Archive for the ‘Chicago Cubs’ Category

Chicago Cubs Game 5 Thoughts, 4/5/11, Diamondbacks

April 5, 2011

Andrew Cashner made his first start for the Cubs after beating out Carlos Silva for the 5th spot in the rotation in spring training. Cashner pitched well allowing 1 earned run in 5 1/3 innings leaving the game in line for a win with a 4-1 lead in the 6th.

Unfortunately the bullpen lost the lead when Willie Bloomquist hit a 2-run single to tie the game at 4-4 in the top of the 7th.

The Cubs fought back to grab a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the 7th on an RBI double by Marlon Byrd and a bases loaded walk by Tyler Colvin.

Sean Marshall closed out the game for in lieu of the resting Carlos Marmol was not available after pitching the previous 3 games.

The win ups the Cubs record to 3-2 on the season and the Diamondbacks drop to 1-3.

Thoughts from the game


  1. In his first Major League start Andrew Cashner pitched 5 1/3 innings allowing 2 hits 1 walk and 1 earned run.
  2. Tyler Colvin drove in 3 runs with a 3rd inning 2-run homer and a 7th inning bases loaded walk.
  3. Marlon Byrd went 3-4 and drove in the go ahead run in the bottom of the 7th inning.
  4. Sean Marshall earned the save in lieu of Carlos Marmol who had pitched the previous 3 games.


  1. Jeff Samaedzija had another tough outing pitching allowing 2 earned runs on 2 walks in 1 inning upping his ERA to 9.00
  2. The bullpen blew a 4-1 lead in the 7th inning before being bailed out 2 run bottom of the 7th.




Chicago Cubs Game 4 Thoughts, 4/4/11, Diamondbacks

April 4, 2011

The Cubs bounced back from a very disappoinging loss on Sunday by beating the Diamondbacks 4-1 on Monday.

Randy Wells allowed a leadoff 1st inning homer to Willie Bloomquust before settling down and holding the Diamondbacks scoreless through the next 6 innings.

The Cubs scored two 8th innings runs to open up a 4-1 lead and Carlos Marmol closed out the Diamondbacks in the 9th leveling the Cubs record at 2-2 for the season.

Thoughts from the game


  1. Randy Wells shutout the Diamondback for 6 innings after allowing the leadoff first inning home run to Bloomquist.
  2. Alfonzo Soriano reached base three times and homered for the second straight game.
  3. Carlos Marmol bounced back from the tough luck blown save on Sunday by pitching a shutout 9th inning earning the save.
  4. Cubs pitchers stranded 11 Diamondbacks base runners.


  1. Randy wells had to work hard throwing 99 pitches in 6 innings.
  2. Starlin Castro had another tough day in the field making a 8th inning throwing error.
  3. Carlos Pena had to leave the game in the 8th inning after hurting his glove hand thumb trying to catch an errant throw from Starling Castro

Chicago Cubs Game 3, Thoughts, 4/3/11

April 3, 2011

The Cubs fall to 1-2 on the season with a tough 5-4 loss to the Pirates.

Thoughts on the Game


1. Matt Garza had a career high 12 strikesouts while walking none in 7 innings.

2. Despite being outhit by the Pirates the Cubs still entered the 9th inning with a one run lead.

3. Starlin Castro had another 3 hits raising his average to .615.


1. The Cubs blew a 9th inning lead in a game that they probably should have won.

2. Castro made an ill advised throw to first in the 9th inning that ultimately allowed Walker to score what turned out to be the winning run for the Pirates.

3. Marlon Byrd had a bad day at the plate going 1 for 5 with two strikeouts and grounded into the game ending double play with the potential tying run at third base.

4. Matt Garza battled but gave a career high 12 hits in 7 innings.

Overall this will probably end up being one of the Cubs worst losses of the year.

They are simply making too many mistakes to win games. They need to improve their fundamentals or this is going to be a long season.

Chicago Cubs Game 3, 4/3/11

April 3, 2011

Matt Garza makes his first start for the 1-1 Cubs against the Pirates at Wrigley Field.

