Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Nationals – 07/06/11

Game Eighty-Eight: Cubs (35-52) vs. Nationals (44-43)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Nationals Park, Washington D.C.

Randy Wells (1-3, 6.59/1.63) vs. Tom Gorzelanny (2-6, 3.77/1.27)

The Cubs will give the ball to Randy Wells tonight with the hopes Wells can end the Cubs two-game losing streak. For all of the holes in the rotation right now, the starters have not been the problem of late. The Cubs offense has all but stopped hitting with runners in scoring position again and the defense is giving extra outs and opportunities with regularity again.

Starlin Castro is expected back in the starting lineup after receiving Tuesday night off. Darwin Barney was scheduled to get the night off but the latest injury to Jeff Baker might not make that possible.

Jeff Baker left Tuesday night’s game with back spasms (Cubs third back injury in less than a week) and is listed as day-to-day. With Tom Gorzelanny on the hill, Mike Quade doesn’t figure to insert Blake DeWitt at second if Baker cannot start.

After a flurry of roster moves prior to Tuesday’s game, there could be more on the horizon that could include D.J. LeMahieu being recalled from Triple-A Iowa.

In other newsRyan Dempster was not placed on the DL Tuesday and the Cubs are hoping he can start Saturday night’s game in Pittsburgh. Quade said Dempster was feeling better prior to Tuesday’s game. If Dempster avoids the disabled list and can start Saturday that would put him in line to pitch the first game back from the break on July 14 against the Marlins.

Marcos Mateo underwent an MRI Tuesday and the Cubs are expected to find out the extent of the injury today. Mike Quade does not think Mateo’s injury is a related to the five innings he pitched in relief of Carlos Zambrano last Thursday.

Tonight it all starts with Randy Wells

Randy Wells has a lot of work to do over the last three months of the season. Wells is coming off another bad start one in which Mike Quade admitted he left him in too long. Wells gave up a pair of runs to the Sox in the first inning before settling down and throwing five good innings. Wells allowed four runs in the seventh in a blink of an eye … and the Cubs could not recover.

Wells is 0-2 in his last six starts with a 6.96 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP … 26 runs, 25 earned, on 37 hits with 14 walks and 14 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings.

Randy Wells has struggled mightily outside of Wrigley and is 0-1 in three road starts this season with a 8.36 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.

Tonight will be Wells’ third career start versus the Nationals. Wells is 1-1 in the first two with a 7.15 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP … at Nationals Park, 1-0 in one start with a 7.20 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP (four runs on seven hits with a walk and a strikeout in five innings).

Nationals Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Rick Ankiel – 0-for-5 with a walk
  • Alex Cora – 1-for-2
  • Laynce Nix – 2-for-11 with a double and a walk
  • Ivan Rodriguez – 0-for-4 with a walk
  • Jayson Werth – 2-for-3 with a double
  • Ryan Zimmerman – 1-for-5 with a home run

The Cubs will get their first look at a former teammate with his new team. Tom Gorzelanny has put together a good season for the Nationals and said Tuesday he’s looking forward to facing his old team.

Gorzelanny has not posted a win since May 7 (spent time on the DL in June) but it is not because of the way he’s pitched. Gorzelanny held the Pirates to one run on six hits in seven innings of work in his last outing and has allowed one earned run in his last two starts (14 innings).

Tom Gorzelanny is 0-2 in his last three starts with a 2.41 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.

Tonight will be Gorzelanny’s eighth career start versus the Cubs … 3-4 in eight career games, seven starts, with a 6.64 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Tom Gorzelanny

  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-3
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-3 with a walk
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-4
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-7 with a double and 4 walks
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-3
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-17 with 2 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-18 with 3 home runs
  • Geovany Soto – 7-for-11 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us." - Earl Nightingale
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

  • Brp921

    How much have the Cubs paid paid for the services of Davis,Ortiz and Lopez this year. Gorzelanny is being paid 2.1 million. I never wish bad for the Cubs but it would serve JH right if Gorzelanny shut the Cubs out tonight.

    • gocubs

      We traded Gorzelanny for Michael Burgess, Anthony  Morris, and Graham Hicks.  Burgess (left handed OF) is kind of an intriguing prospect (even though he is having a rough season at Daytona) and the 2 pitchers are doing OK.  Id like to see how Burgess would do at 1B.

