Results tagged ‘ Derrek Lee ’

7/26 Big Z: "I apologize"

The Cubs had hoped Carlos Zambrano would talk to his teammates before the media but the pitcher made comments Monday to ESPN, saying his tantrum June 25 was sparked by a “moment of frustration.” Zambrano said he was trying to fire up the Cubs after falling behind 4-0 in the first inning against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Three of the White Sox’s runs that inning came on Carlos Quentin’s three-run homer off an 0-2 pitch from Zambrano.

When the pitcher came off the field, he yelled and screamed in the dugout. Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee told Zambrano to shut up, the pitcher said, and Zambrano “got more excited.”

“I apologize from the bottom of my heart,” Zambrano told ESPN. “The last person I would be mad at is D-Lee. He’s a Gold Glover. I was just mad at myself.”

Zambrano said he sent a text message to Lee two days after the incident and they talked.

The pitcher was suspended for three days without pay after the incident and then placed on the restricted list to undergo treatment for anger issues.

“I saw a little bit of it,” Piniella said Monday of Zambrano’s comments. “I’m sure he’s contrite and I’m sure he’s looking forward to coming back but the important thing remains that he talk to his teammates.”

Zambrano has pitched twice for Triple-A Iowa and was expected to rejoin the Cubs Friday in Denver when they open a weekend series against the Rockies. That’s when Zambrano needs to talk to the team, Piniella said.

“I said that time heals wounds and that’s exactly what has happened but I’m sure his teammates want to hear what he has to say and we’ll go from there,” Piniella said. “With time, you tend to forgive and forget.”

Zambrano said he does not want to leave the Cubs, saying he “came on a mission, and I want that ring.”

He also said the therapy sessions have helped.

“A lot of people have told me I need to change if I want to be successful,” Zambrano said. “Thank God the Cubs have sent me to the doctor for anger management. I’ve had three sessions already … doing exercises. I have to write down every time I get mad.”

Zambrano has yet to pitch in back to back games but Piniella said he didn’t think that was necessary.

“He’s probably chomping at the bit to get back into the fray,” Piniella said, “and hopefully he’ll come back and help us win some baseball games.”

“I’m really looking forward to being back with the team,” Zambrano said. “I’m not liking Triple-A too much.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/26 Ramirez NL Player of the Week

The Cubs’ Aramis Ramirez was named National League Player of the Week for July 19-25. Bank of America, the official bank of Major League Baseball, is the presenting sponsor for the award. Ramirez btted .360 (9-for-25) in six games and was tied for the Major League-lead with four home runs while his 10 RBIs were second. He had a .393 on-base percentage and an .840 slugging percentage during the week.

Last Tuesday, Ramirez hit three homers for the fourth time in his career and tied a career high with seven RBIs in a 14-7 win over the Astros. It was the second multi-homer game of the year for the Cubs third baseman. This month, Ramirez was batting .351 with 24 RBIs and a Major League-high nine home runs.

Other nominees for the weekly award included Starlin Castro (.407) and Derrek Lee (.423).

— Carrie Muskat

7/23 Extra bases

Geovany Soto has homered in three consecutive games for the first time in his career after hitting No. 14 of the season on Friday. He’s batting .368 this month.

Other notes from the 5-0 win over the Cardinals:

* Starlin Castro is batting .463 with six runs, six doubles, a triple and six RBIs in his last 10 games. Castro has hit safely in 20 of his last 23 games.

* Derrek Lee is batting .423 (11-for-26) in his last six games. Aramis Ramirez is batting .368 this month with nine homers and 24 RBIs.

* After losing 10 straight series openers, the Cubs now have won three of the last five.

— Carrie Muskat

7/23 Cubs Cookbook now on sale

Want to make Ryan Theriot’s favorite jambalaya? Or Lou Piniella’s chicken salad? The Cubs Cookbook was officially released Friday, and features more than 60 recipes from players past, present and future. Proceeds from the sale benefit Ryan Dempster’s foundation.

Ted Lilly and bullpen catcher Corey Miller came up with the idea for the cookbook in Spring Training. They wanted to do something to help Dempster’s cause, which is to raise awareness of 22q (DiGeorge syndrome), which his daughter, Riley, has.

The books also include a history of food at Wrigley Field plus several recipes from some of Chicago’s top restaurants. Players who didn’t have a favorite recipe to make suggested something from a local establishment. For example, Derrek Lee orders the parmesan crusted filet at Wildfire every time he goes there. Greg Maddux likes the potatoes at Rosebud.

It’s a great gift — and was done for a great cause.

— Carrie Muskat

7/20 Mystery ball a success

The Mystery Ball Tuesday was a huge success. Chicago Cubs Charities and Ryan Theriot teamed up to raise $22,000 for Gulf Coast relief. More than 900 baseballs signed by Cubs players and coaches sold out before the game began. Theriot and Derrek Lee also appeared at the gates to Wrigley Field to sign baseballs for fans entering the park.