Andrew McCutchen was a late scratch to the game with a stiff neck.

1st Inning – Top

Jose Tabata leads of game with a ground ball single to center field just under the glove of Matt Garza.

Garza strikes out Jones on three pitches on a nice slider on the inner half of the plate.

On the first pitch to Walker Tabata is thrown out stealing on an excellent throw from Soto to Castro.

On an 0-1 pitch Walker hits a solid ground ball to Barney who throws to Pena to end the top of the first.

1st Inning – Bottom

Ross Ohlendorf is on the mound today for the Pirates making his first start of the season.

On the first pitch of the game Castro shows bunt and jumps back to avoid an inside pitch and has the ball foul off his bat for strike one. Castro battles from a 1-2 count and walks on a 3-2 pitch. Nice at bat for Castro.

On a 1-0 pitch Barney hits a routine ground ball to Walker who flips to Cedeno who throws to Overbay to complete to 4 6 3 double play.

Marlon Byrd strikes out on 3 pitches ending the inning.

2nd Inning – Top

Garza strikes out Overbay swinging in a 6 pitch at bat which saw Overbay foul off 3 pitches.

Alvarez loops a 1-2 pitch into centerfield for a 1 out single.

Diaz inside outs a ground ball between Pena and Barney into right field for a one out single.

Garza is now in a one out jam with runners at first and third.

Garza gets behind Jaramillo 2-0 before bouncing back to strike him out on 5 pitches giving the Cubs a big second out of the inning.

Cedeno singles down the right field line on a 0-1 pitch scoring Alvarez with the first run of the game.

Diaz advances to third on the hit.

Ohlendorfer hits a one hopper back to Garza who fields and flips to Pena to end the inning.

But the Pirates score the first run of the game for a 1-0 lead.

Garza is at 29 pitches after 2 innings

2nd Inning – Bottom

Ramirez hits a ground ball single into center field to lead off the inning.

On the first pitch of the inning Pena tries to bunt for a hit towards third but is thrown out at first by third baseman Alvarez. Ramirez advances to second base. Curious since you don’t normally want to see your fifth place hitter bunting for a hit. I want to see a fifth place hitter driving runs and not merely advancing baserunners with bunts.

On the 0-2 pitch Soto hits a foul pop near the visitors on deck circle that is caught by Jaramillo for the second out of theinning.

On the 0-1 pitch Soriano swings at a slider low and off the plate that gets away from Jarmillo for a wild pitch. Ramriez advances to third base. On the 1-2 pitch Ohlendorfer jams Soriano who hits a weak popup that Overbay catches near the visitor’s dugout.

Terrible at bat for Soriano.

Ohlendorfer is at 23 pitches after 2 innings.

3rd Inning – Top

Tabata singles to deep right field on the 0-1 pitch. Colvin did a nice job cutting the ball off in the gap and holding Tabata to a single.

On the 2-0 pitch Jones loops a single to nearly the same spot Tabata got his hit.

Garza is now in a first and second no out jam.

On the 3-2 pitch Walker slices a one hopper to Ramirez who throws to makes a wild throw that Barney makes a great catch on to force out Jones at second base.

On the 12 pitch Overbay strikes out on a slider in the dirt.

Garza is one out away from pitching out of the jam.

Alvarez line the 0-1 pitch into center field scoring Tabata for the second run of the game for the Pirates.

Garza strikes out Diaz on 4 pitches to end the inning.

Garza has allowed 7 hits through 3 innings.

3rd Inning – Bottom

Colvin hits a sharp one hopper to second baseman Walker who fields and throws to Overbay for the first out of the inning

Garza strikes out on a 1-2 pitch for the second out of the inning.

Castro flies out on a soft fly ball to Jones to end the inning.

Ohlendorfer is at 38 pitches after 3 innings.

4th Inning – Top

Garza works a 1 2 3 top of the 4th inning retiring Jaramillo, Cedeno and Ohlendorfer.

Garza is at 60 pitches after 4 innings

4th Inning – Bottom

Barney flairs a single to right on the 1-1 pitch to lead off the inning. Barney made a wide turn at first before retreating to the bag. I like the hustle.

