Game 99 Preview – Cubs at White Sox

The Cubs look to bounce after dropping a thriller last night against their crosstown rivals.

On the mound for the Cubs will be Kyle Hendricks. He looks to continue his dominance on the mound. The Cubs have won his last 6 starts. Hendricks is 9-6 with a 2.27 ERA while striking out 96 and walking 30 (1111 IP, 3.32 FIP, 1.036 WHIP).

The Cubs lineup:

  1. Fowler CF
  2. Bryant DH
  3. Rizzo 1B
  4. Zobrist LF
  5. Russell SS
  6. Heyward RF
  7. Baez 2B
  8. Montero C
  9. La Stella 3B

The White Sox will send right-hander James Shields. Shields is 4-1 with a 4.99 ERA while striking out 81 and walking 48 (115.1 IP, 5.26 FIP, 1.509 WHIP).

The White Sox lineup:

  1. Eaton RF
  2. Anderson SS
  3. Cabrera LF
  4. Abreu 1B
  5. Morneau DH
  6. Frazier 3B
  7. Shuck CF
  8. Navarro C
  9. Saladino 2B

Game Time: 6:10pm CST

Broadcast Information: ESPN, CSCh (Cubs), WGN (White Sox)\

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Addison Russell the All-Star

Today the All-Star rosters have been announced. The Cubs will be sending seven players to the Midsummer Classic including five starters. One of those starters is shortstop Addison Russell.

Most Cubs fans are the only people who agree with him being an All-Star while the rest of the baseball world think it’s a joke. This is clear sign that the MLB needs to change the way All-Star ballots are submitted. The All-Star game is now a social media marketing campaign for ball clubs. We want to see our guys on the field instead of the best.

But Oscar what about his defense?” 

While Russell never fails to amaze with his glove, I wouldn’t consider him the best defensive shortstop. That award would go to Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. Crawford has a DWAR (defensive wins above replacement) of 2.2 compared to Russell’s 1.1.

“How can we fix All-Star voting?”

We have to eliminate people voting for player’s of the same team, that way we can ensure the best players get voted in. A rule should be placed on the ballot that fans cannot vote for more than three players on the same team.

I’m not trying to bash Addison Russell, I think he’s a fantastic player and he will get into another All-Star game but this year was not his year.

What are your thoughts on the All-Star rosters? Leave a comment down below

 

A game to remember Cubs 7 – Reds 2

By far one of the weirdest games I have ever watched. In a 15th inning affair, the Cubs defeated the Cincinnati Reds 7-2.

Ben Zobrist led off the game with a solo to left field giving the Cubs an early lead. The game would remain the same until Lester drove in Matt Szczur with a single to center giving the Cubs a 2-0 lead.

Jon Lester was on top of his game tonight, but Billy Hamilton hit a solo shot to left field making it a 2-1 game. Lester went 7.2 innings allowing one run, three hits, with four strikeouts and one walk.

Hector Rondon blew the save when Suarez hit a two-out single to left field a banged up Brandon Phillips scored on a close play at the plate.

In the bottom of the 13th things started to get weird. Travis Wood came in to replace Chris Coghlan in left field as the Cubs had no position players on the bench and Joel Peralta replaced Trevor Cahill on the mound. A fantastic play by Zobrist caused the game to go the 14th.

In the bottom of the 14th things got weird again. Spencer Patton came into pitch for Joel Peralta. After a Brandon Phillips fly out, Travis Wood came in from left field to pitch moving Patton to left field. Wood got Jay Bruce to ground out then Wood went back to left field and Patton came back to pitch. Duvall then grounded out to end the inning.

After getting no-hit by the Reds pitching staff the last 9 innings of the game, the Cubs offense exploded for 5 runs in the top of the inning thanks to a Kris Bryant RBI single, and a Javier Baez grand slam.

Finally, in the 15th inning Pedro Strop came in to play left field and Travis Wood came in from left field again to close the game and give the Cubs their 50th win of the year.

Up Next: Both teams play tomorrow at 11:35 AM on WGN

Fun Fact: Travis Wood was the first Cubs pitcher to play left field since Sean Marshall did it back in 2009 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Final Thoughts: Today proved how weird baseball can be at times. Three different pitchers played left field today for the Cubs, yes you read that correctly THREE. The Cubs were couldn’t get a hit from the worst bullpen in the MLB for 8 innings then score 5 runs cause that’s just how baseball works.

 

 

Even Joe Maddon is human

The Cubs dropped both games of the doubleheader today against the Sand Diego Padres. In both games, Joe Maddon made some questionable decisions that did not work out.

In game one, Joe Maddon pulled starter Kyle Hendricks after giving up a two-out bunt single to Travis Jankowski in the seventh inning. Before the bunt single, Hendricks retired 10 batters in a row.

Pedro Strop came in to replace Hendricks, he was able to get the ground ball he was looking for but Javier Baez made his second throwing error of the game. After walking Matt Kemp, Brett Wallace hit a three-run home run to give the Padres the lead.

Joe Maddon’s decision to remove a pitcher that was on a roll, along with the Baez error cost the Cubs the game.

His second questionable decision came in the second game. In the eighth inning,  Joe Maddon decided to let a struggling Jorge Soler bat in a two-out bases loaded situation. Soler ended up striking swinging.

Did I mention they were down 1-0? In this situation, it was obvious to ask Addison Russell to pinch hit. Addison Russell has been arguably the best hitter in clutch situations this season. Jorge Soler has been struggling all season hitting .175 so far.  Giving Russell a day off should not be used as an excuse because Tommy La Stella and Ryan Kalish were available on the bench

Usually, Joe Maddon looks like a genius but today he proved that not everyone is perfect. Even the best managers make mistakes.

