Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Mets – 05/25/11

Game Forty-Seven: Cubs (21-25) vs. Mets (22-25)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Casey Coleman (2-3, 6.03/1.89) vs. Dillon Gee (3-0, 3.44/1.26)

Weather permitting … the Cubs will shoot for back-to-back wins at Wrigley for the first time since April 18 and April 20 against the Padres.

The Cubs must start winning games at Wrigley on a consistent basis. After posting a 35-46 record at home last season, the Cubs won their 10th home game of the year Tuesday (10-13). In order for the Cubs to get back to .500, the ‘W’ flag has to start flying more than just once every three or four games.

Reed Johnson is expected to receive a majority of the playing time while Marlon Byrd is on the disabled list. Mike Quade asked Kosuke Fukudome to take reps in center Tuesday just to give him a little more depth. Tony Campana was inserted in center Tuesday night after pinch running for Alfonso Soriano late in the game. Quade shifted Johnson to left to improve the Cubs defense.

Jeff Baker is listed as day-to-day after straining his left groin Sunday night in Boston. Quade could use Baker as a pinch hitter but he is not expected to start for the next couple of days. The Cubs will decide by the weekend if Baker should go on the disabled list.

The Cubs will play their 10th straight night game for the first time in the history of the organization … and tonight it all begins with Casey Coleman.

Casey Coleman could be making one of his last big league starts for a while tonight. Randy Wells will be activated over the weekend and Matt Garza is expected to return during the Cardinals series next week (June 3 – June 5), which will likely cause Coleman to be sent down to Triple-A Iowa to get in his work. Coleman needs to take a breathier and time for his hand to heal (planter’s wart on right index finger) before trying to regain the control that as left him this season.

Coleman is coming off a win against the Marlins. Coleman tossed 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball and struck out a career-high seven batters. Coleman also tied a career-high with five walks (once in 2011, once in 2010). Coleman does not have the “stuff” to fall behind batters and his 1:1 strikeout to walk ratio (25 strikeouts, 25 walks in 34 1/3 innings) will not cut it at the big league level.

Casey has not posted a win a Wrigley yet this season (0-2 in three starts with a 9.69 ERA and a 2.31 WHIP) and like most of his teammates, Coleman struggles in his home ballpark (1-3 in eight career games, six starts, at Wrigley with a 7.82 ERA and a 2.05 WHIP, 5-2 in 11 games, nine starts, on the road with a 2.91 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP).

Coleman will be facing the New York Mets for the first time in his career. Willie Harris (0-for-2 with a walk) is the only Met that has faced Casey Coleman.

The Mets could not be happier with what they’ve received out of their 24-year old right-hander this season. Dillon Gee, the 21st round pick of the Mets in ’07, is undefeated in his five starts this year after posted a 2-2 record in five starts a year ago with a 2.18 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.

Baseball America ranked Gee the Mets’ 16th best prospect prior to this season. Gee is a soft-tossing righty (88-91 MPH) with a solid sinker and very good command, the kind of pitcher that traditionally gives the Cubs a lot of problems.

Gee is coming off an impressive performance against the Nationals. He held Jim Riggleman’s team scoreless for 7 2/3 innings and allowed only two hits while walking three and striking out three. In each of his five starts Gee has yet to allow more than four earned runs and in four of the five he held his opponent to two earned runs or less.

For as good as Gee has been, he’s struggled outside of Citi Field (1-0 in three games, two starts, with a 6.57 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP).

Tonight will be Dillon Gee’s first career start and appearance against the Chicago Cubs … and no one on Mike Quade’s roster has faced Gee in their career.

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"The riches of the game are in the thrills, not in the money." - Ernie Banks

Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub (1931-2015)

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  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

  • Neil

    From the Trib:
    Fog settling in
    on Wrigley Field. Scattered storms on the way, but they think they’ll
    get this one in and avoid a twinbill on Thurs. 

    • gary3411

      they wont

  • Tom U
    • paulcatanese

      Tom,watched a lot of the videos, great stuff.

  • Skeldor

    I’d rather have L. Montanez in right.  Went 2-4 last night would like to see what he has, if anything

  • studio179

    I was just about to ask when the next time Quade plans on using Castillo again, but I see he is in the line up.

