Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 03/18/11

Spring Training Game Twenty-Three: Cubs (9-13) vs. Reds (11-8)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: None – Radio: Webcast
Location – HoHoKam Park, Mesa

Carlos Zambrano (0-1, 1.38/1.31) vs. Sam LeCure (0-0, 0.00/0.86)

The Chicago Cubs open the 2011 season against the Pittsburgh Pirates two weeks from today at Wrigley Field.

Q’s crew still has a lot of work to do … and decisions to make over the next 12 exhibition games. The Cubs continue to make error after error, day after day, and the team must focus on defense over the remaining games in the Cactus League. The offense appears to be headed for an all or nothing season, so a majority of the games figure to be decided by two runs or less. Until the Cubs figure out how to stop giving extra outs, they will be on the wrong end of close games.

The reigning NL Central champs have owned the Cubs this spring (0-3, being outscored 26-14). While the games are meaningless, it would be nice to see the Cubs beat the Reds once in the exhibition season …

Carlos Zambrano will make his fifth start of the spring this afternoon. Big Z has gone about his business this spring and has thrown the ball extremely well. Zambrano has allowed only two runs on 13 hits in 13 innings with four walks and six strikeouts.

The Cubs need Zambrano to pitch the way he has this spring, and at the end of last season, in order to have a successful season. It has been said for years that the Cubs go as Z goes … and while he might not be the top pitcher on the staff any longer, the statement still rings true.

Carlos Silva is expected to follow Zambrano in Quade’s pitching rotation for this afternoon.

Here’s how the Cubs will begin against the Reds this afternoon …

Tyler Colvin – RF
Starlin Castro – SS
Marlon Byrd – CF
Aramis Ramirez – 3B
Carlos Pena – 1B
Geovany Soto – C
Alfonso Soriano – LF
Darwin Barney – 2B
Carlos Zambrano – P

The Reds’ only off day of the spring was Thursday. Dusty Baker’s bunch has played very good ball this spring and will send Sam LeCure to the hill today. LeCure has been impressive in four outings while fighting for a spot in the Reds pen.

Today will be LeCure’s first start of the spring. LeCure has not allowed a run in four relief appearances (seven innings) or walked a batter. LeCure has allowed only six hits and has struck out nine batters.

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver
  • Neil

    Today’s revised lineup:

    Colvin – RF
    Castro – SS
    Byrd – CF
    Ramirez – 3B
    Pena – 1B
    Soto – C
    Soriano – LF
    DeWitt – DH
    Barney – 2B

    Carlos Zambrano has a sore left wrist. He and Quade agreed it would be better if he did not hit today. Zambrano is still starting the game.

    • John_CC

      Good for Z! As silly and boring and logical as that is I guess I shouldn’t be impressed by such a simple decision, but I am.

    • paulcatanese

      Sure like the idea of Barney at 2nd base, he’s earning it more every day.

  • John_CC

    Neil, what happened to the sidebar that shows recent posts? I’m sure the Twitter update is more important now, but I am a bit of a techno-Luddite and don’t use it. I did like to see who was making comments, it was easier to follow threads. Maybe it’s just me, keep up the good work!

    • Neil

      John, I am looking at a way to add the recent comments back. It was slowing down the site and taking up a lot of space. Thanks for the kind words …

  • cubtex

    Heard Jim Bowden mention today on MLB radio that he feels as if the Cubs top 3 of Dempster,Z and Garza is the best in the division. With news of Marcum’s shoulder tightness, Greinke out for a month and Carpenter out for the year…I agree with him. Marcum should be a huge concern for the Brewers! He threw a career high 195 innings last year and he is already starting to have shoulder issues. As I mentioned before….I will take Garza over Greinke and Marcum!

    • John_CC

      Carpenter who out for the year?

      • cubtex

        sorry….meant Wainwright

    • Tony

      I think that is a fair statement. The Cardinals are not the same without Wainwright. The Brewers will struggle with SP if Marcum and Grienke miss much time. The Reds have a nice rotation, but they have their own “IFS” with Volquez coming back from injury, Arroyo, another year older. What I like about their pithcing is the young arms of Cueto, Bailey, Wood, Leake to go along with Chapman, is a pretty impressive group of young arms.

      2 Weeks til we get to see the real games, played out on TV.

  • John G

    Luis Castillo released by the Mets. They’re paying him $6MM this year. Anyone in need of a second baseman for cheap could probably pick him up for a year. Not sure how much he’s still worth though.

