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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Padres 5, Cubs 4 (Game 2)

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hero: Reed Johnson, who replaced center fielder Marlon Byrd in the starting lineup, went 3-for-4 with a double.

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Cubs 2, Padres 1 (Game 1, 11 innings)

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hero: Matt Garza - who did not figure in the decision - allowed six hits, struck out nine, and walked three over six shutout innings. Garza walked the first two men he faced in the sixth but escaped a bases-loaded-jam when Brad Hawpe rolled into an inning-ending double play.

"If I don't win a game all year but we win my games, it doesn't bother me one bit," Garza said.

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Cubs 1, Padres 0 (10 innings)

By Chris Rewers on Monday, April 18, 2011

Hero: Carlos Zambrano remained undefeated since his meltdown at Comiskey Park on June 25 with eight innings of three-hit ball. Zambrano struck out 10 - the first time he achieved double-digits in strikeouts since his no-hitter on Sept. 14, 2008 - and walked just one.

For whatever it's worth, it was the Cubs' first "quality start" since Randy Wells turned one in against Arizona on April 4. The "quality start" statistic is as nonsensical as the "game-winning RBI." A pitcher who lasts just six innings and allows three runs is credited with a "quality start." The benchmark for what is deemed "quality" should be a bit higher.

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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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April 1, 2011: Aisle 233, Row 8, Seat 110

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, April 7, 2011

I turned 41 on April 1 and I can't think of a better birthday present than the one my wife, Denise, gave me this year - three tickets to this year's Opening Day game between the Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field.

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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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How Much Do I Love Baseball? Let Me Count the Ways

By Chris Rewers on Tuesday, March 1, 2011

According to my father, the only way to keep me quiet and still as a baby was to sit me in front of a Cubs game on TV. The voice of Jack Brickhouse apparently had a hypnotic effect on me, and for better or worse, I've been hooked on baseball ever since.

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Greatest Moments: No. 11, Almost Perfect

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, January 20, 2011

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

It was perhaps the most bittersweet no-hitter in major league history.

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Glass is Half-Empty, Glass is Half-Full

By Chris Rewers on Saturday, December 11, 2010

Consider me among those who has been underwhelmed by the Cubs' offseason activity up to this point, but it seems that every piece of less-than-exciting news has been surrounded by a silver lining.

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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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Cubs Player Rankings

By Chris Rewers on Saturday, November 6, 2010

The improved play the Cubs demonstrated under interim manager Mike Quade during the season's final weeks (a 24-13 record) was encouraging but it doesn't change the fact that the 2010 season was an unmitigated disaster.

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1984: Trout Pushes Padres to Brink

By Chris Rewers on Tuesday, October 12, 2010

While I was sitting in my freshman year world history class on the morning of Oct. 3, 1984 - while my teacher, Mr. Kelly, discussed the Hammurabi Code - my mind far too easily wandered from the subject matter ("an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth") to how I would be spending my afternoon.

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1984: A Memorable Night in Pittsburgh

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, October 6, 2010

When a Jody Davis sacrifice fly in the ninth inning finished off a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field on Aug. 1, 1984, the Cubs moved into first place to stay. But even by the time the North Siders had fattened their NL East lead to seven games over the second-place New York Mets in early September, I still was waiting for bad things to happen.

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1998: Brant Brown's Error

By Chris Rewers on Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Memories are made of moments.

As great as Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg was - a consistently good hitter and spectacular fielder - during his 15-year Cubs career, he will always be remembered by most Cubs fans old enough to remember for his exploits on a single afternoon. On June 23, 1984 at Wrigley Field, Sandberg hit game-tying home runs off Cardinals relief ace Bruce Sutter in the ninth and 10th innings of a game that the Cubs eventually won. It has become known as the "Sandberg Game."

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1989: Dawson's Dash

By Chris Rewers on Friday, September 24, 2010

The Cubs entered September of 1989 in first place, but I was still feeling insecure. I was hopeful that the North Siders could win the National League East but had a lingering feeling in the back of my mind that they would somehow blow it.

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1998: Wild-Card Fever

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, September 19, 2010

When the Milwaukee Brewers visited Wrigley Field for a three-game weekend series Sept. 11-13, 1998, I had a full-blown case of Wild Card Fever.

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Red Sox, Yankees Highlight 2011 Schedule

By Chris Rewers on Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Cubs will make their first interleague visit to play the Boston Red Sox and host the New York Yankees at Wrigley Field for the first time since 2003 during the 2011 season.

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Almost Perfect

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, September 2, 2010

It was perhaps the most bittersweet no-hitter in major league history.

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Fly It High For Mr. Cub

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, August 22, 2010

I must've heard it a million times. Every time the name of Ernie Banks is mentioned in a conversation or during a broadcast, my grandfather will describe the typical Banks home run.

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Sincerely, JCB

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

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