  • Neil

    Casey lost all command after retiring first two batters …

  • Neil

    Bad inning for Casey, a run on two hits and a walk after two out. 26 pitches, 13 for strikes. Retired first two batters on 6 pitches

  • Neil

    Reed delivers again with two outs …

  • Neil

    Soriano with a hit with runners in scoring position? Soriano doubles in a pair …

  • The Maven

    The difference between Aramis Ramirez and Reed Johnson? Johnson is a professional ballplayer and Ramirez is a professional putz.

    • GaryLeeT

      Does Quade keep batting him 4th because he doesn’t have any other place to put him? 7th looks about right to me.

      • The Maven

        Like what was previously suspected with Derek Lee, it wouldn’t surprise me if Ramirez has a clause in his contract stipulating he bats fourth.

        • studio179

          I believe Ramirez is known to not like to be moved. If he is moved, he wants plenty of notice in advance. Maybe they can work that out when Hendry trys to resign him again. :(

  • Neil

    Reed Johnson with 18 RBI, 1 more than Ramirez in nearly a third of the at bats

  • GaryLeeT

    Casey Coleman is ah….is ah …..not good.

  • RynoTiger

    so the Casey Coleman experiment is over, right?  back to the minors for more work, correct?  

  • studio179

    I want to say we have seen the last of Coleman, but the injury bug is floating around. Regardless, nice guy, but not what the Cubs need for the 5th spot or any starting spot beyond this year. His balls do not miss bats.

  • Neil

    Horrible pitching … back-to-back 4-pitch walks for Justin Berg, Mets up 5-4

  • RynoTiger

    so I wonder if Reed Johnson, Starlin Castro or Darwin Barney can be starting pitchers as well…..couldn’t be any worse

    • studio179

      No, it could not get any worse. I don’t understand how Hendry gets away with bringing up these guys who are no way close to being decent.

  • Neil

    12 straight balls for Berg … three straight walks. Pathetic

    • Jim_Tinley_Park

      Is that a record for consecutive balls?

  • studio179

    I get ill watching Justin Berg pitch. He is another one who needs to go.

  • Baron_S

    Berg is AWFUL!

  • gary3411

    start the stall tactics!

  • Tom U

    If you’re disappointed with this game, look up the Tennessee Smokies. Tennessee is up 9-3, with homers by Ridling and Flores. DJ LeMahieu, with two doubles, is now hitting a Castro-esque .373

  • JimBo_C

    Coleman and Berg should leave the park now and catch a cab to the airport.

  • Neil

    Berg was going to be the odd man out when Randy Wells was activated. Casey will likely get another start. They simply do not have another arm on the 40-man roster.

    • Jim_Tinley_Park

      Well, if Schlitter was healthy…… LOL

    • JimBo_C

      I know this sounds screwy …. Russell is starting to look like a better option to start than Coleman.

      • studio179

        And in the end, Russell might even be a better option than Davis. 

        I might be stretching that one, but still. 

  • Neil

    And now the offense is walking to the plate swinging …

  • Agustinrexach

    Makes you miss Will Ohman, Aaron Heilman and Kevin Gregg :(

    • Neil

      I actually don’t know which is worse … all of the walks or all of the homers those three served up in a Cubs’ uniform.

  • Tom U

    With eight strikeouts, Nick Struck combined with Ryan Buchter and Frank Bautista to shut out the St. Lucie Mets 5-0. 

    Rubi “The Expensive Cuban” Silva with a solo homer

  • Neil

    Excellent catch by Barney … Russell’s arm is going to fall off.

  • Tom U

    In the Tennessee game, Luis Flores with his second home run of the game.

  • Neil

    Thanks to the Cubs swing at everything approach, it is now an official game.

  • Keith Moreland

    There was never a shred of evidence that Justin Berg was a Major League pitcher.  None.  I said that last year here.  He just doesn’t miss ANY bats.  He can succeed only with pinpoint control, which he clearly does NOT have.

    Coleman isn’t a ML pitcher either.  He was never a great prospect.  We have to put him out there because we have NOBODY else.

    • Tedtop16

      It’s refreshing to hear some honest comments and not to have to hear the party line on these pitchers. I have a question Keith. Is there some reason why we would be unwilling to bring up some of the better prospects from AA? Or is there some thought that the pitchers need to stop off at AAA before pitching for the big club?

  • Baron_S

    Fuk down to .220 in May —

    What exactly does he give you that Campana won’t? 

  • Neil

    And the ugliness is delayed … Quade is not happy about it.

