Results tagged ‘ Carlos Villanueva ’

8/4 Cubs lineup

Logan Watkins was promoted from Triple-A Iowa and will start at second base in the Cubs’ finale vs. the Dodgers. Donnie Murphy also gets his first start at shortstop. Here’s the lineup:

DeJesus CF
Lake LF
Rizzo 1B
Navarro C
Schierholtz RF
Ransom 3B
Watkins 2B
Murphy SS
Villanueva P

* The Cubs need a win Sunday to prevent the Dodgers from netting their first series sweep of four or more games at Wrigley since taking a five-game set, July 14-18, 1988.

* The Cubs have played 38 one-run games, going 15-23, tied for third-most in the Majors (the Royals and Mets have played 39 one-run games apiece). The Cubs are 27-32 in games decided by two or fewer runs.

* With 26 victories on the road and 23 at Wrigley Field, the Cubs are one of three teams to sport more road wins than home wins this season.

7/31 Cubs vs. Dodgers

The Cubs play host to the Dodgers for a four-game series, starting Thursday. Here are the pitching matchups:

Thursday: LHP Chris Rusin (1-0, 2.93) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (6-9, 3.72)
Friday: LHP Travis Wood (7-7, 2.79) vs. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-3, 3.14)
Saturday: RHP Jeff Samardzija (6-9, 3.75) vs. LHP Chris Capuano (3-6, 4.54)
Sunday: RHP Carlos Villanueva (2-7, 4.33) vs. RHP Zack Greinke (8-3, 3.43)

7/30 Brewers 6, Cubs 5

It did not take long for Milwaukee’s John Axford to vent his anger at former teammate Carlos Villanueva. Unfortunately for the Cubs pitcher, the Brewers had the last laugh. Villanueva singled off Axford, one of four consecutive RBI hits by the Cubs in the fifth, but the Brewers rallied with four runs in the seventh to post a 6-5 win Tuesday in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader. Jean Segura hit a solo home run and a tie-breaking RBI double, and Khris Davis belted a game-tying three-run homer for the win.

“It’s heart breaking, it’s a heart breaking loss today,” Villanueva said of the defeat, which dropped the Cubs’ record to 15-22 in one-run games, and 15-30 against the National League Central.

“To say it’s frustrating — it’s baseball,” Villanueva said. “We all go out there and try to do our jobs and sometimes it doesn’t happen the way we want it to. When it happens more than once, more than twice — obviously, it’s difficult the day of. Maybe in five days, we’ll have a little better luck.”

In the first four innings, the Cubs couldn’t deliver a run-scoring hit, stranding seven baserunners and going 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. They loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth against Yovani Gallardo, but he had to leave with a 1-2 count against Darwin Barney because of tightness in his left hamstring.

Barney greeted Axford with a two-run single to center to tie the game. Castillo, Villanueva and David DeJesus each followed with RBI singles to open a 5-2 lead. Villanueva’s hit resulted in the 24th RBI by a Cubs pitcher, the most in the National League, and that’s what prompted the angry message from Axford.

“I have no idea how I hit that ball,” Villanueva said. “He threw me the first fastball, and I saw 98 [mph] out there. I swung at the second one, and I didn’t even see it. I got a little short [on my grip].

“I already got a text from Axford — he yelled at me and called me a jerk,” Villanueva said of the good-natured message. “I deserve it. I’d probably do the same thing if it was the other way around. It was a fun inning. I wish we could’ve made it stand.”

But they couldn’t. Villanueva exited with one out in the seventh and two runners on. Davis launched the first pitch from James Russell into the right-field bleachers to tie the game at 5. Why Russell vs. Davis? For one, the Cubs’ bullpen was a little short-handed at the back end. The Brewers slugger was batting .214 against lefties, and in the Minor Leagues, had hit 11 of his 13 home runs off right-handers.

“We had the bullpen set up the way we wanted it today with some guys down, and obviously just couldn’t get it done,” said Sveum, who was a little short-handed at the back end of the ‘pen.

Said Milwaukee’s Ron Roenicke: “You’re in a situation in a doubleheader that you do things you’re not usually accustomed to doing. So Dale, when he brings in his left hander, there’s a good reason for doing what he did. I don’t know what it is, but [Russell] is a guy he obviously trusts and likes.”

Segura added a RBI double off Russell, who had not given up a run over his last 12 appearances. It was the 21st blown save by the Cubs’ bullpen, most in the NL.

– Carrie Muskat

7/30 Cubs lineup – Game 1

Carlos Villanueva takes the mound Tuesday at Wrigley Field in the first game of a makeup doubleheader. Here’s the lineup:

DeJesus CF
Lake LF
Rizzo 1B
Schierholtz RF
Castro SS
Valbuena 3B
Barney 2B
Castillo C
Villanueva P

7/27 Extra bases

* Dioner Navarro seemed a good candidate to fill the fourth spot in the Cubs’ lineup Saturday against southpaw Madison Bumgarner. Navarro was 17-for-33 (.515) against left-handed pitching. Manager Dale Sveum is mixing and matching in that spot in the lineup following Alfonso Soriano’s departure via trade.

“[Navarro's] numbers against left-handed pitching are as good as anybody,” Sveum said.

