Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 05/10/11

Game Thirty-Four: Cubs (15-18) vs. Cardinals (20-15)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 89
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Carlos Zambrano (4-1, 4.23/1.19) vs. Chris Carpenter (0-2, 4.19/1.35)

It’s the first meeting of the year between the Cubs and Cardinals … and this series will have a little extra twist to it. Not only will Albert Pujols have to answer a ton of questions about his future in St. Louis … but a certain former shortstop will make his return to Wrigley Field.

Ryan Theriot made headlines in the off-season when he was traded to the Dodgers to the Cardinals. Theriot stated he is now on the right side of the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry. Theriot has since explained his comments were taken out of context. The Cubs must focus on winning games and not allowing the likes of Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman hit the ball all over Wrigley Field.

The Cardinals are in first place and have won 20 games without Chris Carpenter posting a single victory. In fact the Redbirds are just 1-6 in Carpenter’s seven starts. The Cubs showed they can beat Carpenter last season … but if Q’s squad continues to struggle with runners in scoring position (4-for-24 with RISP and 25 left on base in the Reds series), Carpenter will post his first win of the year tonight.

One of the two teams in the central the Cubs had a winning record against last season was the Cardinals. The Cubs won nine of the 15 meetings and if they want to stick around in the division this season they will have to post a similar record against their long-time rival.

Tonight it all begins with Carlos Zambrano

Carlos Zambrano has posted a victory in back-to-back starts and is coming off an impressive outing against the Dodgers. Big Z held the Andre Ethier-less Dodgers to one run on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts in eight innings. Z was efficient and threw strikes, his lone free pass was not issued until the eighth. While Z has been very good this season, the most impressive stat is the Cubs’ record when Z has taken the ball … the Cubs are 6-1 in his seven starts this season.

Z needs to improve on his outings at Wrigley. Tonight will be his fourth of the season and he’s 0-1 with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.

Carlos Zambrano is 12-6 in his career against the Cardinals. In 29 career games, 26 starts, Z owns a 3.42 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP versus the Redbirds … last season, 2-0 in four games, two starts, with a 2.03 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. Mike Quade will need a similar performance tonight from Zambrano in order to start the series on a positive note.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano

  • Lance Berkman – 11-for-70 with 4 home runs and 15 walks
  • Chris Carpenter – 0-for-15
  • Matt Holliday – 4-for-19 with a triple and 4 walks
  • Jon Jay – 2-for-3
  • Gerald Laird – 0-for-3
  • Yadier Molina – 7-for-35 with a home run and 3 walks
  • Albert Pujols – 18-for-66 with 5 doubles, 5 home runs and 10 walks
  • Colby Rasmus – 3-for-12 with a double and a walk

Chris Carpenter has struggled this season … but he’s still Chris Carpenter and he will get a break tonight facing the Cubs’ offense. Carpenter has been tagged with double digit hits in his last two outings (Braves and Marlins, 10 hits) and has given up nine runs, seven earned, on 20 hits with five walks and seven strikeouts in his last 13 innings (4.84 ERA, 1.92 WHIP). The Cubs must wait him out tonight and get into the Cardinals’ pen as early as possible. The Cardinals are an excellent team with a bad bullpen … and a questionable defense.

Carpenter has struggled on the road this season … 0-1 in three starts with a 5.50 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP.

Tonight will be Chris Carpenter’s 23rd career start versus the Cubs. He is 10-6 in the first 22 with a 3.10 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP … at Wrigley, 7-3 in 13 starts with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.

After years of dominating the Cubs, Carpenter posted a 1-3 record in five starts versus Chicago last season with a 4.20 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Chris Carpenter

  • Jeff Baker – 1-for-4
  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 8-for-22 with a double
  • Starlin Castro – 3-for-11 with a double and a walk
  • Tyler Colvin – 3-for-11 with 2 home runs
  • Blake DeWitt – 3-for-13 with 3 doubles
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-17 with 4 walks
  • Koyie Hill – 3-for-10 with 2 doubles
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-7
  • Aramis Ramirez – 20-for-60 with 5 doubles, 2 home runs and 2 outs
  • Alfonso Soriano – 14-for-42 with a double, 2 home runs and 3 walks
  • Geovany Soto – 3-for-12 with a walk
  • Carlos Zambrano – 7-for-14 with a double

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him." - David Brinkley
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

  • Ripsnorter1

    Idontgetit. You have an All-Star shortstop, and you want to jerk him around the lineup, batting #2, #1, #3, and now, #7.

    WAITAMINUTE! I do get it! It’s Mike Quade that’s writing out the lineup card!

    PROBLEM SOLVED!

  • xaxinho

    Castro batting 7th? That is great for the kids morale

    • Jeffdobbs

      I like this move.if a player is struggling at the plate move them down.

