Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Marlins – 07/16/11

Game Ninety-Five: Cubs (38-56) vs. Marlins (44-49)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 89
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Carlos Zambrano (6-4, 4.34/1.37) vs. Javier Vazquez (5-8, 5.23/1.51)

Updated 9:30am CDTCarlos Zambrano activated from 15-day DL – Chris Carpenter Optioned to Triple-A Iowa

Carlos Zambrano will return from the DL and try to pickup where both Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster have left off. Garza tossed seven innings of shutout ball on Thursday and Dempster followed with eight innings of no-run ball on Friday … for those scoring at home, that is 15 innings of shutout ball for Cubs starters in the first two games of the series. Q’s starters were not the problem in the first two games back from the break.

Carlos Marmol will not be available out of the pen today and may not be for the remainder of the series. Marmol threw a lot of pitches in the first two games and would not be available this afternoon because of a high pitch count. The Cubs feel he needs a break … both physically and mentally. The Cubs would like Marmol to work on his mechanical issues for a few days then once he is ready to return, determine his role at that point. Sean Marshall and Kerry Wood are expected to share the closer duties while Marmol tries to figure things out.

Carlos Zambrano will be activated prior to this afternoon’s game, which will require another roster move. Quade said Thursday that Rodrigo Lopez would serve as the Cubs’ fifth starter moving forward and Ramon Ortiz would be moved to the pen. If that is the route the Cubs go, Chris Carpenter is likely headed back to Iowa.

Zambrano pitched last Friday on a rehab outing with the Peoria Chiefs. Z allowed an unearned run in four innings of work. Z has been on the DL since July 1 and reportedly will not be on a pitch count limit this afternoon.

The Cubs are 3-1 versus the Marlins this season … and today it all begins with Carlos Zambrano.

The last time Carlos Zambrano started a game he left in the second inning against the Giants. Zambrano’s back tightened up and he was placed on the DL the next day … and the Cubs activated Kerry Wood. The Cubs ended up winning the game 5-3 in 13 innings thanks to a tremendous five-inning outing by Marcos Mateo.

The last time Zambrano pitched a full game was back on June 25 in Kansas City. Big Z received a no-decision in a 3-2 loss to the Royals. Z allowed two runs on seven hits in eight innings with three walks and two strikeouts.

Zambrano posted a 1-2 record in six starts in June with a 4.58 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP.

Z did not face the Fish back in May and is 5-1 in 13 career games, 11 starts, versus Florida with a 3.01 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.

Marlins Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano

  • Emilio Bonifacio – 0-for-3
  • Mike Cameron – 2-for-19 with a walk
  • Greg Dobbs – 3-for-6 with a double
  • Hanley Ramirez – 3-for-14 with a double, a home run and 3 walks
  • Gaby Sanchez – 0-for-2
  • Javier Vazquez – 1-for-3 with a walk
  • Dewayne Wise – 3-for-10 with a double

The Cubs will face a very familiar foe in Javier Vazquez. The former Expo, D-Back, Southsider and Brave has had a lot of success over his career against the Cubs organization.

Vazquez struggled at the beginning of the season but has steadily gotten better as the season has progressed. Vazquez is 1-0 in his last two starts with a 1.38 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. Vazquez is coming off a very good seven-inning outing against Houston in which he allowed two unearned runs on six hits without a walk and four strikeouts.

This afternoon will be Vazquez’s 19th career start against the Cubs … 5-4 in 18 starts with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP … at Wrigley, 3-3 in 12 starts with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Javier Vazquez

  • Marlon Byrd – 3-for-12 with a double
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-9 with 4 walks
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-3
  • Reed Johnson – 3-for-19
  • Carlos Pena – 2-for-23 with a double, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 10-for-32 with 2 doubles, a triple, 2 home runs and 2 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-12 with a home run
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-8 with a walk
  • Carlos Zambrano – 1-for-5 with a double

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Whatever you think, be sure it is what you think; whatever you want, be sure that is what you want." – T.S. Eliot

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  • Neil

    Chris Carpenter was optioned to Triple-A Iowa to make room on the active roster for Carlos Zambrano

    • Kcarp

      Obviously he’s not old enough to keep a spot on this staff.

