Results tagged ‘ Marlon Byrd ’

7/24 Extra bases – post-game edition

Finally. The Cubs finally posted a three-game win streak with a 5-4, 10-inning win Sunday over the Astros to sweep the series. It’s their first

“What a way to do it,” Mike Quade said. “You knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”

Marlon Byrd tripled and scored on pinch-hitter Jeff Baker’s single with one out for the game-winner. Matt Garza deserved the win, but didn’t get it. He gave up two runs on five hits and departed after seven innings with a 3-2 lead. This was the sixth time he’s left a game with the lead but did not factor in the decision.

“We won a ballgame because he gave us seven great innings,” Quade said.

“Every time you contribute it’s a plus,” Garza said.

Cubs starters posted seven quality starts in the 10-game homestand, and a 1.32 ERA in those games.

The reason Garza didn’t get the decision was Carlos Lee’s two-run homer in the eighth off Jeff Samardzija. The home run didn’t bother Samardzija as much as the walk to Hunter Pence to set up Lee’s blast.

“What Lee did is what he gets paid to do, hit home runs, but Pence, you have to make him put the ball in play, and that way if Lee does hit one, it’s just a one-run home run,” Samardzija said.

Samardijza had not given up a run in 12 straight outings prior to Sunday.

“You’re asking a guy to pitch three days in a row and it’s a lot,” Quade said of Samardzija.

* The Cubs were a little short-handed. Koyie Hill and Reed Johnson weren’t available; neither was feeling well. Both Sean Marshall and Kerry Wood were not available either but both did volunteer to pitch if needed. Wood had warmed up a few times in the last few days.

“News flash. Sometimes guys need a day here and there,” Wood said. “Nothing new. I pitched a lot in the pen.”

* The Cubs notched the three-game win streak in their 102nd game of the year. Only once in team history has it gone longer into a season without winning three in a row. In 1966, the Cubs picked up their first three-game win streak Aug. 4-6 in games No. 106-108. Six previous times that year, the Cubs had won two straight only to lose the third.

The only other time the Cubs ended the month of July without a three-game win streak was in 1960. That year, the Cubs won three in a row for the first time July 30-Aug. 2 in games No. 95-97. Thanks to Cubs historian Ed Hartig for the info.

“It took a while but we finally got it done,” Byrd said of the three-game streak.

* Byrd was playing in his 1,000th game, and went 4-for-5 with three runs, a double and a triple. He’s hitting .359 with three walks, 10 runs, four doubles, a triple, two homers and four RBIs in 17 games since July 4. The four hits were a season high, and the first time he’s done that since July 9, 2010, against the Dodgers.

* The Cubs are 6-3 in extra-inning games, including a 5-0 mark at home.

— Carrie Muskat


7/7 Cubs lineup

Darwin Barney is in the eighth spot Thursday for the Cubs in the series finale against the Nationals. The Cubs need to get Marlon Byrd back on track. He’s batting .176 (3-for-17) in July. Starlin Castro is hitting .190 (4-for-21) this month. Here’s the lineup:

RF Fukudome

SS Castro

3B Ramirez

1B Pena

C Soto

CF Byrd

LF Soriano

2B Barney

P Garza

— Carrie Muskat

7/2 Extra bases

Mike Quade was ejected for the third time this season after arguing a call by second base umpire Paul Emmel regarding Gordon Beckham’s play at the bag in the second inning. The Cubs had runners at first and second with none out in the second against the White Sox when Alfonso Soriano hit a grounder to third baseman Brent Morel. He threw to Beckham, who did not appear to touch the bag when he caught the ball. Beckham threw to first for a double play. Emmel ruled the runner was out at second.

Quade argued Beckham wasn’t in the “neighborhood,” and was subsequently tossed.

“First of all, I thought that was taking the old school neighborhood play too far,” Quade said. “It was important. To me, that was a big play. We had three of the same opportunities obviously in the first, second and sixth [innings] and you want to be productive in those situations and we weren’t.

“People have to execute on the other side, too, but I thought the throw took the guy way off the bag,” Quade said.

* Saturday’s crowd of 42,165 was the largest for a Cubs-White Sox game at Wrigley Field since Interleague play began in 1997.

* Matt Garza threw his first complete game since Aug. 6, 2010, and seventh of his career. It also was the sixth time he’s allowed one or no runs and took the loss.

