Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Diamondbacks – 04/30/11

Game Twenty-Six: Cubs (11-14) vs. Diamondbacks (11-14)
Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Chase Field, Phoenix

Matt Garza (0-3, 4.11/1.47) vs. Ian Kennedy (3-1, 4.02/1.09)

The first month of the Cubs season comes to an end this afternoon. Q’s squad has dealt with one issue after the other throughout the first 25 games of the 2011 campaign. From losing Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner after their first starts to the struggles of Ryan Dempster and the offense … the first month has been anything but boring.

For all that has gone wrong, the Cubs could put a bow on the first month of the season with a win tonight. The Cubs enter play 11-14 on the last day of April … and 12-14 sounds a lot better than 11-15.

With the middle of the lineup struggling to drive in runs, and actually hitting a ball with authority, Mike Quade said Alfonso Soriano could move up in the lineup.

On the last day of April, it all begins with Matt Garza …

Matt Garza is coming off his third loss of the year on a night he allowed one earned run in six innings. Starlin Castro and Garza committed four errors in the rain, which led to four unearned runs and a Cubs loss. Garza threw the ball better than the results.

Garza has struck out 41 batters in 30 2/3 innings while walking only nine batters … but he’s given up 36 hits in his first five starts. Garza has notched back-to-back quality starts and the Cubs need more from him tonight. Garza has completed seven innings of work only once (April 3 against the Pirates), it is time for his second seven-inning performance.

Matt Garza did not pitch in the D’Backs series at Wrigley … and has never faced Arizona during the regular season.

Melvin Mora (2-for-21), Xavier Nady (2-for-8 with a home run) and Josh Wilson (1-for-7) are the only active D’Backs that have faced Matt Garza.

Ian Kennedy is coming off a complete game shutout against the Phillies. A day after becoming a father for the first time, the former Yankee shutdown the favorites to win the National League. Kennedy struck out 10, did not walk a batter and allowed just three hits.

Kennedy is coming off two excellent outings and victories against teams much better than the Cubs. Prior to his gem against Philadelphia, Kennedy held the Reds to a run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings. One bad start has skewed Kennedy’s numbers … nine runs on seven hits in three innings against the Cardinals on April 13.

The Cubs offense will have trouble tonight with Ian Kennedy and they must take advantage of every opportunity that Kennedy gives them.

Ian Kennedy is 1-1 in two career starts against the Cubs with a 7.24 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. The Cubs did not see Kennedy during the series at Wrigley.

Cubs Career Numbers against Ian Kennedy

  • Marlon Byrd – 1-for-6
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-3 with a triple
  • Tyler Colvin – 0-for-4
  • Blake DeWitt – no official at bat, two walks
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 3-for-7 with 2 home runs
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-3
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-13 with a double and a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-7
  • Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-3
  • Geovany Soto – 2-for-5 with 2 doubles and a walk

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

    • paulcatanese

      Good Neil, Soriono has moved up in the lineup,Byrd down ,and Pena where he belongs. Should be a good one tonight.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Ken Rosenthal: Doug Davis threw today for Hendry, Riggins in rookie-lg game vs. Angels. Next step will be A ball start Thur

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Paul Sullivan: Quade sez 5th starter will be Russell Monday in LA unless there’s a call-up.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    The Sun-Times is reporting to look for Russell to start Monday

    • Ripsnorter1

      That would be a fantastic day to bet the house against the Cubs winning the ball game.

      • Cheryl

        The Cubs will probably lose again but it will be closer. I’d say the Cubs wil score three. But they’ll lose by five.

        • Cheryl

          And, I hope I’m wrong.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    According to the Tribune, Russell will start Monday.

    Russell to start again Monday, with Doug Davis starting rehab at Class-A on Thursday. Hendry sez Davis looks good.

    http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/sports/cbsports-cubs-will-stick-with-russell-as-fifth-starter-20110430,0,6147200.story

    Todd Wellemeyer will begin throwing in Triple-A this week.

  • Last_ginger

    why wont they just bring up Jay Jackson instead of throwing away a game?

