Cubs Game Recaps

9th inning dramatics at Wrigley and the Cubs have won 2 of 3. You probably don't want to go any farther back than that though.

Box Score | Highlights

The Cubs overcome an 8-run deficit to avoid the four game sweep and pull out an exciting win over the Washington Nationals on Thursday. It was just like that 9-run miracle comeback versus the Houston Astros in 1989, except completely meaningless.

I had most of it written Wednesday, but didn't have time to finish it up until tonight. Might as well put it out into the world.

Box Score | Highlights

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
DBacks 0
0 2
0
3 0 0
1 1
  6
12
0
Cubs 0 0
0
2
0 0 1
1
0   4
6
3

The Good: Ramirez and Soriano hit home runs, Marlon Byrd had two more hits today and Fukudome got on-base three times out of the leadoff spot and could have been a fourth if not for Chris Young's first amazing catch of the day. I think that about covers that section.

The Bad: ...started in the third inning. Willie Bloomquist continued to annoy himself to Cubs fans by singling and then easily stealing a base. Chris Young hit a liner just to the left of center that Marlon Byrd decided he needed to try and emulate Young's glove witchcraft and completely whiffed on. Bloomquist was gonna score anyway on the play if Byrd lets it drop, but now the ball is careening towards center with Soriano rushing over and the speedy Young easily going to make it to third. Soriano though fumbles the ball and then skips the relay throw and as the Diamondback announcer called it, "a little league home run".  During the play, I thought Byrd missed it by a mile, but the replay looked like he just missed it by a whisker. And it did happen with 2 outs, which is when you should try and take those chances in my opinion.

Box Score | HighlightsFangraphs WP chart

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
DBacks 0
0 1
0
0 0 3
0 1
  5
7
1
Cubs 0 2
2
0
0 0 2
0
x   6
10
0

The Gist: It seems the weekday recaps are gonna be a little harder to get to for me. Andrew Cashner got his first major league start and threw quite well except for a 3rd inning home run to Ryan Roberts. He made it into the 6th on just 72 pitches (43 for strikes) and 10 groundballs to 5 flyballs.  Then the bad news...he felt something in his shoulder and left the game with a 4-1 lead and went for an MRI, which we should hear the results tomorrow.

Box Score | HighlightsFangraphs WP chart

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

The Gist: Wells didn't quite pitch as well as he did all spring and was uncharacterstically wild, but held the DBacks to just 6 hits, and only one of the extra base variety, that being a leadoff home run to Willie Bloomquist of all people. Geovany Soto showed off his healthy shoulder gunning down Justin Upton on a steal attempt and Miguel Montero on a wild pitch that didn't bounce very far away. The bullpen locked down the last 3 innings, even with Q-Ball and Kirk Gibson battling for over-Manager of the Year honors. First, the Cubs bring in Sean Marshall who is perfectly awesome versus lefties and righties to face Geraldo Parra. After getting him out, Gibson went to the righty Xavier Nady and Q-Ball countered for no good reason with Marcus Mateo and Gibson countered with lefty Juan Miranda who did single. Mateo retired the next batter and Q-Ball went to the pen again and John Grabow to get Kelly Johnson.

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.

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.

Aramis Ramirez blasted a one-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the 11th to lead the Cubs to a 4-2 win over the Rockies Monday night at Wrigley. Lou Piniella's post-game press conference, the main topic of which was a player who never even appeared in the game, was at least as newsworthy as the main event.

First about the game:

The Cubs had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 courtesy of run-scoring singles by Aramis Ramirez and Koyie Hill, before the Rockies tied the game in the 8th inning on a single and three walks, two by John Grabow and one by Carlos Marmol. Marmol redeemed himself by inducing an inning-ending double play, nicely initiated by Starlin Castro, to preserve the tie. 

The Cubs lost for the sixth time in seven tries as the Marlins scored three times in the 7th inning to overcome a 2-1 Cub lead and go on to win 4-2 at Wrigley Field.

You wouldn't think a team could pack so much failure into a simple 4-2 loss, but well...

