Results tagged ‘ Albert Pujols ’

9/14 Lineup vs Cardinals

No Albert Pujols in the Cardinals’ lineup Tuesday night vs. the Cubs. Darwin Barney is starting at shortstop in place of Starlin Castro, who is nursing a bruised left hip. Here’s the order:

RF Fukudome
2B DeWitt
CF Byrd
3B Ramirez
1B Nady
C Soto
LF Colvin
SS Barney
P Wells

— Carrie Muskat

7/24 Throwing heat

Andrew Cashner wasn’t feeling well Saturday. He woke up with a sore throat and was coughing up phlegm all day. All he asked bullpen coach Lester Strode was that if the Cubs needed the rookie right-hander, they had to get him up one time to warm up and that’s it. It worked.

Cashner threw two innings in relief in Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Cardinals and did give up a run but he also showed he’s not afraid.

The Cardinals had two on, nobody out and Albert Pujols up. Cashner fired three straight 100 mph fastballs after the count reached 3-2. The Cardinals slugger fouled the first two off and ended up with a sacrifice fly.

Cashner’s plan?

“Not giving in,” he said. “He’s one of the best hitters in the game. If I’m going to get beat, I’m going to get beat with my fastball with him.”

“He’s mature beyond his years,” Ryan Theriot said of Cashner. “He’s aggressive. He’s not afraid to shake off a pitch. What I’ve noticed is a lot of young pitchers, they just throw whatever sign is put down. [Cashner] has a plan and he’s executing that plan.”

Cashner doesn’t look at the stadium radar gun readings.

“The other guys talk about it but that’s not something I pay attention to,” he said.

Rookie outfielder Tyler Colvin saw the 100 readings. Would he like to stand in against that?

“I like a challenge,” Colvin said.

— Carrie Muskat

7/21 Ramirez HR/RBI numbers

Aramis Ramirez hit three homers and drove in seven runs on Tuesday, his fourth three-homer game to tie Albert Pujols for the most among active players and tie Ernie Banks for the second-most in Cubs history. Sammy Sosa has the most three-homer games with six, which ties him with Johnny Mize for the Major League record.

Ramirez also has nine homers and 24 RBIs in his last 12 games. According to Elias Sports Bureau, only two other Cubs batters have had at least nine homers and 24 RBIs over a dozen games: Hack Wilson (1928) and Sosa (in both 1998 and 2002).

— Carrie Muskat

5/28 Wells rough start

Randy Wells was pulled Friday after failing to retire a single batter. He gave up six straight hits to the Cardinals, including a two-run single by Albert Pujols. St. Louis scored five runs in the first. On May 6, the Pirates also scored five runs in the first against Wells. He lasted two innings in that game.

“You don’t want a guy like Pujols to beat you,” Lou Piniella said before the game. “He’s the one guy in that lineup if you can stay away from that situation, you’re better off, over the short term or long term for sure.”

It’s his shortest start ever. Wells had trouble from the beginning, giving up a single to Felipe Lopez, a double to Ryan Ludwick, a two-run single to Pujols, a single to Matt Holliday, a RBI single to Colby Rasmus, and a two-run double to Yadier Molina. James Russell came in and retired the next three. Wells threw 16 pitches, 11 for strikes.

— Carrie Muskat

11/24 D-Lee finishes 9th in NL MVP

Derrek Lee had an MVP season with the Cubs, but it wasn’t enough to bump St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols from top honors in the National League.

Lee finished ninth in the balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America with 66 total points, while Pujols was a unanimous selection for his third MVP award. Florida’s Hanley Ramirez was second, followed by Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard and Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder.

Lee, who did receive one second-place vote among the 16 cast with his name on them, did set a career high with 111 RBIs in 141 games this season and led the team with a .306 batting average. The first baseman hit 35 home runs, his highest total since belting 46 in 2005. In 2005, Lee finished third in the MVP balloting.

— Carrie Muskat

9/27 Lou salutes new Central champs

The Cardinals celebrated as the National League Central champs with a win Saturday over the Rockies.

“They clinched — congratulations to them,” Lou Piniella said. “They had a good year.”

The Cardinals’ surged in August, getting contributions from the new guys added during the season.

“You add a [Mark] DeRosa, you add a [Matt] Holliday, you add a [Julio] Lugo, you add a [John] Smoltz — those are nice pieces to add to an already respectable baseball team,” Piniella said. “All of a sudden, you have to pitch to [Albert] Pujols a little more, you have another power bat at the corner in DeRosa. Lugo can get on base and add experience in big games, and then Smoltz, he’s been a big game pitcher. You saw what they did.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/12 Hendry: "We haven't played like I thought we would"

The Cubs head into Wednesday’s game having lost five of their last six games, and three games behind the Cardinals in the National League Central. Lou Piniella has come under some criticism.

“We’re just going through a tough time,” Cubs GM Jim Hendry said. “A few weeks ago coming out of the break, everybody was applauding him for getting it turned around in the second half. We lost a lot of games when we haven’t knocked in runs with guys in scoring position. We had a couple where we just got kicked, and rightfully so.

“I think you see the same Lou,” Hendry said. “When you get beat and expectations aren’t being met, whether it’s the media or radio or anywhere else, you’re going to get your share of criticism. We all go through it when we’re not doing well.”

Hendry said the Cardinals somehow find a way. 

“As long as they’ve got Tony [La Russa] managing and the guy [Albert Pujols] at first playing, they’re going to have something to say about the race,” Hendry said. “They’ve done some nice additions, too. Obviously their pitching has once again exceeded expectations, a credit to Dave Duncan.

“I thought it would be a three or four-team race. We just haven’t played like I thought we would,” he said. “The injuries are a part of it, but certainly not what I would consider a giant excuse not to be doing somewhat better. Hopefully, we’ll finish the last seven weeks strong and get in.”

* Hendry said the Cubs have made claims on players placed on the waiver wire. Other teams have claimed those players ahead of the Cubs, and some weren’t traded.

“Hopefully, we’ll survive the injuries,” Hendry said.

Ted Lilly (shoulder) was making a rehab start Wednesday night for Class A Peoria and Carlos Zambrano (back) was not expected to miss more than 15 days. Reed Johnson (fractured foot) has not healed as quickly as they anticipated.

— Carrie Muskat