Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 04/08/11

Game Seven: Cubs (3-3) vs. Brewers (3-4)
Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 175
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee

Carlos Zambrano (0-0, 4.50/1.33) vs. Randy Wolf (0-1, 13.50/3.00)

Updated 4:35pm CDTJeff Stevens Recalled; Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner Placed on 15-day DL

Updated – 5:45pm CDT - According to a tweet from Carrie Muskat, Casey Coleman will start Sunday against the Brewers. The Cubs will send James Russell to the hill for his first big league start against the Astros Tuesday.

The Cubs begin a nine-game road trip tonight with the first of three against the Milwaukee Brewers. Q’s squad flies to Houston following Sunday’s game in Milwaukee and open a three-game series with the Astros. After a day off Thursday, the trip concludes with three in Colorado next weekend.

The Cubs should make two roster moves before game time. Casey Coleman is expected to be recalled and make the start Sunday against Yovani Gallardo. The Cubs will not need a fifth starter until Tuesday in Houston and they should bring up a reliever (possibly Scott Maine) for the weekend. If the Cubs are thinking about starting James Russell against the Astros, having Russell unavailable for the next four games without a lefty to take his place would waste another valuable roster spot.

Expect a healthy dose of Jeff Baker for the first two games of the series. With Randy Wolf tonight and Chris Narveson tomorrow, Baker should get back-to-back starts at second against the lefties.

After missing the final two games of the homestand, Carlos Pena is expected back tonight.

The Cubs will have their hands full all weekend with a Brewers team that has won their last three games. Milwaukee began the season 0-4 before winning the last three of the four-game series against the Braves.

The Cubs posted a 9-6 record against the Brewers last season, but that was then and tonight it all starts with Carlos Zambrano

Carlos Zambrano had a decent outing against the Pirates last Saturday. Z allowed three runs on five hits in six-plus innings before leaving with cramping in his right hand. Z was pretty effective despite walking three and giving up five hits. Zambrano received a no-decision after the Cubs scored five in the eighth.

Z has had success over the past couple of seasons against the Brewers and in Milwaukee. Zambrano is 12-8 in 31 career games, 28 starts, versus the Brew Crew with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP2-0 in five games, three starts, last year with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. Zambrano is 9-5 lifetime at Miller Park in 16 games, 15 starts, with a 3.19 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP … and that includes his no-hitter in September 2008 against Randy Wolf and the Houston Astros.

With the recent injuries to Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner, the Cubs really need for Zambrano to step up and pitch like he did down the stretch last season.

Brewers Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano

  • Ryan Braun – 9-for-35 with a double, a home run and three walks
  • Craig Counsell – 8-for-33 with 2 doubles and 7 walks
  • Prince Fielder – 14-for-41 with 5 doubles, 2 home runs and 14 walks
  • Carlos Gomez – 1-for-1
  • Mark Kotsay – 1-for-9 with a walk
  • George Kottaras – 0-for-2
  • Casey McGehee – 3-for-14 with a home run and 2 walks
  • Nyjer Morgan – 7-for-20 with a walk
  • Rickie Weeks – 8-for-42 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Randy Wolf – 1-for-4 with a double

Randy Wolf had a horrible start to his season. The veteran southpaw ran into the Big Red Machine his first time out. Joey Votto and company scored six runs on 10 hits in four innings (two walks and five strikeouts). Wolf is a better pitcher than his first outing and has had his way with the Cubs over the years.

Wolf figured to be the fourth starter in the Brewers rotation before Spring Training began but the injury to Zack Greinke moved Wolf up a spot.

Randy Wolf posted a respectable 13-12 record with a 4.17 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP last season in his first year in a Brewers uniform.