  • Neil

    Smokies won again tonight. Smokies have won 9 in a row. They improved to 31-16 on
    the season.

  • GrantJones7

    Searle to Tenn. according to a friend thats close close friends with Searle

    • Tom U

      He would deserve it, with a 1.59 ERA and 1.13 WHIP

      It could mean a pitcher like Whitenack or Carrillo is moving up to Iowa.

      • GrantJones7

        Very possible, Searle will be used as a releiver, so im not sure if that ends the expirement that the Cubs were sorta half trying with using him as a Closer.
        Either way, well deserved by him, and Whitenack if he is being promoted

    • Aaron

      which means that either Dolis, Cabrera, Whitenack, or McNutt, or even Carpenter or Carillo goes up, or someone goes down.

      My thought is that the following transactions might happen:

      FROM CUBS-
      *released or optioned

      TO CUBS-
      Wells (off DL), replaces Coleman
      Mateo, replaces Berg
      Cabrera, replaces Davis

      Additionally, I think the following guys are in danger of being DFA’d off the 40-man roster:
      Berg, 2-0, 2.25 ERA at Iowa, 3.75 ERA w/ Cubs, but he’s worse than his #’s indicate
      Coello, 3-5, 7.82 ERA at Iowa
      Davis, 0-2, 8.31 ERA w/ Cubs
      Stevens,0-0, 11.32 ERA at Iowa, 0-0, 5.14 ERA w/ Cubs
      Smit, 2-0, 7.94 ERA (2.29 WHIP to boot) at Tenn.
      Fernando Perez, .195/.303/.293 slash line, 2 hr, 11 RBI in 38 games
      *both Berg and Stevens have been absolutely brutal with their stints at the MLB level, and Stevens has been even worse in the minors. 

      But here’s the problem with all of these players….ALL of them mind you…..Hendry acquired ALL of them, either via FA scrap heap with Davis, or trade.

      Berg-Lawton trade
      Coello-Tony Thomas trade
      Davis-FA scrap heap (Wade Miller anyone?)
      Stevens-DeRosa trade
      Smit-Lilly, Theriot trade
      Perez-Garza trade

      As Tom so accurately pointed out the other day, and as I, along with many others have echoed for quite some time on here….Hendry REFUSES to own up to failures and do the right thing. He will hang onto players acquired via FA or trade well over their “expiration date” simply trying to prove a point to everyone that he actually knows what he’s doing. Don’t make the mistake, thinking Hendry really means well, blah blah, blah…..he is about as arrogant and defiant as they get, and contrary to what the Ricketts and even some fans think….Hendry is NOT viewed as a genius in baseball circles. He is actually laughed at, as I have witnessed this firsthand. He is seen as one of those guys in “the good ‘ole boys networks” where they do absolutely NOTHING to warrant a vote of confidence from ownership, but miraculously, they survive the mass changes in organizations.

      Think about this for a second with Hendry….just mull it over:
      3 ownership groups-Tribune, Zell, Ricketts
      4 managers-Baylor, Baker, Piniella, Quade
      3 presidents-MacPhail, McDonough, Kenney
      2 scouting directors-Stockstill, Wilken

      Before Rothschild left on his own accord, both he and Hendry outlasted everyone. How can that possibly be?

      Additionally, it seems like Hendry does nothing but surround himself with guys he coached with or attended high school with as well…He attended high school with Wilken. Or how he drafts a lot of Paul Maneiri’s guys because he knows him from coaching. Or Randy Bush….the list goes on. It’s nothing but the good ‘ole boys network, and Hendry has ensured his longevity by hiring people not because of merit, but based on personal connections, because he wants to leave the impression that if they get rid of him, they get rid of everyone else, and that’d scare any ownership group to be honest with you. 

      It was actually a smart move on Hendry’s part to do that, so I give him credit. But he’s one of the dumbest GM’s in all of baseball, and has absolutely no business whatsoever running a team. He flat out hasn’t earned it. I’ve discussed this at length in how Hendry basically has fallen into every position he’s ever held dating back to his days with Creighton, and I really can’t fault him for that…he was just in the right place at the right time. He hasn’t earned ANYTHING….not one single promotion based on merit. I actually liken it to an ugly girl that wants to go to the prom, but no guy will ask her, then every girl in school gets asked, and she’s the only one left….a guy gets back from vacation, and has to go with her because he missed out on all the better girls. I admit it’s a terrible analogy, but it’s the only one I could muster.

