Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cubs make roster moves before non-tender deadline; Tree lighting on Thursday

As the MLB non-tender deadline approached Monday night, the Cubs had many decisions to make.  All in all, the team tendered 2014 contracts to the following arbitration-eligible players, including second baseman Darwin Barney, starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, outfielder Nate Schierholtz, starting pitcher Travis Wood, relief pitcher Pedro Strop, reliever James Russell and third baseman Luis Valbuena.

Jeff Samardzija
Starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija was one of seven arbitration-eligible players to whom the Cubs tendered contracts to. (Chicago Tribune photo)
MLBTradeRumors.com projects Samardzija to get $4.9 million in 2014, while Schierholtz is projected to get $4.4 million; Wood $3.6 million; Barney $2.1 million; Russell $1.7 million; Valbuena $1.5 million; and Strop $1 million.

In addition, the Cubs signed fan favorite Donnie Murphy to a one-year $825,000 contract plus incentives.

The Cubs also reached an agreement with backup catcher George Kottaras (who was acquired last week from the Kansas City Royals) for a one-year, $1.075 million contract.

Lead story image
George Kottaras will be the Cubs' backup catcher in 2014 (photo from Chicago Sun-Times)
The Cubs non-tendered relievers Daniel Bard and Chang-Yong Lim and also infielder Mat Gamel.  All three are now free agents.

Former Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro agreed to a two-year, $8 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.  We wish him the best.

The Cubs' 40-man roster currently stands at 37 players.

Former Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly has retired due to chronic neck pain.  "I am retiring," Lilly wrote.  "I don't want to, but I think it is the realistic decision."  Lilly had the nerve endings on the right side of his neck cauterized by a spine specialist recently, which allowed him to pitch in the Venezuelan Winter League, but the discomfort continued.  Besides the Cubs, Lilly also played for the Dodgers, Yankees, Blue Jays, A's and Expos during his 15-year MLB career.

The Cubs Christmas Tree Lighting will take place this Thursday, December 5th in front of the Wrigley Field marquee.  The Cubs have not yet announced the time of the event.

Friday, September 27, 2013

And that's a wrap at Wrigley Field for the 2013 Cubs

The Cubs ended their home season at Wrigley Field on Wednesday by beating the NL Central second place Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of 4-2.  It's become somewhat of a tradition for me to attend the last home game of the season with family/friends but it's definitely a letdown once that last game at the Friendly Confines is over.

Members of the Cubs bullpen high-five each other before the start of the home finale on Wednesday (photo by Karen Burchell)
Cubs players and coaches threw out 1,000 autographed baseballs to fans in the stands before Wednesday's game.  I was lucky enough to catch Outfielder Nate Schierholtz's attention, who threw me a ball that ended up being autographed by rookie Pitcher Zac Rosscup.  It really is a nice gesture for the Cubs to do this for the fans, especially after another rough season during the rebuilding process.

Autographed Zac Rosscup ball thrown to me by Nate Schierholtz (photo by Karen Burchell)
Jake Arrieta made the start for the Cubs and earned the win after giving up one run on four hits over six innings.  Arrieta came to the Cubs from the Orioles in the Scott Feldman trade in July. 

Jake Arrieta warming up in the bullpen before starting for the Cubs against the Pirates (photo by Karen Burchell)
Although the Cubs finished with a 31-50 record at Wrigley, which set a franchise record for most losses at home in a season, it was hard to tell this was the case while sitting amongst fellow loyal Cubs fans on Wednesday. 

Below are some more photos I took at the game.  Enjoy and let's hope the Cubbies can win against the Cardinals this weekend!  Tonight the rivals will play in St. Louis at 7:15pm CT.  Travis Wood will start for the Cubs and try to earn his 10th win of the season. 

