Results tagged ‘ Cubs ’

7/16 The second half

The Cubs open the second half of the season on Friday against the Diamondbacks in Phoenix. Here are some comments from manager Rick Renteria about the first half, which he made Sunday in Chicago to reporters:

Q: What did the team accomplish in the first half?

Renteria: “I would just say more than anything they’re building their confidence. They’re playing as a team – not giving up, continuing to chip away, maintaining an attitude that grinds and doesn’t take any deficit or any part of the game [and] allow it to affect them to an extent where you see them start to fall into a low. I think they’ve been playing hard all season. That’s one of the things we were hoping to get done and I think they’re doing that.”

Q: Could you sum up the first half?

Renteria: “We’ve done well as a club. They’ve chipped away. Obviously, early, we had certain things, little things, in the game that we probably weren’t doing as well as we would like. The ‘pen was a little erratic at times. Our starting pitching was good the whole season. We’ve continued to adjust to play the game, so to speak. There have been times where we’ve had some hiccups. But all in all, I think there have been very few games where you look at our club and think ‘God, this is terrible.’ They’ve plugged away, they’ve played. We’ve been in almost every game this season.”

Q: It’s been six months since you took over as manager. How do you feel about yourself and the team?

Renteria: “I feel good about where I’m at just simply because you get to know your personnel. Coming in, you have an understanding based on reports and information you’ve had and some of the contact you’ve had with some of the players. But there’s nothing like being with them on a daily basis to get a really good feel about who they are, what they’re about. Hopefully they’re taking on some of the personality of the coaches and myself as a manager. But, all in all, you have to continue to give players credit for what they do because they’re the ones out there between the lines and playing the game.”

Q: What can Cubs fans look forward to in the second half?

Renteria: “There are more opportunities before us. We have a chance to continue to grind, play the game. We need to understand that we’re not playing for August or September. The mentality is to keep playing so you feel you want to keep playing beyond August and September. As long as they continue to play the game and give themselves a chance to win every ballgame and play collectively as they should, we’ll hopefully be competitive and come out with some victories.”

Q: After the Cubs traded Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, Theo Epstein said he saw a light at the end of the tunnel for the organization. Do you see that?

Renteria: “Honestly, I thought I could see it prior to even being hired after studying all the players that were in the system and the guys that were here. I’ve always believed, even for the last four or five months, that, based on everything we’ve seen and how these guys have been playing, quite frankly, yeah, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. There’s a lot of talent in the system and I think there’s some talent on the big league field. With attitude and work, we can continue to move forward.”

7/15 Minor matters – Monday’s games

Two Cubs prospects hit for the cycle on Monday: Albert Almora and Mark Zagunis

The Iowa Cubs have Monday and Tuesday off as part of the PCL All-Star break. Blake Parker, Kyle Hendricks and Tsuyoshi Wada will represent the I-Cubs. Arismendy Alcantara also was named to the team, but is now on the Cubs’ big league roster and will not participate.

Charles Cutler hit an inside the park, two-run home run in the fifth to tie the game but it wasn’t enough as Tennessee lost, 6-5, to Jacksonville on Monday. It was Cutler’s third homer of the season.

Albert Almora hit for the cycle, completing it with a triple in the 13th, to help Daytona beat Jupiter, 13-8. Almora is the first Daytona player to hit for the cycle since Brett Jackson did so on June 14, 2010. Almora went 5-for-7 with five RBIs and hit a home run to lead off the game. Marco Hernandez and Bijan Rademacher also homered. Dan Vogelbach and Jordan Hankins each had three hits.

Beloit scored two runs in the ninth to beat Kane County, 3-2. The Cougars totaled four hits, including a two-run double by David Bote. Before the game, Kyle Schwarber, the Cubs’ first-round pick in the June Draft, was promoted to Daytona.

Mark Zagunis hit for the cycle to help Boise beat Spokane, 11-6. Zagunis hit his first home run in the fourth, and finished 4-for-5 with three runs and four RBIs. Tyler Ihrig picked up the win. Jeffrey Baez extended his hitting streak to 17 games with two hits.

Alberto Mineo hit his first home run to help Mesa beat the Giants, 5-1. Dillon Maples threw three scoreless innings. Carson Sands struck out two in a scoreless sixth for the win.

7/14 Minor matters – Sunday’s games

Tsuyoshi Wada gave up four runs on nine hits over six innings in Iowa’s 5-2 loss to Oklahoma City. Iowa totaled three hits. Iowa has Monday off.

