Results tagged ‘ Kosuke Fukudome ’

6/17 Positive vibe

There was a positive vibe before Thursday’s game and definitely after Kosuke Fukudome delivered a game-winning RBI single.

“Guys are chomping at the bit to get victories and encouraging each other,” Ryan Theriot said. “It’s such a long season. You have so many at-bats, so many games and so many starts and you’re going to have ups and downs and peaks and valleys. If you stay consistent with your mental approach, it’ll even out.”

Thursday was the 25th Cubs game decided by one run, and the team now is 10-15. They won their first series since May 25-27 against the Dodgers, and have won back to back games for the first time since May 22-25.

“Nothing’s been easy,” Xavier Nady said. “Our work has been cut out for us. You can pinpoint it on offensive production. Hopefully we can make it less stressful and have big innings and bigger hits. There have been a lot of close games.”

– Carrie Muskat

6/15 Comedy of errors

When it rains, it pours. Derrek Lee and Tyler Colvin each made two errors in one inning Tuesday night against the Athletics. It’s the first time the Cubs have committed two errors in two different innings of the same game since Sept. 12, 2006, against the Dodgers, and first time they’ve made four errors in one game since Sept. 12, 2009, against Cincinnati.

Lee entered the game having gone 59 straight without an error, his longest streak since a 62-game stretch to begin the 2007 season. It’s the fourth time the Cubs have committed two miscues in a single inning this season but first time one player made both since Kosuke Fukudome did so Aug. 23, 2008, against Washington. Colvin’s two-error seventh was the fifth time this year they’ve made two errors in one inning.

– Carrie Muskat

6/13 Colvin to play more

Lou Piniella has said in the past that rookie Tyler Colvin will get more playing time, and it appears that time is now. Colvin started in right field Sunday.

“We said that when the time was right we were going to make this type of move and the time’s getting real right,” Piniella said.

It’s not clear if Colvin will only play right field in place of Kosuke Fukudome, who was batting .222 in his last 22 games since May 16. Colvin also will get some starts against lefties.

“Why not?” Piniella said. “He’s going to be playing a lot more than he has been playing. He deserves an opportunity. We brought him along, he waited his turn and he deserves an opportunity.”

– Carrie Muskat

6/11 Stats pack: Colvin vs Peavy

Here’s why Tyler Colvin isn’t playing Friday vs. Jake Peavy:

* Marlon Byrd is just 1-for-3 off Peavy, but Byrd batted .485 (16-for-33) on the road trip and is riding a seven-game hitting streak.

* Kosuke Fukudome is 4-for-6 in his career against the right-hander.

* Alfonso Soriano is 6-for-16 (.375) off Peavy.

* Colvin has never faced the White Sox starter.

– Carrie Muskat

6/11 Cubs vs White Sox lineup

Kosuke Fukudome is back at the top of the order for Friday’s Interleague game against the White Sox. Here’s the Cubs’ lineup:

RF Fukudome

2B Theriot

1B Lee

CF Byrd

LF Soriano

3B Tracy

C Hill

SS Castro

P Wells

– Carrie Muskat

6/11 Lou lashes out at criticism

Lou Piniella lit into White Sox broadcaster Steve Stone who has been critical of the way the Cubs are handling outfielder Tyler Colvin. Stone said: “I think that means that Lou doesn’t have a great grasp on what to do with young players.” Stone says Colvin needs 30 at-bats a week, minimum.

Piniella was asked prior to Friday’s game about Starlin Castro and Colvin, and then took off. Here’s a transcript:

“Castro basically has played every inning of every game,” Piniella said. “With Colvin it’s a more difficult situation for me. I’ve got five Major League outfielders here. It’s not fair that I abandon one or two of them. It’s not fair and I’m not going to do it. I’ve said I’ll try to get Colvin in there as much as I can and that’s what I’m doing. Colvin is a fine young player and his time is going to come. I’ve got five people here who deserve to play as well.”

Piniella said Alfonso Soriano was starting because he’s hitting “.400 off [Jake] Peavy,” and that Kosuke Fukudome is 4-for-6, and Marlon Byrd “has basically been our best hitter.”

“It’s a tough situation,” Piniella said. “I know I get criticized for it. We’ve got a lot of people here who haven’t managed or won any games in the big leagues but they know everything. They really do. I think they should try to put the uniform on and try this job and see how they like it when they get criticized unjustly. That’s all I have to say about that issue.”

Of course, that wasn’t all he had to say.

