Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Phillies – 06/11/11

Game Sixty-Three: Cubs (25-37) vs. Phillies (38-26)
Game Time – 3:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

Matt Garza (2-5, 4.07/1.42) vs. Cliff Lee (5-5, 3.62/1.25)

Updated – 11:46am CDTCubs Recalled Casey Coleman from Triple-A Iowa – Brad Snyder Optioned to Triple-A Iowa

Updated – 12:01pm CDT - Cubs Designated Brad Snyder for Assignment

In order for the Cubs to get back in the winning column they will have to do something no other Cubs’ team has done … beat Cliff Lee. The Cubs will send Matt Garza to the mound and Garza will face the Phillies for the first time at Citizens Bank Park since game three of the 2008 World Series,

Today might be a good day to give Darwin Barney a day off. Barney is hitless in the series and looks like he could use a breathier. With Cliff Lee on the hill, Mike Quade could give D.J. LeMahieu his first big league start at second base.

The Cubs difficult road trip is nearly over and unless they can beat Cliff Lee and/or Roy Oswalt they will limp back to Chicago with a 2-8 record.

Counting this afternoon’s contest, the Cubs have 100 games remaining on their 2011 schedule … and today it all starts with Matt Garza.

Matt Garza will make his second start this afternoon since returning from the DL. The best thing about Garza’s last outing was he felt fine afterwards. Garza lasted just four innings against the Reds on Monday. Garza allowed four runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts. The Reds hit their second home run of the season off Garza … the only two longballs he’s allowed so far this season.

Garza is 1-3 in five road starts this season with a 5.16 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. Garza has averaged just under six innings per road start this year (5.84) but he needs to go at least seven tonight in order to give the pen a breathier … and his team a chance to win.

Garza has faced the Phillies just once during the regular season, back on June 24, 2009 at Tropicana Field. Garza shut down the defending World Series champs with an impressive eight-inning performance (one run on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts, run scored on a solo homer by Jayson Werth)

The last, and only, time Matt Garza has started a game at Citizens Bank Park was the third game of the 2008 World Series. Garza allowed four runs on six hits in six innings and received a no decision. Garza walked two and struck out seven.

Phillies Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Ben Francisco – 3-for-7 with a double and a walk
  • Ross Gload – 5-for-11 with a double and a walk
  • Ryan Howard – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Raul Ibanez – 4-for-9 with a double, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Placido Polanco – 1-for-11
  • Jimmy Rollins – 0-for-4
  • Carlos Ruiz – 0-for-3
  • Chase Utley – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Shane Victorino – 0-for-3 with a walk

Cliff Lee has been extremely inconsistent in his return to Philly. Lee will dominate in one start then struggle in the next. Lee is coming off a seven-inning shut out performance against the Dodgers. Lee allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out 10 … the sixth time this season Lee recorded double digit strikeouts.

Lee posted a 2-3 record in seven starts last month with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.

The veteran southpaw has dominated at Citizens Bank Park this year. In seven starts, Lee is 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.

Cliff Lee is a perfect 3-0 in four career starts against the Cubs with a 1.71 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP (seven runs, six earned, on 27 hits in 31 2/3 innings with nine walks and 25 strikeouts). Lee’s no decision against the Cubs came on the day Kerry Wood faced his former team for the first time at Wrigley Field.

Cubs Career Numbers against Cliff Lee

  • Starlin Castro – 0-for-3
  • Tyler Colvin – 1-for-4 with a home run
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-3 with a walk
  • Carlos Pena – 6-for-29 with three home runs and a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-8 with a double and two walks

This is one game the Cubs will miss the likes of Byrd, Johnson, Soriano and Baker. Marlon Byrd (6-for-15 with 3 doubles and a walk), Jeff Baker (3-for-6 with a double and a walk), Reed Johnson (3-for-8 with a home run and 2 walks) and Alfonso Soriano (6-for-18 with a double, a home run and a walk) all have solid numbers against the former Cy Young award winner.

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"And if I have my choice between a pennant and a triple crown, I'll take the pennant every time." - Carl Yastrzemski
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs optioned Brad Snyder to Triple-A Iowa and recalled Casey Coleman. Coleman will pitch out of the bullpen

    • paulcatanese

      Neil, of course they would bring in another bullpen guy. The way Quade manages pitchers they need the whole roster to be pitchers.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Now what happens Monday when Johnson and Baker return??
      DJL will be sent down, imo. But that means either Montanez or Campana will be sent down, too, (unless they cut a pitcher). I’d really hate to see either one cut, but I’d hate to see Montanez cut the most.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        I think they will send down a pitcher. Especially if Garza has a short outing today and Casey has to pitch awhile.