      It would have been nice to keep Gorzelanny, but we wanted to replenish our farm systems.  

      • Brp921

        I could be wrong, but as I recall they had a payroll number they needed to stay at and that is why they traded Gorzelanny. It seems to me that they cut salary in the wrong area.

      • Aaron

        Actually, NONE of the guys received is doing “OK”

        First of all, Burgess, while he has 10 home runs, has a downright awful slash line of: .202/.307/.386, 17doubles, 1 triple, 10 hr, 43 RBI, and 40 walks vs 76 K’s

        Morris is out for the year with shoulder surgery.

        ….and Hicks had a great start to the season, then has fallen off the map, posting a 1-3, 4.01 ERA in 14 starts in 58 IP with 55 hits, 7 hr allowed, 23 walks to just 40 K’s and a 1.337 WHIP

        Gorzelanny wasn’t a great pitcher, but a solid #4 starter, and the Cubs quite frankly, should’ve received better talent.

        • Tony_Hall

          So moving Gorzellany, may have been ok, but once again, the return was quantity, not quality.

        • cubs1967

          and why you don’t trade MLB talent for suspects.  which is why garza is a freakin steal.  guess where we’d be w/o him this year.  maybe we could bring back bill bonham too along w/ sucktiz, hang em high davis and rocket launcher lopez.

          what did the indians get for sabathia again??

          basically we could have had gorzelanny or the 3 stooges plus the $1M we
          wasted on the cubans last year…………..

          • Aaron

            you miss the point ENTIRELY. It is NOT about whether Garza is/isn’t a good pitching talent. He happens to be a great #3 starter in my opinion…nothing more, nothing less….

            But the fact is, the Cubs weren’t even expected to contend this year, and even worse, they were trying to cut costs. So what do the Cubs do? Hendry trades 4 top 15 prospects (Archer, Lee, Guyer, Chirinos) for a guy that was entering his most expensive arbitration years, and who, by the time the Cubs are ready to compete, would be a free agent.

            Ask anyone around the league, fans included, and you’d probably get about 1% of the sum total that actually thought the Cubs had a chance this year. They simply have too many albatross contracts that aren’t performing right now, including:
            Zambrano
            Dempster (though he is producing of late)
            ARAM (likewise)
            Soriano
            Byrd (maybe average-wise, but NOT true production-wise with RBI, etc.)
            Fukudome
            Grabow
            =approx $92 million on the books for just 7 guys.

            Only 3 of those guys (Fukudome, Grabow, and ARAM) come off the books after the season. By the time the Cubs are ready to compete in 2 years when all but Soriano would be off the books, Garza would be a free agent. I just never understood the move, and NEVER will.

          • Tony_Hall

            I believe the Cubs would be in the same spot they are now, out of the playoffs again this year.

            And in the same position for 2012, not likely to compete. 

            2013  – Might be competitive – Garza last, very expensive year of arbitration, the time teams trade off pitchers, to get something, unless they plan to pay the big bucks to keep him.  And this is the worst part, they have to resign, him to save face on the trade. 

    • PleaseStopLosing

      Gorzy was given up for nothing because we had toooo many “good” starters and now we have spent the whole season watching those 3 he mentioned pitch for us. I hope Gorzy throws a no hitter into the 7th and goes on to have a wonderful career to further prove Hendry’s stupidity.

    • Tony_Hall

      Rodrigo Lopez $1M in the majors
      Ramon Ortiz – minimum
      Doug Davis $800K

      So the Cubs saved roughly $1.65M on the roster spot opened up by moving Gorzellany, and have spend 800k on Davis, he spent 2 months approx with the Cubs, a minimum salary player would have been 150K over that time period, 800K is guaranteed, so an extra 650k, just on Davis…down to $1M savings.  Rodrigo Lopez is an extra 20K+/week over a minimum guy, so they will start eating into that $1M in savings. 

      Yet, even with Gorzellany still a Cub, the Cubs would be still way, way out of it. So unless the player is in the teams plans, 2 years from now, move out those overpaid vets, save some cash, and get some prospects.  You can always buy more overpaid vets.

