Giants 3, Cubs 0

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, May 15, 2011

Heroes: Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro each had two singles in three at-bats. It was Barney's 16th multi-hit game of the season and Castro's 15th.

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Cardinals 9, Cubs 1

By Chris Rewers on Friday, May 13, 2011

Hero: Jeff Baker, who started in right field, continued his phenomeanl hitting against left-handed pitching, going 3-for-4 and driving in the Cubs' only run with a sixth inning single. Baker is 16-for-31 (.516 BA) against lefties this season. Baker's three singles came against St. Louis southpaw Jaime Garcia (5-0). He lined out to first baseman Albert Pujols against right-handed reliever Mitchell Boggs in the eighth.

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Cubs 5, Dodgers 1

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hero: Carlos Zambrano (4-1) won his 10th straight road start with eight terrific innings as the Cubs (14-16), sporting classy 1944 replica uniforms, took two of three in the series and four of seven on the road trip. Zambrano, whose first pitch was delivered with an old-fashioned windmill windup, allowed one (earned) run on five hits while striking out four and walking one.

"He was Big Z today, he wasn't Carlos," Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd said. "I saw 92, 94 (MPH) on the board today. He's a power pitcher, and that's what he has to do to win."

Did you catch Big Z dancing in the dugout as a recording of the Glenn Miller Orchestra's "In the Mood" blared over the Dodger Stadium public address system? It's welcome to see him enjoying the game again.

"He did what he did easily, to me, without a lot of pomp and circumstance," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "He just went after hitters. When he's got some soft game to go with his moving fastball and can locate, he's really tough. He went right after guys and attacked them."

Zambrano's last road loss came last June 25 at Comiskey Park - his infamous meltdown game.

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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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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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Only 32 Days Until Opening Day

By Chris Rewers on Monday, February 28, 2011

The snow has melted, the days are getting noticeably longer, and the Cubs are playing spring training games in Arizona.

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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. 25, Maddux's 300th Victory

By Chris Rewers on Friday, December 31, 2010

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

Greg Maddux is my all-time favorite Cub.

I watched Maddux grow up before my eyes, from a green rookie to the best pitcher of my generation. Maddux, besides being great, was reliable, modest, never made excuses when he failed, and was a great teammate. The team always came first. What was there not to admire about the guy?

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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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102 Years and Counting... Why Us?

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My grandfather turned 90 earlier this year.

Pops is no saint, but I have always been struck by his ability to make friends. It's a testament to his talent for relating to others that a week does not go by when somebody in our neighborhood asks me how he's doing or tells me a story about a good time they had with him.

But the fact that he has been a Cubs fan since at least the 1930s has to be penance for something. The man has been subjected to more bad baseball in his lifetime than anybody else I know and has not even enjoyed the experience of watching his favorite team play in the World Series since 1938. He was serving in the Pacific while the Cubs participated in the 1945 Fall Classic.

"Wait 'til next year!" my late grandmother would mutter whenever she'd hear a Cubs fan speak those words. "It's always wait 'til next year with those Cubs!"

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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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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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100 Worst: No. 99 Bobby Murcer

By Chris Rewers on Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Right Fielder, 1977-79

.270 BA, 43 HR, 175 RBI with Cubs

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

Bobby Murcer was a five-time All-Star and the best player on the New York Yankees during the early 1970s, but by the time he arrived to the Cubs in 1977, his best days had passed him by.

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1989: Big First Inning Helps Cubs Top Giants

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I was in a sour mood when I woke up on the morning of Oct. 5, 1989. I was still in distress over the Cubs' 11-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants the previous night in the opening game of the National League Championship Series. Coal gray skies and a steady rain did not help my frame of mind.

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2003: Cubs Sweep Into Postseason

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, October 10, 2010

Only twice in my lifetime have the Cubs come out on top in a tight regular season race that wasn't decided until the final weekend.

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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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1989: Boys of Zimmer Clinch

By Chris Rewers on Friday, October 8, 2010

The 2007 Cubs Convention at the Hilton Chicago featured a panel discussion of the 1989 NL East champion Cubs. The panel consisted of seven members of that team: Mike Bielecki, Doug Dascenzo, Mark Grace, Les Lancaster, Ryne Sandberg, Dwight Smith, and Jerome Walton. The quote that sticks with me from that discussion came from Grace.

"1989 was my favorite year in a Cubs uniform," said Grace, who that year as a 25-year-old led the team in RBI, played first base superbly, and went an incredible 11-for-17 with five extra-base hits in the North Siders' disappointing loss to the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship Series.

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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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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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Castro A Hit, But Defense Needs Work

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, August 26, 2010

Starlin Castro, whose eighth inning RBI double snapped a scoreless tie in the Cubs' 4-0 victory at Washington on Wednesday, is now hitting .315 and is five plate appearances shy of qualifying for the National League batting championship.

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Sincerely, JCB

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

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