Results tagged ‘ Nate Schierholtz ’

9/15 Extra bases

* James Russell is tied for first for the most appearances in the Major Leagues by a reliever, pitching in 73 games this season. On Saturday, he served up a game-winning home run to the Pirates’ Marlon Byrd in the seventh, and has given up four hits and two walks over three innings in his last four games.

“The ball’s up,” Dale Sveum said of the lefty. “Even the out he got on [Pedro] Alvarez [on Saturday], every pitch he threw was up in the strike zone. It’s a matter of keeping the ball down. He’s having a real difficult time getting the ball down.”

Could Russell be tired?

“For whatever reason, mechanical or tired or whatever — he’s had quite a bit of rest the last few weeks,” Sveum said. “We’ve tried not to use him unless we’re tied or teams we’re playing are in the pennant race to give him a break. He has thrown a lot of pitches and innings the last couple years but he says he feels as good as he ever has.”

* Scott Baker will get one more start on Friday at Wrigley Field when the Cubs play host to the Braves, and then the right-hander will be shut down. Sveum said there has been no talk about having Baker make another start. In two starts, Baker, coming back from Tommy John surgery in April 2012, has given up one run on five hits and one walk over 11 innings.

* The Cubs played the Pirates on Opening Day, but the roster that faced them in this four-game series has undergone several changes. Only 12 of the 25 players on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster are still with the team. The 13 players no longer present have either been traded, outrighted off the 40-man roster, or granted their unconditional release. Nate Schierholtz is the lone outfielder remaining from Opening Day, and James Russell and Hector Rondon are the only remaining relievers. Overall, 33 players have made their debut for the Cubs this season, a franchise record that tops the 30 who did so in 1902.

– Carrie Muskat

9/1 Extra bases

* On Sunday, the Cubs look to win two-straight home games for the first time since taking three in a row, July 6-9 vs. the Pirates and Angels.

* Starlin Castro has recorded multi-hit efforts in three of his last four games, and has four extra-base hits in his last two games (three doubles, one home run) after recording just two extra-base hits in his first 26 August contests.

* The Cubs have averaged 5.3 runs in their last six home games (32 runs total) after scoring 12 runs in their previous eight home games, Aug. 3-18, including five shutout losses.

* Anthony Rizzo (21 homers) and Nate Schierholtz (20) form one of three left-handed hitting duos with 20 home runs apiece this season, joining the Reds’ Jay Bruce (26) and Joey Votto (20), and the Mariners’ Raul Ibanez (25) and Kyle Seager (21).

The Cubs previously had two left-handed 20-home run hitters in a season 40 years ago when Rick Monday (26) and Billy Williams (20) did so in 1973. Prior to that, it hadn’t happened since 1962 when Williams and George Altman had 22 home runs apiece.

8/30 Phillies 6, Cubs 5

It was a perfect homecoming for Ryne Sandberg at Wrigley Field, which has been anything but friendly to the Cubs this season. Back at the ballpark he called home for 15 seasons, Sandberg, now the Phillies interim manager, celebrated a 6-5 win over the Cubs on Friday. Michael Young had four hits, including a tiebreaking RBI single with two outs in the ninth, and Kevin Frandsen hit a game-tying home run in the seventh to lift the Phillies.

Last Friday in San Diego, the Cubs blew a six-run first inning lead in an 8-6 loss to the Padres. This time, they couldn’t hold a 5-0 lead after five innings. Chicago now is 25-42 at Wrigley, and are one of five teams with more wins on the road than at home.

“Twice in one week, to see this kind of game, and this one at home, with your big horse [Jeff Samardzija] on the mound, cruising along and all of a sudden he starts misfiring and gets the ball up [it's tough],” Dale Sveum said. “We can’t get a big hit to walk them off or get the chance. Michael Young hits the outfield grass [with his game-winning single] — we’re having trouble doing that at home.”

Sandberg, the Hall of Fame second baseman, received a nice ovation from the fans in his return to Wrigley. He took time to sign autographs, meet the media and say hello to old friends at the ballpark he called home from 1982-94 and again from 1996-97.

“It was good,” Sandberg said of the reception. “I heard it. A little tip of the hat to the crowd for that. And once I got up there with the umpires, we chatted a little bit. I asked them if they wanted me to take them around the ground rules.”

Sandberg not only could offer advice on how to deal with the hitter-friendly wind or the tough infield at Wrigley, but may have had a few suggestions about dealing with Samardzija, who was once on his Triple-A Iowa roster. The right-hander was shut down last Sept. 8 in his first season as a starter because the Cubs wanted to watch his innings. This year, the kid gloves are off. Friday was Samardzija’s career-high 28th start, and it included his 500th career strikeout, which he notched when he struck out Young in the third.

