Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 05/17/11

Game Forty: Cubs (17-22) vs. Reds (24-17)
Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Matt Garza (2-4, 4.17/1.35) vs. Edinson Volquez (3-1, 5.74/1.65)

Updated – 3:29pm CDT – Cubs selected Tony Campana from Triple-A Iowa, added to 40-man roster and called up from Triple-A Iowa. Cubs optioned Marcos Mateo to Triple-A Iowa and recalled Scott Maine from Triple-A Iowa

Weather permitting … Following Monday night’s embarrassing loss, Keith Moreland stated that tonight is a very important game for the Chicago Cubs … and is the biggest start to this point for Matt Garza in a Cubs’ uniform. Q’s squad enters play tonight a season-low five games under .500 and much closer to the bottom of the central than the top.

The Cubs reach the 40-game mark of the season tonight and the only thing consistent about the Cubs is inconsistency. If they pitch well enough to win, they don’t hit with runners in scoring position … or vise versa.

The 2011 version of the Chicago Cubs have not been over .500 since April 20 and own a 8-14 record since they were last over the mediocre mark. Q’s squad has not won more than two games in a row all season and unless something changes, their longest losing streak will come at some point during this road trip.

Mike Quade held a closed door meeting with his team following Monday’s loss. Quade was reportedly very angry with his team’s performance. The big question becomes, did any of the players listen and will the play on the field improve … or did they respond with the same lackadaisical attitude they seemingly take the field with day in and day out?

Tonight it all starts with Matt Garza

Matt Garza is coming off his first win at Wrigley in an 11-4 pounding of the Cardinals. Garza gave up just one run in five innings of work in a game that featured a 53-minute rain delay. Garza struck out seven and walked three but was lifted soon after he qualified for the win.

Garza will make his fourth road start of the season and his first at Great American Ball Park. Garza is 1-2 in three outings outside of Wrigley with a 5.95 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.

Matt Garza will get his second shot at Edinson Volquez and the Cincinnati Reds. Volquez beat Garza back on May 6 because of two big mistakes by Garza and the Cubs inability to hit with runners in scoring position. Garza gave up five runs on six hits to Jay Bruce and company in six innings of work … with seven strikeouts and two walks.

The Cubs need a good outing and a win from Matt Garza tonight.

Reds Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Jay Bruce – 1-for-3 with a home run
  • Miguel Cairo – 1-for-1
  • Jonny Gomes – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Ramon Hernandez – 2-for-12
  • Paul Janish – 1-for-2 with a double
  • Fred Lewis – 3-for-11 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Brandon Phillips – 1-for-3
  • Edgar Renteria – 1-for-4 with a walk
  • Scott Rolen – 5-for-19 with 2 doubles
  • Drew Stubbs – 0-for-3
  • Edinson Volquez – 0-for-2
  • Joey Votto – 1-for-2 with a walk

Edinson Volquez is coming off a four-inning no decision against the Houston Astros. Volquez walked five batters in four innings and gave up three runs on three hits. Volquez continues to struggle with his command and should not have beaten the Cubs at Wrigley two starts ago.

The Cubs had the right approach against Edinson Volquez on May 6, they just couldn’t hit with runners in scoring position. The Cubs plated four runs, three earned, on six hits with four walks in five innings … but it should have been a lot more. The Cubs must be patient tonight and take what Volquez will try to give them.

Edinson Volquez is 1-0 in his last two starts with a 6.00 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP.

Volquez has never lost to the Cubs … 3-0 in four starts with a 1.90 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Edinson Volquez

  • Jeff Baker – 1-for-4 with a home run and 2 walks
  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 3-for-6
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-6
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-10 with a double and 2 walks
  • Matt Garza – 1-for-2
  • Koyie Hill – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-6
  • Carlos Pena – Three Walks
  • Aramis Ramirez – 4-for-11 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-5 with a double and a walk

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein
  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

    • diehardcubfan

      Hold on, stop the press!!  Castillo is actually in the game.  Just goes to show you well Hill has been doing hitting.

      Even if Castillo would go 4-4, he will not be back behind the plate tomorrow. 

      • Cheryl

        But woudn’t it be interesting if that was exactly what happens? 

        • paulcatanese

          Wish it were different Cheryl,but thats how I see it too. 

  • Neil

    Weather questionable again tonight ….

