Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 05/08/11

Game Thirty-Three: Cubs (15-17) vs. Reds (17-16)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Ryan Dempster (1-3, 8.05/1.74) vs. Johnny Cueto (0-0, -.–/-.–)

Happy Mother’s Day from the CCO!

For the sixth time this season the Cubs will go into play on a Sunday with a chance to win a series. The Cubs have not been able to close out a series with a victory on Sunday (0-5) yet this year … and until Q’s squad is able to do so they will continue to flirt with the mediocre mark.

Starlin Castro should be back in the starting lineup this afternoon following a much-needed day off. Darwin Barney might be the odd man out today. Barney could probably use a day and Quade might want to stick with Blake DeWitt for another day. DeWitt is coming off a big game and has a 3-for-10 mark in his career against Johnny Cueto.

The Reds will activate Johnny Cueto prior to this afternoon’s game. The very talented young right-hander has been on the DL since March 22 with mild inflammation in his right shoulder.

This afternoon’s game is very similar to the one that took place a year ago in Cincinnati.

On Sunday May 9, 2010, the Cubs were 14-17 and the Reds owned a 15-15 record. Ryan Dempster and the Cubs took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh. Dempster put two on ahead of Joey Votto. After a meeting on the mound, Lou Piniella left Dempster into face the Reds’ first baseman. Votto hit a three-run blast on Dempster’s first pitch and the Reds went onto post a 5-3 win. The Cubs went the wrong direction following Votto’s homer and the Reds went onto win the division.

The Cubs are 7-9 at Wrigley Field in 2011 and today it all starts with Ryan Dempster

Ryan Dempster’s season began on his seventh outing of the year. Dempster is coming off an excellent start against the Dodgers in which he allowed one run on six hits in seven innings. Dempster walked two (both in the first inning) and struck out five (three in his final inning of work). Dempster received a no decision and appeared to right the proverbial ship but will face a huge test this afternoon.

With all due respect to the Dodgers they are not the Cincinnati Reds. Dempster has struggled with the likes of the Rockies, Pirates and D’Backs and will face his biggest challenge today. Not only will Dempster have to keep the Reds off the board but he will also have to pitch better than he has at Wrigley in nearly a full season.

Ryan Dempster has not posted a win at Wrigley since August 4 of last year (Cubs are 1-6 in those seven games) … since May 9, 2010 (vs. Reds) Ryan Dempster has posted just four wins in his home park.

Dempster is 5-6 in 37 career games, 13 starts, versus the Reds with a 4.20 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP … last season Dempster was 0-2 against the Reds in two starts with a 4.73 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Ryan Dempster has not beaten Cincinnati since 2008 (2-1 in three starts with a 2.37 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.

Reds Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Jay Bruce – 1-for-8 with a double and 3 walks
  • Miguel Cairo – 1-for-8
  • Johnny Cueto – 0-for-2
  • Jonny Gomes – 1-for-4 with a double and 2 walks
  • Ryan Hanigan – 1-for-4
  • Ramon Hernandez – 6-for-12 with a double and 2 walks
  • Brandon Phillips – 3-for-21 with a home run and 2 walks
  • Edgar Renteria – 8-for-24 with 2 home runs and 4 walks
  • Drew Stubbs – 1-for-6
  • Joey Votto – 3-for-15 with 2 home runs and 2 walks

Johnny Cueto will make his first start of the season. Cueto has been on the 15-day DL since March 22 with right biceps irritation. Cueto is one of the best young pitchers in the league and the Cubs must make his work this afternoon.

Cueto can get wild from time to time. If Q’s offense can force him to throw a lot of pitches early it could pay dividends … that is if the Cubs can hit with runners in scoring position.

Johnny Cueto was 12-7 in 31 starts in 2010 with a 3.64 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.

