Results tagged ‘ Koyie Hill ’

7/2 Lou: "This was ugly"

The Cubs and Reds were playing a good game until the seventh inning on Friday.

“These type of games aren’t any fun,” Koyie Hill said. “It’s frustrating and the way the season’s been going, it’s easy for us to hang our heads and pout but a little adversity never hurt anybody. You can test a guy’s character a little bit, a team’s character but I feel we have a strong group in here, a strong bunch of hearts. I think guys will come in tomorrow with their heads high and confident, and in the long run when it turns around, we’ll feel good about battling through this.”

The Cubs mustered two hits in a 12-0 loss to the Reds and fell to a season-low 12-games under .500.

“The feeling of having to play close to perfect can make a team tight but it’s the style we’re having to play right now,” Hill said. “We have to continue to come here and practice good habits and hopefully it’ll come through for us on the field.”

Ryan Dempster held the Reds to two hits over six scoreless innings. In the seventh, the Reds scored nine runs on three hits, taking advantage of an error by Mike Fontenot.

“I could never have expected that, especially with Dempster on the mound and myself up,” Cincinnati’s Bronson Arroyo said. “I thought maybe we’d put a couple of more on the board but I didn’t think it was going to explode like that.”

This was the third time this season the Cubs have lost by a 12-run margin.

“The bottom line is we’re not getting it done,” Hill said. “It’s one thing to say it, one thing to do it.”

There’s only one way to turn this around and that’s to get the job done on the field.

“What else can you do?” Lou Piniella said. “The other teams don’t care if we’re struggling or not. They’re going to come here and try to beat you every day. We have a bunch of young pitchers in the bullpen and sometimes they throw strikes and sometimes they don’t. Today was one day they didn’t. For the most part, our pitching has been good.”

The problem wasn’t really the pitching or Fontenot’s error.

“The other thing is two hits today,” Piniella said. “Two hits. You’re not going to win too many games with two hits.”

The Cubs may look flat but Piniella said lack of effort is not the problem.

“When you don’t do much, you look flat,” Piniella said. “I don’t see that. What I see is basically lack of hitting. When you don’t have many baserunners, you don’t get any hitting, how are you going to look sprite? We’re not the quickest team in the world anyway. I know it’s ugly at times but believe me, I don’t see the lack of effort. It might seem that way but that’s not the case.”

Saturday’s game will be No. 81, which marks the halfway point of the season.

“Let me tell you this, if we continue to put two hits, three hits, four hits on the board, how are you going to win baseball games?” Piniella said. “I don’t have an answer for that one. You’ve got to score runs. Look, we lost 12-nothing and it was really ugly. If it had been 2-nothing, or 3-nothing — but it’s still nothing.”

— Carrie Muskat

6/30 Cubs' Hill: "We believe"

Despite Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to the Pirates, which dropped the Cubs to 10-games below .500, the players remained optimistic.

“There’s always time,” pitcher Tom Gorzelanny said. “There’s definitely a lot of baseball to be played. We need to get going, we need to win some games here. There’s definitely a lot of baseball to be played and there’s a lot of crazy things that have happened before and there’s no reason for us to panic or worry or believe that we could be some miracle team because we’re a good team and we can put what’s been going on behind us.”

Said Koyie Hill: “We believe in each other, big time.”

Said Alfonso Soriano: “There’s a lot of games left — there’s three months. I know the first three months have not been very good for us. I believe in this team because there’s a lot of great players and a lot of great teammates, also.”

The reality is, the Cubs haven’t won consecutive games since June 16-17 vs. Oakland. They’re now 1-9 in the last 10 series. They’ve now played 43 games decided by two or fewer runs and are 16-27 in those games. In the last 11 games, they’ve scored three or fewer runs, including one run or less in six of those games.

“It’s not like we’re not giving an effort or we’re playing dumb baseball,” Hill said. “I could see if we were taking crazy swings and everybody was up there trying to hit a homer but that’s not the case.”

— Carrie Muskat



6/30 Backing each other up

Koyie Hill was back behind the plate Wednesday for the second straight game, the third time this season he’s started consecutive games.