* Darwin Barney has 79 hits so far. With eight games remaining before the All-Star break, his hits rank 11th among Cubs rookies. Ken Hubbs had 95 hits in 1962 before the break.

* Kosuke Fukudome is hitting .341 at home, which is tied for third in the NL and ranks sixth in the Majors.

* Marlon Byrd was 0-for-3 in his first game back after being hit in the face on May 21. He was obviously happy to be back, tipping his cap to the fans in the bleachers and dancing in center field before the game started.

“He was so excited to be back,” Quade said. “He just loves to play this game. He’s going to be a big part of our second half.”

* On Sunday, Rodrigo Lopez (0-2, 5.40 ERA) faces Gavin Floyd (6-7, 4.19 ERA) in the series finale.

— Carrie Muskat

7/2 Byrd activated; Montanez to Iowa

Marlon Byrd slid home, stole a base, broke up a double play and was hit by a pitch twice during his four-game Minor League rehab stint with Triple-A Iowa.

“I’m ready,” Byrd said.

The center fielder was back in the Cubs’ lineup on Saturday, activated from the disabled list six weeks since he was hit by pitch in the face by Boston’s Alfredo Aceves. He will wear a protective guard on his batting helmet that extends around the left side of his face as a precaution.

“It’s comfortable and doesn’t get in the way, so I’ll wear it,” he said.

Byrd suffered multiple facial fractures when he was hit in the face by Aceves’ pitch at Fenway Park. He still has a small dark purple bruise under his left eye. In four rehab games at Triple-A Iowa, Byrd was 4-for-15 with a double, a home run and three RBIs, including a 1-for-4 game on Friday. He also was hit by a pitch twice, getting plunked in the back and the hamstring.

That’s different than being hit in the face but Byrd said he had no lingering fears during his at-bats at Iowa.

“I took one [in the face] as a 9-year-old and that can’t compare to what happened so I’m not a very good expert to talk about it,” Cubs manager Mike Quade said. “The one thing I do know is when you talk about the character and toughness he’s got, he’ll be fine.

“All indications are that he came out of Iowa swinging the bat really well,” Quade said. “It’s part of the game and something I have no doubt Marlon has overcome.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/2 Byrd’s back at Wrigley

Marlon Byrd was back at Wrigley Field on Saturday and expected to be activated from the disabled list. If he plays, it’ll be his first game since May 21 when he was hit in the face by Boston’s Alfredo Aceves. Byrd suffered multiple facial fractures. In four rehab games at Triple-A Iowa, he was 4-for-15 with a double, a home run and three RBIs. He also was hit by a pitch twice — and no problems. GM Jim Hendry said on Friday that Byrd could be back before the weekend was over.

“The indications are he’s really swinging the bat well and looks good at Iowa so not only is he healthy … but people are commenting on the quality of his at-bats and his performance and you think, ‘OK, he’s ready to contribute right away,'” Mike Quade said Friday.

— Carrie Muskat


6/30 Extra bases

Marlon Byrd will play for Triple-A Iowa Thursday through Saturday, and was expected to join the Cubs on Sunday for the next road trip. Iowa had Wednesday off and opens a series against New Orleans on Thursday. Byrd is rehabbing from facial fractures suffered when he was hit by a pitch May 21. He’s hit a three-run homer so far for Iowa.

* Andrew Cashner was examined by Cubs orthopedic specialist Stephen Gryzlo on Thursday. If the right-hander gets the go-ahead, he could begin a throwing program Friday. He’s been rehabbing in Mesa, Ariz.

* Kerry Wood will be activated from the DL on Friday, just in time for the Cubs series vs. the White Sox. Wood tested the blister on his right index finger by throwing 15 pitches in a live BP session on Wednesday.

— Carrie Muskat

6/29 Byrd, Cashner & Colvin

Some news and notes pregame Wednesday:

* Marlon Byrd could be activated before Sunday. He’s rehabbing with Triple-A Iowa.

* Andrew Cashner, on the DL with a strained rotator cuff, will be examined by the team doctor in Chicago. Said GM Jim Hendry: “We’ll take our time with him.”

Added Hendry on Cashner: “I’m quite confident he’ll be back pitching this year. We’ll do what’s best for his career and future.”