      Actually, here’s a really good comparison. Jim Hendry getting all of his jobs from head coach at Creighton to scout with the Marlins to GM of Cubs is like winning the tallest midget contest. While he might win an award, he still can’t go on the rides with the big boys at the theme park. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time for teams that were desperate to fill vacancies.

      I can’t stand Hendry, because he has taken what 99.9% of Cubs Nation could make into a perennial contender, and turned the Cubs into a perennial pretender, which is why they had the Cubs Convention to begin with…..a sort of propaganda tool, pretending they were better than they really were, and trying to convince fans they’d actually be competitive year in and year out when evidence proved otherwise.

  • Neil

    Game called, Cubs lost 7-4.

  • Neil

    Cubs lost rain-shortened game to Mets 7-4. Game called
    after 41 min delay. Casey Coleman: 6 R, 7 H, BB in 1.1 IP; Justin Berg: 12
    pitches, 0 strikes, 3 BB

    Cubs second rain-shortened loss in last four at Wrigley

  • studio179

    Most agree Coleman and Berg are not good. Also, most agree they have to put the likes of Coleman out there because the Cubs do not have anyone else. This brings us right back to the GM. 

    When spring training started and pitchers went down in St. Louis and Milwaukee, the Cubs were stating how they were deep with pitching. So they told Silva bye-bye and lost Wells and Cashner. Since then, it has been starting a LOOGY and the pen, bringing up Coleman and signing Davis off the scrap heap. That is pitching depth? Someone in the front office really over evaluated the system. I know, the arms are in the lower levels. We keep hearing that one year after year. When guys like Coleman or Berg get hit hard, the emphasis should be placed on the GM. Why does the system not have more available arms that are at least MLB capable. It’s not like this is his first year on the job.

  • paulcatanese

    It is senseless for any Cub fan to look for anything that makes a lineup change.
    JH is running the show and is determined to play his vets to get every dollar out
    of their contracts. It matters not that the youngsters are awaiting spots at the major league level, they will never see any significant playing time as long as JH is the general manager. I blame Ricketts….

    What is wrong with an owner that would show a little backbone?
    Some owners,the late G Steinbrenner, Finley, and the present Mets owners are
    just a few that Ricketts could take a lesson from.
    More is needed from Ricketts than just showing up in the stands as a fan.He really
    and truly should be ashamed of himself for the way he has let this get out of hand.
    As an owner how can he possibly stand for this.

  • Aaron

    Just kind of going off my point above regarding Hendry…..any other GM in the league that’s worth his salt would cut ties with guys he traded for/signed that weren’t producing, and actually give roster spots to deserving players. 

    Here would be my team in that case:
    Dempster *because they can’t eat that much salary on either

    *Wells and Cashner would be on DL longer, and dragged out until the trade deadline in July when they would have better luck dealing Z and Dempster

    Marmol, Marshall, Wood, Russell (they need him for swing-man), Dolis, Mateo (they need to let him work through and get experience), Samardzija

    C-Castillo, Clevenger
    1B-Pena (even I realize it’d be illogical to dump him this early in the season)
    SS-Castro, M. Gonzalez
    CF-Jackson (when he’s healthy, which is soon), Campana
    RF-Spencer, Montanez (why not give him a shot, right?…at least at this point, to give other OF prospects more time to develop like Ha, etc. and Colvin time to figure out his swing)

    At this point, the only guy it’d really hurt to cut ties with is Soriano, and it’s solely because of his salary. But the way I see it, and ownership should see this the same way, is it’s already a SUNK cost. They won’t get anything out of him to justify the contract, and he’s clearly not helping the team win, so it’s pointless having him on the roster.

    Things need to change, and I do NOT understand the thinking of management. They are beyond hopeless! Their thinking is probably something like this: 
    In 2012, when $___________ million come off the books, we can be really competitive.

    Well, if they think like that, and we’ve all heard comments from them suggesting this….then they really ARE hopeless, because that’d imply that they already know there’s a sunk cost, and they are counting on next year, when they could already be competing this year. Guys like Hill, ARAM (this year, let’s get that straight), Pena, Soriano, Fukudome, and DeWitt have no business being on a competitive team, and playing vital roles (aside from DeWitt). And guys like Johnson and Baker are too old to be considered guys to “build around” for the future. Soto’s had weight, shoulder, and hand issues pretty much his whole career as well.

    I just don’t get this team