      • John_CC

        Come on Jeff, every little slump and a guy gets bumped out of his spot in the order? He had been the best hitter on the team and is going through his first slump of the year (arguably due to the pressure put on him by putting him in the 3 hole, right in front of the clean up hitter that can’t drive in a run).

        It’s a bad move.

        • Bill

          Don’t forget this is the same manager who has sent Russell out to start 5 or 6 times. It was bad enough he was just terrible, but he couldn’t even give us innings but ole Mike kept sending him out like he was the next CC Sabbathia.

          • Mitch#10HOF

            It was pretty obvious that Jim henry was calling that, mike quad even said that he was better suted as a loggy reliever… after like his third start.. And who knows maybe Jim Clueless is more in charge of this team than we know!

      • paulcatanese

        You make a good point, ever heard of Ramirez? Mr.no RBI? It’s easy to move Castro around,young player dosen’t want to make waves,why not? Quade jumps on this kid every chance he gets, I would imagine Castro better be developing a thick skin. Bad move unless Quade had backed it up with a couple of other moves, one that never seems to be made.

  • shawng81

    So why is Ramirez still in the clean up position then? Leave the Kid in one spot..

  • paulcatanese

    Couldn’t leave this one alone. Cashner and Wells are throwing live batting practice to the Cub hitters? Thats all we need, two over confident pitchers.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another stupid play by the Cubs … Pujols loves to take advantage of Soriano

    • Aaron

      That’s because Soriano is one of the dumbest players in the league, signed by one of the dumbest GM’s of the league

      • Aaron

        funny, because every other GM seems to love taking advantage of Hendry too….Coincidence?

  • Aaron

    Pujols just schooled the Cubs….especially Soriano…..LMAO…so, that’s what it’s like watching a veteran play all-out. How refreshing, isn’t it?

  • GaryLeeT

    Not just because the way the game is starting, but I feel the Cards are going to deliver a 3 game beat down to the Cubs. The talent level is just so mismatched, I don’t see how it can turn out any other way. The Cubs don’t have anybody on the level of a Berkman or Holliday, let alone a Pujols.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good job by Zambrano getting out of that jam

    • GaryLeeT

      Or bad job for getting into it?

  • Aaron

    Byrd GIDP…Anyone for that bet?

    • Aaron

      someone would’ve won some money…LOL

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good job by Aramis with the bases loaded

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soto out, will update. Looked like a groin to me …

  • GaryLeeT

    If your worst hitter hits 9th, why is Hill hitting in front of Z? Another boneheaded Quade move.

    • carmelo

      Have a glue—-he’s pinch hitting for Soto—this board is so negative.

      • GaryLeeT

        Like Super Glue? It’s in the junk drawer. So I am splitting time with the Bulls, and missed the injury, what’s the big deal?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Gary, Soto was in the original lineup. Left after the top of the first with a left groin strain

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soto left after the top of the first with a left groin strain

  • Aaron

    Davis not looking very good in his AAA start tonight. So far tonight, he’s pitched 2 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 0 walks, 2 K’s.

    In other news…Simpson might’ve gone down with injury. Neil, can you confirm this somehow? The reason I say this, is he only pitched 1 IP, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 1 K

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Aaron, have not heard anything yet. Will check.

    • Jim_Tinley_Park

      He was traded for James Shields. LOL

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Aaron, nothing official yet. Still waiting …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    With Soto out, Castro is not going to get anything to hit

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      So I was wrong …

    • Aaron

      I don’t know what it is about Castro, but for a young, athletic guy with above average speed, he sure grounds into a TON of double plays. I wonder if he’s bad at getting out of the box. You wouldn’t think so with the hustle triples he’s had the past 2 years, but I don’t know…it just seems like he’s been grounding into a lot of double plays of late

  • studio179

    Wonderful, Soriano falls, run scores!

  • Aaron

    wow…..LOL….nothing surprises me anymore

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Just pathetic …

  • studio179

    Line drive back to Carp. Hill can’t buy a hit.

  • Aaron

    Neil,

    I know this is a bit rhetorical, but how long can the Cubs afford to have Soriano on this team? He can only play LF. He can’t play 2B for sure. I guess the only other option would be if they lose out on both Pujols and Fielder this offseason, and would look to move him to 1B, otherwise, they’d have to trade him somehow…some way to the AL, so he can be a DH where he belongs

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Aaron, he’s not going anywhere with that contract. No way he goes to first that would be beyond horrible.

      • Aaron

        well, then it’s time for the Cubs to nut up, and put him on the bench then. Shame him into retirement….(sighs…if only that could happen) But seriously, after this year, I’d just DFA him. Yes, paying a guy nearly $60 million to stay home isn’t a great thought…but he’s hurting the team badly, and his run production doesn’t even come close to making up for him.

        Plus, as we’ve seen now, despite his 11 hr, he has only 21 RBI, and he’s in another funk….YAY!!!

