LIVE: Cubs trailing Reds on CSN


LIVE: Cubs trailing Reds on CSN

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011
Posted: 8:54 a.m.

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(AP) -- Last week in Chicago, Cincinnati's Mike Leake was one out away from completing a one-hitter and his first career shutout when it all suddenly fell apart.

At least he doesn't have to wait until next season for a chance at redemption.

Likely making his final start of the year, Leake looks to exact some revenge Tuesday night against the same Cubs team that spoiled his gem.

At Wrigley Field last Tuesday, Leake had allowed only three baserunners - including one hit on Alfonso Soriano's second-inning single - when Starlin Castro came up with two outs in the ninth and the Reds leading 2-0.

Castro gave the Cubs life with an infield single and pinch-hitter Bryan LaHair followed with a game-tying home run. Leake got Aramis Ramirez to fly out, and walked to the dugout having thrown a career-high nine innings with nothing to show for it, although Cincinnati (71-76) won 4-2 in 13 innings.

"You hate to get two outs and it be the last at-bat. It got to me," Leake told the Reds' official website. "I'm glad we came back, or else I would have been wearing it even more."

It likely would have left an even worse taste in his mouth had that been his last start of the year.

Prior to the game, Dusty Baker said he wasn't sure if Leake would make another start. A day after watching the near-masterpiece, the manager decided he didn't want his 23-year-old right-hander's season to end like that.

Leake has thrown 167 innings between the Reds and Triple-A Louisville this season after throwing 138 1-3 last year as a rookie.

Although Cincinnati is concerned with his health for the future, Leake has looked strong lately. In 10 starts since the All-Star break, he has a 3.60 ERA while going at least six innings in each. He was extremely efficient against Chicago, needing only 65 pitches to get through seven innings and finishing with 91.

Leake has always pitched well against the Cubs, going 3-1 with a 2.95 ERA in six outings - all quality starts. He has shut down some of their top hitters, limiting Ramirez, Soriano and Geovany Soto to a combined four hits in 37 at-bats.

Those three all contributed in Chicago's 12-8 win in Monday's series opener. Ramirez had three hits - including a double and his 25th homer - Soriano went 2 for 5 with three RBIs and Soto drove in two. Castro also homered, scored four runs and drove in three while extending his career-high hitting streak to 13 games.

The Cubs (65-82) have won three in a row and six of eight, while the Reds have lost three in a row and 10 of 14.

Brandon Phillips hit two homers Monday after failing to go deep in his previous 20 games, but could have trouble against scheduled starter Ryan Dempster (10-11, 4.74), against whom he is batting .182 (6 for 33) lifetime.

Dempster gave up three runs and 10 hits in six-plus innings of Wednesday's 6-3 win over the Reds, but didn't get a decision. The right-hander is 0-3 with a 5.64 ERA in his last four starts after going 3-0 with a 2.77 ERA in the previous four.

He is 2-1 with a 2.88 ERA in four starts against the Reds this season.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Cubs fan trolls Indians Game 2 starter Trevor Bauer with hilarious 'gift'

Cubs fan trolls Indians Game 2 starter Trevor Bauer with hilarious 'gift'

CLEVELAND - One Cubs fan refuses to sit idly by on the sideline. He wants to do all he can to help the team win.

Jason Mollett sent Indians Game 2 starter Trevor Bauer a special "gift" Wednesday afternoon in Cleveland:

As most know, Bauer tore up the pinky finger on his pitching hand in a drone accident earlier this month.

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]  

He fought back to attempt to pitch in the American League Championship Series, but his stitches burst open and blood was dripping from his hand so furiously, he couldn't even finish the first inning.

Bauer and the Indians have had a good sense of humor since the drone incident, with Cleveland manager Terry Francona firing off several jokes throughout his press conferences.

But Cubs fans may not want Bauer out of the game, given the way he ended the regular season.

Still no Heyward as Cubs set World Series Game 2 lineup

Still no Heyward as Cubs set World Series Game 2 lineup

CLEVRLAND - As the Cubs try to rebound from a Game 1 loss, Jason Heyward is still on the bench.

The Cubs released their lineup for Game 2 of the World Series and Jorge Soler is in right field after Chris Coghlan started Game 1.

Soler is hitting eighth and bumps Addison Russell to ninth against Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer.

Joe Maddon also changed things up behind the plate with Willson Contreras catching Jake Arrieta instead of veteran Miguel Montero, who typically works with Arrieta.

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]  

Maddon admitted Tuesday he may roll with Contreras in an effort to slow down the Indians run game in what has now become close to a must-win game for the Cubs.

Maddon also said he was going to insert Heyward for defense later on in Game 1 if the Cubs got a lead, but then threw Albert Almora Jr. in right field after pinch-hitting for Coghlan.

Here is the complete lineup behind Arrieta:

1. Dexter Fowler - CF
2. Kris Bryant - 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo - 1B
4. Ben Zobrist - LF
5. Kyle Schwarber - DH
6. Javy Baez - 2B
7. Willson Contreras - C
8. Jorge Soler - RF
9. Addison Russell - SS

The Cubs set an MLB postseason record with six starters age 24 or younger (Bryant, Schwarber, Baez, Contreras, Soler and Russell).

The lineup looks a lot different with Schwarber back in it. He was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk in Game 1.

The Cubs couldn't score against Corey Kluber and the Indians bullpen in Game 1 and Maddon will once again place a premium on offense early on in Game 2.

Soler is 0-for-8 this postseason with a pair of walks. Heyward is 2-for-28 with eight strikouts in 10 postseason contests.

Here is the way the Indians will line up for Game 2:

1. Carlos Santana - DH
2. Jason Kipnis - 2B
3. Francisco Lindor - SS
4. Mike Napoli - 1B
5. Jose Ramirez - 3B
6. Lonnie Chisenhall - RF
7. Coco Crisp - LF
8. Tyler Naquin - CF
9. Roberto Perez - C
Trevor Bauer - P

Bauer only threw 21 pitches his last time out in the American League Championship Series, failing to even get out of the first inning after his stitches popped on his pinky finger of his pitching hand, which he hurt in a drone accident.

Bauer has a 5.06 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 5.1 postseason innings this year.