Chicago Cubs closer Kerry wood has been having problems with a blister on his right index finger. A new type of blister treatment that Wood has been receiving from team doctors may negate the need for a DL trip. Wood has been out since July 11th, but will attempt to throw on Wednesday. If the session is successful, Wood will be available to pitch at some point during the week.
Cubs starting pitching has been notching enough innings to give the bullpen a rest in Wood’s abscence.
In the first 67 games of the Cubs’ season, they racked up a record of 43-24. In the 34 games since then that Alfonso Soriano was out with a broken wrist, they were 16-18. The Cubs leadoff man went 1-5 with an RBI in his first game back, helping the Cubs beat the Diamondbacks 10-6.
The Chicago Tribune also reported that the Cubs may call up right handed power pitcher Jeff Samardzija. The former Notre Dame wide receiver has been extremely effective, and may help in the closer role until Kerry Wood returns.
One day after the Brewers announced their acquisition of CC Sabathia, the Cubs made their own deal. The Cubs nabbed A’s pitchers Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin for righty Sean Gallagher, outfielders Eric Patterson and Matt Murton, as well as minor leaguer Josh Donaldson.
Oft-injured Harden is a high-risk, high-reward pick. He’s 5-1 with 2.34 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 92 k’s, but has already missed a month this season due to a right shoulder strain. Gaudin provides a bit of insurance for the Cubs; effective in both starter and reliever roles. He has also put together a respectable season, going 5-3 with a 3.59 era after missing the last 2 weeks of spring training with a hip injury.
The A’s get a relatively bright prospect in Donaldson, a passable (and younger) replacement for Gaudin, and two underachieving outfielders in Murton and Patterson. Billy Beane seems confident that the package of players (with an average age of 24) will be of significant value to the Athletics.
The rosters for the 2008 All-Star Game have been released. The Red Sox, Yankees, and Cubs are well represented among the starters. Both the Angels and the Cubs each send two starting pitchers and their closer. The Last man ballot, as well as the managers’ choices for starting pitchers are not available yet. (more)
After making it through the top of the 3rd inning, the rains came and washed out the Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals in their season opener. The defending NL Champions were trailing 5-1 at the time the game was called but it will all be erased and replayed at a later date.
The Arizona Diamondbacks still have a bitter taste in their mouth after being swept last October in the NLCS by the Colorado Rockies. Taking the field for the first time since that playoff series, the defending NL West Champions looked very solid in a 4-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Brandon Webb picked up right where the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner left off pitching 6 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits in route to his first victory of the year. The offensive attack was led by three solo bombs hit by Chris Young and Eric Byrnes in the 3rd inning and the other hit by Jeff Salazar in a PH at bat in the 7th that gave the D-Backs some breathing room with a 2 run cushion. Brandon Lyon recorded the save pitching a perfect 9th inning.
It was a pitchers duel for 8 innings in Chicago at Wrigley Field between the Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers before both teams came to life for 3 run 9th inning performances, but it was the Brewers who would prevail with a 4-3 victory in 10 innings. Corey Hart lifted the Brewers with a 2 RBI double in the ninth that put them ahead 3-0. Closer Eric Gagne came in and suffered his first blown save of the season (surprise, surprise) by allowing a three-run home run to Cubs RF Kosuke Fukudome, the first of his major league career, which knotted the game at 3-3. In the 10th inning, Tony Gwynn Jr. hit a sac-fly that plated Craig Counsell for the game winning run for the Brewers. David Riske pitched a perfect 10th frame and recorded the save.
With 5 runs on 5 hits in the top of the 9th inning, the Washington Nationals turned a close game into a statement win in their 11-6 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies yesterday at Citizens Bank Park. Nick Johnson’s RBI double opened the flood gates for National bats, and the hits just kept on coming as the team chased out Phillies closer Tom Gordon after allowing 5 earned runs on 4 hits and only recording 1 out. Austin Kearns and Lastings Milledge each produced 2 hits and 2 RBI’s for the Nationals in the win. The Phillies were led by SS Jimmy Rollins who went 2-4 on the game with a pair of RBI’s and a HR.