Byrd hits a line drive single back up the middle that just missed hitting Ohlendorfer in the head.

The Cubs are set up for a potential big inning with first and second nobody out. Ramirez needs to have a productive at bat.

On the 0-2 pitch Ramirez line a single into center field loading the base with nobody out.

Anything less multiple runs in this inning will be a disappointment.

Carlos Pena steps to the plate with a great opportunity to drive in runs.

Pena takes the first two pitches for balls to go up in the count 2-0. Great hitters count. On the 2-0 pitch Pena fouls off a fastball just off the inside of the plate. Pena takes a pitch low in inside to go up 3-1 in the count. Pena swings and misses a low inside pitch that appeared to be off the plate for strike two.

On the 3-2 pitch Ohlendorfer leaves a belt high fastball over the outer half of the plate the Pena drives off the right field wall for a 2-run double tying the game 2-2. The ball just missed landing in the basket for a grand slam. Pena would have likely had a grand slam had a stiff wind not been blowing in from right field.

Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle comes out to speak with the first base Umpire. He appears to be asking for a fan interference call saying a fan threw an object on the field. After a brief discussion Hurdle leaves the field without the call being changed.

On the 0-1 pitch Soto pops out to left fielder Diaz. Ramirez tags up a third base and draws a throw form Diaz but does not try to score.

The Pirates bring the infield in with 1 out. This is a risky move so early in the game.  Soriano pops out on a 1-2 pitch. Another unproductive at bat for Soriano. He looks lost at the plate.

The Pirates pitching coach makes a mound visit to likely discuss whether or not to pitch to Tyler Colvin or walk him to get to Matt Garza.

I would walk Colvin. Ohlendorfer has not looked sharp this inning so I would prefer to pitch to Garza.

Ohlendorfer intentially walks Colvin to get to Garza.

Garza hits a broken bat ground to Overbay who fields and makes the putout unassisted to end the inning.

After 4 innings the score is tied 2-2.

5th Inning – Top

I would like to see Garza have a nice shutdown inning.

Tabata loops a 1-1 pitch into right for a leadoff single.

In a weird play with Jones Tabata attempts to steal on the 0-1 pitch. Jones check swing appearing to be fooled on the pitch and lines a single to the vacated shortstop spot. The Pirates are not set up with a great scoring opportunity with runners on first and third and nobody out.

Garza had now giving up 9 singles in 4+ inngins.

Garza bounces back to strike Walker for the first out of the inning.

On the 2-2 pitch Overbay hits a lazy ground ball between Barney and Pena for an RBI single giving the pirates a 3-2 lead.

On a 0-1 pitch Alvarez blasts a ball to the base of the right field wall that is caught by Colvin. Like the Pena double this is another ball that would have likely been a home run if the wind were not blowing it. The runners tag up and advance to second and third base respectively.

Garza dodged a bullet on that Alvarez swing.

On the 2-1 pitch Diaz hits a two hopper to Castro that he throw to Pena to end the inning.

Garza did a decent job of pitching around the freak hit by Jones. But the 10 singles allowed in 5 innings is reason for concern.

Garza is a 82 pitches and has not look good today so you have to wonder how much he has left in the tank?

5th Inning – Bottom

It will be Ohlendorfer looking for the shutdown inning in the bottom of the 5th inning.

Castro blasts the 2-2 pitch off the center wall for a leadoff triple. Castro just missed hitting a homer.

Barney hits a 1-1 pitch just in front of the left field warning track that is caught by Diaz. Castro tags up and easily scores the run tying the game at 3-3.

On the 1-2 pitch Byrd swings at a slider in the dirt to strike out.

Ramirez draws a walk on a 3-2 pitch.

Ohlendorfer appears to pitch around Pena as he walks him on 4 pitches.

Soto get jammed on a 1-0 pitches and hits a dribbler to Cedeno who flips to Walker at second forcing out Pena to end the inning.

But the Cubs score a run following the leadoff triple by Starlin Castro to tie the game 3-3.

