Results tagged ‘ Nate Schierholtz ’

7/27 Cubs 1, Giants 0

Chris Rusin won’t forget Saturday’s game. The Giants won’t forget Nate Schierholtz. Rusin threw seven scoreless innings and Schierholtz homered off his former teammate, Sergio Romo, with one out in the ninth inning to lift the Cubs to a 1-0 victory over the Giants, and take a 2-0 lead in the series.

The Giants tested the Cubs in the eighth and ninth innings. In the eighth, San Francisco loaded the bases with none out against Pedro Strop, who got Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval to each hit into a fielder’s choice, forcing runners at home. He then struck out Hunter Pence. The inning didn’t begin well as Strop didn’t handle two bunts cleanly.

“He was like Houdini out there — I liked it,” Rusin said of Strop.

In the ninth, the Giants loaded the bases with one out against Kevin Gregg, who got pinch-hitter Tony Abreu to hit into a slick 3-2-3 double play.

“It was an exciting game,” Schierholtz said. “It reminded me of playing here when we played one-run games every night. They’re nail-biters.”

The Cubs could’ve easily given up on the season when the front office started dealing players. Instead, they’ve been playing their best baseball of the season.

“We’ve got a lot of guys in here who don’t give up,” Schierholtz said. “One of the things they instilled in us in Spring Training is hard work and running balls out and not ever letting up. That’s one of the biggest things a winning team does. You don’t have to have the best players to win championships, and I learned that here,” he said. “It’s just been fun. We go out there loose with nothing to lose. It’s a fun, young group of guys and we all get along great.”

With one out in the Chicago ninth, Schierholtz launched a 3-2 pitch from Romo into the seats in right. The outfielder had played his entire career with the Giants until last year when he was sent to the Phillies at the Trade Deadline. He signed as a free agent with the Cubs with the promise of regular playing time, and delivered.

“I can’t really describe it, but it felt good,” Schierholtz said. “It’s great to get that win and it’s good to come in here and get the first two.”

He’s on a roll since the All-Star break, going 10-for-25 with three home runs, four doubles and nine RBIs. It’s helped that he was able to give a sore shoulder some rest during the break.

Rusin retired the first 13 batters he faced before he walked Pence with one out in the fifth. One out later, Joaquin Arias singled up the middle for the Giants’ first hit.

San Francisco had a runner at third with two outs in the seventh, but first baseman Anthony Rizzo robbed Brandon Belt of a potential extra-base hit and RBI with a perfectly timed leaping catch to end the inning.

“That was big,” Rusin said. “I was really pumped up after that. Right when it left the bat, I thought, ‘Man, I left one up’ and then Rizzo went up and got it.”

Said Sveum: “When things go good, you usually have those kind of breaks and if not, you usually miss things by an inch.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/26 Cubs lineup

The Cubs begin the post-Alfonso Soriano era on Friday, opening a three-game series in San Francisco against the Giants. Junior Lake is starting in left and Nate Schierholtz will return to face his former team, batting fourth. Schierholtz has a career .269 average at AT&T Park. It’ll be Edwin Jackson (6-11, 5.03 ERA) against Matt Cain (6-6, 5.00 ERA). Here’s the lineup:

DeJesus CF
Lake LF
Rizzo 1B
Schierholtz RF
Castro SS
Valbuena 3B
Barney 2B
Castillo C
E. Jackson P

7/25 Schierholtz, DeJesus wait

Nate Schierholtz and David DeJesus are both well aware the Trade Deadline is one week away. Any team looking for a left-handed bat and a solid defensive outfielder would be interested in Schierholtz, who was batting .313 with runners in scoring position this season. A few teams have followed Schierholtz, including the Pirates.

“It’s out of our control what happens,” Schierholtz said after Wednesday’s win over the Diamondbacks. “I love being a Cub, and hope to stay here. You never know what will happen in the next week. All we can do is go out there and focus on trying to win games.”

DeJesus’ name also has been mentioned in trade rumors, and Theo Epstein did take time to talk to the outfielder, but not about a possible move. Instead, Epstein wanted to thank DeJesus, and tell him how much they appreciate his mentorship of the younger players. DeJesus showed that during his rehab stint with the Rookie League players, many of whom are teenagers.

“He’s a really good baseball player, lived up to his contract, he’s a left-handed bat who has the exact approach we’re trying to teach in this organization,” Epstein said. “There’s a lot of value to having him here. That said, will we make him untouchable? No — no one’s untouchable. We’ll sit and weigh out the options and what’s best for the Cubs.”

DeJesus, activated from the DL on Wednesday, was prepared.

