Results tagged ‘ Scott Feldman ’

5/29 Extra bases

* Scott Feldman improved to 4-1 with a 1.64 ERA in five career starts at Wrigley Field. He’s 5-1 in his last seven starts after opening the season 0-3.

“He was able to get through it and manage innings and make big pitches when he had to,” Dale Sveum said. “That’s one thing that he seems to do is get in a little bit of trouble, and you see the wheels come off and, bam, here’s the good stuff and the location in big situations.”

* The Cubs have won three in a row, and seem to be playing better baseball after Sunday’s come from behind win over the Reds.

“All of a sudden, it seems like everybody is having good at-bats and everybody is contributing,” Sveum said. “Everybody is getting a little bit of playing time and doing a nice job.”

* Wednesday’s game drew 31,279, the smallest crowd at Wrigley Field for a Cubs-White Sox game since the Interleague series began in 1997.

“I know our guys have been talking about it prior to this,” Sveum said of the intracity series. “It’s a series that sometimes, when you’re in a little bit of a lull, it gets you going because of the intensity and you know everybody in Chicago is watching and throughout the country sometimes because it is a crosstown rivalry, like the Mets and Yankees type thing. These are the series that get you going back in the right direction because the adrenaline is at another level.”

* David DeJesus is batting .349 in 23 games at Wrigley Field.

* Former Blackhawks coach Denis Savard sang the seventh inning stretch. Several of the Cubs players, including Dioner Navarro, were headed to the game Wednesday night.

— Carrie Muskat

5/28 Extra bases

* Kyuji Fujikawa underwent an MRI on his right arm Tuesday but the team did not expect results until Wednesday because their orthopedic specialist, Dr. Stephen Gryzlo, was busy with surgeries. Fujikawa was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday for the second time this season with a strained right forearm. The right-hander, who was on the DL from April 13 to May 10 with the same problem, had to leave Sunday’s game in the ninth inning after feeling some discomfort. The right-hander has a 5.25 ERA in 12 games this season, giving up seven runs over 12 innings.

* On Tuesday, the Cubs erected mock-ups of the proposed advertising signage in right field and used tarps to represent the 6,000-square foot video screen they want to install in left field. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts watched from a rooftop on Sheffield Avenue. The Cubs are waiting for final approval from the city planning commission on their $300 million renovation plan for Wrigley Field, which they hope to start this offseason. The proposal includes installing the scoreboard in left and more advertising in right.

* Several of the Cubs plan on attending Wednesday’s Game 7 NHL playoff game between the Blackhawks and Red Wings in Chicago.

“There aren’t too many times a Game 7 comes around, especially being in town at the same time playing a day game,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “You have to do everything you can to go to that game.”

* Cubs wives and girlfriends will do their part to help raise funds for victims of the Oklahoma tornadoes at Wednesday’s game at Wrigley Field. Outfielder David DeJesus and his wife, Kim, are involved in a “mystery ball” event. Tickets are $40 per ball, and all proceeds will go to the families affected by the deadly storm.

Cubs players also will serve as celebrity bartenders on Friday at “American Junkie” in Chicago as part of the “Pour for Moore” fundraiser to support disaster relief. All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross. Tickets are $15 per person for the event, which will run from 6-8 p.m. CT.

* Albert Almora was named Midwest League Player of the Week for May 20-26. The Cubs’ first-round pick in last year’s Draft, Almora batted .538 in his first week with the team. He had to leave Monday’s game with a strained left hamstring, injured while trying to track down a ball in the outfield. His status was day to day. After Monday’s game, Almora tweeted: “No worries! I’ll be back in a day or 2!! Good win boys!!! #slaphands”

* Alex Burnett certainly had an easy first day on the job with the Cubs on Monday. The right-handed reliever, claimed off waivers from the Orioles, arrived at U.S. Cellular Field about half an hour before the first pitch of the Cubs’ Interleague game against the White Sox. He could relax as Jeff Samardzija threw a complete game, two-hit shutout. Burnett, 25, was happy to get a chance to pitch. He appeared in two games with the Orioles this season after spending three years with the Twins.

“I was excited,” he said about his reaction at the news he had been claimed by the Cubs. “It’s a new opportunity and I’m in a great organization and a fresh start and they told me I was coming straight to the big leagues, and nothing better than that.”

Burnett, who knows a couple of the Cubs from the Arizona Fall League, was asked for a scouting report on himself.

“I just go right after guys and let the defense do the work and that’s what I live and die by,” he said.

* Arodys Vizcaino, on the 60-day disabled list rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, underwent an arthroscopic debridement on his right elbow. Vizcaino was feeling some discomfort after his throwing sessions and not recovering well, so he was examined by Dr. James Andrews, who found a calcium buildup and did the procedure. The problem is not related to the Tommy John surgery Vizcaino had, and the Cubs say Andrews found the ligaments were in good shape. The right-hander, who the Cubs acquired at the Trade Deadline last July from the Braves in the Paul Maholm deal, will not pick up a baseball for six weeks.

