Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 07/30/11

Game One Hundred Seven: Cubs (42-64) vs. Cardinals (56-50)
Game Time – 3:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis

Rodrigo Lopez (2-2, 3.49/1.29) vs. Kyle Lohse (8-7, 3.46/1.10)

Weather permitting
… Can the Cubs get back in the win column behind Rodrigo Lopez this afternoon? The Cubs are reeling after dropping four in a row (six total runs in four games) and enter play today a season-low 22 games under .500. A loss this afternoon would equal the Cubs low water mark from a year ago set on Lou Piniella’s final day as skipper.

In other newsAndrew Cashner will throw off a mound in Mesa on Saturday (first time since May 16) and is expected to rejoin the team in Pittsburgh. Cashner will be re-evaluated at that time and is hoping to pitch with the Cubs again this season. The Cubs have not set a timeframe for a possible return.

With just over 24 hours remaining on the non-waiver trade deadline, it all starts with Rodrigo Lopez

Rodrigo Lopez will make his first start this afternoon since his gem against the Phillies back on July 18. Lopez beat and out-pitched Roy Halladay in the series opener. In a very unlikely win over Philadelphia, Lopez allowed only one run on five hits in 6 2/3 innings without a walk and three strikeouts.

Lopez will make his sixth start of the season this afternoon and Lopez owns a 2-1 mark as a starter with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

Today will be Lopez’s first start of the season against the Redbirds. He faced them twice in the series in St. Louis back in the first week of June … and took the loss on the Sunday afternoon when he served up the game winner to Albert Pujols to start the bottom of the 10th.

Rodrigo Lopez is 2-3 in seven career games, five starts, versus the Cardinals with a 5.63 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Rodrigo Lopez

  • Lance Berkman – 2-for-9 with a double and 2 walks
  • Matt Holliday – 4-for-10 with 3 doubles and a home run
  • Kyle Lohse – 0-for-1
  • Yadier Molina – 3-for-11
  • Corey Patterson – 0-for-3
  • Albert Pujols – 1-for-13 with a home run and a walk
  • Skip Schumaker – 4-for-10 with 2 doubles
  • Ryan Theriot – 2-for-6 with 2 walks

The former Cubs’ farmhand has struggled over the last month and is coming off a no decision to the Pirates. Kyle Lohse allowed two runs on four hits in five innings without a walk and four strikeouts. After a shaky June (1-2 in five starts with a 4.55 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP), Lohse is 0-3 in his last four starts with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.

Lohse has been struggling with his command and giving up a ton of hits … the Cubs must be patient this afternoon.

The Cubs hit Lohse pretty good back on June 4 (four runs on 11 hits without a walk and five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings) but Albert Pujols hit the first of his two walk offs of the weekend.

Kyle Lohse is 1-4 in 11 career starts versus the Cubs with a 6.51 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Kyle Lohse

  • Jeff Baker – 1-for-5
  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 1-for-2
  • Tony Campana – 2-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-5
  • Tyler Colvin – 0-for-3
  • Blake DeWitt – 2-for-5 with 2 walks
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-5 with a double
  • Reed Johnson – 3-for-9 with a walk
  • Rodrigo Lopez – 0-for-2
  • Aramis Ramirez – 7-for-15 with 3 doubles and a home run
  • Alfonso Soriano – 15-for-39 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs and 2 walks
  • Geovany Soto – 4-for-13 with 2 doubles and a walk

Boot Campaign
Randy Wells and the Chicago Cubs are raising awareness of needs of military personnel. Wells will trade in his cleats for combat boots this week as part of the Boot Campaign, an initiative aimed at showing appreciation of the active military and raising awareness of the needs of military personnel.

Official Release from MLB.com

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The CCO has been asked to pass this info onto our readers and we will run reminders throughout the week. For those that are interested in helping this great cause, please visit www.BootCampaign.com and purchase the “Give Back” combat boots.

