Results tagged ‘ Padres ’

8/26 About last night …

* Sunday’s game marked the second time the Cubs have lost a game in which they led by two or more runs in the 13th inning or later. The other was a 13-inning loss to the Reds on April 22. The Cubs lost only one other game in that fashion over the last 50 years (1964 to date) and that was a 6-5, 15-inning loss to the Phillies on Sept. 29, 1980.

* Sunday’s game also was the Cubs’ 99th game in franchise history that lasted at least 15 innings. They now are 47-42-10 in those 99 contests. Sunday’s game was the first of at least 15 innings since April 9, 2008, at Pittsburgh, a 6-4 victory.

* The Cubs and Padres played to a 0-0 tie through the 12th before each team scored twice in the 13th. It’s the first time the Cubs played in a scoreless game through at least 12 innings since defeating the Astros, 1-0, in 16 innings at Wrigley Field on May 31, 2003.

* The Cubs played to a 0-0 tie through 12 innings on the road for the first time in more than 100 years. They last did so on the road on June 17, 1910, when the Cubs and Brooklyn were 0-0 through 12, and the Cubs plated a run in the 13th to secure a 1-0 win. Thanks to Ed Hartig for his research assistance.

8/20 Cubs claim Hinshaw

On Sunday, the Cubs claimed left-handed pitcher Alex Hinshaw off waivers from the Padres. Hinshaw was selected by the Padres on May 8, and went 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 31 relief appearances. It was his first big league action since 2009. He struck out 36 over 28 innings, and walked 20 before he was designated for assignment on Aug. 14.

For the season, the lefty limited hitters to a .217 batting average, including .196 by left-handed hitters. In 88 career Major League relief appearances with the Giants and Padres, Hinshaw is 3-2 with a 4.52 ERA. He was originally selected by the Giants in the 15th round of the 2005 Draft.

To make room on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Arodys Vizcaino was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. Vizcaino, 21, was acquired from the Braves on July 30 in the four-player deal that sent Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to Atlanta. He had Tommy John surgery in March but was expected to be ready for 2013 Spring Training.

– Carrie Muskat

8/7 Welcome to the show

Hours before Brooks Raley’s Major League debut on Tuesday, the televisions in the Cubs’ clubhouse at PETCO Park were tuned to the Rangers-Red Sox game. Ryan Dempster was making his second start for Texas. Dempster and Paul Maholm were traded one week ago, and the Cubs lost their third starter on Tuesday when Matt Garza had to go on the DL with an elbow injury. It’s time for kids like Raley to play. The lefty gave up seven runs on eight hits and three walks over four innings before he was pulled. Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio and coach Mike Borzello both remembered Raley from Spring Training.

“They liked what they saw,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “He was a guy who had a lot of poise, could manufacture four pitches, five pitches — a four seamer, two-seamer, cutter, curveball and changeup. His changeup is probably his best pitch — an above average changeup. He’s a great athlete, can handle the bat, run really well. He can make things happen because of his athleticism.”

During early batting practice, Sveum and Raley were spotted in the dugout, talking. There’s not much anyone can say at this point.

“Any guy, for the first time, I don’t care what you say, the first inning, the first batter — hopefully it’s the last time your legs ever feel like that, but that’s what happens,” Sveum said. “He’s a pretty poised kid who can make things happen. You hope he keeps the ball down. We’ve all been impressed with him. That’s why he’s here.”

Raley struck out the first batter he faced, Chris Denorfia, but got into trouble in the third when the Padres loaded the bases with none out. Chase Headley hit a two-run single, and Raley then walked Carlos Quentin to load the bases again. Two outs later, Everth Cabrera hit a two-run single for a 4-0 lead. Quentin also hit his 12th home run, a three-run shot, in the fourth off Raley, who is the 15th rookie to play for the Cubs this year.

– Carrie Muskat

8/6 Growing pains

Sunday was a great day for the young Cubs. Monday was more humbling for Brett Jackson, who struck out four times in a 2-0 loss to the Padres. He fell behind 0-2 in the last three at-bats.

“Basically it came down to swinging at strikes,” Dale Sveum said. “I don’t care who you are, if you don’t swing at strikes you’ll have a tough time. When he got two strikes on him, he couldn’t lay off pitches that were quite a bit out of the zone.”

The Cubs may have to live with the outfielder’s free swinging style.

“He’s going to be in [the lineup],” Sveum said. “That was part of the deal, that he’s going to be here to develop and what we see and make adjustments and go from there. Bottom line doesn’t matter unless you’re swinging at strikes.”

Jackson knows it, too.

“It’s something I’m working on cutting down and like I said [Sunday], I’ll keep working with [hitting coach James Rowson] and Dale and keep improving my swing,” Jackson said. “There’s no doubt in my mind we’ll get the ability out of me.”

