Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Giants – 06/30/11

Game Eighty-Two: Cubs (33-48) vs. Giants (46-35)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Carlos Zambrano (6-4, 4.38/1.34) vs. Matt Cain (7-4, 3.22/1.11)

The Cubs and Giants conclude their four-game series this afternoon … and Q’s squad has a chance at splitting the extended series with the defending World Series Champs. The Giants have won three of the first five games in the season series against Q’s squad.

After posting a 12-14 record in April and an 11-16 mark in May, the Cubs are 10-18 with one game left to play in June. Winning back-to-back games against the Giants would be a great way to go into the weekend series against the White Sox.

Aramis Ramirez is expected back in the starting lineup this afternoon. Today might be a good time to give Starlin Castro a breather, slide Darwin Barney over to short and start Blake DeWitt at second. DeWitt has good career numbers (6-for-18 with a home run and three walks) against Matt Cain.

In other newsKerry Wood threw a simulated game Wednesday and if everything is okay today with the blister on his right index finger, Wood could be activated in time for the weekend series against the White Sox. The Cubs will likely wait until Monday to activate Marlon Byrd.

Andrew Cashner was in the dugout Wednesday night and is in Chicago to be examined by Dr. Stephen Gryzlo. Cashner has been rehabbing in Mesa and if he gets the go ahead, Cashner could start throwing on Friday. The Cubs have not set a timetable for his return. Reports a few weeks back indicated if Cashner is able to pitch this year it would likely be as a reliever, not as a starter.

Today it all begins with Carlos Zambrano

Carlos Zambrano is coming off a solid outing against the Royals but received a no decision after the offense could not do anything against Danny Duffy and the KC Pen. Z allowed two runs on eight hits in seven innings with three walks and two strikeouts. After two bad outings against the Phillies and Brewers, Z has been very good in his last two starts.

Zambrano is 1-2 in his last five starts with a 4.72 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP and must limit his free passes today. Big Z has walked almost as many hitters (16) over his last five starts as the ones he’s struck out (21).

Z did not face the Giants back in May and is 5-1 in 11 career games, 10 starts, with a 2.58 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.

Giants Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano

  • Pat Burrell – 4-for-16 with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
  • Matt Cain – 1-for-6 with a home run and a walk
  • Bill Hall – 9-for-44 with 2 doubles, 2 triples and 6 walks
  • Aubrey Huff – 1-for-6 with 6 walks
  • Cody Ross – 2-for-12 with a double and a walk
  • Aaron Rowand – 0-for-10
  • Pablo Sandoval – 2-for-9 with a walk
  • Miguel Tejada – 8-for-27 with a double and a home run
  • Andres Torres – 0-for-2 with a walk

The Cubs will get their first look of the season at Matt Cain this afternoon. Cain has been outstanding of late and is coming off a gem against the Indians. Cain threw seven innings of shutout ball against Cleveland and allowed just four hits while striking out six (one walk).

Matt Cain is 4-0 in his last five starts with a 1.96 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP … Cain has not lost a game since May 29 and the Giants are 11-5 in his 16 starts.

Today will be Matt Cain’s 11th career start against the Cubs … 5-2 in 10 starts with a 2.38 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. Cain owns a 1-1 record in four career starts with a 2.19 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Matt Cain

  • Jeff Baker – 2-for-11
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-4 with a walk
  • Blake DeWitt – 6-for-18 with a home run and 3 walks
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 3-for-14 with a double
  • Koyie Hill – 3-for-9 with a double and a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-5
  • Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-15 with a double and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-8 with a home run and 3 walks
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-6
  • Carlos Zambrano – 0-for-6

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not." - James Gordon
Share on Fancred
  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

    • paulcatanese

      Neil, I like the lineup,cause my little buddy is playing. Just hope he dosen’t make the same mistake again as yesterday. I know he is far from a superstar but the electric he brings with his speed is a lot of fun to watch. I see where Quade has as many as 6 leftys to bring to the plate in a row.Again Quade and his platoons.