“My name’s been in the rumors before,” he said. “It’s nothing new. You’ve just got to be professional and play the game and see what happens from there.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/24 Cubs 7, D-Backs 6 (12 innings)

Nate Schierholtz has been the Cubs most consistent hitter with runners on base for most of the season, and he came through at the right time Wednesday night. Schierholtz drove in a career-high five runs, hitting a three-run homer in the fifth and a game-winning RBI double in the 12th, to lift the Cubs to a 7-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are trying to keep pace with the Dodgers in the National League West.

Schierholtz was shut down for the Cubs’ final two games before the All-Star break because of nagging injuries, and admitted Wednesday that the rest helped.

“I’m feeling a lot better now,” Schierholtz said. “The All-Star break definitely helped, and so did the cortisone shot. I feel like I’m doing well now, and I’m trying to help the team.”

With two outs and the game tied at 6 against David Hernandez in the 12th, Anthony Rizzo walked to set up Schierholtz’s double into the left-field corner. Schierholtz’s previous high was three RBIs, done four times, most recently April 23, 2012, against the Mets.

Rizzo and rookie Junior Lake each hit RBI doubles for the Cubs, now 7-3 in extra-inning games this season. Chicago had only reliever Michael Bowden in the bullpen by the 12th.

“We were going to have to have the re-entry rule,” Dale Sveum jokingly said.

Jeff Samardzija scattered six hits over 5 2/3 innings, throwing a season-high 118 pitches. Arizona had two on and two outs in the sixth when he was pulled, and Paul Goldschmidt greeted Blake Parker with a three-run homer, his 22nd, to cut the Cubs’ lead to 6-5.

– Carrie Muskat

7/23 DBacks 10, Cubs 4

For just the third time in 20 starts this season, Travis Wood failed to record a quality start. Martin Prado hit a game-tying home run and A.J. Pollock drove in four runs to help Patrick Corbin win his 12th game and power the Diamondbacks to a 10-4 victory Tuesday night over Wood and the Cubs.

Wood was vying for his 18th quality start, and had a tough opponent in the Diamondbacks and Corbin, who was the Cubs’ lefty’s teammate on the National League All-Star team. This was the second time this season that two All-Stars squared off in their first starts after the break. Corbin served up one run on four hits over six innings, while Wood was charged with four runs over 5 2/3 innings.

Wood, who began the day tied with Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright for the National League lead in quality starts, failed to notch No. 18 in his last start before the All-Star break on July 14 against the Cardinals. His only other non-quality start was May 25 against the Reds.

Nate Schierholtz smacked a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the eighth for the Cubs, but the D-Backs collected 16 hits in the game. Junior Lake posted another multi-hit game, finishing with three hits, including a solo homer in the ninth. Lake is now 12-for-22 in five games.

Arizona, which won for the second time in its last six games, is trying to keep pace with the Dodgers in the NL West.

– Carrie Muskat

7/14 Cubs lineup

All-Star Travis Wood wraps up the Cubs’ first half on Sunday night when he faces the Cardinals and Adam Wainwright. The Cubs lead the series, 2-1. No Nate Schierholtz. Dale Sveum said he wanted to give him extra time to heal some nagging injuries, saying the right fielder is “banged up.” Here’s the lineup:

Valbuena 3B
Castro SS
Rizzo 1B
Soriano LF
Navarro C
Bogusevic CF
Sappelt RF
Barney 2B
T. Wood P

* The Cubs are 13-8 in their last 21 games and have won six of the last eight.

* Wood looks to become the first Cub ever to record 18 quality starts prior to the All-Star break. His 17 quality starts this season lead the Majors, and he’s the fourth Cub in franchise history to have 17 quality efforts prior to the break, joining Bill Hands (1969), Fergie Jenkins (1969) and Greg Maddux (1988). The last National League pitcher to have 18 quality starts prior to the All-Star break was Maddux with the Braves in 1994.

* Alfonso Soriano leads the Cubs with 16 home runs and 10 stolen bases. The last Cub to lead the team in both homers and steals at the All-Star break was Sammy Sosa with 33 homers and 10 steals in 1998.

– Carrie Muskat

7/13 Schierholtz, DeJesus & Jackson

Nate Schierholtz did not start Saturday and most likely will not play Sunday to give him time to heal some nagging injuries. Dale Sveum said Schierholtz was “banged up” and the injuries involved several body parts. The right fielder has never had this many at-bats prior to the All-Star break in his career. He’s been scuffling a little at the plate, too, batting .138 in his last eight games.

“He’s a little banged up,” Sveum said. “I’ll probably give him [Sunday] off as well and let him get six days off. I might have to use him to pinch hit or something. He’s just banged up and struggling a little bit.”

There is good news on outfielder David DeJesus. He will go to Arizona and take batting practice at the Cubs facility in Mesa, and if everything goes well, could begin a rehab assignment at the end of the week.

