Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Rockies – 06/27/11

Game Seventy-Eight: Cubs (31-46) vs. Rockies (38-39)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Matt Garza (3-6, 4.11/1.40) vs. Jhoulys Chacin (8-4, 2.71/1.08)

Weather permitting … The Cubs begin an eight-game homestand this afternoon with a makeup game against the Colorado Rockies. Today’s game was originally scheduled for April 27 but was cancelled due to weather … well it never rained and the Rockies were not happy about the cancellation.

Colorado had already won the first two games of the series and was going for the sweep on that Wednesday afternoon in late April. The original pitching match-up was Casey Coleman for the 10-13 Chicago Cubs and Jhoulys Chacin for the 16-7, first place Colorado Rockies. A lot has changed for Colorado since while the Cubs have kept finding ways to lose games. The Rockies have already won the season series against the Cubs (4-1) and are looking to rebound from losing two of three in the Bronx over the weekend.

Today is a rematch of the game back on April 15 in Denver. Jhoulys Chacin posted the first complete game shutout of his career in a 5-0 victory over Matt Garza.

The Cubs begin a very difficult homestand with eight games in seven days. After today’s makeup, the Giants return to Chicago and the Cubs will play a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday prior to the regularly scheduled games on Wednesday and Thursday … with both Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain scheduled. The homestand ends with three against the Sox and if Q’s squad does not step it up they will be 20 games under .500 before the 4th of July.

As Marlon Byrd is set to begin his rehab assignment with the I-Cubs, today it all starts with Matt Garza

Matt Garza is coming off a rain-shortened start against the White Sox in which he threw the ball extremely well. Garza allowed two runs on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts in five innings. Garza really made only one mistake … he served up a homer to Paul Konerko.

Mike Quade is in need of a long outing from Matt Garza today. The Cubs have five games over the next four days and not another day off until the break. The Cubs’ pen is short (and shot) plus it is time for the top three pitchers in the rotation to step it up several notches.

Garza is 1-2 in his last four starts with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP … and at Wrigley this season, 2-2 in six starts with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.

Due to the dry-out back on April 27, Garza will make his third start of the season against the Rockies … 0-2 in two starts with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP (10 runs, six earned, on 10 hits in 12 innings with three walks and 12 strikeouts).

Rockies Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Jhoulys Chacin – 1-for-3
  • Jason Giambi – 1-for-9 with 4 walks
  • Carlos Gonzalez – 1-for-8 with a home run
  • Todd Helton – 4-for-8 with a home run and a walk
  • Jonathan Herrera – 1-for-4 with a walk
  • Chris Iannetta – 1-for-5 with a triple
  • Seth Smith – 1-for-8 with a walk
  • Troy Tulowitzki – 1-for-8
  • Ty Wigginton – 4-for-16 with a double and a home run

Jhoulys Chacin is in the middle of an excellent run and has not lost a game since May 29 against the Cardinals. Chacin received a no decision in his last start in Cleveland after allowing one run on two hits with six walks and seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. The Rockies ended up winning the game and are 4-0 in Chacin’s last four starts (3-0 with a 1.01 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP) … dating back to May 4 Colorado is 7-3 in the 10 games started by Jhoulys Chacin.

For as good as Chacin has been this season he’s struggled a little on the road (4-1 in six starts with a 3.11 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP) … the Cubs would take those numbers in a heartbeat.

Chacin is 1-1 in three career games, two starts, against the Cubs with a 2.16 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP … at Wrigley, 0-1 in one start with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jhoulys Chacin

  • Starlin Castro – 0-for-7
  • Blake DeWitt – 0-for-7
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-3 with a home run and a walk
  • Matt Garza – 0-for-2
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-3 with a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-6 with a double and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-5
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-5 with 2 walks

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth
  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

    • Richard Hood

      I got an idea when we got a hot hitting catcher lets bat him eighth. Then he won’t get anything to hit. Way to put your players in the best place to succeed.

      • Zipppy2212

        Kinda like hitting your hot hitting shortstop 3rd were he has struggled instead of 2nd were he has been tearing the cover off the ball.  I guess that is his punishment for not hustling yesterday.

        • Richard Hood

          He should have been on the bench today so chalk that up as a wash. I think if Barney was already to go then he would be playing short today just to let the lesson sink in on Castro.