      • GUEST

        Can’t stand your little buddy.   Time for him to go back to AA.

        • paulcatanese

          You wouldnt say that if you were thirsty, and he was the one you sent for the beer.

      • Brp921

        I like Campana too. It’s nice to see a little speed in the line-up, even with him in the wrong spot.

        • Mike1040

          What a group of kids we have. They are great. They really offset Mr nohustle Ramirez, Pena, and Soto

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Kerry Wood tweeted that he will be coming off the DL on Friday.

    • cc002600

      I heard Kerry today on Waddle / Silvy show.
      He said its either cubs or no one for him.  He doesn’t want to leave.

      I hope the cubs are smart enough to keep him for the next few years until he hangs them up.

      Love that guy.

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Iowa – Alberto Cabrera (1-2, 8.90)
    Tennessee – Nick Struck (1-1, 1.59)
    Daytona – Angel Guzman (0-0, 2.45)
    Peoria – Eric Jokisch (7-2, 3.92)
    Boise – Willengton Cruz (0-0, 3.38)

    Boise added RHP Joseph Zeller from the AZL Cubs. No corresponding move was announced.

    • paulcatanese

      Tom,again Guzman is plugging along and seems to be a bit stronger. Any prognosis to his direction? when do you think he will be strong enough to
      be of help to the Cubs?

      • Tom U

        Paul, sorry to get back to you so late. 

        The organization is being ultra-conservative with Guzman’s progress, knowing that another major injury might end his career. He’s been only pitching for a couple of innings each start. 

        It looks like they’ll slowly build him up during the course of the season,and then allow him to rest in the off-season. He’ll probably be re-evaluated during spring training, and then allowed to gradually increase his workload.

        It will be interesting to see what kind of a pitcher he will be if he comes all the way back. Guzman was a power pitcher prior to the injuries, and relying on that may kind of doom him. If he’s picked up any tricks along the way, he may be able to survive and contribute.

        • paulcatanese

          Hey Tom, better late than never,I just got back myself. I know he was a power pitcher and you are right,if he tries it again it could be the end of his comeback attempt. I sure hope he makes it, he was awesome to watch when he was right.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    It will be Wells (Friday), Garza (Saturday) and Lopez (Sunday) against the Sox this weekend.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cashner seeing team dr today. Assuming all OK, set to restart throwing program this weekend

  • cc002600

    cubtex, aaron, and others from yesterday about the value of some of the cubs in trades.  Did you see Hendry’s comment about no fire sale will be coming ?

    Read between the lines on that. As I said yesterday, there is no market for underachieving, overpaid players like Z, Fuk, Grabow, ARAM, Sori, Etc..NOBODY is adding big time payroll for underachieving players…..and the cubs are not going to eat 80%-90% of the money, which is what it would take

    …and for guys like Baker, Hill, Reed, those guys are a dime a dozen that can be found in most anyone’s AAA team for a fraction of the cost………please.

    Don’t get your hopes up on the cubs trading any of these guys for anything..

    Take off the cubbie blinders.
     

    • cubtex

      Your probably right with Z after today :) Things happen….injuries,desperation, match another teams move…Mark Ellis was just traded to the Rockies so the activity will be starting. Fuk, Aram, Pena have value to contending teams. They are not bad players! They just won’t help the Cubs this year. We will see who is right. As far as Hendry….I don’t pay much attention to what he says! He is a lame duck gm imo… He will not be back next year and I am pretty sure he does not have complete authority at this time.

      • zonk

        A-Ram is nearly untradeable, because he has a $16 mil option that vests for next year if he is traded.  Otherwise, it’s just a $2 mil buyout. 

        This almost guarantees he won’t be traded

      • cc002600

         You’re missing the point.
        THEY MAKE TOO MUCH MONEY !!!!!!
        Nobody wants to add millions of payroll, unless they are studs.
        So the only way it happens is if cubs pay 80-90% of the freight,and I don’t see that happening.

