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How Derek Lee and Aramis Ramirez Are Holding the Cubs Back

98479328_croppedWhile watching the Cubs today, you got a great view of just how bad the Cubs supposed “stars” are while also seeing how the less impressive players have stepped up trying to fix the situation.

The Cubs entered their game against the Philadelphia Phillies with four straight wins and hoping to sweep a second straight two-game series after taking the first game last night in convincing fashion.

This game was much closer, and was included multi-hit games by both historically-underwhelming Mike Fontenot and rookie Starlin Castro.

In the ninth inning, the Cubs were down just one run and going up against former crosstown rival Jose Contreras and started off the inning with a bang. Read the rest of this entry »

Position Breakdown: Infield

D065275027.jpgThe Cubs’ infield has been one of the stronger areas for the Chicago Cubs over the past few years.

Their corner-infielders have become stars in Chicago, and they have had lovable middle-infielders as well.

Here is a look at the expected starting line-up for the infield:

C: Geovany Soto
1B: Derek Lee
2B: Mike Fontenot
SS: Ryan Theriot
3B: Aramis Ramirez Read the rest of this entry »

Cubs Put Together All The Pieces Against The Astros

Cubs Astros BaseballIt was a big night for the Cubs’ Mike Fontenot, who was celebrating his 29th birthday in style.

Fontenot went 4-5 with two runs, one RBI and a home run.  Not a bad night for the birthday boy.

But Fontenot’s night was just a footnote on a night when the Cubs were finally able to break out of the funk that they have been in all season and pull out a 7-1 win over the down-trodden Astros.

The Cubs were finally able to capitalize on a strong pitching performance, giving Ted Lilly plenty of room to sit back and pitch without pressure, and he responded well to the run support.

Lilly allowed just three hits, two walks and no runs over six and 2/3 innings.  Lilly’s strong performance was yet another quality start for one of the most consistent pitchers in the Cubs starting lineup. Read the rest of this entry »

Cubs Recap: 7-1 Win Over Brew-Crew


Carlos Zambrano was outstanding as he and the Cubs took care of the Brewers 7-1 on Tuesday night. Mark Derosa got the Cubs on the board first in the fourth inning when he drove in Aramis Ramirez on a sac-fly.

The Cubs then broke open the game in the sixth inning when they scored five runs. Kosuke Fukudome got the scoring started when he hit a two-run triple that scored both Derrek Lee and Ramirez. Ramirez ended the day going 4-5 with three doubles, an RBI, and two runs scored.

Shorly after Mark Derosa drove in his second RBI of the game on a single that scored Fukudome. Zambrano also got into the action from the plate as he hit a single which drove in Derosa.

The final run of the inning came in on a Alfonso Soriano sac fly that drove in Mike Fontenot giving the Cubs a big 6-0 lead. The Cubs then added another run in the ninth on a Aramis Ramirez single that drove in Ryan Theriot to make the score 7-0.

The Brewers lone run came in the bottom of the ninth when Mike Cameron doubled off of Jeff Samardzija which drove in Russell Branyan.

Carlos Zambrano was awesome as he pitched eight solid innings allowing no earned runs while giving up just five hits and striking out nine. Zambrano improved to 12-4 with the victory.

As for the Brewers Ben Sheets he put in 5 1/3 innings allowing six earned runs on eleven hits while striking out four. With the loss Sheets fell to 10-4 on the season.
The Cubs are now 63-44 and they hold a three game lead on the Brewers.

The Cubs have assured that they will leave Milwaukee leading the NL Central with Tuesday’s Victory.

Tomorrow the Cubs will send Ryan Dempster to the mound who is 11-4 with a 2.99 era as Manny Parra who is 9-3 with a 3.72 era will go for the Brewers. Game time is set for 7:05 pm.

-Kevin Graczyk

Marlins-Cubs: Cubs take care of Marlins 9-6


Sorry I did not give a game recap for Saturday’s game, I was out town and did not have access to a computer. Well anyway on Saturday the Cubs lost 3-2 in 12 innings as Jeremy Hermida homered twice to lift the Marlins past the Cubs.