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Now there's three things you can do in a baseball game: You can win or you can lose or it can rain." - Casey Stengel 

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Castro – SS
    Barney – 2B
    Ramirez – 3B
    Pena – 1B
    Byrd – CF
    Soto – C
    Soriano – LF
    Colvin – RF
    Lopez – P

  • Henry

    I don’t know why I subject myself to this mess!  Management is delusional.  We just wasted a year!  this whole year should have been about finding out what we have for next year.  Instead we keep rolling out the same old  blankity blank lineup!  I realize we have a number of bad contracts this year but that is no reason to play these guys!  Fukedome had no value at the beginning of the season and had none when we traded him!  Why was he in the lineup every day!  everyone knew he was not going to be here next year!   I am not  a big Colvin fan but I believe he should have been the starting right fielder at the beginning of the season.  If he failed then replace him with someone else.  We never know if are prospects can play or not!  We cut a guy like Maghee and he truns into a quality 3rd basemen for Milwaukee.  Cris Carpenter should not have been sent to the Minors.  he should be on this team along with someone like JayJackson.  Jackson could give up the same 4 runs in 4 innings that Ramon Ortiz gives up. Sorry for Ranting but I am just disgusted!   

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Also, Ryan Theriot is making his first start at second base this afternoon.

    • J Daniel

      Very funny!

  • Cheryl

    Neil, Any more word on draft signings? Its the only thing to look forward to now.

    • GrantJones7

      Just lots of unconfirmed rumors, we have a lot of overslot guys that wont be announced for a while

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Cheryl, exactly what Grant said. Lots of unconfirmed rumors all should be announced over the next week to 10 days. The deadline is August 15.

  • paulcatanese

    Neil, the new Cub killer is playing second today? One other little thing, how do you get such a good post all of the time and in such short a time right after a game. Amazes me.And they are complete,as I watch every game except when on Fox, and each and every time youre there with the info.

    • Calicub

      The Great Neil knows all sees all posts all

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thanks Paul, I really appreciate it …

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Byrd is not going to be traded, writes ESPN’s Jayson Stark, though the Braves took a run at him.  Stark says the Twins are set on receiving big league-ready players for Denard Span.  Bourn, Upton, Crisp, and Quentin are on the radar, while there are no signs the Braves have pursued Ludwick or Willingham of late.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      Why not trade Byrd? He’s a “Nice” player but certainly not a superstar. The Braves have a lot of pitching talent, JH is a moron.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Patrick, remember the Braves do not trade good pitching talent.

        • daverj

          In all likelihood the Braves probably offered some low end single A relief pitcher or future bench player type prospect for Byrd … no great loss to holding on to him.

  • Mark

    HA………Andrew Cashner…….LOL!  Make me laugh!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Tarp
    is on field at Busch Stadium & it’s raining. Most likely will not start on time.
    There is a window, though

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Sun-Times: Rain delay today. Expected to be just 15 ex mins before start (now 3:15). Could
    be iffy window at that point.

    • Darrenmcculloch

      Something is going to happen after a five-run first inning….and no it was the Cubs not the Cardinals with five runs….then again the Cardinals haven’t batted yet

  • paulcatanese

    Lets see if I understand this, Fukodome,traded,not much return. Pena was inquired about, Cubs not too interested. Aram not interested in going. Soto inquired about, Cubs not interested. Soriono, no one interested. Wood, rejected trade. Zambrano, no one interested. Byrd, Cubs not getting enough and not interested. Dempster will reject trade. Grabow, no one interested.Baker, untouchable. Johnson,untouchable.Hill no one interested, DeWitt, no one interested. Quade, no one interested. JH, no one unterested. So with all the above factors in place, the only one to go has been Fukodome. It looks like the Cubs will stand pat in 2011 and bring the same bunch back in 2012, this is some cleaning of the house. How will this be explained as “going forward”?

    • Cheryl

      So, that’s what we have to look forward to? Only thing I can figure is Ricketts told him to do nothing after the Fuku deal that someone else will take over in August (I hope. I hope.)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soto with a big double …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano with a three-run shot …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Theriot’s baserunning gaffe is looming large. Lopez is … well, Rodrigo Lopez today.

    • J Daniel

      Never was a good baserunner, seemed to make many mistakes with Cubs.

  • Brentcarmona

    looks like furcal is headed to st louis…explains why theriot is playing second today. i still cant stand his girlie throwing motion haha.