Relief pitcher Hector Rondon signs autographs before Wednesday's game (photo by Karen Burchell)

Relief pitcher Justin Grimm signs autographs before Wednesday's game (photo by Karen Burchell)

Bullpen catcher Andy Lane signs autographs before Wednesday's game (photo by Karen Burchell)

Relief pitcher Carlos Villanueva signs autographs before Wednesday's game (photo by Karen Burchell)

Assistant hitting coach Rob Deer signs autographs before Wednesday's game (photo by Karen Burchell)

Darnell McDonald's bat - possibly the one that hit the game-winning homer? (photo by Karen Burchell)

Starlin Castro (center) walks on the field before Wednesday's game (photo by Karen Burchell)

Donnie Murphy, Ryan Sweeney and Anthony Rizzo before Wednesday's game (photo by Karen Burchell)

Members of the Cubs bullpen high-five before Wednesday's game (photo by Karen Burchell)

Some of the Cubs bullpen before Wednesday's game (photo by Karen Burchell)

So this is how Blake Parker occupies his time in the bullpen during games! (photo by Karen Burchell)

September call-up Brooks Raley during Wednesday's game (photo by Karen Burchell)

Cubs players and coaches tip their hats to fans following the conclusion of the home finale and win on Wednesday (photo by Karen Burchell)
Thanks for reading and for your support!  Keep following Cubby News for the latest Cubs news during the offseason!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Scott Baker's Cubs debut; Rookie Hazing Day Costumes

The Cubs lost 3-1 to the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday at Wrigley Field, but still had some fun on Rookie Hazing day, when players followed the tradition of dressing in costumes for their roadtrip to Cincinnati.  More on that later.

Scott Baker made his Cubs debut and pitched for the first time in a big league game since August of 2011.  He underwent Tommy John surgery on April 17, 2012.  The Cubs signed Baker to a one-year, $5.5 million contract in the off-season. 

Scott Baker made an impressive Cubs debut against the Brewers (photo by Karen Burchell)
Baker made an impressive start and allowed just two hits, walked one and struck out one over five innings pitched.  He was on a 75-pitch limit and was lifted after throwing 55 pitches.  "First time out, he did a great job and we'll leave it at that and evaluate going forward," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.

"There were some emotions there," Baker said.  "It's been a long, long road, and I'm happy my family was here to share this moment.  They're as much a part of this as I am."  At least Baker finally got to make his first start since becoming a Cub, but who knows if he'll be around next season.

Now back to the rookie hazing costumes.  Even though some people are offended by players dressing in embarrassing costumes for their roadtrip, I personally think it's fun to see and shows another side of the players (Although I do wonder if this year's lingerie theme may have been inspired by Miley Cyrus' controversial performance at the VMAs?)  Here are some photos from Twitter:

Cubs reliever Blake Parker signed for fans while in costume

Pitcher Chris Rusin in his rookie hazing costume

Junior Lake in his rookie hazing costume

Logan Watkins in his rookie hazing costume

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo in costume (even though he technically isn't a rookie!)

Zac Rosscup (and Brooks Raley behind him) in their rookie hazing costumes
That's some good stuff you don't see every day.  Thanks to @wjude468 on Twitter for the photos.

Tonight the Cubs and Reds will play the first game of a three-game series in Cincinnati.  The Cubs will then travel to Pittsburgh and then Milwaukee before heading back to Chicago for the final homestand of the 2013 season.  Travis Wood will start for the Cubs and try to earn his ninth win of the season.  First pitch is at 6:10pm CT.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cubs vs. Nationals an up and down game after a rain delayed start

After a two-hour rain delay, the Cubs and Nationals were able to start the final game of the four-game series Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field.  The Cubs never held a lead in the game but then managed to tie the game at 4 in the bottom of the ninth inning, thanks to Donnie Murphy, who hit a homer with two outs.

The game then went on for four more innings, until the Nationals scored and ended up winning 5-4 over the Cubs.

Here are some photos I took at today's game:

Cubs players and coaches lined up during the National Anthem before Thursday's game against the Nationals

Wayne Messmer singing the National Anthem before Thursday's Cubs game

All-Star Travis Wood pitching during Thursday's game against the Nationals

Darwin Barney and Anthony Rizzo chat while reliever Blake Parker warms up

Former Cub David DeJesus playing for the Nationals

For a complete recap of the game, here's a link to the story on cubs.com.