Tonight will be Wolf’s 20th career start against the Cubs. The lefty is 5-9 in the first 19 with a 4.47 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP … 0-2 in two starts in 2010 with a 6.39 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Randy Wolf

  • Jeff Baker – 4-for-12 with a double
  • Marlon Byrd – 3-for-7 with 2 home runs and a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-5
  • Tyler Colvin – 0-for-1
  • Blake DeWitt – 0-for-6
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-4 with 2 walks
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-9
  • Carlos Pena – 0-for-3
  • Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-25 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-26 with 2 home runs and 4 walks
  • Geovany Soto – 6-for-19 with a double, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Carlos Zambrano – 3-for-5 with a double

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday." - Dale Carnegie

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Baker – 2B
    Castro – SS
    Byrd – CF
    Ramirez – 3B
    Soto – C
    Pena – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Colvin – RF
    Zambrano – P

  • Ripsnorter1

    Great roster management! Brought up Stevens, but not Coleman, and BABY I GUARANTEE RUSSELL STARTS TUESDAY! Atta boy, Jim! We’ll be both short a lefty in the pen, and we’ll have a AAA pitcher in Stevens to take his place!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Coleman will be activated Sunday. I agree with waiting until Sunday to activate Coleman, I do not agree with wasting a roster spot until then.

      More details are in the previous/linked report.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I would not start Russell since he isn’t stretched out, and/or even capable of a decent start, imo.

  • Ripsnorter1

    ATTENTION:

    MANNY RAMIREZ RETIRED TODAY. ONE DRUG TOO MANY.

    • paulcatanese

      Rip, thats because the only team to have a john in the left field fence was Boston and we all know Manny,being Manny has now no place to go.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    According to a tweet from Carrie Muskat, Casey Coleman will start Sunday against the Brewers. The Cubs will send James Russell to the hill for his first big league start against the Astros Tuesday.

    • cubtex

      You know I am not a fan at all of Russell but at least they are starting him against the Astros instead of the Brewers.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Bruce Miles:

    LHP James Russell to start for Cubs next Tue. at Houston. Quade says 45-50 pitches tops

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      The Cubs are going to use a lot of relievers that night before a three-game series in Denver.

    • Ripsnorter1

      What in the Sam Eugene??!!?? He won’t pitch 3 full innings! WOW! Way to blow out a bullpen for the entire year in the third week of the season!

      Jim “Clueless” =bad roster management
      Mike Quade=bad bullpen management

      He must have studied under Dusty Baker. I can’t believe it!

      This is going to make the Gorzelanny trade look so very good.

      • Tony_Hall

        I don’t get how you can “plan” to blow out your bullpen. This is why Russell, if they were going to give him a chance to start, should have stayed on schedule and stretched out to start, and went to Iowa.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Tony,
          I agree with you.

          Teams in the NL use at least 8 starters per year (on average). Some teams get into trouble and use more. Very, very seldom do they use less.

          So–in Russell’s case–he isn’t stretched out. He’s only good for 45=50 pitches, so Quade is planning on blowing out his bullpen. Russell threw 28 pitches in 1.2 IP vs AZ the other day.

          In his entire ML career, he has pitched 51.0 IP and thrown 867 pitches, to average 17 pitches per inning (that’s decent). 45-50 pitches per start gets you threw 3 IP.

          Quade plans to blow up the pen.

      • Wickitkevin

        I disagree burgess looks pretty good so far.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I listened to Alan Trammel of the Diamondbacks on the radio the other day, and he said that the “Backs had the 3rd worst bullpen in the last 50 years of MLB.

    How did the Cubs stack up against the D-Backs’ pen in 2010?

    Well, if you recall, the D-Backs cut Bob Howry for pitching so poorly, and we signed him immediately. Howry had a 10.67 ERA in 14 games for them. Qualls had a 8.29 era in 43 games for these guys! 38 IP, 63 H, 2.00 WHIP. Awful.
    Aaron Heilman was their 3rd best pitcher.

  • Serothis

    I realize he got a double but seriously, byrd’s first pitch hacking is killing me.

  • Tony_Hall

    I love our platoons.

    We have a young, good looking middle infielder in Barney, who is a right handed bat. Yet we sit him against lefties, so Baker can play. I know Baker hit lefties good, but you don’t need a platoon with a Righty/Righty. Let the youngster get the confidence against the lefties.