“I’ve said before, it’s no secret I enjoy playing,” Hill said. “But I also enjoy watching [Geovany Soto] play, too. He’s a great talent. I even voted for him for the All-Star Game [on the players’ ballots], so I have no problem caddying for him.”

Did Soto vote for Hill?

“No — he didn’t want his voting rights to be revoked,” Hill said, laughing.

Soto has started 54 of the Cubs’ games, while Wednesday was Hill’s 24th start behind the plate.

— Carrie Muskat 

6/30 Lineup Wed vs. Pirates

Mike Fontenot is starting at second base Wednesday in the Cubs’ series finale against the Pirates and Koyie Hill is behind the plate for a second day. Here’s the lineup:

RF Fukudome

2B Fontenot

CF Byrd

1B Lee

3B Ramirez

LF Soriano

C Hill

SS Castro

P Gorzelanny

— Carrie Muskat

6/19 Lou: "We've tried everything"

Lou Piniella had a few words for the Cubs after Saturday’s game but he didn’t tell them anything they don’t already know.

“I talked to them a little bit today,” Piniella said after the 12-0 loss to the Angels. “What am I supposed to do, yell and scream? That doesn’t do any good. Criticize people? That doesn’t do any good. You’ve got to go out and play on the field. That’s all you can do is play on the field. If not, you’re going to get embarrassed like you did today.”

The Cubs were charged with three errors, and now have made 12 in the last five games. They’ve now given up 44 unearned runs, the most in the Major Leagues.

“We’ve tried everything we have here,” Piniella said. “We’ve pitched everybody, we’ve played everybody, we’ve changed lineups, we’ve done everything that I can humanly do to get this thing turned around. That’s all I can do.”

What do the players do?

“We go out there and play,” Marlon Byrd said. “Lou manages. We go out there and play. It all starts with the guys on the field. Whatever lineup he puts out there, we have to go get it done.”

And keep the right frame of mind.

“You stay positive and continue to believe in yourself and continue to work hard and figure out if there’s some adjustments that you need to make,” said Ted Lilly, who took the loss. “I believe we’re going to continue to [be positive]. We have no choice but to continue to push it.”

“Do we think we’re better?” catcher Koyie Hill said. “Definitely.”

— Carrie Muskat

6/15 Battle of the backstops

Catcher Koyie Hill started Tuesday night, his second straight start. Lou Piniella said Geovany Soto will be back behind the plate Wednesday and Thursday when the Athletics start two left-handers.

“We’re just trying to win baseball games right now,” Piniella said Tuesday. “Both catchers have done a nice job behind the plate. I don’t know — we can go either way with that. Tonight Hill is catching because we won the other night.”

Here are some other numbers:

* When Hill is behind the plate, the Cubs pitchers have a 3.58 ERA, compared to 4.14 ERA when Soto is catching.

* Hill has thrown out three of 16 base stealers, while Soto has thrown out six of 39. Teams may not be running as much against Hill, but a significant number of the stolen bases are because of the pitchers, not the catchers.

* Hill is batting .232 while Soto is hitting .266, but Soto also was hitting just .120 from May 11-June 4.

— Carrie Muskat

6/13 Lilly flirts with history

Ted Lilly took a no-hitter into the ninth and the Cubs survived a late-inning threat to post a 1-0 Interleague victory over the White Sox in front of 40,456 crazed hockey and baseball fans. Lilly (2-5) and White Sox starter Gavin Floyd (2-7) matched each other with hitless innings through six. But with two outs in the Cubs seventh, Alfonso Soriano smacked a clean double to left and scored on Chad Tracy’s single to center.

“I told [Lilly] after the game I was having flashbacks to 2004 when I played in a perfect game with [Randy Johnson],” Tracy said. “It just so happened I drove in the only run in that game, too. I was hoping he’d get it so I could have another lineup card and another story to tell my grandkids.”

Pinch-hitter Juan Pierre ended Lilly’s no-hit bid when he singled to center to lead off the ninth, lining an 0-1 slider. Lilly struck out three, walked one and hit two batters.

