Results tagged ‘ Steve Clevenger ’

3/23 Cubs 7, Angels 6

Scott Hairston hit a tie-breaking solo home run to highlight a four-run seventh inning but the Cubs had to rally in the eighth as pinch-runner Shawon Dunston Jr. scored the game-winner on a wild pitch to post a 7-6 victory Saturday over the Angels.

With the game tied at 6 in the Chicago eighth, Steve Clevenger doubled to lead off and was lifted for Dunston, son of former Cubs shortstop Shawon Dunston Jr., now a coach in the Giants’ Minor League organization. One out later, Dunston scampered home on a wild pitch by the Angels’ Ernesto Frieri.

The Cubs trailed 5-2 going into the seventh. Brent Lillibridge tripled to open the inning and chase Joe Blanton. Nick Maronde then walked pinch-hitter Dave Sappelt, and David DeJesus hit a RBI double. Alberto Gonzalez, battling for a spot on the bench, delivered a two-run double but was thrown out at third trying to extend his hit. One out later, Hairston connected on his home run.

Carlos Marmol picked up the win despite blowing the lead in the eighth when he walked two and hit another batter. The Angels tied the game when a run scored on a passed ball by Clevenger.

Edwin Jackson started for the Cubs, and gave up five runs on eight hits over five innings.

“They came out swinging,” Jackson said of the Angels. “I left a couple balls out over the middle of the plate and they did a good job hitting the ball. I challenged hitters, and they got their hits.”

He also collected two hits, including a RBI single in the fifth. Jackson will start the Cubs’ final game at HoHoKam Stadium on Thursday, and then be slotted after Jeff Samardzija for the second regular season game, April 3, against the Pirates. Is he ready?

“Health-wise, I feel pretty good,” Jackson said. “If the season started tomorrow, I’d be confident where I am and I feel I can go out and do what I need to do to help the team win.”

– Carrie Muskat

3/23 Extra bases

* Scott Baker was to be examined Sunday by team orthopedic specialist Dr. Stephen Gryzlo. Baker was shut down after his one Cactus League start last Sunday because of discomfort in his right elbow. He’s coming back from Tommy John surgery and expected to open the year on the disabled list.

“I’m happy with the progress it’s made,” Baker said of his elbow. “Obviously, we’re doing something right as far as treatment and the medication is helping and there’s nothing wrong with taking it easy either.”

Baker will likely stay in Mesa for extended Spring Training. Scott Feldman also was expected to stay in Mesa and start March 31 before joining the Cubs, throwing 50 pitches in a game. He will start the Cubs’ fourth game, April 5 in Atlanta.

* The decision for the final spot in the Cubs bullpen may not be determined until the last weekend in Houston. Four relievers are competing, including Hisanori Takahashi, Zach Putnam, Rafael Dolis and Cory Wade. Dolis has been bothered by a blister. There’s no favorite, Sveum said.

“It’s completely undecided now,” Sveum said. “We’ll sit down and weigh all the options and everything, and the teams and durability. All that stuff comes into play.”

* The Cubs are monitoring the waiver wire to see who is available. They’re looking for some backup infield help. Javier Baez was not an option. This spring, Baez batted .389 against left-handed pitchers, but was 7-for-29 (.241) against right-handers.

“He’s so far away from the big leagues, the defense and everything,” Sveum said. “The guy has to develop. I know he hit all the home runs and everything, but he’s still premeditated swinging. He’s got a lot to learn yet. There was never a thought he’d be on this team.”

* Brett Jackson, bothered by soreness in his right shoulder, was able to throw on Friday and took about 20 swings off a batting tee. The Cubs hope he can play in a Cactus League game this week.

* The Cubs have three more games at HoHoKam Stadium. On Friday, officials with the Athletics toured the facility to consider changes for 2015 when Oakland moves in. There will be a new scoreboard and an updated clubhouse. The bleachers in left and right field will be removed, as will the seats. New, wider seats will be installed.