“Any time you get the early runs, you can be aggressive and attack the zone,” Samardzija said. “It allowed me to cruise through the middle innings. I obviously had the hiccup in the sixth.”

Anthony Rizzo and Nate Schierholtz each hit solo home runs. The Cubs added on in the fourth on Starlin Castro’s two-run double. Brian Bogusevic hit a RBi single in the fifth. But it wasn’t enough.

Pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen tripled to open the Phillies’ sixth and scored on Young’s second single of the game. Jimmy Rollins then singled, and he and Young scored on Chase Utley’s triple to pull within 5-3. Utley then tallied on Domonic Brown’s groundout.

Frandsen stayed in the game, and delivered a solo homer with two outs in the seventh to tie the game at 5.

The Cubs had runners at first and second and one out in the seventh but Zach Miner struck out Murphy. Bogusevic singled to right, and Dioner Navarro, who was on second, tried to score, but was thrown out at home.

“You think about pinch-running there, but at home, in the seventh inning, [Navarro] is coming up again, and unless it was to win a game, it’s tough to [lift him],” Sveum said.

“I knew they were going to send me, there were two outs, tie game,” Navarro said. “They told me he made a perfect throw to the plate. We couldn’t catch a break today.”

– Carrie Muskat

8/26 Cubs lineup

Nate Schierholtz is apparently OK after tweaking his back on Sunday and he’s going to play Monday. And, Anthony Rizzo is back at No. 3 in the lineup after going 7-for-24 in the second spot. The Dodgers swept the series at Wrigley earlier this month. Here’s the lineup:

Castro SS
Lake CF
Rizzo 1B
Schierholtz RF
Bogusevic LF
Murphy 3B
Castillo C
Barney 2B
Arrieta P

8/23 Padres 8, Cubs 6

The Cubs scored a season-high six runs in the first inning, but it wasn’t enough for Edwin Jackson. Will Venable hit a two-run triple in the fifth and a tiebreaking solo home run in the seventh, and rookie Jedd Gyorko smacked two home runs to help the Padres rally from a six-run first inning deficit and post an 8-6 victory Friday night over the Cubs at Petco Park. It wsa the largest come-from-behind win of the season for the Padres.

“For me not to come out and hold a lead, that’s just disappointing, it’s a terrible job, flat out,” Jackson said. “There’s no other way to put it.”

The Cubs sent a dozen batters to the plate in the first and opened a 6-0 lead, thanks to a three-run homer by Nate Schierholtz, his 19th, and a two-run triple by Brian Bogusevic. But the Cubs’ offense for the night lasted just that two-thirds of an inning.

Jackson served up a three-run home run to Gyorko, the slugger’s 15th, with one out in the fourth. The Padres had two on and one out again in the fifth when Will Venable smacked a two-run triple. It is part of an unfortunate trend with Jackson. He holds batters to a .256 average the first time through the lineup, but they are hitting .313 the third time.

“To pretty much sum it up, I got beat on two breaking balls,” Jackson said. “I gave up a three-run homer [to Gyorko] on a hanging slider. I was throwing strikes, so it wasn’t like I wasn’t throwing strikes. I left too good of pitches in the zone for them to hit long balls with men on base. That pretty much sums it up.”

Was the problem pitch selection?

“It was just terrible location,” Jackson said. “[The pitches] were pretty much over the plate and hanging. It was just terrible, bad pitches. It wasn’t pitch selection, just location.”

Said Cubs manager Dale Sveum: “You can’t throw big league hitters balls down the middle.”

Said Navarro: “He missed his location and was pitching up in the zone a little bit, and when you pitch up in the zone, bad things happen.”

Yes, they do. With the game tied in the seventh, pinch-hitter Ronny Cedeno singled off Jackson, who was pulled in favor of James Russell. The lefty picked off Cedeno, but then served up Venable’s homer to let the Padres go ahead, 7-6.

“Once again, it was bad pitch selection,” Sveum said. “You’re not supposed to throw [Venable] a slider, and he threw him a slider.”

– Carrie Muskat

8/20 Extra bases

* Before Monday’s 11-run outburst, the Cubs had scored 12 runs in eight home games from Aug. 3-18. The 11 runs were the second-most they’ve scored this season (14 runs, June 23 vs. Astros).

* The Cubs hit five home runs Monday, the second five-homer game of the season. The Cubs and Nationals are the only NL teams with two five-homer games this year.

* Nate Schierholtz’ 18 home runs are fourth-most amongst NL right fielders, trailing the Reds’ Jay Bruce (24), the Cardinals’ Carlos Beltran (21) and the Mets’ Marlon Byrd (20).