* Tyler Colvin is making progress at Triple-A Iowa. Said Hendry: “He’s doing fine. He’s swinging the bat a lot better. We just want to make sure he’s back to where he was last year before he got hurt. He’ll be a big part of our future.”

— Carrie Muskat

6/29 Hendry: “No fire sale”

Cubs GM Jim Hendry says there will be no fire sale at the trading deadline and that he’s looking forward to seeing the team whole once injured players like Marlon Byrd and Kerry Wood return.

“I read some things that people assume — they use the word ‘fire sale,'” Hendry said Wednesday. “That’s not going to happen. We’re not interested in trading people at all who will be valuable to us moving forward. People like to float names of your better players which makes no sense to trade. If we make moves, it will be designed to make us better for the future. We still want to see how we play the next month or so.

“Everybody thinks there’s this big automatic, ‘You have to be a buyer or seller’ or ‘It’s fire sale time,'” Hendry said. “We’ve got a lot of young people out there pitching and playing, and people who will be productive for us in a year from now who, when you get ready to put a team together in the offseason, you don’t want to start without them anyhow. As the games go, there’s less and less pitching available every year and less and less talent, for the most part. We’re certainly going to hold onto the people no matter what who we feel will be major contributors down the road.”

That said, Hendry is not content with the way the Cubs have played and expects a better situation when Byrd and Wood come off the DL.

“The bantering that goes on about how many people will be out of here [at the trading deadline] is foolish,” Hendry said. “There’s a lot of people you’re still capable of winning with down the road who are not free agents and you have control of their contracts for years that you’re not interested in trading.”

Hendry said the Cubs can turn things around in a short amount of time.

“We’ve done that before a few times and plan on doing it again,” he said. “You look at people winning now the last couple years who weren’t two or three years ago — people like Texas come to mind. Different clubs are in contention now that weren’t two or three years ago. Unfortunately, we’re on the other side.”

The Cubs began play Wednesday at 32-48.

“It’s obviously extremely disappointing,” Hendry said. “Nobody expected that. There’s no sense in going with excuses — we haven’t played good enough baseball to be in contention. When you lose a couple rotation guys, it puts us right behind the eight ball. I think we’re 8-24 in the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation. That first week of the season when we saw [Randy] Wells and [Andrew] Cashner pitch like that, I don’t think those two at that point in their lives would be 8-24.”

The Cubs also have lost games started by pitchers other than the fourth and fifth starters which they should have won, he said.

“It’s kind of a snowballing effect,” Hendry said. “Now some of the guys who were not swinging in April are swinging better now. We still feel there’s a lot of baseball games. We’re not going to roll over.”

— Carrie Muskat

6/27 Are Cubs buyers or sellers?

The trade deadline is July 31 but it was a topic posed to some Cubs players after Monday’s 7-3 win over the Rockies. Will the Cubs be buyers or sellers?

“We haven’t been healthy,” third baseman Aramis Ramirez said. “Right now we’re playing better but we’re missing Marlon Byrd and [Darwin] Barney [who are on the DL].”

Pitcher Matt Garza ignores the talk.

“I know what my job is and that’s to pitch and get outs,” he said. “None of that stuff concerns me. If my name gets called, it gets called. I’m just going to keep going out there and keep pitching.”

Carlos Pena has been red-hot lately. Maybe he’ll draw interest? He doesn’t think about such things.

“Not at all,” Pena said. “I’m a Cub. I don’t even look that far ahead. In my mind, I’m a Cub until the end.”

Does he feel the Cubs can still make a run in the NL Central?

“We still have faith in this ballclub,” Pena said. “Everyone here believes we can do it. We undrstand we need to play today’s game today. I think we’re playing great baseball in the last few weeks. Now we have to make the sure the tight ballgames go our way.”

— Carrie Muskat

6/22 A gift for Marlon

Rhiannon Jolliff’s first grade class at Joan Martin Elementary School in Hobart, Ind., sent Marlon Byrd some drawings and get well wishes, including a message from one student that the Cubs outfielder is the “best player in the world.” Byrd, on the disabled list after getting hit in the face with a pitch May 21, was expected to begin a rehab assignment Monday with Triple-A Iowa. Saturday marks the five-week mark since he was hit by Boston’s Alfredo Aceves.

— Carrie Muskat