Cubs-Cards Series Preview.

August 7, 2008

The Cubs open up a three game set against the division rival Cardinals this Friday,As for myself im ecstatic about it as i will be at two of the three games if not all three,As far as the Cubs,well they are currently Rollin winning 9 out of their last 12 games,Most Cub hitters have all contributed to all this winning lately most noticeable is Alfonso Soriano who has 6 HR’S and 11 R.B.I’S in his last 11 games,It is easy to tell that the off-injured Soriano is not bothered one bit by that hand injury that kept him on the shelf for awhile.

Wednesday’s win was the Cubs’ 33rd come-from-behind victory this season, although that statistic is a little skewed. A team is credited with a come-from-behind win if it’s trailing by one run in the first and rallies so the Cubs  have the momentum going into this series and having the best home record in baseball doesn’t hurt any.

As far as the Cards,well since the start of the season NOBODY thought they would be over.500 let alone 6 games back of the Cubs (who have the best record in the national league )in mid August .They just continue to surprise everyone.Pujols and Ryan Ludwick have been the hottest hitters on the team the last few weeks,they have been without Slugger Rick Ankiel but after missing 11 straight starts because of a lower abdominal strain, it appears Cardinals outfielder Rick Ankiel is very close to returning to the lineup.

Looking Ahead To The Pitching Match-Ups:

Friday, August 8 Wrigley Field | 1:20 PM CT

Braden Looper, RHP (10-9, 4.29) ~ Ted Lilly, LHP (11-6, 4.35)

Saturday, August 9 Wrigley Field | 2:55 PM CT

Todd Wellemeyer, RHP (8-4, 4.01)~ Carlos Zambrano, RHP (12-4, 2.76)

Sunday, August 10 Wrigley Field | 7:05 PM CT

To be announced~  Ryan Dempster, RHP (12-5, 2.93)

This is a HUGE series for the Cubs. They can pretty much bury the Cards or the Cards can bury themselves,by HUGE i mean not a “must win” but HUGE  as in lots of “breathing room”, if we take at least two out of three that will put the cards back to 8 games behind us in mid aug. with one and a half months to play,Thus leaving a real uphill climb for the cardinals.

Few notes on are aces going this weekend(Dempster and Zambrano),after their games this weekend they still should get another 8 to 10 chances to start games unless we really break out and piniella decides to rest them a few starts,However either way each one of them has a great shot at winning 16 to 18 games if they continue to dominate they way they have and if the Cubs lineup continues to give them run support,Also look to see their names amongst the cy young Candidates this year if they keep up the good work.

Advertisements

Eyre on his way out of Chicago?

August 7, 2008

Update News On Scott Eyre.

The Cubs are currently debating whether or not to eat the one million dollars owed Scott Eyre in order to make a waiver trade for a prospect. The Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Philadelphia Phillies, and New York Yankees are all reportedly interested in the veteran reliever. Eyre is expendable as Kerry Wood‘s return to the disabled list is imminent, however the Cubs may still elect to keep Eyre and designate another player for assignment, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Update two,Eyre ON His Way To The Phillies.

Lefty reliever Scott Eyre was acquired by the Philadelphia Phillies from the Chicago Cubs on Thursday for a minor-league pitcher.

Scott EyreEyre

The Phillies sent right-hander Brian Schlitter to Chicago in the trade between NL division leaders.

Eyre was 2-0 with a 7.15 ERA in 19 games over two stints with the Cubs. The 36-year-old was designated for assignment earlier this week.

Eyre didn’t allow a run in his first 14 games (nine innings) and has held left-handed hitters to a .259 batting average.

In June, Eyre set a Cubs record with 33 consecutive scoreless appearances. The streak that started in August 2007 spanned 23 2/3 innings.

Eyre is in the final season of a three-year contract. He is 23-29 with a 4.42 ERA and four saves in 556 games with the Chicago White Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants and Cubs.

Schlitter, a 16th-round pick in 2007, was 4-3 with six saves and a 2.22 ERA in 34 games for Class A Clearwater. He will report to Class A Daytona Beach,The Chicago Sun Times Reports.


Cubs Third Inning Rout Paves The Way To Series Win.

August 6, 2008

The Cubs really flexed their muscles today at the plate with a offensive show,and a offensive explosion in the third inning scoring 8 runs.

