Cubs

Word on the Street: Trio of Bears leading Pro Bowl ballots

Word on the Street: Trio of Bears leading Pro Bowl ballots

Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Trio of Bears lead Pro Bowl ballots

Julius Peppers, Brian Urlacher and Devin Hester won the fan voting for their respective positions for the NFC team in the Pro Bowl.

Tom Brady was the leading vote-getter with 1.9 million votes, edging Michael Vick, who netted 1.5 million votes to lead the NFC.

The 43-man rosters will be announced Tuesday. The Pro Bowl game will be played Jan. 30 in Honolulu. (Chicago Tribune)

Illinois Lottery embarks on second annual Blackhawks ticket

The Illinois Lottery launched the second Chicago Blackhawks Cash scratch-off ticket, following up on the huge success the inaugural campaign brought last year, which was also fortunately accompanied by the Hawks' Stanley Cup Championship.

There are six different tickets, each with a separate Hawk on it, including Patrick Kane, Jonathan Towes, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Brian Campbell and Duncan Keith.

The tickets are 5 each and the prizes range from a Blackhawks jersey to up to 100,000 in cash. (Blackhawks.com)

Favre to Peppers: Beat the Packers

After Julius Peppers and his teammates annihilated Brett Favre's Vikings Monday night (including a sack from Corey Wootton knocking Favre out of the game), the veteran, record-setting QB had a simple message for Peppers: beat the Packers in a couple of weeks. (NBC Sports)

Jets' QB Sanchez has shoulder tear

Mark Sanchez, the second-year quarterback of the New York Jets, has a slight cartilage tear in his right shoulder, but is still fully expecting to play against the Bears on Sunday. Jets head coach, never one to shy away from the media, said he was "99 percent" sure Sanchez will start. (NY Daily News)

Chicago Sky announce '11 schedule

The Chicago Sky have released their 2011 schedule, which will open against the Indiana Fever on the road on June 4. The home opener at Allstate Arena will be June 10 against the Connecticut Sun.

The Sky also host the defending WNBA Champs, the Seattle Storm, in a nationally televised game on ESPN2 on July 19. (Chicago Tribune)

Driver in Adenhart death gets 51 years to life

Andrew Gallo, the man who was drunk driving in the accident that killed Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart last year was sentenced to 51 years to life, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office. In September, Gallo was convicted of three counts of murder, one count of fleeing the scene of a crash and one count of driving under the influence. (The Epoch Times)

Basket Slam: Wrigley's quirks come to Cubs' aid in walk-off win

Basket Slam: Wrigley's quirks come to Cubs' aid in walk-off win

The Wrigley Field basket has played a huge role in this week's Cubs-Reds series.

In Monday night's game, Cincinnati catcher Curt Casali hit a game-tying homer into the basket in the seventh inning of a game the Cubs went on to lose.

But the basket giveth and the basket also taketh away.

Tuesday night, it was Kyle Schwarber and the Cubs who were singing the praises of one of the strangest ballpark quirks in baseball.

Schwarber connected on a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th inning off Reds closer Raisel Iglesias, hitting a fly ball through the impossibly-humid air and into the basket in left-centerfield for a 4-3 Cubs win.

"Whoever thought about that basket — whenever that occurred — tell them, 'thank you,'" Joe Maddon said. "Although it did work against us [Monday]. When it works for you, it's awesome."

Schwarber has stood under the left-field basket many times with his back against the wall, thinking he might be able to make a play on a high fly ball only to see it settle into the wickets and turn into a chance for a Bleacher Bum to show off their arm. 

But is he a huge fan of the basket now that it worked in his favor?

"I guess so," Schwarber laughed. "Yesterday, it cost us, but today, it helped us out. It's just the factor of Wrigley Field. Happy it worked out today."

It was Schwarber's first career walk off RBI of any kind.

It was the Cubs' fourth walk-off homer of the season, but their first since May 11 when Willson Contreras called "game" on the Milwaukee Brewers. 

The Cubs are now 4-1 since the All-Star Break and hold a 2.5-game lead in the division.

Dylan Cease struggles early, but finishes strong in second White Sox start

Dylan Cease struggles early, but finishes strong in second White Sox start

Dylan Cease picked up a win in his first start, but his second did not go as well.

Cease pitched six innings Tuesday at the Royals and gave up six runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk. He struck out seven, but took the loss in an ugly game for the White Sox.

The game got off to an ominous start with Eloy Jimenez getting injured on the first batter Cease faced. The White Sox defense didn’t help Cease much either with three errors (Cease had one of those on an errant pickoff throw).

After giving up six runs in the first four innings, Cease settled down to retire the final eight batters he faced. He finished with seven strikeouts against just one walk and threw 67 of his 108 pitches for strikes.

Cease struck out six in his first start and is the first pitcher in White Sox history to strike out six or more in each of his first two career appearances.

A deeper look at Cease’s numbers show his swing and miss stuff hasn’t quite caught on as expected so far. Cease got 13 swinging strikes in 101 pitches in his major league debut. He got 12 whiffs on 108 pitches on Tuesday. His slider did get five swinging strikes on 25 pitches against the Royals.

Fastball command remains a key part to Cease’s success. He only threw 26 out of 54 fastballs for strikes in his debut. Cease improved upon that with 31 strikes on 50 fastballs against the Royals.

Most of the Royals’ damage came against Cease’s fastball as well. Six of the Royals’ eight hits off Cease, including all three extra base hits, were off heaters. Cease also gave up four hits with two strikes.

There has been plenty of hype surrounding Cease since he joined the White Sox, but he hasn’t hit the ground running in the majors just yet. Having 13 days between the first two starts of his career due to the all-star break and the White Sox giving him some extra rest also isn’t the ideal scenario for a young pitcher.

Cease’s ERA is now at 5.73, which isn’t going to set the world on fire. Still, there have been enough positives in his first two starts to see where reasonable improvement could lead to Cease becoming the pitcher the White Sox expect him to be.

 

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