Sobering thought...the Cubs just got beat 2 of 3 at home by the worst team in baseball the last two years. Sure, anyone can win a 3-game set, but the Cubs sure didn't look like a better team at any moment in this series. And yes, the Nats are a better team this year than year's past, but they also were missing Ryan Zimmermann for the set. All of that is just a convoluted way of saying that the tea leaves aren't really predicting a bright 2010 future at the moment for the Cubs.

The Good: The Cubs walked 4 times(Colvin, Fukudome x2 and Nady) and had 9 hits including Theriot and Fukudome getting on-base 5 times in total. Dempster had a solid 8 IP, 3 ER affair with just one walk and 6 K's. Marlon Byrd's circus catch losing the ball in the sun. I wonder how the media and crowd reacts if he doesn't make that catch as they were sure quick to jump on Bradley last year for losing the ball in the sun.

I think that was the first game I got to watch in its near entirety in about 2 weeks. My apologies for the outcome.

The Good: After Gorzelanny finished his warm-ups, he mowed the Nationals down through 7 innings. The problem was it took him 3 batters into the game to finish loosening up. Geovany Soto went 2/4 and Kosuke Fukudome reached base 3 times, twice on walks to set-up getting stranded by Lee, Byrd and Ramirez. Soto also gunned down two very capable baserunners in Wily Taveras and Justin Maxwell.

Here's the ugly box score, and here are some details...

The good: Randy Wells allowed just one scratch run over six innings, yielding six singles and a couple walks while fanning five. At the plate, Wells delivered two singles of his own, one of which figured in the mini rally that netted the Cubs' only run of the game. Also, Marlon Byrd, moved up to the leadoff spot in Lou Piniella's new-look batting order against southpaws, collected three hits and the only Chicago RBI of the night.

The bad: Where to begin?

The Cubs come back in dramatic fashion with four runs in the eighth with the entire rally starting with two outs - taking a second straight from the Brewers. I don't know what the joke is, but the punch line was once again LaTroy Hawkins.

Carlos Zambrano got the opportunity to redeem his baseball soul thanks to the grace of Touchdown Jesus and the Cubs bullpen works this time in a 4-3 win at Cincinnati.

The Good: Z pitches quite well going 7 innings and giving up 3 runs and a home run against 9 K's, including striking out the side in his last inning. The Cubs offense doesn't strand a runner. After Ryan Theriot breaks up the perfect game to lead off the 4th, he takes second on a wild pitch that bounced in front of catcher Ryan Hanigan. Hanigan throws it away and it bounces into center field and Theriot was going to try third base (and it looked like he would have probably been nailed to me), but ran into shortstop Orlando Cabrera. No interference obstruction was called though despite the protests of Lou and Theriot. That made the count 2-0 on Fukudome and he showed bunt on the next pitch but took it for a strike. Not sure if he was just trying to dupe Harang or was seriously considering a bunt, but he then takes the ensuing curveball deep to right for the first 2 Cubs runs. He almost hit a second one out in his next at-bat. Soriano hit a hanging slider out for run number 3 and Jeff Baker with the clutch pinch-hit home run off Arthur Rhodes. Marmol's slider was biting and the Reds were flailing away for the save.

The Bad: The Cubs didn't leave anyone on-base cause they just managed one walk and 5 hits, 3 of them home runs and Lee got picked off first base. If they did plus/minus ratings like in hockey, Soriano was probably a 0, because the first run by the Reds was thanks to a linedrive with 2 out that Soriano turned the wrong way and then lept and missed by an inch that should have ended the inning. #8 hitter Ryan Hanigan then singled him home despite first base being open and Harang on-deck. Grabow did get through the 8th, but gave up a single to lefty Joey Votto and a rocket to lefty Jay Bruce that Lee made an outstanding leaping stab to rob a hit. A bit worrisome we have another Mike Remliger situation brewing.

Next Up: Tom Gorzelanny makes his 2010 debut against 2009 draftee Mike Leake making his major league debut.

Nearly 7 innings of great baseball from the pitching and defense, ruined in 4 batters. That was a debacle deep-fried in a disaster served with a chaser of Cubbery. 

Pages

X
  • Sign in with Twitter