Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 05/29/11

Game Fifty-One: Cubs (22-28) vs. Pirates (24-26)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Ryan Dempster (3-4, 6.29/1.52) vs. Jeff Karstens (3-3, 3.57/1.28)

Updated – 3:03pm CDT – First pitched slated for 3:50pm

Updated – 12:22pm CDT – Sunday’s Game will not start on time – No word on when to expect first pitch.

Updated – 12:22pm CDTAndrew Cashner transferred from 15-day DL to 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster to add Brad Snyder.

Updated 11:02am CDTReed Johnson placed on 15-day DL with back spasms. Brad Snyder added to active roster; corresponding 40-man roster not announced – Geovany Soto activated from 15-day DL. Welington Castillo optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Updated 10:36am CDTAccording to multiple reports, the Cubs have placed Reed Johnson on the 15-day DL and have selected the contract of Brad Snyder from the Iowa Cubs.

Weather permitting … In order for the Cubs to avoid a sweep at home to the Pirates, they will have to do something they’ve not done all year, win a game on Sunday.

The Chicago Cubs are 0-for-Sunday this season (0-7). The Cubs have lost their last nine Sunday games and are 1-12 on Sunday dating back to August 22, 2010. The only win since Lou Piniella stepped down came in Florida on September 19, 2010.

After a decent road trip and a good beginning to the homestand against the Mets, Q’s squad has put together two duds against the Pirates. Clint Hurdle’s pitching staff has shutout the Cubs in 17 of the 18 innings … with the Cubs only runs coming in the ninth inning Friday on Alfonso Soriano’s two-run homer.

The Pirates have figured out how to beat the Cubs on a regular basis … dating back to September of 2009, Pittsburgh has won 16 of 22 against the Cubs.

Geovany Soto is expected to return to the lineup this afternoon. Soto completed his two games with the Smokies 0-for-7 with a strikeout on Friday night. With Soto back, Welington Castillo will be optioned to Iowa to resume his minor league career. Soto being activated will have a ripple effect on the catchers throughout the organization.

On the Sunday before Memorial Day it all starts with Ryan Dempster

After not posting a win at Wrigley since August of 2010, Ryan Dempster has won back-to-back starts at home (2-3 in six home starts with a 5.03 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP) and is coming off a very good outing against the Mets. Dempster allowed one run on seven hits in seven solid innings. Dempster walked one batter and struck out four. The two biggest reasons for Dempster’s success of late … he’s cut down on the walks (six free passes in 32 innings) and he’s kept the ball in the park (two homers in his last five starts).

Dempster is 2-1 in his last five starts with a 3.09 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.

Ryan Dempster’s season began on a negative note against the Pirates. Dempster gave up six runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings with four walks and seven strikeouts on Opening Day. Dempster has struggled against the Pirates, like a majority of his teammates, over the last two seasons.

Dempster is 6-11 in 46 career games, 21 starts, versus the Bucs with a 5.74 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP … last season, 0-3 in three starts with a 6.88 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP.

Pirates Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Ronny Cedeno – 5-for-12 with a double and a walk
  • Matt Diaz – 0-for-1
  • Ryan Doumit – 4-for-22 with a walk
  • Garrett Jones – 2-for-15 with a home run and 3 walks
  • Jeff Karstens – 0-for-1
  • Andrew McCutchen – 5-for-16 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
  • Lyle Overbay – 1-for-3 with a double and 5 walks
  • Xavier Paul – 0-for-3
  • Steve Pearce – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
  • Chris Snyder – 4-for-11
  • Jose Tabata – 1-for-5 with a triple and 2 walks
  • Neil Walker – 5-for-8 with 2 doubles and a home run

Jeff Karstens has 15 wins in 100 big league games and four of those have come at the Cubs expense. Jeff Karstens has put together a solid season for Clint Hurdle serving as the team’s swingman. Karstens is coming off a loss in relief to the Braves (two runs on two hits in two innings of work) but pitched six solid innings against the Tigers in his last start on May 20 (one run on three hits without a walk and four strikeouts in six innings).

The former 19th round pick of the Yankees (2003 draft) is 1-1 in five games, three starts, on the road this season with a 5.74 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP.

This afternoon will be Karstens seventh career start versus the Cubs. Karstens is 4-2 in eight games, six starts, with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP … at Wrigley, 4-1 in five games, four starts, with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. Karstens first win as a Pirate came at Wrigley Field on August 1, 2008. Karstens threw six innings of shutout ball and allowed only five hits.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jeff Karstens

  • Jeff Baker – 1-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-6 with a walk
  • Blake DeWitt – 6-for-9 with 2 doubles
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-9 with a triple
  • Koyie Hill – 6-for-11 with 2 doubles and a home run
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-2
  • Aramis Ramirez – 4-for-11 with a home run
  • Alfonso Soriano – 7-for-14 with 2 home runs
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-5

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"We cannot discover new oceans until we have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - Muriel Chen
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Fukudome – RF
    Barney – 2B
    Castro – SS
    Ramirez – 3B
    Pena – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Campana – CF
    Hill – C
    Dempster – P

    • Craig Y

      Why is Hill starting? Did Soto not arrive yet?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Soto is with the team and has been activated. Nothing official but might have to do with the weather.

        • Craig Y

          Thanks Neil. If Soto comes back healthy, it would be nice to see him in the lineup instead of Hill.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            You’re welcome. Soto played 14 innings in the 2 games with the Smokies. He did not hit but made it through without further injury.