— Carrie Muskat 

7/19 On the positive side …

Aramis Ramirez is on a hot streak. The Cubs third baseman hit a two-run homer Monday, his 200th with the Cubs. He’s now hitting .364 (20-for-55) this month with five doubles, a triple, six homers and 17 RBIs. Ramirez has hit safely in 15 of his last 19 games since June 26.

* Tyler Colvin hit his 13th home run Monday in his 85th game. Last year at Double-A Tennessee, he hit 14 homers in 84 games with the Smokies.

* Derrek Lee recorded his 42nd career multi-double game and second this year. He is four doubles shy of 400 in his career.

* Mitch Atkins, who followed Carlos Silva, set career highs in innings pitched (four), hits allowed (five) and runs allowed (three).

* And on the down side, rookie Starlin Castro became the fourth Cubs player to commit two errors in a single inning. Castro’s only other multiple error game was May 10 against Florida, which was his Wrigley Field debut.

— Carrie Muskat

7/19 Silva: "I got beat"

Lou Piniella and Larry Rothschild will sit down Tuesday to try and figure out what’s wrong with Carlos Silva. On Monday, Silva faced 11 batters in a five-run inning as the Astros collected seven hits. He opened the season 8-0 but now is 1-4 in his last seven starts and hasn’t gotten past the second inning in the last two. Monday was his shortest outing since he lasted two-thirds of an inning May 30, 2008, against Detroit. What happened?

“Silva — I don’t have an explanation,” Piniella said. “We have to get him straightened out.”

In his last two starts, Silva has served up 11 runs on 13 hits and five walks in 2 1/3 innings.

“I don’t know if [the Cubs] have concerns,” Silva said. “I don’t. I’m still human. I felt very good today. I’ll just get ready for the next game.”

It’s the fourth time a Cubs starter has given up five or more runs in the first. Carlos Zambrano did so Opening Day, April 5, and Randy Wells did it twice (May 6 at Pittsburgh and May 28 vs. St. Louis).

“Carlos throws strikes and I think they made a point to come out aggressive,” said Chicago’s Derrek Lee, who had three hits, including two doubles. “He probably threw too many strikes tonight. I’m sure he’ll make the adjustment. I thought his stuff was fine. He was just probably getting too much of the plate and they were aggressive and ready for it.”

Silva had some problems with his right leg but has not loitering in the trainer’s room. He planned on watching video Tuesday to see if he was tipping pitches.

“It’s going to happen,” Silva said. “These things are going to happen. Today I felt really good but I got beat. Everything I was throwing, they were hitting.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/15 Extra bases

We all know Philadelphia’s Jamie Moyer doesn’t throw the ball very hard, so when he plunked Tyler Colvin and then Marlon Byrd in the first inning on Thursday, neither was running for an ice pack.

“Marlon Byrd, I was just trying to throw a ball down and in, and I pulled it and it hit him in the thigh,” Moyer said. “He walks to first base and laughs.”

Some other notes from Thursday’s 12-6 win over the Phillies:

* Aramis Ramirez hit a pair of two-run doubles. He’s now batting .350 (21-for-60) with five doubles, a triple, five homers and 14 RBIs in his last 15 games, dating to June 26. The four RBIs matched his season high. He looked upset after popping up in the eighth with two on.

“When you have a night like tonight, you want to take advantage of it,” Ramirez said.

* Derrek Lee had three hits, including a two-run homer, his first since June 18. Alfonso Soriano hit his team-leading 16th home run. He hit 20 homers total in 2009.

* Ryan Dempster picked up his 13th quality start, tied with teammate Carlos Silva for most on the team. Dempster has thrown six or more innings in 17 of his 19 starts. He’s five strikeouts away from 1,500 in his career.

“I was able to pound the strike zone and try to get ahead of as many hitters and be aggressive,” Dempster said. “They’re a very good hitting team and the last thing you want to do is let them get in hitters counts.”

* Setting the record straight: Silva was not around post-game on Sunday when the Cubs lost, 7-0, to the Dodgers. He was ejected in the second inning and had left the ballpark before the media had a chance to talk to him. He left because his daughter was ill and he wanted to be with his family.

— Carrie Muskat


7/11 Lineup & Lee

Lou Piniella decided to give Derrek Lee an extended breather and he was not in the starting lineup for Sunday’s first half finale against the Dodgers. Here’s the lineup:

RF Fukudome

2B Theriot

CF Byrd

3B Ramirez

1B Nady

LF Soriano

SS Castro

C Soto

P Silva

— Carrie Muskat

7/11 Ramirez on hot streak

Aramis Ramirez was 2-for-4 on Saturday with a solo home run. In his last five games, the Cubs third baseman is 11-for-21 with seven extra-base hits, nine runs scored and nine RBIs, and he’s had at least two hits, including an extra-base hit, in each of those games. According to Elias Sports Bureau, that ties the longest streak of games with at least two hits and one extra-base hit by a Cubs player over the last 70 years, done several other times, most recently by Derrek Lee in 2007. Maybe Lee can match that feat starting in the second half.

— Carrie Muskat