Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. White Sox – 06/20/11

Game Seventy-Two: Cubs (29-42) vs. White Sox (35-38)
Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 180
Location – U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago

Carlos Zambrano (5-4, 4.59/1.34) vs. Gavin Floyd (6-6, 3.94/1.19)

Weather permitting … The Cubs and White Sox resume their crosstown rivalry tonight with the first of three at the Cell. Ozzie Guillen’s White Sox won four of six against Lou Piniella’s Cubs last season and the White Sox have a three-game advantage all-time in the City Series (41-38).

The first round of the battle for the BP Crosstown Cup will feature Carlos Zambrano against Gavin Floyd tonight, Matt Garza versus Mark Buehrle in game two and Jake Peavy will return from the DL in time to face Doug Davis in the finale on Wednesday night.

The Cell always seems to bring out the worst in the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano. The Cubs just need to play ball over the next three days and leave the drama in the clubhouse at Wrigley.

Mike Quade has not announced whether Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez or player ‘C’ will be used as the Cubs’ DH for the next six games (three against the Sox, three against the Royals). Soriano would make the most sense to try and improve the defense in the outfield. Reed Johnson is scheduled to have tonight off and return Tuesday night against Mark Buehrle.

The final three games of the City Series take place at Wrigley over the first three days of July (July 1 – July 3).

The Cubs are 2-4 in Interleague play this season and tonight it all begins with Carlos Zambrano

After speaking his mind following the Cubs loss to the Cardinals on June 5, Carlos Zambrano has put together two horrible starts. The Phillies pounded Z to the tune of seven runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. The free passes was Z’s undoing, he walked seven and struck out five. The big hit was a grand slam off the bat of Placido Polanco.

Z said his next start would be better … and it was not. The Brewers pounded out nine hits in six innings and scored five of their nine runs off Big Z. Zambrano walked only two but ran up his pitch count due to command problems.

CrosstownCup.jpgThe Cubs need for Z to have an uneventful, productive start tonight against the White Sox.

Carlos Zambrano is 0-2 in his last three starts with a 6.05 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP. Z’s allowed 12 earned runs on 16 hits with nine walks and 11 strikeouts in his last two outings (8.76 ERA and a 2.03 WHIP).

Trouble, Zambrano and the South Side always seem to find each other when the crosstown rivals get together. Hopefully Z can take care of business tonight and just win the ballgame.

Big Z is 5-4 in 14 career games, 12 starts, versus the Sox with a 4.97 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.

White Sox Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano

  • Gordon Beckham – 2-for-3 with a walk
  • Ramon Castro – 1-for-4 with a home run
  • Adam Dunn – 13-for-62 with a double, 7 home runs and 18 walks
  • Paul Konerko – 9-for-29 with a double, 4 home runs and 3 walks
  • Juan Pierre – 8-for-33 with 2 doubles and 5 walks
  • A.J. Pierzynski – 6-for-21 with a home run and 3 walks
  • Carlos Quentin – 1-for-1 with a home run
  • Alexei Ramirez – 3-for-7 with 2 home runs
  • Alex Rios – 1-for-1 with a double
  • Omar Vizquel – 3-for-14 with a double and a walk

The Cubs will get their third regular season look at Gavin Floyd … another starting pitcher the Cubs offense has struggled mightily against over the years. Floyd has been solid this season for Ozzie Guillen but is coming off a loss to the Twins in Minnesota.

The Twins scored four runs on 11 hits against Floyd in eight innings. The 11 hits Floyd allowed was a season-high and last Wednesday was the third time this season Floyd has allowed four earned runs in a single game.

Gavin Floyd is 2-2 in five starts at the Cell this season with a 4.36 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP … in his last three games, 1-1 with a 4.79 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.

Floyd is 0-1 in two starts against the Cubs (includes a complete game) with a 1.20 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP. The Cubs have managed just two runs on seven hits in 15 innings against Gavin Floyd.

Look for Mike Quade to load his lineup with lefties. Southpaws are hitting .273 against Floyd this season while righties are hitting just .217.

