Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Dodgers – 04/22/11

Game Nineteen: Cubs (9-9) vs. Dodgers (10-10)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Casey Coleman (1-0, 4.22/1.59) vs. Chad Billingsley (1-1, 4.91/1.32)

Updated 12:36pm CDT – Cubs announce start of game will be delayed. No time set for a possible first pitch. Forecast calls for break in the weather this afternoon. The Cubs and Dodgers are going to try to get this one in.

Updated 1:22pm CDT – According to Pat Hughes, the start of the game will be delayed until at least 2:30pm.

Updated 1:52pm CDT – According to multiple reports, first pitch is expected to be around 2:30pm.

Weather permitting … The 9-9 Chicago Cubs return to the field this afternoon after a much-needed day off. Q’s squad played 20 innings of ball Wednesday and split the day-night doubleheader with the Padres. The Cubs showed signs of improvement in the field during the Padres series … but offensively the Cubs are stuck in neutral.

Casey Coleman will make his third start of the season and don’t be surprised if Koyie Hill gets the start behind the plate. Hill caught Casey’s last game and has had a couple of hits, including a home run, against Chad Billingsley.

The Cubs will face a Dodgers team led by Don Mattingly for the first time but will also face an organization in turmoil.

The Dodgers have pretty much owned the Cubs in recent years (Cubs won three of seven in 2010, three of eight in 2009) and Q’s squad will play six of the next 13 games against the Los Angeles Dodgers. If Q would like to get above .500 and stay there, he must figure out a way to win the season series against the Dodgers.

The Cubs will not see Rafael Furcal this weekend but will face an old teammate Saturday. Ted Lilly makes his first start at Wrigley since being traded to the Dodgers last July. Ryan Dempster is scheduled to face Lilly in game two Saturday afternoon.

Today it all begins with Casey Coleman

Casey Coleman is coming off his first victory of the season on a night he did not have his typical good command. Coleman posted the only win of the series in Colorado after going 5 2/3 innings and allowing one run on four hits with three walks, two hit batsmen and three strikeouts. Coleman pitched his way in and out of trouble but seemed to make a big pitch when he needed it the most. Coleman will have to bring his A-game this afternoon in order to give his team a chance to win.

Casey will make his first start of the season at Wrigley. Coleman posted a 1-1 record in five games, three starts, at home last season with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.90 WHIP. To say Coleman struggled at Wrigley in limited appearances last year would be an understatement.

Coleman gave up twice as many runs at home than on the road (18, 17 earned at Wrigley compared to nine earned runs on the road) plus he walked more batters (14) than he struck out (8). With the Cubs questionable defense, Coleman must limit his free passes in order to be successful.

Today will mark the first time Casey Coleman has faced the Los Angeles Dodgers … and Tony Gwynn, Jr. (0-for-2) is the only player on the Dodgers roster that has faced him.

Chad Billingsley has had a lot of success against the Cubs in his big league career … both in the regular season and in the post season.

Billingsley is coming off an excellent eight-inning performance against the Cardinals. Billingsley tossed eight innings of shutout ball and allowed just three his with two walks and a season-high 11 strikeouts. Billingsley received a no decision in a 2-1 Dodgers victory over St. Louis.

For as good as Billingsley has been, his success this season has been limited to Dodger Stadium. In eight innings (two starts) on the road, Billingsley has allowed nine runs on 13 hits with five walks and nine strikeouts (10.13 ERA and a 2.25 WHIP).

The Cubs must be patient early on against Billingsley and not allow the talented right-hander to settle in and get into a groove.

Billingsley is 3-3 in eight career games, six starts, versus the Cubs with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 1-2 in three starts with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. Billingsley was a perfect 2-0 versus the Cubs a year ago (4.38 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP in two games with 15 strikeouts and five walks).

Cubs Career Numbers against Chad Billingsley

  • Jeff Baker – 2-for-3 with a double
  • Marlon Byrd – 3-for-7
  • Starlin Castro – 0-for-3
  • Tyler Colvin – 0-for-3 with 3 walks
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 4-for-19 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Koyie Hill – 2-for-10 with a home run and two walks
  • Aramis Ramirez – 4-for-13 with a double, a triple and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-15 with a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-4 with a walk

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax
  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Fukudome – RF
    Barney – 2B
    Castro – SS
    Ramirez – 3B
    Pena – 1B
    Byrd – CF
    Soriano – LF
    Soto – C
    Coleman – P

  • nick_ss

    I like the top of the lineup, now we just need Jackson at leadoff and we will be all set!!