    • Ripsnorter1

      That is a very intelligent question. However, there is no intelligent answer to it. The decisions of our GM are utterly stupefying.

    • Tom U

      Jay Jackson is not currently on the 40 man roster. The Cubs don’ t want to use up a roster spot and burn one of Jackson’s options on what would most likely be a one-shot deal.

      I predicted Jackson would get the first call-up this year, but his injury in spring training nixed that and put the Cubs in this spot. While the Cubs can be blamed for a lot of poor roster management, give them credit for playing this one right.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Tom, I buy the option excuse to a certain degree but Wells and Cashner have not started throwing off a mound. That puts them at near a month before they return at the earliest. Couple that with Coleman’s struggles and I would rather see Jay Jackson given an opportunity than just throwing Russell out there.

        Plus, with Russell being available out of the pen, he has not thrown his side session this time … so he could not work on making any improvements.

        • Tom U

          True, however, Jackson has only had two starts and 11.2 innings pitched since coming off the DL. While he has been impressive, maybe just another Triple-A start will be all that he needs.

          • Dorasaga

            Interesting fact. And Neil, thanks for the answer a day ago on Castro. I’m glad his hand was not on the bat. Whew! All that’s left here is my hope that the young ones succeed and lift the Cubs. I would rather have Jay pitch in June than watch another short term rebound of Dempster and Russell on the mound. The future must be NOW.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    During pre-game show, Mike Quade said Carlos Pena will start Sunday … and Cubs will look for spots to get Tyler Colvin in games

    • Calicub

      All talk. Colvin could have been starting four games a week giving four other vets (soriano, byrd, fuku, pena) each a day off each week. How is it that hard? Four starts plus pinch hitting in games he doesn’t start would have given him plenty of at bats doing the math… 14 starts some pH maybe that’s something like seventy five eighty AB. Instead of the 51 he has now. Thirty ab’s colivin hasn’t had to work ot his issues, Thirty AB’s closer to refinding his swing thirty AB’s pena didn’t strike out or byrd hit a weak grounder into another double play. Sure sori is hitting homeruns but what’s two HR’s compared to letting the future figure himself out and regain his confidence?

  • Tom U

    Back to back homers by Jae-Hoon Ha and Justin Bour have put Daytona in the lead 3-1 in the top of the fifth.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    SO-RI-A-NO (Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap)

    • Wickitkevin

      Trade before they start throwing sliders again!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Soriano’s had a great month! 10 HR!!

    He’s finally earning his keep!

    • paulcatanese

      Agree Rip,he’s becoming fun to watch at least for a while,and who knows?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Ryan Flaherty just hit another home run.

    Soriano has hit 10 of the Cubs 21 homers

    • paulcatanese

      Neil,thats great for Ryan,dust off his third basemans glove.
      And great for Soriono.

  • Tom U

    In an interesting development, Rafael Dolis came on in relief of Chris Rusin. Dolis had trouble locating the plate, with 3 walks and 2 wild pitches, allowing 4 unearned runs.

    Ryan Flaherty led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo homer, his seventh.

    Tennesse down 7-6 to Carolina

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Horrible at bat by Jeff Baker … too aggressive

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Soriano picks up Baker

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Pitching around Soto … Garza’s going to have to help himself

    • paulcatanese

      Garza is trying,foul balls late along first, and then a SMASH line drive to the first baseman. He is getting closer.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Soriano has never hit more than 7 HR in April before.
    His best month for production has been May (total 67 HR). All other months are evenly distributed between 49-54 hrs for his career.

    If he hits 10 in April, he might hit 15 in May, folks!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Garza 52 pitches thru 3.1 IP.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Just noticing that only Houston, and the ChiSox have allowed more runs to score than the Cubs. Our pitching has stunk up the joint.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Aramis with a double … and I really like watching Barney run the bases

  • GaryLeeT

    Ramirez with a ball that touched the outfield wall. It’s been a while.

  • Last_ginger

    Garza is in cruise control now

    • Last_ginger

      cruise control off…..bummer

  • GaryLeeT

    Kennedy looks OK, but it’s hard to imagine he threw a 3 hit, complete game shout out against the Phills.

