Ivy’s Roundup: Walk It Off

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This rain needs to stop, for reals.  Here’s what happened to our Chicago Cubs over the past week or so…

Chicago Cubs @ Detroit Tigers, Comerica Park

6/9: L
Cubs 0, Tigers 6
W: Sanchez (4-7) L: Lester (4-5)

As you guys know, I made the trip to Comerica Park on Tuesday to watch the Cubbies. We decided to turn this into a Father’s Day trip since my Dad is the reason I love baseball, so what better gift than to take him to a venue we haven’t been to before to watch our beloved Cubs! It was our first time there and the Park didn’t disappoint. The Park was beautiful, the staff was very friendly, the food was great and we had awesome seats. When we got there my Dad said, “We are here to watch some good baseball, even if the Cubs lose” and let me tell you, he was right. We did watch some great baseball but not from the Cubs.

Apparently we went to the wrong game (you’ll see why in a bit) because the Cubs did nothing. The two-game Interleague series opener went to the Tigers thanks to their 13-hit offensive outburst and a great game by Rajai Davis. He had a double, a triple and also made an unbelievable homer-stealing catch in center field. Anibal Sanchez had been struggling but you wouldn’t have guessed that with his outing Tuesday night. He earned the win and ended up going 7 2/3 innings and gave up no runs, six hits, two walks and struck out seven. The Cubs just looked lost at the plate and had a lot of first pitch swings. Jon Lester took the loss, his third straight and gave up five runs on nine hits, walked two and struck out five. Even though the Cubs lost, we still had a great time, we’re currently planning our next adventure…let me know which park you think we should head out to next!

6/10: W
Cubs 12, Tigers 3
W: Arrieta (6-4) L: Greene (4-6)

Like I said above, apparently we went to the wrong game because the Cubs decided to take a night off on Tuesday and then they showed up on Wednesday when we left. Also, OF COURSE Miguel Montero decides to homer when we’re not there. I wasn’t happy that I missed this win but after all, what matters is that the Cubs keep winning so I got over it quickly. Chris Coghlan and Miggy Montero each hit three-run homers and quickly knocked out Tigers’ starter Shane Greene, who went three innings and gave up five runs on seven hits. Jake Arrieta went six innings and only allowed three runs, which was a three-run homer to Yoenis Cespedes, but otherwise he had a good outing and helped the Cubs earn a split of the two-game Interleague series.

Cincinnati Reds @ Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field

6/11: W
Cubs 6, Reds 3
W: Wood (3-2) L: Lorenzen (1-2) SV: Rondon (11)

Looks like Miguel Montero has finally found his groove at the plate because after hitting a three-run homer in Detroit the previous game, he welcomed the Reds to Wrigley Field by hitting another three-run bomb in the first. Dexter Fowler added another homer in the third, which landed in the newly re-opened right-field bleachers. Reds’ right-hander Michael Lorenzen gave up all six runs with five being earned on five hits and only lasted 4 1/3 innings. Before the game started, Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon had expressed how he wanted Tsuyoshi Wada to just go out there and simply pitch. He didn’t want him getting fancy or creative and was hoping to get a few innings out of him. However, Wada would need 33 pitches to get through the second inning and then gave up a leadoff homer to Chris Dominguez in the fourth. He finished with a line of three innings pitched and gave up three runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out four. This is what Maddon had to say after the game:

“It’s not a mechanical adjustment, its more a mental adjustment he needs to make going into his next start.”

Travis Wood took over after Wada was pulled and he earned the win for the Cubs. According to Joe Maddon, Wada will still remain part of the rotation.

6/12: L
Cubs 4, Reds 5
W: Hoover (5-0) L: Rondon (3-1) SV: Chapman (13)

The Cubs lost 5-4 to the Reds in 10 innings on Friday afternoon. Eugenio Suarez singled in the top of the tenth to drive home the winning run after Kris Bryant opened the inning with an error at third base. The Cubs had a chance to close it out in the bottom of the ninth but Jay Bruce made a game-saving catch off the bat of pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera to help send the game to extras. Earlier in the game, Starlin Castro had tied it at 4 with a 2-run home run off Reds’ starter Johnny Cueto in the sixth inning after the Cubs were down 3-0 since the first. Addison Russell made an error to start the game and that was followed by doubles by Ivan De Jesus Jr. and Todd Frazier plus a Brayan Pena single off Jason Hammel. The Cubs got two back in the second when Hammel singled home Chris Coghlan and Russell then doubled to bring Hammel home. Hammel wasn’t as sharp as he normally has been as he only lasted five innings, giving up seven hits and three walks. Reds’ starter Johnny Cueto wasn’t as sharp as he could be either but he did pitch longer than Hammel. Cueto ended with a line of seven innings and gave up four runs on seven hits, walked none and struck out nine.