“You get tired of it,” Piniella said, unprompted. “I’m trying to do the best job I possibly can. the only people I need to listen to are the people in my organization. That’s it. I get tired of being nitpicked and I get tired of being criticized unjustly. Why don’t they talk to me first before they do it and get my points and my feelings and then make a determination?

“The same way that I get called ridiculous, they’re ridiculous in the way they report things, too.”

Someone tried to ask about Peavy again, but Piniella wasn’t finished.

“And another thing I’m going to say, I’ve won over 1,800 games as a manager and I’m not a [darn] dummy,” he said. “There are only 13 others who have won more games than me so I guess I think I know what the [heck] I’m doing.”

Asked if it was someone specific on radio or TV that made the comments, and Piniella said the Chicago media has treated him well and he enjoys the beat writers.

“Talk to me — get my feelings, get my viewpoints,” he said. “And then if you don’t agree with me, say what you want. But at least give me the courtesy of defending myself and giving my explanation of why things are done and not done. That’s all I ask. And that’s only fair.”

Asked if he would address the critic directly, Piniella brought up Stone’s name.

“I’m tired of it,” he said. “Steve Stone, he has enough problems doing what he’s doing with the White Sox. What job has he had in baseball besides talking on television or radio? What has he done? Why isn’t he a farm director and bring some kids around? Why isn’t he a general manager and put the uniform on and been a pitching coach? Why hasn’t he been a field manager? There’s 30 teams out there who could use a guy with expertise like that. I’m tired of some of these guys, I really am. Now let’s go to baseball.”

– Carrie Muskat

6/6 Lineup vs Astros

Tyler Colvin is back in the lineup for a second day and this time Alfonso Soriano will sit. Plus, Koyie Hill will start for the second straight game. Ryan Theriot is sitting and Mike Fontenot gets the start vs. RHP Brett Myers. Here’s the lineup:

RF Fukudome

LF Colvin

1B Lee

CF Byrd

3B Ramirez

2B Fontenot

SS Castro

C Hill

P Wells

– Carrie Muskat

6/5 Check the calendar

Only Alfonso Soriano, Mike Fontenot, Tyler Colvin and Derrek Lee performed better in the month of May than April. I’m not going to count Aramis Ramirez’s very slight increase. There were some significant dropoffs:

* Kosuke Fukudome had five homers in the first month and one in May. Plus his strikeouts increased in May. He could be bumped Saturday and replaced by Colvin.

* Ryan Theriot drew six walks in April, one in May and that was May 1. His OBP went from .370 in April to .257 in May.

* On the plus side, Soriano had three homers in April and doubled that in May (six).

Here are the batting averages for the first two months:

Byrd: April .348; May .257

Colvin: April .289; May .333

Fontenot: April .305; May .347

Fukudome: April .344; May .253

Lee: April .205; May .257

Ramirez: April .152; May .173

Soriano: April .292; May .308

Soto: April .340; May .200

Theriot: April .337; May .236

– Carrie Muskat

5/29 Hard to squeeze Colvin into mix

Rookie Tyler Colvin is batting .353 in his last 24 games. Wasn’t Lou Piniella tempted to put the outfielder in Saturday’s lineup?

“The kid’s playing,” Piniella said.

The problem is, the Cubs’ other outfielders are doing well. It’s hard to bump Alfonso Soriano (.307), Marlon Byrd (.299) or Kosuke Fukudome (.304).

“If [Colvin] continues to do these things, he’s forcing it,” Piniella said. “I have three veteran outfielders — actually four with [Xavier] Nady. Basically, they’re playing well also. It’s not like they’re struggling. I was looking at some of the numbers today.”

Colvin is 2-for-9 off the bench, and in his last 24 games, he has five doubles, a triple, four homers and 11 RBIs.

“He’s done a nice job off the bench and he’s helped us win a few games off the bench,” Piniella said of the young outfielder. “If he continues, we’ll get him in there more.”

– Carrie Muskat

5/23 Lineup tweaks & Castro

Nobody likes to admit that they’re superstitious but the Cubs are 6-0 when Starlin Castro bats in the No. 2 spot. Lou Piniella has inserted Castro high in the order against left-handers but hinted Sunday he may keep the rookie there against right-handers, too. With Aramis Ramirez out because of a bruised thumb, Piniella said he could move Kosuke Fukudome to the No. 5 spot and have Castro bat second. Fukudome has hit second against right-handers.

The Dodgers will start lefty Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday, so Castro will bat second. But Piniella may keep him there Wednesday and Thursday against right-handers Chad Billingsley and John Ely.

– Carrie Muskat

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