Tomorrow the Cubs will start a three-game series against the Padres in San Diego.  First pitch is scheduled for 9:10pm CT.  Edwin Jackson will make the start for the Cubs and try to earn his eighth win of the season.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Cubs win 11-1 over Nationals and David DeJesus as Samardzija pitches complete game and Schierholtz has 6 RBI

It was an interesting day for Cubs news as word first surfaced that outfielder David DeJesus had been traded to the Washington Nationals around 2:30pm CT this afternoon.  DeJesus said that it felt like time stopped for him when talking to Cubs President Theo Epstein on the phone when during complimenting DeJesus, Epstein told him he had been traded to the Nationals.  DeJesus' wife Kim, a Chicago area native from Wheaton and lifelong Cubs fan, reportedly cried when DeJesus broke the news to her.

Outfielder David DeJesus was traded to the Nationals today (Yahoo Sports photo)
At least DeJesus didn't have far to go, as the Cubs started the first game of a 4-game series against the Nationals tonight at Wrigley Field.   We wish David and Kim nothing but the best in the future.

The Cubs went on to crush the Nationals 11-1 as Jeff Samardzija pitched a complete game and Nate Schierholtz homered twice and had 6 RBI.  Donnie Murphy also hit two homers and Dioner Navarro hit a homer. 

Nate Schierholtz is congratulated by Dioner Navarro as he crosses home plate (Chicago Sun-Times photo)
In the top of the 8th inning, DeJesus was called on to pinch-hit for the Nationals and he received a warm greeting from Cubs fans as he stepped up to the plate.  Navarro gave him a hug and after he flied out, second baseman Darwin Barney and other of his former teammates gave him encouragement.

DeJesus was a leader in the Cubs' clubhouse and will surely be missed.  But Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer said there's a chance DeJesus could return to the Cubs in 2014....we shall see!

Tomorrow the Cubs and Nationals play game two at 7:05pm CT.  Left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin will make the start for the Cubs and try to earn his third win of the season.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cubs start dealing in midst of trade season

The Cubs have traded RHP Scott Feldman to the Baltimore Orioles, along with C Steve Clevenger for pitchers Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop and international bonus money.  The Orioles needed to add a starting pitcher, which Feldman is likely to do well in Baltimore.  Clevenger's agent said he was excited for the trade and it was like a dream come true, since Clev grew up in the area.

RHP Scott Feldman has been traded to the Orioles

Since Feldman was scheduled to start tonight's game against the Oakland Athletics at 9:05pm CT, LHP Chris Rusin will now get the start.

RHP Jake Arrieta comes to the Cubs in the Scott Feldman/Steve Clevenger deal

RHP Pedro Strop also comes to the Cubs in the Feldman/Clevenger deal with the Orioles

After a few days of speculation, the Cubs have also traded Carlos Marmol to the Los Angeles Dodgers for RHP Matt Guerrier and also give up their No. 4 international signing bonus slot.  The Cubs will pay nearly $2M of Marmol's salary and the Dodgers get $209K in the international slot.  Cub fans everywhere are rejoicing that Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod were able to get an actual player for Marmol. 

Carlos Marmol was traded to the Dodgers for RHP Matt Guerrier

The Cubs have also acquired the Houston Astros' 2nd/3rd international signing bonus slots for Double-A INF Ronald Torreyes.

In other Cubs news, Ryan Sweeney is going on the 60-day disabled list with a broken rib and Dave Sappelt is being called up from Triple-A Iowa to take his spot on the roster.

There are sure to be many more moves before the trade deadline at the end of the month and we'll be posting about those trades as they happen.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Jeff Samardzija pitches first career complete game shutout as Cubs win 7-0 over White Sox

Jeff Samardzija was brilliant as he pitched his first career complete game shutout and led the Cubs to a 7-0 win over their crosstown rival, the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on a cool Memorial Day evening.

