The Cubs kept it close, but they couldn’t pull out the win after a rain delayed game. They fell to the St. Louis Cardinals 5-2 last night.
Nobody said this season was going to be easy. Last night, they played the best team in baseball. They played their rivals. They played the St. Louis Cardinals.
Dale Sveum was ejected after Travis Wood was covering home and Wellington Castillo threw for the out but Molina was credited with the score.
“It’s a big play in the game at that time,” Sveum said. “One of your best pitchers on the mound, if not our best pitcher, blocks the plate and gets there, and it’s just an out call.”
Whenever I talk about the Cubs to someone, I usually get the same answer which is probably close to the answers Cubs fans receive from non Cubs fans and which I won’t print here.
On any given night, the Cubs can be great, even outstanding. This year, the pitching has been great and steady. Travis Wood had another great game, but even the Rotation has been strong when the Order has been shaky.
Starlin Castro can’t be considered a young guy anymore. He’s a ball player and a pro. He’s got to carry this young Cubs team and believe me, last night he did some good things.
Darwin Barney has struggled since coming back from his injury and that’s ok, the Cubs aren’t paying him for his bat but his defense abilities.
Tony Rizzo will find his groove.
So, the big question surrounding the team is;
Do they make changes?
No. Of course change is inevitable, but I’m a great believer in staying the course. Dale Sveum can get frustrated with his players and that’s only natural, but it will take time to get the farm growing and evolving into that championship calibre team that is there.
“He knows we’re good, and he’s pushing us to even be better,” Travis Wood said. “He knows what we’re capable of doing, and he’s trying to get us to put it all together.”
Too many changes will only lead a team to spinning their wheels. I hope the Cubs get a wild card spot, but it’s doubtful and even if they do make the playoffs and they lose in the first round, how will that help them towards getting that coveted World Series Championship?
I think they’re in a good spot right now, and I love watching those little flashes of genius in their game. My picks for the representatives on the Cubs in the All Star game? Nate Schierholtz and Travis Wood.
Game time today is 8:15 eastern when Jeff “The Shark” Samardzija tries to even the series.
I feel bad for Carlos Marmol, I really do. The Cubs took a 3-0 lead into the ninth inning only to have it slip away from their grasp as the New York Mets went on to defeat the Cubs 4-3.
Baseball is a funny game where it seems like there isn’t a lot of stress and I’ll be the first to admit that. Managers and players chewing gum and spitting sunflower seeds on the tips of their shoes in the dugout. Hell, what do players think about in the outfield as they’re kicking divets of grass and adjusting their ball caps?
That’s on the surface. underneath it all, baseball is a very stressful game. It’s a game of stats, of lineups and of velocity.
So, how hard can baseball be?
When your team is up 3-0 and it’s the bottom of the ninth and you have three outs left to wrap it up and go home. That’s how freakin’ damn hard baseball can be.
“The guy it’s toughest on right now is Marmol,” Matt Garza said. “He tries really hard and he wants it really bad, but it just happens.”
Yes it does. Stuff happens. Matt Garza was pitching a great game and even though he watched it go for nought, he knows what Carlos Marmol is feeling right now when he powers up his IPAD this morning and reads the Chicago headlines about the defeat and about the loss of a sweep.
Other teammates were frustrated and rightfully so. Ask Alfonso Soriano:
“When we have a 99 (percent) chance to win the game, it’s very tough the last inning,” he said. “Three outs left and we lost the game. It’s unacceptable, especially when we’re winning 3-0 and Garza’s pitching a very good game.
I’m sure there’s going to be lots of criticism this morning and finger pointing, but lets get it right;
“There are only certain people that can get those last three outs sometimes,” Dale Sveum said. “We all know that he’s gotten a lot of saves in his career. But for some reason now … he doesn’t quite have the slider he used to, so it’s not that easy. But something is going on in the other innings that’s not going on in the last inning.”
Before anyone screams for Carlos Marmol’s head, think about what it’s going to do to his mental game. Carlos Marmol has great stuff and whatever he’s going through, he’ll get it back. He’s erratic, unpredictable and wild. When he’s in the zone, he’s a legend. He’ll get it back.