It’s only been two games, but does he notice any difference in big league pitching?

“No,” Jackson said. “Obviously, the guys tonight had good stuff and made some good pitches, and I chased some pitches that I shouldn’t have chased. I think when it comes to striking out, a lot of that has to do with me chasing pitches that I don’t need to swing at, and missing pitches I do swing at. That’s something I’ll figure out. It’s baseball, and I’m going to keep improving as  a player until I can’t improve any more.”

– Carrie Muskat

8/6 Raley to start Tuesday

Left-hander Brooks Raley will make his Major League debut Tuesday for the Cubs, replacing Matt Garza in the Cubs rotation. When he starts, Raley (@BrooksRaley) will be the 14th rookie the Cubs have used this season, and seventh pitcher. A sixth-round pick in 2009, Raley began the season with Double-A Tennessee and was 2-2 with a 3.51 ERA in eight starts, striking out 29 over 48 2/3 innings. He was bumped up to Triple-A Iowa, where he was 4-8 with a 3.62 ERA in 14 starts. He struck out 69 and walked 28 over 82 innings, and opponents were batting .272 against him. In his last start Aug. 2, he gave up six runs on 10 hits over six innings. Garza was sent back to Chicago to have his right elbow examined, and was expected to be placed on the disabled list.

– Carrie Muskat

8/6 Cubs lineup

Both Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters are in the Cubs’ lineup Monday when they open a three-game series against the Padres in San Diego. Travis Wood gets the start. He has lost four in a row. Wood has no record in four career games against the Padres. He faced them in May and did not get a decision, giving up six runs on seven hits over five innings.

With Jackson and Vitters making their Major League debuts Sunday, the Cubs have now utilized 13 rookies this season, including seven position players: Adrian Cardenas, Welington Castillo, Steve Clevenger, Jackson, Blake Lalli, Anthony Rizzo and Vitters. The six rookie pitchers used: Jairo Asencio, Jeff Beliveau, Lendy Castillo, Rafael Dolis, Scott Maine and Blake Parker.

Here’s Monday’s lineup:

Jackson CF

Barney 2B

Rizzo 1B

Soriano LF

Castro SS

Castillo C

Vitters 3B

Mather RF

T. Wood P

– Carrie Muskat

10/31 Samardzija, GM & more

The Cubs have declined to pick up the $3 million option on Jeff Samardzija’s contract but the pitcher remains under club control. Samardzija has 2 years 28 days of Major League service time, and is not arbitration eligible. He will be renewed next year. Samardzija, a fifth-round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, was 8-4 with a 2.97 ERA in a career high 75 games this season, pitching solely in relief.

* The Cubs also announced new general manager Jed Hoyer and scouting and player development director Jason McLeod will be introduced at a news conference on Tuesday at Wrigley Field. The Cubs and Padres announced last week that Hoyer and McLeod were leaving San Diego to be reunited with Theo Epstein in the Cubs front office. The three were together in Boston.

The Cubs and Red Sox have one more day to determine compensation for Epstein before Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig gets involved. Epstein resigned from the Red Sox to become president of baseball operations in Chicago. Selig gave the two teams a Nov. 1 deadline, saying he would step in if not resolved by then.

* Epstein has met with Cubs manager Mike Quade to discuss next season. Quade, whose team finished fifth in the National League Central, does have a contract for 2012.

– Carrie Muskat

10/13 Waiting for Theo, Day 2

The Theo Epstein-to-the-Cubs deal is not official yet. Sources say the Cubs and Red Sox still must settle on compensation — Epstein has one year remaining on his contract — and who, if anybody, on his staff can accompany him to Chicago.

Cardinals GM John Mozeliak was asked about Epstein joining the NL Central.

“When you look at that type of hire, [the Cubs] are obviously changing their strategy and how they’re going about it,” Mozeliak said Wednesday. “Not knowing what they’re going to do or how they’re going to attack, it doesn’t necessarily mean instant success for 2012, but they surely are looking at this long term and for that leadership.”

He noted the similarities between the Red Sox and Cubs.

“There is unique history in the sense of what [Epstein had] in Boston,” Mozeliak said. “It had been a while since they had success, especially to the level that he brought them to. Obviously, in Chicago is trying to replicate that. But I don’t want to speak for them.”

If Epstein does make the move, Cubs fans will have to be patient.  When he took over the Red Sox in November 2002, they were coming off a 93-win season. The Cubs lost 91 games in 2011, and have finished fifth in back to back years. His expertise couldn’t save the Red Sox this season as they finished third for the second year in a row.

“For all of us, collectively, it’s a failure,” Epstein said on Sept. 29 of the 2011 season in Boston. “In some small ways, we’ve gotten away a little bit from our ideal of what we want to be on the field and off the field. It’s our responsibility to fix it.”