“I was just looking for something out over the plate and he threw it there and I put a good swing on it,” Pierre said. “I knew he was going to throw strikes pretty much. I just got a pitch he probably wants back, but I did put a good swing on it and broke it up.”

Lilly was pulled after the hit and 108 pitches. He received a standing ovation as he walked off the field.

“It was unbelievable,” Lilly said. “There was so much energy. I can’t remember that much energy — I guess I’d have to go back to 2001 and the World Series and some of those big late inning game-winning homers and you get that kind of feeling. It was awesome and really special.”

This was the fifth time Lilly has held an opponent hitless through the first six innings of a game, and first time since last season’s home opener against Colorado, April 13, 2009. The last time he flirted with a no-no was April 27, 2002, against Seattle when he went 7 1/3 innings without giving up a hit.

The win didn’t come easy. After Pierre singled and Lilly exited, closer Carlos Marmol entered and walked Andruw Jones. He was then called for a balk. Marmol explained that he hit his leg on purpose with the ball because he didn’t want to throw the pitch.

“The walk to Jones and then the balk and I said, ‘Oh, [shoot],'” Piniella said.

The game got off to a rousing start as the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks were toasted prior to the game, parading the silver trophy around the ballpark to their signature tune, “Chelsea Dagger,” and posing for a photo on the mound with both the Cubs and White Sox players and staff.

“It’s funny because we talked about it when the Blackhawks were walking around the field,” catcher Koyie Hill said. “I said to Teddy, ‘Let’s do that.’ There was a little extra buzz in the air and you see how much fun [the Blackhawks] were having, it kind of carries over to what we’re doing. I’m sure over there on the other side of the field, too. That was neat. There was a little more energy. It felt like something special was going to happen.”

What did Hill want to do — win the Stanley Cup or catch a no-hitter?

“Either one and you’re champs,” Hill said. “You want to be a champ in the show, that’s what you have to do.”

— Carrie Muskat

6/10 Sloppy, sloppy play

Mistakes cost the Cubs on Thursday. With the game tied at 4 in the Milwaukee 10th, Bob Howry walked Carlos Gomez. Craig Counsell then bunted and third baseman Chad Tracy threw to first for the force. Gomez kept running. Xavier Nady threw to catcher Koyie Hill, who was covering at third, and missed everyone. Gomez scored on the error.

“I just tried to make a perfect throw and it sailed on me,” Nady said.

“It was a perfect situation for the Brewers,” Hill said. “They had a guy up there at the plate [in Counsell] who takes a lot of pride in what he does and he practices those situations so when it does come up, he gets the bunt down to the right side of the field. They have the perfect guy on first base [in Gomez] who is one of the fastest guys in the league and they had one of the worst fundamental teams on the field, so it was a perfect situation for them.”

With Hill covering at third, nobody was protecting home if the Cubs did try to get Gomez at home.

“I looked a little bit to home plate and I saw Counsell drop a bunt so I wasn’t stopping,” Gomez said. “They had no chance to throw me out at third because the catcher had to run to third.”

“It was great baserunning,” Counsell said. “I think [Gomez] basically had it in his head that he was going to third and he never slowed down. They weren’t going to get him, even with a good throw.”

— Carrie Muskat

6/8 Game recap

This one is going to sting a little bit. The problem, Lou Piniella said, was Carlos Marmol hitting Rickie Weeks to start the Brewers ninth. Marmol got Carlos Gomez to pop up but Weeks stole second, and the Cubs opted to intentionally walk Prince Fielder. Ryan Braun grounded out and Casey McGehee drove a 3-2 pitch up the middle to give Milwaukee its second win over Chicago in seven meetings this year. Final score, Brewers 3, Cubs 2.

“It’s the first hitter,” Piniella said. “That’s the inning. [Marmol] hits a guy and steals second and that causes a problem.”

“I was struggling a little to throw the slider for strikes,” Marmol said. “Then I hit Rickie Weeks. Then I walk the guy. McGehee, he hit that slider. It was a good pitch.”

“It was just well placed,” Koyie Hill said of McGehee’s game-winner. “It’s a game of inches. You’re just a tick outside of [second baseman Ryan] Theriot’s glove, he knocks it down, tie game and you go into extras.”

— 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