Rich Harden put in five innings of work he struck out 10 once again and allowed just one earned run. The loss however went to Chad Gaudin who gave up the game winning double in the top of the 12th which won the game for the Marlins. The winning pitcher for the Marlins was Justin Miller as Kevin Gregg picked up his 22nd save on the season.

Now onto Yesterday’s game, the Cubs took care of the Marlins 9-6 after trailing most of the game the Cubs scored four in the bottom of the seventh to take a 9-6 lead and which lead to an eventual win. Derrek Lee homered while Mike Fontenot hit a three-run double that scored Edmonds, Derosa and Ward.

Starting pitcher Jason Marquis went six innings allowing six earned runs on nine hits while striking out six and walking three. He however took a no decision as Chad Gaudin picked up the win and improved to 1-1 with the Cubs. Jeff Samardzija pitched two innings where he struck out three and allowed no hits to pick up his first save as a Cub.

Marlins starter Rick Vandenhurk pitched 3 2/3 innings allowing five earned runs on eight hits while striking out six and walking two. However the loss went to Mark Hendrickson who pitched three innings allowing three earned runs on three hits.

In the game all of the Marlins runs came via the home run as Mike Jacobs hit two home runs the first a three-run homer in the second the second was a two-run homer in the third. The third home run of the day for the Marlins came off the bat of Dan Uggla who hit a solo shot in the top of the fifth.

The Cubs trailed 5-0 after the top of the third but added two in the bottom of the third and added another three runs in the bottom of the fourth as Alfonso Soriano hit a three-run home run to tie the game at five.

The Marlins regained the lead in the fifth but the Cubs would take the lead in the seventh for good thanks to Lee and Fontenot.

With the victory the Cubs’ now sit at 61-44 as they hold a one game lead on the Brewers who they will play next. Pitching for the Cubs on Monday will be Ted Lilly who is 10-6 with a 4.49 ERA as C.C. Sabathia will go for the Brewers who is 4-0 with the Brewers and has a 1.36 ERA. Game time is set for 7:05 pm ct.

-Kevin Graczyk

Jerry Hairston Hates His Former Team


Last night, Jerry Hairston made a return to Wrigley Field, where he formerly played as a Cub.

He doesn’t have the fondest memories from Chicago, but they aren’t bad either. He was an average player who started occasionally.

Now, he is a member of the Cincinnati Reds, and he has to be starting to hate the team he once called family.

He had sure hits be stolen by him by Cubs defenders. First, a blooper into center field was caught by Jim Edmonds laying out to make a diving catch, robbing him of a sure single.

In his next at bat, Hairston sent a laser ground-ball towards third base, but Aramis Ramirez made a diving stop and a quick throw to first to get him out, stealing yet another hit from Hairston.

In his third at bat, another laser to third. Another diving stop by Ramirez. Another quick throw to keep Hairston from reaching first base safely.

If it’s any consolation, your brother hit a three-run home run last night, are you happy for your brother? No, understandable.

In other news from last night, Ryan Dempster pitched another lights out performance, and is looking more and more like he isn’t going to falter any time soon.

The All-Star now has 10 wins on the season. He has also been extremely strong at home, this was hit 10th straight win at home, yet he stays winless on the road.

“I’ll win a game on the road eventually this year. It’ll happen, it’ll come. I’ll keep plugging away. We play so well at home and, for whatever reason, it’s just been rolling at home, for me and for the team, and that’s the way it should be,” said Dempster.

The Cubs ended the game with a 7-3 victory, which included another home run by Geovany Soto, his is showing more and more power as the season goes along.

Mike Fontenot hit a two-run home run into the basket in the fourth inning, which isn’t as surprising as it seems according to Ryan Theriot.

“He’s always been able to hit the ball out of the park,” Theriot said. “It might have something to do with his arms being shorter than anybody else’s.”

Fontenot’s new official nickname is T-Rex, for his ability to hit things long distances, and his short arms.

With last night’s win against the Reds, the Cubs keep a 3.5-game lead on the Cardinals for first place in the division.

With the Rays losing, the Cubs are closer to reclaiming the best record in the majors.

The Cubs play tonight at 7:05 PM, Johnny Cuento (7-8) takes on Carlos Zambrano (9-3).