobbled, and Aramis Ramirez is out of the lineup indefinitely, and Corey Hart hasn’t played a game yet.  The Brewers have been scoring runs, and hitting as of late, but three of the guys that I mentioned as being hurt are their top hitters so far.  Rickie Weeks is having a bounce back year so far as he is hitting .333 on the season so far.  Norichika Aoki has been on fire as well as he is hitting .370 (10-for-27) in the early going.  Pitching is an issue for the Brewers as they have a team ERA of 5.68 “good” for 28th in the Majors.

Bold Prediction:

I think the Cubs get the bats going this week at Wrigley, finally feeling comfortable being at home.  The Cubs take two out of three from the Brewers this week, winning the first and third game of the series.

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
– George

Marmol Coaster Comes Off Tracks in Loss to Braves

April 6 line score

Full Box Score

Over the course of 162 games there will be losses that are harder to take than others, this is one of those losses, in fact this might be the toughest one of the season.  After an outstanding performance from Carlos Villanueva the Cubs held a 5-1 Braves Walk off 4-6lead in the 8th inning.  A poor outing from Kyuji Fujikawa made the game close and another Carlos Marmol meltdown gave the Braves a walk-off victory.  All of this could have been avoided if the Cubs capitalized on a golden opportunity in the top of the 8th.  The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs and failed to push across a run, that usually comes back to haunt you, and tonight is definitely did.

At The Plate – The Cubs finally found some offense, unfortunately it was the failed opportunities that will be remembered in this one.  The Cubs pounded out thirteen hits, a season high by far, but unfortunately that wasn’t enough.  Every Cubs hitter in the starting lineup registered at least one hit, even starting pitcher Carlos Villanueva.  Anthony Rizzo got things going as he was 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI’s, and a run scored.  Nate Schierholtz had another solid game going 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  Welington Castillo and Luis Valbuena also had two hits with Valbuena hitting his first home run of the season.

On The Mound – A tale of two games for sure, Carlos Villanueva got the start and was outstanding.  Villanueva went 6.2 innings giving up one run on six hits while walking two and striking out six.  Kyuji Fujikawa had a rough inning as he could only throw his fastball for strikes.  Fujikawa gave up three runs in one inning of work on four hits while walking one and striking out one.  Carlos Marmol was a disaster, he entered the ninth with a lead and could only record one out before the game was over.  Marmol gave up two runs, on two hits, a solo home run to B.J. Upton and a solo home run to Justin Upton.  Look for Marmol to be officially removed from the closer roll as early as before first pitch tomorrow.

Up Next – Jeff Samardzija takes the hill for the Cubs in the series finale against Tim Hudson at 12:35 PM CST.  Samardzija looks to build off his dominant performance in the season opener.

Stat Of The Night – Coming into the night the Cubs had 16 hits on the season, they registered 13 tonight.

April 6 box score

 

April 6 box score 1

 

Game Highlights:

Schierholtz RBI Single
Luis Valbuena goes deep
Rizzo’s two-run shot

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Still Searching for Offense in Loss to Braves

april 5 line score

More of the same from the Cubs offense tonight in Atlanta as they could only manage five hits and one run in a 4-1 loss.  Sure Mike Minor was pounding the zone, but Cubs hitters made things way too easy on Braves pitching by Rizzo 4-5having way too many aggressive at bats.  The Cubs have two losses now, both with the “lefty lineup” on display, meaning DeJesus and Schierholtz on the bench.  Not saying that they would have made a difference, but the Cubs always seem to struggle against lefties.  Scott Feldman was all over the place, but battled, the result was being over 100 pitches and out the game before the end of the fifth inning.  It’s not the end of the World, the Cubs are 2-2 which is probably a fair record at this point, if not better than it should be given the offensive struggles.

At The Plate – Another night, another low number in the hit column for the Cubs.  Alfonso Soriano, Scott Hairston, Welington Castillo, and Alberto Gonzalez were all 1-for-3.  Hairston provided the only offense of the night with a solo home run in the fifth inning off of Minor.

On The Mound – Scott Feldman made his Cubs debut and really never settled into a groove.  For the most part he was able to pitch around trouble but couldn’t get out of the 5th.  Feldman went 4.2 innings giving up four runs on five hits while walking four and striking out one.  The bright spot was the bullpen, Michael Bowden and Hector Rondon shut the door over the last 2.1 innings but it was to no avail.

