Writing About the Chicago Cubs and Looking at the Team’s Past
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The Cubs lost again today. It’s the team’s sixth straight loss and the Cubs now sit only a game and a half back of the Pirates for the worst record in the National League. They’re six games ahead of the Royals for the worst team in all of baseball. None of this is good.
Monday’s game was a blow out. At one point, the score was 9-1 before the Cubs put some runs on the board to make it look less like a blow out. Derek Lee returned to the lineup and he had a hit and two RBIs. Juan Pierre hit homerun number two this season. He racked up three hits, two RBIs and two runs. Angel Guzman gave up eight runs through only three innings and he dropped to 0-4.
Yesterday’s game was the first of two eleven inning games. The Cubs jumped out to 4-0 lead only to see that disappear. The game went into extra frames and while Derek Lee put the Cubs on the board in the eleventh, the Pirates scored two runs in the bottom half on Ryan Dempster to make it a 7-6 final. Dempster dropped to 1-6 and it’s his seventh blown save this year. Carlos Zambrano was only okay in seven innings of work.
Today was just like yesterday only with more runs. The Cubs were down 7-3 and scored runs in each of the final three innings to tie it up and send it into extra frames again. This time the Cubs scored two in the top of the eleventh only to have the Pirates score three to win it in the bottom of the eleventh. Ryan Dempster did it again and he’s now 1-7. Each team racked up 20 hits. Ryan Theriot had five hits in six at bats and neither team hit a homerun.
Next up is a three game set against the Giants. I love baseball, but I’ve never wanted a season to end as much as this one. How about Joe Girardi for our manager next season? He might be available.
Things always revert to the mean. The Cubs are a pretty bad team this year and the Cardinals are pretty good. Somehow though, the Cubs have taken it to the Cardinals at least up until the past two weekends. This time, things fully reverted back, and the Cardinals took care of business by sweeping the hapless Cubs.
On Friday, all the Cubs could manage was five hits. Freddie Bynum had two of them as did Angel Pagan. Nobody scored and while Juan Mateo threw a really nice game, he dropped to 1-2.
The Cubs still couldn’t get their bats going on Saturday. This time, the Cubs scored but only managed three hits. Phil Nevin hit a solo homerun against Chris Carpenter and the two teams were actually tied heading into the bottom of the ninth. Roberto Novoa gave up thw winning run with two outs though and he took the loss.
The Cubs finally got some runs yesterday, but this time, the pitching wasn’t there. Walrond was shelled and didn’t last it through the third. The Cubs actually tied the game up, but then Bob Howry have up a grand slam in the ninth to end it. On ESPN’s game of the week no less. Jacque Jones drove in two runs in the 10-6 loss, and Juan Pierre and Bynum each scored twice.
Next up is three against a team that’s actually worse then we are. I wonder how attendance will be at Pittsburgh this week.
You’d think after all of these years of losing and let downs that I’d be used to losing. Anyway, the Phillies came into our house and took three of four. Not good and it’s our second straight series loss after a decent stretch after the break.
A late inning comeback on Monday fell short. The Cubs went down 5-0, scored three in the seventh only for the Phillies to score a very important insurance run in the eighth. Then in the ninth, the Cubs tagged Arthur Rhodes for two runs, but fell a run short of sending the game into extra innings. Rich Hill was only okay and Jacque Jones hit his 21st homerun of the season.
Ryan O’Malley took the loss on Tuesday. He and Glendon Rusch each gave up three runs and Juan Pierre of all people came up with the Cubs only big hit. He drove in two runs with a single in the fifth inning.
Yesterday, the Cubs ran into Bret Myers. Matt Murton tied the game at 1-1 with a solo homerun in the eighth, but the Phillies tagged Bob Howry for a run in the ninth. A solid start by Angel Guzman went to waste. He gave up a single run on four hits and three walks with eight strikeouts in six innings.