    • BosephHeyden

      Let’s not pretend Gorzelanny was anything special.  He was a lefty, but he wasn’t that great.  Chances are pretty good he’d have had the same results as Coleman, Davis, Lopez, etc:  get knocked around and have us wanting his head.

      That we got anything for him is a shock, not because of his value but because of how bad Hendry is at trades.  But Gorzelanny is not someone to be missed.  He was nothing more than a number 5 starter that you’d expect to eat innings before losing while your top four starters get a rest.

      • Brp921

        I agree he is a 4th or 5th starter over the long haul, but if you check out his stats they are as good and better than any of our starters so far this year. He is averaging about 6 innings per start while giving up about 2 runs per start. My point is he is a much better option than any of the other guys we were forced to use and would have cost about the same.

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Iowa – Nick Struck (0-0, 0,00)
    Tennessee – Dallas Beeler (1-3, 4.97)
    Peoria – Eric Jokisch (7-2, 3.82)
    Boise – Luis Liria (2-0, 3.14)

    Daytona already lost to Tampa 7-1, Dae-Eun Rhee took the loss

  • Coachdon

    Not only did the Gorzo move not save any money(maybe a half mil. at best), but it encouraged the “braintrust” to try to force Russell to start, where he was awful. You see, after getting rid of Gorzellany, they discovered the rest of their starters happened to be right handed. Apparently, they didn’t notice that beforehand…

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

    how many games under will it take before hendry officially says were out of it?any guesses

    • Tony_Hall

      He won’t admit it until, they are mathematically eliminated.  He is not very good at forecasting the future of players or playoff races.

      • jey518

        And then we’ll have to hear how they are only 2 or 3 moves away from contention next year. 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Pena with #18 ties it up at two

    • Kojak Osborne Jr.

      Wells is giving up a lot of hits

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Wells is not fooling anyone tonight. Five hits to the first eight batters.

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    Wells is not fooling anyone anymore

  • Aaron

    Folks, I have never seen such blatant propaganda in my life from the sports community than I am hearing/seeing from the Ricketts right now.

    Check this out:

    ********************************************************************************************
    http://www.csnchicago.com/07/06/11/Kaplan-Cubs-agree-to-deals-with-intl-pro/kapman_article.html?blockID=539516&feedID=661

    “Other baseball execs are also paying attention to the Cubs willingness to upgrade their farm system both in players and in facilities with one current executive stunned that he saw Tom Ricketts on multiple trips to the Dominican Republic. Another executive put it this way: “The Ricketts family is sure putting their money where their mouth is. They said that they want to build a tremendous farm system and this is the right way to go about doing it. There are a lot of very envious organizations that wish they had the level of commitment that the Cubs do,” a former GM who is now a major league scout told me.”
    ********************************************************************************************

    Now,  I realize that this is the most they’ve spent on Latin American prospects (not international, though mind you, as they’ve spent big on bonuses to Korean players under past ownership)…

    But this has to be one of the most dishonest articles I’ve ever read. I told everyone this before, but I predicted the Ricketts would come out through the media to try to get the fan base back, just as the media are but pawns in a political scheme in our country….almost none of it is factual.