        There’s more to it than just whether or not they are good players.

      • cc002600

        And I disagree with you on Hendry being lame duck.
        Hate to say it, but I think he’s back next year.
        You are underestimating how much Ricketts likes Hendry….
        I wish you were right, but I don’t think so.
         

    • zonk

      There won’t be a firesale, because we have little to sell, and most deadline deals are non-events, unless it’s a star player, and we don’t have one to trade.

      The only thing we’ll gain is freeing-up 40 -man space and small amounts of payroll relief.  That’s it.

      • cc002600

        Totally agree.
        That was basically my point yesterday that many on here disagreed with.

        There is no market for underachieving, overpaid players. That’s a real bad combo.

        Not sure why that’s so hard to comprehend.

        • cubtex

          Are u going to tell me that if Fielder gets hurt and they are in a dog fight with the Cards…they wouldn’t add payroll? They are already rolling the dice on this year. They know this is their opportunity since Fielder and others won’t be back. If the need to add 5 mil or so to help push them over the top they would do it in a heartbeat.

          • cubtex

            I am talking about the Brewers as an example.

          • cc002600

            If he ends up on DL for the rest of year, maybe……but not if he’s out short-term…..

            but that would be unusual case.

            Other than that, I just don’t see it.

          • cubtex

            I am only talking about contending teams making a move to help win a division… Cleveland,White Sox, Angels, Boston, Detroit, San Fran. If any of these teams felt a player could make a difference and add 5 mil or so in payroll… I am sure every one of these owners would sign off on it. If you already have $100 or so mil invested in the team and if you think you can win by adding a little more….who wouldn’t?

          • cubtex

            Sorry for double post

          • cc002600

             In this economy, you would be surprised.
            $5M is a lot of money and don’t forget, these are businesses.  No one likes to lose money.

            I’m not saying it can’t happen, just saying that I think its very unlikely. 

            A guy’s salary is probably the most important factor that teams (except yankees) take into consideration when they are deciding who to trade for.

          • cubtex

            I am only talking about contending teams making a move to help win a division… Cleveland,White Sox, Angels, Boston, Detroit, San Fran. If any of these teams felt a player could make a difference and add 5 mil or so in payroll… I am sure every one of these owners would sign off on it. If you already have $100 or so mil invested in the team and if you think you can win by adding a little more….who wouldn’t?

  • Brentcarmona

    hey all

    im here at the game sweating my butt off out in the bleachers. its a hot one!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I hope you stayed until the end

      • Brentcarmona

        i sure did it was a glorious time…if only this was a winning season.

        • paulcatanese

          Are you the person that came to Chicago for the first time to see the Cubs?
          If you are,you better move there and dont miss any more games. Two games in a row and you were there,probably kicked the billy goat out of there.

  • Brentcarmona

    that was some little league play right there

  • GaryLeeT

    Hendry was right. Quality pitchers are sure hard to come by.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Z out of the game in the second inning

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Z left with lower back soreness

    • GaryLeeT

      Shocking, considering he is such a well conditioned athlete.

      • paulcatanese

        Hey, he always finds something wrong when he’s not right. If and I say if he hurt himself it was when he barehanded the ball behind his back and forced an awkward throw (wild) to second. I think he knew he didn’t have it and wanted out.

    • diehardcubfan

      Too bad for Big Z.  For the most part he has been injury free during his career.  The Cubs also needed a good followup to Dempsters performance last night. 

      Unfortunately, the injury bug will only continue to fuel the multitude of excuses Cubs management will use for why they continue to lose.

      Also, any potential trade value Big Z had might now be questioned if this becomes a lingering injury.