  • Neil

    Good first for Z … a walk, two strikeouts, no hits

  • Neil

    Rough day for Big Z.

    When will the Cubs stop pitching to Joey Votto?

  • Neil

    Castro with another homer

    • BillyFinT

      I start to feel stupid for bidding Stephen Drew instead of young Castro on my public league. Just a rant, :-p

      Neil, did Starlin went to Camp Colvin?

      • Neil

        Not that I’m aware of. He played Winter Ball so I doubt it

        • BillyFinT

          Interesting. Then where did all that power come from? Did Jaramillo or other coaches say anything about what they did with Castro?

          • The Maven

            I don’t want to sound bad saying this, but I predicted Castro being able to hit for more power last year. I saw Castro hit a lot of balls to the gaps and off the walls last season. I said that, with maturity, some of those balls will start finding their way out of the park. Now, maybe they have.

          • Richard Hood

            Way to early to say that. It is easy to say he is still working on pulling stuff a bit more but I haven not seen enough of his swings to say that either. Why don’t we just admit that he is still a wild card but is getting better. I expect a ton of EBH’s this year just not sure we are talking double digit homers yet.

          • paulcatanese

            Yes you did, in fact I was one of the ones you commented to about that.

  • Neil

    4 more runs for the Reds and another error by the Cubs

  • paulcatanese

    Neil,the lineup you posted above looks like the best the Cubs have right now,and probably what they will go with plus alternating Fuko with Colvin.

  • cubtex

    Adios Silva!!!!

    • paulcatanese

      Yeah, and take Tonto’s horse with you.

  • Richard Hood

    Hopefully this is the last we have seen of Carlos Silva. But I think he has proven once and for all that he needs to be diagnosed with Kissmyastroid syndrome. It is a fairly common condition that last about 8 months normally gets cured about October when the insurance money comes in.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Wow. Silva: 3 IP, 8 h, 8 runs (5 earned), 1 BB, and LET’S HAVE A HAND OF APPLAUSE FOR HIS FIRST STRIKEOUT OF THE SPRING!!!!!! (I do not know who he fanned, but it could have been a pitcher).

      Year to date: 6.1 IP, 21 h, 22 runs, 16 earned runs, 2 BB, 1 HBP, and 1 strikeout. And he thinks he’s your #4 or #5 starter. He sounds like he has Jeff Samardzija disease.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Now if Silva makes the team after this performance, then you know the Cubs’ management is completely insane, or else P.K. Ricketts says, “He ain’t goin’ nowhere.”

      • Neil

        It was the pitcher

        • Patrick_Schaefer

          thats just too funny!

    • paulcatanese

      Richard,thats a new one,very good. I’m still laughing.

  • Tony

    That’s it for Silva…….right?

  • cubtex

    Why am I getting this feeling that the Cubs are going to sign Luis Castillo and waive Silva????

    • paulcatanese

      I get the same feeling as you do,then again he may not be old enough for JH to sign plus Castillo can be had for 400k and again JH would probably give him an extended contract plus he is not very popular in the clubhouse. My faith in humanity would be restored if Silva is gone.

  • cubs1967

    lots of decisions can be made from today’s game/news:

    do NOT pick up luis castillo–he’s a skinny lazy version of silva.

    good bye silva-enjoy ur summer.

    i luv darwin-good to see U starting at 2b, as should be opening day.

    koyie hill–ur a good man, but wellington is hitting .733 and u are at .042. enjoy iowa if you like, but pleaseeeeeeeeeeee.733!!

    big Z, good to see a bad outing; let’s see how u respond in the next game; before the season starts; practice-practice-anger management.

    f perez-U scare NO one as a pinch hitter; reed we trust; welcome back.

    mateo-dude needs to throw more-keep him around.

    why again ca castro not lead off??–becuz lead off homers are bad??

    dewitt-U have earned nothing; enjoy the des moines-come back soon after u learn to hit……

    here’s opening day roster:against RHP


    marmol-marshall-wood-mateo-maine-grabow(he’s a lefty-gotta try 1 mo’ time w/ him) and looper. (he picked the cubs-won’t complain about long relief)

    silva-see ya
    russell-go to iowa work on starting-prob be back in the pen after grabow gets hurt in may
    shark—who???-release and re-sign-go to iowa–last chance

    castillo-.733 remember
    moore-bats LH-dewitt needs to catch and hit the ball 1st

    this team is the RIGHT team based on performance; any thing else-is BS!

    103 yrs……….well U know the drill by now.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      Agreed, Agreed and Agreed!