           Quade actually is right about getting on Castro about this. There is no place to just sit there and let the ball continue to go to the outfield and feel sorry for yourself for not making a play. I just wish that some of the vets would be in a position to actually get on him for the management without being hypocritical. This is where I wish we had a Chipper Jones type on this team. A guy that is naturally respected for what he has done in the game and still plays the game the right way all the time. Normally these types of mental mistakes are handled in house by the Kangaroo Kourt or what ever that clubhouse calls it. We just do not have that type of leadership in the Clubhouse. I really expected Kerry Wood to provide some of it but it seems that is expecting too much from our elder statesmen.

          Now Quade please bench ARAM or Soriano or anyone else that dogs it today. I will believe it when I see it.

          • Zippy2212

            I agree with you he should have been scolded, but in private not in print.  It is a shame that our “leaders” all play the game this way and you never hear/see anything said about it but the kids who are producing get to read in the paper how they screwed up.

            Anyway, hopefully he breaks out of his 3 hole slump today and everybody hustles!

          • Richard Hood

            Most of the problems like we have heard about from this team normally get handled “in house” but again we do not have that type of leaders on this team. We are not the only team with issues like this that are handled in the media just being in Chicago if you sneeze on someone it becomes front page news.

      • John_CC

        This is a terrible batting order, even for Quade.  Campana #2?  Soto #8? Like you said, terrible spot to keep him hot. 

        Someone pointed out yesterday that Castro’s OPS in the 2 hole is .900+ as well as Aramis’ OPS in the 3 hole is also over .900.  On the contrary, in the 3 and 4 spots respectively, Castro’s and Aramis’ OPS both fall considerably. 

        Also, Pena has been on a home run binge and should absolutely be hitting clean-up.  This is one of the oddities that is Hendry and Quade, they paid Pena the big bucks to be the left handed cleanup hitter, but every since his early struggles haven’t played him there despite never moving Aramis even throughout all his unproductive ABs. 

        Fukudome – Castro – Aramis – Pena is a decent top of the order, decent. Stick a light hitting mostly bunter in the 2 hole and let’s see what happens.

        • JW

          Thanks for referencing my post. I get carried away with the number but it all comes back to chemistry which Quade is totally oblivious to. I guess we can all eat crow, since the Cubs won, but 2 HR each from Ramirez and Pena is certainly not the norm for the Cubs

      • paulcatanese

        AS bad is the fact of Campana hitting in the two spot. It takes any advantage he would have in the lineup by having someone in front of him. As you say Soto in the eight spot will teach him, don’t hit any more home runs today, he may be benched tommorow.

        • Gramps

          Have to agree with you Paul. Fukudome and Campana should be switched.  Put the fast guy in the leadoff spot and the guy who can handle the bat in the 2-spot. I also would have Pena in the cleanup spot, and Soto in the 6th spot. Ah, reminds me of the days of the College of Coaches! Quade would have fit in great with that group! 

          • paulcatanese

            Ah,but what do us older gentlemen know about the game?

  • John_CC

    When is the last time a Cubs team was 20 games under .500?

    • Neil


      • Ripsnorter1

        Ahhhh. That brings back great memories. 66-96 record. Dead last place–Pirates won 67 games that year. Dusty in his last year. His best friend, Nefi Perez, starting ahead of Theriot and Walker at 2B. Perez had 5 BB in 246 plate appearances. He was fielding .966 at SS amd .973 at 2B–awful at the double play, but hey, he was Dusty’s best friend, right?

        The Cubs had dumped Sammy Sosa over the off seaon in order to keep Dusty happy. Our OF consisted of Jacque Jones in RF ( a huge mistake) and Juan Pierre in CF and Matt Murton in LF. Pierre was awful in the first half, lead the league in CS, and in 750 PA, walked 32 times. He lead the league in games played, too. 

        Murton hit .298 with 13 taters and 63 RBI. Derrek Lee missed over half of 2006 when his wrist was broken by a pitch. John Mabry hit .205 as his sub. Barrett, C, had 16 taters and hit .307. Aram had 38 HR and 119 RBI.

        Here’s your top 5 starters:Z went 16-7. 
        Maddux 9-11
        S. Marshall 6-9
        R.Hill 6-7
        Carlos Marmol  5-7

        Dumster was your closer: 1-9 24 saves
        The bullpen was gasoline alley.It was a great year!

        • John_CC

          I think the 2011 Cubs are fully capable of besting that team …er…worsting it, and losing 100 games, whichever way you look at it.

          • Ripsnorter1

            With their current 31-46 record, the Cubs are on a pace to win ….66 games.

      • Anonymous47701

        And 2010 I believe.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Yup. You are correcto. At one point we had won 3 games less than the KC Royals.

        • Neil

          Good catch and I stand corrected. The Cubs hit the 20 below mark right before Lou left with the low point of last season being 23 under.

