Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 2, Pirates 0 – July 23, 2012

Offense was in short supply tonight, which was to be expected of the Cubs, given their recent struggles. But the Pirates have been clicking for a while now, so it was a surprise to see them dominated so easily. That’s what Jeff Samardzija can do when he’s on, though, and he was most certainly on. Carlos Marmol came on for the save, and actually dominated (in his Carlos Marmol way).

The Batman and Robin duo of Alfonso Soriano and Starlin Castro – no, seriously, those were their costumes last night – teamed up on both the Cubs’ runs.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

57 responses to “Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 2, Pirates 0 – July 23, 2012”

  1. Mitch

    Best I have seen Marmol throw in a long time. Lights out slider.

  2. Zogie

    The cubs still could not get their offense going. Luckily, Castro and Soriano combined for 2 runs to help the cubs get the lead. Shark pitched lights out and he was pretty upset about being pulled in the 9th. Marmol shut the door which allows Samardjiza to breathe easy. Johnson 0-3 BB K filled in for DeJesus tonight, but did not do too much. Castro 1-3 BB K had a better game offensively, and hopefully he can turn this slump around. Rizzo 0-4 3K had a very rough night. He just could not hit the lefties tonight. Soriano 2-4 2 2B, K 2 RBI was the only cub to produce offensively. Baker 0-3 has cooled off quickly since hit hot streak. Soto 1-3 BB, K did a good job getting on base and caught a great game for Shark. Mather 0-3 3K looked terrible on his 30th B-Day. He rarely plays which is causing major inconsistency. Barney 0-4 had chances to get some RBIs but could not come through with a clutch hit. DeJesus 0-1 K (terrible AB, chased 3 pitches. So much for patience and discipline. He has always had problems with clutch hitting all year.) Valbuena BB. My shout out goes to Jeff Samardjiza with his amazing outing. Great way to come out of a 3 game losing streak.

  3. calicubsfan007

    Nice to see the Shark Attack back (=. Why doesn’t anyone want Sori?

    1. MichiganGoat

      price tag, I don’t think the Cubs are as willing to eat as much as we might think combine that with the fact that his knees are shot and I think teams are afraid that he will be on the DL as soon as they get him.

    2. Spencer

      Interesting discussion about this on twitter tonight. It seems weird to me that an AL team wouldn’t take Sori on as a DH with his level of production for like $9-12M/yr. But, Kevin Goldstein explained that most AL teams don’t want that much risk given the fact that he has so much time left on his contract in case he quickly deteriorates and they decide to cut them. The less they take on, obviously, the less risk they have for that, and they won’t feel so bad about cutting him if he’s only making like $4-5M with them. I had never thought about it like that before. So, basically, I think it amounts to what MG said – The Cubs aren’t willing to pay as much of his salary that teams may be requesting.

  4. NCMoss

    Anyone else think Rizzo could’ve stretched and kept his foot on the bag in the 9th? It’s not a big deal but I think that hit could’ve been avoided.

  5. Mrp

    Samardzija was filthy tonight. His slider and splitty were flat out unhittable. His slider is the key, just has to be more consistent with it and he is going to be solid.

  6. Mrp

    Oh and why the hell does nobody want Soriano? He has to be better than most teams’ DH at this point. Going the other way with gap shot doubles, I love it!

    1. mudge

      Why don’t you want Soriano?

      1. Mrp

        I didn’t say I don’t want him. Honestly, we might as well keep him since he isn’t blocking anyone. We probably won’t get enough salary relief or good enough prospects to make it worthwhile. I’m just surprised that there isn’t more interest in him, that’s all.

        1. mudge

          Got it.. for me Soriano’s a great story this year and a real credit to the new coaching staff. He’s even hitting smarter. I used to wonder what would happen if they’d put him in the 3-hole when he went on a tear – if maybe he’d stay on the tear. You’ve got to keep some vets and he’s been a boon to this club. That said, he could be traded tomorrow.

          1. scorecardpaul

            why does everybody always say stuff like you have to keep some veterans, or they can’t afford to give up his clubhouse presence???
            They are paid lots of money to perform on the field. They are not role models, and I don’t care what they do off the field.