  • Neil

    Plenty of roster moves today … Cubs selected Tony Campana from Triple-A Iowa, added to 40-man roster and called up from Triple-A Iowa. Cubs optioned Marcos Mateo to Triple-A Iowa and recalled Scott Maine from Triple-A Iowa

    • paulcatanese

      Neil, liked both pickups and wish them success. 

  • skavoovee

     Per the Chicago Tribune:

    Fukudome RFBarney 2BCastro SSRamirez 3BPena 1BByrd CFSoriano LFCastillo CGarza P

    • Neil

      Thank you for posting the lineup, I was typing as you posted apparently

    • paulcatanese

      Wow, one change in the lineup, that meeting really took hold yesterday from Quade. 

  • cc002600

    I love Stone comments about how Hendry finally figured out that young players need AB’s. LOL

    Sooooooo True.

  • John_CC

    This is simple and to the point, from a short column by Matt Abbatacola on Castro’s batting order merry-go-round: 
    As the lead-off hitter :

    AVG .426 OBP .443 SLG .603 OPS 1.046 5 doubles and 2 triples

    He has done that in 15 games with 68 at-bats – the most games played
    and the most plate appearances at any spot in the order. In those games,
    the Cubs are 8-7. For a team that is five games under .500, one game
    above is a significant difference. In victories, his numbers go up from

    AVG .437 OBP .452 with 14 of his 18 RBI —  in those games

    Ten of his season total 18 RBI have come from the lead-off spot. 

    The Cubs are 4-6 when he bats in the 2 hole and 3-8 when he bats in the 3 hole – where his numbers drop considerably.

    Batting 2 :

    AVG .256 OBP .273 SLG .302 OPS .575 

    Batting 3 :

    AVG .182 OBP . 234 SLG .205 OPS .439

    Column here:

    • BillyFinT

      To be honest, I don’t think that’s the reason for his struggle.

      If you go to Yahoo’s career split, you’ll quickly realize that Castro has a HUGE split between home and away games: He simply doesn’t know how to hit away from the Friendly Confine.

      Wrigley Field: 341/394/460
      Anywhere Else: 272/298/366

      And you know why there’s a misperception from the media that his place in the batting order affected his ability to hit?

      Timing. Coincidence. Most of his time batting third before the cleanup was during away series. He batted third at Dodger Stadium. He batted third at Chase Field. The former has for the past five years known as a neutral-slightly hitter’s park; the latter a hitter’s park, good especially for a double–ahhh, that should be Castro’s territory. But no. He can’t hit Anywhere Else but at Wrigley.

      A little stat motto: Let him bat third the whole season AND THEN come back to review the splits.

      • John_CC

         @yahoo-NYRZUBV6LXHWK4662NBA6YZIGM:disqus That’s fair and good theory.  Or, lot him hit leadoff all year and come back. 

        Here’s another way to think about it (and I am not certain that the spot in the order is affecting him); if he has hit in the 3 hole in most of the away series maybe that is the reason for the poor split.  But like you said, it would take a season of ABs to make a fair judgement.  Also, a .270 BA on the road is not a terrible average.

        The point of the column that struck home with me was, what manager would move a hitter in and out of the leadoff spot that is that damn good when he is in the leadoff? 

  • Neil

    Update on Cashner from Tribune:

    Cashner’s MRI shows he reaggravated shoulder. Will go back to square one and not throw for a few weeks. Bad news for the kid. 

  • Neil

    Update on Cashner from Sun Times:

    Cashner update: MRI says aggravated same injury. Back to square one in rehab. Likely out til after AllStar break. 

    • studio179

      Bad news for Cashner and the Cubs.

  • Neil

    This just in … three-run homers are cool! Pena with a shot!

  • Baron_S

    Soriano has become Adam Dunn Lite!

    He will probably hit 30 HR. but is going to end up with a .260 avg and 150 strikeouts batting 7tH in the lineup -combined with his comically horrific fielding – all for $19 million — or $630,000 per HR — probably more money than anyone on this forum makes in a year

    • John_CC

       and maybe more than some of us make in 10 years…

  • EqDoc

    WOW!  Three runs on Two errors by the Cubs.   