— Carrie Muskat

5/25 Extra bases

* Anthony Rizzo isn’t the only Cubs player who is struggling at the plate. Starlin Castro is 4-for-17 in the last four games, and his slugging percentage in May is .318.

“There’s not a lot of hard contact going on right now,” manager Dale Sveum said of the shortstop’s at-bats. “Getting to two strikes, he’s really expanding, and he’s got to make some adjustments, too. The league adjusts to him because of the way he approaches hitting.”

Castro entered Saturday’s game batting .270. Compare that to previous years. Castro was batting .328 on May 25, 2010; .330 on May 25, 2011; and .315 on May 25 last year.

* The leash comes off Matt Garza when he makes his second start since coming off the disabled list. Garza will start the series finale against the Reds on Sunday. He’ll be allowed to throw up to 110 pitches, depending on the situation and whether he has any stressful innings.

* Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood and Scott Feldman have all homered this month, and, according to Elias, this is the first time three Cubs pitchers have done so in the same calendar month since Aug 1961 when Jack Curtis, Bob Anderson and Don Cardwell all went deep.

Cubs pitchers have 15 RBIs in May. Sveum joked that Feldman could bat third if he gives Anthony Rizzo a day off. What about using one of the pitchers in the Interleague games as the designated hitter against the White Sox?

“Don’t think I haven’t thought of that one,” Sveum said, laughing.

— Carrie Muskat

5/25 Rizzo working through hitting funk

Manager Dale Sveum considered giving Anthony Rizzo a day off Saturday. The Cubs first baseman entered the game 0-for-22 in his last five games.

“Not yet,” Sveum said. “Obviously, it’s a thought but I don’t think we’re quite there yet.”

Rizzo showed his frustration in the seventh Friday after he flew out to right to end the inning and stranded a runner at first. He slammed his helmet to the ground.

“It’s frustrating because it was a 3-0 pitch, and I felt they were good takes and I felt good in the box, and I get that 3-0 pitch and I hit it off the end of the bat,” Rizzo said. “That was the frustrating part — 3-0, I want to barrel that up. Whether I hit it out or not, I want to barrel it up.”

Sveum doesn’t think the problem is pitchers adjusting to Rizzo.

“I think it’s too much of [him] adjusting to the pitchers instead of just getting a good pitch to hit and being ready to hit it all the time,” Sveum said. “Sometimes we get scouting reports, and [you think], ‘I know what this guy is going to try to do’ and sometimes you get caught worrying about it and the next organization is pitching you completely different. The bottom line is dictating the at-bat yourself.”

Sveum mentioned Rizzo’s swing had too much movement lately.

“Everything spirals when you try to do too much,” Rizzo said. “That’s what I always say is try not to do too much, which is hard to do. It’s part of a season. This is one of the worst [streaks] I’ve ever gone through. You have to keep working and keep battling.

“It’s the beauty of this game,” he said. “There’s nothing you can do except keep going.”

So far, Rizzo has appeared to be a streaky hitter.

“I think young guys will be that way, especially someone with his personality who thinks himself out of so many at-bats,” Sveum said. “You watch the consistent, really good hitters, and they’re not letting the pitcher dictate the at-bat. That comes with some maturity, too.”

Rizzo was batting .143 since signing a seven-year, $41 million contract extension. Is that the problem?

“You think this game would be a lot easier when you get that financial security but your instincts stay the same and you still get mad when you get outs because everyone in here is a competitor, whether you’re making $10 an hour or $5 an hour,” Rizzo said. “You get mad when you lose, you get mad when you fail.”

If Rizzo did sit, who would bat third for the Cubs?

“[Scott] Feldman,” Sveum said laughing.

— Carrie Muskat

5/24 Reds 7, Cubs 4

Scott Feldman hit his first career home run, a two-run shot, but he also served up a pair of homers as the Reds posted a 7-4 victory Friday night over the Cubs, who lost their fifth in a row. Joey Votto hit a solo home run with one out in a five-run fourth, which included a three-run homer by Ryan Hanigan on a pitch Feldman would like to have back.

The Reds trailed 3-0 heading into the fourth when Votto, a more experienced home run hitter than Feldman, collected his eighth of the season. Brandon Phillips then singled, and moved up on a wild pitch and errant throw by Dioner Navarro. Todd Frazier walked, although Feldman thought he had struck him out on a 3-2 pitch, and Xavier Paul followed with a RBI single. Hanigan then hit a three-run home run to go ahead, 5-3.

“[Feldman] was one pitch away from another good outing,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “A 3-2 hanging curveball [to Hanigan] — that seems to be our motto lately is one hanging off-speed pitch in situations where we can do anything with a baseball with the pitcher coming up. We’re making bad mistakes at the wrong time in situations where we don’t have to even throw a strike.”

Reds starter Bronson Arroyo followed Hanigan in the lineup, and Feldman got him to fly out to right but the damage was done.