Jeff Samardzija pitched his first career complete game shutout on Monday against the White Sox (Chicago Sun-Times photo)
The "Shark" allowed just two hits and struck out eight and walked two batters over nine innings pitched and 108 pitches thrown.  Samardzija is the first Cubs starter to pitch a shutout since former Cub Randy Wells did so on August 29. 2011 against the San Francisco Giants.

Samardzija said, "I love this place.  I loved coming to watch games here as a kid.  I loved watching these guys play here, so to come here, and have my whole family here, 30 minutes from home, from my backyard, it's fun.  I love being here, I love the atmosphere.  I love these games against the White Sox, they're always fun.  Unfortunately, they cut [the series] down to four -- this is what baseball is all about, these rivalry games.  It's just fun, this is what you play for."  He also added, "I love competing against that team, they're a great group of guys who play hard, and I admire them a lot -- it was just fun."

Cubs manager Dale Sveum said, "That kind of stuff, 97 [mph] from the first pitch to the last pitch, whatever he threw, you're not going to see that too often in the big leagues."

Julio Borbon hit his first homer and Anthony Rizzo had a double and a triple and drove in two runs.  Rizzo said, "Just to put runs on the board and keep adding on, and two-out hits, it's nice for the entire team, the pitching staff, our coaches -- it was a nice, easy win."

In other Cubs news, the team placed right handed reliever Kyuji Fujikawa on the 15-day disabled list  with a right forearm strain.  The Cubs also claimed right-handed pitcher Alex Burnett off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles, who takes Fujikawa's spot on the roster.

The Cubs and Sox will play the second game of the four game Crosstown Classic series tomorrow night at 7:10pm CT on the South Side.  Edwin Jackson will start for the Cubs and try to earn his second win of the season.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cubs win 8-2 over the Mets as Scott Feldman pitches his way to fourth consecutive win

The Cubs beat the Mets 8-2 on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.  Scott Feldman delivered another quality outing for the Cubs as he pitched 6-2/3 scoreless innings.  Feldman allowed seven hits and struck out six batters and walked one.  He has a 1.27 ERA in his last five starts and is 4-0.  I was at the game and am happy to share some of my personal photos in this blog post.

Scott Feldman earned the win against the Mets on Saturday
Both Anthony Rizzo and Nate Schierholtz homered in the game, with Rizzo's coming in the fifth inning and Schierholtz's in the eighth.  "I am just seeing pitches to hit and not trying to do too much.  Keeping it as simple as possible.  Not over-thinking, no matter who's pitching." Rizzo said.  Well, keep it up, #44!

Cubs players and coaches celebrate their "W" on Saturday

Darwin Barney and Anthony Rizzo visit while James Russell warms up
In other Cubs news, Matt Garza has rejoined the team and is scheduled to make his first start since last season on Tuesday against the Pirates in Pittsburgh.  Carlos Villanueva is the likely candidate for moving to the bullpen once Garza is added to the roster.

Matt Garza and teammates during the national anthem before Saturday's game
Tomorrow, the Cubs and Mets will play the rubber game of the series at 1:20pm CT.  Travis Wood will make the start for the Cubs and try to earn his fifth win of the season. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cubs beat the Cardinals 2-1 and win 2nd straight game

The Cubs won 2-1 over the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field in the first of the two-game series.  Anytime the Northsiders can beat the Redbirds, it's a beautiful thing.  It was really satisfying to watch Cardinals fans listening to Cubs fans fill the Friendly Confines with the sweet words of "Go Cubs Go!"

Starlin Castro makes the throw to first as Yadier Molina slides into second (Chicago Tribune photo)
Travis Wood made the start for the Cubs and was excellent as he allowed one run on five hits while walking one and striking out eight batters over 6.2 innings pitched.  Wood earned his second win of the season and threw 114 pitches.

Wood is the first left-handed Cubs pitcher to start a season with seven consecutive quality starts since Johnny Schmitz in 1948.  Kevin Gregg dominated in the ninth inning and earned his fifth save of the season (in five opportunities).  Carlos Marmol tried his best to give up the Cubs' lead in the eighth, but was thankfully able to get out of the jam unscathed.

