Results tagged ‘ Cardinals ’

8/12 No La Russa vs Cubs

Lou Piniella will be back on Friday when the Cubs open a three-game series against the Cardinals in St. Louis but Tony La Russa will not be in the dugout for the first two games. Major League Baseball disciplinarian Bob Watson suspended La Russa and Reds manager Dusty Baker two games for their part in the brawl Tuesday in Cincinnati. The only other player suspended was Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto, who was given a seven-game suspension. St. Louis’ Chris Carpenter and Yadier Molina were fined as was the Reds’ Brandon Phillips and Russ Springer.

— Carrie Muskat

8/3 Cubs trivia

Some notes on the Cubs’ season, supplied by baseball historian Ed Hartig:

* The Cubs have lost eight games by double digits this year. The last time they reached that number was in 1953 when they lost a club-worst nine games by at least 10 runs. They also lost nine games by at least 10 runs in 1895.

* The Cubs have lost five games by at least a dozen runs this season. The only other time in franchise history that has happened was in 1895 when they lost once by 12 runs, three times by 13 and once by 17. The Cubs have never lost six games by at least 12 runs in a season.

* Entering this season, the Cubs had not lost by at least 15 runs since May 20, 1996 (an
18-1 loss in Atlanta). They have now done it twice in the last four games. Before this year, the last time the Cubs lost by at least 15 runs twice in the same season was 1977.

On April 27, 1977, the Cubs lost 21-3 at home against the Cardinals. On July 4 that year, they lost 19-3 at home against the Expos in the first game of a doubleheader. The July 4 game is also memorable for two other things: One, Andre Dawson hit his first Wrigley Field home run that game (obviously, with Montreal). Two, Cubs outfielder/first baseman Larry Biittner pitched the final 1 1/3 innings, giving up three home runs (including Dawson’s) and striking out three. Biittner also nearly hit batter Del Unser with a pitch that drew a warning from umpire Terry Tata and an automatic $50 fine from the league. Newspaper accounts say that the the pitch was going so slowly that it was “almost going backwards”.

— Carrie Muskat

7/6 Change in Wrigley start times

The Cubs have changed some start times and announced the TV schedule for five games at Wrigley Field in the second half. ESPN is moving the Sunday, July 18 game against the Phillies to 7:05 p.m. CT. The game will still air on ESPN, though it was originally scheduled to start at 5:05 p.m. CT.   

Additionally, ESPN has selected the Sunday, July 25 game vs. the Cardinals for a national broadcast. The game will begin at 7:05 p.m. CT.

With ESPN now having reached its Sunday Night maximum for 2010 at Wrigley Field, two additional games currently listed with start times of TBD are confirmed for afternoon starts.  The Aug. 22 game vs. the Braves and the Sept. 26 contest vs. the Cardinals will both begin at 1:20 p.m. CT and air on WGN.

Additionally, the Sept. 4 game vs. the Mets will now air on WGN and begin at 12:05 p.m. CT. The game was originally listed to start at 3:10 p.m. CT.

— Carrie Muskat

7/5 Leftover numbers

Here’s a sad stat: From 1916 (the first year at Wrigley) through 2009, the Cubs never allowed
more than eight runs in two games of a series. They did that in the just completed four-game series against the first-place Reds, losing 12-0 on Friday and 14-3 on Sunday.

The last time the Cubs allowed eight or more runs in an inning to the same team in more than one game in a year was in 1977 against St. Louis. On April 27, ’77, the Cubs gave up eight runs in an inning at Wrigley and on May 30 that year, they served up nine in an inning in St. Louis.

— Carrie Muskat

9/30 3 million and counting

The Cubs topped 3 million fans at home for the sixth straight season on Wednesday. The announced crowd of 34,362 for Game 1 of the doubleheader against the Pirates pushed them over the mark. The Cubs are one of five Major League franchises to top 3 million every year since 2004 (Angels, Cardinals, Dodgers, Yankees). Through 76 home games, the Cubs have played in front of 3,023,482 with five games remaining.

— Carrie Muskat

9/18 Lilly & DeRosa

On March 29 in a Cactus League game in Mesa, Ariz., Mark DeRosa went 3-for-4 for the Indians and all three hits came off his former Cubs teammate, Ted Lilly. DeRosa hit two homers, both on the first pitch of each at-bat.

“I wish it counted,” DeRosa said at the time.

“The thing that’s important from here on out is that he definitely had fun today,” Lilly said, “and I need to make sure when we play them, that he has a miserable time in Chicago.”

At the time, DeRosa and Lilly were looking ahead to an Interleague rematch, but it didn’t happen. DeRosa ran into the right field wall at Wrigley, and missed Lilly’s start.

Now, he’s with the Cardinals and in the starting lineup Friday vs. Lilly.

“I’d like to repeat the performance,” DeRosa said before Friday’s game. “We’ll see what happens. We talked yesterday. I told the guys yesterday that although I care about them as friends, we’ll have to keep fraternizing to the minimum.”

DeRosa has been bothered by a sore left wrist, and was batting .233 with eight homers and 20 RBIs for St. Louis. However, he’s headed to the postseason.

“This game’s funny,” he said. “It’s a business. [The Cubs] felt they needed to make some changes. Although disappointed, I ended up in a great position.”

And Lilly?

“I’m excited,” DeRosa said. “I played behind Teddy for two years. I have the utmost respect for what he brings to the table. He’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever had the chance to share a clubhouse with and he knows that. It’s friendly competition.”

But it still hurts that he no longer is with the Cubs.

“Yeah, I don’t understand why they did it,” DeRosa said.

— 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


7/28 Score runs, you win

Lou Piniella has stressed that the Cubs need to score runs to win — simple concept but true. Looking at team batting averages and runs scored since the All-Star break, he’s right.

TEAM: Batting aver. since ASG, Runs, Record

CUBS: .280, 61, 9-2

Reds: .225, 42, 3-8

Astros: .267, 46, 6-5

Brewers: .288, 47, 4-7

Pirates: .236, 39, 5-6

Cardinals: .281, 47, 5-6


7/24 Central issues

The Cubs will play National League Central foes for 10 of the next 13 games, starting Friday with the Reds. Just before Friday’s game, they got news that the division leading Cardinals added Matt Holliday from the Athletics.

“He’s a good player,” Cubs GM Jim Hendry told reporters Friday. “Obviously, a good move for them for their stretch run. He’s a real good player, a real good kid, too.”

The Cardinals also acquired Mark DeRosa, and seem to be in a win-now mode. Will the Cubs counter?

“We’re going to try to do what we have to do,” Hendry said. “Obviously, we’ve been in that spot before where we’ve made big moves at the deadline or right before. Sometimes they work. sometimes they don’t.”

The Cubs do expect to get Geovany Soto back the first week of August, however, the rotation may have taken a hit with the news that Ted Lilly has soreness in his left shoulder.

— Carrie Muskat

No De-Ro

Mark DeRosa fans will be crushed. DeRosa was placed on the disabled list, retroactive to July 1, with a strained left wrist and won’t be playing for the Cardinals in the upcoming weekend series vs. the Cubs.

— Carrie Muskat