Results tagged ‘ Dale Sveum ’

7/22 Cubs 4, D-Backs 2

Junior Lake had his first four-hit night, and hit his first Major League home run, to lead the Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Lake belted a two-run shot in the fifth, and added a RBI single in the ninth to back Chris Rusin, who made a strong bid for the vacancy in the Cubs rotation. Rusin was subbing for Matt Garza, traded to the Rangers earlier in the day. The lefty would like to stay. He gave up two hits, including a bloop double that landed between Lake and shortstop Starlin Castro, and walked two over five-plus innings. Dioner Navarro, who had been matched up with Garza over his last six outings, still got the start Monday, and the catcher delivered a solo home run with one out in the second.

Lake now has nine hits in his first four career games, the most by a Cubs player since Andy Pafko did so in 1943. Lake also is the first Cubs player with a four-hit effort within his first four Major League games since Steve Lake (no relation) did so April 26, 1983, against the Padres.

“He might have found his niche right now,” Dale Sveum said of Lake, who has been playing center.

When promoted, it was thought that Lake would stay until David DeJesus returned from a shoulder injury. DeJesus is close to returning. Will the rookie stay?

“Right now, I’d be pretty stupid to say, ‘No,'” Sveum said. “Hopefully, we don’t have to send him down.”

Said Lake: “I’m going to keep working hard to make it hard on the front office. If you keep working hard, something happens.”

Rusin will stay in the rotation, filling the spot vacated by Matt Garza’s departure.

— Carrie Muskat

7/22 Reaction to Ryan Braun’s suspension

On Monday, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was suspended without pay for the remainder of the season for violating the Basic Agreement and its Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Here’s some reaction from the Cubs:

* Manager Dale Sveum:
“It’s unfortunate for baseball, it’s unfortunate for the Brewers organization. I’m just glad it’s kind of finally over. Now he’s come out and obviously admitted it to the public and apologized. I think it’s the best thing to happen to Braun and the organization. He’ll be able to play Opening Day next year and everything is behind him as well as the organization and the players he let down … and the fans who have supported him for six years in the organization. At least now it’s finished, it’s over and they can move on.”

* Jeff Samardzija:
“It is what it is, I guess. You shouldn’t be taking things you shouldn’t be taking, connected to people you shouldn’t be connected to. Nowadays, you can’t hide from anything. That’s what it tells you is that everything you’re doing is going to be found out and going to be talked about.”

* Alfonso Soriano:
“I think sometimes people don’t realize how good they are. They want to go try something else. I just focus and try to do my job and not pay attention to what happens outside of baseball.

“I remember my first year, maybe people used [PEDs], but they didn’t have tests. Now they have tests and people have to be careful what they use, what they drink. It’s not the money, it’s not the suspension. For me personally, it’s family, friends, fans, what you do to your teammates, all that kind of stuff — the money is not important but how your family, how people want to treat your family, that’s hard. I never want to try to do anything negative because I did something wrong. I don’t want to do anything wrong to make it bad on myself or bad for my family.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/9 Wood OK for All-Star Game

Travis Wood may get a chance to pitch in the All-Star Game after all. Manager Dale Sveum said Tuesday that the left-hander, who will be the Cubs’ sole representative in the July 16 game at Citi Field, could pitch one inning or face one batter, depending on what National League manager Bruce Bochy needs.

Wood is scheduled to pitch Sunday night against the Cardinals, the last game before the break. The All-Star Game is the following Tuesday, which would be his side day.

“It will all depend on how Sunday goes,” Sveum said about how much Wood can pitch for the NL team. “Bochy can use him for a left-handed hitter. It’s going to be a side day anyway. I’ve got no problem with him pitching one inning, or 20 pitches. He goes all out on his side days anyways.”

On Monday, Sveum said Wood most likely would not pitch in the game because of his regular season start on Sunday night, saying that would be a good showcase for the left-hander.

Wood, who started Tuesday against the Angels at Wrigley Field, may also try to lobby with Bochy for at least one batter.

“That’s all Bochy — he has control over that,” Sveum said.