        • paulcatanese

          According to the pitches Garza has already thrown I would say he is going to have just that, a short outing.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Castro – SS
    Barney – 2B
    Montanez – RF
    Ramirez – 3B
    DeWitt – LF
    Soto – C
    Pena – 1B
    Colvin – CF
    Garza – P

    • John_CC

      Huh.  Interesting, lineup.  You’ve got to wonder how/why Q comes up these. 

      I just realized that by cutting Snyder, Montanez is the only right handed OF on the roster, including DeWitt.  That was a smart move right before today’s game.

      • paulcatanese

        Quade gets his lineup by,,,,,putting all the names in a hat, except for Aram,Pena,Barney and Castro. Then he pulls the rest of them out of the hat.
        No other explanation is plausable. What I wonder about is Montanez in the three spot, thats a pretty high reward for an off field single. Not saying he shouldn’t play, just the three spot. And then stacks the 7-8 spots with leftys against a lefty. I think Q’s idea was to have right handed hitters four in a row but dosen’t look at the rest of the lineup 3out of four being leftys and then Garza who does not excell with the bat and now he has a lower success ratio with four out of five.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    The Cubs designated Brad Snyder for assignment. The Cubs 40-man roster is reduced by one … stands at 39.

    • BosephHeyden

      Snyder seemed like he was good in Triple A and was completely wasted when he was brought up much like most every batting prospect the Cubs have had in the past few years.  Hopefully someone claims Snyder so he doesn’t wind up being sent back down to Triple A and brought up to sit again.

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

        I don’t think he has to go through waivers to be outrighted but I could be mistaken.

        On some other posts I pointed out that I thought he looked totally lost at the plate. He is not a prospect but 29 years old. If you want to gripe about a young guy I can agree with it but this is a AAAA player.

        • paulcatanese

          I agree Richard, he does look totaly lost as well as LeMahieu at the plate. I don’t know that much about either, but they just did not look comfortable at all.Really a moot point since the big boys will be back and will take over once again with no improvement to be gained.

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

            I think that LeMahieu was brought up to watch and learn the stuff that is needed to be done very day to be a Major League player. It was pretty much agreed that this has Ricketts written all over it. I think Hendry would have rather had someone like Moore or Scales.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            If that is the case with LeMahieu, then the decision to bring him up and waste an option on a player they had time on is even worse.

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

            I never said I was for the idea. It is just one of those that happens from time to time with some players. Give a cup see if he can understand what he needs to work on. Bring him back in September and see where they are at in his development.
            Think of it this way in 1994 AROD came up for a cup of coffee in Sept. In 1995 he was given a small taste right about 150 ab’s and lets see what you worked on. The next year he was on his way to a superstar. There are a number of cases that it has worked that way. Nothing wrong with it unless you think the kid is going to have trouble sticking around.

          • cubtex

            LeMahieu is still only 22 years old but this is the reason on why he cannot play 3rd base everyday at the MLB level at this time.

            2009 in 364 AB’s he had only 14 extra base hits and ZERO HR’s
            2010 in 600 AB’s he had only 2 HR’s
            and this year he had 2 HR’s before being called up.

            How many 3rd baseman do you know with that little power in the majors?

          • cubtex

            I tend to agree with you Richard. LeMahieu is not ready to be thrust in an everyday role imo. I think he is just getting to see what it is like to be a mlb player. Where should he be playing everyday?  Players like Brett Lawrie,Anthony Rizzo and Mike Moustakis are brought up later rather than sooner to play everyday and with hopes of not being sent down. LeMahieu was never brought up now with the idea he would start and stick. The top prospects for the Cubs…Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters in other words the first round draft choices are brought up with the idea of starting since the organization has a lot invested in them. The Bobby Scales,Brad Snyders,Brian LaHair,Lou Montanez are career minor leaguers and should be thankful for any playing time and at bats they get.

  • Aaron

    Speechless….

    I don’t know how 9 AB’s, with 1 start can possibly give you an idea if a player can hack it or not at the MLB level…but apparently the Cubs think it can.

