Cubs

Loyola cruises to victory at Providence

538940.jpg

Loyola cruises to victory at Providence

Friday, Sept. 16, 2011Posted: 11:45 p.m.

By Tim O'Brien
YourSeason.com

Running the no-huddle offense for Loyola, senior quarterback Malcolm Weaver isnt picky.

If an opposing defense is going to allow him to pass in the pocket, he plans on taking advantage through the air. As was the case Friday in Loyolas League Blue opener against Providence, it was the ground game that set the tone.

Weaver and William Palivos rushed for two touchdowns each in Loyolas 32-6 road win in New Lenox.

We couldnt capitalize passing on the goal line so we stuck to running, Weaver said with a smile. It worked so well take it.

Weaver finished 17 of 28 passing for 152 yards while rushing for 47 yards on 10 carries. Palivos ended with 15 carries for 122 yards for Loyola (4-0, 1-0).

Looking to open the scoring though, it was Weaver throwing an interception (just his second of the year) in the end zone on Loyolas first possession. Providence was unable to capitalize on a three-and-out.

Weaver and his Ramblers teammates responded, scoring on the teams next three possessions. Will Kushwa drilled a 27-yard field goal, Palivos ran it in from five yards out, and Weaver found the end zone on a two-yard keeper. Providence answered with 13 seconds left in the first half on an Andy Hoffmeister score for a 16-6 halftime deficit.

Youve got to have a short term memory, Weaver said. You cant put your head down (after the interception). I shook it off, and we came back and played some good ball.

The offensive momentum carried over into the second half as Weaver (7-yard run) and Palivos (32-yard run) again reached the end zone in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.

The no huddle offense causes a little bit of a problem, Providence coach Mark Coglianese said. Loyola executes so well, and they got us back on our heels. Theyve got several guys who can make plays. They are definitely not a one-man team (Weaver).

Providence (3-1, 0-1) was never able to get into an offensive rhythm as the typically run-heavy Celtics were forced to throw. Hoffmeister finished with 63 yards on 14 carries. Quarterback Chris Salazar completed 15 of 29 passes for 143 yards with an interception.

Why Cubs might not lose again and other musings in strange, short season

Why Cubs might not lose again and other musings in strange, short season

As if things weren’t already going well enough for the Cubs during this strange, short season of baseball in a pandemic, now the baseball gods are dropping gifts into their laps.

The Cardinals’ lengthy shutdown because of a coronavirus outbreak has the Cubs’ arch rivals restarting their season Saturday in Chicago with a patched-up roster and eight games over the next five days, including five games against the Cubs.

And although that means the relative hardship of two doubleheaders for the Cubs in three days, all five of those games Monday through Wednesday are against a decimated Cards roster that won’t have the front end of its rotation for any of the games.

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest Cubs news and analysis.

They catch the Cardinals at their weakest point of the early season a week after catching an otherwise formidable Cleveland team at a moment of clubhouse crisis involving protocol perps Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger.

That one resulted in a two-game sweep by a combined score of 14-3.

This one already has resulted in all 10 games against the Cardinals now being scheduled for Wrigley Field.

Combine that with the three road games against the White Sox next month, and it means that the team with baseball’s best record on the field, the perfect record in player COVID-19 testing and no significant injuries to key players so far will play 60 percent of its games within its Chicago bubble if the Cubs and MLB pull off the full 60-game season.

If the Cubs were positioned any better to make the playoffs, they’d already be there.

“You can look at it that way if you want,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “We’re just doing our thing.”

No other way to look at it from here. Have you seen the rest of the schedule?

The Cubs have 43 games left, including 29 within a National League Central Division that doesn’t include another .500 team three weeks into a nine-week season. Nine more games are against the Tigers and White Sox.

The best team on the schedule is the Twins, and all three of those games are at home and not until the second-to-last weekend of the season.

With all due respect to Ross and his fear of “bad juju,” the Cubs can’t lose.

“It’s still early on,” the manager said.

Nothing’s early in a 60-game season. And the Cubs already have matched the hot starts of their 2016 and 1908 World Series champions.

“We’ve still got a long ways to go in the season,” Ross said.

The Cubs did have to scratch Tyler Chatwood from his scheduled start Friday night because of back tightness. And Kris Bryant has missed the last two games because of a sore finger after rolling his wrist trying to make a diving catch in left field in Cleveland Wednesday.

But Alec Mills looked good in short-notice replacement duty Friday until a rough four-pitch (and three-run) sequence in the sixth. And Chatwood might be ready for one of Monday’s games — or possibly one of Wednesday’s.

“Things falling in our favor?” Ross said. “We’re playing good baseball, and that should be the focus for me and not the other stuff.”

Granted, they still have to play the games. Granted, Bryant wasn’t available off the bench with the bases loaded in the eighth Friday, and Josh Phegley struck out instead.

And, yes, they actually lost a game to the Brewers Friday night.

But if you still don’t believe the baseball gods are stirring the Cubs’ pot so far this season, you weren’t paying attention in the ninth inning when Craig Kimbrel struck out Avisail Garcia swinging at a 98-mph fastball to start the scoreless inning and Manny Piña swinging at a 96-mph fastball to end it.

What closer problem? Bring on the Cardinals, right?

These guys might not lose another game.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE CUBS TALK PODCAST FOR FREE.

Cubs' Colin Rea to start on Saturday, Tyler Chatwood possibly Monday

Cubs' Colin Rea to start on Saturday, Tyler Chatwood possibly Monday

The Cubs plan to start swingman Colin Rea on Saturday against the Brewers, manager David Ross said after Friday's game.

Alec Mills was originally slated to pitch Saturday but was bumped up to Friday because Tyler Chatwood was scratched with mid-back tightness. The Cubs will evaluate Chatwood to see if he's an option to pitch on Monday, when they're scheduled to play a doubleheader against the Cardinals.

Rea, 30, has made two appearances this season, allowing no runs and one hit while striking out three in three innings. He was named the 2019 Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year, sporting a 3.95 ERA in 26 starts.

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest Cubs news and analysis.

Rea's last big league start was July 30, 2016 with the Marlins. He allowed one hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out four with no walks.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE CUBS TALK PODCAST FOR FREE.