      • Mike1040

        This is not the first time he has done this. Often he conveniently has back pain when he gets in trouble early. I think sometimes he just doesn’t want to play if things aren’t going good. He was on the verge of a huge bad inning and I don’t think he wanted to go there so he had lower back pain instead. Which thanks to Mateo, turned out better for us also. He definitely is a smarter pitcher these days, in more ways than one.

        • Tno13

          Bogus post

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.kochis Matthew Kochis

    Who is excited for the Cubs vs. Sox series this weekend? I know I am! Windy City Live was talking about it today. Check it out http://bit.ly/lLgQ9A 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good job by Mateo getting the bunt down on a 0-2 pitch

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent outing by Marcos Mateo

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    ARAMIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Agustinrexach

      That one I did not see coming!

  • GaryLeeT

    With a right-hander on the mound, why not save an out, and just have Campana straight steal? Then bunt him to 3rd with 1 out.

    • Brp921

      I thought a double steal was in order when Baker was batting, to prevent the double play.

    • Rbmercer

      Yep.

    • paulcatanese

      The absolute correct call, but as usual Quade didn’t make it. I am sure Camapna as a rookie did not have the green light or he would have tried it.
      Thats what he was in the lineup for,his speed,Quade had no guts.

  • Rbmercer

    Oh no!!!!!! Grabow!!!!!!!! Wow…

  • Agustinrexach

    Grabow really? This is a classic Q. dumb move.

  • Rbmercer

    Grabow. Is. Awful.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Grabow walks the first 2 batters in the 12th

  • Agustinrexach

    Wow Huff doing hin Best cub move swinging at the First pitch with the bases loaded. And a miracle escape from Grabow!!! Uffff

  • Rbmercer

    Exhale……sigh (shakin head)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

     Grabow got out of it.

  • Brp921

    You really do have to appreciate pena’s defense.

  • Brp921

    Well at least we won’t run out of pitchers

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Barney delivers …

  • BosephHeyden

    Murdered.  Boom, Cubs win.

    Of course, this only really means something if the Cubs win tomorrow too.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree,but this had to be a devasting loss for the Giants. It also may a turning point for them.an explosion loss.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    SOTO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat Giants 5-2, Soto 3-run HR in 13th; Z left in 2nd-lower back soreness:1R,2H,2BB,1K,1+IP; Cubs pen 11 scoreless; Ramirez HR in 9th

    • Rbmercer

      Might be some interesting transaction shuffling tonight in preparation for weekend.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        My guess is Mateo will be sent down to activate Kerry Wood. Quade said Marshall and Samardzija are good for tomorrow. Marmol will likely not be available

  • Brp921

    I felt that one coming! I love it when I feel it coming and it happens, especially a walkoff.

  • cc002600

    Boy, do I feel great !!!!
    I think we’re going to lose only 95 games now, instead of 96  !!!

    Woooooooooooooooo !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • gocubs

    RT @ESPNChiCubs Cubs blog: Ramirez becoming attractive trade bait http://t.co/HrMPImP about 5 hours ago
    The thing is, who are we going to replace Ramirez with next year?  We dont have anyone ready.  Vitters is not ready, and he wont put up numbers anywhere close to what Aramis does anytime soon.  There are no free agent 3B available for next year.  Honestly, Aramis is our best option and still one of the better 3B out there in the NL.  Unless we can make a trade for someone like David Wright or Hanley Ramirez (who would move Castro to 3B), then Aramis is our best option even for next year.

    Long term, moving Castro to 3B may be our best option if Vitters doesnt step up soon.       

    • cubtex

      I wouldn’t completely rule out Vitters not being ready for next year. He is hitting .280 now in AA and he should get another 200 or so at bats this year. If he has a really good 2nd half and shows improvement at 3rd…He could be ready. If they can dump ARam’s contract and pick up a prospect, I would definately do it. Do you really want to pay ARam 14 mil for next year at his age? He is definately aging in the field and on the bases.