Cubs Career Number against Gavin Floyd

  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-3
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-3
  • Koyie Hill – 0-for-3
  • Luis Montanez – 0-for-4
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-8 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-10 with a double
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-2

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course of victory." - Arthur Golden
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  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Daytona – Zach Rosscup (4-1, 2.51)
    Boise – Willengton Cruz (0-0, 0.00)

    Iowa lost 4-3 to Albuquerque. Ramon Ortiz took the loss.

    Tennessee and Peoria are on All-Star break

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Fukudome – RF
    Castro – SS
    DeWitt – LF
    Ramirez – 3B
    Pena – 1B
    Soriano – DH
    Soto – C
    LeMahieu – 2B
    Campana – CF

    • gocubs

      Hugh?  DeWitt again hitting 3rd?  Are you serious?  No way.  No way this is for real.  Quade has entered competition for worst Cubs manager of all time.  

      • Brentcarmona

        okay i know we all criticize this move…it really does not make a bunch of sense. now, i hate to make excuses for quade however i really think they are trying to show him off for trade value because i just cannot fathom quade putting him there thinking he is the best number three bat. i mean i would not be surprised if thats the way he thinks, but being that he puts him between two of our better hitters id assume hes doing that for protection and giving dewitt the best chance to succeed so he can look better for trades. or i could b totally wrong and quade is just an idiot like we all say he is..

        • Ripsnorter1

          This is a polite comment said kindly:

          “You need to start fathoming Quade doing such a stupid thing. Because the reality is that he is that dumb of a manager. He really is.

          • paulcatanese

            Rip,we would have been better served with Campana at leadoff, Fuko in the three spot and DeWitt in the nine spot,at leat we could have used the guys where they have the best  chance to succeed. From what I’ve seen of LeMahieu he’s got to be further up in the lineup also.

        • John_CC

          “Show him off” in the 6 or 7 or 8th spot where he belongs! 

          How good does he look at 6 for 32, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB and 6Ks over his last 10 games…hitting in the 3 hole? On the season he has 1 HR and 6 RBI!  He is “slugging” .380!!  It is so ridiculous — him hitting the 3 hole — that I cannot even fathom how Quade gets away with it!  It is dumbfounding! 

      • Ripsnorter1

        DeWitt is a winner batting 3rd. Batting .125 with 0 RBI and 0 Extra base hits. What are you complaining about?

        • Brentcarmona

          maybe i just feel bad for the guy. i just cant believe there is not a rock bottom for quade. every game there is always something retarted he does..somethings gotta give

        • JW

          I think we’re just not in the know as “baseball guys”…

  • Brentcarmona

    i would like to give a big thanks (i know im not the first) to neil, tom and aaron (everybody that contributes here at cco)…ive been a cubs fan since 98, more than likely been watching them a lot less time than most people here, however this has got to be one of the most frustrating/sad/boring teams ive seen since ive been watching. i just sit back and wonder how you guys are able to continue writing about our ballclub with all the shananegians (spelling?) going on recently. and just wanted to show my appreciation for you guys sticking with our helpless cubs. lets back z and get a w today!

    • Brentcarmona

      i knew i forgot somebody…thx to brian as well

      • Brian

        Thank you, Mr. Carmona!

    • diehardcubfan

      By all means keep contributing.  We are all at a loss about this team anymore. It only continues to reaffirm what we have all known this whole long year.

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

      We actually are getting a better understanding of the whole Cubs system because of the horrible team that is at the Major League level. For that I am very thankful to all the writers here and to the contributors as well. We can actually see some light at the end of the tunnel as far as the future is concerned. It might be years down the line but at least we know that our future is getting brighter with every kid that talked about and draft pick that guys are spending their free time researching for us. Thanks to all you guys for at least keeping us reading and hoping that there is some good young players on the way.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thank you!

    • Tom U

      Thank you, Brentcarmona!

  • Tom U

    It’s good to see LeMahieu starting two games straight.

    The more I see of him, the more I can understand why insiders say he can hit for power. He has a very fluid, easy swing. As he develops, he should be able to get more carry on the ball. 

    It would be unfair to compare him to Sandberg or Brett, but those are two players who developed their power after coming to the majors.

