Results tagged ‘ Rodrigo Lopez ’

7/24 Extra bases

The Cubs will be vying for their first three-game win streak on Sunday.

“I’d like to get 12 [wins in a row],” Mike Quade said. “I’d like to see [Matt Garza] pitch well and win. If we get three, don’t think we won’t be hungry for four. It’s still a part of playing well and doing stuff consistently, whether it’s getting consistent starting pitching or driving in runs or finding a way to finish games. Three in a row doesn’t happen unless those things happen.”

* The trade deadline is one week away but Quade doesn’t think any of his players should be distracted by it.

“Show up every day and focus on who we’re playing,” Quade said Sunday about what their approach should be. “Everybody deals with stuff differently, whether it’s speculation or reality. I do think that when I look at the veterans who are here, this is not their first rodeo and this is not stuff they haven’t experienced before, whether it’s them personally or a teammate. I suppose [the rumors are] out there but I would expect them not to be distracted at all.”

* The Cubs have a tough road trip ahead, facing the three top teams in the Central Division in the Brewers, Cardinals and Pirates. The rotation against Milwaukee will be Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano and Randy Wells, and Garza will open the series in St. Louis on Friday, followed by Rodrigo Lopez. Lopez remains in the bullpen for now.

“He’d be available even through the second game in Milwaukee,” Quade said. “He’s been pretty resilient. His experience is important.”

* Garza, who started Sunday, has not let the lack of run support bother him.

“To his credit, he just keeps pitching,” Quade said. “He’s something. He shows up and he’s ready to go every day. I don’t notice any wear or tear because he’s not getting the breaks. He comes back to pitch and wants to pitch well for his club.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/20 Extra bases

Shade and water were more important than a scorecard or peanuts on Wednesday because of oppressive heat. Neither the Cubs nor the Phillies took batting practice on the field to save their energy. The Cubs trainers were emphasizing the need to stay hydrated. The official game time temperature was 97 degrees, but the heat index made it feel like 108 degrees. An on-field thermometer registered 120 degrees.

Wrigley Field organist Gary Pressy tried to help fans cool off, playing “Jingle Bells” and “Let it Snow” pregame.

* Rodrigo Lopez has posted quality starts in each of his last three outings but the Cubs have decided to put him in the bullpen temporarily. After Thursday’s off day, the Cubs will have Carlos Zambrano (6-5, 4.78 ERA), Randy Wells (1-3, 6.71 ERA), and Matt Garza (4-7, 3.80 ERA) will go in the weekend series against the Astros, which opens Friday.

Wells has not won a start since April 4, his first outing of the season. He went on the disabled list the next day because of a strained right forearm and hasn’t found his groove since returning May 28.

“He needs to make progress and I’d like to see him pitch the way I’ve seen him in the past,” Mike Quade said of the right-hander, who had a solid spring and won the fourth spot in the rotation. “I’m hoping for as good an outing as I’ve seen from him in quite some time.”

* Carlos Marmol was available on Wednesday but Quade said he’s still gauging how he uses the right-hander each day, depending on the amount of work he does on the side. The Cubs are trying to get Marmol back on track. He’s given up eight runs on five hits and nine walks over 5 1/3 innings in his last eight games. The time off gives Marmol more than just a fresher arm.

“I’d like to think [the time off allows for] some self evaluation and spending some time to think about what you need to do to get people out,” Quade said. “I know the intensity which they’ve gone about it with both [pitching coach Mark Riggins] and he and Lester [Strode, bullpen coach] is important.”

* If you have a question about the Cubs, send it to CubsInbox@gmail.com. We’ll run an Inbox on Thursday.

– Carrie Muskat

7/18 Lopez in command

The odds were against Rodrigo Lopez on Monday. He was facing Roy Halladay, one of the best pitchers in the game, who is pitching for the best team in baseball, the Phillies. But Lopez outlasted Halladay, who couldn’t handle the heat. Lopez gave up one run on five hits over 6 2/3 innings for his third straight quality start. He did not walk a batter and struck out three. Halladay was lifted after four innings, apparently overcome by the sweltering heat. It was 91 degrees at game time but the heat index made it feel more like 98.

– Carrie Muskat

 

7/2 Extra bases

Mike Quade was ejected for the third time this season after arguing a call by second base umpire Paul Emmel regarding Gordon Beckham’s play at the bag in the second inning. The Cubs had runners at first and second with none out in the second against the White Sox when Alfonso Soriano hit a grounder to third baseman Brent Morel. He threw to Beckham, who did not appear to touch the bag when he caught the ball. Beckham threw to first for a double play. Emmel ruled the runner was out at second.

Quade argued Beckham wasn’t in the “neighborhood,” and was subsequently tossed.

“First of all, I thought that was taking the old school neighborhood play too far,” Quade said. “It was important. To me, that was a big play. We had three of the same opportunities obviously in the first, second and sixth [innings] and you want to be productive in those situations and we weren’t.

“People have to execute on the other side, too, but I thought the throw took the guy way off the bag,” Quade said.

* Saturday’s crowd of 42,165 was the largest for a Cubs-White Sox game at Wrigley Field since Interleague play began in 1997.

* Matt Garza threw his first complete game since Aug. 6, 2010, and seventh of his career. It also was the sixth time he’s allowed one or no runs and took the loss.

* Darwin Barney has 79 hits so far. With eight games remaining before the All-Star break, his hits rank 11th among Cubs rookies. Ken Hubbs had 95 hits in 1962 before the break.

* Kosuke Fukudome is hitting .341 at home, which is tied for third in the NL and ranks sixth in the Majors.

* Marlon Byrd was 0-for-3 in his first game back after being hit in the face on May 21. He was obviously happy to be back, tipping his cap to the fans in the bleachers and dancing in center field before the game started.

“He was so excited to be back,” Quade said. “He just loves to play this game. He’s going to be a big part of our second half.”

* On Sunday, Rodrigo Lopez (0-2, 5.40 ERA) faces Gavin Floyd (6-7, 4.19 ERA) in the series finale.

– Carrie Muskat

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