Right now, the Cubs have another daunting task ahead of them. Shelby Miller and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Game Time is 7:05 eastern.
If Scott Feldman was chosen to lead by example, then the Cubs probably would be in first place in the National League Central Division. The wily pitcher known around baseball as “Feldmania” taught the New York Mets a lesson yesterday as Feldman and the Cubs upset the Mets 5-2 and pushing the Cubs’ win streak to three games.
All right, Scott Feldman brings back the memories of sandlot baseball where a pitcher was never an easy out and could be just as dangerous at the plate as that big bully from up the street that picks his nose and wipes it on the handle of the bat just to scare you.
Scott Feldman the pitcher, got a two run single allowing Tony Rizzo and Scott Hairston to score.
Welcome to Feldmania New York.
“We have pitchers who can hit,” Dale Sveum said. “It might be one of those things where you just stick with the pitcher for a while and see what happens that way. We have Travis Wood and Feldman, they all can swing that bat to where if you get in a bind late in a game, or even early in a game, you can use one of those guys and not spend a position player.”
Mr. Feldman was also aggressive on the bag, going from first to third and sliding with his noggin’ first.
If the Cubs can’t lead in the standings, they’re certainly not going to go out without some excitement.
“It makes it more fun,” Feldman said. “It makes it like you’re a little kid again playing baseball, the real way you remember when you were a kid.”
Thank you Scott, well said.
Matt Garza and the Cubs look to extend their winning streak when they face the Mets again at 1:10 pm eastern. It’ll be Blue Bat day.
Happy Father’s Day!
“I want to wake up in that city
That doesn’t sleep
And find I’m king of the hill
Top of the heap”
The Cubs are channeling Frank Sinatra this morning after another huge win.
The Cubs are on a roll. Two wins in a row and Edwin Jackson gets his third win of the season. Cubs down the Mets 6-3. They played tough and they played smart.
The big bat of Anthony “Tony” Rizzo came alive getting three hits and two runs.
David Dejesus left the game after crashing into the wall. It looked bad, but I know he’ll be back soon.
The big news of the night is Edwin Jackson. He finally, well sort of looked like the big bucks guy the Cubs invested in the off season.
“The conviction on all his pitches, and his velocity and all that stuff,” Dale Sveum said. “But you could see the conviction in the pitches and not trying to be a pitcher as much as just a stuff guy — getting guys out with his stuff.”
That’s right, he got the job done and that’s what it’s all about. Nothing fancy, just working the counts.
“You get those early runs and it’s definitely a luxury,” Jackson said. “More times than not it’s going to be close games and you have to pitch mistake-free or pretty close to it. To get an offensive explosion like tonight is definitely great.”
This marks Edwin’s second win in a row and hopefully he’s onto something good.
Nate Schierholtz had another great game and continues to be the Cubs “Secret Weapon” He got things going with a Home Run in the first inning. I really hope he gets voted into the All Star Game because he’s really making a case for himself.
Although Starlin Castro had a good game the other night, he continues his up and down play getting a goose egg yesterday. Starlin, you have to be better than that.
So, even though the Cubs have a long way to go, if they continue to play like they did last night, things could get Wild.
The series continues today when Scott Feldman gets the ball at 2:10 eastern. It should be a dandy.
That is the word “dandy”
This is the strangest season in a long time. An unlikely hero in an unlikely place. Julio Borbon hits a walk off to give the Cubs a 6-5 win in extra innings yesterday.
There’s something about the city of Chicago and their flare for the dramatic. Not to be upstaged by the Black Hawks, the Cubs sent the game into the 14th inning before Julio Borbon sent the ball into orbit allowing Starlin Castro to score (yes, the same Castro who I just said a couple of days ago would have a big game) after he stole second base. Nate Schierholtz was on first after the Reds walked him scored as well.
“It’s my first walk-off,” Borbon said. “It was definitely worth the wait.”
When someone orders three sugars and three creams at a popular coffee company Tim Horton’s, people call it a Triple Triple, so is that what the most underrated player in the game, Nate Schierholtz did yesterday? getting two triples?
I’m glad to see Starlin come up with his big game it could be just what he needed.