    • JimBo_C

      Tom,
      LeMahieu gets his bat in the zone quickly, allowing him to wait longer, but does not extend thru the ball well, which is why he is not hitting for power. I like how he makes contact without rolling his wrists over …. hence no hook on the ball. His swing reminds me of Paul Molitor … wishful thinking.

      • paulcatanese

        Wow, you have picked LeMahieu to remind you Paul Molitor ? Not a bad choice, Molitor had some of the best mechanics with his swing in the game.
        I’ll watch him a little closer tonight and try to see the comparison. I coached a High School baseball team using Molitor as a model swing for the kids. Interesting that you picked that out in his swing. Also taught the Charlie Lau system. both were rewarding.

        • JimBo_C

          Paul,
          I watched his first two ABs. I was wrong about the DJ-Molitor comparison. I guess I showed my age by bringing up Molitor. That guy had a great swing.

          Sent from my iPod

          • paulcatanese

            Not all the way, a little less movement on the bat as he sets up is what throws it as he still has a good swing, good eye and was robbed last time up. Ball was outside.

  • diehardcubfan

    Neil thanks for thinking positive but you should have known better that Quade would put DeWitt in left. After all he is our best defensive left fielder. Please now envision me laughing my head off.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Accuscore gives the Cubs a whopping 36% chance of winning tonight. They give Konerko and Quentin each a 25% chance of hitting a HR tonight. Pena has a .7% chance of getting a hit. Zambrano–big mouth and all–has stunk up the joint in an EMBARASSING MANNER.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1512275173 Matt Collins

    good z or bad

  • BosephHeyden

    I would say that, at least with a DH, there’s no reason for Quade to empty his bench in the 8th like he did yesterday…but he might.

    • paulcatanese

      He will,and without any regard as to what he is doing.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    1-2-3 for the Cubs in the top of the first on 10 pitches …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another hit off Cubs pitching on a 0-2 count

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Already down 1-0 three batters into the game

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Make that 3-0 four batters into the game …

  • Baron_S

    WTF — Blake Dewitt at 3 again?

    Hes hitting .250 in 18 June games with 0 HR — this is absurd!

  • Baron_S

    Stoney on WGN — sweeet! if it werent for the insufferable Hawk…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soto breaks up the no hitter

    • JW

      I finally received clarity on Ricketts comment: 
      “I’ve never bought into the (idea) that I should have a baseball guy to watch my baseball guy and his baseball guys,” Ricketts said. “Then what do you get? A baseball guy to watch the baseball guy who’s watching your baseball guys?

      What he doesn’t realize is that the current situation the Cubs have is a baseball idiot (Ricketts) watching a baseball moron (Kenney) watching a Mr Baseball clueless (JH) watching a baseball buffoon (Quade)

      So yeah, getting a baseball guy in there probably makes sense.

      • paulcatanese

        Tounguetwister, very well put.

  • Stu_studdly

    Anyone else think Campana laying down horrible bunts everytime up is getting old?  How bout swing away every now and then so the bunt is a suprise?

    • RynoTiger

      but he’s been hitting a lot of fly balls and pop ups when he swings away..so either way he’s not having effective at bats to maximize his main skill of speed..and if a speed guy can’t get on base then he’s left to pinch running to be a threat

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with a two-out, two-RBI single

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Hendry uses the word ‘great’ to describe mediocrity too much

  • Baron_S

    dewitt friggin sucks!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Blake DeWitt now 2-for-18 (.111) in the No. 3 hole. His best spot is No. 6 (.351)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    I would be surprised if Castro gets another pitch to hit tonight

  • RynoTiger

    I saw that the Giants are still looking for catching help…perfect time to see if they have interest in Soto.  Plus I could have sworn at oine point they were seeking 1B and/or 2B help..maybe they’d like Pena and/or Dewitt too

    • Aaron

      You’re absolutely correct there. Indeed, with Belt going down with the broken wrist or whatever it was, Sanchez going down, DeRosa going down, and Posey going down. I also believe both Sandoval and Fontenot also went down for them.