        • Aaron

          and….Soriano swings blindly at another pitch in the dirt outside….Incredible to watch, isn’t it?

    • Ripsnorter1

      Aaron,

      The Cubs will bench Starlin Castro before they bench, DFA or cut the playing time of Alfonso Soriano. They just ain’t a goin’ throw $60 million into the sewer. The fans would be outraged and calling for Jim Clueless’ head for being so dumb as to sign him for that contract.

      Jackson can rot in the minors, for all they care, before he takes the place of any multi-millionaire ball player: Soriano, Byrd, Funko. FORGETABOUTIT.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Carlos Zambrano with the Cubs eighth hit … all singles. With one out in the 4th, Cubs have had 10 baserunners

  • Aaron

    well….it was a game in the bottom of the 1st when they had Carpenter on the ropes….Now….game is over….So typical of this team

  • studio179

    Carpenter looks settled in now.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Welington Castillo pulled for a pinch hitter after one at bat … timeframe appears to be right around the time Soto left.

    • Aaron

      very interesting

    • studio179

      Safe to say Castillo will back up Hill. Meaning Hill’s presence in the line up daily makes the line up that much weaker.

  • studio179

    Sori can make up by going big fly right here…

    • studio179

      Or not.

  • Aaron

    I would like to take this moment to point out that 2 of the Card’s 3 runs came with Koyie Hill behind the plate, proving yet again how worthless he is

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      that is kind of a stretch isn’t it ? There is enough to be down on Koyie Hill you should stick to all the stuff he can control.

      • Aaron

        ummmmm…you were saying?….

        • Aaron

          Hill can’t even catch the damn ball…that was a tailor-made, bang bang play at the plate if I’ve ever seen one

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

        ok you can blame that one on Koyie Hill.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Doug Davis allowed 2 runs on 4 hits without a walk, 5 strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings for the Iowa Cubs.Davis threw 59 pitches, 41 strikes

  • Jim_Tinley_Park

    hill blows!

  • GaryLeeT

    Decisions decisions. Do I watch the Bulls choke away a 15 point lead, the game, and the series? Or watch the Cubs be humiliated at home against their biggest rival?

    • Aaron

      I find the Bulls to be more interesting…..wondering how the refs are going to rig the game is more interesting than watching the Scrubbies ineptitude….at least the Bulls play hard. They can’t call the obvious fouls though

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    I’m really surprised they pitched to Castro. Good job getting the run in …

    • Aaron

      indeed….surprised the hell out of me that they tied this game

  • GaryLeeT

    Well, at least one Chicago team is rising to the occasion.

  • garrett

    Just checked the Peoria Chief box score does anyone know why Haden Simpson only pitched one inning?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Still waiting for official word …

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

    AAAAAACK when did they switch out Berkman

  • GaryLeeT

    I look at the Cub’s box score, see zero errors, and I have to laugh.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Reports from the I-Cubs state Welington Castillo was pulled due to events in Chicago

  • Ripsnorter1

    In other action . . . .
    John Danks getting racked in LAA. 2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER. Dunn striking out–again. Fuld–0-3, 1 k

    Pirates lost, bringing them back down to .500. CF McCutchen hit 2 HR’s though, giving him 7, more than Aram, Pena, Castro, Barney, Byrd and Funko put together.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Brewers Marcum must be hurt. He gave up 5 runs to the N.I.V. Padres. THE N.I.V. PADRES!!!!!

    Still, the Brewers are winning and should win the game.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Paul got on “Mr. No RBIs” enough that he came through tonight for 2. Still, 13 singles and ZERO extra base hits. We had a bunch of millionaire singles hitters with absolutely no speed at all.

    • paulcatanese

      What was it someone had said earlier,even a blind squirrel can find nuts? Aram has had many an opportunity and has not come thru, so I dont base much on what he did tonight. If he gets it going because I get on him, then he’s going to have one heck of a year.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Two outs and Pena up. Game over. Good night

  • GaryLeeT

    I like how Quade moved Soriano to the 5th spot, after he cooled off. Brilliant!

  • Anonymous47701

    2012 Lineup Idea

    Castro-SS
    Barney-2B
    Perez-RF
    Colvin-1B
    Soto-C
    Byrd-CF
    Soriano-LF
    DeWitt-3B
    Pitcher

    Bench

    Baker-2B,1B,3B
    Camp-2B,SS
    Castillo-C
    B.Jackson-LF,CF
    B.Snyder-RF

    • Jmill76

      no offense, but that lineup is worse than what we have now….who is Perez ?