“That was by far the best day he’s had all year,” Sveum said. “He should’ve had a walk-off home run (in the ninth inning). That was a shame. We’d have been in New York by now.”
I could talk about Starlin’s big day, but the real hero is Julio Borbon. The guy who came off the bench and walked off a hero. Damn, that’s a good log line for a film. I got dibs on that one.
Great job Julio!
The Cubs are off to New York today to face the Mets as Edwin Jackson looks for his third win this season. Game time is 7:10.
There’s a trend going on here. A player signs a big contract and then they struggle on the mound or don’t hit the ball. Edwin? Anthony? No more Tony for you, back to Anthony.
All right, I shouldn’t pick on you guys. You’re great players and I’ve always um, gone to bat for you. Edwin, you played a good game the other day, but Anthony, you have to end this slump you’re in.
The Cubs lost to the Reds 2-1 and with that loss, extending the Reds streak at Wrigley to twelve games. Ouch! Nate Schierholtz continued to amaze me with his eighth home run.
“I think it’s going to test everyone’s character that we are far out of it,” Rizzo said. “We obviously aren’t playing very well right now. The pitchers are pitching their tails off, and us hitters aren’t giving them anything to show for it. It’s going to be a grind.
Someone told me yesterday that great teams have great base running. They’re always moving the players. This is not only a true statement and a no brainer, but aggressive stealing and just “going for it” will have a better chance of scoring than waiting on the bag.
The pitching for the Cubs has been outstanding this year(Edwin? Naw) when it was supposed to be mediocre at best while the hitting was supposed to be good. This hasn’t been the case and you can see the frustration on Dale Sveum’s face.
“When you’re 16 games out, and you’re dealing with the teams ahead of you that are the elite in the league, obviously we haven’t been (competitive in) our division at all,” Sveum said before the game. “We haven’t played well.”
Nobody ever said that the Cubs were going to the World Series this year and I have to admit I thought they’d have a shot at a Wild Card spot which they still do but one thing has to happen and allow me to quote Major League
Jake Taylor: [Jake stands up] Well then I guess there’s only one thing left to do.
Roger Dorn: What’s that?
Jake Taylor: Win the whole (fill in the blank) thing.
The Shark, Jeff Samardzija takes the ball today at 2:20 Eastern.
It was ugly last night. Really ugly. The Cubs lost to the Reds 12-2 in a game that ran away from Chicago in the sixth inning when Jay Bruce doubled. That’s what got the ball rolling and the Cubs tried to dig themselves out of a very deep hole.
Matt Garza struggled on the mound. To be fair, Cincinnati has been amazing all year.
“With him, it’s all about fastball command and keeping the ball down,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “When he does that, he can throw a really good game. Every pitcher, it’s going to be about his fastball command, and what happens with that will dictate the game.”
It wasn’t so much as to what the Cubs did wrong, but to how good the Reds were. They beat them in pitching and at the plate.
Cody Ransom continues to impress, hitting a home run in the sixth inning, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Reds.
This was the eleventh straight loss to the Reds at Wrigley Field, now, I’m not superstitious, but there’s something wonky happening there.
“It’s one of those days,” Matt Garza said, adding: “This lies on my shoulders.”
The best thing the Cubs can do is put it behind them and focus on today’s matchup when Travis Wood faces Mike Leake. Game time is 2:20 eastern. This is game three of the four game series and I think the Cubs can steal the game today from the Reds.
My prediction? Starlin Castro is going to have a huge day.
“Starlin is so talented he never really has failed before,” Theo Epstein said. “This is the first extended stretch of failure he really has had. It’s tough when you go through that the first time at the big league level, and are already being a player who is relied upon by his teammates, already being on a multi-year contract. It’s tougher for him, but in the long run this will be really good for him.”
It was a dark and foggy night on the north side of Chicago. Scott Feldman cautiously kicks the dirt from his shoes as he stares down the batter in the box.
Feldman finds his call and then? Well, I don’t think there’s a pitcher in the game’s history that likes to see a baseball go deep on a grand slam.
The good news was that Feldman couldn’t see it. The bad news was the Cincinnati Red Machine went on to a 6-2 victory.
The game took on the setting of a Robert Louis Stevenson novel.
