Results tagged ‘ Justin Grimm ’
The Cubs did some good things today, getting hits with runners in scoring position was not one of them. But about those good things, the Cubs pitching was stellar, and their defense was just as good. Jeff Samardzija loves facing the Pirates, especially in Pittsburgh, one year after going eight scoreless against the Buccos, he went seven scoreless but settled for a no decision. Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm, and James Russell all did their job out of the bullpen, Carlos Villanueva, not so much. Villanueva faced one batter, and that was it, Neil Walker blasted a walk-off home run to move the Cubs to 0-1 on the young season.
The Cubs struggles were front and center at the plate as they went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, yikes. They also struck out a lot, eleven times to be exact as they were baffled by Francisco Liriano all day long. I did like the Cubs approach today though, as they worked deep counts and were able to get to the Pirates pen by the 7th inning, it just didn’t work out. Emilio Bonifacio had a big day at the plate in his debut as he went 4-for-5 with a double, the Cubs as a whole only had six hits in the loss.
* Photo credit: GENE PUSKAR/AP
The Cubs did a lot of things well today, hitting with runners in scoring position was not one of them. The Cubs registered nine hits, took five walks, but were a paltry 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position, and left eleven men on base. Solid performances up and down the Cubs pitching staff as well, only allowing one run on four hits.
At the Plate:
- Emilio Bonifacio did well out of the lead off spot today going 2-for-4 with two singles and a stolen base.
- Anthony Rizzo has had a hot start to the spring, he continued that today as he went 2-for-3 with two singles. Rizzo is now five for his last seven, and is hitting .500 in Cactus League play.
- Mike Olt, Logan Watkins, Albert Almora, and Darwin Barney all had one hit in the loss. Almora got the start in center, and Olt started at third, both went 1-for-3.
On the Mound:
- Travis Wood was brilliant today, much like he was all of last year. Wood worked three scoreless innings giving up one hit while striking out three.
- Justin Grimm took the loss as he struggled a bit in the inning he worked. Grimm gave up one run on two hits while walking one, and striking out one.
- Hector Rondon, Chang-Yong Lim, Marcus Hatley, and Tommy Hottovy combined to work four scoreless innings, giving up only one hit while walking one, and striking out three (each pitcher tossed one inning).
Off and not exactly running for the Cubs as they fell to the Diamondbacks this afternoon 5-2 in their Cactus League opener. The star of the show today was the debut of new Cubs Park in Mesa, by everyone’s account it is the best Spring facility there is for the players and fans.
- Jeff Samardzija got the start and was a little too amped up as he walked the first batter of the game on four straight pitches. Samardzija settled down after that, and had a rather solid spring debut against a stout Diamondbacks lineup. Shark worked two scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking one, and striking out two.
- Starlin Castro looked really good at the plate on a day when Cubs hitters were anything but comfortable. On the day, the Cubs had five hits as a team, Castro ended with two of them. He finished the day 2-for-2 with a double, and an RBI.
- Two of the newest members of the Cubs bullpen struggled today, as both Wesley Wright, and Jose Veras were beat up. Wright, who took the loss, worked one inning giving up three runs on two hits while striking out three. Veras worked an inning, giving up two runs on two hits while walking one and striking out one.
- Hector Rondon, and Justin Grimm impressed out of the bullpen today. Grimm touched 97 on the gun while working a scoreless inning. Rondon also worked a scoreless inning, and struck out the side in doing so.
The Cubs will travel to Tempe tomorrow afternoon to take on the Angels beginning at 2:05 PM CST.
Finally, Spring Training is about to begin. The Cubs open their brand new facility in Mesa, and the 2014 Spring schedule tomorrow afternoon against the Diamondbacks. Jeff Samardzija gets the start amid trade rumors that are still swirling given the perceived stalled contract negotiations between him and the Cubs. The Cubs will be opposed by Bronson Arroyo and a power laden D-Backs lineup that was bolstered in the off-season with the acquisition of Mark Trumbo who will play LF for Arizona tomorrow.
Here are the lineups, and the extra pitchers that both teams will be carrying. For the image impaired that are reading, the Cubs plan to use Wesley Wright, Alberto Cabrera, Justin Grimm, Pedro Strop, Blake Parker, Hector Rondon, and Jose Veras in addition to Shark. The game begins at 2:00 PM CST, and will be televised (!) on WGN.
Sounds like the deal is almost official. Numerous reports are now saying that the Cubs have traded Matt Garza to the Rangers for Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards and possibly Justin Grimm. If that is the final package then this is a clear win for the Cubs as the Rangers just gave up a MLB ready pitcher, a youngish one too (Grimm), a high end prospect arm (Edwards), and there number one prospect coming into this year (Olt) for ten starts out of Matt Garza. More to come later..
Sounds like the Cubs are also getting a player to be named in the deal, and the players in that group are quite good. Chris Rusin starts tonight for the Cubs.
We are experiencing historic rainfall around the Chicagoland area over the past two days, but the tarp is off the field at the moment, and the Cubs think they might have a small window to get this game in. If they do it will be Alexi Ogando against Carlos Villanueva. The Rangers chose to skip Justin Grimm and go to Ogando while the Cubs are sticking with Villanueva instead of going with scheduled starter Jeff Samardzija. As optimistic as the Cubs are that they will play today, I don’t think they will, that field has seen a ton of water already and there is more on the way, maybe we’ll get lucky, I just want to see proof the sun still exists.
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 held 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.
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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.
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:
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)
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 which 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 hitting .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.
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!
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