6th Inning – Top

I am hoping Garza get maybe one more scoreless inning today.

Garza strikes out Jaramillo on three pitches on a nice low away fastball.

Good looking pitch by Garza.

Garza strikes out Cedeno on three pitches on a nice slider low in the zone.

Ohlendorf hits a seeing-eye single between Castro and Ramirez for a single on the first pitch.

Now the hot hitting Tabata is up. He is 3-3 today so Garza has a challenge on his hands.  Garza drop a 2-2 slider over the heart of the plate for strike 3. Tabata appeared to be looking fastball.

Garza has a nice inning striking out the side.

Garza his 10 strikeouts on 94 pitches in 6 innings.

I am sure Quade will be watching him closely in the 7th. How much does Garza have left in the tank?

6th Inning – Bottom

Soriano homers on a letter high fastball over the middle of the plate. He blasted it into the fifth row of the left center field bleachers giving the Cubs a 4-3 lead.

Colvin pops a lazy fly ball to Diaz on the first pitch of his at bat.

Garza hits a dribbler on the 0-1 pitch the Walker fields and throws to Overbay for the second out of the inning.

Castro hits a ball past Alvarez down the left field corner for a triple. Alvarez looked like he should have gotten a glove on the ball. Diaz was also slow getting to the ball. The ball looked like it was going to be a double but the hustle of Castro and slow fielding of Diaz turned it into triple.

On the 0-2 pitch Barney hits a routine fly ball to right fielder Jones who makes the catch to end the inning.

Nice inning by the Cubs taking a 4-3 lead on the homer by Soriano.

7th Inning – Top

Garza is back on the mound for the 7th inning. He starts the inning at 94 pitches. I am sure Manager Mike Quade will be watching Garza very closely.

On the 1-1 pitch Jones flies out to Byrd on a routine fly ball to center field.

Walker strikes out on a 2-2 pitch in the dirt. Soto throws to first baseman Pena to complete the strike out.

Garza has just set a career with his 11th strikeout of the day.

Overbay hits Garza’s first pitch towards short. Ramirez ranger to his left makes a nice pickup and throw but Overbay beats it out for a hit.

Garza has just set a new career high by allowing his 12 hit of the day. All 12 hits have been singles.

Garza strikes out Alvarez swinging on three pitches for his career high 12th strikeout of the day.

Garza is now at 106 pitches.

I am guessing that Garza will be done for the day.

7th Inning  – Bottom

Crotta now on the mound for the Pirates making his major league debut.

Byrd hits a comebacker to Crotta who throws to Overbay for the first out of the inning.

Ramirez hits a lazy fly ball on the 1-0 pitch to right fielder Jones for the second out of the inning.

Pena strikes out three pitches on a low fastball down the middle to end the inning.

8th Inning – Top

Kerry Wood relieves Garza to start the 8th inning.

Diaz called on strikes on a 1-2 pitch.

Jaramillo hits a solid ground ball single just past Barney into right field for a single.

Cedeno hits the first pitch between Barney and Pena for a solid ground ball single to right field.

The Cubs are now in a jam with runners on first and second and one out in the 8th.

John Bowker pinch hits for Crotta. Bowker hits chopper on the first pitch that Pena deflects towards Barney. Everybody is safe.

Now Wood has a big time jam on his hands. Bases loaded one out. Potential go ahead runner on second.

On the first pitch Tabata his a routine fly ball to medium depth right field near the line. Colvin makes the catch and makes a great one hop throw to the plate and Soto makes the tag on Jaramillo as he slides into the plate. Great throw by Colvin nailing Jaramillo at the plate. Nice job by Wood pitching around the error by Pena and working out the bases loaded one out jam.

I look for Marmol to be in for the 9th inning.

8th Inning  – Bottom

8th Inning  – Bottom

Jimmy Karstens now on the mound for the Pirates.

Karstens retires Soto, Soriano and Colvin in order on 14 pitches.

9th Inning – Top

Carlos Marmol is on the mound looking to save a Cubs 4-3 lead.

Marmol walks Jones on a 3-2 pitch to leadoff the 9th.