      • gocubs

        I think a 32 yr old Aramis is still better than what Vitters would give us next year.  We have the 14mil to spend and I dont see any better options at 3B at this point.  If somehow Hendry swings a great trade for an upgrade, then thats another story.  

        Also, if we sign Fielder, Ramirez’s bat would be an important one in that lineup…rather than just a bunch of kids around Fielder.    

        • Skeldor

          Whats the point of having Ramirez next year they won’t contend then either.  This team is 2-3 years away so if you can trade Ramirez trade him.  2-3 years is being generous

        • cubtex

          If they sign Fielder, they better use that 14 million on starting pitching or that Fielder signing would be a total waste of money. It would be like the same team this year except you replace Pena with Fielder and put Brett Jackson in the outfield instead of Fuko. That team would still not contend. They need to build a foundation in the infield…Vitters,Castro,Barney? and you can plug Fielder in there if you want, but then you need to have starting pitching! Garza and a bunch of question marks for next year. If they sign Fielder they need to let ARam and Fuko walk as free agents. They also need to trade some other contracts for starting pitching. Look at the Giants…their starting 8 right now(especially with Posey out) is awful. They are in 1st place because of pitching. If the Cubs had the Giants starting rotation right now…they would be right there in contention in the Central.

          • Tony_Hall

            I know you keep saying Garza and a bunch of questions marks, but really, with JH in charge, the rotation will still have Zambrano, Dempster, Garza, Wells, and only 1 spot open for Cashner, or any other young guy.  

        • Tony_Hall

          Maybe for 2012, but what about 2013 and beyond.  I don’t know if Vitters will be ready, but I wouldn’t bring back ARam, just because of his extremely poor attitude and lack of hustle.  

    • Brp921

      Castro to third, Barney to shortstop and Lemeihue at second?

    • Tom U

      First, let me start with Aramis Ramirez. Picking up his option would be a huge downer for the organization and all of the players in it. When young players are fighting hard for playing time and they see a veteran like Ramirez dog it for half a season, only to turn it on when it doesn’t matter any more, it causes them to lose heart.

      As for his replacement, Blake DeWitt would become the default third baseman, if he isn’t traded. LeMahieu will get a look (his first Triple-A start tonight was at third), while Flaherty has a chance to follow in the footsteps of Tyler Colvin and Darwin Barney if he makes a splash next spring.

      Vitters is considered a down the road prospect, still being one of the youngest players at Double-A (I think Junior Lake now has him beat). He still needs a lot of work on his defense, and he may never end up playing third in the bigs (but may get there at another position).

      The Castro-to-third talk has legs, but is very premature. He is very young, and there’s no telling how his body type will develop. If he develops along the line of Miguel Cabrera, then a move to third would be inevitable. That may not happen for another five years or so.

      If you are looking for a true dark horse candidate at third base, there’s Jeimer Candelario, a 17 year old switch hitter in the Dominican Summer League. To see his numbers, take a look at today’s Down on the Farm Report.

      • cubtex

        Tom, do you really think that if Vitters rips the cover off the ball in the 2nd half(he is capable) that he would not be in consideration at all for 3rd for next year? I would hope they would send him to Winter Ball and get as many reps at 3rd as possible between now and spring. Vitters has much more value to this organization as a 3rd baseman than outfielder or 1st baseman. IMO

        • Tom U

          Cubtex, I certainly hope that happens. 

          Vitters has some good tools for third, especially his arm. Fielding seems to be his problem. If he can put it all together, it would be a good problem that most organizations would like. Unfortunately, this organization doesn’t seem to handle those situations well.

  • Darrenmcculloch

    Quade did a great job managing in that game to help the Cubs win.  He just did what he was taught…sit back and hope for a three-run homer.  He got it.  Now I know why he is an all-star game coach. 

  • Aaron

    Neil,

    I believe your recap should say, “Cubs WIN!!!….In spite of Grabow”

    • Aaron

      What a great win though….In the past, I didn’t really care for Kasper’s pre-pubescent home run calls when he initially started, but he’s growing on me, and I tell you what…when I heard that call on Soto’s shot, I wanted to jump in the air, no matter how far out the Cubs happen to be.