Jorge Soler hit two home runs to help Tennessee beat Jacksonville, 14-8. The Smokies scored seven runs in the fifth. For Soler, it was his first career multi-homer game. He went 3-for-5 and drove in five runs. Stephen Bruno had three hits and three RBIs. Tennessee faces Jacksonville Monday.

Tayler Scott threw six shutout innings in Daytona’s 6-2 win over Jupiter. Scott walked two and struck out one, scattering five hits. Billy McKinney hit his first home run with the Cubs and drove in a four runs. Chadd Krist had two hits, including a two-run homer in the second. Daytona plays Jupiter Monday.

Jen-Ho Tseng gave up one run over seven innings in Kane County’s 3-1 win over Beloit in the first game of a doubleheader. Tseng struck out seven. Kyle Schwarber and Jacob Rogers each had two hits. In the second game, Jeimer Candelario hit two home runs to lead Kane County to a 6-5 win. Candelario drove in four runs, and is now batting .267.

Ben Wells gave up one run over six innings in Boise’s 6-2 win over Eugene. Jesse Hodges and Alex Tomasovich each had two hits. Tyler Ihrig was scheduled to start Monday vs. Spokane.

Mesa’s game vs. the White Sox was postponed because of rain. The Cubs will play the Giants on Monday.

* NOTE: Tennessee’s Jorge Soler was named Player of the Week in the Southern League on Monday and Kane County’s Jeimer Candelario named Player of the week in the Midwest League.

7/14 All-Star break stats

It’s the All-Star break, and time to check the Cubs’ first-half stats:

2013 (42-51, fourth in NL Central)
93 games: .243/.302/409; 103 HR, 366 RBIs, 667 strikeouts, 51 stolen bases

2014 (40-54, fifth in NL Central)
94 games: .237/.298/.380; 84 HR, 353 RBIs, 809 strikeouts, 40 stolen bases

First Half Leaders

Batting average
Starlin Castro .276
Anthony Rizzo .275
Luis Valbuena .250
Nate Schierholtz .204
NL leader: Rockies’ Troy Tulowitzki .345

Home runs
Anthony Rizzo 20
Mike Olt 12
Starlin Castro 11
Junior Lake 9
NL leader: Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton and Rockies’ Troy Tulowitzki 21 each

RBIs
Starlin Castro 52
Anthony Rizzo 49
Nate Schierholtz 31
Mike Olt 29
NL leader: Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton 63

Pitching
Wins
Jason Hammel 8-5
Travis Wood 7-8
Jake Arrieta 5-1
Edwin Jackson 5-10
NL leader: Reds’ Alfredo Simon and Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright, 12 each

ERA
Jeff Samardzija 2.83
Jason Hammel 2.98
Travis Wood 4.96
Edwin Jackson 5.64
NL leader: Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright, 1.83

Strikeouts
Jason Hammel 104
Jeff Samardzija 103
Edwin Jackson 97
Travis Wood 89
NL leader: Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg, 149

Saves
Hector Rondon 11-for-14
Neil Ramirez 3-for-3
Pedro Strop 2-for-4
James Russell 1-for-3
NL leader: Braves’ Craig Kimbrel, 29

Appearances (relievers)
Justin Grimm 44 games (41 1/3 innings)
Brian Schlitter 43 games (42 1/3 innings)
James Russell 37 games (37 innings)
Hector Rondon/Pedro Strop 35 games
NL leader: Brewers’ Will Smith and D-Backs’ Brad Ziegler, 49 each

7/14 Baez hits two-run homer in Futures Game

Javier Baez hit a two-run homer and Kris Bryant went 0-for-3 in the All-Star Futures Game Sunday in Minneapolis. Bryant played for the U.S. team, which won, 3-2, behind Joey Gallo’s two-run home run. Baez connected in the sixth, which gave the World team a brief, 2-1, lead.

7/13 Minor matters – Saturday’s games

In the first game of a doubleheader, Eli Whiteside hit a walk-off RBI single to lift Iowa to a 6-5 win over Oklahoma City. Ryan Kalish hit a three-run homer, his fifth, and Dan Straily gave up four earned runs over four innings. Oklahoma City won the night cap, 2-1. Logan Watkins had two hits. Yoanner Negrin gave up two runs over six innings.