  • Aaron

    a little blurb from TCR….made me wanna puke:

    ********************************************************************************************
    Peter Gammons says that the Pirates offered to pick up all of Ramirez’s salary, the Braves were hot and heavy for Marlon Byrd and that the Indians and Red Sox both liked Baker, but Hendry wasn’t interested in letting any of those building blocks go. I wouldn’t have minded if he got an arm from Atlanta for Byrd then flipped him to the Astros for Bourne.
    ********************************************************************************************

    Please tell me how Hendry still has a job. I literally want to punch him in the face for destroying this franchise that we all love.

    Baker, Johnson, Pena, Byrd, etc. as “untouchable” is absolutely unforgiveable.

    • daverj

      It’s very hard to judge these potential deals when we don’t have any information on who the other teams were offering in terms of prospects.  If it was single A guy with no upside other than a longshot chance to be a utility player or low end middle reliever and all we were getting out of the deal was salary relief, do you really care whether any of these deals were made or not?  The Braves and Pirates don’t want to trade any prospects of value which is why both teams are rumored to be interested in many players on the Cubs and other teams, but no deals with them are getting done.

      • Aaron

        First of all, I get where you’re coming from….

        HOWEVER, do you really give a damn who we get back for guys like Johnson, Baker, Pena, and even Byrd? None of whom will be counted on to contribute much of anything next year if they’re resigned to begin with.

        Hendry is actually doing all 4 of them a disservice by refusing to trade them, as they’d instantly go to contenders, and probably improve their FA stock this offseason (aside from Byrd who is signed next year)

        Guys that absolutely make NO sense to have on the team right now, include:
        Hill-can EASILY be replaced by Clevenger, or Castillo (when he comes off DL)
        Baker-can be replaced by Marwin Gonzalez
        Johnson-can be replaced by really any OF in the system….doesn’t really matter as he’s a bench bat
        Pena-can be replaced by LaHair, and even Ridling
        Byrd-can be replaced by Jackson
        DeWitt-can be replaced by Moore, who would be a definite improvement over this joker
        Grabow-can be replaced by Beliveau, or Maine
        Ortiz-can be replaced by Jay Jackson

        I don’t want Soriano either, but his salary isn’t going either (via trade or DFA)

        • Henry

          if they moved half those guys I would be fine.  Hill has no room on this team.  I thought Castillo would be up by now.  I realize he is hurt now but he should have been up earlier.  I know a lot of people are high on Lahair.  He has been around awhile and getting long in the tooth for the minors. He could do no worse than Pena at the plate.  I am not sure of his defense.  I would not mind seeing Riding up.  He is getting old as well.  I believe he is 25.  It is for 2 months.  If they do not pan out find a replacement during the off season!  why is that so hard to figure out.  We keep on prospects until they are overripe!

        • Bo

          …….and Quade can be replaced by Sandberg……..

    • Brentcarmona

      in the mainstream media all i hear is ‘byrd will be kept to give jackson mentoring…good clubhouse guy’…seriously whatever. if somebody wants him create a package and let him go. actually let him stay over baker, only because we have a logjam of middle infielders in our system. i dont understand hendry and i used to be on his bandwagon with his ideals…this season ive lost complete faith. im done. i mean if the astros can get some good talent back for pence i believe we could get a similar/better package for ramirez as i would say he is a better power hitter. maybe not a speedster but still a really good hitting 3basemen. like we all know already, our record started to slip farther away after pena and aram started hitting…just surprise us with something for once hendry

    • Henry

      Management is delusional!

      • Aaron

        The proof is in the pudding….We all know teams have approached the Cubs on:
        ARAM
        Pena
        Baker
        Johnson
        Byrd
        Soto
        Wood
        Marshall

        ALL of them should be gone right now, except for maybe Wood (because he signed for less, and it makes ZERO sense to trade him), and possibly Marshall (though I’d sell high on him if I could, unless you’re planning on using him as a starter next year)

        But even though ARAM controls his own fate, he’s made comments that if the team is blown up, he won’t stay. Hendry should make it VERY clear to him that it’s going to be blown up, and tell him that if he really wants to come back, they can look at resigning him in the offseason, but he can’t make any promises. 