    Of course we do the same, unexplainable platoon in the OF, by playing Colvin against the lefties, since Fukudome can’t hit lefties very well. Play Colvin 5 out of 6 games every week.

    It is so hard to believe that our bench (Baker, Hill, Johnson, Dewitt, Fukudome), is so bad, yet they feel a need to get them starts.

    • paulcatanese

      Tony,that makes a lt of sense dosent it. I understand it,as I know who’s decision it is and someday soon everyone will, no clue management at all. Its getting sadder by the day. There is no bench,none. I cannot even imagine who would want the lot of them, not even a AAA team. Going to be a long season.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Baker kills LHP. Let him play. Barney has no power. Baker once swatted 12 HR in part time play for the Rockies. This Cubs’ team is so weak in the extra base knocks that I’d let Baker play–since Moore and Scales aren’t qualified according to Q and Jim Clueless.

      Colvin: I have begun to think Q is set on destroying this young man. Only sees LHP. He might be working to destroy his confidence.

      I also am beginning to think Q stands for Queer thinking. Man–in forty years I haven’t seen a manager with a double RH platoon in MLB.

      • Tony_Hall

        If you want Baker to play, then let him play 1B, where he can platoon with a LEFT Handed batter. If you want to develop Barney, then you let the RH batter face lefties, and give him the scheduled days off against right handed starters.

        I just don’t get the not playing Colvin. Let the kid play.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Pena cost $10 million. You can’t bench him. Jim’s rules.

          Can we agree: Jim Clueless doesn’t develop young players very well.

          • Tony_Hall

            That might be the biggest understatement you have ever stated.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another poor at bat by Geo …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Santo “loved” Gomez

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Solid opening inning for Z. Lots of movement.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Long inning for Z, 25 pitches … and Prince took him deep.

  • GaryLeeT

    I don’t have to wonder what the Cubs would be like if D. Lee were still on the team. Byrd duplicates his ABs perfectly.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thought the same thing …

      Z got Gomez!

  • Aaron

    in case people didn’t already know……Marlon Byrd might be the worst 3-hole hitter in the entire game. True story

    • Tony_Hall

      MIGHT??? I think it is safe to say “IS”

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Ramirez seemed to tweak his back on the first swing of his at bat.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    SOTO! A 2-run shot to center!

  • studio179

    Nice thump Soto!

  • Serothis

    nice patient AB by z

  • Baron_S

    BAKER!!!

  • studio179

    3 run HR Baker!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Jeff Baker with a 3-run shot …

  • GaryLeeT

    I almost ripped Quade for the Baker start.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Baker hit lefties at a .350 clip last year. .106 vs. RHP, though.

    • paulcatanese

      You could have done worse, I did rip Quade for playing Baker,and now have to eat my words for the night. But tonight only, and then back to Barney palying second base. I believe he the one for that spot.

  • GaryLeeT

    Nice shut down inning by Z after the Cubs put up a 5 spot. NOT!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    I would really like to see Byrd take a pitch, or two, or three …

  • Michael

    How many 2 strike hits can Zambrano give up???

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another RBI by the Brewers on a 1-2 pitch

    • Ripsnorter1

      Safe to say Z ain’t duplicating last year’s 8-0 finish. He’s been pounded in both starts.

  • Baron_S

    Baker again!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Jeff Baker with another two-out RBI

    • Aaron

      I have to eat a lot of crow with Baker. I didn’t think the Cubs should’ve kept him, but he’s proving me wrong….as for Byrd….the Cubs should’ve sold high on him last offseason, but they’re stuck with him now. Hopefully Jackson continues his hot start, and gets the call, and Johnson gets released (or they find a way to deal Byrd)

      • Ripsnorter1

        Byrd’s hitting .310–most of it with bases empty, though.

      • paulcatanese

        Aaron,I’m in the same boat,I didn’t want him out there, at 2nd base anyway. Still in the game as far as Byrd goes. I guess if I complain enough about him he will turn it around too. Not.

  • Serothis

    holy crap! Byrd didn’t hack at the first pitch!…well the second one yes but still it wasn’t the first!