Pierce Johnson gave up two runs over 5 1/3 innings in Tennessee’s 2-0 loss to Jacksonville. Elliot Soto had two hits.

Daytona beat Jupier, 7-4 in a rain-shortened, eight-inning game. Rock Shoulders had three hits.

Tyler Skulina gave up two runs on five hits over innings in Kane County’s 7-0 loss to Beloit. Kyle Schwarber and Jeimer Candelario combined for four of the Cougars’ five hits, each hitting two.

Trevor Graham gave up four runs over five innings in Boise’s 5-2 loss to Eugene.

Emilio Bonifacio was 0-2 with a walk and scored a run in Mesa’s 3-1 loss to the White Sox. Alex Santana threw four scoreless innings.

7/13 Minor matters – Sunday’s games

Jorge Soler hit two home runs and drove in a career-high five runs in Tennessee’s 14-8 win over Jacksonville. Stephen Bruno had three hits and three RBIs for the Smokies. It’s the first time in Soler’s Minor League career that he has hit two home runs in a game. Overall, the Smokies combined for 14 runs and 15 hits, while each of the first seven batters in the order scored at least one run.

7/13 Braves 10, Cubs 7

* Arismendy Alcantara went 2-for-5, hitting his first big league home run in the sixth. He’s hit safely in four straight games and was batting .391 (9-for-23) with six runs, three doubles, a triple, a home run and five RBIs in five games since making his big league debut.

* After posting a .147 average in May and a .232 mark in June, Chris Coghlan was batting .435 (20-for-46) with eight doubles, three homers, and 12 RBIs in 13 July games.

* Travis Wood took the loss, giving up seven runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out four over six innings. It’s the most runs Wood has allowed at Wrigley Field since giving up eight in five innings on July 27, 2012, vs. the Cardinals. Wood issued lead-off walks in three straight innings.

* The Cubs have given up 10 or more runs in back-to-back home games for the first time since May 12 (13 vs. MIL) and May 21 (12 vs. PIT) in 2002.

* The Cubs have lost back-to-back games despite scoring six or more runs for the first time since losing four-straight from Aug. 27-30, 2006.

7/12 Braves 11, Cubs 6

* Edwin Jackson dropped his team-leading 10th loss Saturday, giving up a season-high nine earned runs on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out three. He is 0-4 with a 5.44 ERA (26 ER/43 IP) in nine games (seven starts) against the Braves. Jackson gave up three home runs in the same start for the first time since Aug. 1, 2012, vs. the Phillies. He was pulled after throwing 74 pitches, the fewest he’s thrown since Sept. 28 last year vs. the Cardinals.

* Arismendy Alcantara was 2-for-5 and scored two runs. He led off the game with his first career extra-base hit at Wrigley Field, a double to left-center field. He has hit safely in his last three games, including two doubles and a triple, scoring four runs.

* Justin Ruggiano posted his third three-hit game of the month. Since returning from the disabled list on May 27, Ruggiano is hitting .319 (37-for-116) with 10 doubles, a triple, three homers, and 14 RBI.

7/12 Extra bases

* The Cubs have utilized six rookie pitchers this season who have combined to post a 2.23 ERA (23 ER/92 1/3 IP) in 79 games (four starts) with three saves and 21 holds. The list includes Dallas Beeler, Kyle Hendricks, Neil Ramirez, Zac Rosscup, Brian Schlitter and Tsuyoshi Wada.

* Last Thursday, the Cubs completed a stretch in which three starting pitchers (Beeler, Wada and Hendricks) made their Major league debut in a 13-day stretch starting June 28. According to Elias, it was the first time the Cubs had three starting pitchers make their big league debut in a 13-day span or less for the first time since 1948, when Bob Rush (April 22), Cliff Chambers (April 24) and Dutch McCall (April 27) did so in a six-day span.

* Kris Bryant is on the U.S. roster and Javier Baez is on the World roster for the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday at Target Field. Both Bryant and Baez play for Triple-A Iowa.

* With two games remaining prior to the All-Star break, the Cubs have a 3.70 team ERA (341 ER/828 2/3 IP). The Cubs last had a lower ERA heading into the break in 1992 when they sported a 3.16 ERA. Last season, the Cubs had a 3.94 ERA at the All-Star break.

* The Cubs are 15-27 in games decided by two runs or less this season. Those 42 close games represent about 46 percent of the games the Cubs have played this year, as the club is 25-25 in 50 games decided by three runs or more.

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