Mark Derosa got the scoring going early who doubled in the second inning scoring Jim Edmonds,Im sure at the time Derosa didn’t know what was about to happen in the next inning.

Ryan Theriot singled,Aramis Ramirez and Jim Edmonds both walked to juice the bases for Mark Derosa in the third who launched a grand slam followed by Kosuke Fukudome who doubled,Then Geovany Soto was intentionally walked ,Next up was starting pitcher Jason Marquis who doubled to deep right field scoring Fukudome.

Then in steps Soriano who was the hero yesterday and didnt wait long to send the Cub fans into a frenzy again launching a three run shot,All though it was Derosa today that got the curtain-call,All eight runs came with two outs making the score 9-4 Cubs.

Then the Cubs didnt wait long to tack on two more runs,the very next inning Fukudome singled in D.Lee followed by Soto who hit a sacrafice fly scoring Ramirez.

This one was essentially over after three, with Mark DeRosa slugging a grand slam and Alfonso Soriano socking a three-run shot in the inning to back starter Jason Marquis, who tossed 6 1/3 solid frames to win for the first time since June 21.

Nobody in today’s Cub lineup had more then 2 hits,by looking at the score you would think just the opposite same could be said for hits,Looking at the score would lead you to believe the cubs banged out 15 to 20 hits,But they had as many hits as they did runs which was 11,Today was a case of Timely hitting and clutch hitting with the majority of runs being scored with two outs.

All though Mark Derosa was the man of the day today going 2-3 with a double and a grand slam along with 5 R.B.I.’s,Soriano continues to stay red hot as he went 2-5 with a 3 run homer giving him 3 R.B.I’s on the day.

The Cubs took the series with today’s 11-4 win over the Astros putting the Cubs at 69-46 and pushing the Astros back to 54-59,The Cubs stay 5 games ahead of the brewers as the brew crew defeated the Reds today 6-3.Tomorrow is a off day and a well- deserved one for this Cub team who has now won 9 out of their last 11 games.

After tomorrows off-day The St.Louis Cardinals come in for a big three game weekend series at Wrigley field.We will have a series preview posted sometime tomorrow.

One quick note: Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot is day-to-day after bruising his left foot on a foul ball which caused him to leave today’s game in the fifth inning.


Astros @ Cubs Game Three Preview.

August 6, 2008

The Cubs should be riding high after yesterday’s thrilling come from behind win,They have won eight out of their last ten games and in all those games almost all cub hitters contributed with the occasional hero from time to time like yesterday with soriano but mainly its been a real team effort for the most part to get where the cubs are today.Where are they today?Well currently they are the hottest team in baseball once again,this has been said many times this year and by the stats,all the all-stars and their record among other stuff its hard to argue to say this team has not played hot for many periods of time this year.

The Cubs enter today’s game 68-46,that is the best record in the national league,not only do they have the best record in the league they are also currently tied with the Tamba Bay Rays for the best record in the bigs,Now that we got Soriano,Reed Johnson and Kerry Wood back from injuries in the last week along with pinch-hit specialist Daryl Ward the Cubs are all healthy so for me to say this team could start to run away with this division wouldn’t be way off base,i know there is still two months of baseball left and as us cub fans know ANYTHING can happen!

Looking ahead to today’s match ups:

Jason Marquis

  • #21 RHP
  • (6-7) 4.68 ERA 64 SO

Cubs: Marquis took the loss in his last outing, against the Pirates. The right-hander gave up three runs on eight hits over six innings and struck out two, but he didn’t get any run support, as the Cubs were shut out at home for the first time this season. Marquis did post his ninth quality start, but he has lost his past four decisions. The Cubs have scored one run or fewer when he’s on the mound in five of his past six starts.

