April 2011

Game 3 Recap - Garza Discovers What Being a Cub Is Like

Box Score | Video

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
Pirates 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 2   5 16 0
Cubs 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 0 0   4 9 1

The Good: Let's start with Matt Garza's first start as a Cub. It wasn't perfection, frankly it was odd. The Pirates knocked 12 hits off him, all 12 being of the single variety and a handful of the pure 'effin luck variety including a check swing hit and run and jammed dribbler through the right side. Garza matched those 12 hits with 12 strikeouts though on 0 walks and threw 80 of his 106 pitches for strikes. I'm feeling confident the earned runs will look a lot beter if he can maintain that strikeout to walk ratio the rest of the year. Honestly it was a pretty epic start, if not for the seeing eye singles and some bad defense, most notably Ramirez botching a double play with a bad throw.

Chiefs & D-Cubs Rally to Tie a Wrap on Minor League Camp

D. J. Fitzgerald singled, doubled, tripled, stole a base, scored one run, and knocked-in two more, and LHP Austin Kirk threw four shutout innings, as the Peoria Chiefs rallied to tie the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Los Angeles Angels Class “A” affiliate) 3-3 on Field #2, while next-door on Field #3 Michael Burgess clubbed a grand slam HR over the RF fence and Evan Crawford doubled, tripled, walked, stole a base, drove-in two runs, and scored another, as the Daytona Cubs rallied from an early 5-0 hole to tie the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels Advanced “A” affiliate) 7-7, in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training action at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ, this morning.


This was the “getaway day” game for both Daytona and Peoria, but since the Iowa Cubs will be remaining in Mesa for another day (they open the season Thursday at Round Rock, TX), I-Cubs catcher Welington Castillo stayed at Fitch Park and served as a DH for Daytona while his teammates traveled to Diablo Park in Tempe to face the Angels Salt Lake Bees AAA affiliate.


Game 2 Recap - Cubs Almost Lose to the Pirates Again

Box Score | Video

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
Pirates 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0   3 5 1
Cubs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 x   5 9 0

I know, I know, it's just the second game of the season and it doesn't matter where you get your wins, but losing to the 'effin Pirates irks me like nothing else. I feel comfortable labeling today's game the first must win of the season. :)

The Good: Z pitched well enough, and if not for a cramp, had a chance to leave with 7 IP and 3 ER. I think we'd accept that everytime. The team managed some extra-base hits, the first of the season by Z himself with Baker, Soriano and DeWitt also hitting doubles. The bullpen retired the last 9 in a row after Wood walked his first hitter (Ronny Cedeno of all people) and as a group struck out 6 over those 3 inningss. And of course the 8th inning...

Fukudome worked a nice walk laying off a close 3-2 pitch off the inside corner. Castro launched one to the ivy in right for a double that scored Fukudome. Byrd was due up next and all I asked for was something to the right side and he obliged on a 1-2 fastball with a grounder to Overbay who muffed it about as bad as anyone could muff a routine grounder. Castro hustled home for the second run after the ball bounced into short right. After a Ramirez flyout, Soto delivered his second hit of the day, but Pena popped out weakly leaving it up to Soriano to try and tie the game or better. After looking slow on a few fastballs, Soriano caught up to one on the outside corner and it dropped in right center easily scoring the tying run and Evan Meek was done for the day. Chris Resop came in and walked Colvin and then Blake DeWitt went with the pitch over the third basemen's head for the game-winning hit. And there was joy in Cubville....

Game 1 Rec...Aw Crap, We Lost to The Pirates

Box Score | Video

The Good: Fukudome got on-base 3 times out of the leadoff spot, Castro went 3 for 5, Pena got on-base twice with an RBI and and multi-hit games by Ramirez and Barney as well. Ramirez also just missed a 3-run game tying homer in the 7th. Dempster looked like a good pitcher for the first 4 innings and did strike out 7 on the game. Castro made an awesome dive to turn a double play to save Samardzija's ass. Some aggressive baserunning by Castro and DeJesus helped score the first run. The team pounded out 10 singles.

The Bad: No extra-base hits and just two walks by the offense, Barney got thrown out by Ryan Doumit and there was the 5th inning. After a leadoff single by Ryan Doumit, Dempster faces Garrett Jones. A hit and run is called and Jones fouls it off. Next pitch, no hit and run and a chopper to third that Aramis had a play at second base on and never takes a look and tosses it to first. He probably doesn't have a double play there, but you should always go after the lead runner of course. Then a walk to Ronny Cedeno which is a feat in of itself and maybe Dempster isn't so keen to pitch out of the zone against Cedeno if first base is occupied. Bob Brenly attempts to justify this by saying that it now sets up a possible double play with the pitcher up. It also sets up an sacrifice attempt and two runners in scoring position with the top of the order coming up. Tabata walks and then Neil Walker comes up. The count goes 3-2 and Dempster throws a splitter that Walker fouls off. Even if he keeps that it play, it may go for a single, but at worst it's a tie game. For some inexplicable reason, Dempster goes fastball next time and judging by the replay didn't miss his spot by too much and leaves one right in the lefty happy zone. Blame Soto, blame Dempster, blame Mark Riggins, but sweet jeebus was that a terrible pitch.

