Wrigleyville North

Standard

Miller_Park_panorama,_Milwaukee,_August_2013

The Chicago Cubs take on the Milwaukee Brewers this weekend at Miller Park. There should be plenty of Cubbie blue in the stands, as fans of the defending World Series champions always make the trip up north. The Brew Crew limp into this series losing three out of four games against the Colorado Rockies to start the season.The Brewers have  a .248 batting average with five home runs and 17 runs scored through the first four games. Compare that to the Cubs they have a .223 batting average with two home runs and 11 runs batted in through three games.

brett_anderson_cubs

New comer Brett Anderson who the Cubs signed in the off season will get the ball in game one of the series. He didn’t have a particular good spring training with one win and one loss through four starts. His earn run average ended at 5.31 but he remained healthy which was a positive sign. Edging out Mike Montgomery for the final spot in the starting rotation Anderson looks to prove his worth. The Cubs were very cautious only signing him to a one year deal because of his past heath issues. He has made one career start verse the Brewers going seven innings giving up three runs in that outing.

brew5

The Brewers counter with Jimmy Nelson in game one, his career numbers verse the Cubs are bleak. In 10 starts he has one win and six losses also he served up nine home runs in those starts. Game two starter for the brew crew is Tommie Milone , this will be his first career start against the Cubs. For the Cubs in game two Kyle Hendricks takes the mound, he’s made 10 career starts with a five and three win loss record. Hendricks had a 2.11 era last season which was the best in the majors. Game three will feature both teams aces Jake Arrieta for the Cubs and Zach Davies for the Brewers. Arrieta has made 12 career starts verse Milwaukee winning six of those starts and losing four. In his first start of the season against St. Louis he went six innings giving up one unearned run. Davies against the Cubs has made five career starts winning three games and losing two. In his first start verse the Colorado Rockies he couldn’t get out of the fourth inning giving up six earned runs in the process.

Jason_Heyward_1280_cb1u5hys_kvqjpq37

Jayson Heyward is leading the cubs with four hits, both Wilson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber lead the Cubs with one home run and three rbi’s. 2016 National League MVP Kris Bryant is scuffling at the plate to start the season with six strike outs and zero hits. The Cubs bullpen has thrown 9.2 thus far and has been locked in, the only blemishes are Pedro strop and Mike Montgomery both gave up runs in the opener. The Brewers pen has been taxed throwing 15.2 innings, Craig Counsell their coach will hope for the starters to go deeper into the games.

Friday and Saturday’s games will be on Comcast Sports Net plus and 670 The Score first pitch at 7:10. The series finale will be on WGN and 670 The Score first pitch at 1:10.

Opening Night 2017

Standard

 

World Series - Chicago Cubs v Cleveland Indians - Game Seven

Just a few months ago Kris Bryant fielded a ground ball threw a strike to Anthony Rizzo, and ended what was a 108 year championship drought for the Chicago Cubs. The curse was broken with the longest run without a title in professional sports, Cub fans world wide could finally say The Cubs are World Series champions. With a league leading 103 win regular season, a National League MVP, a ERA leader, and two Gold Gloves 2016 was a magical season.

Tonight all stats are erased and The Cubs open the 2017 season on the road to take on the division rival St. Louis Cardinals. A familiar face signed a free agent deal in the off season with the Cardinals, table setter and lead off man the past two seasons in Chicago Dexter Fowler. It was a bitter sweet ending for Fowler in Chicago when he declined his mutual option and tested the free agent market. With the lead off spot open Cubs skipper Joe Maddon has gotten creative and has selected Kyle Schwarber to get the first knock at leading off.

BuschStadium_2006-05-30

St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has chosen to give the ball to 25 year old righty  Carlos Martinez. He is making his first opening day start of his career and in April boasts a 7-1 win loss record in eight starts. Along with the wins he holds a 2.10 era in the first month of the season. In nine career starts verse the Cubs he has 3-3 win loss record and a 4.67 era. In 36 starts at Busch Stadium he is two games above the .500 mark with 15 wins and 13 losses.

Cubs lefty Jon Lester throws a bullpen session at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs counter with veteran lefty Jon Lester making his sixth opening day start. In 47 career starts in April he has a 15-14 win loss record and a 3.76 era. He has a .500 record against the St. Louis Cardinals at 3-3 and a sparkling 1.97 era in nine starts. In 161 starts on the road he is 34 wins above the .500 mark with 75 wins and 41 losses. At Busch Stadium Lester has made three starts with a 3-2 win loss record and an 0.82 era.

The Cubs and Cardinals rivalry is known as one of the best in sports. They have played each other 2,363 times with the Cubs winning 1,207 of those games and the Cardinals winning 1,156 games. The Cardinals have a big edge on championships with 11 World Series Titles and the Cubs sit with 3 after the 2016 season. Tonight should be a great addition to the rivalry with both teams in a hunt for a division title. One thing I can guarantee is Cub fans will be excited to hear Pat Hughes say Chicago Cubs Baseball is on the air. You can catch all the action tonight on Espn and 670 The Score at 7:30.

