Results tagged ‘ Welington Castillo ’

9/15 Pirates 3, Cubs 2

Francisco Liriano held the Cubs without a hit through six innings and Justin Morneau delivered a game-winning pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth to lift the Pirates to a 3-2 victory Sunday in front of 36,559 at PNC Park.

Pittsburgh remained tied for first with St. Louis in the NL Central heading into the final two weeks of regular season play. All four games between the Cubs and Pirates were decided by two runs or less, and the last three games were one-run decisions. Chicago now is 20-31 in one-run games.

Welington Castillo made it close Sunday when he smacked a two-run home run in the seventh off Liriano to tie the game at 2. But with one out in the Pirates eighth, Pedro Strop plunked Andrew McCutchen with a pitch, and he moved up on Marlon Byrd’s bloop single to center. McCutchen then tallied on Morneau’s single to left.

Liriano was tough. He threw 99 pitches through six innings, and Junior Lake connected on No. 100, recording an infield single to lead off the seventh for the first hit off the lefty. Castillo then launched pitch No. 102 into the left field seats for his seventh home run to tie the game. Darnell McDonald singled, and Liriano was lifted. It’s the first time in 24 starts that he did not get a decision.

“He’s not easy to hit,” Castillo said of Liriano. “He’s got good offspeed, and he throws it for strikes. He’s a guy you have to be aggressive against all the time because he can throw 96 and 88 [mph] and has a slider at 85, 87 [mph]. What makes him good is [all the pitches] look the same. His changeup looks like his fastball, his slider looks like his fastball. He’s been good his whole career. The approach we had to take was be aggressive and try to get him early.”

Wood took an aggressive approach, too, against the Pirates, who rank among the NL leaders in batting average against left-handed pitchers.

“They came out hacking,” Wood said. “They had a game plan and fortunately I was able to get out of [the first] giving up just one.”

Sticking to the Cubs’ coaches plan has been key for Wood this season, his first in which he’s been on a big league roster from Opening Day until the finish.

“For me, it goes back to last year when they wanted me to work both sides of the plate, arm side and glove side, and I really focused on arm side because I was predominantly glove side,” Wood said. “For me to take that into this year and make sure I can command both sides of the plate and prepare as best as I can, side sessions and everything, it’s been outstanding.”

It wasn’t hard for the Cubs staff to convince Wood to make the changes because he threw predominantly to one side of the plate.

“I knew at some point it was going to catch up to me,” Wood said.

Said Castillo: “That lineup is not easy to get through. They were jumping on him early. We had to make adjustments, and he did it.”

The Cubs head to Milwaukee with a 15-31 record since July 29. While the Pirates are prepping for the postseason, playing “We Are Family” at PNC Park, it’s wait until next year for Chicago.

“We’ve definitely made strides,” Wood said, complimenting Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer for getting players who want to be on the team. “I’m excited to finish out the season and see how we battle back next year being together for a full year.”

It may be tough for Cubs fans to accept that. Wood sees positives.

“We’ve strung together some good games,” Wood said. “I think we’ve had a season where we’ve made strides and we can hold our heads high.”

– Carrie Muskat

Tuesday’s game: Cubs 9, Reds 1

Welington Castillo hit two home runs to back Edwin Jackson, who gave up one run over seven innings, in the Cubs’ 9-1 victory Tuesday night over the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Jackson also helped himself by hitting a solo home run. Cubs pitchers now have combined for six home runs and 28 RBIs, most in the Major Leagues. Coincidentally, Castillo now has six home runs and 28 RBIs. This was the third start this season that Jackson did not walk a batter.

9/1 Cubs 7, Phillies 1

Welington Castillo smacked a two-run double and Anthony Rizzo added a RBI double to back Jake Arrieta and lead the Cubs to a 7-1 victory over the Phillies and take the series at Wrigley Field. After a dismal 8-20 August, the Cubs were happy to turn the calendar. They have now won back to back games at home for the first time since winning three straight, July 6-9. Arrieta gave up three hits over 6 2/3 innings in his fifth start for Chicago.