  • Rbmercer

    Ouch! Cargo strikes!

  • Neil

    That didn’t take long … already down 1-0

  • John G

    I’m watching the news awaiting the Blago jury verdict rather than the Cubs game. I already know the results of the Cubs Game.

    Sorry for injecting politics.

    • John G

      Guilty on 18 counts. Holy sheeet!!!

      OK lets get back to baseball.

      • cc002600

        Best news I’ve heard in weeks

        Bye, bye Blago….. you got what you deserve !!

  • Neil

    Castro extends hitting streak to 11 games with 6th triple of year … Aramis with number 7!

  • Richard Hood

    Wow if that wasn’t exactly what we thought would happen. Soto gets over aggressive trying to make a play and gets nothing to hit. Thanks again for that Quade

  • Neil

    A little miscommunication between Pena & Soto on pop-up in 4th but didn’t cost Quade talked to both in dugout after inning 

  • Neil

    Pena with #15!

  • Neil

    Nippon Ham Fighters purchase contract of Cubs farmhand Bobby Scales. He joins Micah Hoffpauir there.

    • Richard Hood

       I saw that one coming with the Gonzalez promoting. Figured it was going to be Scott Moore as well.

    • Tom U

      I went on the Ham Fighters’ sight to see how well Hoffpauir was doing, but I couldn’t figure out where the stats were.

      I did find out that Matt Murton is third in the league in hitting.

  • John_CC

    What do you guys think, if Pena goes something like .240/80/32/90 – what are the odds that Hendry resigns him?  I say 2:1.

    • Richard Hood

      that is pretty close to numbers I picked for him to end up with.

  • Richard Hood

    ARAM is pretty locked in right now. Hopefully he can have a healthy month and give us another trade chip.

    • Cha boy

      I don’t think any team would want him. If he gets traded, a team option must be picked up for 15 mil I think. That’s not happening. 

      • Richard Hood

        It is now being reported both ways I don’t know for certain what the option is.

      • John_CC

        I inquired about this a few days ago — I have read that the option is no longer guaranteed, I have read that it is, I have read that it is not clear…does anyone know with certainty what Aramis’ trade clause is?

        Not that I think it’ll matter much, he doesn’t want to be traded, and again, if Hendry stays at the helm, and Aramis and Pena hit well for rest of the summer, they will both be resigned. I’d bet on it. 

      • Tom U

        From Cots:

        2012 $16M club option ($2M buyout) becomes guaranteed if Ramirez:
        *wins one MVP in 2007-11, or
        *places 2nd or 3rd in MVP vote twice in 2007-11, or
        *wins LCS MVP once in 2007-11, or
        *is an All Star 3 times in 2007-11, or
        *is traded & Ramirez exercises 2011 option

        Ramirez exercised 2011 player option 11/10

        • cubs1967

          according to bruce levine; aram’s contract does NOT become guaranteed if traded; only paid $1M.

          • John_CC

            This is what I’m talking about. 

            Tom, I’ve read Cots, and the way I understand it is that the option is now guaranteed.

            But then I hear something like the Levine reference.

            So I just don’t know.

          • Tom U

            With Levine, consider the source (however, I am biased).

  • Neil

    Pena with #16 – 2-run shot

  • GaryLeeT

    In order to survive a season like this, we Cub fans have to feed ourselves on little moral victories, like handing Chacin his worst outing of the year.

    • Richard Hood

      what really sucks is I had just picked him up for my fantasy team

      • John_CC

        i absolutely would have taken that chance! 

  • Neil

    Aramis again … his first multi-homer game of the season

    • Richard Hood

      He needs about 4 more this week just toget back to his career numbers by the AllStar break

  • Tom U

    Good news for Josh Vitters, as he pinch hit and drove in the winning run in Tennessee’s 13 inning 1-0 victory over Birmingham. Vitters stayed in the game and played the bottom half of the 13th at first base.

    • Neil

       Thanks Tom for the update

  • Neil

    Cubs beat the Rockies 7-3 Monday afternoon. Aramis Ramirez: 3-for-4, 2HR, 2B, 3R, 3RBI; Carlos Pena: 2-for-4, 2HR, 3RBI; Matt Garza: 3R, 5H (2HR), 6K, 7.1IP

  • Agustin

    I’m kinda rooting for them to lose these days so that the  dumb and dumber saga ends sooner and we can get back to the drawing board; but I guess that wish will be sufficient to make these donkeys start wining just enough ball games to further delay the inevitable process.  We will suck, we will lose 98 games but we will play great down the stretch and JH and Mike Q. will convince the owners to try it one more time and that the veterans [including] K.Hill will get it done next year.  We must extend them all!!!! Then by Spring Marlon Byrd will rewrite his sketch and it’s tittle will be; Now we are really, really going to Explode!!! Go Cubs!