Cubs Come Up Short 4/2/2017

Standard

cards42

Nearly 48,000 fans packed into Busch Stadium opening night to watch The Chicago Cubs and ST. Louis Cardinals renew there rivalry. It was a typical game between the two teams which didn’t disappoint fans watching from the stands, couch, or their local watering hole. Both teams combined for 19 hits and 7 runs with zero errors and some late inning magic, which eventually sent the home crowd out of the park pleased with the outcome.

cards44

Carlos Martinez making his first opening day start dazzled with 7.1 innings of shut out baseball. He struck out 10, gave up six hits, walked none before being pulled from the game in the eighth inning.  Jon Lester made the opening day start for the Cubs his sixth opening day nod of his career. He allowed one run on seven hits, walking two, and striking out seven.

On the offensive side of the ball both clubs squandered scoring chances. The Cubs went one for five with runners in scoring position and for a total left six men on base. Most notable Kris Bryant going 0-4 with three strike out’s and five runners left on base. The bright spot on the night offensively for the Cubs was catcher Wilson Contreras.

cards43

Contreras pictured above is celebrating his three run home run in ninth inning off St. Louis closer Seung Hwan Oh. The Cubs catcher had two hits in four at bats with three rbi’s. Newly named lead-off man Kyle Schwarber had two hits in three at bats with a double. The pen for the Cubs saw Carl Edwards Jr work out of a jam and throw a scoreless frame along with Koji Uehara getting the same results. Pedro Strop had a rough outing walking two batters and giving up a two run home run to Randal Grichuk in the eighth inning.

The Cardinals went one for 12 with runners in scoring position and left 14 runners on base. Newly acquired free agent and former Chicago Cub Dexter Fowler went one for four with a walk on the night. He had the lone run for the Cardinals which he score as a result of what will be deemed as sign gate. Javier Baez miss played a ball ball hit right to him, he immediately pointed to the Cubs dugout saying he couldn’t see the ball. Next inning Joe Maddon went to home plate umpire Paul Emmel to have the white Mlb sign in Busch Stadium changed. The sign made it hard for players to pick up the ball and make a play.

After the top of the ninth inning seeing the Cubs tie the game the Cardinals offense went to work on Mike Montgomery, They managed to load the bases on two walks and a hit. Game Hero Randal Grichuk came up with the bases juiced and deposited a Montgomery pitch, past Kyle Schwarber and Jose Martinez easily trotted home scoring the winning run.

cards46

  • Winning Pitcher   Seung Hwan Oh  (1-0)
  • Blown Save            Seung Hwan Oh
  • Losing Pitcher       Mike Montgomery (0-1)

Cubs Win Series In St. Louis

Standard

cubstl3

Can you believe three games are already in the books for the 2017 season. The first series of the year didn’t disappoint. Javier Baez didn’t see a ball because he lost it in the white of the Mlb sign behind home plate. For the first time in Major League Baseball history a free pass to first base was issued with out a four pitch sequence. Late inning heroics from both teams, the first rain out of the season, Poor  Stephen Piscotty was hit three times rounding the bases one time. Yadier Molina had a ball stuck to his chest protector, and most important the Cubs won the series two games to one on the road.

cubstl5

At the plate as a team the Cubs went four for twenty with runners in scoring position, and also left 24 runs on the base pads and managed 11 runs in the three games. They compiled  23 hits two of them left the yard. Something they should work on is their patience with 23 strike outs and only seven walks, the Cubs will need more men on base for the big hitter’s to score more runs. Defensively it’s been a little shaky with four errors in three games, Joe Maddon will surly have the team taking grounders to correct this problem.

cubstl6

The starter’s Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, and John Lackey have combined for four earned runs in the first three games of the season. Getting to the sixth inning hasn’t been a problem so far for the starters, but the free passes have to come down all three have walked two batters in their starts. The strike out numbers have been about equal between the three, with 20 total The Cubs are getting about seven per starter. Last year proved how important starting pitching is, and all three starters did a good job mixing and matching in their first starts.

cubstl9

The pen has given up three earned runs in the three games however all those runs came in the first game of the season. Since the first game the pen has thrown six shut out innings. New closer Wade Davis has given up one walk and one hit with zero earned runs in two innings and has notched two saves in a row. He is still in search of that clean one two three inning but the results are positive for the time being.  Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio should be pleased with his pitching staff’s production thus far.

Today’s game was just what the Cubs needed after falling behind early three to nothing in the first. Schwarber’s home run came at the perfect time and he knew it was gone after the ball left his bat, the only question was will it stay fair which it did. Grabbing the last two games of the series is a big momentum builder headed to Miller Stadium to play the Milwaukee Brewers. They play this weekend series then it’s onto Wrigley Field for opening night. For the first time the Cubs will play at Wrigley as defending World Series champions.

Cubs Cardinals Rundown

April 2, 2017  St Louis 4 – Cubs 3 (WP) Seung Hwan Oh (1-0)   (LP) Mike Montgomery (0-1)

April 4, 2017  Cubs 2- St Louis 1  (WP) Arrieta (1-0)  (LP) Wainwright (0-1) Save Wade Davis (1)

April 6, 2017 Cubs 6- St Louis 4 (WP) Lackey (1-0) (LP) Brett Cecil (0-1)  Save Wade Davis (2)