Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Dodgers – 05/04/11

Game Thirty: Cubs (13-16) vs. Dodgers (15-16)
Game Time – 2:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 189
Location – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles

Carlos Zambrano (3-1, 4.91/1.28) vs. Ted Lilly (2-2, 4.45/1.45)

Can Q’s squad close out a series with a win behind Carlos Zambrano? The Cubs have a chance to win a road series this afternoon and finish a seven-game West Coast swing with a winning record … and all they have to do is beat Ted Lilly and the Dodgers.

The Cubs have not fared well closing out series this season. The Cubs are just 1-8 in the last games of series and must find a way to close out series with victories.

After today’s game, the Cubs are done with the Dodgers for the 2011 campaign. Don Mattingly’s team took two of three from the Cubs at Wrigley and it would be nice to see Q’s squad return the favor. The Cubs are 2-3 versus the Dodgers this season … and 3-3 on the seven-game trip with one left to go.

News and Notes
Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner will throw off a mound for the second time Wednesday morning. The Cubs are hopeful both Wells and Cashner will return at some point in late May. Both pitchers could throw a simulated game early next week if all goes as planned.

Mike Quade is hoping to have Jeff Baker back in the starting lineup this afternoon. Baker has been sidelined with a sore left shoulder since Saturday. With Ted Lilly on the mound, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney should be back at the top of the lineup … that is if Quade does not decided to give Castro a breather.

The Cubs need another quality start from Z this afternoon … and today it all begins with Carlos Zambrano.

Carlos Zambrano is coming off his third win of the season, a solid six-inning performance against the D’Backs. Z held Arizona to two runs on four hits but issued three walks and struck out only two.

Big Z faced the Dodgers during the series at Wrigley and lost his first game since last August. The Dodgers scored five runs in the first inning and ended up putting a six-spot on the board in five innings. The Dodgers came out swinging and hopefully Z will remember and make adjustments this afternoon.

Zambrano is 2-4 in 13 career games, nine starts, against the Dodgers with a 4.31 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP … at Dodger Stadium, 2-1 in seven games, five starts, with a 2.37 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.

Dodgers Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano

  • Rod Barajas – 0-for-4
  • Jamey Carroll – 1-for-8 with a double
  • Andre Ethier – 7-for-16 with a double and a walk
  • Jay Gibbons – 1-for-1
  • Tony Gwynn, Jr. – 5-for-12 with a double and a walk
  • Matt Kemp – 5-for-9 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • James Loney – 4-for-13 with a walk
  • Aaron Miles – 10-for-34 with a double, a triple and 2 walks
  • Jerry Sands – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Juan Uribe – 6-for-28 with a double, a home run and 2 walks

The Cubs will face Ted Lilly for the second time and must use the same approach they did against ‘The Bulldog‘ when they faced him at Wrigley. The Cubs pounded out 11 hits and scored five runs in 4 1/3 innings on Lilly back on April 23. They knocked out Lilly before Dempster imploded and started serving up longballs. The Cubs offense made Lilly work and simply beat him at his own game.

Lilly is much better at Dodger Stadium than on the road (2-1 in three starts with a 2.55 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP) but the Cubs must not swing at his pitch.

Theodore is coming off a win against the Padres in which he allowed one run on five hits in six innings of work.

Cubs Career Numbers against Ted Lilly

  • Jeff Baker – 4-for-9 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Darwin Barney – 3-for-3 with a double
  • Marlon Byrd – 7-for-14 with a double
  • Starlin Castro – 3-for-3 with a double
  • Blake DeWitt – 0-for-3
  • Reed Johnson – 3-for-7 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-5 with a double
  • Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-2
  • Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-12 with a double, a triple and 5 walks
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-1 with a walk

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow." - Plato
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

  • paulcatanese

    What is the problem with Quade? He moves people around in the lineup whoever they are with the exception of Aram,a non-hustle guy with a bad swing right now and has no clue about contact and has not produced any long balls with any consistancy. While Byrd has had a few hits,admitadly he hits ground balls with frequency, and that negates what Castro and Barney do in front of him, DP and then a K and the inning is over. How many times does that have to happen before Quade has a clue. Or is JH dictating the lineup like with Russell?