  • studio179

    Z not looking sharp tonight, but the Cubs are winning so far.

  • cubs1967

    haven’t we seen enough of stevens and berg…………..AAAA pitchers at best.

    chris carpenter??????????………..just a thought.

    i guess russell for 3 plus and then shark for 3 plus……on tues……and a loss.(would be eaiser just to forfeit that type of effort).

    why again did we trade gorzelanny???…………..cuz we can’t afford his 2M salary…………you fuc***** cheap ass bastard ricketts.

    man i’m frosted!!!!!!

    • Ripsnorter1

      But we could afford Garza and his many millions.

  • studio179

    Good job, Marshall…1…2…3

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Marshall threw 11 pitches, nine for strikes.

  • Aaron

    oh my….Reed Johnson? Are you kidding me?!? And some on here actually have the nerve to ask why Milledge over Johnson? WOW

    Was that not some of the ugliest swings you’ve seen a guy take at pitches, or what? It was even worse than Hill. Hill at least is behind the pitches most of the time. Johnson flat out wasn’t even in the area code. I replayed 2 of his swings in that at bat, and they weren’t even on the same plane as the ball and they were both straight fastballs outer-half of the plate. WOW

    • John_CC

      I am trying to avoid the Milledge “discussion” but since I know you like stats, Aaron I meant to mention FanGraphs wrote a pretty interesting column about Lastings today. The closest comparison they came up with…Corey Patterson!

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/he-didnt-leave-a-lastings-impression/

      And I am not taking a side here. I really don’t care it enough, just found it interesting after reading the string about him today.

      • Dorasaga

        I know it’s not you, John, but I don’t see why others called names on Aaron for the Milledge thing alone (maybe other things, when both sides got nasty with their choice of words).

        That fangraphs article doesn’t say if Corey should start every day or if Milledge should. From what I recall, Aaron simply mentioned Milledge as a good backup fourth or fifth outfielder. I surmise that Aaron believed that the Cubs should be a team which even its fifth outfielder is well positioned by the best choice from the free agent market.

  • John G

    Any bets on which Marmol comes in tonight?

    • John G

      Baker scores. One more run and maybe we don’t even see Marmol tonight.

    • Aaron

      the wild one

      • Aaron

        looks like I’m right

        • Aaron

          93 mph…that’s his best fastball thus far on the year with his second strike to Kotsay

          • Aaron

            in Marmol’s defense, that was strike 3 to Gomez

          • Aaron

            well….he threw 2 strike 3’s in the Gomez AB…I can’t believe how blind both umpires were, but whatever.

            It’s always going to be an adventure with Marmol this year, which is why he might lead the league in blown saves with so many 1 run games by the pathetic offense.

            Good win, nevertheless.

            Anyone else paying attention to the minor league system? All teams are off to great starts, and some top prospects are performing very well. That’s a tremendous development. Hopefully it continues.

      • John G

        Aaron, I think you’re right tonight. I have a very bad feeling right now.

        • Aaron

          thankfully for everyone, I wasn’t right….but, like I said, it’s going to be that way all year with Marmol, and more times than not, because the offense sucks, and there will be a bunch of close games, he will indeed blow a lot of games

      • John G

        You were, at first.
        Why does he do that? I swear, I’m gonna have heart attack some day when he’s on the mound.

        • paulcatanese

          John,I love it when he pitches. At my age I will take any stimulation I can get,and boy does he do the trick.

  • Baron_S

    Byrd!!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Byrd with a RBI double … what a night for Jeff Baker

  • John_CC

    It’s always a good day when the Cubs beat up on the Brewers.

  • John_CC

    Looks like we’re in for a platoon at 2B!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Brewers 7-4 Friday night. Jeff Baker 4-for-5, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI; Zambrano’s line: 4 R, 7 H, 3 BB, 5Ks in 6 IP (112 pitches)

    • paulcatanese

      Neil,great win. I picked up MLB.com from youre suggestion and believe it or not after two modems I got it connected just in time for the Baker interview. You were right, its great.

  • Baron_S

    GG nice win!

  • paulcatanese

    I believe you!!