The Cubs added three players Sunday when Major League rosters could expand, including Ryan Sweeney and Luis Valbuena, who were activated from the disabled list. Sweeney delivered in his first-bat, hitting a RBI single with two outs in the first off Kyle Kendrick, who needed 31 pitches to get through the inning. Anthony Rizzo hit a RBI double in the third, his 34th. and Castillo connected in the fourth.

James Russell pitched in relief, his 70th appearance this year. He’s the fifth Cubs lefty to record multiple 70-game seasons for the Cubs.

The Cubs won their first home series since July 5-7.

– Carrie Muskat

8/25 Castillo returns

Catcher Welington Castillo was back in the Cubs’ lineup Sunday after missing a few days to rest sore ribs, injured Aug. 17 while making an awkward throw.

“We gave him enough days off and he’s feeling a lot better,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.

Castillo said he’s still a little tender, but doesn’t want to go on the disabled list with so little time remaining in the season.

“I’m not 100 percent but I have to get through the season,” said the catcher, who feels it more when he’s hitting than when he’s making a throw from behind the plate.

Castillo, who has not played since Wednesday, went 3-for-26 in the last eight games, and was batting .265 overall.

– Carrie Muskat

8/25 Cubs lineup

Welington Castillo is back in the Cubs lineup Sunday for the series finale against the Padres. Castillo has been bothered by sore ribs, which he injured making an awkward throw last weekend in the Cardinals’ series. Castillo said he’s not 100 percent healthy but he can play.

Chris Rusin enters the game with a 3.08 ERA, tied with the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu for the third-lowest earned run average of any rookie left-handed starting pitcher this season. Rusin trails only Atlanta’s Alex Wood (2.50) and Cincinnati’s Tony Cingrani (2.76).

A win Sunday, and the Cubs would secure their first season series win vs. the Padres since going 5-2 in 2008.

Castro SS
Rizzo 1B
Schierholtz RF
Bogusevic LF
Lake CF
Murphy 3B
Castillo C
Barney 2B
Rusin P

8/24 Castillo, Baez & more

* Welington Castillo has been nursing sore ribs but Dale Sveum said he expected the catcher back in the lineup on Sunday.

* Javier Baez has made the transition from high A ball to Double-A look relatively easy. Baez, the Cubs’ top prospect, batted .274 with 17 home runs and 57 RBIs in 76 games for Class A Daytona before he was promoted to Double-A Tennessee, and in 45 games, he was batting .310 with 17 home runs and 44 RBIs. GM Jed Hoyer said they expected Baez to go through “more of a process.”

“He’s had more success than we expected,” Hoyer said of the Cubs’ 2011 first-round Draft pick. “He got over that initial Double-a hurdle quickly and he’s been on a hot streak. Good for him. It’s been impressive that he adjusted as quick as he did.”

The shortstop is finishing on a high note.

“Hopefully, he’ll carry that forward into next year, the confidence he had in Double-A,” Hoyer said. “I think when he made the jump from high A to Double-A, we felt giving him the challenge was the right thing to do and he’s responded.”

Baez will not play in the Arizona Fall League, but top prospects Jorge Soler and Albert Almora will. The official AFL rosters were expected to be released later this month, and Hoyer said the Cubs will have an impressive group.

* The Cubs have yet to finalize who will be called up to the big league roster in September but the team will likely add players who are not currently on the 40-man roster but expected to be added this offseason. The Cubs also hope to add Luis Valbuena (right oblique strain) and Ryan Sweeney (left rib fracture), who were both on the disabled list.

– Carrie Muskat

8/11 Cubs lineup

Edwin Jackson will take the mound Sunday and try to complete the sweep against the Cardinals. Welington Castillo is batting fourth. He’s hitting .421 in his last 14 games. Here’s the lineup:

DeJesus CF
Lake LF
Rizzo 1B
Castillo C
Schierholtz RF
Murphy 3B
Castro SS
Barney 2B
E. Jackson P

7/28 Cubs 2, Giants 1

Travis Wood picked up another quality start and a quality at-bat. Wood notched his 18th quality start and belted his third home run to lift the Cubs to a 2-1 victory Sunday over the Giants and complete a sweep of the defending World Series champs. Welington Castillo smacked a tiebreaking home run with two outs in the seventh, his third of the year, to give Chicago its first series sweep in San Francisco since Sept. 13-15, 1993.