Behind the arm of Johan Santana, the New York Mets captured their first victory of the 2008 season over the Florida Marlins with a 7-2 win. Santana struck out 8 and allowed only 3 hits over 7 innings. The one mistake he made came in the 4th inning when he allowed a two-run homer to Josh Willingham. After the HR, Santana would only allow two runners to reach base. The Mets scored 6 of their 7 runs in the bottom of the 4th inning, led by a bases clearing double by 3B David Wright. Wright went 2-4 with 3 RBI’s for the game. New York’s bullpen worked a scoreless 8th and 9th to preserve the win for Santana, Mark Hendrickson suffered the loss for Florida.
Brad Penny pitched 6 and 2/3 innings of shutout baseball, and the Los Angeles Dodgers back it up with some early runs that would be hold up for a 5-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants. Barry Zito struggled for the Giants allowing 3 runs in the 1st inning and another in the 2nd. He last only 5 innings and was pulled after 87 pitches and allowing 8 hits. The Dodgers runs in the 1st came on a Matt Kemp RBI single, followed by a Jeff Kent two-run blast to deep left-center field. SS Rafael Furcal also added three hits in the winning effort.
The Atlanta Braves came up just short, twice, in a thrilling 12-11 twelve innings game that ended with the Pittsburgh Pirates on top. The Braves mustered up a 5 run 9th inning to tie the game at 9-9 and left the winning run on base. After a few scoreless innings, the Pirates were able to score three runs in the 12th on Xavier Nady three-run homer to dead center field. The Braves made things interesting scoring 2 in the bottom of the 12th on a Jeff Francoeur solo shot and an RBI single by Matt Diaz but stranded the tying run on base to suffer their second loss of the season. Tom Glavine pitched well for the Braves but took a no decision with 5 innings pitched, 7 hits and 1 earned run allowed. Pirates relief pitcher, Franquelis Osoria, pitched from the 10th inning on, and finished the game for the win.
Jake Peavy helped his own cause by going 1-1 at the plate with 2 RBI’s and then made those runs stand up by pitching 7 scoreless innings in San Diego’s 4-0 victory over the Houston Astros. 2B Tadahito Iguchi paced a balanced offensive attack for the Padres with 3 hits on the night. The Astros looked rusty at the plate only collecting 4 hits in the contest, 2 of them coming from newly acquired SS Miguel Tejada. Row Oswalt took the loss for Houston, scattering 11 hits and 3 strike outs over 5 and 1/3 innings worked.
While everyone’s eyes, ears, and …. imaginations have been focused on where Johan Santana would end up, the American League hot stove has been quietly churning. Here is a quick recap of some moves to date. (more)
When Mark Prior was drafted in 2001, many baseball analysts picked him to be the next great dominant pitcher. Unfortunately for Prior, he’s run into some of the worst luck any young phenom pitching prospect has had. On field collisions, constant freak tendon injuries, and a line-drive comebacker have severely limited his playing time. Since the beginning of the 2006 season, he has only appeared in 9 Major League games. The Padres took a gamble and signed Prior to a 1-year $1 million deal with as much as $4.5 million in performance bonuses. Prior is eyeing a mid-may return from his latest injury.
Kosuke Fukudome’s Chunichi Dragons just finished winning the 2007 Japan Series and Konami Cup Asia Series 2007. Now, Fukudome is joining a team that hasn’t won a championship in 100 years. The Cubs bid of $48 million along with the storied history of the franchise lured in the Japanese right fielder. Usually a prolific and consistent hitter, Fukudome’s 2007 campaign was limited by injuries. The Cubs organization is convinced that this is only temporary and that he will provide a solid bat in their revitalized ’08 lineup.