A Saturday Cubs odds-and-ends blog

A Saturday Cubs odds-and-ends blog

Posted by Bruce on Sat, 06/22/2013 - 14:37

It’s a quiet early Saturday at Wrigley as the Cubs and Astros prepare for Game 2 of their series and the Blackhawks and Bruins get ready for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at the United Center. The 3 p.m. start to the Cubs game will make it tough for those on the team to get to the UC for puck drop.

“It’s too much,” said manager Dale Sveum, a big hockey guy. “I’ll just hunker down and watch it. It will take too long to get there after a 3-hour game. You wouldn’t even get there for the first period.”

The Cubs send lefty Travis Wood (5-6, 2.74) against Astros right-hander Bud Norris (5-7, 3.64). The odd stat of the day comes from the Cubs via Elias: Yesterday’s 3-1 Cubs victory was the Cubs’ first game in 98 years at Wrigley Field in which both clubs combined to score at least 4 runs and all the runs came on solo homers.

The Cubs go this way:

Valbuena, 3B
Castro, SS
Schierholtz, RF
Soriano, LF
Rizzo, 1B
Sweeney, CF
Castillo, C
Barney, 2B
Wood, P

Darwin Barney led off yesterday and went 3-for-4, a single, homer and double out of the leadoff spot against lefty Dallas Keuchel.

“He’s been swinging the bat better,” Sveum said. “He’s high in the order because a left-hander was on the mound. That’s the bottom line. He’s been one of our better hitters against left-handed pitching. We don’t have a whole lot of numbers against left-handed pitching except Ransom’s home runs, Sori has done well against left-handers and other than that we haven’t had a whole lot going on except him and Barney, really.”

The Cubs have 43 quality starts after Matt Garza turned in another yesterday. The Cubs are 25-18 in quality-start games, and the starters have an ERA of 1.98 in those starts.

Kevin Gregg is 11-for-11 in save chances after nailing down yesterday’s victory. The string of 11 straight saves to begin the season is second in Cubs history to Randy Myers, who saved his first 13 save chances to begin the 1993 season. The Cubs credit STATS for that one.

The Cubs are 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position over the last three games and 17-for-101 (.168) with RISP over the last 14 games. The team’s .224 season average (126-for-563) with RISP is second lowest in the majors. The Pirates are .222 with RISP.

Center fielder David DeJesus was in the Cubs clubhouse this morning as he’s in the early stages of rehabbing his sprained right shoulder. The Cubs indicate he’ll be back right after the all-star break. DeJesus says he’s not putting any timetable on it.

MINOR-LEAGUE ROUNDUP

Class AAA Iowa swept a doubleheader from Nashville 5-4 and 8-6. In Game 1, Logan Watkins, Junior Lake and Brad Nelson all homered. Lake hit another in the second game as did Watkins. Donnie Murphy and Brian Bogusevic hit home runs in Game 2. Guillermo Moscoso was the winner in Game 1. He went 6 innings and gave up 7 hits and 4 runs. He’s 3-5 with a 4.99 ERA. Michael Bowden and Casey Coleman picked up saves.

Class AA Tennessee fell 8-7 at Chattanooga. Kyle Hendricks got no decision as he pitched 5 innings, giving up 7 hits and 5 runs, 4 earned. Arismendy Alcantara and Matt Szczur each had 2 hits.

Class A Daytona got only 4 hits in a 3-1 loss to Dunedin. Ben Wells suffered the defeat, working 6 innings and giving up 4 hits and 2 runs. He walked none and struck out 3. Wells is 4-6 with a 3.79 ERA.

“My game plan is I want them to hit it early on, let them hit ground balls and get themselves out,” Wells told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. “Striking people out isn't really my game. I'm trying to go as deep into the game as I can and keep it close.”

Dustin Geiger was 1-for-4 with a double and his 58th RBI. He has driven in a run in four of his last 5 games, with 6 RBI in that span. John Andreoli was 1-for-4, extending a hit streak to seven games, during which he’s 11-for-30.

The Kane County Cougars fell 4-2 to Quad Cities. Tayler Scott gave up 11 hits and 2 runs in 5 innings and got a no-decision. Gioskar Amaya extended a hit streak to four games, going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Carlos Escobar was 2-for-4.

Boise (A) beat Spokane 4-1, scoring 3 in the eighth. Paul Blackburn worked 5 innings of 3-hit ball, giving up just an unearned run. He got no decision. Blackburn has pitched 10 innings and given up no earned runs for Boise. Kevin Encarnacion was 2-for-4 with a homoer. Yasiel Balaguert also homered, a 3-run shot in the eighth.

Mesa (Rookie) evened its record to 1-1, beating the Diamondbacks 6-4. Jorge Diaz started and worked an inning. Giuseppe Papaccio and Zak Blair each got 2 hits.

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