    I hope Snyder latches on with another team that will actually give him a chance. Same for LaHair. Actually, same for just about everyone in the Cubs system right now: LeMahieu, Smith, Flaherty, Clevenger, Castillo, etc.

    • cubtex

      Honestly Aaron….Was Brad Snyder ever considered to be a future starter with the Cubs? He is not a top prospect. Not every minor leaguer they bring up can or deserves to play everyday. I look at it another way. Snyder got 9 at bats at the major league level. In 10 more years he can share the stories with his kids on how he played for the Cubs. Would it be better for journeyman players to play their entire life in the minors or get a few at bats at the major league level. I am sure if you ask Snyder…he would say the latter.

  • Aaron

    Also, good to see Quade keep running out a struggling Barney: Last 28 days for Barney .238/.275/.277 (111 PA)

    Good call Q Ball……keep proving how dumb you are as a manager, when you have LeMahieu wasting away on the bench….What a dumb ass….sorry if people can’t handle that description of him….I don’t know how else to describe him.

    • BosephHeyden

      No…that’s pretty fair.  Calling up LeMahieu was a bonehead decision by Cubs management because there was absolutely no way they were going to play him.  Heck, they couldn’t even find ways to play Jeff Baker, who can also play some outfield, so why call up one of your top prospects to fill in the position of “wasted utility player”?

      At this point in time, I get the feeling that Hendry knows he’s done and is going out of his way to sabotage the team as much as he can before he’s out.

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

        I think it was Ricketts not Hendry that forced that call. Which is why he is not getting much playing time.

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

      Totally with you on this one. Even if you are putting DeWitt at 2nd. Barney needs a blow. His at bats are getting brutal. Give the kid a day off now and then would be a good thing.

    • Brp921

      Ha ha…Q Ball… I like that, it fits him.

  • John_CC

    Colon just pulled his hammy jogging to cover first. It was only a matter of time.

    After the sweep by the Red Sox, Burnett’s implosion, and their past interest in Zambrano I sure would hope that Hendry is working the phones.  An interesting tidbit I just read is that now that Rothchild is there, maybe their interest in Z is less…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another rain delay …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Just as Castro stepped into the box. Could see Casey Coleman today. Would be surprised if Garza ends up starting.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    This is the Cubs 8th delay of the year

  • paulcatanese

    Another rain delay could be good for the Cubs,keep raining. Johnson will be back by tommorow and in the lineup,probably Baker too. Wow, we should start winning now. I forsee several more days with a totaly confused Quade when this happens. It’s agood thing we have JH to hold the insanity to a minimum. I hear JH has just purchased a plane for the players he is shipping back and forth,figures to save the Cubs money on individual tickets.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Short delay … Garza is going to start

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    As Pat would say … and away we go.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Okay! Game over. Now let’s get in out of the rain . . . .

  • Brp921

    I just barely caught the two run double and didn’t catch a replay, but it looked like DeWitt broke laterally on the ball instead of breaking back from the start. I don’t get fox in high def so I could not tell if the ball would have been catchable if he had played it properly, but that was a game changing play and goes to show why it is foolish to play a guy out of position just so he can play.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Pitch counts after 2 innings: Matt Garza – 47, 28 for strikes; Cliff Lee – 27, 17 for strikes

    • Dorasaga

      Good game so far…

      Double Trouble strikes again. Montenez follows with smart baseball. The youth contributed. Then I’m seeing ARam and shaking my head, thinking about all these lost opportunities with this management… And why is this man in the booth praising Bud Selig and talking about Joe Torre and Dusty Baker in a Cubs e Phillies game? Right, prostate cancer. how about healthier diet–less softdrink, additives, HGH meat, steroids; and more veggies, for a start?

      • paulcatanese

        Can’t get the game,what did they do? I assume Castro and Barney got on and then Montanez moved them over, either a bunt or no double play ground ball to the right side?

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Paul, Castro worked a 2-out walk. Barney reached on a single off Polanco’s glove at third. Montanez blooped a single into right just out of Utley’s reach. Castro scored.

          • paulcatanese

            Thanks Neil,out the door to watch youngest grandson in day nit doubleheader.
            hate to go but will catch up later.

        • Dorasaga

          As Neil said… Monty’s bloop single was a result of a good fight. Lee made his pitches and painted the corner inside, could’ve jammed him. But the kid got his way and made an adjustment. I’m sure you’ll find the replay and see this good at-bat.