    Unless the Cubs spent $2 million apiece on Malave and Mercano, it pales in comparison to what other teams have spent on Latin prospects. Here’s a list for everyone:
    Michael Ynoa, 16, RHP, 2008, Athletics, D.R., $4,250,000
    Miguel Sano, 16, SS, 2009, Twins, D.R., $3,150,000
    Gary Sanchez, 16, C, 2009, Yankees, D.R., $3,000,000
    Rafael Rodriguez, 16, OF, 2008, Giants, D.R., $2,550,000
    Yorman Rodriguez, 16, OF, 2008, Reds, VZA, $2,500,000
    Wily Mo Peña, 17, OF, 1999, Yankees, D.R., $2,440,000
    Joel Guzman, 16, SS, 2001, Dodgers, D.R., $2,255,000
    Angel Villalona, 16, 3B, 2006, Giants, D.R., $2,100,00
    Juan Duran, 16, OF, 2008, Reds, D.R., $2,000,000
    Adys Portillo, 16, RHP, 2008, Padres, VZA, $2,000,000
    Guillermo Pimental, 16, CF, 2009, Mariners, D.R., $2,000,000
    Jose Vincio, 16, SS, 2009, Red Sox, D.R., $1,950,000
    Miguel Cabrera, 16, IF, 1999, Marlins, VZA, $1,800,000
    Jesus Montero, 16, C, 2006, Yankees, VZA, $1,650,000
    Jackson Melian, 16, OF, 1996, Yankees, VZA, $1,600,000
    Jurickson Profar, 16, SS, 2009, Rangers, Curaçao, $1,550,000
    Ricardo Aramboles, 16, RHP, 1998, Yankees, D.R., $1,520,000
    Luis Sardinas, 16, SS, 2009, Rangers, VZA, 1,500,000
    Michael Almanzar, 16, SS, 2007, Red Sox, D.R., $1,500,000
    Esmailyn Gonzalez, 16, SS, 2006, Nationals, D.R., $1,400,000
    Fernando Martinez, 16, OF, 2005, Mets, D.R., $1,400,000
    Willy Aybar, 16, IF, 2000, Dodgers, D.R., $1,400,000
    Carlos Triunfel, 16, SS, 2006, Mariners, D.R., $1,300,000
    Luis Domoromo, 16, OF, 2008, Padres, VZA, $1,250,000
    Juan Urbina, 16, LHP, 2009, Mets, VZA, $1,250,000
    Chesler Cuthbert, 16, 3B, 2009, Royals, Nicaragua, $1,200,000
    Roberto De la Cruz, 16, 3B, 2008, Cardinals, D.R., $1,100,000
    Julio Morban, 16, OF, 2008, Mariners, D.R., $1,100,000
    Kelvin De Leon, 16, OF, 2007, Yankees, D.R., $1,100,000
    Alvaro Aristy, 17, SS, 2008, Padres, D.R., $1,000,000
    Jharmidy De Jesus, 17, SS, 2007, Mariners, D.R., $1,000,000

    Does anyone see the Cubs on that list? This is a list only up to 2009, mind you….and we all know the Cubs didn’t have anyone last year that received big bonuses from Latin America.

    Looking at that list, big bonuses don’t always translate into success at the MLB level, but that is NOT my point. The point here is that the Cubs have quite obviously paid off a few journalists to give rave reviews of their spending and renewed commitment to player development.

    Problem is, the numbers don’t add up.

    Sorry, but even this year, Mazara snagged $5 million and Hernandez $3.3 million along with Guzman.

    Make NO mistake about it, the Cubs still aren’t spending like they say they are.

    Once again, if they convince these guys to sign: Baez, Vogelbach, Zych, Gretzky, Shoulders, Dunston Jr., Schlecht, Maples, Marra, Lockhart, Jensen, Urban, and Jacquez…..then I’d say they are doing well. But they likely won’t sign half of them, much less 1/4 of them. 

    It appears they’re not even going to get Vogelbach now, which is PRECISELY what I was saying….He’s got an offer to Florida, who was in the CWS Finals. Why on earth would he sign with the Cubs, when he could likely double his signing bonus in 3 years with Florida. He’s a confident young man to boot, so if the Cubs try any funny business, not meeting his supposed demand of $1.65 million, they can forget about it. Additionally, Shoulders has all but said he’s going back to school. 

    Also, it appears Baseball America’s list of signees is not entirely factual (and when I’ve been scouring the AZL Cubs and Boise Hawks websites, I haven’t found these guys names either who have reportedly signed (McDonald, Maltos-Garcia—although he’s injured, Lucchese, and Weismann):
    http://mlb.mlb.com/team/draft.jsp?c_id=chc

    vs

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/draftdb/2011xteam.php?team=1004

    • Dorasaga

      Thanks for the research, and a fine answer. I was asking a similar question: How is the Cubs spending compared to the league?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Wells gives up a single to Gorzelanny on 1-2 pitch … speechless.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Saw that one coming … Zimmerman with a 2-run shot.

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    Randy Wells is killing me softly.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another horrible outing by Wells. Couldn’t even complete 5 innings

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Time to watch Carpenter’s pitch count

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Carpenter did a good job getting out of the jam … threw 24 pitches, 14 for strikes.