“It was surprising to see it out here,” Feldman said. “I was hoping it would make it harder for them to pick up the ball, but apparently it didn’t work.”
It was a tough game for sure, but it was great to see Starlin Castro get something going. He ended up with a hit and an RBI. Even if in a losing cause, the Cubs had some bright moments.
-Scott Feldman continued with his hits
-Nate Schierholtz provided some stability with two hits.
-Alfonso Soriano notched a run and a hit.
The key with last night’s game is the Cubs managed to get production from more than the usual suspects. Playing the Reds is tough. I cringe everytime. They’re good and they’ll beat you everyway they can.
Tonight, Matt Garza takes to the mound to face Tony Cingrani. Game time is 8:05 eastern.
Congratulations to Cubs 2011 top prospect Javier Baez on hitting 4 home runs in Daytona. Second time in the history of class A Daytona. Well done!!
Edwin Jackson got his win. I’ve picked on him a lot this year. Everyone has picked on him but yesterday, against the Pirates; Edwin Jackson collected his second win of the season as the Chicago Cubs defeated the Pirates, 4-1.
Hopefully, Edwin gave Cody Ransom a great big hug after Ransom destroyed the ball on his way to getting his sixth Home Run of the season, a two run shot that drove Julio Borbon and Darwin Barney home.
“I told myself to just go out and have fun,” Jackson said. “Stay relaxed, stay loose and just play the game. Sometimes it gets too serious. You’re kind of confined to a bubble. Today it’s like coming out of the bubble.”
You sure came out of that bubble today.
Cody Ransom had a great game yesterday. He was aggressive on the bag, although getting picked off at second base in the third inning; it’s this style of play that will win games.
“He got caught sleeping a little bit there,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “[Ransom] has got almost an .800 OPS playing against left-handers and done a great job defensively. He’s done everything and more since we picked him up.”
Hey, Cody got that homer. Great job, guys. Congratulations Edwin on your win and hopefully this is the start of something special!!!
The Cubs open a four game series with the Reds. Nobody needs to be told how important this series is. The Cubs can gain valuable ground on their division.
Scott Feldman kicks it off at 8:05 eastern tonight.
What is it about these Pirates that the Cubs struggle with? Yesterday, the Pirates beat the Cubs 6-2. No matter what the Cubs hit at them, the Pirates caught. Jeff Samardzija wasn’t the same Shark he was on Opening Day.
“Today, they were patient with me and got some pitches to hit,” the right-hander said. “When I had success against them before, I felt I had them on their heels, whereas today, they had me on my heels. With a good team like that that’s playing good baseball, you have to make good pitches early in the count, early in the game, which allows you to pitch deeper in the game and not show them everything you have early.”
Then again, there wasn’t much offense. So, no matter what Samardzija could do, if the offense isn’t hitting the balls, the defense will find it hard to keep the game within reach.
You can almost say that in a game like hockey, a team can win a game purely on offense as long as their goalie saves the puck, but in baseball pretty much it’s a two way sport.
“When we’re not playing good, we make mistakes with the pitching, we don’t get a hit, we don’t play good defense,” Alfonso Soriano said. “That’s contagious. All negative, it’s contagious. When the team is playing good, it’s contagious, too. We have to learn to play good.
I could be wrong, but it’s an observation.
The Cubs are can’t play a defensive game against the Pirates or they’ll beat them hard. The Cubs bread and butter are the close games, but if want to win and beat them well, the Cubs need to score a lot of runs.
“They played perfectly,” Alfonso Soriano said. “(They were) always in the perfect spot.”
The other thing to look at is Starlin Castro. He’s going through a slump, a funk or some other voodoo thing. He’s got to shake it up and get swinging that bat. He had no hits yesterday. No hits? That’s gotta change today.
Which brings us to Edwin Jackson. He gets the rubber today against Jeff Locke. We all know that Edwin has been struggling this season, but if I were to gamble on someone today, I’m going to bet that Mr. Jackson is going to do some pretty incredible things on the mound. He’s got a brutal 6.29 ERA but I tell ya, today is going to be a great day for him. The sun is shining and he is due for a win.
Edwin if you’re reading this, I believe in you.
2:20 eastern start.