    • paulcatanese

      Mixed emotions about Lilly today, and I am sure he feels the same way,I know he is a pro,but I just can’t help feeling that he really dosent want to beat the Cubs. DeWitt the opposite,he relishes playing against the team that traded him, and would again be a good pinch hitter choice today.One more thing if Johnson somehow is involved today and he gets on,someone give a map and instructions how to run the bases. He’s 0 for 2 in poor decisions out there. Too bad as he is hitting the ball right now.

    • studio179

      Mike (Lou) Quade moves the lineup daily. Byrd in the three hole? Soriano and Pena back to back? Although, I got a feeling Sori goes deep today.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Reed Johnson just KILLS Ted Lilly. SO why is he on the bench?

    It puzzles me.

    • Cloycub13

      There ya go Rip… Johnson in right and Baker at fist. That works for me too.
      Then it would be
      Castro
      Barney
      Soriano
      Aram
      Soto
      Baker
      Johnson
      Byrd

      Seems like a good lineup vs. a lefty.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Paul Sullivan:

    Cashner and Wells going to Arizona to continue rehab

  • Cloycub13

    Hey Mike is it really freaking that hard????????????
    Castro
    Barney
    Soriano
    Ramirez
    Soto
    Baker
    Pena
    Byrd
    Zambrano

    Come on man!!!!!!!!

    • Cloycub13

      Aaaaaaaand….Baker in Right??????? Pena at first against a lefty?? How about Colvin in right (I know he is a lefty but has some success off of them, especially in the HR category on occasion) and Baker at 1B.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Dodgers Ethier scratched. Sore left elbow.

  • John_CC

    Let’s see if Big Z can get some momentum. This will be a fun one, Z vs. Lilly.

    I’ve read here more than once, and made the remark myself, that Byrd might be the worst (most out of place) #3 hitter in baseball. Last night Mike Fontenot hit in the 3 hole for the Giants, pretty bad, and Placido Polanco for the Phillies – now granted Polanco is a great hitter for average I wouldn’t call him a 3 hitter either.

    Why not get Soto and Soriano is batting slots with more chance of producing runs? WHY? I’ll stop asking now, it’s futile.

  • GaryLeeT

    Luckily for the Cubs, the Dodgers are equally disinterested in playing this game.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Soriano does not run …

    • Cloycub13

      Dang it Sori… we are really REALLY trying to root for you this season… Stupid lazy stuff like that does not help!!!!

      • Cloycub13

        OK so I just saw the replay on this Highlight thing for MLB.com…. I am assuming you were referring to Gwynn gunning him down as he trys to tag from first…. Remove the Lazy part from my post. Still stupid!

  • Brentcarmona

    Brenly – ‘soriano doggin it along the first base line, unacceptable’. Probably true he had a good chamce for a double but funny to hear him rip sori

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Speechless …

    • PleaseStopLosing

      So Fonzy dogs it to first and doesn’t get the double… then tries to make up for it tagging up to reach 2nd on a fly ball and gets thrown out…

      God DAMN IT!!! I can’t stand to see someone paid so much to be so stupid and lazy.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soto with a homer …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Pena with another one … second in two games.

  • GaryLeeT

    Here’s the main reason the Cubs are not scoring runs. The clean-up hitter is not cleaning up. Ramirez with 1 multi-hit game, and 5 RBIs in his last 17.

  • Last_ginger

    Now if Byrd could do that more often then I wouldnt mind him in 3 spot

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Marlon Byrd with first HR of season, a 3-run shot off Ted Lilly in the sixth. Cubs third HR of game.

  • Nathan

    Finally bryd hits a big fly :)

  • Last_ginger

    The wheels have fallen off poor Teddy.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Dodgers 5-1 Wed. afternoon. Zambrano’s line: 1R, 5H, 4Ks, BB in 8 IP; All 5 Cubs runs on HRs from Soto, Pena, Byrd

  • Muddleglum

    Whats with the red line on the uniforms? Never seen that before.

    • GaryLeeT

      Those were retro uniforms, but I am not exactly sure what year they were used in. I am thinking it was in the 30′s

      • Muddleglum

        Thanks, I like these retro uniform days! I thought I have seen all the old uniforms before though.. I guess I missed one heh.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        The uniforms were from 1944

  • Aaron

    Neil,

    Great win for the Cubs, but did you notice a huge problem in the game?