— Carrie Muskat

7/8 Raley joins Cubs

The Cubs needed a fresh arm, and recalled lefty Brooks Raley from Triple-A Iowa to take the roster spot of outfielder Scott Hairston, who was traded to the Nationals earlier Monday. Raley has been a starter at Iowa, posting a 6-6 record and 4.91 ERA. He did make one relief appearance. He made his big league debut last August, and went 1-2 with a 8.14 ERA in five starts. He was called up June 12-13, but did not appear in a game.

How long will the Cubs go with an extra pitcher in the ‘pen?

“That’ll be dictated on what happens the next couple days with how long our starters go,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.

The Cubs don’t have many options at Iowa to fill the outfield.

“[Junior] Lake is playing well but we want to let him develop more,” Sveum said. “There’s not a whole lot of options right now. Right now our bullpen concern is more important than anything right now.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/6 Cubs 4, Pirates 1

Alfonso Soriano hit a pair of two-run home runs to lead the Cubs to a 4-1 victory Saturday over the Pirates in front of 36,590 at Wrigley Field. Soriano recorded home runs No. 175 and 176 for the Cubs, and moved past Andre Dawson for sole possession of 12th place on the team’s all-time list. He now has 384 career home runs, tied with Harold Baines for 59th on MLB’s all-time list.

Edwin Jackson picked up the win, and now is 6-2 in 10 career starts against the Pirates.

* Javier Baez was promoted to Double-A Tennessee, and in his first game Saturday, he hit the first pitch for a home run.

“He owns that league,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum quipped.

* Before Saturday’s game at Wrigley, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville brought the Stanley Cup to the ballpark. Coach Q met with Sveum and the players.

“Just to touch the Cup was pretty special,” Sveum said. “We got to see it a couple years ago when we were in Boston and they had the parade. To actually be next to it and take pictures, it was pretty special to be part of something like that. The guys can understand, it’s such a special trophy. It’s one of a kind and the tradition behind that Cup is off the charts.”

* Travis Wood was thrilled by his All-Star selection.

“I feel amazing,” Wood said. “It’s a goal you set as a player to try to play like an All-Star, be an All-Star and to be selected, it’s outstanding.”

* The Cubs have homered in their last eight home games, and in 17 of their last 19 games since May 18.

— Carrie Muskat

7/6 Extra bases

* Last season, the Cubs were careful with Jeff Samardzija, and limited him to 119 innings in his first season as a full-time starter. This year, the right-hander has reached 100 innings before the All-Star break. Any thought to giving him a breather?

“He’s a strong guy,” manager Dale Sveum said Saturday. “Last year, that was the plan we had going in. This year, the kid gloves are off, so to speak. He’ll pitch according to how he feels. He’s a big strong guy and keeps himself in phenomenal condition. He’s a horse. The only thing that gets him in trouble is some frustrations out on the field as well as mechanics. Yesterday his mechanics were all out of whack, and he was missing away, away, away.”

* Sveum says he’s happy with his catching combo of Dioner Navarro and Welington Castillo. Navarro has done better at the plate, batting .291 with eight home runs, 18 RBIs in 42 games, while Castillo was hitting .268 with two home runs and 15 RBIs in 64 games.

“It’s a nice tandem to have,” Sveum said. “It’s not easy to have your backup catcher swinging the bat better than anybody on your team at this point right now.”

Navarro had no lingering problems from Friday’s game when he hit Andrew McCutchen’s bat with his right elbow. Navarro was hit right on the funny bone, which, as everybody knows, isn’t funny, but it hurts. Navarro’s arm went numb.

* Speaking of Navarro, he was excited about the opportunity to meet international soccer star, Lionel Messi, on Saturday. Messi was playing at Soldier Field in an exhibition. Navarro, James Russell, Anthony Rizzo and Hector Rondon were all going to the match. Navarro had at least four shirts and a hat for Messi to autograph.

“My wife said, ‘This is the biggest day of your life,'” said Navarro, who wears a Messi shirt every day before games. “She says, ‘You’re going to see the love of your life.'”

* Looking ahead to the Cubs’ makeup game Monday against the White Sox, Matt Garza (4-1, 3.45 ERA) will start against Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.50 ERA) at U.S. Cellular Field.