    Good Game BTW

    • Aaron


      I was about to post the same thing this evening when you stole the words out of my mouth.

      IT seems like every single time the Cubs have an offensive output like this, we hear the talking heads like Hendry start saying, “it was only a matter of time before the bats got going,” or, “this is what our guys are really capable of,” or, “maybe this will get us on a little bit of a hot streak, and we’ll see….”

      And every time I hear this from the buffoon that is Jim Hendry, I take a mental note, as it’s just another reason in an increasingly loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong list of reasons why Hendry should be fired.

      One of the main reasons a team has a GM to begin with is manage a roster and manage payroll, and as a part of that job, they must decide when to hold ’em and when to fold e’m. 

      Hendry note only has failed to recognize when he needs to blow up a team completely as he did after 2005, 2006, and 2010 and now 2011 and failed to do so, but he also failed to recognize after the seasons of 2003 and 2008 when to keep e’m.

      In 2004, the Cubs signed/acquired the likes of: Barrett, Walker, Lee, Hollandsworth, and Macias

      They jettisoned the likes of: Miller, Grudz (in a way to a reserve role), Karros, Lofton, and other lesser players that played vital roles like Simon, AGON, etc.

      In 2009, the Cubs signed/acquired the likes of: Gregg, Miles, Bako, Bradley, and Heilman

      They jettisoned the likes of: Edmonds, DeRosa, Wuertz, Marquis, Murton, Pie, Cedeno, etc.

      So, while most of the guys from 2003 and 2008 that the Cubs got rid of weren’t exactly huge names in most cases, they did play vital roles in their success, and Hendry basically said “thanks but no thanks” and went in completely opposite directions in both cases. 

      Knowing when to hold and fold is a VITALLY important attribute to any successful GM and Hendry doesn’t have it.

      You can only mask a turd in the corner of a room with potpourri for a finite amount of time before it stinks again. 

      Hendry doesn’t realize a big ass turd is sitting in the corner of the room right now, and he refuses to clean up his own damn mess.

      Hendry refuses to deal underperforming players he acquires in most cases, because he wants to prove that he was right. It’s that stubbornness that has kept guys like Berg, Stevens, Smit, Hill, Miles, Gregg, Heilman, Grabow, Nady, DeWitt, Hill, etc. on the 40-man roster, and even the active roster, while other prospects are more deserving, thus stunting player development.

      Does Ricketts not understand this? 

      • Agustin

        Right on with the Texas Holdem’ analogy…never quite understood why he blew the 2008 so badly when all we needed was a Damn Lefty Slugger and an ACE pitcher for the playoffs…How difficult was that? A blind man could have done the right thing in order for the team to get deep into the playoffs again in 2009!
        I admit I was happy that he brought Milton at first because of his OBP but I never would have agreed on that stupid price tag! [which coincidentally he out bid himself]. 

        Also, I have to admitt that you called this catastrophe way before it happened and I thought you were over reacting a little. The No trade clauses and the loooooong contracts, the Freaking OPTIONS!!!!! You preached it.  He over paid for every single player he got in the past 5 years, as if he needed to because these where the lowly Pirates or Nationals[of the past] that need to do so in order to have good players come to play. This is Chicago, a big market team and a great baseball town…players should want to be part of this, and if they don’t, well they don’t appreciate history or don’t know it.  I can’t stand this GM for one more second, he has to be soooo ashamed of being him. Of all the contracts that have us tied up like a maxed out credit card I forgive him the Aramis one because he would have easily gotten more elsewhere. After that….he has no justification for Soriano, Heilman,Gregg,Milton,MILES, Grabow,HILL, BOB HOWRY[second chance], Marquis[he was ok but still outbid himself], Chad Fox, Neil Cotts, Phil Nevin, Izturis!!! OMG for Steve STOOOOONE, Chip, Ryne Sandberg!!!!! MIKE QUADE? really really over Sandberg???

        Bonus: Jaque jones and Latroy Hawkins

        I really can’t believe the Rickets are that blind, they must have a plan. One thing is for sure I can’t take a whole new season like this, this has to stop before next year.

  • Tony

    Ah yes, it’s time for ARam and Pena to make their summer salary run.  If only, either guy could have hit the first 70 games, the Cubs might need be so buried.  But they will put up some big numbers, and will look for and get a big contract.

    Nice win all in all, but too little, too late.