    The Cubs had 9 hits and 3 walks for a total of 12 baserunners, and scored just 5 runs. They were 1-3 with RISP, and ALL of their runs came from the long ball.

    The runs are going to continue to be very scarce, unless they figure out how to move runners along, get them into scoring position, and then get some big hits with RISP.

    ARAM is absolutely the key to this lineup. With Barney and Castro at the top of the lineup, getting on base as they have been all year, ARAM should already be close to 30 RBI. As it stands right now, he’s at 11 RBI. And while Byrd hit a bomb today with 3 RBI, he is NOT a 3 hole hitter.

    So, the Cubs need to get ARAM going and someone like Colvin needs to step up in the 3 hole, and then we can start talking about Project .500 (which is still a longshot).

    But my point is this…Castro, Barney, Soto, and Byrd will be just fine. Castro and Barney need to remain at the top, and Byrd needs to vacate the 3 hole, or step up his production SIGNIFICANTLY (not likely to happen, but he’s still a decent hitter that’ll get you around a .285+avg). Pena and Soriano could tank it the rest of the year, and the Cubs would still be able to hover around .500, provided ARAM returns to career norms. However, if Pena and Soriano tank it, and ARAM doesn’t pick up the slack, then it’s going to be an even longer year than it already is. Hopefully that makes sense to everyone. I’m not trying to poo poo their performance today, just stating the obvious

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Aaron, the lack of hitting with runners in scoring position has been concerning since the 2007 season … but has gotten worse this year. The roster is not built with players that will grind out at bats and make pitchers work.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R65T7II7FYX7HGQW2XLHDDWJRQ Agustin

        I posted some of what you say here without reading your post…haha

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R65T7II7FYX7HGQW2XLHDDWJRQ Agustin

      I don’t think that is totally accurate Aaron, on the contrary, I think this team should be able to hover around .500 based solely on the long ball. Even though they have not hit that many so far, they certainly have people that can hit for power and there are plenty of guys here that have 20+HR proven potential and it will show at the end of the year. Guys like Peña, Aramis, Colvin, Byrd, Soto, Soriano….They all have done it at some point, so it should not come as a surprise when a respectable amount of hr mount up and the final total does not look that bad compared to top teams. Is it a good thing? Not really because the point you bring up is key…This team is awful with RISP, they where just as awful last year and they will continue to be like that until the culture changes. Runs are hard to manufacture with this current structure….because unlike Castro, Barney and Aramis [when he is right]…these guys are all or nothing. And nothing is what we usually get in the clutch. OBP and OPS man, these guys just cant take a pitch. They are sick hackers and can’t control or help it. That is why I like Fukudome[even though he sucks] and Barney because they are patient and make the pitcher work. I bet 9 Fukudomes make a winner…Castro makes them work too but fouling pitches while hacking. I think this team has a real chance of being very good next year with Barney at 2nd, Castro SS, Colvin RF, JJackson CF SorianoLF-BakerUtility , SotoC, Vitters 3b and Pujols1B :)

      Back to reality- Ofcourse Jim Hendry had no clue what he drew up when he thought about this team,Granted, but whatever he thought had more to do with the long ball than with playing sound baseball and manufacturing runs. Thats why he gave a contract to Peña when he already had a Peña in Soriano and why they thought initially of Colvin as the main L Fielder before stranding him in that bench. Our biggest problem is that we have 6 players that are terribly inconsistent in the lineup every day…all or nothing guys with high strike out ratios that embody the real definition of UN CLUTCH.
      Luckily Barney forced himself to team this year and Castro did the same last year denying JH of a chance of leaving them out! Maybe next year Vitters and Jackson can do the same and it might lead us to something with some of the big contracts coming off the books.

  • Mitch#10HOF

    If I were in charge of the lineup this is how I would do it.

    1st Alfonso Soriano
    Darwin Barney
    Geovany Soto
    Starlin Castro
    Carlos Pena
    Pitcher
    Fuku/Colvin
    Byrd
    Rameriz

    1st probaly basehit
    2nd advance base runner
    3rd probaly out
    And start over again

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Chiefs turned a Triple Play to escape the 7th. Soto to LePage to Jones. 2nd in O’Brien Field history