6/13: W
Cubs 4, Reds 3
W: Motte (3-1) L: Cingrani (0-3)

CastroWalkoff_06142015The Cubs and the Reds endured a rain delay of nearly three hours and the fans at Wrigley Field got to watch the Blackhawks win over the Lightning on the big screen while they waited. Starlin Castro certainly made it all worth it for the Cubs and their fans with a walk-off single that scored Kris Bryant for the 4-3 win. Castro lined a 1-0 fastball from Tony Cingrani into center field and Bryant, who had doubled to lead off the inning, scored the winning run. A couple of hours before had the Cubs with an early 2-0 lead in the second inning on Miguel Montero’s two-run homer. Joey Votto also hit a homerun of his own in the fourth inning off Cubs’ starter Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks pitched five innings before the rain delay would end his night earlier than expected. He allowed one run (Votto’s homer) on four hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. It wasn’t the ideal situation, as it seemed that Hendricks was on top of his game and the Cubs bullpen really needed a night off but Mother Nature had different plans. Five Cubs’ relievers would be needed to come in and close it out for the Cubs. Reds’ starter Mike Leake pitched five innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits, including Montero’s home run and only struck out one. Once the game resumed in the sixth inning, the Reds tied the game when Eugenio Suarez took James Russell into the left-field bleachers with one on. Neither team scored again until Castro came up in the ninth. Jason Motte pitched the top of the ninth; he struck out the first two, gave up two singles, and got out of the jam on a groundout. He earned the win for the Cubs.

6/14: W
Cubs 2, Reds 1
W: Schlitter (1-2) L: Badenhop (0-2)

If there is something I really really love in baseball, it’s a pitchers’ duel. And that is exactly what I got Sunday night between Anthony DeSclafani and Jon Lester. Both pitchers pitched great for their teams and helped keep them in the game. DeSclafani went 6 1/3 innings and gave up one run on six hits, walked two and struck out five. Lester redeemed himself after the bad start I watched in Detroit. He pitched seven innings and gave up one run on five hits, walked none and struck out four. The game would be tied 1-1 until Castro drove in the winning run for the second straight night with a single in the 11th inning. Chris Coghlan doubled to left-center off reliever Burke Badenhop and scored the winning run. Cubs’ reliever Jason Motte pitched out of a no outs bases loaded jam in the 9th. inning after a leadoff single by Joey Votto, a double by Todd Frazier, and an intentional walk. Motte got Brayan Pena to pop out, struck out Eugenio Suarez looking, then ended the inning when Negron flied out to center. Brian Schlitter, who had just been called up from Triple-A Iowa before the game, did his part and got two outs in the 11th. Reds’ center fielder Billy Hamilton had a career-high five stolen bases but despite his efforts, the Cubs pulled out the win and took 3-of-4 from the Reds. I’m not only happy for the Cubs but also for Starlin Castro, who has been deflecting criticism with game-winning hits. Keep it up, kid.

Next up for the Cubs:

The Cubs will start a two-game series against the Indians tonight at home and then travel to Ohio to finish off with two more games there. Jake Arrieta is the scheduled starter in the series opener. In three starts against Cleveland, Arrieta is 1-0 with a 9.20 ERA. Here are the pitching matchups:

Cleveland Indians @ Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field

Monday, June 15, 7:05 PM CDT (we’ll see if this one gets played, tornado warnings and bad weather! UPDATE: Nope)

Tuesday, June 16, 7:05 PM CDT
Trevor Bauer, RHP vs. Jake Arrieta, RHP

Chicago Cubs @ Cleveland Indians, Progressive Field

We’ll see if the pitchers are pushed back or if they simply skip them in the lineup, but here are the original matchups:

Wednesday, June 17, 6:10 PM CDT
Jason Hammel, RHP vs. Danny Salazar, RHP

Thursday, June 18, 6:10 PM CDT
Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Carlos Carrasco, RHP

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Thanks for reading and as always, Go Cubs!

-Ivy

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