Results tagged ‘ Carlos Villanueva ’

9/21 Cubs 3, Braves 1

The Cubs scored three runs in the eighth to post a 3-1 victory Saturday over the Braves, and force Atlanta to wait a little longer before clinching the NL East division. The Braves’ magic number is one. Anthony Rizzo hit a RBI double, Dioner Navarro smacked a RBI single and Nate Schierholtz hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth for the win. Pedro Strop pitched the ninth for his first save of the season. Carlos Villanueva got the win in relief of starter Travis Wood, who gave up one run over seven-plus innings. It was Wood’s 24th quality start. Wood is one inning shy of 200, and will get that in his next start Friday against the Cardinals.

Rizzo’s double was his 62nd extra base hit, the most by a left-handed Cubs batter since Corey Patterson’s 63 in 2004. Villanueva is now 5-0 with a 0.93 ERA in his last eight relief appearances.

The Braves may stay at Wrigley Saturday night to celebrate. They clinch the division if the Nationals lose to the Marlins

“One day, hopefully that will be us and we’ll move forward from there,” Wood said of the Braves.

— Carrie Muskat

8/13 Rotation update

The Cubs have tweaked their rotation. Jake Arrieta will be promoted from Triple-A Iowa and start on Friday against the Cardinals, and be followed by Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson. Jeff Samardzija will open the Cubs’ series against the Nationals on Monday and be followed by Chris Rusin and Arrieta. With the moves, Carlos Villanueva goes back to the bullpen.

“Not that Villanueva was doing horrible, but Rusin was doing really, really well, and it was hard to bump a guy who’s given up one run or no runs every outing since he’s been here,” Dale Sveum said. “‘Villa’ has done it before. Losing [Matt] Guerrier, he can be that guy in the sixth or seventh inning when we’re winning and get people out.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/10 Cubs 6, Cardinals 5

Manager Dale Sveum only needed to see two things from Dioner Navarro on Saturday to know whether his backup catcher and top bench player was able to play three days after being carted off the field.

“Just walk and squat,” Sveum said of the requirements. “One time was fine enough.”

Navarro also was ready to hit. Darwin Barney smacked a game-tying two-run double in the eighth and Navarro followed with a pinch-hit RBI double to lift the Cubs to a motivated 6-5 victory over the Cardinals.

Nate Schierholtz delivered a RBI single in the ninth, which turned out to be much needed as Matt Holliday hit his second home run of the game in the St. Louis ninth off Kevin Gregg. Welington Castillo hit a solo home run and sacrifice fly for the Cubs, who came into this series with a few more incentives than past matchups. Adam Wainwright was originally scheduled to start Saturday but was skipped so he could be ready for St. Louis’ upcoming series against Pittsburgh. The Cubs felt snubbed.

“If you look at it from their point of view, you don’t really try to take offense to that kind of stuff,” Barney said. “Obviously, we knew what happened, and it wasn’t not talked about, I’ll say that. That young kid [Michael Wacha] threw well today and he has good stuff. It’s not like they were throwing a nobody against us. It’s one of those things.”

Wacha, making his fourth big league start, served up Castillo’s home run leading off the Chicago second. Holliday belted a three-run homer off Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva with one out in the fourth to go ahead, 3-1. Castillo added a sacrifice fly in the fifth but Matt Carpenter and Carlos Beltran hit back to back doubles in the sixth to take a 4-2 lead.

In the eighth, Trevor Rosenthal walked Castillo and Schierholtz, then struck out the next two batters. Barney, batting .211, then lined a double to right to drive in both and tie the game.

“People are always, ‘Why don’t you pinch-hit for Barney?'” Sveum said. “It’s because he’s the one guy who is going to battle and put the ball in play and do baseball player-type things.”