      I would think a White Flag Trade Chicago style would benefit both teams, as it did in 1997 when the Sox and Giants completed the trade sending Alvarez, Darwin, and Hernandez for Foulke and Howry, and shortstop Caruso, who had an excellent rookie campaign, among others. The move allowed the Giants to make the playoffs that year when it was doubtful they’d overtake the Dodgers. They ultimately ended up losing in the playoffs, and the trade set up the White Sox for a playoff run in 2000 with a league best record of 95-67 with Foulke as the closer and Howry became a fine set-up man. 

      But the key to that trade was Reinsdorf recognizing that while the team was only 3 1/2 games out of the division, they had almost zero chance of making noise in the playoffs if they even got there in the first place. He recognized that the team was old, and it was best to start the rebuilding process at that time, versus waiting any longer.

      Anyway, I think a rebuild is LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG overdue. At the time (circa 2007 and 2008) when Hendry signed all the veterans to ill-fated contracts, he even admitted they were going all-in, and with the players aging, their window of opportunity would be small (he then went on to contradict himself, stating in 2008 “we’re going to be good, and stay good for a long time”). 

      The Cubs could trade Pena, Soto, and DeWitt or Baker (or both of those guys) in one solid move for both teams. 

      Quite obviously, Pena, DeWitt, and Baker have no future with the team. Not only are they not signed beyond this season, but they have solid prospects nipping at their heels. Additionally, Soto has prospects like Castillo and Clevenger that are MLB ready nipping at his heels, and Gibbs not too far behind them.

      I doubt the Cubs would get much for those guys, but if I were the Cubs, I’d shoot for the moon, and ask for Bumgarner and one or two low level prospects and that’s it. And while it’s highly unlikely they’d want to part with him, the Giants are one of the few teams in the league that could withstand a loss to their rotation like that.

      The Cubs could also offer a Soriano for Zito swap, and they might even entertain that idea as well, considering they’re getting absolutely NOTHING out of Burrell, Torres, and Shierholtz.

      If Cubs fans think their offense has been bad this year, the Giants offense make the Cubs lineup look like a bunch of MVP’s. 

      Anyway, the point is, this year would be the IDEAL time to conduct a White Flag trade with a lot of contending teams suffering key injuries.

      Cardinals-Wainwright (though they’ve done a fine job without him), Pujols, Sanchez, Laird, Freese, Punto, Craig

      Giants-DeRosa, Sandoval, Sanchez, Belt, Fontenot, and Posey

      Brewers-Parra, Saito, Stetter

      Reds-Bailey, Burton, Chapman, LeCure, Maloney

      Phillies-Blanton, Lidge, Schneider

      Braves-Beachy, Hanson, Moylan, Prado

      Red Sox-Bucholz, Matsuzaka, Hill, Morales, Lowrie, Crawford

      Rangers-Feldman, Hunter, O’Day, Napoli

      Yankees-Chamberlain, Colon, Hughes, Feliciano, Marte, R. Soriano, Chavez, Jeter

      Those are just a few examples for you of team needs around the league. It appears that pitching (predominantly relief) is in demand right now. And with Zambrano, Dempster, Wells, Marshall, Marmol, and even Grabow (solely because he’s a lefty), the Cubs have a few trade chips to deal.

      With the pitching, because there are so many bidders out there, they can ask for a ton in return if they’re willing to send money with the big contract pitchers. Additionally, since a few teams are interested in catching depth, they can ask for a lot in return for Soto.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent turn by D.J. on the inning ending DP

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good job by Z striking out Paulie

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    CASTRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Number 2, first since April 16

  • Baron_S

    CASTRo!!!!!!

  • GaryLeeT

    I think Konerko felt so guilty that the ump clearly blew a strike 3 call, that he felt obligated to swing and miss at the next pitch.

  • Calicub

    Stalin is such a beast

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Pena with a 3-run shot!

  • Baron_S

    Pena!… man he crushed that!

  • GaryLeeT

    Maybe some “Yankee” attitude has rubbed off on the Cubs.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Ozzie gets kicked out and punts Geo’s face mask

  • Guy

    correct call by the home plate umpire as the ball was still on the point of the plate

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Z walks Teahen on four pitches … not good.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent plays by Pena and Castro to end the bottom of the seventh

    • paulcatanese

      The one play by Castro that I have been waiting for a season and a half was the one Castro had gone in the hole for a ground ball and lo and behold, he just planted his right foot and fired a strike to first, just a perfect play.