  • Cubsquestion

    Is the game still on today? It’s raining…what’s the word?

    • Neil

      Just posted … see below.

  • Neil

    From Carrie Muskat:

    Cubs game vs Dodgers today expected to be delayed. Current forecast calls for break in precip later this afternoon to allow for baseball

    • Cubsquestion

      Any idea when they will know for sure?

      • Neil

        I will post updates

      • Neil

        From Bruce Miles:

        Cubs announce start of game will be delayed. No time set.

  • Neil

    From Bruce Miles:

    Former Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly talking about Ron Santo: “It’s what I thought about coming back to Chicago.” Always classy.

  • Neil

    According to Pat Hughes, the start of the game will be delayed until at least 2:30pm.

  • Neil

    From Bruce Miles:

    Cubs grounds crew back on field. Tarp coming off. First pitch: 2:30 p.m.

  • Neil

    Game on

  • Agustin

    Hey guys! Play Ball……………

  • Neil

    Better inning for Casey

  • Baron_S

    Carlos Pena better get it going soon.

    .184 Average, 1 double 0 HRs in 50 at-bats this season — not very good!

  • GaryLeeT

    This Dodger lead is all Coleman’s fault……..because he can’t he that thimble sized strike zone.

  • Neil

    Gotta throw strikes …

  • GaryLeeT

    The Cubs would be hard pressed to scratch out 2 runs today let alone 9. This ball game is ova!

  • diehardcubfan


  • Neil

    Casey threw 53 pitches in the 3rd

  • Ottawabob

    Maybe the talk of releasing Dempster and declaring Colman the best pitcher/ ace of the staff can now finally be put to rest!!!!

    • RickinMSP

      How can something stop that never even started?

      • Ottawabob

        BULLSHIT!! Thats all alot of these guys here talked about after his last start. Now you’ll see them disappear.

        • Tony

          Please watch the language. There is no reason for that kind of talk on here.

          Neil runs a very nice website, and always says to “Stay Classy”

          If you like this site, you should click the edit button and fix.

        • RickinMSP

          I’ve seen where many wanted him in the rotation or at least a legitimate shot at the rotation during SP (to include me, but I think Quade got the rotation right in the end), but nowhere have I seen him refered to as an ace. In fact most of the discussion about his potential has been about his need to command the strike zone. That his lack of “stuff” requires him to be more precise. Many guys have long, sometimes solid careers with his skill set, Jeff Suppan comes to mind, nobody’s idea of an ace, but a guy who put together some solid years. I will grant that some on here have compared his command to Greg Maddux and will stipulate that is a bit over the top at this point, particularly given today’s performance, but nobody has annointed him the team ace without tongue firmly planted in cheek.

    • Baseball Fan

      Totally agree Bob. Now we just need someone to come on and predict the Cubs will be no hit.

    • Tony

      Not sure where you ever saw that. I don’t recall anyone saying Coleman was an ACE. He has pitched very well, in his opportunities, and I for one would like to see him get some more opportunities. I don’t even pencil him in the future rotations, when I look into next year or the year after.

      As far as Dempster goes, maybe someone said release him, but he has more than earned having a rough start (it has been bad), and he is a long way from even being skipped in the rotation.

  • Neil

    Aramis with a hit …

  • Neil

    Stevens walking Kemp was the 10th free pass issued by Cubs pitching today (Stevens 6, Coleman 4)

    • roughriider

      Coleman, Stevens and Mateo should get a free trip to Iowa Tonight.

  • Tony

    I get taking one for the team, but almost 90 pitches for a bullpen guy, whose career high was 45! That’s a bit much.

    I get it, Q doesn’t want to burn his whole bullpen, but Stevens was rolling his shoulders, crouching after a pitch, and other mannerisms of a guy, who was beyond done, early in the 6th inning.

  • GaryLeeT

    For added excitement to this game, the Cubs are on pace to break the record (263) for the number of pitches thrown in a 9 inning game.

  • The Maven

    John Grabow is in, the game’s officially over.

  • Neil

    Barney with a RBI single

  • Tony

    It’s time for Colvin to go to down to Iowa and spend a few weeks. He just missed a down the middle fastball.

    • The Maven

      When was the last time that Colvin had 16 to 24 consecutive at bats against right handed pitching?

      Colvin may not benefit from being at AAA, just look at the Cubs’ pitching at AAA. If that’s what he has to face, he may never get any better.

      This may be one of the few times you’d wish Lou were managing.