        Now….what could they land us:
        ARAM-2 top prospects at least
        Pena-2 midlevels
        Baker-midlevel
        Johnson-midlevel
        Byrd-1 top prospect, 1 low-level
        Soto-1 top prospect, 2 midlevels
        Wood-2 midlevels
        Marshall-1 top prospect, 1 midlevel

        That’s probably what you could get for those guys. I’d also try to pawn Marmol off on someone as part of a larger package.

        I still think the Yankees might take on ARAM, Dempster/Z, and Soto in one large deal for the right $$ included, and the Cubs could probably have at least 3 top prospects in exchange, and I’d do that in a heartbeat.

        • J Daniel

          I do agree with most of your assessments on what could be returned via trades.  At this point, they all could/should be gone, including Marmol, and then start over.

          I believe, with the right free agent signings, along with all of the prospects, a better team at a much lesser salary could be put on the filed next season.

          Also, with all of the prospects in return, IF you TRUST in the trades, a few of them should be a hit and be good players or better.  Between a couple in returns from trades, a couple of our own, and a couple of free agents, a better team would be there.

          At that point, due to all of the salary relieve, I would DFA Soriano and just eat the remaining salary as NOBODY is going to trade for him.  They just have to write it off and move on.  

          I do not follow the other teams minor leagues like many of you do so I don’t have or would speculate on names but believe it could be done.

        • Bredstik

          I think part of the problem here is that Hendry made it clear this morning that the team will NOT be blown up.

          It definitely should be, but as long as Hendry is at the helm I believe he’s going to insist that injuries are mostly to blame and they’re still just 2-3 players away.

          • paulcatanese

            Yeah, well if JH was watching today, don’t know how he can cover this one.

    • J Daniel

      Yes Aaron, we probably all want to punch him but it is not like the Cubs were the Yankees, Red Sox, or even Phillies and now are bad because of him.  Did he destroy a team that had a shot, YES, but it was him that built it into descent in the first place.  Unless we go back to Dallas Green but even still there was a lot of bad in between that version and this version.

      However, I would agree with your assessment that those guys should have been dealt, all of them.

      • Aaron

        It’s true, Hendry built the team into a contender, but make NO mistake about it, it was NOT because he is a smart GM. It’s simply dumb luck for him. I’ve documented this extensively before with credible information, but I’ll briefly discuss it again:
        deal for ARAM and Lofton in 2003-salary and malcontent dump by Pirates
        deal for Lee-salary dump by Marlins

        In other words, these trades that seem to excuse Hendry as being a smart GM, were anything but that at the time.

        Obviously it didn’t happen, but it’d be like when the Cubs sent DeRosa to the Indians to clear salary, and he went on to become a 20+hr, 80+RBI guy for them for 3 straight years, and they laughed at what they had to give up….or it’d be like if the salary dump of Lee last year ended up making him the starting 1B for the Braves for several years, and he was at 30+hr, 90+RBI consistently. 

        I know both of those scenarios don’t make sense, because they were older when the Cubs dealt them, but I’m just saying, try picturing them as slightly younger. 

        Hendry is a dumbass….He’s NOT proactive….never has been, and he’s HORRIBLE at anticipating declines in player performance due to age, as well as anticipating the higher cost/benefit of retaining arbitration eligibles like Hill, Baker, Soto, etc. versus bringing up his own prospects and/or trading them ahead of time for value.

        • J Daniel

          Agreed!

        • J Daniel

          There were a lot of little mistakes that were made as well.  I for one would not have let Kenny Lofton go as he still had some game left to him.  I really thought he was an important part of their climb that year.  Cory Patterson could have been moved then for a higher command in return.

          Even as simple as bench guys, they just end up with a bad mess.  They could have kept Randal Simon as LH ph as he produced.  Those are the difficult moves to make.

          No way DeRosa should have been dealt for salary relief.  Should have come up with another creative way as his value was way to high for a team trying to win right now.  If they were not trying to win right then I have no problem with trading him.

          • Bredstik

            Trying to replace DeRosa with Miles was horrible as well, not to mention letting Edmonds walk away after contributing the way he did in his short time with the Cubs.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    1-2-3 for the Cubs in third on 6 pitches

  • studio179

    Just take your time getting out there, Quade…

    • studio179

      There you go, get yourself tossed. 

      Someone told me to watch for him looking like a duck arguing with umps. 