  • John_CC

    Just watched the highlights thus far, Harrelson’s call on the homer is the most annoying, worst call I’ve ever heard.  “put it on the boooooard” what is this soccer?  “It’s allll good” – really?  O man. I feel bad for Stoney having to sit and talk to that guy everyday. Really, I do.

    • paulcatanese

      I know, the guy drives me up a wall with that one and the other “the good guys”.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent outing for Zambrano

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the White Sox 6-3. Carlos Zambrano: 3R, 7H, 2BB,
    5K in 8 IP; Starlin Castro: 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI; Carlos Pena: 1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI

  • paulcatanese

    OK,OK,guys, Is Castro now displaying enough power to move him over to third?
    (had to throw that one in here)

    • diehardcubfan

      Starlin is only slugging .431 but it is almost .023 higher than last year.  I think if he continues to progress he could hit .500 slugging percentage by middle of next year. 

      He still needs to learn which pitches to turn on and when he figures that out he will develop the power.

      Then I think a move to 3B is very possible, though I am not sure it will be next year. 

      The Cubs could then look at Barney at short and DJ at 2B.  Unless Castro develops his power then I am worried that there would not be enough sock in the middle of the infield. 

  • Aaron

    Good win for the Cubs…also good news to report….

    The Cubs have signed another player from the draft class…Rafael Lopez, their 16th rounder. Thus far, he’s the highest selection of the Cubs to sign, so it’s VERY important to note that, as I believe the Cubs are one of the only teams in MLB not to sign a player yet above the 10th round. Lopez also was a senior, so it’s not that big of a signing.

    Once another big signing happens, I’ll post the whole list again for everyone

  • paulcatanese

    Would someone please tell me why Marmol was used with a three run lead in the ninth and very little power coming up?, and the only pinch hitters on the Sox bench were “bench” players?

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

      Just to play devils advocate. With so few save opportunities for him, Marmol needs to pitch in as many save chances as he can. It is not like he is pitching everyday. He has had what 3 tries last week and maybe 1 the week before. Pitch him when the says to.

    • carmelo

      A 3 run lead in the ninth is a save opportunity—notice tonight that M. Rivera came in the game tonight for NYY and the score was 5-1—who would you have come in for the Cubs in this situation other than Marmol?  That’s what he get’s paid for—SAVES!!!!

      • paulcatanese

        Ok,ok,I give up you and Richard are right, but it didnt hurt that Ricketts and Jh were in the stands and Quade knew it.

        • Tno13

          What? I believe they are in the stands nearly every game in Chicago, or watching on TV if they’re not there.
          I don’t know what you’re trying to say. Are you saying he would not have used Marmol in a save situation unless his bosses were there?
          I’m not a big fan of what Quade has done this year, but why reach to criticize when he used the right player in the right situation?

          • paulcatanese

            No,I wasn’t saying that Quade would not have used Marmol unless his bosses were there. Simply that with a three run lead I felt there was little need for Marmol in that situation. For the other matter, how many times has Quade made the “right decision”? Ricketts and JH are almost always in the stands as you say, and how many times has Quade made the wrong decision? And who does Quade use tommorow if it’s a one run game going into the ninth ? Marmol is the right one to use,but he should be used when he needs to be and the Cubs need to protect a slight lead.

          • Tno13

            Well, I guess we just disagree. Who does Quade use to close tomorrow?  Marmol. Closers can and do work an inning two days in a row, I know you know that. That’s why I don’t understand your reaction.
            If Wood were available, I can see using him to start the ninth, but he isn’t. Can you imagine the reaction if he doesn’t use Marmol, and Samardzija blows the game?
            Quade is flawed but Marmol was the right call. Besides, there may not be another save situation this week.

          • paulcatanese

            Your’e right, but I am greedy when it comes to the White Sox, and it was the correct call under the circumstances. I was assuming the Cubs had this one in the bag, and thats a mistake on my part. I know better, and you never put the bats away until the game is over. And thats what I was doing. Its true that one never puts off today for tommorow and the game needed to be sealed off and won, and Marmol was the best choice to do that.You got me.