This afternoon will be Cueto’s 11th career start against the Cubs. He is 3-5 in the first 10 with a 3.77 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP … at Wrigley, 1-3 in six starts with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. Cueto was a spectacular 1-0 in two starts versus the Cubs last season with a 0.69 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Johnny Cueto

  • Marlon Byrd – 4-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-5 with 2 walks
  • Tyler Colvin – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Ryan Dempster – 0-for-2
  • Blake DeWitt – 3-for-10
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 5-for-21 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Koyie Hill – 2-for-5 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 3-for-8 with a double
  • Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-19 with a double, 2 home runs and 4 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 8-for-23 with 3 home runs and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 6-for-22 with 3 doubles, a triple, a home run and 2 walks

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth
  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

    • Calicub

      to be clear before i start i am not a huge fan of blake dewitt. before yesterday he hadn’t proven that he was ready once more to hit at the big league level but after yesterday he might have proven that he deserves more playing time and with one of the terrible twosome out it would have been dare i say benificial to play the so called hot hand, especially when he preformed as well as he did yesterday.

      I like jeff baker but cueto isn’t a lefty…

      also i dug the way FOX compared Quade to Pinella in their handling of the Colvin situation. Just goes to prove that different manager same bu!!$h!t. (i appologize for the language). Could you imagine where this team would be with Ryno? Sure they wouldn’t be winning a championship this year but i garunteen you that the product on the field would have been in tip top shape not this lacksidasical i hope the guy behind me hits a home run so no one gets mad at me for not swinging at a perfect pitch so i could take a walk. Oh i don’t have to worry about baserunning or stringing hits, a homerun will take care of that…

      • Calicub

        wow i really butchered the spelling of guarantee didn’t i?

        • BosephHeyden

          Just remember SDK: Spelling Don’t Count

      • BosephHeyden

        I get the feeling Baker starting is more along the lines of making it up to him for not starting him back when he was hot. Of course, now DeWitt is a bit hot and we’re sitting him. With DeWitt AND Baker serving as middle infield backups, I kinda think you need to trade one of the two. They are playing pretty good right now and could really start for another team.

        Another statistic I overheard: Cubs are 4th in batting average, but 28th in runs. That isn’t coaching: that’s players doing dumb stuff mixed with a bit of bad luck.

      • paulcatanese

        Blake DeWitt does deserve to play today, and I am as you not a great fan of his. But he did look as though he is in a good streak. Let me add that with the “dynamic duo” one of them should not have to sit. Let me point out that of all the infielders the Cubs have who deserves to sit. It’s obvious, Aram, he is performing as he and Derek Lee did the first part of last year. Baker can play third, DeWitt can play third,why Barney or Castro? The explanation of Quade that Aram is his best RBI man is getting old. Granted the investment that the Cubs have in him (according to Quade) justifies playing him as he declared with Pena, but now several players have more homeruns and are catching and will soon pass him in RBI’s. Quade and JH are as you say no different than Pinella’s handling of players.

        • cubtex

          Can anyone figure out Quade’s lineup strategy? Dewitt deserves to get another start after yesterday against Cueto. Pena should bat 5th today. Pena has 3 HR’s in 4 games. He should ride him while he is hot. He should have done that with Soriano in April as well I would have liked to see Pena 5th Soriano 6th and DeWitt 7th and sit Baker.

          • paulcatanese

            It seems that Quade has one and only one spot in the lineup that is not going to change and that is the number four hitter Aram. The rest of the lineup is just a whim with Quade,as to how can we hide the four guy and still win some games.Absolutly agree with what you are saying, he (I hope not ) has wasted Soriono’s hot streak and now Pena’s, and as you say DeWitt. I hate to get on Aram for not performing, but at this point he deserves it. Done the same with Pena,Baker and DeWitt , but when they produced, I admitted it and ate crow,I would do the same with Aram,but until he does,well.

          • Calicub

            ARAm will realize come August that he is in a contract year and start producing like he did last year. I cannot wait until he is off this team. HE is a snide lazy player who only thinks about himself.

            Is it sad that i would be alright with Colvin playing 3rd base now too? I don’t care if his defense isn’t great I would much rather have him in the line up working on his game than ARAM taking up space. He had his fun in the sun but he’s past his prime, hell he’s a couple of years past the past of his prime.

            The only thing i can hope for at this point is that he’ll continue to slouch off until Quade is forced to bench him. Because if that doesn’t happen ARAM is going to reach 155 games hey and at this rate he might hit what ten HRs?

  • studio179

    Quade has Castro in the spot I prefer him in the order. Just for today, since Barney is off, no doubt. I can handle Castro leading off, though I do not prefer that move. Keep him batting 2nd. Just so long as Castro is not in the 3 hole.

