The Ivy Files: Reds, Rangers, Cardinals recaps

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Off days are so boring and even with all the fail surrounding the Cubs, we still miss our boys when they don’t play. While they get a much needed day off, we can still talk baseball! Here’s a look back at the last few series.

 

5/03 vs. Reds: L 5-6

The Cubs rallied for three runs in the ninth against Reds’ closer Aroldis Chapman, but came up short, losing 6-5 to the Reds. The Cubs have had their fair share of close games, Friday was no different, it was their 24th. game to be decided by less than three runs. Cubs’ starter Carlos Villanueva and his beautiful facial hair went 5 2/3 innings giving up four runs of seven hits. The right-hander had faced the Reds just ten days prior and had a great outing, where he struck out six and only gave up three hits in 8 1/3 innings. The offense showed up, but it was too late in the game to make a comeback. Aroldis Chapman came in to close out the game with a 6-2 lead when the Cubs loaded the bases. Catcher Welington Castillo hit a two-run single to make it a one run game, and then Cody Ransom walked to reload the bases and force Chapman out of the game. Darwin Barney could have won it for the Cubs but instead struck out. The Cubs left 12 men on base.

 

5/04 vs. Reds: L 4-6

Jeff Samardzija was in line for his first win since Opening Day but as always the bullpen can’t seem to hold a late inning lead. The Reds managed to come back and score four runs by only getting ONE HIT. You know it’s bad when the opposing team doesn’t even have to swing the bat to get runs. Alfonso Soriano provided all the offense hitting a pair of two-run homers. The Cubs led 4-2 when Carlos Marmol came in to set it up for the ninth. He walked the first two batters and then Brandon Phillips hit a single to load the bases. Hector Rondon took over for Marmol but didn’t have much luck either. Jeff Samardzija pitched 6 innings giving up two runs on four hits and striking out five to bring his season total to 52, which puts him third in the National League.

 

5/05 vs. Reds: L 4-7

Edwin Jackson’s train of fail continued as the Reds took advantage of his struggles. He went five innings surrendering four runs. Joey Votto had a big game, he had three hits, including an RBI double, to lift the Reds to a 7-4 victory and complete the three-game series sweep over the Cubs. Edwin Jackson doesn’t have one win and hasn’t even pitched into the seventh once this season. He seems to always have one bad inning in which the other team always takes full advantage of. The Cubs rallied in the fifth against Reds’ pitcher Mat Latos and made it a 4-3 game. Carlos Marmol had a good outing, throwing twelve pitches, seven for strikes, and giving up no runs. However, Shawn Camp gave up two more runs which gave the Reds a 6-4 lead. Once again the Cubs could have done more damage as they had runners at second and third with no outs in the ninth, but the next three batters decided they didn’t want to be heroes and all hit fly outs.

 

5/06 vs. Rangers: W 9-2 (Makeup game from 4/17)

There is seriously nothing better than the first time you walk up the steps into Wrigley Field and just see the beautiful scoreboard, ivy, green grass and players warming up. Say what you want, yes Wrigley is old, outdated, falling apart, but to me, it’s the most beautiful place in the world. This was my first game back since last season and I was so happy to be there, not only did I get to see my boys in blue, but also my baseball love and former Cubs catcher Geovany Soto. By the way, big thanks to Anno for taking me 🙂 It was freezing but it was such a great game. Scott Feldman had another great start, going seven strong shutout innings while giving up just two hits and no runs. Rangers’ starter on the other hand allowed six runs in just four innings. I was worried that Feldman would struggle, he was coming off his first complete game and facing his former team could add a little more nerves or even adrenaline. Those two combinations, most of the time, seem to work against starters, but not for Feldman, he continued his dominance. Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo both hit two run singles in a five run fourth to back Feldman, Rizzo would later add a two-run homer in the eighth inning. Scott is also pretty good with the bat for being a pitcher, he added an RBI single. With the 9-2 win, the Cubs took the series; this was a makeup game from earlier in the season, where they each won one game. It’s the first time in Feldman’s career that he has given up two earned runs or less in five consecutive starts, he currently has a 1.63 ERA in his last four outings, but let me say this, he will eventually struggle, it’s only a matter of time, so we shouldn’t get used to this, that goes for all our starters, (except Jackson) they will struggle, so let’s get ready so we don’t panic whenever that does happen. The Cubs scored a season high nine runs which helped them snap a four game losing streak.

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5/07 vs. Cardinals: W 2-1

I LOVE WOOD. Travis Wood, that is. The Cubs starter pitched his seventh straight quality start, allowing just a solo homer to Allen Craig and striking out in 6 2/3 innings of work. Mark Prior is the last Cubs pitcher to open the season with seven consecutive quality starts, he did that in 2003, let’s just hope that Wood’s ending is a bit different than Priors. Nate Schierholtz made sure to back Travis Wood by hitting a two-run homer and give the Cubs the 2-1 victory. Carlos Marmol was able to escape an eighth inning jam and Kevin Gregg got the save and is now 5 for 5 in save situations, which is still something that I refuse to believe.

 

5/08 vs. Cardinals: L 4-5

If you want to be negative you can complain about how the Cubs can’t seem to hit with runners in scoring position. If you want to be positive, you’ll look at all the close games and that at least they’re not getting blown out. The Cubs hit into four double plays, which could have continued the rallies and maybe even won the game. Carlos Beltran hit a pair of RBI singles and Jon Jay drove in two runs to help the Cardinals get the 5-4 victory and avoid the sweep. Cubs’ starter Carlos Villanueva pitched his fifth quality start; he pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits. This was the 21st. quality start by a Cubs pitcher, together, they have a 2.01 ERA. That is the reason why the games have been close. Now if only the Cubs can start driving in runners instead of leaving them on base, but that would make too much sense, right?

 

Looking ahead:

The Cubs fly out to Washington to take on the Nationals for a three quick game road trip. Here are your starting pitchers and game details:

 

Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals

Friday, May 10, 6:05 p.m. CT

Jeff Samardzija, RHP (1-4, 3.09 ERA) vs. Ross Detwiler, LHP (1-3, 2.50 ERA)

 

Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals

Saturday, May 11, 3:05 p.m. CT

Edwin Jackson, RHP (0-5, 6.39 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg, RHP (1-4, 3.45 ERA)

 

Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals

Sunday, May 12, 12:35 p.m. CT

Scott Feldman, RHP (3-3, 2.70 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez, LHP (3-2, 4.97 ERA)

 

Thanks for Reading and as always, Go Cubs!

-Ivy

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