Finally, the Cubs put the wood on the ball. Aramis Ramirez homered and tripled and had three RBIs in the 11-2 win. Angel Pagan, Michael Barrett and Phil Nevin all hit homeruns as well. Carlos Zambrano improved to 14-5 and he gave up two runs on six hits and one walk with seven strikeouts over seven innings.
Next up is three more against the Cardinals. It’d be nice to return the favor from this past weekend and cost them a game or two in the standings.
I guess you can’t win them all, especially against the Cardinals. A team we’ve owned all year, the Cardinals finally took a series against us.
Carlos Marmol was gone after three innings on Friday and the pen didn’t fare much better. Michael Barrett and Aramis Ramirez both homered in the blowout loss.
The Cubs avoided a sweep by holding off a couple of Cardinals comebacks and then winning it in extra frames. Phil Nevin’s bases loaded single scored Jaque Jones to win it. Jones finished with two hits and two runs and Mike Wuertz picked up the win. A solid start by Carlos Zambrano went to waste as Bob Howry and Ryan Dempster both blew saves.
Yesterday, the Cubs ran into Chris Carpenter and could never quite get on track. Juan Mateo gave up four first inning runs and while he calmed down, that was all Carpenter would need. Ramirez hit homerun number 30, his third straight year he’s hit that milestone.
Next up is four against the Phillies. If I didn’t love baseball so much, I’d say get this season over with. It’d be nice to see at least something to build on for next year other then the fact that someone finally took Neifi Perez off of our hands.
In 2006, it’s the little things that count to Cubs fans. We all know the Cubs won’t make the playoffs, but it’s nice to see they’re ruining another team’s chances. The Astros are now looking at five teams ahead of them in the Wild Card and they’re now four and a half games down. We won’t be able to drag them down to our level, but misery loves company.
Monday was the first of two shutouts by the Cubs in this series. Carlos Zambrano threw a gem and held the Astros to four hits through eight innings. He did walk seven, which was disconcerting, but he and Ryan Dempster combined for the shutout. Phil Nevin did it all. He drove in three runs on three hits including a homerun.
Yesterday’s game was an all nighter. The Astros and Cubs played out eighteen innings. Ernie Banks always said “let’s play two” and that’s effectively what they did. The Cubs tied it in the ninth on Matt Murton’s solo homerun and then nobody scored until nine innings later when it was Murton who came through again. He singled home Aramis Ramirez and Jaque Jones to make it an 8-6 final. Angel Guzman and Ryan Dempster both threw three shutout innings and Rich Hill picked up the win after pitching the final two frames.
With both teams being tired and with their pens depleted, it almost seemed like the Cubs and Astros agreed to play a “first team that scores wins” game. Michael Barrett came through for the Cubs and hit his fourteenth homerun in the sixth inning for the only run of the game. Ryan O’Malley made his major league debut and he pitched eight shutout innings to pick up a win. Bob Howry finished things off in the ninth to pick up his fourth save of the season.
Next up is three games against the NL Central leading Cardinals. Incidently, the Cubs have owned the Cardinals so it’d be nice to sweep our arch rivals…..again.
Looks like runs are back in vogue in Colorado. The winner in each of the three games in this series scored at least eight runs. Not too shabby.
The wheels fell off the wagon for Rich Hill in the fifth inning. He was crusing along before he got shelled for four runs. He dropped to 2-5 and Jacque Jones hit homerun number 19. John Mabry drove in the other run for the Cubs in the 10-2 loss.
The Rockies doubled up the Cubs yesterday. Angel Guzman was gone before the end of his third inning and he dropped to 0-3. Matt Murton hit homerun number seven. He finished with three hits and two RBIs in the 8-4 loss.
The Cubs did come from behind today to beat the Rockies to end their skid. Down 7-4, the Cubs ate away at the lead with a run in the seventh and then they took the lead with three in the eighth. Ryan Theriot had the big hit. His pinch hit three run double gave the Cubs that lead in the eighth inning. Aramis Ramirez hit his 28th homerun of the season and he drove in two runs.