  • cubtex

    I have been saying this for weeks…but the Cubs really need to send Colvin down to AAA now! Pena and Fukodome are hitting better than Colvin and deserve to play over him. He is hitting in the .120’s. Send him down to get some consistent at bats. I personally would like to see them bring up someone who can run and steal a base late in a game. I know Perez is doing brutal in AAA but in my opinion he would be more valuable to the Cubs bench than Colvin currently is. Perez could be used to pinch run to steal a base in the late innings to help manufacture a run to either tie or win a game.

    • The Maven

      Sorry cubtex, but Fernando Perez needs to be released, period! All he is doing right now is taking up a spot on the 40-man roster.

      • cubtex

        You are not undertanding my point. I am not saying Perez is a great player but I am saying a speed type like Perez would be more valuable than Colvin is on the bench these days.

  • paulcatanese

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and know there will be flack. The only reason that Aram is batting fourth on this team is to instill a trade scenerio. They will not re-sign him so the only option is that he gets hot and they can move him soon. Then I would move Castro to third,yes to third. I’m getting a little tired of the Cubs trying to force feed him at SS. True he is a hitter and has a lot of hype in his favor to stay at short. But in reality I do not hink the errors there will diminish, as he is way too agressive and actually gets in the way in situations,case in point, if he could he would take pop ups meant for the catcher he would do it. Barney is a more polished SS and would do well there to solidify the infield. Alternate Baker and DeWitt at 2b and you have an infield that will make plays. Castro is so quick and has such great hands that he would be a natural there. There,I said it and await the critisicm.

    • The Maven

      I agree Paul. I have always said that I think Castro’s future is at third base.

      • paulcatanese

        Thank you,thank you,I expected guided missles heading my way after that post.

        • Wickitkevin

          I agree also, which is why trading Hak Ju Lee upset me so much.

          • GrantJones7

            Iv said it since day 1 of the trade, Hak Ju Lee will be a star SS. Just look at his stats this year!

  • Neil

    Good job by Dempster (with a little help from Bob Davidson) getting out of the first without allowing a run

  • Neil

    Nothing to show for it but I like their approach against Cueto today

  • Neil

    Cubs 1-for-3 first three innings with RISP, only hit an infield single by Byrd did not produce a run … 4 LOB already

  • RynoTiger

    maybe it’s me, but I haven’t seen any killer instinct with ARAM at the plate..his swings seems slow, lazy and without much energy…he’s no longer a cleanup hitter…which means the Cubs have no clean up hitter…

    • paulcatanese

      It’s not just you, I think a lot of people feel the same way about him. Today,bases loaded and what happened?,Typical for him this year.
      Only good thing about today so far is the Cubs have Votto talking to himself.
      Couldn’t happen to a better choice, the guys a jerk.

  • John_CC

    Wow Miguel Cairo looks old.

  • Baron_S

    they have totally messed up Castro playing musical chairs with his batting position

  • Wickitkevin

    Why aren’t Castro taking until he got a strike?

    • carmelo

      Notice how most of his outs are now ground balls to 3rd—-out in front of pitches, rolling over—-needs to wait on the pitches longer and go the other way. Easy to say, hard to do.

      • paulcatanese

        You are right on the money,good observation.It needs to happen or Castro won’t happen.

  • paulcatanese

    Positives today.
    Dempster looked good.
    The Shark looked good.
    And th,th,th,thats all folks.

    • studio179

      I agree with your positives on today’s game.

  • Neil

    Cubs shutout by the Reds Sunday afternoon 2-0. Cubs 0-6 on Sunday this season

  • paulcatanese

    Right now I think Castro is snake bit. He is trying much too hard to make something happen and is mired in a slump. I don’t pretend to know what the cure could be other than try to go to right field or bunt. Anything to get him to hit the ball up the middle. He is trying to pull everything,and seems to not want to take a walk at all.

  • paulcatanese

    Byrd in the three spot, Aram in the four spot,slightly reminisant of last year.
    Lee in the three spot and Aram in the four spot. Are memories so short?
    What does it take to realize these two are not doing the job?,at least not in the spots they are in. What do they have as far as their power for the year? Thats a pretty important part of the lineup to go bellyup every day,splits the whole order.

  • GrantJones7

    Justin Bristow retired. I think the injury caused it, but just saw it as the Peoria Cheifs FB update, goodluck to him.