Walker hits the first pitch for a line drive single to right.

Marmol is now in a first and second no one out jam in the 9th.

Overbay bunts the 1-0 pitch which Ramirez throws to Barney at first to retire Overbay. The runners move to second and third with one out. Overbay is credited with a sacrifice bunt.

Clint Hurdle comes out to argue the call at first arguing Barney never touched the bag. Barney appeared be on the bag but Overbay never touched first base. Hurdle argues for a couple of minutes before returning to the dugout.

The Cubs bring the corner infielders in with Alvarez coming to the plate.

On the 1-1 pitch Alvarez hits a slow grounder to Castro that he fields and throws to first base pulling Pena off the bag. Jones scores easily from third and Walker who is running hard all the way from second base slides into the plate just ahead of Pena’s throw to give the Pirates their  5th run giving them a 5-4 lead.

Matt Diaz grounds the first pitch to Castro for a 6 4 3 inning ending double play.

9th Inning – Bottom

Jack Hanrahan is one trying to protect the 5-4 lead for the Pirates

Reed Johnson strikes out on a 1-2 pitch.

On the 1-0 pitch Castro hits a line drive single into left center field.

On the 2-2 pitch Barney hits what appears to be a tailor made double play ball that Cedeno throws into right field for an error. Castro advances to third base.  The Cubs have a great opportunity to tie the game with Marlon Byrd coming up.

Byrd grounds the first pitch to Cedeno for a game ending 6 4 3 double play.

This is a very tough loss for the Cubs

The Pirates win 5-4


Chicago Cubs Game 2 Thoughts, 4/2/11

April 2, 2011

Thoughts on the Game


  1. Zambrano battled through 6 innings holding the Pirates to 3 runs and keeping the Cubs in the game
  2. The Cubs hitters never gave up and finally were able to break through for 5 runs in the 8th inning
  3. Carlos Marmol was electric striking out the side in the 9th.


  1. Zambrano threw a 99 pitches in 6+ innings. He needs to be more economical with his pitches or the high pitch counts will catch up with him and the Cubs bullpen at some point.
  2. The Cubs hitters were shut down for the first 7 innings at home by a mediocre pitcher. The Cubs are going to have to score runs off of lower tier pitchers if they expect to be competitive in 2011.

Chicago Cubs Game 2, 4/2/11, Pirates

April 2, 2011

I had a computer crash this morning and missed the game live so I am only providing a recap.

Zambrano left the game with cramping but says be ready for his next scheduled start.

Carlos Zambrano had a high pitch count of 99 through 6+ innings allowing 5 hits and issuing 3 walks. His pitch count of 16.5 per inning is 3 pitches per inning higher than I would like to see. Zambrano is going to have trouble having consistent success this season if he continues to have such high per inning pitch counts.

Despite the high pitch count Zambrano battled holding the Pirates to 3 runs leaving the Cubs hitters within striking distance.

Pat Moholm and Jose Veras were able to hold the Cubs hitters at bay through the first 7 innings on 5 hits and 2 walks.

Time was running out on the Cubs when the hitters rallied for 5 in the bottom of the 8th inning.

The big hit was a 2-out 3-run double by Blake DeWitt capping a 5-run 8th.

Carlos Marmol picked up where he left off striking out the side in spectacular fashion in the 9th inning earning his first save of the season.

Chicago Cubs Game 1 Thoughts

April 1, 2011

Thoughts from the game


  1. Starlin Castro looked good collecting 3 hits and scoring 2 runs.
  2. Darwin Barney had 2 hits and scored a run.
  3. Kosuke Fukudome reached base three times with 2 hits and a walk.


  1. Dempster had a bad outing allow 6 runs in 6 2/3 innings to Pirates team that is not expected to contend this seson.
  2. Samardzija looked bad and was fortunate to pitch a scoreless inning. It is looking more and more like Samaezdija is settling into the role of a mop up pitcher until he can prove he is worthy or more responsibility.
  3. The Cubs were only able to scratch out 3 runs on 11 hits and 2 walks. They need to score more than 3 runs when they have 13 base runners if they are going to be successful.

