Results tagged ‘ Starlin Castro ’

“The Future” Pushes Arrieta to a Victory

Cubs Final 4-20

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It was a rough start for the Cubs tonight as Jake Arrieta got knocked around in the first, but escaped only giving up one run, then he shut it down.  Arrieta retired the next sixteen hitters on his way to a stellar seven inning performance to pick up his second win of the season.  He doesn’t get that win without the exploits of the Cubs future, and well, present, in the middle of the order.  After a double by Soler, and a walk by Rizzo, Kris Bryant crushed a two-run double, and ended up scoring on the same play to give the Cubs a 4-1 lead en route to a 5-2 victory.

Note:  A fan was hit in the back of the head by a Starlin Castro‘s line drive foul ball.  She was behind the protective screen, but was resting on the screen and the ball really smoked her.  The result was a 23 minute on field delay, the update is that she was conscious and thanking the people helping here into the ambulance.  Hopefully she’s okay.

Kris Bryant‘s Little League Homer.

Kris Bryant RBI single.

At the Plate:

  • Hip hip, Jorge!  Soler was a beast in this one, he went 4-for-5 with a double, and two runs scored.
  • Anthony Rizzo was all over the bases, per usual.  Rizzo went 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored.
  • Kris Bryant had a rough debut, he’s been everything advertised since, he was 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, three RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Starlin Castro is getting lost in the hype train, but he is having an outstanding 2015, he was 2-for-4 in this one, and his now hitting .327 on the season.

On the Mound:

  • Jake Arrieta with some more hot fire tonight, he worked seven strong innings, he gave up one run on four hits while striking out seven.
  • Pedro Strop was spotless as usual, he worked a scoreless inning while striking out two.
  • Rosscup came on to protect a four run lead, something the Cubs couldn’t do on Saturday, and he did just fine.  He worked an inning, giving up one run on one hit while striking out one.

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It’s Early, But Cubs Making Strides at the Plate

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A popular narrative the last couple of years has the been the Cubs ability, or inability to take walks, or make contact.  It was absolutely true, the Cubs were a team that would belt a dinger, but no one would be on base.  When someone was on base, the Cubs just couldn’t make contact, it wasn’t hard to see why they were 26th in the Majors in runs scored last year.  For the past few years the organization preached a “Cubs Way” that would see the team grind out at bats, make more contact, and be a general pain in the you know what for opposing pitchers.  While it’s early, we are starting to see glimpses of what an offense built around the “Cubs Way” will look like.

The Cubs organization was definitely targeting guys this off-season that could help push the club in this new direction.  What impresses me are the guys that were here last year have been so much better in their approach this year.  Arismendy Alcantara is only hitting .091 on the season, but he has an OBP of .259, he’s walked five times already this year.  We haven’t seen OBP numbers like this in what seems like forever, Chris Coghlan (.385), Jorge Soler (.382), Anthony Rizzo (.429), even Starlin Castro has contributed in this way (.364).  These are the kind of numbers that turn solo home runs into two run shots to tie the game in the eighth, kind of like Soler on Monday Night.  The importance of getting on base really can’t be understated, it really doesn’t matter how, just do it.

Let’s look at a comparison between 2014 and 2015, I know it’s a super small sample size, but the improvement in the numbers is striking.

Walk rates

Let’s extrapolate that out for a full 2015 season, the Cubs are on pace to walk 607 times, and strikeout 1,316 times.  That would mean that the Cubs would have 165 more guys on base via the walk over the course of the season compared to last year.  In regards to the strikeouts, the Cubs are on pace to strikeout 161 fewer times, that means those K’s turn into walks, or balls in play that the other team has to account for.  You couple this kind of turnaround at the plate with a lineup that has some additional power in it (Kris Bryant), and the Cubs aren’t going to be 26th in the Majors in scoring for very long, and that should mean more victories on the Northside.

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Wood Dazzles in Win Over Reds

Cubs Final 4-15

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Travis Wood was dominant all night long as the lefty shut down the Reds, and led the Cubs to a 5-0 victory to take the series.  It didn’t take long for the Cubs to grab a lead as Anthony Rizzo blasted his first home run of the season in the first, a majestic two-run shot to right.  The Cubs flashed the leather all night behind Wood, Starlin Castro in particular, he made two outstanding plays to help preserve the shut out, and the lead.  The only bad news in this one was an injury to Neil Ramirez, the right-hander left after just three pitches in the ninth inning.  Ramirez will go for an MRI tomorrow, the initial diagnosis is right shoulder discomfort, that doesn’t sound great.  First place!

