Mr. April

By Chris Rewers on Monday, May 2, 2011

Gordon Wittenmyer, in Monday's Chicago Sun-Times, pointed out that Cubs right fielder Kosuke Fukudome hit .383 (23-for-60) and is a .345 (101-for-293) hitter in his four seasons with the Cubs. But entering Monday's game, Fukudome was hitting just .244 (275-for-1,129) after April.

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Cubs 5, Diamondbacks 3

By Chris Rewers on Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hero: Alfonso Soriano (2-for-4) wrapped up a terrific April with a solo home run in the second inning and an RBI single in the fourth. It was the 10th homer of the season for Soriano (.258 BA, 20 RBI), who shares the major league lead in home runs with Milwaukee's Ryan Braun.

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College of Starting Pitchers

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I understand that the alternatives are as appealing as the selection of women at closing time at the neighborhood dive, but I wish the Cubs would pull the plug on the James Russell-in-the-starting-rotation experiment.

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Rockies 9, Cubs 5

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hero: Starlin Castro (3-for-4) contributed a two-run double in the fourth inning. Castro, who had his sixth three-hit game of the season, was 7-for-13 in the series with four RBI and is now hitting .418.

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Welcome, Doug Davis!

By Chris Rewers on Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Remember how Jim Hendry and the rest of the Cubs front office would always downplay the extent of the injuries suffered by Mark Prior and Kerry Wood?

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Brewers 6, Cubs 5

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hero: Aramis Ramirez (3-for-5, 3 RBI) doubled three times off Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo. Six of the Cubs' 11 hits Sunday were doubles.

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Cubs 7, Brewers 4

By Chris Rewers on Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hero: Man, does this guy rake lefties! Jeff Baker went 4-for-5, including a go-ahead, three-run homer off Milwaukee starter Randy Wolf (0-2) in the fourth inning. Baker is 6-for-11 against southpaws this season.

Baker also contributed a two-out RBI single in the sixth and scored in the ninth on a Marlon Byrd double after reaching on a leadoff single.

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Diamondbacks 6, Cubs 4

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hero: Marcos Mateo, rebounding from a rough outing on Tuesday, retired all three batters he faced after entering in the top of the ninth with Arizona runners on the corners and no outs. Mateo's effort kept the Cubs within striking distance.

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A Contrarian View of the NL Central

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, March 31, 2011

I remember fondly throughout my childhood the February day in which my father would bring home a stack of baseball preview magazines.

I would devour those things and have continued the practice into adulthood. All of that reading material has helped me get through those final few weeks without baseball, but I learned long ago that such publications should not be believed as gospel.

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Talk About the Passion

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, March 3, 2011

While a portion of the Chicago media used Wednesday's spring training dugout spat between Carlos Silva and Aramis Ramirez as a chance to recall every incident in recent history in which a Cubs player lost his cool, I choose to view the incident as a healthy expression of passion from a couple of players who are pissed off about the team's performance.

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The Phillies' Phenomenal Rotation

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, March 3, 2011

There are several interesting storylines heading into the 2011 major league season. Among them:

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Greatest Moments: No. 8, Game 163

By Chris Rewers on Tuesday, January 25, 2011

(Editor's Note: Twenty-third in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)

The 1998 Cubs will never be mentioned when the greatest teams in franchise history are discussed.

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Greatest Moments: No. 17, Big Z's Neutral Site No-Hitter

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, January 13, 2011

(Editor's Note: Fourteenth in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)

It seems so long ago, but it's only been a little over two years since the Cubs, with the best record in the National League, clinched their second straight Central Division title with a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sept. 20, 2008. My confidence in the Cubs was never - before or since - as high as it was in '08. And the highlight of that magical regular season came on Sept. 14 when Carlos Zambrano pitched the first Cubs no-hitter in over 36 years.

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Garza Trade Good for Cubs

By Chris Rewers on Friday, January 7, 2011

The acquisition of pitcher Matt Garza by the Cubs, along with two minor leaguers, from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in exchange for five prospects - that include right-handed pitcher Chris Archer, outfielders Brandon Guyer and Sam Fuld, shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, and catcher Robinson Chirinos - is a brilliant and gutsy move by general manager Jim Hendry.

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Greatest Moments: No. 21, The Exclamation Point on a Magical Season

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, January 5, 2011

(Editor's Note: Tenth in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)

On Sept. 18, 2008, the Cubs' magic number for clinching the NL Central appeared like it was going to be stuck at four. The North Siders trailed the second-place Milwaukee Brewers 6-2 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and nobody on base.

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100 Worst: No. 92 Kosuke Fukudome

By Chris Rewers on Friday, November 26, 2010

Outfielder, 2008-10

.259 BA, 34 HR, 156 RBI with Cubs

(Editor's Note: Ninth in a series identifying the 100 worst Cubs of all-time.)

When the Cubs signed Japanese star Kosuke Fukudome to a four-year,$48 million contract before the 2008 season, the outfielder was often described in the media as a cross between Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui. In nine seasons with the Chunichi Dragons, Fukudome hit .305, won a batting title in 2002, and was named the Japanese Central League MVP in 2006 after hitting .351 with 31 homers and 104 RBI.

It's a shame, that his lasting image in the minds of many Cubs fans will be an awkward-looking helicopter swing and a miss.

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13 Moments to Forget

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, November 21, 2010

You don't put together a 103-year championship drought without a few infamous and embarrassing moments. Cubs history is full of head-scratching and gut-wrenching moments. I believe these are the 13 worst:

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Ex-Cub Report No. 3

By Chris Rewers on Monday, November 8, 2010

For the first time in my life, I felt sorry for the New York Yankees when they fell to the Texas Rangers in the American League Championship Series.

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1998: Game 163

By Chris Rewers on Saturday, October 9, 2010

The 1998 Cubs will never be mentioned when the greatest teams in franchise history are discussed.

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Central Miscasting

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday's 4-0, no-hit loss by the Cincinnati Reds to Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 of the National League Division Series, was the 10th in a row in postseason play by NL Central champions.

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Sincerely, JCB

I founded Agony & Ivy about five years ago for two reasons. First...

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