* Dave Sappelt was picked for the Cubs’ 25-man roster because of his ability to play center field. That’s his preferred position.

“I was defensive player of the year two years with the Reds in center,” Sappelt said. “I bounced around when I got here. I don’t have a problem with it. The corners are easy. You can make a lot of good, cool plays. Center is kind of wide open, you can catch them standing up; the corners you can dive, run into the wall.”

Sappelt’s nickname is “Mighty Mite,” and he got that from Dusty Baker.

“Whatever I’m listed at, I’m probably not that height, and I can probably hit the ball pretty far,” said the 5-foot-9 Sappelt.

– Carrie Muskat

3/1 Clevenger ready for 1B

Catcher Steve Clevenger will start at first base on Saturday when the Cubs face the Giants in Scottsdale. It’s part of manager Dale Sveum’s efforts to figure out a way to get the left-hander on the 25-man roster. They don’t have a backup first baseman for Anthony Rizzo, who will join Team Italy on Monday for the World Baseball Classic.

The switch isn’t a big deal for Clevenger.

“I played infield when I first signed with the Cubs and I feel comfortable doing it, so it’s not a big change for me,” Clevenger said.

“I see [Sveum is] trying to do something to help me try to make the team,” Clevenger said. “I don’t feel out of whack playing infield at all. I just want to go out there and take my ground balls and get my work in.”

Outfield isn’t an option. He’s hasn’t played there since high school.

“How hard is it to catch a fly ball?” Clevenger said, laughing.

He’ll probably get some ribbing from the outfielders on Saturday.

“We kind of experimented a little bit in practice last year at Wrigley with [coach Dave McKay],” Clevenger said about playing the outfield. “We worked on throwing and everything. It’s a little tough at Wrigley at first with the wind and sun. My first day was in right field. I’m like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this at Wrigley.'”

He isn’t worried about finding an infielder’s glove. He’ll tap into second baseman Darwin Barney’s large supply.

– Carrie Muskat

2/12 Jackson: “I was a peacemaker”

Edwin Jackson is now a member of the Cubs, not fighting them as he did last Sept. 6. On that day, benches cleared in the game between the Cubs and Nationals after Chicago’s Lendy Castillo threw inside to Bryce Harper. Where was Jackson during the fight?

“I wasn’t a negotiator,” Jackson said Tuesday, “but I was kind of right there.”

Video replays show Jackson charging out of the dugout along with his teammates and needing to be restrained by Washington bench coach Randy Knorr.

“I was a peacemaker, but I was right there,” Jackson said. “Somehow I end up in the middle regardless of whether I’m doing anything or not. I can just be standing around, just watching everyone and observing and oh, like, ‘Oh man, I’m in the middle.'”

The television cameras caught Jackson yelling from the sidelines and the Nationals broadcasters said the pitcher was “still hot” after the players had been separated. Jackson said he didn’t recall specifics.

“I was just standing around, watching what was going on,” he said.

Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger was fined and suspended one game after the incident. On Wednesday, Clevenger caught Jackson’s bullpen session without incident.

“We’ve talked,” Clevenger said. “He’s a good guy.”

– Carrie Muskat

9/8 Clevenger suspended 1 game

Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger will serve a one-game suspension and pay an undisclosed fine for what Major League Baseball described as his “aggressive actions and fighting” during the bench-clearing incident in the bottom of the sixth inning Thursday against the Nationals. Joe Garagiola, Jr., senior vice president of standards and on-field operations for Major League Baseball, issued the penalty on Saturday. Clevenger will not appeal the ruling, and serve the suspension on Saturday.

Cubs pitcher Manuel Corpas and bench coach Jamie Quirk also were ejected from the game, but will not be suspended.