At the Plate:

  • Dexter Fowler is proving to be a solid lead-off hitter for the Cubs, he was 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, and two runs scored.
  • Anthony Rizzo finally got on the board with a dinger, he was 1-for-4 with said homer, a walk, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Jorge Soler continued his production, he was 1-for-3 with a walk, and an RBI.
  • Starlin Castro had an outstanding game, he was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, and a run scored.

Rizzo goes way back!

On the Mound:

  • All Travis Wood tonight, stellar.  He worked seven scoreless innings, giving up just three hits while walking two and striking out seven.
  • Phil Coke worked a solid scoreless inning in relief.
  • Neil Ramirez got hurt in the ninth, so Brian Schlitter had to close it out, he worked a scoreless inning, giving up one hit while striking out one.

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One Bad Inning Does in Cubs

Cubs Final 4-14

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Jake Arrieta had his typical no hit stuff against the Reds once again, at least until the fourth inning.  The Reds scored three times on five singles in the fourth inning en route to a 3-2 victory to even up the three game series.  The Cubs didn’t exactly go quietly, that seems to be their thing this year.  Welington Castillo smacked a pinch hit homer in the 8th inning to bring the Cubs to within one, but they couldn’t get any closer.  The Cubs had two more guys on base in the eighth and the ninth, but couldn’t come up with a big hit, this time.  Being able to come back in games is a nice thing to be able to do, you just don’t want to be doing it every night.

At the Plate:

  • Welington Castillo didn’t start but probably had the best game, he was 1-for-1 with a pinch hit dinger, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Matt Szczur, also coming off the bench, had two plate appearances, and walked each time.
  • Dexter Fowler, Anthony Rizzo, Jorge Soler, and Starlin Castro had the other hits, one each.

On the Mound:

  • Jake Arrieta got the start, and was just fine except for that fateful fourth inning, he worked 6.2 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits while walking one, and striking out five.
  • Zac Rosscup made his 2015 debut, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings, he walked one, and struck out two.
  • Pedro Strop worked a scoreless inning to give the Cubs a chance in the ninth, he struck out one in the process.

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Arrieta Powers Past Cardinals

Cubs 4-8-15 Scorecard

I’m so glad the Cubs didn’t cancel the season after Sunday, because that was fun.  It was a pitchers day at Wrigley, but I’m not sure if 80 degrees and sun would have mattered as Jake Arrieta, and Lance Lynn were brilliant.  Luckily for the Cubs, Arrieta was better, but not by much.  Both guys were dealing, and the winning run came as a result of a hit batter, and a wild throw on a pick-off, go figure.  After Rizzo was hit by a pitch in the 7th, and advanced to second on said wild pick-off, Starlin Castro delivered the game winning single, it was a super lazy single though…

Back to Arrieta, early on he didn’t have his best stuff as he had to battle through trouble in the first and third inning before settling into a groove.  Arrieta worked seven scoreless innings, giving up three hits while walking three, and striking out seven en route to his first win of the season.  For the second straight game the Cubs bullpen displayed just how dangerous they could be, dangerous in a good way, not a Carlos Marmol way.  Phil Coke, Neil Ramirez, Pedro Strop, and Hector Rondon combined to pitch the last two innings with Rondon picking up his first save of the season.

Cubs 4-8 box scor

 

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Hammel Leads Cubs Back Into Win Column

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Jason Hammel cemented his status as the Cubs number three starter this afternoon by baffling the defending AL Champ Royals in a 4-3 win.  Hammel was brilliant going four scoreless innings, giving up two hits while striking out three, the outing lowered his spring ERA to six, it’s been rough.  Phil Coke, Zac Rosscup, and Stephen Perakslis all had scoreless outings with Perakslis nailed down the save.  Anthony Rizzo who has struggled in finding his timing this spring had a solid game, he went 2-for-2 with an RBI, his second of the spring.  Junior Lake, Starlin Castro, and Jonathan Herrera all chipped in with one RBI each in the win.

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Spring Fever – March 9, 2015 (Lineups, Broadcast Info)

 

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Big day for Edwin Jackson, today is his first chance to show the new Cubs staff that he belongs as the number five starter.  Travis Wood has already been solid this spring, so E-Jax needs to get going, now.  I for one want Jackson to succeed, it means a better Cubs rotation, and the possibility of another team wanting his services.  First pitch is 3:05 PM CST at beautiful Sloan Park, and can be heard on mlb.com if you have an account.  There is no TV for today’s game as of right now, here is how the Cubs will lineup, Rizzo back in that familiar three spot.