  • Last_ginger

    may Sori’s bats rest in peace….

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Garza’s first walk of the night is to Chris Young to begin the sixth

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Baker is hurt, Pena in to run for him

    • The Maven

      There goes the franchise!

  • Ripsnorter1

    KC is now above .500 and sport an 11-5 record at home

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Very good outing by Garza, can’t lose this one.

    From Captain Obvious … would really like to see the offense come through here.

    • Ripsnorter1

      What’s wrong with Baker? Time to call up marquez smith?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Baker left with left shoulder soreness

      • paulcatanese

        Rip,whats wrong is that it’s a built in excuse for Quade to get Pena back in,of course in the fifth spot. A hangnail to Baker would have done the same thing.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Quade ejected … Byrd was out.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent at bat by Tyler Colvin

  • Last_ginger

    Nice at bat by Colvin. 11 pitch walk

  • GaryLeeT

    Having Soto try to bunt, is one of those Qaude moves, that I would like his defenders to defend.

    • Last_ginger

      its called small ball

    • JedMosley

      Moving a runner over in a close game, while staying out of a double play…

    • paulcatanese

      Gary as you can see,all of the fundementals that Quade promised they would have showed on someone that probably hasn’t bunted in many a moon. It just wont work. It was the play,but needed to be attempted by someone who does it often and well,Soto is not that guy,slow,slugger,lucky the pitcher made a bad throw to second could have been a double play.

      • GaryLeeT

        Thanks Paul, for expanding on, exactly what I was pointing to. I thought it was obvious, but I guess not to some.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Barney Delivers … another two-out RBI.

    • The Maven

      May we never hear the name “Augie Ojeda” again!

  • Last_ginger

    clutch single for Barney

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro delivers … fifth two out RBI of the night

  • Baron_S

    just LOVE Castro and Barney — they’re by far and away the most fun guys to watch on this team

  • GaryLeeT

    Just look at Barney and Castro clapping their hands on the way to first base after big hits. They keep me watching.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the D’Backs 5-3 Saturday night. Matt Garza with first Cubs win. Garza’s line: 3R,6H,10Ks,2BB in 8 I;, Soriano HR, 2 RBI; Barney and Castro RBI; Cubs scored all 5 runs w/ 2 out

    • paulcatanese

      Yes sir,quite a game, Garza pitched well. Barney,Castro, Soriono what more can I say. Keep it going,move Soriono up again for tomorow, keep Pena down there and the Cubs will be fine.

      • GaryLeeT

        I agree on striking while the iron is hot. Even if it’s just temporary, move Soriano to 5th, or even 3rd, and see if he can’t start to turn all those solos into 3 run homers.

  • cubs1967

    no team should forfeit games; the cubs do everytime russell starts.

    ricketts should be ashamed.

    jay jackson could easily start for a month before cashner is ready if he outpitches coleman.

    just another FU***ING move be an imcompetent GM, mgr, etc.

  • John_CC

    Wow. I missed the best game of the year, maybe. Just watched the replay of Soriano’s moonshot, wow.

    Quade really needs to get him in the cleanup spot. Period. If Aramis won’t hit 3 then see how he feels about 5 or 6. Who care. When Fonsie is hot he is unreal. This is ’07-08 hot. Keep it up, Alfonso!

    (Maybe he could be tradeable in July after all)

    Really glad to see Garza cruise after a rocky start and get a W.

  • paulcatanese

    Has Quade given any logical reason for the use of Russell Monday?
    Any logical reason at all?
    And Pena back in the lineup Sunday,What will that achomplish?
    And Quade say’s he will get Colvin some bats?
    First base is now open, thats a place someone could get at bats.
    And will we see hitters that never bunt try it again?
    Stay tuned for the never ending saga of Mike Quade.

  • paulcatanese

    If Pena has to play tommorow the lineup should be;
    Fukodome RF
    Barney 2B
    Castro SS
    Ramariz 3B
    Soriono LF
    Soto C
    Byrd CF
    Pena 1B or Colvin
    Pitcher
    Thats the only lineup that would make sense to me.