Rightfielder Nate Schierholtz hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning, which gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead and was enough to win the game.  Schierholtz was even interviewed after the game on the field and didn't even get a shaving cream pie in the face.  Bummer!

Tomorrow the rivals will play each other at 1:20pm CT and Carlos Villanueva will start for the Cubs and try to earn his second win this year.  Can the Cubbies extend their winning streak to three games? I sure hope so!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Cubs win 5-3 over the Padres as Kevin Gregg earns 4th save and Darwin Barney and Cody Ransom each with two RBIs

The Cubs opened their 10-game homestand with a 5-3 win over the San Diego Padres on a 70-degree spring night at Wrigley Field.  Jeff Samardzija was the starting pitcher and allowed three runs on four hits while walking four and striking out eight batters over five innings pitched. 

The Shark didn't have his best outing of the season as he walked Everth Cabrera to lead off the game and then allowed a single to Chase Headley.  Samardzija then threw two wild pitches and the runners advanced and Cabrera ended up scoring on that second wild pitch.

Michael Bowden earned the win and Kevin Gregg got James Russell out of an 8th inning jam and closed out the game to earn his fourth save of the season.  It sure is nice to see the Cubs have an effective bullpen that's actually doing the job they're there for. 

Scott Hairston and former Padre Cody Ransom hit back-to-back homers in the second inning and Ransom also had two RBIs, which included a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth inning.

Scott Hairston and Cody Ransom hit back-to-back homers in the second inning against the Padres (Chicago Tribune photo)
Second baseman Darwin Barney had two RBI doubles tonight as well, drew a walk and was 2-for-3.  It sure is good to have him back and see his bat come alive!

Darwin Barney had two RBIs against the Padres (Chicago Tribune photo)
Tomorrow the Cubs and Padres will play the second game of the four-game series at 7:05pm CT.  Edwin Jackson will start for the Cubs and try to earn his first win of the season.  Go Cubs Go!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Cubs earn third consecutive win as they beat the Marlins 3-2

The Cubs earned their third consecutive win (woohoo!) as they beat the Miami Marlins 3-2 on Saturday night at Marlins Park.  Travis Wood made a strong start for the Cubs and allowed two runs on three hits and walked one batter and struck out five over six innings pitched.

Travis Wood earned the win against the Marlins on Saturday night (photo from Chicago Tribune)
The game went back and forth as the Cubs started with a 1-0 lead and then Giancarlo Stanton's home run in the first inning tied the game.  The Cubs then got a 2-1 lead when Luis Valbuena hit an RBI single in the second inning.  However, Miguel Olivo proceeded to homer off Wood to tie the game once again.

The two teams were tied until David DeJesus's RBI single broke the tie and gave the Cubs the lead for good in the seventh inning.

Worth mentioning:  Nate Schierholtz had an amazing diving catch in the game and Starlin Castro made a diving, inning-ending play to Darwin Barney to shut the door and get the Cubs out of an 8th inning jam.  Kevin Gregg earned his third save since coming back to the Cubs.  Honestly, who knew that Gregg would make such a difference!

In other Cubs news, third baseman Ian Stewart was supposed to play with Triple-A Iowa Friday night as part of his rehab, but he was hit in the elbow earlier in the week and was too sore to throw on Friday, so we'll see how things go.

Starting pitcher Matt Garza tweeted the other day, “5/1 is my day."  This is in reference to his first minor-league rehab start, which will be with Double-A Tennessee next week.  Hopefully Garza will remain on track for his return to the Cubs.  It seems like it's been forever since he's pitched a game.

Carlos Villanueva will make the start as the Cubs and Marlins play the fourth and final game in the series at 1:10pm CT Sunday.  Villanueva will try to earn his second win of the season.  Can the Cubs make it 4 W's in a row?  What do you think?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cubs win 6-2 over Rangers as offense comes alive at wet Wrigley Field

The Cubs were able to play all nine innings at Wrigley Field this afternoon and earn a 6-2 win over the Texas Rangers.  The two teams ended up splitting the two-game series (since Wednesday's night's game had to be postponed due to heavy rain and thunderstorms in Chicago).  A makeup date has yet to be announced.  Personally, I was glad they decided to postpone the game, since I had tickets and wasn't particularly looking forward to trudging to the Friendly Confines in the wet and windy weather.