1. Fowler – CF
2. Denorfia – RF
3. Rizzo – 1B
4. Castro – SS
5. Montero – DH
6. Olt – 3B
7. Ross – C
8. Coghlan – LF
9. Hererra – 2B

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Cubs Ride Homers From Rizzo and Alcantara to Fourth Straight Win

Cubs Line Score 8-26-14

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Solid pitching?  Check.  Just enough hitting?  Check.

It seems simple, but the Cubs have played some solid baseball over the past 90 games (45-45 before tonight), and they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down with their latest win in Cincinnati tonight, their fourth straight.  Travis Wood found his 2013 magic against his former employer, he worked six scoreless Cubs 8-26 Pictureinnings, giving up just two hits, while walking one, and striking out five.  The Cubs pen shut, no, slammed the door once again, as Neil Ramirez, Pedro Strop, and Hector Rondon were lights out.  Wood picked up his eighth win of the season, and Rondon registered his 22nd save of the year.

Offensively the Cubs got started in the first, and that was all they needed.  Anthony Rizzo hit an absolute bomb off of Cy Young candidate Johnny Cueto in the first, it was his 30th home run of the season, that’s impressive.  Starlin Castro returned from the bereavement list tonight, and picked up right where he left off, he went 2-for-4 in the win.  Arismendy Alcantara joined the fun late, as he blasted a two-run shot to give the Cubs some insurance in the seventh.

Get ready for Jorge Soler, he debuts tomorrow!

Note:  Anthony Rizzo left the game late with some back tightness, he should be fine.

Cubs 8-26 Box

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Cubs Battle Back Twice, Still Fall Short

Cubs 4-8-14

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Such a tough evening, on one hand you have to be thrilled with the Cubs coming back two different times in this one, on the other, throw strikes!!!  The Cubs offense was up to the task tonight, but the pitching was dreadful, it started with Edwin Jackson, and ended with Pedro Strop, and James Russell.

Edwin Jackson “walked” away with a no decision in this one, and probably deserved worse.  Jackson worked 4.2 innings, giving up six runs on nine hits, while Castro 4-8-14walking four (yuck), and striking out four.  Pedro Strop, who got the loss, worked a third of an inning, giving up one run, while walking two, and striking out one.  The issue in this one was James Russell coming on and failing to do his job against Pedro Alvarez, he walked Alvarez to load the bases and Russel Martin delivered a game winning sac-fly.

Starlin Castro!  What a night from Castro, he was 3-for-4 with two home runs, four RBI’s, and two runs scored.  It was Castro’s first time hitting two home runs in a major league game, it was awesome to see, Castro is now hitting .310 on the season, look at that.  Emilio Bonifacio continues to get hits, almost every time up to the plate, he was 3-for-5 with an RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored.  Anthony Rizzo is also going well at the plate right now, he was 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, and  a run scored in the loss.

I’ll leave you with this… STOP BUNTING!  Goodnight.

Cubs 4-8-14 box

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Game Highlights:

Bonifacio’s RBI Single
Castro with a Three-Run Bomb!
Castro Goes Deep Again!
Rizzo RBI single
Renteria gets ejected 

** PHOTO CREDIT:  ANDREW NELLES/AP

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Cubs Down Right Offensive Once Again

4-5-14 linescore

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Scoring runs in the Major Leagues is hard, it’s really hard for this Cubs group.  So far the 2014 season has featured outstanding pitching and horrendous clutch hitting, today Shark 4-5-14 picturewas no exception.  Jeff Samardzija was solid for the second straight time this year, and for the second straight time he walked away without a win.  Shark worked seven strong innings, giving up two runs on six hits, while walking three and striking out eight as he took the loss.

I can’t really say that the Cubs were totally inept with the bats because they were able to get a number off hits against Cliff Lee.  Ten hits to be exact, but that’s ten hits with no runs, mind numbing right now.  One bright spot today was Starlin Castro who has been having better at bats as of late, he went 3-for-4 in the loss.  The Cubs were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position today, and are 4-for-40 on the season, I’m sorry that I had to spell out the disaster that is the Cubs offense, it will get better, it has to.

4-5-14 box score

Game Highlights:

MLB.com has no Cubs highlights, seems about right.

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