            Soto caught McNutt last night … and it was McNutt’s best start of the year. 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

          • studio179

            I was paying close attention to that game specifically because of Soto catching McNutt. I wanted to see how McNutt would do with a MLB catcher in Soto helping him, even for just a game.   

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Good to hear more and more people are listening to the Smokies.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Geovany Soto activated from 15-day DL. Welington Castillo optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Reed Johnson placed on 15-day DL with back spasms. Brad Snyder added to active roster, corresponding 40-man roster move not announced yet.

  • paulcatanese

    Neil,given the stats you posted for the Cubs and their record on Sundays,
    wouldn’t they be better off to cancel all Sunday games and go to Church
    instead? Maybe asking for help there would be help for them here. Then
    again, I get te impression that somebody up there dosent like them either.

    • paulcatanese

      I take that back, somebody up there does like them.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s game will not start on time. No word on first pitch

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Andrew Cashner was transferred from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster for Brad Snyder.

  • Craig Y

    Any word yet on when first pitch will be today?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Not yet

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Whitenack has a strained right elbow

    http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/5779

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Matt
    Szczur with his 1st career homer and the Chiefs lead 5-0 in the 2nd

    • paulcatanese

      Must feel like a touchdown, only better, much harder to do. Great for him.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tyler Colvin is 2-for-2 so far today with a double, a triple, a walk, 3 runs scored and a RBI

  • Ripsnorter1

    I hope Brad Synder gets a chance to play. Castillo really didn’t get a decent chance to play at all. Synder has been killing the ball in AAA Iowa.

    • Bryan

      He’ll sit and rot on the bench, then Quade will wonder why he can’t perform in a pinch hit capacity.  For all the “Quade Champions” that were supportive of his promotion, he’s been one of the worst managers in Cubs history.  Regardless of injuries (that all teams have), his game management, lack of preparation, and inability to get this team “ready to compete each game” has been atrocious.  If we take the JH stance on productivity, Quade should be demoted to A ball, or banished to the T-ball leagues. 

      • Ripsnorter1

        He’s a very bad manager alright. IMO he’s the worst manager we’ve had since Jim Essian. That means–he’s worse than Dusty! Didn’t think it was possible, but just when you think you’ve seen the worst of Jim Clueless, he always comes up with a new low. IN-credible.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    First pitch scheduled for 3:50pm

    • Calicub

      What would I do without you neil?

      Thanks for all the updates your the best. I know I’ve said it before but you deserve a salary for all the work you do

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Play Ball …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Dempster does it again. Already down 2-0 after two 2-out walks.

  • SteveGu

    Hello fellow CCO’ers. I wish I joined under better circumstances, but it looks like Dempster is gonna continue the negative trends.

  • SteveGu

    Dempster throws 20+ pitches, Karstens throws….wait for it….7. Yes that’s right, 7 pitches.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    They are walking to the plate swinging again. Karstens threw only 8 pitches in the first.

    Aramis with his second home run.

    Gotta make these guys work. Dempster has already thrown 35 pitches.

  • SteveGu

    I actually had a question to ask you guys, I’m coming out to Chicago from New Jersey in June to watch the Cubs-Yankees series. I’m staying at a hotel in the Central Loop. I was wondering if you guys could give me some advice on the quality of the neighborhoods around where I’m staying, and if you recommend any places to eat that are spectacular.

    • GaryLeeT

      I have not lived in the area for 30 years, but when I go back, it’s Due’s, Gino’s or Lou Malnati’s, for Pizza, and Ditka’s for chops.

      • paulcatanese

        See Gary all you guys with class, I would have recommended White Castle.

        • GaryLeeT

          Funny you said that, because I always hit the one by Midway at W. 63rd and Cicero, on my way in, or out of town. Here in Florida, we have a similarly styled burger at Krystals, but there is just no comparison.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good job by Hill.

    • paulcatanese

      Neil,everyone on this site knows I don’t care for Hill, but he has played better
      than he ever has in this stint for Soto,and that has not been great but an
      improvement for him.

      According to Quade in his pre-game interview he wanted to give Soto a little
      extra time to aclimate himself to the game.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Did the Cubs just manufacture a run?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Dempster is struggling with command the inning after he was given a lead.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs caught a break. Snyder checks his swing and taps back to Dempster on a 3-1 pitch. 1-4-3 double play.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Hill with a good throw to nail Tabata. Helped bail out Dempster.

  • SteveGu

    Quade needs to get someone up in the bullpen. Demp is over 100 pitches, this is about that time when he gives me a crap-tonload of HR’s.

    • paulcatanese

      I was thinking the exact same thing and waiting for it to happen. Was not impressed with Wood again,whats wrong,cant figure it out.

  • SteveGu

    Wood gives me no confidence when he comes in. It seems like he is liable to give up at least one run per each of his outings.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Kerry is struggling again …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Close on the check swing by Tabata

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Would like to see Marshall start the ninth against Lyle Overbay

  • JedMosley

    Nice play by Castro

    • paulcatanese

      Very nice play indeed on a hit or miss chance. And in a pressure situation.
      The throw was very difficult to make but he pulled it off. About a 10% success
      ratio for anyone.

  • GaryLeeT

    A Sunday win, and they were not swept at home by the Pirates! It ‘s sign that the Cubs have turned the corner, and will now kick it into overdrive for that push to the pennant.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Pirates 3-2 Sunday afternoon. Aramis Ramirez
    with HR; Castro and Hill w/ sac fly RBI; Dempster’s line: 2R, 4H, 3BB, 5Ks, 6IP