Next up is three with the Astros. Once again, the Cubs can play spoiler. Tuesday we’ll get to see Roger Clemens. Tomorrow’s matchup is probably the best. Carlos Zambrano will go up against Roy Oswalt.
You knew the winning ways had to end. The Cubs lost their first series in a while as they lost two of three to the Brewers. The only thing stopping the Cubs from flirting with last place has been a four game losing streak by the Pirates.
Tuesday’s game went well though. Carlos Marmol was mediocre but only let three runners cross the plate. Then again, he was spotted five runs in the first inning by the Cubs hitters. Jaque Jones and John Mabry (he’s still playing) each hit two run shots in that big first inning.
The Brewers turned the tables and beat us by the exact same score as the game before. Carlos Zambrano got knocked around and he didn’t even last five innings. He’s now 12-5 on the season. All three Cubs runs were scored on a three run shot by Aramis Ramirez.
The Brewers won the rubber game this afternoon. The Brewers jumped out to an early 8-1 lead and while the Cubs fought back, they came up just short. Mark Prior was shelled again and he was pulled after three innings. Ramirez did it again with a three run shot. The homerun was his 27th of the season.
Next up is three in Colorado. The Rockies are in the thick of the Wild Card race, so maybe we can make an indirect impact in the playoff picture that way.
Don’t look now, but the Cubs are actually playing some pretty good baseball. Since sweeping the Cardinals, the Cubs have now won four of their last seven. The team isn’t playing for much, but it’s nice that Dusty Baker has the team at least doing something down the stretch.
Friday’s game was the lone blemish, but man was it a beat down. Rookie starter Tom Gorzelanny and the pen held the Cubs to three hits. On top of that, Carlos Zambrano was knocked around and he gave up five runs on nine hits and three walks with six strikeouts over six innings.
The Cubs bounced back on Saturday behind Mark Prior’s first win of the season. The Cubs spotted him four first inning runs and Prior gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks with five strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. Matt Murton and Angel Pagan both went yard while Juan Pierre scored twice in the 7-5 win.
The Cubs made it two in a row yesterday behind Rich Hill’s second straight quality start. Hill went seven innings and gave up one run while striking out nine. Ronny Cedeno hit his fourth homerun of the season in the 6-1 win and Aramis Ramirez had three hits and two runs.
Next up is three games against the Brewers, who stand in fourth place just ahead of the Cubs. Not that fourth place is something to shoot for, but it’d be nice to drag somone else down to our level.
This was a weird series. It was basically four blowouts, two to a side. Oddly, the Cubs are the second hottest team in the National League over their last ten games. Only the Phillies at 8-2 are better then the Cubs 7-3.
Mark Prior was beat up again. He did give the Cubs five innings, but he dropped to 0-5. All five runs were scored by the third and all five runs were scored on three homeruns. Aramis Ramirez hit homerun number 24 and he drove in two runs. Juan Pierre stole his 38th base of the season.
On Tuesday, the Cubs buried the Diamondbacks early. They scored two in the first, two in the second and three in the third. Ramirez, Michael Barrett, Matt Murton and Jaque Jones all homered for the Cubs. Rich Hill improved to 1-4 with eight very solid innings. He struck out six and walked only one batter. Very good progress for the rookie.
The rain came Wednesday, and that forced a Thursday doubleheader. Game one went to the Diamondbacks, 10-2. Marmol was knocked around for five first inning runs and the D-Backs never looked back. Juan Pierre and Michael Barrett both had three hits in the game. The Cubs blew a lot of chances and stranded thirteen base runners.
Game two went to the Cubs. Mateo threw five solid innings in his major league debut and he’s now 1-0. Matt Murton accounted for most of the Cubs offense in the 7-3 win. He had four hits and he drove in five runs. Pagan scored three times and Phil Nevin crossed the plate twice.
Next up is a three game set against the last place Pirates, so this is a series nobody outside of Cubs or Pirates fans will care about.
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