      • Tony

        I agree, he doesn’t get the consistent playing time, but he’s not going to right now. He needs a confidence boost and to play everyday for a couple of weeks.

        Colvin’s development or lack of development, is why this team always struggles to develop its own players. Unless you are a Starlin Castro type player, they don’t give you consistent playing time, which is hard for someone who has been getting that, their whole career.

        As much as Q seems in over his head, I don’t wish Lou back. I will give Q time to make mistakes, as long as he is learning from those mistakes. I wish he had a seasoned ex-manager, sitting next to him as his bench coach.

        • The Maven

          I only meant that Lou seemed to get Colvin more consistent playing time, and not just against left handers. For anything else, forget about it.

        • Ottawabob

          Tony, I don’t understand how you can blame Quade or the organization for the lack of Colvin’s developement. Last year Colvin was platooned almost the entire season, facing primarily right handers and given every chance to succeed, which he did. This year he’s been given a chance to play full time and he looks bad and over matched. At some point he’s got to fly on his own.. What’s Quade suppose to do keep running him out there hitting .150 ?? And its a bad .150. I’ mean Pena is atleast hitting the ball hard at times. Colvin just looks lost. Believe me, Tony I want Colvin to succeed and I want the Cubs to win. And I believe Quade is fielding the best players. Unlike Lou did the previous years. Barney is proof of that. …..And by the way I would go back and adjust my previous post but I no longer have an edit button as I did a month ago. Neil’s got a good policy, I should have stay classy.

          • Tony

            Ottawabob, I applaud you for your last sentence.

            Colvin – You say “He’s been give a chance to play full time and he looks bad and overmatched.” Have you been watching? Last time I checked, he has gotten starter AB’s (3 or more AB’s in 11 of 18 games (prorated to 99 starts). Not exactly starter type opportunities. Now, he hasn’t done anything with what time he has been given. Pena has been bad as well. I would have already been starting Baker against lefties.

            As far as last year, he was the best hitter in ST, yet sat for most of April. If it wasn’t for Steve Stone blasting Lou about not playing him, he would have sat longer. That is why I blame the Cubs organization and the managers for not properly developing him. He should start 5 games a week, somewhere (prorated to 135 starts).

            As for now, he needs a confidence boost, that can come from playing at AAA. It also can be nice little reminder, of what life was like in the minors, versus the show.

          • paulcatanese

            Maybe you don’t blame Quade for Colvin, but I do along with playing Pena in the 5 spot, Byrd for the longest time in the 3 spot,overpitching the bullpen who would you blame? Quade is supposed to be the manager,well is he or isn’t he? And if he is then he is to blame. A while back Quades record was 30 out of 50 and if the ballclub has improved its roster and they are supposed to be better where does the buck stop? All that baloney in ST about fundementals has gone out the window and they are not playing like they should. You really cannot blame someone for their physical lacking, butyou sure can get on them for the lack of mental play. Anyway thats youre opinion and I have mine. Quade is just out of his element here.

  • Tom U

    Peoria Chiefs postponed due to weather.

    Robert Whitenack is tonight’s starter for Daytona.
    Alberto Cabrera goes for Tennessee
    JR Mathes takes the bump for Iowa

  • Neil

    Cubs pounded by Dodgers 12-2 Friday afternoon.

    Casey Coleman’s line: 6 R, 6 H, 4 BB, 4 Ks, 90 pitches in 2.2 IP; Cubs pitching issued 10 walks, Jeff Stevens walked 6. Cubs offense 8 hits (3B), 1 RBI, 2-for-9 RISP, 11 LOB

  • Tom U

    Rebel Ridling with a solo blast in the fifth inning to put the Smokies up 5-3.

    For those interested, Brett Jackson is getting a much deserved night off.

  • Cheryl

    It’s kind of sad that you look toward the minors for success and not the current Cubs. Quade is stuck with a bad pitching situation and not much in the way of offense. Who is responsible for the current team on the field – Hendry and Quade. Fans are staying away. This is a direct reflection on the team and management. Yes, there are some bright spots with Barney and Castro. The rest of the team is not producing. Change is needed but current contracts seem to stand in the way. The only answer seems to trade what players its possible to trade, like Byrd, and get what you can for some of the others. Either trade now, or later when some of the players are nearing the end of their contracts. Unfortunately there is probably a limited market for these players. But Hendry has been successful in some of his trades, I just hope he goes for players that have potential from the minor leagues of other clubs rather than the so-called established players. At this point it doesn’t appear to be an option to wait..