Up Next – Carlos Villanueva will make his Cubs debut opposite Julio Teheran at 6:00 PM CST.  The Cubs will have their hands full again as Teheran is a high-class talent that will give them fits if they aren’t patient.

Stat Of The Night – The Cubs have 16 hits in the first four games of the season.

April 5 box score

 

April 5 box score 1

 

Game Highlights:

Scott Hairston goes deep

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Bats as Cold as the Weather in Loss to Pirates

April 3 line score

Full Box Score

It was rather obvious early, the Cubs offense was awfully disinterested in this one.  Wandy Rodriguez and the cold temperatures combined to keep the Cubs at bay as they could only manage two Edwin Jackson 4-3hits all night.  The Cubs opportunity came in the seventh inning when they put the first two on, and then loaded the bases with one out only to come up empty.  It really was a story of one inning both ways tonight for the Cubs as Edwin Jackson was decent except for the fourth inning.  Jackson struggled with his command in the fourth and gave up two runs in the frame which was more than enough for the Pirates in this one.

At The Plate – How many ways can I say bad?  I guess I’ll just leave it at that, the Cubs approach and the subsequent results or lack there of left a lot to be desired.  Alfonso Soriano and Alberto Gonzalez were the only Cubs to register hits in this one, both singles.

On The Mound – Edwin Jackson was really good early, then got into deep count after deep count and had to exit after five innings of work.  Jackson gave up two runs on three hits while walking one and striking out five in his Cubs debut.  Hector Rondon made his Major League debut, tossing a scoreless inning while walking two, and striking out two.  Michael Bowden gave up one run in his inning of work on two hits.  Shawn Camp and Hasanori Takahashi each had scoreless outings.

Up Next – The rubber game of the series.  Travis Wood will take on James McDonald at 11:35 AM CST, love morning baseball!  Look for the normal Cubs lineup sans Welington Castillo tomorrow.

Stat Of The Night – Here I will feature a stat, either from the game, or a trend, could be good, or bad, or alarming.  Tonight it’s alarming, the Cubs are 0-for-13 as a team with RISP, yikes.

April 3 box score 1

April 3 box score 2

Game Highlights:

The Cubs had two hits, there are no highlights worth watching, I promise.

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

Rusin Shuts Down Dodgers in Win

Cubs-Dodgers 3-14-13 Header

Full Box Score

  Chris Rusin was outstanding Thursday afternoon, which is nothing new this Spring as he has been nothing short of brilliant.  The lefty is slated to start the 2013 season in the Iowa rotation, and if he has continued success like this don’t be surprised if he is back at Wrigley sooner than later, either starting or coming out of the pen.

Box Score At The Plate

Brent Lillibridge made a triumphant return to the lineup going 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored.  Welington Castillo got the start behind the plate and was 1-for-2 with a triple, two RBI’s and a run scored.  Luis Valbuena (1), Brian Bogusevic (2), Dave Sappelt (1), and Darnell McDonald (1) had the rest of the runs knocked in.

Box Score On The Mound

As I mentioned, Chris Rusin was awesome.  Rusin tossed five nearly perfect innings, giving up no runs on one hit while walking one, and striking out one.  Raley improved to 2-0 on the Spring with a 0.69 ERA, he has worked thirteen innings this spring and has given up one run.  Drew Carpenter, Jaye Chapman, and Blake Parker all had scoreless appearances in the victory.

Box Score Up Next

Split squad action tomorrow as half the team will face the White Sox on the road, and the other half will face off against Team Japan.  Travis Wood will make the start against Team Japan, and Scott Feldman will work against the White Sox.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Let Big Early Lead Slip Away in Loss to Dodgers