Jason Marquis vs. Batters, for 2008, Min. 0 PA’s, Sorted by PA DESC, Then by Name, vs. players for HOU
PI Click on the player name for a list of plate appearances between these players.
                    **PA**  AB  H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP G_miss YR_miss
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+
 Michael Bourn         3     3   1  0  0  0   0   0   0  .333  .333  .333  .666   0   0   0   0   0
 Carlos Lee            3     3   2  1  0  1   2   0   1  .667  .667 2.000 2.667   0   0   0   0   0
 Hunter Pence          3     3   1  0  0  0   0   0   1  .333  .333  .333  .666   0   0   0   0   0
 Miguel Tejada         3     2   0  0  0  0   0   1   0  .000  .333  .000  .333   0   0   0   0   0
 Brad Ausmus           2     2   0  0  0  0   0   0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   1
 Lance Berkman         2     2   0  0  0  0   0   0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   1
 Mark Loretta          2     2   1  0  0  0   1   0   0  .500  .500  .500 1.000   0   0   0   0   1
 Roy Oswalt            2     2   0  0  0  0   0   0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Ty Wigginton          2     2   2  0  0  0   0   0   0 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000   0   0   0   0   0
 Darin Erstad          1     1   1  1  0  0   1   0   0 1.000 1.000 2.000 3.000   0   0   0   0   0
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+

Has not faced: Geoff Blum, Kazuo Matsui, David Newhan, and Humberto Quintero & Has not faced pitchers: Brandon Backe, Doug Brocail, Tim Byrdak, Geoff Geary, LaTroy Hawkins, Brian Moehler, Wandy Rodriguez, Chris Sampson, Jose Valverde, Randy Wolf, and Wesley Wright

Well most cub fans would agree that Marquis is the weakest link in the starting rotation,He is just one of those pitchers that you don’t know what he is gonna bring on any given day,He also has showed over the years he either pitches a very solid game or a very awful game,Lets hope for the best.

Brandon Backe

  • #41 RHP
  • (6-10) 4.72 ERA 100 SO

Astros: Backe took a no-decision in his last outing but pitched well enough to win, allowing three runs over six-plus innings to the Mets in a game later won on Mark Loretta’s pinch-hit homer. Backe last faced the Cubs on June 20 at Minute Maid Park and yielded four runs over 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight. Backe is 3-6 with a 4.50 ERA over 13 games on the road this year. He has allowed 35 runs over 70 innings.

Brandon Backe vs. Batters, for 2008, Min. 0 PA’s, Sorted by PA DESC, Then by Name, vs. players for CHC
PI Click on the player name for a list of plate appearances between these players.
                    **PA**  AB  H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP G_miss YR_miss
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+
 Ryan Theriot          7     7   2  0  0  0   1   0   1  .286  .286  .286  .572   0   0   0   0   0
 Mark DeRosa           6     6   1  0  0  0   0   0   2  .167  .167  .167  .334   0   0   0   0   0
 Jim Edmonds           6     5   2  0  0  0   1   1   1  .400  .500  .400  .900   0   0   0   0   0
 Kosuke Fukudome       6     5   1  1  0  0   0   1   2  .200  .333  .400  .733   0   0   0   0   0
 Derrek Lee            6     5   2  2  0  0   1   1   2  .400  .500  .800 1.300   0   0   0   0   0
 Aramis Ramirez        6     5   2  0  0  0   0   1   1  .400  .500  .400  .900   0   0   0   0   0
 Alfonso Soriano       4     4   1  0  0  1   1   0   1  .250  .250 1.000 1.250   0   0   0   0   0
 Henry Blanco          3     3   1  0  0  0   0   0   0  .333  .333  .333  .666   0   0   0   0   0
 Ryan Dempster         3     2   0  0  0  0   0   0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000   1   0   0   0   0
 Mike Fontenot         3     3   2  0  0  1   1   0   0  .667  .667 1.667 2.334   0   0   0   0   0
 Reed Johnson          3     3   0  0  0  0   0   0   1  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Geovany Soto          3     3   0  0  0  0   0   0   2  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Carlos Zambrano       3     3   0  0  0  0   0   0   2  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   1
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+

Has not faced: Ronny Cedeno and Daryle Ward & Has not faced pitchers: Neal Cotts, Chad Gaudin, Rich Harden, Bobby Howry, Ted Lilly, Carlos Marmol, Jason Marquis, Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija, and Kerry Wood

Few Notes and things to look for in today’s game:

D.Lee is eight hits and three games away from 1,500 for his career in both categories,so he has a good chance to reach this milestone today.

Aramis Ramirez is one double and one home run shy of becoming the first Cubs player since Hack Wilson to tally 20 homers and 30 doubles in five straight seasons.Another player to watch for today to reach a great accomplishment.