          Too bad the Cubs can’t have more of this…

          • paulcatanese

            Thanks for getting back to me.

    • John_CC

      Garza’s 1-2-3 third inning brought them right in line; Garza 57-35, Lee 55-34

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs scored!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Solid inning for Garza

    Pitch counts: Garza – 57, 34 for strikes; Lee – 55, 34 for strikes.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Brett Jackson is back in the Smokies’ starting lineup this afternoon.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs with error #52, worst in league.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker both 0-for-2 for the I-Cubs on Saturday afternoon. Johnson and Baker expected to be activated on Monday

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good job by Garza working out of the jam he created. 113 pitches after six, 65 for strikes.

  • Aaron

    2B in LF just cost the Cubs another run. When will Q Ball ever learn?

    • Ripsnorter1

      After 17 years–seventeen years!–on the bench, he’s demonstrating to us all every day that he is completely incapable of learning. 

  • SteveGu

    All those good feelings from winning two in a row, are wiped out. Good job Quade, good job Cubs.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another misplayed ball by DeWitt cost the Cubs a run

    • Ripsnorter1

      Remember when the Cubs had an All-Star CF named Rick Monday? And then the Cubs moved him to 1B for some inexplicable reason. 

      Deja vu. 

  • Aaron

    Also….good job by Quade ruining another rookie in LeMahieu, just having him as a pinch hitter……good one……he could at least add him in a double switch.

    I can’t watch anymore until this moron is gone as manager….and his boss fired as well.

    • cubtex

      Explain to me how he is going to be ruined by getting a couple at bats in the majors at 22? He will be sent down shortly and start to play everyday again and he will have at least had a small taste of what it will be like in the majors and what he needs to work on. Do you honestly think he is ready to play everyday at this level?

      • Aaron

        I can’t have a legitimate conversation with you…there’s no use. You just don’t get it

        • cubtex

          No honestly….I am not trying to be any sort of smart a$$ or anything but I just don’t understand your logic. I understand if a 22 year old top prospect is brought up to rot on the bench all year but he is only up for a short time to get a taste and then will be sent down to play everyday again. If anything…this will help him much more than hurt him.

          • Aaron

            Please tell me how bringing up a young prospect that has played everyday up to that point, then sitting him on the bench, using him exclusively as a pinch hitter. WHEN HE HASN’T EVER BEEN USED THAT WAY………………………………….EVER…………….not even in college…………………………….
            is good for him? hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….pretty sure if you polled personnel in player development from all the other teams, they’d say that’s NOT the way you use a rookie.

            In fact, when you look around the league, and they bring up position prospects, they almost never use them in pinch hitting roles (ESPECIALLY when they first bring them up), and they will actually give them starts. What a novel idea?

            Here’s the thing I know….

            If something is broken, you fix it, right? Riddle me this…..over the course of Hendry’s tenure (actually even before that), it’s ALWAYS been like that with prospects. They’ll give them pinch hitting appearances, see if they succeed. If they do, then they’ll give them starts. If they don’t succeed in the pinch hitting role, they’ll keep pinch hitting them until they’re like 0-for-10 or whatever, then send them back to Iowa, then they’ll tear it up in Iowa, and be brought back, sit on the bench, and in the same pinch hitting role. Nothing has changed. The Cubs are known as one of the worst player development organizations in the league, and yet THEY DON’T CHANGE THEIR DAMN STRATEGY…..look in everyday life…not just sports, and you’ll note that successful organizations change course when things aren’t working out. They don’t just keep doing the same things over and over again when they’re not working. How dumb are they?

            Lenny Harris, one of the best pinch hitters, once said that not only is pinch hitting one of the toughest things to do in baseball, because you don’t have timing down in previous at bats…but you literally have to get ready at about the 5th inning, going through a routine to pinch hit, which would involve taking swings in the cage. Problem is….the cage for the Cubs is in the OF, not the tunnel between the clubhouse like most parks now. 

            So what you’re telling me is, you cannot understand why I’d think the Cubs are setting their young hitters up to fail every damn time they bring one of their prospects up….isn’t that what you’re saying?

            Yet you don’t see any other team pulling this garbage do you?