  • Jknoes14

    Just tuned into the game and listened to Brenly make the following observation on Barney: … B. Phillips was on second and Bruce hit a foul ball pop-up behind third. Castro went over with Ramirez in foul ground leaving third base wide open. Apparently Barney was screaming at Garza to get over and cover third and so afterwards Brenly says, “There’s a great example of an excellent young player who ALWAYS has his head in the game.” ….. As he said this I found myself saying aloud, “Too bad no one else on this stupid team does.” ….. 2 minutes later we have the Reds scoring 3 unearned runs on one play. … I hate this team. …

  • Neil

    I don’t know what to say …

    • Jknoes14

      That’s because there is nothing to say that hasn’t been said at least 100 times this year. :-) ….. With the exception of Double Trouble this team is as inept as the GM that signed them to “play.”   …. Love Barney’s intellect on the field. I would even say that I wouldn’t mind the losing record this year (It’s not as if expectations were high for this team by those who knew what we really have) as long as the game was being played right.

  • Neil

    Castro doubles, first hit for the Cubs since Pena’s blast … Ramirez groundout, Pena groundout and Byrd struck out. Great production.

  • Scott McMeekan

     Gotta love the Castro face-tag

  • Scott McMeekan

     Unbelievable!  A wild pitch?  He clearly was walking toward the dugout!

  • Baron_S

     I’m just thrilled at the very SIGHT of Campana …..

    Oh please get him 4-5 starts a week between Sori-Fuk and Byrd

  • Baron_S


    What a fantastic at-bat!!

  • Neil

    Excellent at bat by Barney, walked on the ninth pitch to force in the go ahead run.

  • Agustinrexach

    Darwin Barney=Mayor League At bat, every time.

  • cubs1967

    wood-prior-cashner…………golden arms to dust…………!!

    yeah………we want prospects like those 3 plus grant johnson-mark pawlek, rich hill and angel guzman……………all to dust and nothing to show.

    world series are won w/ vets not kids…………the minute cashner is healthy-if ever-and does good…………sell high baby for a vet w/ a proven record.

    wow-can’t believe all the kids we lose………….trade mcnutt-jackso-simpson–all of them! 

    • The Maven

      Jim?….Jim Hendry? Is that you visiting the CCO again?

      • cubs1967


        how are the 3C’s this year………….
        cashner to dust
        colvin to the farm

        hmmmmmm………mabye we should of pursued cliff lee……… fielder or pujols will sign w/ the cubs……….pllllllllease!!

        for once; kenny williams has done it right………..develop kids; trade them for proven talent…… a WS!………….cubs; injure all the goldne arms, release guys like mcgehee………….bench colvin………yep; we got it going on!!! 

  • Baron_S


    • Scott McMeekan

      TONY!  Way to go buddy! 

  • Neil

    What a great night for Tony Campana!

    • Scott McMeekan

      Looking at the smile on his face just warms your heart… 

  • Baron_S

    that was F#$#$ Idiotic from Wood… get his ass outta there

    this teams defense is ATROCIOUS

  • Trevor_P

     I just vomited on my keyboard.

  • Neil

    All five of the Reds runs have scored on Cubs errors

  • Baron_S

     The Cubs team defense is like an A level minor league club…

    Embarrasing and pathetic.

  • Agustinrexach

    Bunt triple!!! My God…well played Kerry.

  • cubs1967

    after tonite’s loss………….and pyshco eyes closed door meeting yesterday; it’s official quade has become uncle lou………..paging mr quade; your team has quit on you………….this is their way of saying you want a closed door meeting; U ain’t seen nothin’ yet!!

    yo, ricketts………..103 yrs and counting……do U give a damn??? 

  • Scott McMeekan

     Okay, I’m just a fan…never played beyond little league, but in my mind Aramis should have come off the bag to make sure that *BAD* throw didn’t go into LF.  Am I crazy?

    • Agustinrexach


    • Crushem2112

      this team is garbage. if it wasnt for Castro and Barney, i wouldnt watch. how do two pitchers make 50 feet throwing errors???????? 

    • Trevor_P

       Maybe, but it looked like Kerry really hucked that ball past him.  I’m not sure how much time he had to react.  I didn’t see how it managed to get past Campana as well?

      • paulcatanese

        Wood had plenty of time to go to third, and the bounce off the wall in left kicked it away from Campana. 

    • paulcatanese

      Aram should have at least tried to come off the bag,but he already was planted on third base. With all the time there was to make that play,Wood could have rolled over there. 

    • Mike1040

       Who??? MR. Lollygagger?? No Way,, hustle is not his game.

