Results tagged ‘ Mike Fontenot ’

5/12 The good, the bad & the ugly

The good: Mike Fontenot hit a two-run double in the second inning. The bad & ugly: With Fontenot’s error in the first Wednesday, the Cubs now have committed at least one miscue in seven straight games. That’s the most since another seven-game span, July 21-28, 2007.

– Carrie Muskat

5/9 Cubs in the pink

Some of the Cubs players had pink bats to use Sunday, part of Major League Baseball’s tribute on Mother’s Day. Mike Fontenot, Geovany Soto, Marlon Byrd, Jeff Baker, Ryan Theriot, Xavier Nady and Starlin Castro all had pink bats. So did James Russell.

Wait — Russell is a reliever and does not have a ML at-bat. He may never get one. But he had a pink bat and was going to let starter Ryan Dempster use it. Russell got two of the pink bats and signed one, adding some sentiments, to give to his mother, Melanie, who was in town for the series.

How many games has she seen Russell pitch or play in?

“More than I can even count,” he said.

Xavier Nady’s mom, Cindy, made the ultimate baseball mom road trip. She attended the Kentucky Derby last weekend and took a tour of the Louisville Slugger factory. They were making the pink bats at that time. Nady didn’t know if she saw his bat being manufactured.

Castro had one because the Double-A Tennessee team planned on using pink bats Sunday. The pink bats and wristbands are part of MLB’s initiative to raise awareness for breast cancer. The Smokies shipped Castro’s special bat to Cincinnati. The shortstop’s bat was special. It was engraved with his mother’s name, Ana Francisca Tatis.

– Carrie Muskat

5/9 Sunday tidbits

Some early Sunday tidbits:

* The Cubs scored 14 runs on Friday and gave up 14 on Saturday. The last time that happened was June 14-15, 2005. On June 14, they beat the Marlins, 14-0, at Wrigley and lost 15-5 the next day. In the last 17 games since April 21, the Cubs are 9-8.

* Mike Fontenot is the first Major Leaguer to hit his first career grand slam as a pinch-hitter since the White Sox’s Dewayne Wise did so Sept. 14, 2008, against Detroit. Fontenot is the first Cubs player to do so since Michael Barrett on May 28, 2004, vs. Pittsburgh. Fontenot connected on Friday.

Note: Derrek Lee had the last pinch-hit grand slam for the Cubs vs. the White Sox on May 19, 2007, but that wasn’t Lee’s first slam.

* Lou Piniella is two wins shy of 1,800 in his Major League managerial career. With two more wins, he’ll become the 14th manager to reach that milestone.

– Carrie Muskat

5/7 Fontenot delivers in pinch

Mike Fontenot may have lost his job as the Cubs second baseman but he came through Friday. Fontenot delivered a pinch-hit grand slam in the eighth inning against the Reds, the first by a Cubs player since Derrek Lee did so May 19, 2007, against the White Sox. Fontenot has been bumped from second now that Ryan Theriot is switching from short to make room for Starlin Castro. And yes, it was Fontenot’s first career grand slam.

– Carrie Muskat

5/7 Extra bases

Expect rookie Esmailin Caridad to rejoin the Cubs on Sunday. Caridad threw two innings Thursday in his second rehab outing for Triple-A Iowa. He gave up one hit, a solo home run. The Cubs will likely move one of the right-handers in the bullpen: Jeff Gray or Justin Berg.

* Rookie Tyler Colvin will get a start Saturday and Sunday. It’s part of Lou Piniella’s outfield rotation plan to keep the veterans fresh.

* What happens with Mike Fontenot and Jeff Baker now that Ryan Theriot is the second baseman?

“They become utility players,” Piniella said. “I like both of them. They’re both good players. Right now we’re going to go with the young kid at short and Ryan at second and hopefully it gets us better.”