— Carrie Muskat

6/28 Mariners 5, Cubs 4 (10 innings)

Once again, the Cubs wasted a quality outing by Travis Wood. Alfonso Soriano and Dioner Navarro each hit solo home runs but the Mariners rallied for two runs in the eighth and Mike Zunino hit a walkoff RBI single with one out in the 10th to post a 5-4 Interleague win over the Cubs Friday night.

“It’s a tough one today,” said Soriano, who connected in the seventh. “You just try to forget this game today and come back and win tomorrow.”

Carlos Marmol is gone but the Cubs bullpen continues to struggle. Chicago led 4-2 when Jason Bay walked to open the Seattle seventh and one out later, Wood was pulled for Carlos Villanueva. Zunino singled, and was forced at second on Brad Miller’s grounder, allowing Bay to score.

Nick Franklin doubled in the Mariners’ eighth against James Russell, and one out later, scored on Kendrys Morales’ double to close to 4-3. Raul Ibanez tripled to left past a diving Brian Bogusevic and Morales scored the tying run. Russell now is 0-for-5 in save opportunities.

“It was all set up for him against the lefties, turning the guys around, and he obviously, couldn’t get the ball down tonight,” Dale Sveum said.

With the game tied at 4 in the 10th, Blake Parker walked both Michael Saunders and Ibanez, and then exited. Shawn Camp entered, and the runners moved up on Bay’s sacrifice. Justin Smoak was intentionally walked to load the bases and Zunino lined a 3-2 pitch to center for the game-winning hit.

“I was just looking for something I could get up and elevate to the middle of the field,” Zunino said. “[Camp] usually throws a bunch of sliders so I was looking for one of those early. But he kept coming with the fastball, so with a 3-2 count I knew I had to stay aggressive. … With the infield playing in, I knew I got enough of it to get it through.”

Wood struck out six and walked two over 6 1/3 innings but did not get a decision. He is winless in his last five starts despite posting a quality start in each.

“Travis pitched a heck of a ballgame,” Sveum said. “It’s about as snakebit as you can get, getting him wins.”

The lefty ranks among the Major League leaders in quality starts, and has topped his 2012 season total, when he collected 14 of 26 outings.

“Things are going good in that aspect,” Wood said. “I feel I’m more advanced as a pitcher. I’m not just up there throwing. I have a game plan and how I want to attack hitters and the offspeed stuff is better and command is better. The arm side wasn’t there, and it made me battle.”

— Carrie Muskat

6/26 Extra bases

* Alfonso Soriano did not start Wednesday, and will likely be the Cubs designated hitter when they play six Interleague games in American League West ballparks, starting Friday in Seattle. Brian Bogusevic, called up from Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday, started in left field Wednesday against the Brewers, and will do so against the Mariners and Athletics, manager Dale Sveum said.

“You want to keep that bat going, and you don’t want him to sit too long,” Sveum said of Bogusevic, who was batting .319 with 14 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs, 32 RBIs and 16 stolen bases with Iowa.

* The Cubs have yet to sign their first-round pick, third baseman Kris Bryant, but Sveum is eager to see the infielder play as soon as possible. Of course, fans want to know how quick Bryant will be in the Major Leagues.

“You can’t put a timetable on kids like that getting to the big leagues,” Sveum said. “Hopefully, everything goes well and you get those kind of players with that kind of power and leverage in their swing, you want to get them here early but you don’t want to do anything to wreck his development either.”

The Cubs are counting on the young prospects in their system to take the team to a World Championship. That’s a lot of pressure.

“You hope people don’t get too anxious,” Sveum said, “and say, ‘Man, there’s openings here, there’s openings there. Man, I’ve got to do this to get to the big leagues soon.’ You try to do too much and can wreck your own development.”

* Class A Daytona outfielder Jorge Soler was to be examined in Chicago. He’s been sidelined with a sore left shin, injured when he fouled a ball off his leg. Soler went on the seven-day disabled list, which ended on Saturday, and has yet to play. He was to see the Cubs medical staff this week.