Cactus League Header

Cubs-Dodgers Line Score 2-25-13

Full Box Score

  The Cubs used the long ball early and often against Chad Billingsley and the Dodgers staff to build a 6-2 lead through three innings.  Nate Schierholtz hit a solo shot in the Castillofirst, and then Welington Castillo went back to back with Darnell McDonald in the third inning.  McDonald padded the RBI numbers with a three run homer, a no doubter.  Unfortunately that was about it for the Cubs offense as they couldn’t scratch across another run the rest of the afternoon.  Carlos Villanueva made his Cubs debut and it could have been better as he struggled with his command.  Villanueva couldn’t make in through the first inning as he walked two guys, and gave up two runs in two-thirds of an inning.  Blake Parker and Barret Loux had solid outings, each turning in a scoreless effort.  Robert Whitenack struggled today, giving up three runs, while not allowing a hit, yes he struggled with command as well, walking two in two-thirds of an inning.  The news of the day came from Dontrelle Willis, not because he made his debut, but because he only threw seven pitches before leaving with what is being described as shoulder stiffness, he took the loss.

Cubs-Dodgers Box Score 2-25-2013

Cubs-Dodgers Pitchers Box Score 2-25-2013

Game Highlights:

Darnell McDonald’s Three-Run Bomb
Dontrelle Willis leaves with an Injury
Welington Castillo’s Solo Shot
Nate Schierholtz Goes Deep

Thanks for reading,
– George

61-101; The 2012 Cubs Season is Over; a Recap, Kinda

Seems like just yesterday we here at Born on Third were getting ready to cover Opening Day, and just like that it’s over.  Crazy how time flies, and I didn’t expect it to go so fast given how bad the Cubs were this year.  I was expecting just the opposite, for it to drag on and on, and I guess it did towards the end there but the reality of no Cubs baseball for four months is starting to sink in.  Let’s take a look back at some of the surprises and disappointments that we all barely lived through, this season.

Let’s start with the disappointments, there were plenty of them, I mean the team lost 101 games, you know how hard it was to write about 101 losses!?  Sure the record was disappointing, but one could argue that it was expected, maybe 101 losses wasn’t expected, but the Cubs were going to be one of the worst teams in the league, we knew that.  Let’s dig a little deeper into that futility, we should probably put on a Haz-Mat suit before doing so.  The one thing we heard all offseason was this new “Cubs Way” – well that was thrown out there to mean a lot of things, one being patience, no not by the fans (we do need that though), but by the Cubs as a whole at the plate.  So how did that go, you ask?  Not very good, the Cubs drew 447 walks this season, that comes out to less than three a game, and was good for the fourth fewest in all of baseball.  You could probably guess that the Cubs OBP was terrible as well, it was, the Cubs as a team had a .302 OBP this year, 2nd worst in baseball.  This is something that has to change, and it will on Theo’s watch, I believe that it will.  It’s hard to see that vision come to fruition however when the team on the field in “year one” was so terribly bad at it, or just refused to do it.

Let’s take a look at some poor individual performances…

Chris Volstad
Volstad, acquired in the Carlos Zambrano trade was a disaster, I can’t even say that he showed flashes of brilliance, maybe a flash, but not flashes.  Volstad finished the season 3-12 with a 6.31 ERA, I can’t even spin that into anything positive.  Volstad had a huge opportunity this year and took a step back, but all is not lost on the gigantic right hander.  He will have every opportunity to pitch for this team next year, that is squarely on his shoulders, his huge shoulders, seriously, look at a picture of the guy pitching, it’s cartoonish.

Rafael Dolis
For the first month or so of the season it looked as if Dolis’ name was going to end up on the surprise portion of the year-end recap, then things went bad.  Dolis lost the strike zone, in doing so his confidence disappeared and his ERA sky rocketed.  Dolis went from being the closer of the Cubs after taking over for Carlos Marmol to pitching and struggling at Triple-A.  Dolis was called back up to finish off the season but the numbers were not good.  He finished the year 2-4 with a 6.39 ERA and four saves.  He does have one thing the Cubs need in the pen, a power arm, so he will have a shot to pitch for this team next year at 25 years old.  If he wants to do so he has to clean up the walks, as he issued 23 in just 38 innings at the big league level this year.

Ian Stewart
I debated singling him out here, only because he was clearly hurt since last year in Colorado so I’m not sure how much we can really take from his season.  But a lot more was expected from Ian Stewart, on the plus side he did play above average defense at third base.  His season was shortened by much-needed wrist surgery, he finished the year hitting 5 home runs and 17 RBI’s.  He did show the ability to work the count and take a walk, but at third base he was and will be expected to be a source of production.  It remains to be seen if the Cubs will keep Stewart in their plans moving forward, I would like to see what a healthy Ian Stewart could do.

