Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Royals – 06/25/11

Game Seventy-Six: Cubs (31-44) vs. Royals (31-45)
Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City

Carlos Zambrano (6-4, 4.50/1.33) vs. Danny Duffy (1-2, 5.03/1.79)

The Cubs will try to win their first Interleague series in their last seven tries tonight behind Carlos Zambrano. The Cubs have struggled in Interleague play once again this year and are 4-6 against the Red Sox, Yankees, White Sox and Royals with five games remaining against the American League this season

Reed Johnson is expected back in the starting lineup tonight. Mike Quade said Friday that he would not play Johnson more than two games in a row. The Cubs are trying to keep Johnson as fresh, and injury free, as possible

The Cubs will face one of the Royals top pitching prospects tonight in Danny Duffy. The 22-year old lefty has electric stuff and is one of the many young players that the Royals are counting on to help turn the organization around. Duffy had to leave his last start after straining his calf. Duffy struck out nine St. Louis Cardinals in 3 2/3 innings before the injury cut short his outing.

In other news Darwin Barney will begin his rehab assignment tonight with Triple-A Iowa. Barney was fitted for a knee brace and is expects to be activated prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Giants. Marlon Byrd will head to Triple-A and start his rehab stint with Iowa on Monday. Byrd and the Cubs are hoping for a July 4th return against the Nationals. And finally, Kerry Wood threw a bullpen session Friday and according to the Sun-Times, Wood will need at least one or two more side sessions before the Cubs set a date for his return from the DL.

Mike Quade should run out a similar starting lineup as the one that faced Bruce Chen on Friday night.

On Aramis Ramirez’s 33rd birthday, it all starts with Carlos Zambrano

Carlos Zambrano is coming off one of his best performances of the year. After allowing three runs to the first four batters he faced, Zambrano settled down and threw seven innings of shutout ball against the White Sox. Z completed eight innings, turned the game over to Carlos Marmol and broke his four-game winless streak.

Zambrano has put together a solid first three months of the season. Big Z is no longer the dominant pitcher he once was but for the most part is still very effective.

Z is 1-2 in his last four starts with a 5.27 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP … and on the road this season, 5-2 in nine starts with a 4.97 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.

Tonight will be Carlos Zambrano’s first career start against the Kansas City Royals.

Royals Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano

  • Wilson Betemit – 2-for-4 with a double and a home run
  • Melky Cabrera – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Alcides Escobar – 1-for-9 with a triple
  • Jeff Francoeur – 5-for-25 with a double, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Chris Getz – 2-for-5 with 2 doubles and a walk

Baseball America ranked lefty Danny Duffy the seventh best prospect in the Royals system in their pre-season rankings. The Royals selected the 22-year old lefty in the third round of the 2007 draft out of Lompoc, CA (HS). Duffy is coming off a short start against the Cardinals (two runs on six hits with a walk and nine strikeouts) and he’s yet to post a win at home in three tries. Duffy was lifted in the fourth inning against the Cardinals with a calf strain.

Danny Duffy is 0-2 in three starts at Kauffman Stadium with a 6.92 ERA and a 2.46 WHIP. The Cubs must be patient against the extremely talented southpaw.

Duffy can light up a radar gun. His fastball is consistently in the mid to upper 90s (95-97) but not at the start of games. Duffy increases his velocity as his outings progress. Duffy features an above average changeup, a slow curve ball and a slider that he throws from a three-quarters arm slot.

Duffy has made just seven starts at the big league level after receiving his call to the show at the end of May.

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Johnson – CF
    Castro – SS
    Baker – DH
    Ramirez – 3B
    Soto – C
    Soriano – LF
    Pena – 1B
    Montanez – RF
    LeMahieu – 2B

    Zambrano – P

    • paulcatanese

      Quade is brilliant,has his speed lineup going tonight.

  • Brentcarmona

    continuing discussion from last thread..look hendry and crew…if the team started out the season winning and losing back an forth, always at five hundred (i think we set a record for most games at five hundred like that, to start the season), and now forteen games under with NO three game winning streak ever, what makes you guys think getting baker, barney etc back is going to change things? its the same freaking team morons. we are the definition of mediocrity, hell even worse this part of the year.

    now those two reports from the sun times and the tribune are pretty worrisome because, although i dont live in chicago im certain that those are the two biggests medias for cubs info (correct me if im wrong)….i still cant figure out if the front office is delusional or they are looking to go young and they dont want to admit defeat so early…who knows.