“It really was a bone-head pitch there,” Feldman said of the curve to Hanigan. “We had the pitcher on deck and the one thing that could hurt us right there was giving up a home run. That one stings a little bit. It did come down to that one pitch, and I wish I had it back.”

Anthony Rizzo went 0-for-5, and now is 0-for-22 in his last five games. Since he signed the seven-year, $41 million contract extension on May 13, Rizzo was batting .143 (6-for-42) with one home run and three RBIs.

“I guess you can call it different things,” Sveum said of Rizzo’s funk, “but he’s not taking his walks, he’s just kind of swinging, guessing. There’s a lot more movement than he normally has at the plate.”

Could Rizzo benefit from a day off?

“I guess a lot of people could do that right now,” Sveum said.

The Cubs have had their patience tested. They’ve had 41 of their 47 contests decided by four runs or less.

— Carrie Muskat

5/24 Feldman hits 1st home run

The Cubs pitchers take hitting very seriously, and Scott Feldman added to their numbers on Friday. Feldman hit his first career home run in the second inning against the Reds to open a 3-0 lead. Luis Valbuena doubled with one out in the second, moved up on Dioner Navarro’s single, and scored on Darwin Barney’s sacrifice fly. Feldman followed with his home run off a 3-2 pitch from Bronson Arroyo.

The Cubs pitcher entered the game with six hits in 38 at-bats, and half of those have come this season. The blast also ended a string of six homer-less road games for the Cubs.

Cubs pitchers now have 15 RBIs in May, the most by Cubs pitchers since the August 1937 staff drove in 15. Since 1921, the most RBIs in a month by Cubs pitchers was 16 in July 1925.

Feldman’s blast was the third by a Cubs pitcher this month, joining Travis Wood and Jeff Samardzija.

— Carrie Muskat

5/24 Cubs lineup

Alfonso Soriano will get Friday off with Ryan Sweeney in the lineup and starting in left for the Cubs as they open a three-game series against the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Here’s the lineup:

DeJesus CF
Castro SS
Rizzo 1B
Sweeney LF
Schierholtz RF
Valbuena 3B
Navarro C
Barney 2B
Feldman p

* Feldman is 4-0 with a 1.27 ERA in his last five starts, holding the opponent to a .192 batting average. Prior to this five-start stretch, Feldman was 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA in three outings with opponents batting .263 (15-for-57). Since April 26, Feldman’s 1.27 ERA ranks fourth in the NL behind only the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (0.68), the Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann (0.91) and Diamondbacks’ Patrick Corbin (1.25). Feldman’s seven unearned runs allowed this season rank tied for third-most in the Majors. The Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg has surrendered a Major-League high nine unearned runs.

5/23 Cubs vs. Reds

The Cubs open a three-game series against the Reds on Friday. Here are the pitching matchups:

Friday: RHP Scott Feldman (4-3, 2.19) vs. RHP Bronson Arroyo (4-4, 3.28)
Saturday: LHP Travis Wood (4-2, 2.24) vs. RHP Homer Bailey (2-3, 3.09)
Sunday: RHP Matt Garza (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (2-0, 3.22)

* If you’re looking ahead to the Cubs vs. White Sox Interleague series, Chicago will go with Jeff Samardzija on Monday, Edwin Jackson on Tuesday, Feldman on Wednesday and Wood on Thursday.

5/22 Pitching & hitting

It’s not a good sign when the players with the most RBIs for the month are the pitchers. So far, Cubs pitchers have combined for 13 RBIs in May, and were batting .316 (12-for-38) with two home runs for the month. Outfielder Alfonso Soriano also has driven in 13 runs in May with three home runs.

Among the rest of the Cubs’ batters this month, Anthony Rizzo and Nate Schierholtz each have 10 RBIs in May, Starlin Castro has nine, David DeJesus has eight, catchers Welington Castillo and Dioner Navarro have three each, and the third base combo of Luis Valbuena and Cody Ransom three total.

In 2011, Cubs pitchers collected five RBIs for the season. Last year, they drove in 11. These pitchers take hitting seriously.

Here’s the pitcher-by-pitcher breakdown and their performance with runners in scoring position. The team is batting .218 with RISP; the pitchers are batting .286 (8-for-28):

Matt Garza 1-for-1 RISP, 2 RBIs
Scott Feldman 3-for-9 RISP, 4 RBIs
Edwin Jackson 1-for-2 RISP, 2 RBIs
Jeff Samardzija 1-for-5 RISP, 2 RBI, 1 HR
Travis Wood 2-for-4 RISP, 3 RBI, 1 HR
Carlos Villanueva 0-for-7 RISP, 0 RBI

— Carrie Muskat

5/12 Cubs lineup

Happy Mother’s Day. Here’s the Cubs lineup:

Castro SS
Ransom 3B
Rizzo 1B
Soriano LF
Hairston RF
Sweeney CF
Navarro C
Barney 2B
Feldman P