After two more walks in the 6th by Dempster and what looked like he was losing a little velocity, Q-Ball decides to keep him out in the 7th claiming that he thought he was fine and Dempster earned the right to tell him if he was done. He also cited that he liked how he finished up the 6th with Cedeno. *Facepalm*

Jeff Samardzija pitched an inning with the game still within 3 runs.

Opening Day 2011 - Pirates @ Cubs

It's Christmas time for baseball fans and Santa's delivered the lowly Pirates to the Cubs. Of course, the Cubs went 5-10 against one of the worse teams I've ever seen play baseball last year, so the Cubs have that going for them. Don't forget to join the fun during our in-game chat. Folks come and go throughout the game so if you hang around for awhile, someone is usually sure to pop in.

LF Tabata RF *Fukudome
2B #Walker SS Castro
CF McCutchen CF Byrd
1B *Overbay 3B Ramirez
3B *Alvarez 1B *Pena
C #Doumit C Soto
RF *G. Jones LF Soriano
SS Cedeno 2B Barney
P Correia P Dempster

Undoubtedly Correia is going to throw a shutout today, but generally you have to laugh at a team employing a guy for Opening Day with a career 4.57 ERA and a 4.91 ERA over the last three years, the last two being in Petco Park.

My division predictions after the jump...

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  • I'm with you, Rob. You pretty much summed up how I feel about it.

    JoePepitone 20 min 51 sec ago view
  • Been quite the roller-coaster the past two days -- both games, plus the Chapman kerfuffel. How about a couple of nice, comfortable wins before facing Sale? Cubs should definitely wear throwbacks for that game.

    billybucks 1 hour 16 min ago view
  • The Cubs are stronger defensively than most of the teams they play. In order to capitalize on that, they have to a) put the ball in play and b) run the bases aggressively.

    That said, Cabrera has a strong, accurate arm, as witnessed by his 97 outfield assists over 12 seasons--mostly left field but also a lot of center. Bryant is rarely thrown out, but I guess you have to know who's throwing the ball.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 9 min ago view
  • On the other hand, Pries won his first start for Iowa, only giving up two HRs in the process. This trade has got some legs yet!

    Eric S 11 hours 18 min ago view
  • KB now with 0 RBI in his last 10 games and 1 in his last 15, despite having 19 hits in his last 15 games and raising his batting average from .278 to .286 over that span.

    Maybe have Zobrist hit 2 and KB hit 4?

    Also -- no HR in the last 15 games -- time for a bunch. Starting tomorrow.

    billybucks 11 hours 33 min ago view
  • Down a run. Fowler on first. Nobody out. KB singles to left, Fowler makes it to third, perfect throw from Cabrera nails KB trying to stretch for 2nd.

    So, instead of 1st & 3rd and no out, you have 3rd with one out. It was a perfect throw, but why take the chance with 3-4-5 hitters coming up?

    billybucks 11 hours 48 min ago view
  • Must be a Cub thing - our lefties can;t get lefties out.

    billybucks 11 hours 48 min ago view
  • Splitting hairs, but Jake's pitch was poor execution, while KB's play was a poor decision (and the 2nd time he got thrown out trying to stretch in the game). Poor execution happens. Poor decisions are preventable. Speaking of poor decisions -- Baez's steal of 3rd made absolutely no sense.

    billybucks 11 hours 49 min ago view
  • Didn't Jake cost them the game with a pitch to Frazier?

    The E-Man 12 hours 3 min ago view
  • Missed the play w/Bryant. What happened?

    The E-Man 12 hours 3 min ago view
  • Not a good decision by Bryant in the 9th. That may have cost them the game.

    billybucks 12 hours 7 min ago view
  • Can we un-do the Montgomery deal? Please?

    billybucks 12 hours 9 min ago view
  • THAT WAS TURRIBLE.

    crunch 12 hours 11 min ago view
  • Who is this Arrieta guy? Can I get the old one back please?

    The E-Man 13 hours 20 min ago view
  • Well, this is, once again, the whole season for the Sox.

    billybucks 13 hours 24 min ago view
  • ...and the Bryant RBI jinx continues in the 3rd....crap.

    billybucks 14 hours 56 min ago view