– Carrie Muskat

5/6 Streaky shortstop

Ryan Theriot was eager to start a new hitting streak. The Cubs shortstop went 0-for-4 Wednesday to end his streak at 13 games, which tied his career high, set July 3-20, 2008. Theriot joked that he wasn’t even aware of it.

“I knew [Mike Fontenot] had one going and I laughed at him when he had a pinch-hit and got out,” Theriot said of the second baseman, who struck out Tuesday to end his streak at 10 games.

Nobody teased Theriot.

“I don’t think it’s anything significant until you get close to 20 [games] and up,” he said.

Theriot entered Thursday’s game ranked fourth in the National League with a .345 average. He leads the NL with 41 hits and was tied with James Loney with 13 multi-hit games.

“I think the main thing is just keeping the same approach,” Theriot said. “For me, it’s staying consistent with my thought process with my approach. If I do that, I’ll be fine. I made a few changes, nothing too drastic.

“Hitting first also forces you to think differently which is big,” he said. “For me, with my game, I think it helps a lot.”

– Carrie Muskat

5/6 Location, location, location

Derrek Lee said he was surprised to see Aramis Ramirez dropped from fifth to sixth in the batting order on Wednesday. Ramirez is now batting .154; Lee .223.

“[Ramirez] has been one of the best cleanup hitters in the National League,” Lee said. “But you know Lou likes to try things.”

What if Piniella decided to move Lee from the No. 3 spot?

“I don’t think moving solves things,” Lee said. “You have to hit somewhere. Me and Ramy have been around a long time, and we’re going to hit.”

The only question is when. Naturally, Ramirez came up in a situation when the Cubs needed him to deliver. Chicago loaded the bases with one out in the fourth and Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly. Mike Fontenot followed with a RBI single to close to 3-2. Then Ryan Church, who’s battling the stomach flu, homered in the sixth en route to a 4-2 Pirates win.

The Cubs players will be checking the lineup Thursday.

“It doesn’t matter where you hit,” Lee said. “You’ve still got to hit, whether you’re first, sixth, seventh.”

– Carrie Muskat

4/30 Calling Mike Fontenot

Cubs second baseman Mike Fontenot will appear at the new AT&T store, 260 Danada Squre in Wheaton on Saturday from 6-7 p.m. CT. Fontenot will sign autographs and there will be a drawing for Cubs tickets.

– Carrie Muskat

4/29 About last night …

The Cubs trailed 3-2 on Wednesday when Marlon Byrd doubled to lead off the eighth inning. Mike Fontenot was up next and popped up to Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond. After the game, Lou Piniella became a little testy with a reporter who asked if Fontenot should’ve bunted. What did Fontenot think?

“Whatever he wanted me to do, I’d do,” said Fontenot, who obviously wasn’t bunting. “I should’ve been able to get the job done swinging the bat. That’s part of the game. When there’s a guy on second, nobody out, the pitcher knows — everybody knows — you’re trying to pull the ball.

“Usually they try to keep it away — he actually wasn’t trying to keep it away,” Fontenot said. “He threw a few pitches and I had really good swings and fouled them off. I had a good swing on the last one and the ball just went the wrong way on me.”

The Cubs stranded 11 in the loss, so it wasn’t just Fontenot who failed to deliver with men on.

“We had opportunities,” Fontenot said. “Myself, I had opportunities a couple times and I didn’t get it done. As a team we didn’t get it done yesterday and that’s what it comes down to. After the fact, there’s always things you can say, like ‘I could’ve done this.’ Long story short, swinging the bat, I should’ve gotten it done.”

– Carrie Muskat

4/20 Lineup vs. Mets

Ryan Theriot was given a day off, his first, and Mike Fontenot started at shortstop on Tuesday in Game 2 of the Cubs’ four-game series against the Mets. Kosuke Fukudome was in the leadoff spot. Here’s the lineup:

RF Fukudome

2B Baker

1B Lee

3B Ramirez

CF Byrd

LF Soriano

SS Fontenot

C Hill

P Zambrano

– Carrie Muskat

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