            The Cubs had a GOLDEN……absolute GOLDEN opportunity to get guys like Snyder, Montanez, Campana, LeMahieu, and Castillo significant AB’s with Soriano, Byrd, Johnson, Baker, and Soto all on the DL. 

            Aside from Campana (and even he’s rotted on the bench for stretches), they’ve all been relegated to pinch hitting roles, and Castillo had like one or two starts I believe.

            WOW….

            I just don’t understand how you can argue the counterpoint and be serious about it

          • cubtex

            Aaron…you are comparing a career pinch hitter who did it for a living to a kid coming up from the minors who has close to 200 AB’s for the year and has been playing regularly??? Is that a fair comparison? You act like these kids have no shot to get a hit if they pinch hit. Didn’t Montanez come through with a pinch hit last night? You act like every team that brings up a minor leaguer  because of an injury is brought up to play everyday. Sorry to disappoint you but that is not the case. You act like the Cubs have this spell that they put on their young players that they will never be successful in the majors because of the way the Cubs handled them like Jake Fox or Felix Pie. Look at Domonic Brown with the Phillies. He has bounced up and down. Played sporatically and now because of a need he is playing more. I don’t get this attitude like..he is used to playing everyday and now we are taking him out of his comfort zone and he can’t succeed. Cmon man, this is how life is. Nothing is given to you. Do you think DeWitt is used to pinch hitting? He has always been a starter until this year. He took advantage of his opportunity when he got it.

          • Dorasaga

            I think Pie was given starts very early when called up, yeah? Pie should be out of this discussion.

    • Ripsnorter1

      They were talking on ESPN today (Bruce Levine, “Talking Baseball”) that Levine does not expect Hendry to be cut loose at the end of the season. After all, Hendry is the Cubs’ “Most Successful GM.” [Really? When the Cubs were going to the World Series every three years in the 1930's and 40's, are you telling me that they changed GMs every year?].

      Still, my gut says that Levine is correct.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Neil,

    If they cut a pitcher, it must be Coleman again. Is that what you are saying?Otherwise, we are looking at Lopez, Smardzija, Russell, Wood and Marshall in the bullpen, and I can’t see us cutting any of them for any reason other than the DL. 

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Yes, Coleman should be the player that gets sent down when Reed is activated.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent play by Pena to take away at least a double from Rollins

  • GaryLeeT

    The Coleman call up was a great idea. I was dying to know if he had what it takes to make it in the Bigs.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I do not understand why Kerry Wood was not used in the eighth. He has not pitched in the series. Three runs, maybe but using Coleman in that spot was a bad idea.

  • Ripsnorter1

    No extra base hits by the Cubs today. Again. 

    Can’t win if you can’t out homer your opponent.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Ole Tim Lincecum ate dirt in front of that Cincinnati Reds buzz saw today. LOL
    He’s been getting his hide racked in the month of June. 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 7-1 to Phillies. Matt Garza: 2R, 1ER, 5H, 3BB, 4Ks in
    6IP; Luis Montanez w/ RBI; Cubs 4 hits and 2 charged errors; Casey Coleman: 3R, 2H, 1IP

  • Ripsnorter1

    LeMahieu–drafted as a SS, but the scouting report says he lacks range. Moved to play 2B and 3B. At 3B, his arm is too weak, and he doesn’t hit with power. He has only 4 HR in 1000 minor league AB. At 2B, he lacks range and isn’t real smooth with the double play.  SO says ESPN scouting reports that I pay for. 
    Wilkens likes to draft middle infielders. WHY????? I mean, DJL here hasn’t got the pop to play MLB, especially at 3B. How many Bobby Ojeda’s should we have on hand?

    YOU CANNOT WIN IF YOU CANNOT OUT HOMER YOUR OPPONENT.
    The N.I.V. Cubs are proving that every single day.

    • cubtex

      Agreed Rip… But like I mentioned he is 22 and is 6’2. He is not a finished product yet. He needs to alter his approach at the plate and start to drive the ball more. The only place he translates with his bat now is 2b.

  • BosephHeyden

    Cue Rob Schneider:  “Oh no, we suck again!”

  • Brentcarmona

    very dissapointed dj has not been starting. ive made so many excuses for the team in recent years and i feel its time to rebel. watch them send barney down hahahahaha because he is ‘struggling’ (good job with giving him rest quade) and they bring up augie ojeda. all because the cubs are in the production business lol…play the kids please!