With the 20th anniversary of the first night game at Wrigley on Friday, one might expect that game to be played under the lights, but like Wednesday’s finale, it will be held in daylight hours.


Cubs Drop The Stros With Late Inning Heroics.

August 5, 2008

Alfonso Soriano  showed up to play the hero today as thats been kinda the theme this year for the Cubs,what makes this years Cub team so different then other years? Everybody contributes and their seems to be a different player with the winning hit in a lot of Cub victory’s this year. The Cubs had reason to celebrate after last nights rainy mess of a  game that ended up being called in the 8th inning,The game was delayed twice by violent storms and there seemed to be no end to the storm anytime soon so it was easy to understand why it was called.

The drama today started when Soriano hit a tie breaking, three-run homer in the seventh inning and Chicago rallied after blowing a five-run lead sending the packed stadium into a frenzy prompting a well-deserved curtain-call from the Cubs slugging left-fielder.

Soriano’s 20th homer highlighted a five-run burst and sent the NL Central-leading Cubs to their eighth win in 10 games.

Besides the dramatic homer by Soriano, the Cubs also got a boost by the return of Kerry Wood. The All-Star closer got a loud ovation and then pitched a scoreless eighth after missing three weeks with a blister on his right index finger.

Wood had said a week ago it was the damnedest thing he had ever seen from a blister and obviously was very frustrated at the time as his blister just seemed to keep getting worse,at one point the blister was like a open wound,according to wood they had tried everything,well almost everything,Wood did not try the “mosies alou approach” for those of you cub fans that are familiar with that saying i won’t get into specifics about the “mosies alou approach” cause its really not proper for all readers.

Soriano drove in four runs. The Astros, who came back from a 6-1 deficit to take the lead, had their four-game winning streak stopped.

Few other game notes:D. Lee showed some signs today that he may be breaking out of his mini-slump going 4-5 with a double,1 R.B.I. and scored twice,he looked very patient at the plate and hit the ball hard all day long.

Mark Derosa continues to be “MR super -sub” on defense and continues to remain very consistent at the plate,Today he went 3-5 with a double and 3R.B.I.’S along with 1 run scored.

In all the Cubs banged out 15 hits and shockingly left 19 men on base but still managed  to score 11 runs to send the Astros to the loss and back to 4 games under .500 and are currently 13 games back of the division leading Cubs who are 22 games over .500 and 5 games ahead of the second place Brewers.


Pirates @ Cubs Game Three Preview

August 3, 2008

The Cubs’ starting pitchers continue to one-up each other. Carlos Zambrano is next in line for today’s series finale.

Chicago starters have tossed six quality starts in a row, starting with Ted Lilly in the series opener against Milwaukee on Monday. Zambrano, the staff ace, looks to make it a week’s worth of strong outings in today’s finale against Pittsburgh.

Well it’s worth saying the Cubs offense came back to life, not as much as what they are capable of but none the less we will take it after being shutout the first game of the series, one hitter Ive noticed in the Cubs lineup that is not “breaking out”or to put it simple, not hitting, I’m talking about D.Lee. He has just been awful since the All-Star break, according to baseballreference.com D.Lee has had eight hitless games since the break. He is a main guy in this Cub lineup and like Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano, he can carry a team on his shoulders when he gets hot, but D.Lee still takes his walks and brings that gold glove so even though he is not “on fire” at the plate he is still doing a decent job.

Looking ahead to today’s game:

Carlos Zambrano

  • #38 RHP
  • (12-4) 2.80 ERA 96 SO

Cubs: Zambrano struck out a season-high nine batters in a win over the Brewers in his last start. Big Z threw eight scoreless innings, giving up five hits and two walks. He also hit an RBI single. Zambrano now is batting .349 — and ranks among the NL leaders with a 2.80 ERA. He is 1-0 in two starts against the Pirates this year, facing them in back-to-back starts in late May. He went 4-1 in July, giving up seven runs over 35 1/3 innings.

 

Ian Snell

  • #45 RHP
  • (4-8) 6.04 ERA 90 SO

Pirates: Snell had arguably his best outing of 2008 against the Rockies at PNC Park his last time out. He struck out eight and walked only one on his way to a quality seven-inning performance. Manager John Russell said he hoped the start is a turning point for Snell. The right-hander hadn’t won a game since June 11. Snell is 1-5 with a 5.26 ERA against the Cubs in his career.