  • fryegye

    So I looked back on my history as a Cubs fan today…

    5 winning seasons in a row as I was a wide-eyed kid cheering my Cubbies on to potential glory (1968 – 72)

    3 winning seasons in a row with Sweet Lou as I hoped against all hope (2007 – 09)

    Only eight other winning seasons in the 35 years in between (and we spend all our time thinking about three of those (1984, 1989, 2003)

    I’ve been a Cubs fan for over 40 years and it’s only been fun for about 11 of those years.

    I might need to examine my over commitment issues…

  • Ripsnorter1

    What??

    http://www.indyposted.com/164235/chicago-cubs-release-it-gets-better-psa-in-support-of-lgbt-rights/The Cubs came out in support of gay rights? 
    What has this to do with MLB? It is certainly against the Bible.

    • John_CC

      What??

      What does the bible have to do with MLB?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        John this is not directed towards you, but the entire site.

        This subject is now closed. I will not allow further comments about this subject. Any comments from this point further on this subject will be deleted.

        The CCO is for discussing baseball and the Chicago Cubs, not political or any other views.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good first inning for Z

  • John_CC

    Glad to see LeMahieu getting another start. He’ll no doubt be sent down when Barney and Byrd are activated.  Which I guess is good.  He can take his experience with him and play everyday working on getting back up. I am really high him, I like what he’s done so far on the field and also seems like a smart ballplayer. 

    hmm…who managed Barney, Castro and LeMahieu that could have instilled the “right way” to play baseball?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Here’s
    the brace Darwin Barney will wear for a month, starting tonite while
    rehabbing w/ I-Cubs. http://yfrog.com/kg4iqvj

    • paulcatanese

      Neil,looked at that brace for Barney. Wow it must be worse than I thought. It sure looks as though it will limit his movements. I don’t know how he’s going to get around. I wonder if surgery after the season is on the way?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Second inning ending DP turned by the Cubs

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Horrible send by DeJesus

    • Skeldor

      yeah, johnson had just got to third when the LF was picking up the ball LOL…what was he thinking, especially since that guy leads MLB in outfield assists.  After the first game you would have thought they would be a little more cautious

    • JW

      He’s overall been a terrible 3rd base coach. I can’t even count the number of times the Cubs have looked foolish on the basepaths trying for an extra base or to score when it was obviously not gonna happen. Maybe he and Quade should swap roles for a day, since he man’d 3rd pretty well. 

      • Joey U

        DeJesus is another Wendell Kim …  There is no way he should be at third he is just like his bosses Quade @ Hendry clueless.

    • John_CC

      Just caught the replay, that was pretty bad.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Very nice play (and a big smile) from Aramis on the foul ball in the camera well

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    No patience for the Cubs against Duffy … just 58 pitches for the rookie after five innings.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Aramis with #6 on his 33rd birthday

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Back-to-back Jacks!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Kinda confused by this move … Fukudome hitting for Baker in a 2-2 game.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Samardzija can’t find the plate

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Okay, the way it is looking it is not going to matter but Quade’s in game decisions have not been good again tonight

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 3-2 to Royals – Ramirez and Soto w/ Back-to-Back
    Jacks in 6th; Carlos Zambrano: 2R, 8H, 3BB, 2K, 7IP; Cubs 1-for-4
    w/RISP,6 LOB

  • cubtex

    I wonder if anyone can post the stat on the Cubs record this year when leading or tied from the 6th inning on. With the Cubs bullpen starting the year…..I thought this would be their strength. Quade does not know how to manage a game in the late innings at all! In fact….I have not seen anyone worse. A team should be over .500 when leading or tied from the 6th on…but I am pretty sure that is definately not the case with Q’s squad.

    • cubtex

      I meant to say leading by 1 run or tied.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      This page should help you

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/split.cgi?t=p&team=CHC&year=2011

      The starters and the middle relief is more of an issue than the backend of the pen. Add in the wonderful job with RISP and that equals a 9-13 record in one-run games …

      • cubtex

        Thanks Neil.