– Carrie Muskat

9/7 Fighting spirit

Major League Baseball has yet to issue any penalties to Cubs bench coach Jamie Quirk, catcher Steve Clevenger or pitcher Manuel Corpas, who were ejected from Thursday’s game against the Nationals in a wild fifth inning. Quirk was ejected first after a shouting match with Nationals third base coach Bo Porter that appeared to be prompted by Jayson Werth swinging at a 3-0 pitch when his team had a five-run lead. Clevenger and Corpas were tossed following a bench-clearing fracas on the field after Cubs pitcher Lendy Castillo threw inside to Bryan Harper.

Sometimes, a little dust up is a good thing.

“I’ve seen it happen before,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “It usually actually works for the better. You don’t want things like that to happen but it’s part of the game. Usually in 162 games, something like that will happen. A lot of times in my career, that has rallied a team together and the team starts playing better.”

Sveum remembers at least two brawls doing just that — one while he was with the Brewers and another when he was with the Red Sox. Did Sveum feel Werth violated one of baseball’s unwritten rules in his at-bat?

“I didn’t think so, no,” Sveum said. “It was the fifth inning. I don’t expect my team to stop playing in the fifth inning. I didn’t have any problem with anything they did.”

– Carrie Muskat

8/3 Cubs lineup

The Cubs open a three-game series Friday night against the Dodgers. Steve Clevenger will be behind the plate, and Jeff Samardzija is on the mound. Samardzija had a solid July in which he went 2-1 with a 1.91 ERA in five starts, holding hitters to a .181 average. Here’s the lineup:

DeJesus CF

Castro SS

Rizzo 1B

Soriano LF

LaHair RF

Clevenger C

Barney 2B

Valbuena 3B

Samardzija P

– Carrie Muskat

7/29 Cubs lineup

Steve Clevenger will be behind the plate with Paul Maholm when the Cubs close the series against the Cardinals on Sunday at Wrigley Field. Maholm enters the game riding a streak of five straight starts of at least six innings pitched with one or no runs allowed. He’s one of two Cubs lefties since 1900 to do so, joining Rube Kroh, who accomplished the feat in 1909. Maholm is 5-0 with a 0.96 ERA in his last five starts, and the five-game winning streak is a career high.

On the positive side, the Cubs have secured their first winning July since going 18-9 in July 2009. The Cubs are 13-9 with three games remaining. Last year, the Cubs were 9-17 in July.

Here’s the lineup:

DeJesus CF

Castro SS

Rizzo 1B

Soriano LF

LaHair RF

Clevenger C

Barney 2B

Valbuena 3B

Maholm P

– Carrie Muskat

7/22 Cubs lineup

Steve Clevenger will be behind the plate Sunday for the Cubs series finale against the Cardinals. After hitting .304 (34-for-112) with runners in scoring position in the first 14 games this month, the Cubs are 0-for-6 with RISP in the first two games of this Cardinals series. Still, the Cubs are batting .288 (34-for-118) with RISP in July after producing just a .199 average (39-for-196) with RISP in June. Here’s the lineup:

DeJesus CF

Castro SS

Rizzo 1B

Soriano LF

LaHair RF

Clevenger C

Barney 2B

Valbuena 3B

Wood P

– Carrie Muskat

7/20 Cubs lineup

Ryan Dempster is in the Cubs’ lineup Friday for Game 1 of a three-game series against the Cardinals. Dempster enters with a 33-inning scoreless innings streak dating to June 5. That’s tied for the seventh-longest single-season scoreless innings streak by a Cubs pitcher in the last 104 years dating to 1908. With a 30 1/3 scoreless innings stretch as a reliever in 2005-06 and his current 33-inning scoreless streak as a starter, Dempster is the only pitcher in modern history (since 1900) to record 30-inning scoreless stretches as both a starter and a reliever (Elias Sports Bureau). Dempster’s 33-inning streak is the longest in the Majors since Cliff Lee’s 34-inning stretch last season.

Here’s Friday’s lineup:

DeJesus CF

Castro SS

Rizzo 1B

Soriano LF

LaHair RF

Clevenger C

Barney 2B

Valbuena 3B

Dempster P

– Carrie Muskat

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