  • Baron_S

    Wood has looked like crap lately

    cannot allow 4 hits in an inning as a setup guy — no way– ever!

  • Mark

    LOL……What a f-ing joke!!!  This team is horrible!  Kerry Wood STILL sucks ass… I’ve said all along!  ALL runs again on errors.  We get  a 3r HR (which is on a 1st ball fastball mistake).  Then, we get a run on a BB with the bases loaded, then an insurance run from a KID (great job!) whose 1st ML at bat.  Then this shit….oh now we’re losing… …MY GOD.  Of all people….that asshole, nutbag Joey Votto!  LOL!

  • diehardcubfan

    There is only one word to describe this team since 1984.  Choke!!!!

  • Tom U

     It looks like Iowa will have a new starting outfield shortly.

    Jae-Hoon Ha has looked good at Double-A, so far. When Brett Jackson and James Adduci come off the disabled list, look for Jackson to join Tyler Colvin in Triple-A, with Adduci returning to Tennessee. 

    With the way Luis Montanez and Brad Snyder are hitting the cover off the ball at Iowa, the future doesn’t look good for Fernando Perez.

  • Ripsnorter1

     Tonight you saw yet again what Kerry Wood is: Mr. Choke. He doesn’t pitch well with men on base, with the game on the line, or in any real clutch situation. 

    He stunk up the joint tonight. He stunk up the joint his last appearance with the game tied, he came in and blew the game (just like tonight). He choked on game 7 vs. Florida in the 2003 NLCS. His name is Mr. Choke.

    • paulcatanese

      Rip,correct me if I am wrong,but the errors were made by the Vets on the team ?
      I cannot beleive after the fantastic play Barney made on Pena’s error that the throw was cut off and thrown away by Garza.
      And Wood had a half hour to get the ball to third. 

    • cubs1967

      Last time I checked; the only playoff series cubs have won since 1908 was in 2003 by woody …. In a game 5!….

  • Scott McMeekan

     Great job Aramis.  First pitch.  Did you hear Brenly say, “Ugh”.

  • Ripsnorter1

     Pena has found his stroke–I can’t believe my eyes: 5 HR in May!  If he keeps this up, I may have to get off of his case. Of course, there is no real chance of either of those things happening . . . .You’d think the league would have figured out by now to just bust him inside and high. I’ll bet Volquez just slept through that pregame meeting where they go over the hitters the pitcher will face that night. Must have been just a little hung over from last night’s party after they beat the Cubs. 

  • diehardcubfan

    As I have stated before, we have run out of adjectives to describe how bad this team is.

  • Jim_Tinley_Park


  • Ripsnorter1

     Looks like its a lock that we’ll be 7 games back after tonights game. We are starting to give Pittsburgh a run for their money. 

  • Neil

    Cubs give another one to Reds, lost 7-5 Tuesday night. Five
    of Reds seven runs scored on four Cubs errors. Offense 2-for-11 w/ RISP, 8 LOB.

    Wonder what Quade will say tonight, this was worse than Monday

  • paulcatanese

    How does a storybook game end?   SELF  DESTRUCT!!!!!!!!! 

  • John_CC

    Two weeks from tonight is May 31.

    This team is in a death spiral that I can only compare to one that drove Lou to “early” retirement. 

    Two more week of this and the axe will drop. It HAS to.  Someone has own this, and of course it is all Hendry – his personnel, his manager, the injustice will be when Hendry fires Quade. Just wait. 

  • Crushem2112

    Hows Ryno doing? 

  • paulcatanese

    Pretty good line out there tonight, Pena,error,Garza,error, Wood,error= 7 unearned runs…… Byrd, Goden Sombreo,4 Ks. Barney + Campana= Success.
    “How can there be so many currents in such a little puddle?”(From National Velvet).

  • studio179

    ‘Boy, oh boy.’

  • Anonymous47701

     2011 Cubs to do list:

    1.Fire Jim Hendry.
    2.Trade Byrd and Fukudome.
    3. Let Ramirez,Dempster,Samardzija,Grabow,Wood, Pena, Johnson and Dewitt walk.
    4.Demote or Release Koyie Hill.
    5.Trade or Release Soriano somehow
    6.Call up Camp, Perez, Colvin, Jackson, Snyder and Sc.Moore.
    7.Fire Ivan DeJesus.
    8.Hire AJ Preller or Josh Byrnes as new Cubs GM.