 

Carlos Zambrano vs. Batters, for 2008, Min. 0 PA’s, Sorted by PA DESC, Then by Name, vs. players for PIT
PI Click on the player name for a list of plate appearances between these players.
                    **PA**  AB  H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP G_miss YR_miss
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+
 Nate McLouth          6     6   2  0  1  0   3   0   2  .333  .333  .667 1.000   0   0   0   0   0
 Freddy Sanchez        6     6   3  1  0  0   0   0   0  .500  .500  .667 1.167   0   0   0   0   0
 Doug Mientkiewicz     5     3   1  0  0  0   1   2   0  .333  .600  .333  .933   0   0   0   0   0
 Zach Duke             3     2   0  0  0  0   0   1   0  .000  .333  .000  .333   0   0   0   0   0
 Chris Gomez           3     3   1  0  0  0   0   0   1  .333  .333  .333  .666   0   0   0   0   0
 Jose Bautista         1     1   0  0  0  0   0   0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Sean Burnett          1     1   0  0  0  0   0   0   1  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Luis Rivas            1     1   0  0  0  0   0   0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+

Has not faced: Raul Chavez, Ryan Doumit, Andy LaRoche, Jason Michaels, Brandon Moss, Steven Pearce, and Jack Wilson & Has not faced pitchers: Denny Bautista, T.J. Beam, Jason Davis, John Grabow, Craig Hansen, Yoslan Herrera, Jeff Karstens, Paul Maholm, Ian Snell, and Tyler Yates

Ian Snell vs. Batters, for 2008, Min. 0 PA’s, Sorted by PA DESC, Then by Name, vs. players for CHC

PI Click on the player name for a list of plate appearances between these players.
                    **PA**  AB  H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP G_miss YR_miss
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+
 Mark DeRosa           3     3   2  1  0  0   1   0   0  .667  .667 1.000 1.667   0   0   0   0   0
 Kosuke Fukudome       3     3   1  0  1  0   0   0   1  .333  .333 1.000 1.333   0   0   0   0   0
 Reed Johnson          3     3   2  0  0  0   1   0   0  .667  .667  .667 1.334   0   0   0   0   0
 Derrek Lee            3     3   0  0  0  0   0   0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Aramis Ramirez        3     3   1  0  0  0   0   0   1  .333  .333  .333  .666   0   0   0   0   0
 Geovany Soto          3     2   1  1  0  0   0   1   0  .500  .667 1.000 1.667   0   0   0   0   0
 Ryan Theriot          3     3   2  0  1  0   0   0   0  .667  .667 1.333 2.000   0   0   0   0   0
 Daryle Ward           1     1   0  0  0  0   0   0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+

Has not faced: Henry Blanco, Ronny Cedeno, Jim Edmonds, Mike Fontenot, and Alfonso Soriano & Has not faced pitchers: Neal Cotts, Ryan Dempster, Scott Eyre, Chad Gaudin, Rich Harden, Bobby Howry, Ted Lilly, Carlos Marmol, Jason Marquis, Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija, and Carlos Zambrano

Ian snell has not faced the red hot Jim Edmonds this year but in his career against snell he has had 17 at bats against snell,out of his 17 at at bats he only has four hits but two of the four have been homeruns,so he might remain hot and crack a HR against snell today if he is in the lineup,another player who snell has not faced this year is Alfonso Soriano but in Soriano’s career against Snell he has lit him up in limited at bats against him going 6-12 with 3 homeruns and 5 RBI’s so look for him to remain hot and spark the Cubs offense today.

 Another game that on paper with are Ace going would suggest a blowout,but as we saw in game one of this series,its anybody’s game for the taking,Carlos Zambrano will look to improve to 13-4 and continue his Cy Young like year.


Live from Wrigley?

August 2, 2008

BozeCubbies is at the second game of the series v. the Pirates @ Wrigley as we speak. He is has brought all of his communication devices with him to the park in an attempt to live blog the game today. We don’t know how it is going to work, or even if it will work at all…but just in case we started this game thread to pass along all of the happenings – if they happen to happen.

We will try to keep everyone updated as much as possible – but I will be commneting from my PDA too…I have to be at a couples shower (yawn). So, if it is a dead day on the borards, you know why ahead of time – but if its pinging…this is the post it will happen on…