Navarro arrived in St. Louis about five hours before game time. He injured his right ankle in a collision at home plate on Wednesday in Philadelphia with Chase Utley, and had gone to Chicago to be examined. Prior to the game, Navarro had to do some agility drills — as well as walk and squat — and was pronounced fit. He didn’t take batting practice but it didn’t seem to matter as he lined a 97 mph fastball from Rosenthal to right.

“He gets here today,” Barney said, “and he hadn’t taken a swing, he didn’t take batting practice, and he’s one of those guys who’s a gamer. Turn on 98 [mph] like that after not seeing a pitch in three days is pretty unbelievable.”

Blake Parker picked up his first Major League win in relief, and Gregg hung on for his 25th save, and survived David Freese’s liner off his right shoulder.

With the win, the Cubs notched their first series victory at Busch Stadium since sweeping the Cardinals in a three-game set, Sept. 13-15, 2010. The two teams square off next weekend at Wrigley Field. Wainwright’s next start, by the way, is Tuesday against the Pirates.

— Carrie Muskat

8/10 Cubs lineup

David DeJesus is back in the leadoff spot on Saturday as the Cubs play Game 2 of their weekend series against the Cardinals. Welington Castillo is batting fourth. Here’s the lineup:

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

8/10 Extra bases

* With 3-0 victories both on July 11 at Wrigley Field and Friday at Busch Stadium, the Cubs have shut out the Cardinals twice in the same season for the first time since 2010, and the second time in the last 16 years.

* The Cubs look for their first series victory at Busch Stadium since sweeping the Cardinals in a three-game set, Sept. 13-15, 2010. Chicago is 0-6-1 in the last seven series in St. Louis.

* Welington Castillo is hitting .405 (15-for-37) with three doubles, a home run, four RBI and a .522 on-base percentage (eight walks/six strikeouts) in his last 13 games since July 25. His .405 average since July 25 ranks first among big league catchers and fifth overall in the Majors.

* Carlos Villanueva is looking for his first victory in a starting role since April 18 vs. Texas. He’s left four starts with a lead since then. The Cubs have scored two or fewer runs while Villanueva’s been in the game in nine of his 14 starts while he’s received no-decisions in six starts that he’s left with the lead.

* J.C. Boscan, selected Thursday from Triple-A Iowa, looks to become the 50th player to appear for the Cubs this season. The record for a single-season is 53, set last year.

* Friday’s win was the Cubs’ first in which it did not record an extra-base hit since April 23, 2012, in a 3-2 win vs. the Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

8/8 Cubs vs. Cardinals – UPDATED

Adam Wainwright will be skipped, and not start Saturday when the Cubs play a weekend series against the Cardinals in St. Louis. Here are the pitching matchups:

Friday: LHP Chris Rusin (1-1, 3.98) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (13-5, 3.78)
Saturday: RHP Carlos Villanueva (2-8, 4.16) vs. RHP Michael Wacha (1-0, 4.58)
Sunday: RHP Edwin Jackson (7-12, 4.96) vs. RHP Joe Kelly (3-3, 2.98)

8/4 Dodgers 1, Cubs 0

Carlos Villanueva dropped his fourth straight loss despite posting his seventh quality start in Sunday’s 1-0 Cubs loss to the Dodgers. Villanueva is winless in his last 11 starts.

* Logan Watkins (1-for-4) recorded his first Major League hit with a sixth-inning single to left field. With Watkins making his ML debut and Donnie Murphy (0-for-2, BB) making his Cubs debut, the Cubs have utilized 48 players this season, five shy of the franchise record 53 players who appeared last year.

* The Cubs were shut out for the second consecutive game and eighth time this season. They have been blanked in back to back games for the first time since Oct. 1-2, 2012, vs. the Astros.

* With the loss, the Cubs are 15-24 in one-run games and finished the eight-game homestand, 1-7.

* The Cubs had opportunities. They out-hit the Dodgers in two of the games and in the total series, 34-33, including 7-2 on Sunday. They were outscored, 16-6, in the four games, and left 30 runners in base, going 5-for-27 with runners in scoring position.

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