The Cubs concluded a 10-game West Coast swing through Denver, Phoenix and San Francisco 6-4, and picked up their 26th road win, three more than their total last season. Last year, the Cubs went 1-18 on the road against the NL West.

“I can’t remember ever as a player or anything having this kind of trip on the West Coast,” Dale Sveum said. “To win six out of 10 on the West Coast, no matter how good a team you are, it’s one of the harder things to do in baseball.”

They did it without Matt Garza and Alfonso Soriano, both traded during the trip. On Sunday, Soriano had four hits, including a two-run homer and walk-off RBI single for the Yankees, which prompted loud cheers in the Cubs clubhouse. The high socks on Starlin Castro, Junior Lake and Luis Valbuena on Sunday? That’s Soriano style.

“We said we wanted to do it for Sori,” Castillo said of the socks switch.

Wood was in the trainer’s room and heard all the ruckus. The lefty was on the Cubs last year when they also overhauled the roster, dealing Ryan Dempster, Geovany Soto and others. This time, it’s different.

“It’s always a little different, especially when you lose a guy like Soriano,” Wood said. “He was one of our hottest bats, probably the hottest bat at the time. He’s the leader on the team and he’s been here the longest. It was sad to see him go, but I think he had a pretty solid day today. We just have to pull together and string some wins.”

The pitchers ruled. Wood singled to lead off the third and then homered off Tim Lincecum with two outs in the fifth, his third of the year, and the most by a Cubs pitcher since Carlos Zambrano hit four in 2009. It’s the first time Lincecum has ever served up a home run to a pitcher.

“I’m always surprised,” Wood said of his power. “I’m not up there trying to hit homers. I’m just trying to put good swings on it. I was able to get two hits today and fortunately one of them went over the fence. Unfortunately, I gave it up the next inning.”

Lincecum got a little payback with two hits off Wood, both singles.

The Giants loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth, and Buster Posey hit into a bizarre double play, forcing the runners at third and at home. But Pablo Sandoval delivered an RBI double to tie the game. Castillo’s home run was all Wood needed, and ticked Lincecum off.

All three games were decided by one run. Winning those close games in front of sellout crowds can only help, Sveum said.

“A lot of these young guys have to get a feeling for that in the big leagues, and the feeling of the last three games here, how close every out was and how every pitch here meant everything, and the situations [Saturday night],” Sveum said. “These guys, some of them anyway, that multiplies by 10 when you’re in a pennant race, those kind of games. It’s always a learning process.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/9 Injury updates

Brian Bogusevic, sidelined since July 4 with tightness in his left hamstring, could be back in the Cubs lineup in time to face the Cardinals on Thursday.

“He’s pretty close,” Dale Sveum said of Bogusevic, who was batting .290 before he was injured. “It looks like the way things have gone the last couple days, by the Cardinals series on Thursday, he should be ready to play in a game. I think he’s at the point where he can pinch-hit and stay on the bases instead of using a pitcher to pinch-run before.”

Catcher Welington Castillo also was feeling better after being scratched from Monday’s game because he was feeling ill because of dehydration.

David DeJesus, on the disabled list since June 15 with a sprained right shoulder, was making progress, and able to hit in the cage and throw.

“It’s getting there,” DeJesus said Tuesday. “There are some movements that are like, ‘oh,’ [and it reminds me] something happened. I have to keep it tight.”

He’s tinkering with his hitting now.

“We’re trying to find a swing that doesn’t bother it but still not make a whole new swing out there,” he said. “We have to find what works best.”

Scott Baker, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, threw four innings in his fourth simulated game on Tuesday in Mesa, Ariz. The next step could be pitching in a Minor League game for the right-hander. If all goes well, Baker could join the Cubs in one month.

– Carrie Muskat

7/8 Cubs lineup – UPDATED

Welington Castillo was scratched from the lineup because he was ill. Luis Valbuena will be the Cubs’ designated hitter on Monday when they meet the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in a makeup game. Starlin Castro is leading off for the third time this season. Here’s the lineup:

Castro SS
Ransom 3B
Rizzo 1B
Soriano LF
Navarro C
Valbuena DH
Barney 2B
Sappelt RF
Borbon CF

Garza P

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