Chicago Cubs Game 1, 4/1/11, Pirates

April 1, 2011

Cubs game 1, 4/1/11 hosting the Pirates.

I was not able to watch the game live so this account was done after that fact from a Tivo viewing.

The traditional opening day ceremonies included a moment of silence in honor of Cubs legend Ron Santo.

1st Inning – Top

Dempster started out slowly going to 3-0 on leadoff hitter before inducing a ground ball to short. Castro makes a nice behind the second base bag and does before making the throw to first to just beat Tabata at first.

McCutchen hits a ringing double up the left center field gap the reaches the left field wall.

Dempster strikes out Overbay on four pitches stranding McCutchen at second. Dempster ends up with a respectable 13 pitch first inning.

1st inning – Bottom

Kevin Correia get the opening day start for the Pirates.

On a 0-1 count Fukudome hits a routine fly ball to the edge of the warning track in left center field that McCutchen caught routinely.

On a 1-0 count Castro sharply hits a belt high changeup right at third baseman Pedro Alvarez  that is bobbled allowing Castro to reach first base. Castro is credited with a hit. The ball was sharply hit but right at Alvarez so in my opinion it could possibly have been ruled an error.

On a 1-1 count Byrd tops a ball to third the Alvarez fields and throws over the head of a leaping Overbay at first base. Jones fields the ball in the right field bullpen and makes a good throw to the plate, but the throw is just late as Castro makes a head first slide to the plate scoring the first run of the season for the Cubs.

Correia works through the inning without further damage but threw 18 pitches in the inning.

2nd inning – Top

Dempster retires Alvarez, Doumit and Jones in order on 12 pitches in the second inning.

2nd Inning – Bottom

With one out Barney singles on a line drive to right on a 2-2 pitch.

Dempster strikes out on three s straight missed  bunt attempts for the second out. The inability of Dempster to get the bunt down is frustrating. This is the type of little thing the Cubs have not done the past couple of years costing themselves valuable scoring opportunities.

Barney is caught stealing on a strike two pitch to Fukudome ending the inning.

Correia finishes the second inning with a respectable 32 pitches logged.

3rd inning – Top

Dempster retires Cedeno, Correia and Tabata in order on 13 pitches in the third.

Dempster has good pitch count of 38 through 3 innings.

3rd inning Bottom

Fukudome singles sharply to right on the fifth pitch of the at bat.

On a 2-0 count Castro hits a sharp one hopper to second baseman Walker who was shaded up the middle. Walker babbles the ball before getting a weak toss to second base to force out Fukudome.

On a two count Byrd lines a single to center field.

The Cubs now have an excellent scoring opportunity with runners on first and second and one out with Ramirez at the plate.

The Cubs need to add to their lead in this situation.

Ramirez singles sharply to left on a ball fielded on one hop by left fielder Tabata.

Castro has to play it safe and hold at third.

The Cubs are now set up for a big inning was the base loaded , one out and the feast or famine Pena at the plate.

On a 1-0 Pena hits a grounder that Walker fields to his left and wheels throwing to second erasing Ramirez and scoring Castro. Pena earns an RBI for the ground out.

Pena appeared to chase a changeup on the outer half of the plate. I would have liked to see Pena swing at a better pitch being up 1-0 in the count.

On a 3-1 count Soto hits a broken bat grounder to short that is easily fielded by Cedeno who flips to Walker covering second to end the inning.

Although the Cubs did score a run the inning felt like wasted opportunity to put additional runs on the board.

Corriea threw 20 pitches in the inning upping his total to 52 after three innings.

4th Inning – Top

Dempster retires Walker and McCutchen before giving up a double to Overbay. Alvarez strikes out swinging.

4th Inning – Bottom

Corriea retires Soriano, Barney and Dempster in order  on 8 pitches.

5th Inning – Top

Doumit singles to center field to lead off the inning.

Jones grounds out Ramirez to Pena advancing Doumit to second base.

Dempster walks Cedeno on 6 pitches giving the Pirates a good scoring opportunity with runners on first and second with 1 out.