* Shawon Dunston Jr. was batting .328 at Class A Boise, and had more walks (18) than strikeouts (15) in 33 games. That’s the opposite of what his father, former Cubs shortstop Shawon Dunston, would do. In his 18 year career, Shawon senior struck out 1,000 times and drew 203 walks. Dunston now is a coach on the Giants staff. What gives?

“First, he hits left-handed,” said Dunston of his son. “The patience is from my wife.”

* Carlos Villanueva will start the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Brewers and Jake Arrieta will be called up to pitch in the night cap. Arrieta was currently on Triple-A Iowa’s staff. Teams can add a 26th player for a doubleheader.

– Carrie Muskat

7/25 Cubs lineup – REVISED

Alfonso Soriano was scratched from Thursday’s lineup, and apparently is headed to the Yankees. Here’s the new lineup vs. lefty Wade Miley:

Lake CF
Castro SS
Rizzo 1B
Ransom 3B
Schierholtz RF
Gillespie LF
Barney 2B
Castillo C
Villanueva P

* The Cubs have hit 39 home runs off left-handed pitchers, the most by any team in the Majors. The Cubs hit 29 homers off southpaws all of last season. Anthony Rizzo has hit six home runs off lefties this year, fourth-most among NL left-handed hitters, trailing only the Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez (eight), and the Reds’ Jay Bruce and Joey Votto (seven). Dioner Navarro was hitting .515 (17-for-33) with a .610 on-base percentage, a .998 slugging percentage and a 1.519 OPS against left-handed pitchers this season.

7/20 Cubs lineup

Junior Lake gets his second start in center field Saturday night when the Cubs face the Rockies. Here’s the lineup:

Valbuena 3B
Castro SS
Rizzo 1B
Soriano LF
Schierholtz RF
Lake CF
Barney 2B
Castillo C
Villanueva P

7/12 Cardinals 3, Cubs 2

A year ago, Starlin Castro was preparing for his second All-Star Game. On Friday, he was focused on his swing. Castro hit a solo home run in the eighth, but it wasn’t enough as Carlos Beltran smacked an RBI triple and scored on Allen Craig’s single in the first inning to help Joe Kelly pick up his first win of the season in the Cardinals’ 3-2 triumph over the Cubs in front of 37,322 at Wrigley Field.

This was a battle of two swingmen, Kelly and Carlos Villanueva. The Cubs starter did his job, lasting six innings and keeping it close, but Villanueva still took the loss in his 10th start and 26th outing. The right-hander began the year in the rotation, then shifted to the bullpen when Matt Garza returned from the disabled list, and was making his second start since shifting back to starting after Scott Feldman was traded.

“I just couldn’t put those guys away,” Villanueva said. “We did exactly what we wanted to do but didn’t execute the pitches. It just comes down to that. I have to give a lot of credit to [catcher Welington] Castillo. We’ve been working real hard and talking about our game plan and communicating better. Our last two games, we’ve done a good job and doing exactly what we want.”

St. Louis struck quickly as Matt Carpenter singled to lead off the game and scored one out later on Beltran’s triple to right, the first of three hits by the outfielder. Craig followed with an RBI single for a 2-0 lead.

Alfonso Soriano hit a RBI dinble in the third but with two outs in the Cardinals’ seventh, pinch-hitter Rob Johnson tripled to right past a diving Nate Schierholtz — who probably shouldn’t have dove — and then scored on Carpenter’s double into the gap in left center.

Castro saw the ball fine in the eighth when he led off against Kevin Siegrist with his sixth home run to close the deficit to 3-2. In his last 16 games since June 26, Castro was batting .299. On June 23, he was batting .228, and Sveum decided to sit the shortstop.

“I feel aggressive and feel like I trust myself and good things will be happening,” Castro said. “You just let your talent do its job and keep working. It’s frustrating sometimes because you’re working hard and the things that are supposed to happen don’t happen. It’s hard.”

The Cubs now are 11-20 in one-run decisions, and 4-9 at Wrigley Field in those games. Castro’s homer was the 100th by the team; last year, they did not hit No. 100 until Aug. 16.

– Carrie Muskat

7/12 Cubs lineup

In case you need it, here’s the Cubs lineup for Friday. Sorry for delay. I was busy following Kris Bryant on his first day with the Cubs.

Valbuena 3B
Castro SS
Rizzo 1B
Soriano LF
Schierholtz RF
Bogusevic CF
Barney 2B
Castillo C
Villanueva P

7/10 Cubs vs. Cardinals

The Cubs close out the first half with a four-game series against the Cardinals, starting Thursday. Here are the pitching matchups and game times. Please note the strange times:

Thursday, 7:05 p.m. CT: RHP Edwin Jackson (5-10, 5.50) vs. RHP Jake Westbrook (5-3, 2.78)
Friday, 3:05 p.m. CT: RHP Carlos Villanueva (2-4, 3.39) vs. RHP Joe Kelly (0-3, 4.15)
Saturday, 6:15 p.m. CT: RHP Matt Garza (5-1, 3.22) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (11-3, 3.67)
Sunday, 7:05 p.m. CT: LHP Travis Wood (6-6, 2.69) vs. RHP Adam Wainwright (12-5, 2.30)

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