Results tagged ‘ Reds ’

5/15 Looking at positives

So, the Cubs went 3-5 vs. the Reds, Cardinals and Giants. Does Mike Quade have a better feel for his team?
“They talk about the fine line in this game,” Quade said before Sunday’s game was postponed because of the miserable weather. “The truth of the matter is, you take two out ofthree from those clubs and it’s a huge difference but you have to take them. You’ve got to do the things that will allow you take them and we’re not there yet.”
Even though they went 1-2 against the Reds and Cardinals, Quade feels his squad can beat his division rivals.
“Absolutely,” he said. “If you’re going to compete successfully, then there are some of the little things we need to do,” he said, citing improving the production with runners on base.
The Cubs did hit .309 during the homestand and a much improved .346 (18-for-52) with RISP. In their first 33 games, the Cubs hit .213 with RISP.
“There were more missed opportunities to score runs than anything else,” Quade said. “The problem is for each opportunity missed, where you don’t find a way to put up a crooked number, then when you do make a mistake, you go back to how magnified it is. If we’re going to continue to struggle and if run production is an issue right now, then we need to play perfect baseball in other areas so we don’t give clubs 29 outs a game or whatever the case may be.”
Carlos Pena said it’s important to be positive.
“It’s easy to look at the results and say, ‘That ball didn’t drop,'” Pena said. “We have to look back and say, ‘How was the at-bat? How was the execution? How was the contact?’ I’m doing that now. You say, ‘OK, good contact, good pitch to hit, good at-bat’ and leave it at that. It’s very hard to do because you’re not getting the reward.”
— Carrie Muskat

11/23 NL MVP trivia

The Cubs did not have anyone finish in the top 25 in the National League Most Valuable Player voting, which the Reds’ Joey Votto won. It’s the first time since 1994 that the Cubs have been shutout in that award and did not have anyone receive a vote.

— Carrie Muskat 

6/6 Up in the air

In a span of about 57 hours, give or take a few, the Cubs will play in three different ballparks, beginning Sunday in Houston at Minute Maid Park. They have a makeup game Monday at PNC Park in Pittsburgh (11:35 a.m. CT) and then fly to Milwaukee to open a series Tuesday night against the Brewers at Miller Park.

* Last season, the Cubs played three games in three days in three different ballparks when they met the Indians at Wrigley on June 21, 2009; then play at Atlanta, then at Detroit.

* The last time the Cubs played three games in three days in three different road parks was 2004 when they faced Cincinnati on Sept. 19 (a 5-1 win), then played a doubleheader in Florida Sept. 20 (which they split), and then traveled to Pittsburgh Sept. 21 (a 10-inning win). Hurricane Francis in Miami forced that crazy itinerary.

— Carrie Muskat


4/8 Six-feet under

Lou Piniella is hearing it from Cubs fans at Turner Field who are upset about the 0-2 start. He’s upset, too, but also realistic.

“[If you’re] 2-0, you’re on top of the world, and 0-2, you’re six feet under,” Piniella said Thursday prior to the Cubs’ game against the Braves. “It’s early. We’ve got to sort some things out there. These guys are playing. We didn’t play poorly last night. We gave them an unearned run when we didn’t tag a guy out at second. You talk about a little play like that, that makes [Ryan] Dempster throw an extra 12, 15 pitches to get out of that inning. It’s early in the season and we’re going to be fine. Winning that first ballgame is important.”

After this three-game series, the Cubs head to Cincinnati to face the Reds for three. They’d like to go with a “W” in the standings.

“We’re trying to win one and [the Braves] are trying to win their third,” Piniella said. “We’re doing the best we can. It is important [to win Thursday]. We’ve got to play regardless tomorrow whether we win or lose tonight. The season isn’t over.

“If we win this game, it doesn’t mean we’ll win the World Series,” he said, “and if we lose, it doesn’t mean we’ll lose one. We’re going to do the best we can, that’s all we can do.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/28 Score runs, you win

Lou Piniella has stressed that the Cubs need to score runs to win — simple concept but true. Looking at team batting averages and runs scored since the All-Star break, he’s right.

TEAM: Batting aver. since ASG, Runs, Record

CUBS: .280, 61, 9-2

Reds: .225, 42, 3-8

Astros: .267, 46, 6-5

Brewers: .288, 47, 4-7

Pirates: .236, 39, 5-6

Cardinals: .281, 47, 5-6


Reds road trip

If you’re going to Friday’s Cubs game in Cincinnati — and apparently a lot of people are — try to get to Great American Ball Park early. Not only are they expecting 50,000 for Friday’s Cubs-Reds game, but there’s also a sold-out Keith Urban concert next door at US Bank Arena in Cincinnati.

If you’re feeling generous, the Reds are sponsoring a food drive during the Cubs series. Anyone donating a non-perishable food item in designated food collection barrels will receive two tickets to the June 17 game vs. the Brewers (Cubs fans could stick around and jeer the Brewers).

— Carrie Muskat