On the first pitch Correia lays down a sacrifice bunt the is fielded by Dempster and thrown to Pena at first to record the second out of the inning.

Doumit and Cedeno move up to second and third on the successful sacrifice by Correia.

Dempster walks Tabata on 6 pitches to load the bases.

Neil Walker was up next in what would be the key at bat of the game. Walker worked the count to 3-2 on 5 pitches. Walker fouled off the sixth pitch of the at bat setting up the key pitch of the game.

Dempster threw the 7th pitch at the knees over the middle of the plate and Walker blasted it into the top row of the leftfield bleachers before it bounced over the wall onto Waveland Avenue for a Grand Slam.

That swing of Walker’s bat turned a 2-0 Cubs lead into a 4-2 Pirates lead.

It was disappointing to see Dempster fall apart in the inning. The two walks Dempster issued came back to haunt him.

5th Inning – Bottom

Corriea has an easy shutdown inning retiring Fukudome, Castro and Byrd in order on 12 pitches.

6th Inning – Top

Dempster works around walks to Overbay and Jones to keep the Pirates off the board in the 6th. Dempster had to work hard throwing 22 pitches in the inning.

6th Inning – Bottom

Ramirez hits a leadoff single and Correia rebounds retiring Pena, Soto and Soriano to end the inning.

The Pirates still lead 4-2.

7th Inning – Top

Dempster retires Correia and Tabata on a strikeout and ground out to start the top of the 7th

Walker hits a 2-out double to right and McCutchen follows with a 2-out 2-run homer giving the Pirates a 6-3 lead. Dempster is knocked from the game and replaced by James Russell.

Russell strikes out Overbay to end the inning. But the Cubs are now trailing by three runs heading to the bottom of the 7th inning.

7th Inning – Bottom

Barney reached on an infield popup that was deflected by Correia.

Colvin struck out swining.

Fukudome lines a single to right field driving in Barney making the score 6-3.

Castro singles to right field advancing Fukuidome to second base.

Byrd and Ramirez  came to the plate representing the potential tying run. Both flied out to center fielder McCutchen to end the threat for the Cubs.

8th Inning – Top

Jason Grabow works a scoreless top of the 8th for the Cubs.

Alvarez grounded out Barney to Pena to lead off the inning.

Doumit walked on 5 pitches before Grabow rebounded to retire Diaz and Cedeno to end the top of the 8th inning.

8th Inning – Bottom

Evan Meek worked a scoreless bottom of the 8th pitching around a leadoff single by Pena.

After the Pena single he retired Soto, Soriano and Barney to end the inning.

9th Inning Top

Jeff Samardzija work a scoreless 9th inning on 23 pitches.  Samardzija was fortunate to work through the inning without allowing any runs. With one out Overbay hit a line drive to Castro who doubled off Walker off second base to end the inning.

Samardzija was very fortunate to get out of the inning without giving up any runs. He needs to prove he can consistently get hitters out at the major league level. The Cubs are obviously running out of patience waiting for Samardzija to return to his 2008 form.

9th Inning – Bottom

The Cubs were able to get the tying run to the plate before Byrd struck out and Ramirez grounded out to end the game.

Opening Day 2011 for a Cubs and Giants fan

March 31, 2011

Today is opening day for the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.

I am a conflicted Cubs and Giants fan. I have been a Cubs fans since I was a kid growing up in Ohio. I have been a Giants fans since I moved to the Bay Area in 1995.

My plan is to update this blog with my thoughts on every Cubs and Giants game this year. It  should be a fun challenge which would equal 315 games since the Cubs and Giants play each other 9 times in 2011.

I also plan on updating on other baseball related topics that interest me.

Monday February 14, 2011 Day in Review

February 14, 2011

Albert Pujols and Cardinals Set Firm Negotiating Deadline for Wednesday.

Carlos Marmol Agrees to 3-Year Extension with Cubs

Jose Bautista and Blue Jays Closing on Long-Term Deal?

Charlie Manuel Wants New Contract Signed Before Regular Season Starts

Marlins Interested in Michael Young but Deal Unlikely