      A duck indeed…lame duck.

      • paulcatanese

        That was me, I wish I could have gotten Fox to see it. Heard it.

        • studio179

          Well, you nailed it. Quade could replace the AFLAC duck.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro spiked, Quade ejected, game tied at 5

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

      I don’t care what the homers Buck and McCarver say that is a dirty play and should have been interference.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        This is another debacle but I agree. Holliday must wear one next time he steps to the plate.

      • paulcatanese

        Cant get fox, but listened, and I will certainly take youre word for it. I wonder why no call, although Iv’e seen that time and time again and no call. Why have the rule?

  • jfish1219

    I was wonder how the cubs were going to screw this one up…..and i just got my answer. This team makes me sick

  • Aaron

    Pujols is one of the smartest players I’ve ever seen. If he wasn’t going to be 32, I’d want the Cubs to sign him, but man….his baserunning is second to none in the game

  • studio179

    What was that throw. What was that hustle after the ball. Another run…joke.

  • Aaron

    Just wanted to let everyone know if they weren’t already aware….Boise had 2 players retire: Gueverra and Garcia.

    Garcia was a recent draft choice this year, and here is what he cited as a reason for his retirement:

    ********************************************************************************************
    “I think ultimately, I had to make a decision about my future. Initially, I was really excited to sign a contract and start my professional career. But what it came down to, was quite frankly, I realized how the big league club was run, and several of the guys they’ve drafted in recent years are now 25-26 years old, and they’re running out of time, and not only will the Cubs not clear a spot for them, but at that point, they’re not even considered true “prospects” for other teams, so they won’t even trade for you. I wanted to get my life started rather than sitting here 5 years from now in this organization in a dead-end job. Does that make sense? Anyway, I wish all my teammates the best. They’re a great group of guys, and I thank the fans of Boise for my short time there, it was enjoyable. At least I can tell my kids I played pro ball one day.”
    ********************************************************************************************

    • Aaron

      Before people start trying to look that up, I probably should note that it is entirely fictitious, except for those 2 retiring. 

      However, you have to admit, that it could be a very real conversation a prospect would have in this system.

      • J Daniel

        Should not have said it was fictitious, that is hysterical!  

      • Dorasaga

        You have a sick sense of humor, Aaron, which I admire.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      You got me Aaron …

  • studio179

    Theriot…ex-Cub factor killing them. Cub pitchers making it easy.

  • paulcatanese

    After that debacle making it 10-5 I shut the radio off. The Cardinals are not just beating the Cubs today, they are punishing them, big time.

    • studio179

      Get ready to turn off your TV or radio tomorrow, too. We know Sunday is especially rough on the Cubs…just like rainy Tuesdays, sunny Fridays or pretty much every day. 

      • Bredstik

        Hopefully it will prove to be eventful as trade deadline Sunday, although I’m not holding my breath. Maybe this debacle today will wake Hendry up to reality and he’ll do the right thing and ship out whatever overpriced underachiever he can.

        • Cheryl

          I doubt he’ll do anything. He’s either asleep at the switch or been told to do nothing or he’ll be gone in August. Heaven help thaat team if there’s no change with J.H., Quade, Kenney and the other veterans.

          • studio179

            Heaven help all of us and Cub fans everywhere.  

        • studio179

          I don’t know…I would like to think that sanity will rule the day.

      • paulcatanese

        I know, I know, I just sit and watch, shaking my head.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs spiked by Cardinals 13-5 Saturday. Quade ejected in 5th. Rodrigo Lopez: 6R, 8H, 3BB, 2K, 4.1IP; Geovany Soto:1-for-4, 2B, 2RBI, R; Alfonso Soriano:1-for-4, HR, 3 RBI

  • Jdarby

    Bring ‘em all back next year, Hendry … we dare you …

  • Mike1040

    Can you imagine how tough it will be for them to trot back out there tomorrow??
    They have got to be embarrassed.
    Wow, I am just speechless about how bad we are.
    Have they started Rip’s airline promotion idea yet??
    You know, the barf bag with every ticket??

  • Gac1951

     Do the Cubs ever get it together? I started watching again this year after not seeing them play for many many years they are not the team I remember! Why can’t baseball have instant replay?