Epstein did make key moves over the years. He acquired David Ortiz, who has become a Boston icon, and Curt Schilling for the 2004 championship team, and oversaw the drafting of Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester and Jonathan Papelbon, who helped the ’07 Red Sox win another ring.

But he also missed with acquisitions Mike Cameron, Julio Lugo, Edgar Renteria and John Lackey. His most recent big purchases — Lackey and Carl Crawford — flopped this year. Lackey is entering the third year of a five-year, $82.5 million contract; Crawford just finished the first year of a seven-year, $142 million deal. The Red Sox also invested $101 million to obtain Daisuke Matsuzaka and spent $70 million on J.D. Drew.

Kevin Towers promoted Epstein from the Padres media relations department to become director of baseball operations in San Diego. Now the Diamondbacks GM, Towers praised Epstein.

“I would enjoy giving him a project and expect him to take a couple weeks,” Towers told the Chicago Tribune. “Theo would have it done by the next day. Of course, he would stay up all night. He wanted to be good. His work is off the charts.

“I know Cubs fans are going to have great expectations,” Towers said. “He’s going t have the same expectations. I think he’s going to create an edge.”

Towers said Epstein was touting David Eckstein because he was an “on-base machine who would set up the middle of the order.” Towers and the Padres passed, and the Angels got Eckstein and won a World Series in 2002.

“Theo is a big-time thinker who has incredible instincts,” Towers said. “He has zero fear, as he showed when he traded Nomar [Garciaparra to the Cubs in '04]. He takes the amateur Draft seriously. He’s going to be involved because he’s going to have a plan, a vision.”

Added Mozeliak: “Obviously, he had a ton of success in Boston and now that he’s taking it to our division, it’s going to change the landscape a little bit. It’s good for baseball and if it makes our rivalry any more interesting, that’s fun, too.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/30 Lilly & Theriot rumors

Could Ted Lilly go back to the Dodgers? According to Fox Sports, the Dodgers and Cubs have talked about Lilly and Ryan Theriot, but the catch is that the Dodgers want the Cubs to add cash in the deal. Lilly has $4.3 million remaining, Theriot $933,000.

The Cubs and Dodgers have confirmed the talks are ongoing. The catch is the money. The Cubs are trying to trim payroll, and the Dodgers don’t want to add. The trading deadline is Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.

Lilly actually was drafted by the Dodgers in 1996 in the 23rd round but traded in July 31, 1998, to the Montreal Expos in a six-player swap. This season, he’s 3-8 with a 3.69 ERA in 18 starts, and has received the least amount of run support in the Major Leagues. If he went to the Dodgers, the lefty would join a rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda and Vicente Padilla.

The Twins were interested in Lilly but chose to add to the bullpen, acquiring Matt Capps from the Nationals on Thursday. A Mets official told the New York Post it’s “very doubtful” they’ll get Lilly because they do not want to take on the money remaining and give up prospects.

Theriot received a $2.6 million salary for 2010 after losing an arbitration case to the Cubs. He’s under team control through 2012. The Fox report said Theriot could take over at second, sending Blake DeWitt to Triple-A. But DeWitt was batting .272 with one homer, 15 doubles, four triples and a .352 on-base percentage. Theriot is hitting .285 with one homer, 10 doubles, two triples and a .321 on-base percentage. The Padres had looked at Theriot but instead traded for Orioles third baseman Miguel Tejada.

– Carrie Muskat

4/2 Some spring crowd noise

The Cubs averaged 10,892 fans in 14 games at HoHoKam Park this spring, drawing a total 152,493. That’s the top average home attendance in the Major Leagues this spring. This is the seventh straight year the Cubs have led the Cactus League in per game attendance.

The Cubs’ home attendance is listed as 164,046 in official MLB stats because that includes the March 13 game in Las Vegas. The Cubs were the home team that day.

They also were part of the Cactus League single-game record of 13,629, set March 28 in Peoria against the Seattle Mariners.

* The average attendance for a Cactus League game this spring was approximately 6,800 per game. The Cubs are a little more than 4,000 fans ahead of the Cactus League per game average. 

* The Cubs helped establish since-surpassed single-game marks on consecutive days in Glendale — 13,391 on March 18 vs. the Dodgers; 13,413 on March 19 vs. the White Sox. 

* The Cubs set an all-time HoHoKam Park attendance record on March 27 when they drew  13,462 fans for a game against the Padres.

* Last year, the Cubs set an all-time Cactus League record with 203,105 fans in 19 games at HoHoKam Park, an average of 10,690 per game.

* The Cubs have played in 15 of the top 20 top drawing Spring Training games of all time.

– Carrie Muskat 

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