Browsing posts from March, 2012
Jerome Walton finished his rookie season with 46 RBI (a career-high). Five came during an August stretch as he ran his hitting streak to 25-games.
Walton twice drove in catcher Joe Girardi during a wild 16-13 loss to the Phillies at Wrigley Field (the most runs the Cubs allowed in a single game all season).
The following day Jerome’s 2-out, 2-run single was part of a six-run fifth inning, and 9-2 win against Philadelphia.
Two games later Walton smashed a 2-out double down the left field line scoring Domingo Ramos to tie the Phillies 2-2 in the fifth, but the Cubs eventually lost 5-3.
However, Jerome’s biggest hit during this run didn’t drive in a single run.
Cubs’ Opening Day is just 24 days away!
In honor of this countdown let’s take a look at the men in blue who wore No.24 for Chicago.
FIRST CUBS PLAYER TO WEAR No.24:
-Fabian Kowalik (1935-36)
On August 5, 1989, Jerome Walton’s ninth inning single to right field scored Shawon Dunston as the go-ahead run in a 4-2 come-from-behind victory at Pittsburgh.
The thrilling win tied Chicago (63-47) with Montreal atop the NL East Division.
Despite a heart-breaking 5-4 setback in 18 innings the following day vs. the Barry Bonds led Pirates, the Cubs returned to Wrigley Field and promptly swept the Expos three games to none.
It was a signature series win for the North Siders, turning its first place tie into a comfortable 3.0 games lead in the division. As it turns out, the Cubs never relinquished its top spot for the remainder of the regular season.
Walton, meanwhile, was swinging a red-hot bat during this five game stretch hitting at a .458 clip (11-for-24), including a 5-for-12 performance against Montreal pitching, all while running his hitting streak to 20-games.
It’s not fair to compare Dale Sveum to Mike Quade–the Cubs newest manager hasn’t even coached a meaningful game yet.
But this year’s spring camp has a similar feel to last year’s. A new manager preaching accountability, fundamentals and playing the game the right way.
Sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it Cubs fans?
As much as we want to believe this year is different, if for no other reason than Theo/Jed & Sveum, there’s no telling until the Cubs take the field one month from now. And even then we’re only expecting the Cubs to be marginally better than in 2011.
Sveum couldn’t be off to a better start. His leadership thus far is getting rave reviews from players and media alike. But the same was said for Quade 12 months ago.
Sweet Lou warned us not to get too “giddy.” We should have listened. Quade, it turned out, talked a better game than he managed. Here’s hoping it’s the opposite for the soft spoken Sveum.
Dale Sveum pictures Alfonso Soriano hitting in the cleanup spot. Really?
Seems hard to believe given the 36-year-old isn’t nearly the hitter he was five years ago when he joined the Cubs.
Even Mike Quade never hit Soriano above the fifth spot last season, instead using him primarily as a sixth & seventh hole hitter, which seems more in line for a guy who batted .244 with an on-base percentage of less than .300.
Of course, Quade had Aramis and Pena. Sveum has, well, Soriano, whose 26 home runs in 2011 tied Aramis for second most on the team and trailed only Carlos Pena’s 28 HR. Soriano’s 88 RBI was also second best, trailing A-Ram’s 93 RBI.
But with Ramirez and Pena having departed the North Side, Alfonso remains the Cubs most experienced power bat, which appears why Sveum will pencil him into the four hole.