Other guys that I would say had disappointing years would be Darwin Barney’s bat, a sub .300 OBP from him is not acceptable.  Lendy Castillo had a 7+ ERA, but Castillo is so young and could be a huge part of this teams bullpen when they are contending.  Steve Clevenger took a nose dive after a very strong start, Starlin Castro’s mental lapses and subsequent errors.  I think Castro improved greatly defensively, I think the errors were a result of focus or lack thereof.  Should I mention the 12 game losing streak?  I just did.

Now onto the positives, sure there were some.

Anthony Rizzo
He lived up to the hype, and there was plenty of it heading into the season and that hype only grew as he tore the cover off the ball in Iowa.  He finally was called up to the Cubs on 6/26/2012, he had two hits in that game and never really looked back.  Rizzo finished the campaign hitting .285 with 15 home runs, and 48 RBI’s in 87 games, so just over half a Major League season.  The biggest thing here is that Rizzo showed the ability to adjust to major league pitchers.  I’m not just talking about rebounding from last years dud with the Padres, this year he had a few skids but came out of those before they became too overwhelming.  He is the Cubs 2013 starting first baseman, and will be for many years to come.

Alfonso Soriano
Wow.  There really is no other word to describe his 2012 season, I guess shocked would apply to me.  I was just that, shocked at what Soriano was able to accomplish not only with the bat, but with the glove.  Soriano made one error all season, think about that for a second.  This is the same guy that made 11 in 2009, 7 in 2010, and 7 in 2011, he worked his butt off and showed real improvement.  Offensively he set a career high in RBI’s with 108, folks the Cubs only scored 613 runs as a team this season.  Soriano also found the long ball again hitting 32 home runs, the most in one season since he hit 33 in 2007.  There’s no telling he has earned the right to be back here next year, and that is somewhat up to him, but we will see how the Cubs deal with him in the coming months.

Starlin Castro
I really don’t care what other people think of him, but Starlin Castro had a fantastic year, and a couple of mental lapses got in the way of making it something really special.  Castro became the first Cubs shortstop to play in all 162 games, ever.  That shows me that he wants to be out there, mental errors can come with that kind of workload, he probably needed a day off here or there to avoid some of that but he just kept going out there.  Castro hit .283 with 14 home runs (a career high), and 78 RBI’s (a career high), he also had 29 doubles and 12 triples for good measure.  Castro inked a 7 year extension during the season, he will be a Cub for a long time, and that is a good thing.

There are a number of other guys that deserve to be mentioned as bright spots this year.  Darwin Barney’s glove, Barney tied a major league record for consecutive error-less games at 141, and got to everything on the infield it seemed.  Carlos Marmol’s second half, after a terrible first half Marmol finished the season strong and looked to be back to his un-hittable self late in the year.  Travis Wood stepped into the rotation and did an adequate job for this team, if he can replicate those numbers or even improve upon them he can be a serviceable back of the rotation guy for the Cubs.  Bryan LaHair’s first half was fun while it lasted, and earned him a trip to the all-star game, no reason to ignore that.  Welington Castillo played his way into the 2013 starting lineup behind the plate as

It was a trying year for many, Dale Sveum included, and as I said around the all-star break I think Dale Sveum gets an incomplete for this season.  There was not enough talent on this team to win baseball games, not matter how he managed them.  What I did like seeing was the compete level of this team on most nights, sure over the course of a 162 game season there are going to be lackluster efforts.  For the most part this team really never gave up, I will be interested to see how Sveum does when he starts getting pieces he can use to compete in games on a consistent basis, that’s when he can accurately be judged as a manager.  I could have written about so much more but I think that sums up enough of what happened this season without going on forever, I’m really excited about the direction of this team, most of that excitement stems from the minor league system which we will continue to profile all offseason.  Patience is still something fans will have to have as the Cubs are not going to have a team ready to be a contender next year.  Sure, they should improve, and that’s what we need to look for, and it’s important we see that, one step at a time, thankfully for all of us I think the worst part just ended.

Thanks for reading all season long, we don’t take breaks so we will have great Cubs coverage all offseason for you.  Go Cubs!

– George

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

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