* The Cubs have hit 80 home runs at Wrigley Field, second-most for a team at home in the Majors (the Orioles lead with 85 at home). The Cubs have hit 54 home runs on the road this season, 11th-most in the NL. Their 134 home runs this year are three shy of the 2012 total (137).

8/16 Cubs 7, Cardinals 0

Jake Arrieta struck out seven over seven scoreless innings and drove in a run Friday and Nate Schierholtz knocked in three runs to lift the Cubs to a 7-0 victory over the Cardinals and even their season series at 7. This was Arrieta’s second start with the Cubs and 65th in the Major Leagues. Acquired July 2 from the Orioles in the Scott Feldman deal, he had started the second game of a July 30 doubleheader against the Brewers, and gave up one run on two hits over six innings. Before that game, the right-hander said he wasn’t going back to the Minor Leagues but he did, and made two more starts for Triple-A Iowa. Now, the Cubs want to see what Arrieta can do in the final six weeks of the season. The Orioles’ Opening Day starter in 2012, he gave up an infield single by Carlos Beltran in the second that Arrieta knocked down, and a ground rule double by Carlos Beltran with one out in the seventh, and that was it.

Jake Westbrook walked the first three Cubs batters in the first, and Schierholtz followed with a two-run single. After Welington Castillo grounded into a double play, Donnie Murphy hit a RBI single for a 3-0 lead. In the fifth, Schierholtz added a sacrifice fly. Murphy was hit by a pitch to start the sixth, and one out later, scored on Darwin Barney’s double. Barney eventually scored on Arrieta’s sacrifice for his second career RBIs, and 25th by a Cubs pitcher, tops in the National League.

The Cardinals, who lead the NL Wild Card standings, may have been a little weary after a tough series against the Pirates, which included two extra inning games, both St. Louis wins. Westbrook was pulled after throwing 124 pitches over 6 2/3 innings.

– Carrie Muskat

7/31 Hoyer: Not close to deal

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said they were never that close to making a deal at the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

“The good thing is we feel we were incredibly productive this month,” Hoyer said. “We made a lot of deals and feel we got better as an organization this month.”

There was interest in Nate Schierholtz, David DeJesus, Kevin Gregg, James Russell, Dioner Navarro and Carlos Villanueva, but no deals were made.

“We’re happy with the players we kept, if you want to look at it that way,” Hoyer said. “We thought we had a high, but not unreasonably high price on some of the guys. A lot of the guys who were being asked about, we control going forward. We feel it makes our winter potentially easier. We didn’t have the value there to make any deals today. It’s fine. I think our July was really productive and we’re happy about it and now we can move forward.”

Hoyer said when teams make deals early in the month, they’re pretty specific about what they want.

“It was strategic to move early and we’re glad we did it,” he said.

The Cubs’ plan is to continue to acquire assets. That won’t change.

“One thing is obvious from today if you look around the league is that people hold really tight to their young players,” he said. “We need to get a lot more of them. That part won’t change. I’d love to be in a situation where we’re on the other side of the conversation next year and years going forward.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/31 Trade rumors

According to FOX Sports and MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are expected to move either David DeJesus or Nate Schierholtz today. The Pirates are interested in both. The Pirates, who have a 1 1/2 game lead in the NL Central over the Cardinals, could use a left-handed bat. They’re hitting .241 against right-handed pitching compared to .251 vs. lefties. Schierholtz was batting .283 against right-handers with a career-high 14 home runs. DeJesus, who just returned from the DL, was batting .282 against right-handers. Money-wise, DeJesus has a $6.5 million club option for 2014, while Schierholtz was only signed for this year and would be a less expensive option.

7/30 Samardzija rumors “far fetched”

The Trade Deadline is Wednesday at 3 p.m. CT, and manager Dale Sveum doesn’t expect Jeff Samardzija to be doing anything but prepping for his next start with the Cubs. Rumors continue to swirl about the Cubs listening to offers for Samardzija.

“If somebody asks, sure,” Sveum said on whether the Cubs were keeping an open mind. “That’s not my job, so I don’t know what goes in those kind of meetings. It’s not realistic [to deal Samardzija].”

The Cubs would have to be offered a lot to part with the 28-year-old right-hander who is under team control for two more years.

“This is me speaking, but I would think it’s very, very far-fetched to think that you have a guy under control for that long and possibly a No. 1 guy to do anything with him,” Sveum said. “Those are things that pop up and somebody will say, sure you’ll listen. But are you going to want to trade half your team [to get Samardzija]?”

Meanwhile, Kevin Gregg and Nate Schierholtz wait to see if they will stay with the Cubs past the deadline.

“It is a compliment to be rumored,” Sveum said. “Some people get to be part of a pennant race and get to the playoffs and do some fun things.”

– Carrie Muskat

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