      Even with the win, the Cubs are 14 games under .500 and 10 games out of 1st place with the surging Brewers (although they have been 4-6 in their last 10) appearing to be in command. Let’s still keep things in perspective (which Cubs’ management almost assuredly will NOT do)…even with their last two games being in walk-off fashion, they have yet to win 3 games in a row all year, and they likely just lost their #2 starter today.Therefore, they simply cannot lose sight of the fact they’re hopelessly out of contention. Even if they made an unprecedented, miraculous run at the playoffs, they don’t have what it takes to make any noise whatsoever.

      Keep in mind that if Z goes down, the rotation will likely look like this:
      Dempster
      Garza
      Wells
      Ramon Ortiz
      Rodrigo Lopez

      But I don’t want to leave anyone with the impression that everything is all negative….There were quite a few positives to take from this game:
      -Barney’s good play upon return from injury
      -Castro still hitting (albeit, he’s in the WRONG damn hole in the lineup per stats, as numerous people on here have referenced)
      -ARAM is getting hot (thus increasing his trade value)
      -How impressive has the Cubs pen been recently? Mateo and Samardzija are now at 3.97 ERA apiece. Marshall has gotten his ERA down from a rough patch recently, and in spite of his recent blown save, at least Marmol has a decent ERA at 2.35. Additionally, Russell keeps lowering his ERA, and it’s now down to 4.95, in spite of being mis-used as a starter (where his high ERA came from…..here’s how dumb Hendry and Quade were with mis-using him…..He had a 9.55 ERA as a starter, and 1.80 ERA as a reliever)

      So….even though they’ve sucked, and I’ve been outspoken on here saying as much….there ARE at least some positives to take away…..

      oh….yeah…almost forgot…

      How in the world is Grabow still employed?!?!?

      • cubtex

        I’m with you on the Cubs rotation. They need to address that in the offseason as priority #1!  I know it isn’t right to jack Samardzija around from starter to reliever to starter..but I believe he has the pitches to be a #4 or #5. If Z is down for any extended time…I would like to see Samardzija take his spot. He has much more upside than Coleman and if he does okay let him go to winter ball as a starter and have him compete next year in spring training. What about Garza,Cashner(if healthy) and Samardzija with 2 more arms to be determined from another team? Those are 3 pretty good power arms. No #1′s but pretty good pieces if you can add a stud arm. 

  • Tom U

    With all the Aramis Ramirez talk today, here’s a post I made the other day on the subject, for those of you who may not have seen it. For those who already have, sorry about the re-post.

    ********************************************************************************************
    First, let me start with Aramis Ramirez. Picking up his option would be a huge downer for the organization and all of the players in it. When young players are fighting hard for playing time and they see a veteran like Ramirez dog it for half a season, only to turn it on when it doesn’t matter any more, it causes them to lose heart.

    As for his replacement, Blake DeWitt would become the default third baseman, if he isn’t traded. LeMahieu will get a look (his first Triple-A start tonight was at third), while Flaherty has a chance to follow in the footsteps of Tyler Colvin and Darwin Barney if he makes a splash next spring.

    Vitters is considered a down the road prospect, still being one of the youngest players at Double-A (I think Junior Lake now has him beat). He still needs a lot of work on his defense, and he may never end up playing third in the bigs (but may get there at another position).

    The Castro-to-third talk has legs, but is very premature. He is very young, and there’s no telling how his body type will develop. If he develops along the line of Miguel Cabrera, then a move to third would be inevitable. That may not happen for another five years or so.

    If you are looking for a true dark horse candidate at third base, there’s Jeimer Candelario, a 17 year old switch hitter in the Dominican Summer League. To see his numbers, take a look at today’s (Thursday’s) Down on the Farm Report.