— Carrie Muskat

6/26 Happy anniversary

There was no cake or balloons in the clubhouse, but Wednesday was a milestone day, marking the one-year anniversary of when Anthony Rizzo was called up from the Minor Leagues to the Cubs. In his Cubs debut, the first baseman was 2-for-4 with a game-winning RBI double in the fourth against the Mets.

“There was a lot of uncertainty, to be honest, because of what happened to me in San Diego, and that was fresh in my mind,” said Rizzo, who batted .141 in 49 games with the Padres in 2011 in his first Major League action.

“Coming up and doing well at first was the best thing to ever happen to me, to get that whole San Diego thing out of my head completely,” he said. “I can finally say it’s way in the past.”

Since June 26, 2012, Rizzo has appeared in 161 games, hit 27 home runs, and driven in 92 runs. His 65 extra-base hits in that span are second most among National League first baseman, trailing Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt (70).

“When he got here, he took off right away and had a great first six weeks, and then tailed off and finished up pretty well,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Rizzo, who batted .330 last July to be named NL Rookie of the Month.

“He’s one of those guys who is all in to his defense and his work ethic and trying to make himself a better player every day,” Sveum said. “The rest falls into place when you have that kind of mentality. The hands are there, the ability to hit is there. He’s already produced at the big league level. The power numbers — they only get better when you have that kind of work ethic and mindset.”

Rizzo is sporting the same cropped hair cut he did when called up last year.

“I got sick of my hair — I had long hair last year in Triple-A,” Rizzo said. “I cut it two days before I got called up. [This year] I cut it three days ago.”

So, could he win NL Player of the Month honors again?

“Yeah, let’s repeat that,” Rizzo said, smiling.

— Carrie Muskat

6/20 Cardinals 6, Cubs 1

Scott Feldman had never faced the Cardinals before Thursday, and after spending three days watching from the dugout, he discovered what everyone else already has: These guys are really good. Matt Holliday hit a tiebreaking RBI single and a solo home run to back Lance Lynn and lift the Cardinals to a 6-1 victory over Feldman and the sputtering Cubs, who dropped to 9-24 against the National League Central.

Feldman had to battle, and served up six hits over 5 1/3 innings, which was all the Cardinals needed. He dropped to 0-4 with a 6.65 ERA against NL Central teams.

“I knew going in that they had a good lineup and obviously, [Yadier Molina] is swinging the bat about as good as anybody I’ve ever seen right now,” Feldman said. “You’ve got to make your pitches and at the same time, be aggressive. I think you’ve got to tip your cap tonight. They did a great job and just beat me.”

Lynn did his homework, too. Chicago managed two hits in Wednesday’s 4-1 loss, and mustered three off Lynn over six innings as the right-hander picked up his 10th win to join teammate Adam Wainwright and Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann on top of the NL leaderboard.

“Coming here, we knew it was going to be tough to score runs and obviously, it was,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “We didn’t swing the bats at all. We only had five hits today, so seven hits in two days ain’t going to win too many ballgames, no matter how good your pitching is. Our starting pitching was pretty good in all four games against the best offense in baseball. We never really put any threats together. Today we weren’t too aggressive.”

After the Cardinals took a 1-0 lead on David Freese’s run-scoring groundout in the second, Welington Castillo tied the game with a leadoff home run in the third, his first since April 8. But the Cubs missed an opportunity in the fifth when they loaded the bases with two outs, and Lynn got Castro to pop up to Molina in foul territory.

“[Castro] is a guy who doesn’t scare from those situations,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “Getting the pop up was a big out for us.”

“I just tried to go see one pitch, and I hit it,” Castro said of the at-bat. “That team, they have pretty good pitching. [Lynn’s] fastball is a little bit sneaky, and I tried to get on top and it didn’t happen.”

The Cubs shortstop finished the seven-game road trip 4-for-30, and he’s now batting .232 for the season. A year ago, he was batting .300.

“He’s not the Lone Ranger in all this,” Sveum said about Castro. “There isn’t a whole lot of hitting going on.”

Alfonso Soriano went 2-for-29 on the trip, while Anthony Rizzo was 5-for-21, and the Cubs completed the trip, 3-4.

— Carrie Muskat