Series Preview: Nationals 5/5-5/8

The top two teams record-wise in the MLB will clash for a four-game series beginning tonight. This could be a future playoff matchup.

The Cubs have a record of 20-6 and are coming back from a short trip to Pittsburgh in which they swept their division rivals the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Nationals won five out of six on their road trip to Missouri. They swept the Cardinals and took 2 out of 3 games against the Royals. The Nationals are 19-8 and are in first in the National League East.

Game time: 7:05pm CDT

May 5th

Kyle Hendricks will be on the mound for the Cubs. He got his last start skipped after pitching a fantastic game against the Brewers. Kyle is 1-2 with a 3.91 ERA while striking out 19 and walking four. (23 IP, 2.50 FIP, 1.087 WHIP)

Tonight’s Cubs lineup:

  1. Fowler CF
  2. La Stella 3B
  3. Bryant RF
  4. Rizzo 1B
  5. Zobrist 2B
  6. Kalish LF
  7. Russell SS
  8. Federowicz C
  9. Hendricks P

Joe Ross made his major league debut against the Cubs last season. This season he is 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA while striking out 14 and walking seven. (22.2 IP, 2.89 FIP, 0.971 WHIP).

Game time: 7:05pm CDT

May 6th

John Lackey is on the mound for the Cubs. He is 3-1 with a 4.32 ERA  while striking out 29 and walking nine. (33.1 IP, 3.31 FIP, 1.110 WHIP)

The ace of the Nationals Max Scherzer will be on the mound for the second game. He is 3-1 with 3.55 ERA while striking out 39 and walking 12. (38 IP, 3.75 FIP, 1.184 WHIP). His last start against the Cardinals was his best start of the season so far.

Game time: 1:20pm CDT

May 7th

Jason Hammel has never lost against the Nationals in 11 starts. Jason Hammel is 4-0 with a 1.24 ERA with 25 strikeouts and ten walks. (29 IP, 3.03 FIP, 1.069 WHIP)

Gio Gonzalez looks like he’s returning to his All-Star form. He is 2-1 with a 1.15 ERA while striking out 26 and walking nine. (33.1 IP, 2.78 FIP, 0.989 WHIP)

Game time: 3:05pm CDT

May 8th

Jake Arrieta is on the mound for the final game of the series. He is 6-0 with 0.84 ERA while striking out 37 and walking 12. (43 IP, 2.79 FIP, 0.744 WHIP)

Illinois native Tanner Roark will be on the mound for the Nationals. He is 2-2  with a 2.35 ERA while striking out 34 and walking 15. (38.1 IP, 2.89 FIP, 1.174 WHIP)

Game time: 1:20pm CDT

Prediction: Cubs and Nationals split the series 2-2.

Series Preview: Braves 4/29-5/1

The Cubs will host the Atlanta Braves for a three-game series to end their home stand. The Cubs are coming off a two-game sweep of the Brewers due to one game being rained out. The Cubs currently have the best record in the MLB with a record of 16-5.

The Braves finished their season series with the Boston Red Sox losing 3 out of 4. They are 2-8 in their last 10 games and have the worst record in the MLB with a record of 5-17.

April 29

Today on the mound for the Cubs is left-hander Jon Lester. He is 2-1 with a 1.98 ERA while striking out 23 and walking five batters.

Today’s Cubs lineup:

  1. Fowler CF
  2. Heyward RF
  3. Zobrist 2B
  4. Rizzo 1B
  5. Soler LF
  6. Baez 3B
  7. Russell SS
  8. Ross C
  9. Lester P

On the mound for the Braves is rookie right-hander Aaron Blair. This will be his second MLB game. In his debut, he went 5.1 innings allowing 6 hits and 3 runs. He also struck out 1 and walked 2 against the Mets.

Today’s Braves lineup:

  1. Markakis RF
  2. Castro SS
  3. Freeman 1B
  4. Garcia 3B
  5. Francoeur LF
  6. Flowers C
  7. Aybar 2B
  8. Stubbs  CF
  9. Blair P

Game time: 1:20pm CDT

April 30

For the second game of the series, John Lackey will be on the mound. He is 3-1 with 4.97 ERA with 27 strikeouts and 6 walks.

Right-hander Julio Teheran will be on the mound for the Braves. He is 0-3 with a 4.60 ERA with 25 strikeouts and 11 walks. He has been a bit wild throwing a league leading 4 wild pitches so far.

Game time: 1:20pm CDT

May 1

The final game of the series Jason Hammel will be on the mound for the Cubs. He is 3-0 with an outstanding 0.75 ERA with 22 strikeouts and 9 walks.

Matt Wisler will be on the mound for the Braves. He is 0-2 and 1 save with a 4.26 ERA with 19 strikeouts and 7 walks.

Game time: 1:20 CDT.

Predicition: Unless the Cubs have an awful game I think they will sweep the Braves.

Game 20: Cubs 4 – Brewers 3

The Cubs were able to hold off the Brewers to win 4-3. The Cubs are now 15-5 their best start since 1907.

Joe Maddon once again proves why he is a genius. With runners on second and third with one out, Maddon sent Tommy La Stella to pinch hit for Kyle Hendricks who was pitching a great game. The move worked out as La Stella walked to load the bases and Fowler hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Soler to tie the game.

In the bottom of the sixth Addison Russell gave the Cubs the lead with a two-out triple driving in Bryant and Zobrist.

Also in case you missed it, Javier Baez continues to amaze Cubs fans with his athletism with this slide.

Up Next: Game 2 of the series tomorrow. Jake Arrieta vs Taylor Jungmann