            1. Scotti

              “Clubhouse presence” is about how a player carries himself off the field such as practice, eating right, sleeping right and working out (among many other things). All of those “off-field” things greatly impact performance ON the field.

              If just paying someone money made them work harder then Allen Iverson would have had great work habits. The way to help younger players develop excellent WORK HABITS is to have hard-working, influencial players in the clubhouse.

              1. DocPeterWimsey

                Actually, there have been a lot of party animals who performed wonderfully on the field: Ruth, Mantle, Brett, heck, good old Mark Grace all come to mind. Indeed, Mark Grace’s supposed “slump-busters” involved a lot of not sleeping or eating properly (as well as doing things that mommy probably didn’t like!)

                Moreover, most of the time, a guy described as having a great “clubhouse presence” is a guy that the local media likes. He’s the guy who gives the good quotes and takes the time to fill in the blanks. He’ll often be a bit more visible with the first pumps and congratulations on the field. And sometimes we later learn that his teammates find him utterly phony!

                (Paul LoDuca is the classic case: after he was traded, the LA media bemoaned that he was the “heart and soul” of the team; it turned out that his teammates all hated him.)

                1. FromFenwayPahk

                  As to the party animal point.
                  I think these kind of successes were more likely in the 20th Century, when the sport had not matured as much as a system. The super-athlete could sneak in more hangovers, etc. Today’s game is faster and there is less variation between players’ skill levels. Super-athletes are still super (and maybe superer) but the next best and fifth best athletes on the field are better than their 20th Century counterparts. Their preparation is better. Their abilities to take advantage of someone’s lapse has improved.
                  Second, exceptional athletes are…exceptions. Think of all the guys whose names we may not know because they shortened or missed their careers for lack of governance (self-, or otherwise).

                  As to the clubhouse guys, I do put some stock in this. There are a lot of (sometimes contradictory) ways to help (or hurt) the team this way.
                  If player a spends hours in the video room studying a pitcher’s delivery (esp. if he is perceived to improve his own success rate as a result); he makes that the clubhouse norm.
                  And, if player is good at knowing when and how to keep an over-thinking teammate loose…

                2. Scotti

                  First, Grace was not considered a good clubhouse guy by the Cubs–he was considered a poor influence on younger players because of his (and subsequently their) night life in a town where day games are frequent. Second, Grace (Ruth, Mantle, etc.) would have performed better had they disciplined themselves the way Michael Jordan did. Farmers, welders, mechanics, doctors, lawyers and traders DON’T perform better by abusing their bodies and neither do athletes. To suggest otherwise is goofy. Mantle’s excesses, in particular, were widely believed to have diminished, and shortened, his career (and life).

                  No one is suggesting that only holding hands on the first date, pledging allegence to the flag or attending church is going to make a difference in a player’s ability to perform. However, long-term abuse of the body (poor sleep, eating, drug, drinking, lack of excersizing, practice, etc. habits) does NOT do the body good. If those players you listed “played wonderfully” abusing their bodies then they could have played wonderfullyer investing in their bodies.

  7. The Dude Abides

    Rough night for Rizzo 3k’s he’ll learn and move on. Rough night for Mather 3k’s hopefully Sveum learns and he moves on…

    1. Cee-Dee-Vee

      It scares me that Rizzo looks twice as bad as LaHair on curveballs and sliders…sometimes he turns them into hits but he mainly looks absolutely terrible on those.

  8. Mr.Boring

    Forget trading Sori, ain’t gonna happen till next summer. Which is fine, he is still productive. Forget his paycheck, the Cubs will pay that money with him or without him. They might as well have his bat for another year. Nobody better is ready.

    My question is why did Jeff get the hook on a one-hit shutout in the 9th with only 99 pitches? I can’t wait to hear Dale Quade’s response to this one. Talk about a confidence kick in the beans. Obvious call from the top, get marmol in a meaningful game.

    1. Adventurecizin' Justin

      Why not save his arm and shoulder? Can you imagine the responses if Shark had come out for the ninth, threw 20 more pitches, and blew it? Marmol did quite well…so, winner winner chicken dinner!

    2. kubphan82

      It has already been stated that they will watch Shark’s innings this second half. Are people forgetting that this is his first full year being stretched out as a starter?