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    Nice job by Carpenter to get out of Randy Wells mess.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Aramis ties it up at four …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    9 homers in last 14 games for Aramis, that was a shot

  • GaryLeeT

    Aramis! King of clutch…….when the games don’t count any more.

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    Excellent work by Carpenter tonight 2 innings , 1 hit , 1 walk and 3 strikeouts.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    That’s 40 pitches (26 strikes) for Carpenter. He should not take the hill in the 7th.

    • GaryLeeT

      There is no reason to extend one of the VERY few pitchers on the team with real potential, in a meaningless game.

      • RynoTiger

        calm it GaryLeeT…Carpenter has got some ways to go…potential he has but execution of that potential he has been lacking…

        • GaryLeeT

          Calm it? Trust me, there is very little that gets me excited about this team, including Carpenter. My statement was a little facetious, and more of an indictment on how shallow the pool of Cubs’ pitching prospects is.

  • Scott

    Smarter baseball people than me, let me ask you a question.  After an unsuccessful suicide squeeze, why would you give the batter anything in the zone, especially after he started to square up on the second pitch?  Am I crazy for thinking that Woody screwed that up?

    • Scott

      Okay, Bob & Len just discussed the whole thing.  I guess I was thinking that you have to assume he’s going to try it again and just not give him anything to bunt.

      • paulcatanese

        Scott I heard the same explanation that you did, and after watching the replay I think the part that Bob had indicated that you would throw the pitch at the batter if it were a right handed hitter (it was in this case) If you can see the runner break for home before you are ready to throw. Bob had said Wood was concentrating on the hitter and did not pick the runner up out of the corner of his eye. But thats the way I always knew it to be played, knock the hitter down.

  • RynoTiger

    Thanks for putting the Cubs behind again, Kerry. 

  • GaryLeeT

    From his charitable foundation to his record tying strike out performance, Kerry is a sentimental Cub favorite. However, reality must be faced, and admitted that he no longer pitches at a MLB level.

    • gocubs

      Hugh?  He has a 2.39 ERA.  He’s been great as a reliever.  I dont think Wood is a problem.  

      • GaryLeeT

        You are kidding me, right? ERA has little to do with a reliever’s effectiveness. You need to A) look at what you see with your own two eyes, and B) look beyond the ERA and more towards inherited runners scoring or even his W-L record.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Wood typically pitches great when the score is 10-0 or 0-10. When you need him to come through, he’s like Aram the last two years: FORGETABOUTIT.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Having said that, Quade brings in Grabow to ensure that the game won’t be close in the 9th.

        • Coachdon

          Exactly. Wood needs to be your 5th and 6th inning mop up guy only. Any pressure situation and he implodes. You would expect the opposite from a veteran that still throws 95.

  • Brp921

    I think I hear a fat lady singing somewhere.

  • Scott

    Damn that Pena shift!

    • Brp921

      I wish Pena would adjust a llittle bit and hit the ball to the left side.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 5-4 to Nationals Wednesday night. Randy Wells: 4R, 10H,
    BB, 5K, 4+IP; Aramis Ramirez: 1-for-4, HR, 2RBI; Carlos Pena: 1-for-3, HR, 2RBI

  • Scott McMeekan

    Neil, it still amazes me that you can do this without coming completely unglued.  I hope you don’t take it out on Abby! 

    As usual, I read WAY more than I post, but I read every single day.  Thanks again.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Hey Scott, good to hear from you and no I don’t. She no longer asks if they won, she asks how bad they lost. You are welcome and thanks man.

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

        I am getting the same story on the home front but I have converted my gf from the dark side so it is a good situation. If it is after 10 and I am still typing she normally just tells me there is beer in fridge try to calm down before you come to bed.

  • BosephHeyden

    At this point in time, I just kinda feel bad for Quade.  When he went out to get Wells, he had a look that was a combination of “pissed” and “defeated”.  You get the feeling that, if the Cubs were to fire Hendry tomorrow and somehow wind up getting Sandberg to coach the same day, Quade would gladly step down just to get away from this.  I think he’s come to realize how far over his head he is.

  • paulcatanese

    Did Ihear Len and Bob say that DeWitt as a pinch hitter come up 33 times and had just 6 hits? He has been used over and over in clutch situations, so he must have better numbers than that. Where has Fukudome been the last two nights?