      • Anonymous47701

        That would be Switch-Hitting Outfielder Fernando Perez. I Put him in this line-up because he has speed and can hit from both sides of home plate, unlike Back-up Catcher Koyie Hill, who can’t hit nothing but air!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost to Cardinals 6-4 Tuesday night. Carlos Zambrano’s line:
    4 R, 8 H,2 BB, 3 K in 7 IP. Cubs 13 hits, all singles; 3-for-9 w/ RISP,11 LOB

  • diehardcubfan

    We have all run out of adjectives to describe the poor play of this team. 13 hits and could only manage 4 runs. Again, poor execution.

    If Soto is going to be hurt for a prolonged period time to bring up Wellington Castillo. I can not stomach anymore of Koyie Hill. He is not the answer and his intangibles are not helping this team.

    It is also time to cut ties with Soriano and move on. This team is not going to win with him.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Better get ready … going to get a heavy dose of Koyie Hill. As I mentioned, Welington Castillo was pulled early. It appears he will back up Hill. Nothing official yet.

      Soto will have a MRI in the morning.

      • Aaron

        Wow!!!!!!

        Neil, this team is getting real hard to support the last few years….especially the last 2 years. Between Hendry, Piniella (when he was still here), and Quade, I don’t think they’ve made a single right call at all the last 2 years.

        We have several problems with this team:
        1) Russell was a LOOGY at best, and yet both Quade and Hendry relied on him to make 5 starts. He got absolutely lit up in each one of those, and they kept going with him. What was more indicting, was Quade’s own words, in which he said Russell is best suited for a situational role in the pen.

        2) Hill made the team, despite nearly going 0-fer during Spring Training, having trouble throwing out runners during Spring Training, continuing his poor defensive play dating back to 2010, and Max Ramirez and Welington Castillo, and even Clevenger, all were tearing it up during Cactus League play. The decision to go with Hill was indefensible then, and it continues to be so now

        3) Soriano is a DH, playing a vital role on the team. Ironically, he was supposedly 100% healthy last year, and was still dreadful last year in the field. I can’t tell you how many plays he’s botched already this year, including Spring Training, but I know I don’t have enough fingers to count that, I can tell you that much. But the square peg, round hole thing continues…

        4) Byrd, at this point is a corner OF with average speed, playing a HUGE role on the team as the CF. He simply can’t catch up to balls hit in the gaps anymore, and they’re falling for base hits, often extra bases.

        5) Johnson barely hit during Spring Training, and looked terrible to start the season. He started hitting of late, but has recently cooled off a bit, which brings me to the next guy…

        6) DeWitt (see everything I just said above), plus, he is a below average defender at 2B and 3B even, which is supposedly his best position. I guess the Cubs don’t understand that you must have guys that can either rake off the bench, or play defense, and DeWitt can do neither at this point.

        I have no idea what the Ricketts are waiting for watching this garbage. What more are they looking for? A team like this simply CANNOT turn things around, and I’d be the first person to eat crow if it happened, but as Hendry likes to reference, they just don’t pass the eyeball test.

        NO speed
        NO clutch hitting
        NO defense

        In my book, that leads to being shut out of the playoffs, and perhaps having the worst record in the league.

        The Cubs could easily turn around their defense by cutting ties altogether with the likes of Soriano, Byrd, Fukudome, DeWitt, and Hill, by simply replacing them with the likes of:
        B. Jackson, Campana, Spencer, LeMahieu, and Castillo or Clevenger

        • Anonymous47701

          I agree, this team has got almost zero speed outside of Castro and Barney, I mean you have to wonder why the h**l can’t Jim Hendry get that through his head, until he gets players who can actually steal bases, hit in the clutch, and play fundamentally sound defense they do not deserve to be contenders for the NL Central, let alone The NL Pennant and World Series.

  • paulcatanese

    The Cardinals gave the Cubs a good lesson on running the bases tonight. Love the way their trail runner follows the lead when throws are not cut-off. The pulled that off a couple of times. Where are the Quade fundementals? There was no cutoff on pujols first to third by Castro and the runner went to second and later scored. the short fly to Fuko, no one cut the ball off and a runner ends up on second .I fault no one for a physical error but the mental ones, no way.

  • paulcatanese

    I expected no more than what happend tonight. The Cubs hit the ball like a commuter train, station to station. Thirteen hits all singles? One would think that one or two would find the gap or hug the line,but no not a chance. Against the speed in the outfield that the Cardinals have I would expect more. Pena had a decent night but still all singles as well as Aram. Barney its expected that he hits singles. He makes up for it on the bases. the Cubs would have one less hit if Berkman could run a little(actually was more the second basemans ball) The one thrill that was an eyelash away was the ball Soriono hit to third,a good throw to second would have allowed the relay to first for a triple play. I wouldnt put that past the Cubs,they seem to find a million different ways to lose.

  • Cheryl

    It’s almost easier to not follow them. Has their play had any affect on attendance? It must for the Ricketts to lower bee prices. Has any sports writer directly asked Hendry, How would you evaluate the quality of this team?