      He’s been inconsistent because he was a reliever last year… He’ll only improve next year, while possible regression later this year. We simply have to hope he remains healthy after his first year full of starter innings.

  9. Adventurecizin' Justin

    Great win…but, I’m rooting for the Bucs to take the Central!

  10. calicubsfan007

    Eh, Rizzo is a rookie still. He will learn. Can’t be perfect every night.

  11. mister_rob

    Meek walks the first two guys he faces to load the bases
    Barney then swings at his 1st pitch and grounds out to the pitcher
    Can I please stop reading how smart Barney is and about he does all the little things right?

    1. Carew

      The great players also make mistakes.

      Im just messin with ya. I really like Barney, but that stuff is annoying.

    2. Leroy K.

      I hear more and more what he does on Defense than on Offense 90% of the time.

  12. Big Joe

    ^^^ Sonebody else noticed???

  13. thejackal

    demp aree we get delgado n another prspect it says on cubbies crib

  14. thejackal

    Cubbies Crib – All the latest Cubs news and rumors

    Thank you Dempster for agreeing and making me sleep easier. #Cubs won’t be getting Jurrjens but a mid- level prospect along with Delgado

    1. Toby

      after today, I won’t believe it til Cubs hold press conference or both teams send out press releases.

  15. Whiteflag

    May have been mentioned already but Soler went 2-4 with a home run. video footage: http://www.csnchicago.com/baseball-chicago-cubs/cubs-talk/Soler-hits-first-home-run-in-Cubs-organi?blockID=745115&feedID=661

    1. Luke

      That particular home run got him a couple of bullets this morning.

      http://www.bleachernation.com/2012/07/23/cubs-minor-league-daily-beating-trauma/

      1. djriz

        And tomorrow’s update will include Almora’s first Cub hit, a 2 run homer in the 5th inning.

      2. Whiteflag

        Wow…Dempster mania has taken over my brain. Missed that whole post. My apologies, should have known you guys would be on it.

  16. G_Racin

    Almora has already hit one tonight for his first Professional hit!

    http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=g_log&gid=2012_07_23_cubrok_brrrok_1

    1. someday...2015?

      And by hit one you mean a Two out Two run home run. Almora is going to be a beast!!

      1. dudeski

        it went a looooooooooong way

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1XAc1JVWhg

        1. someday...2015?

          @dudeski Keep up the great work. Thank you for letting Cubs fans get a glimpse of the very promising future… I could watch these Soler/Almora HR videos all day.

          1. dudeski

            not my vid. its Danny Weryzynski’s from cubs den

            1. someday...2015?

              Ah well he’s doing a great job with these videos. Im jealous of the 5 people in attendance who got to see these home runs in person. :)

        2. cubchymyst

          thanks for the video link, It looks like there is no one in the stands. They probably played in front of more people in HS then they are now.

          On a side note Almora home run trot was not much of a trot. He rounded those bases quickly.

      2. calicubsfan007

        I hope he can keep this going! That’s awesome though!

  17. PeteG

    Delgado, wood, and spellcheck look like a nice rotation thus far if the deal goes thru. Need more starting pitching depth!

  18. #1lahairfan

    Bleacher nation looks a lot better than other cubs sites. Less clutter and flash.

  19. IAcubbyfan

    The dynamic duo came through tonight. “BANG” “POW” “CRASH”

  20. Spencer

    Orioles inquiring about LaHair, MLBTR reports.

    1. calicubsfan007

      How far will the Orioles go though? Reynolds is not that good this year for them, so this can be good for everyone involved.

  21. Oswego chris

    I vow to stay awake until Dempster agrees to the deal…

    I really, really do have a problem….I have checked this site and Twitter non stop since news of this deal/non-deal broke…..

    Make it stop….

    I should have learned my lesson with Brian Roberts…I was in therapy for three years after all of those deals fell through

    1. djriz

      Look at the bright side, you’d STILL be in therapy if we got Roberts.

      1. theNOOGE

        Best comment of the day!

  22. Luke D

    Anthony Rizzo was the enemy tonight.

  23. daveyrosello

    Soler 0 for 5, got to do better than that against AZL pitching.