Browsing posts from April, 2011
The major league road has been a long and winding one for Eric Patterson.
He’s been back-and-fourth from coast to coast…bounced up and down from the minor leagues…and been a prized trade-piece in several notable deals along the way.
Since being drafted by Chicago in the eighth round of the 2004 draft, Patterson has changed teams three times since his Cubs debut in August 2007.
Much like his older brother, Corey, the younger Patterson has been coveted for his potential, which has yet to turn into production.
Thanks to the hot hitting of Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney & Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez’s return to form is flying under the radar.
Having been hampered by injuries the previous two seasons, the uncertainty of Aramis’ production on offense was a huge unknown heading into 2011.
But after 16 games, it appears Aramis is fully healthy and capable of leading this club on offense. And that’s a huge, huge relief.
Say what you will about his defense, but we know Ramirez’s bat is invaluable to the Cubs’ success.
There’s not a better clutch hitter on the team, not even the budding star Castro. And when Aramis is clicking at the plate, so is the Cubs offense.
-Aramis has reached base safely in all 16 starts.
-He hit .361 on the recent road trip.
-Which included 6 RBI, four 2B & 3 multi-hit efforts.
-Has just three strikeouts in 67 plate appearances.
-Batting .347 vs. right-handers, .286 vs. lefties.
Wrapped up the road trip 18-for-42 (.428).
Has reached base safely in 13 of 15 games.
Has nine multi-hit games.
Since the 2010 All Star break, leads NL in hits (114).
Currently leads all of Baseball with 28 hits.
Name that Cub!
Saturday night’s 8-3 win over Colorado was a big one for many reasons.
The victory pushes the Cubs back to .500 (7-7). It also snaps an awful drought in which the Cubs had lost 10 of 12 at Coors Field, including six in a row, and sets the table for a winning road trip with a win on Sunday.
Solid outing by Casey Coleman. Through two starts he’s been the most consistent starter in the rotation. Can’t imagine the Cubs will send him back down to Iowa. How could they?
At last, a breakthrough offensively. Eight runs on 17 hits!
Just how hot is Starlin Castro? The kid’s 14-for-34 on the road trip with six doubles, six runs scored, two stolen bases and a HR. He’s hit leadoff six times, including Saturday, going 15-for-28. Awesome.
I’m not sure who was hit harder or who played worse Friday night–Matt Garza or the Chicago Blackhawks?
After two less-than-par outings from Garza it was time for the right-hander to perform up to standards. Instead, we got more of the same in a 5-0 drubbing against the red-hot Rockies.
In six innings Garza continuously worked behind in the count, threw a ton of pitches (119) and couldn’t escape one lousy inning that cost him the game.
Of course, there are plenty of excuses…Denver is a pitcher’s nightmare, the weather felt more like January than April and Colorado entered the game winners of six straight.
But under the same pitchnig conditions Jhoulys Chacin tossed his first career complete game shutout. What gives, Matt?
Jim Hendry showed his desperation this week with the signing of Ramon Ortiz & Doug Davis to minor league contracts.
If all goes as planned, the two wily veterans will serve as a rotation stop-gap should Randy Wells’ and Andrew Cashner’s recovery from the DL take longer than expected.
But that plan is a long-stretch with two long-in-the-tooth hurlers.
Former Cubs Sam Fuld is coming into his own with Tampa Bay.
Since being traded from the Cubs this January in the Matt Garza deal, the little slugger has shined for the Rays.
As we’ve come to expect from Fuld, his defense has been stellar. Just check out the catch he made last Saturday against the White Sox. Unreal!
But it’s his unexpected offensive outburst that has everyone taking notice.
I like what I’m seeing from Big Geo, despite his poor offensive numbers.
He’s not only continued to mature from his embarrassing sophomore season in 2009, but he’s maintained his weight, rehabed well from offseason shoulder surgery and been a rock for a pitching staff that lost long-time instructor Larry Rothschild.
Has a seven-game hitting streak.
Is 5-for-12 on the current road trip.
Hit four doubles against Milwaukee.
Has scored a run in 6 of last 8 games.
Name that Cub!
I’ll give Garza credit for battling through 5.2 innings Sat. night.
He clearly didn’t have his best stuff, but he gutted out 107 pitches with zero run support.
If Garza went wrong anywhere it was serving up three doubles to The Prince…all on 0-2 counts. Good stuff or not, that’s poor situational pitching.
A loss is a loss, of course, but having a starter last into the sixth in a laugher doesn’t go for not, at least not this early in the season, and not with two starters on the DL.
Thus far Garza has been so-so through his two starts. In 12.2 innings he’s struck out 20 and allowed 20 hits. Meh.
But it goes without saying the right-hander needs a better outting his third time around–especially with Wells and Cashner laid up for at least another week.