The Cubs' bats came alive with 13 hits in the team's best performance of the season.  Carlos Villanueva earned the win for his solid outing today.  He allowed two runs on four hits and walked one and struck out six batters.  Villanueva's ERA is 1.29 this season.

Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano had back-to-back home runs in the third inning.  Rizzo's homer went 475 feet, which is the longest homer in the majors this season. 

Welington Castillo was hot today as he went 4-for-4 with a double and a run.  Luis Valbuena had two RBIs in the game.

Welington Castillo and Carlos Marmol celebrate the Cubs' win over the Rangers on Thursday (photo from Chicago Tribune)
To top it all off, Carlos Marmol pitched in the ninth and was able to get three quick outs without any drama.  Way to go, Marmol!  It was really satisfying to have the Cubs' bullpen be effective (which hasn't happened that often this season).  Also worth mentioning is James Russell's excellent relief pitching this season as he made his eighth scoreless appearance in the eighth inning of today's game.

Tomorrow the Cubs will travel to Milwaukee to start a three-game series against the Brewers.  Jeff Samardzija will start for the Cubs and try to earn his second win of the season.  Tomorrow's game time is 7:10pm CT.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cubs fight until the end, but lose 4-2 to Rangers; 7 players affected in roster moves

The Cubs played hard and fought until the end, but lost 4-2 to the Texas Rangers as Darwin Barney's would-have been game-tying double was caught by the Rangers' Craig Gentry on an amazing play.  Wishful thinking, especially for Barney's season debut after coming off the disabled list.

Travis Wood had a quality start for the Cubs and allowed two runs on five hits while walking three and striking out three batters over 7.1 innings pitched.  Wood was tagged with his first loss of the season, even though he has made three quality starts and has allowed only four earned runs over 19-2/3 innings with an 1.83 ERA.

Wood exited the game in the top of the 8th as Cubs manager Dale Sveum called in Shawn Camp from the bullpen.  Bad move, Sveum!  Camp proceeded to throw away a pickoff attempt and which allowed the Rangers to score and lead 2-0.  Camp then gave up a two-run homer to Adrian Beltre.  The Cubs were now losing 4-0.

Travis Wood had a quality start against the Rangers, but ended up with the loss (photo by Chicago Sun-Times)
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Nate Schierholtz had a two-run pinch-hit double which brought the Cubs within two of the Rangers.  The Cubs had the bases loaded after Welington Castillo was hit by a pitch in his ankle.  Darwin Barney then hit a sinking liner to center, which would normally have been a game-tying double, but instead, Craig Gentry made a diving catch to end the game.  

In other Cubs news, the team made several roster moves today, which are listed below:

--Activated 2B Darwin Barney from the disabled list
--Claimed infielder Cody Ransom off waivers from Padres
--Designated Brent Lillibridge for assignment
--Added RHP Kameron Loe to active roster
--Selected contract of RHP Kevin Gregg
--Designated Hisanori Takahashi for assignment
--Optioned Rafael Dolis to Triple-A Iowa

Hopefullly these roster moves will make a difference and the Cubs will start winning some games (or at least stop giving them away).  Besides James Russell, the Cubs bullpen hasn't been reliable at all.  Let's see how Loe and Gregg affect the team.  Stay tuned....

Also, if you haven't already heard, the city of Chicago and the Cubs have come to an agreement for the Wrigley Field renovation plan.  More details about the renovation plans can be found at this link.