“He won’t have to play in tons of games as long as everything goes good, and then he gets in a real game and hopefully doesn’t swing and miss,” Sveum said DeJesus. The Cubs hope DeJesus doesn’t “swing and miss” and re-aggravates his right shoulder, which he sprained crashing into the outfield wall at Citi Field on June 14.

Other outfielder related news involves Brett Jackson, who has been rehabbing in Arizona from a sore calf. Jackson was playing at Triple-A Iowa, and batting .223 in 61 games, but when ready, he could be assigned to Double-A Tennessee. That’s still to be determined.

– Carrie Muskat

7/12 Theo: “There’s a lot of chatter”

With the Trade Deadline on July 31, Theo Epstein is getting plenty of phone calls from teams interested in Cubs players. Matt Garza is high on some team’s lists, as well as relievers Kevin Gregg and James Russell and outfielder Nate Schierholtz.

Garza is considered the best starting pitcher on the market.

“Obviously, he’s throwing extremely well and he’s very healthy and there are teams out there looking for pitching who are going to call and try to acquire him,” Epstein said Friday. “For us, he’s helping us win games now, there’s a chance to possibly retain him beyond this year, so we’ll just balance all that out and do what’s best for the organization.”

It is a busy time of the season.

“There’s a lot of chatter going on right now,” Epstein said. “I wouldn’t say anything major is imminent. There’s a lot of talk, and we’ll continue to stay abreast with what other teams are trying to do as their situation changes.”

This is the second year the Cubs have been sellers. That’s not a position Epstein wants to be in.

“We wanted to be buyers this year,” he said. “With a few breaks, this year, we could’ve been in a much different situation. If some one-run games early change, and different bullpen situations [it could've been different]. The goal every year is to be in a position where you’re looking to add and have a strong pennant push.”

– Carrie Muskat

6/25 Brewers 9, Cubs 3

Rickie Weeks belted a two-run homer, a solo shot, and and RBI double, and Juan Francisco added a solo homer to power the Brewers to a 9-3 victory over Edwin Jackson and the Cubs Tuesday night. Jackson served up six runs over 4 2/3 innings, his third outing in the last 10 in which he failed to finish the fifth.

Francisco got things started with his home run with one out in the second off a 3-1 pitch. But Jackson singled to open the third, and one out later, Darwin Barney singled to set up Nate Schierholtz’s home run, his 11th, and go-ahead 3-1.

Francisco walked to lead off the fifth and scored on Weeks’ double. One out later, Francisco scored on Caleb Gindl’s single, his first Major League RBI, to tie the game at 3. Gindl moved up on Kyle Lohse’s sacrifice, Norichika Aoki then walked and Segura hit a go-ahead RBI double. It was Segura’s 100th hit of the season, most in the National League.

Lucroy followed with a two-run single to open a 6-3 lead, and chase Jackson. Weeks belted a two-run home run off Hector Rondon in the sixth, and added a solo shot off Shawn Camp in the eighth.

The Cubs went 1-for-10 with RISP.

6/19 Extra bases

* Anthony Rizzo was back in the Cubs lineup Wednesday, after getting a one-day “breather,” but stayed in the No. 5 spot instead of returning to No. 3. Nate Schierholtz seems pretty comfortable batting third. In four games batting third, Schierholtz is 4-for-13 (.308) with one home run, one double and two RBIs. He entered Wednesday’s game with a career-high 10-game hitting streak.

“There’s no change,” Schierholtz said of his approach. “Third to fifth isn’t a whole lot different [in the order]. You hit in the first inning always on the road but other than that, I try to keep the same approach no matter where I’m hitting. I don’t over-think it.”

He also leads the Cubs in batting with runners in scoring position, hitting .313 this season.

“I have a game plan that I go up there with and I know it changes with runners on because pitchers pitch you different,” Schierholtz said. “I just try to stick to my game plan and, like I said, not try to think too much and over-analyze anything.”

He already has more doubles (18), home runs (nine) and RBIs (26) than he totaled last year between the Giants and Phillies.

* The Cubs may make a roster move Friday when they open a three-game Interleague series against the Astros, manager Dale Sveum said. The team is currently carrying eight relievers. One option would be to activate catcher Steve Clevenger from the disabled list. He’s been sidelined since April 14 because of a left oblique strain, and was currently rehabbing with Triple-A Iowa.

* There is no timetable for David DeJesus’ return, but the outfielder will most likely be out at least one month after spraining his right shoulder in a collision last Friday at Citi Field.

“It’s one of those injuries, from the time it happened a few days ago, it’s definitely a month before he’s back on the field,” Sveum said.

Luis Valbuena has done well subbing as the leadoff man for DeJesus.

“[Valbuena] is a guy who has always been able to take his walks and see some pitches and drive the ball and do some things,” Sveum said. “So far, it’s really, really good.”

– Carrie Muskat

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