Tomorrow the Cubs and Rangers will play the second game of the three-game series at 7:05pm CT.  Carlos Villanueva will make the start for the Cubs and try for his first win of the season.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Cubs with 4-3 walk-off win against Giants in emotional game; Darwin Barney gets his Gold Glove award

Wow, what an (Opening) week it's been for the Cubs and Wrigley Field.  First off, the Wrigley renovation talks are still ongoing, but seem to be making progress.  Secondly, if you haven't heard about the severed goat head that was delivered in a box to Gate K at Wrigley Field and addressed to Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, you don't follow the Cubs all that closely.  Also, Cubs top prospect Jorge Soler was ejected from the Daytona Cubs Class A game earlier this week after a bench-clearing incident and has been suspended for five games.

Lastly, the Cubs blew another lead in the ninth inning against the San Francisco Giants today, but were able to come back with a walk-off win.  The final score was 4-3 Cubs.

David DeJesus and his Cubs teammates celebrate after he scores the game-winning run on Friday against the Giants (Chicago Tribune photo)
How it happened:  Carlos Villanueva had a great start as he allowed just three hits and no runs and walked one and struck out three batters over 7.1 innings pitched.  When newly named Cubs closer Kyuji Fujikawa came into the ninth, he must've been channeling Carlos Marmol as he blew the 2-0 lead for Villanueva.

Entering the bottom of the ninth, the Cubs were trailing the Giants 3-2 but Dioner Navarro got things started with a home run while pinch-hitting.  David DeJesus then had a two-out single and Starlin Castro followed by hitting a double for DeJesus to score the game-winning run.  DeJesus and Castro both also homered earlier in the game.

It was very satisfying to see the Cubs come back after losing the lead and watch them jump around on the field with so much enthusiasm after the walk-off win while "Go Cubs Go" could be heard in the background.  On a side note, Villanueva said the following about not getting credited with the win today, "Personal stats will come.  Keep doing my job and they'll come eventually.  But the atmosphere in our clubhouse right now...I wouldn't change that for the world.  I'm happy."  Glad to hear it, Carlos!

Before today's game, second baseman Darwin Barney received his Gold Glove award in a ceremony on the field, since he will be rehabbing at Triple-A Iowa starting tomorrow through Monday and is expected to rejoin the Cubs lineup on Tuesday.  Hooray!

Darwin Barney poses with his Gold Glove award at Wrigley Field on Friday (photo from @Cubs on Twitter)
Tomorrow, the Cubs and Giants will play the rubber game of the series at 1:20pm CT.  Jeff Samardzija will start for the Cubs and try to earn his second win of the season.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cubs win 6-3 over the Brewers in first home win of the season; Photos from the Home Opener

The Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 in their first home win of the season tonight.  It was also the first night game at Wrigley Field this year.

Travis Wood started for the Cubs but ended up with a no-decision as Carlos Marmol earned the win and Kyuji Fujikawa earned the save.  If you're looking for more details on the win, you can go to cubs.com.

The Cubs broke their 4-game losing streak with tonight's win and the fans that braved the cold night were rewarded with being able to sing "Go Cubs Go."

Yesterday was the Cubs home opener, which I was lucky enough to attend and sit in the 4th row behind the Cubs bullpen.  Even though they couldn't pull off a "W" yesterday, it was still really special to be back at Wrigley taking in a game and enjoying the beautiful weather.  Although it was pouring rain earlier that morning, the skies cleared and the sun came out and for most of the game it was in the mid-60's.  It was definitely one of the nicer weather home openers I've been to at the Friendly Confines.  Anyway, following are some photos I took at the game.  Hope you enjoy them!

Cubs players warming up before the home opener (photo by Karen Burchell)

Edwin Jackson warming up before starting the home opener (photo by Karen Burchell)

David DeJesus warming up before the home opener (photo by Karen Burchell)
Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano greet each other during player introductions (photo by Karen Burchell)

Cubs warming up before the home opener (photo by Karen Burchell)

Cubs players on the field during player introductions before the home opener (photo by Karen Burchell)
Beautiful Wrigley Field  (photo by Karen Burchell)
The Wrigley Field marquee welcomes fans to Opening Day (photo by Karen Burchell)
Tomorrow the Cubs and Brewers will play the rubber game of the three-game series at 7:05pm CT.  Scott Feldman will make the start for the Cubs and try to earn his first win with the team.