    • Henry

      Sending Carpenter down stinks!  This season should be all about finding guys for next year.  Chris Carpenter is one of those guys! They just signed Bush.   If they are desperate for a starter. he is your guy.  cutting Ortiz would have been the correct move. I would prefer to bring up Jay Jackson.  If someone is going to get his head beat in it might as well be one of our AAA starters.  You might be surprised how a call up might focus Jackson.  He probably thinks he will never be given a chance.   

      • cubtex

        I think they need to find a specified role for Carp. I would like to see him tried as a closer in the minors to see if he could do it.

        • Tony_Hall

          We agree on something.

          • cubtex


        • Henry

          I will agree with that.  I hope the Cubs have plan for him.  If they put him in a closing role in Des Moines I will be fine.  If they just let him languish in the bullpen then they exposing the real problem we have with our system from top to bottom!  what is that problem?  In 2 words:  No Plan!

          • Neil

            You just hit the nail on the head … the Cubs have no plan and that is the biggest problem.

          • Richard Hood

            I really wish that Ricketts would do what ever he is going to do during the season. If you are firing Hendry at seasons end then do it. Do not hold up any kind of forward plan by this guy trying to save his job.

            Then we can actually have a moving forward plan of attack and not Hendry and his we are still in this mind set.

          • Tony_Hall

            Richard – I think they agree with you and are doing what they are going to do at the end of this year.  Keep JH, keep Quade and try to resign all of our FA vets.  

          • Henry

            Tony, I know you are joking but unfortunately, some of that will come true. If it does that is a recipe for disaster!

  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

    • paulcatanese

      I see the Cubs are going with their restricted run producing lineup again today.Couple that with the spoiled brat on the mound, it should be a very interesting day at the old ballpark. Again the Cubs choose to send a promising player back down (Carpenter) to provide opportunities for veteran players.The logic of this team is dumbfounding, going nowhere at all and have a chance to bring someone in that has the talent and groom him here, on the Major League level.

  • J Daniel

    I agree with you Paul.  No way Carpenter should be going to minors in favor of a veteran who is done anyways.  I keep hearing that we will make moves that not only help us now but in the future.  This totally goes against this statement.

    Ricketts is as much to blame for this mess as well as he is sitting by nothing.  It is a ship that is way past sinking!

  • paulcatanese

    Neil, I really like the part of your’e post when you list the numbers that we have against the starting pitcher. All the Cubs need to do today is figure out how to bring Aram up 8-9 times today.

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Iowa – Casey Coleman (2-2, 4.25)
    Tennessee – Dallas Beeler (1-4, 4.50)
    Daytona – Casey Harman (1-1, 6.30)
    Peoria – Eric Jokisch (7-2, 3.24)
    Boise – Austin Reed (0-0, 8.05)

  • Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Cubs keep Ramon Ortiz on roster because he fills long relief role. Carpenter
    needs more regular work, and will get that with Iowa Cubs

    • paulcatanese

      Does Carrie ever go against the grain? I haven’t heard her criticize management once. Carpenter would get all the work he could handle right here with the Cubs as a closer. He certainly do no worse and throws harder than Marmol or Wood.

      • Richard Hood

        She is a MLB Cubs blogger. It is not her job to against the grain. It is her job to be the voice of the Cubs to the fans and give an inside perspective. If other reporters were doing their job you would not even notice that she is this biased.

    • Aaron

      Isn’t that ALWAYS the case with rookies on the Cubs?!?

  • roseyc

    This whole season is based on trying to play with bad contracts and Quade is the man to play Fukedome and Soriano and Zambrano and play the stooge. He is the perfect example of a man if you say yes long enough and do what your supposed to do you be in charge or do what Hendry says. Far as thinking ahead and managing that is not required. If we don’t hit or we don’t pitch hey Jim what do I do now.Deep down he knows that if this was a real orgainzation he would be shagging balls in double A because that’s what lower managers do …do what they are told and play with what you have

  • daverj

    Time to send Pena and ARam to the Pirates … maybe the Pirates are desperate enough to make a run this year that they would part with a prospect like Stetson Allie for Pena, ARam and some cash.

    • cubtex

      Agreed. Pirates have some nice prospects but no way they part with Allie for Pena.

  • Neil

    First runs allowed by Cubs starters … already down 3-0 in the first inning.

  • Neil

    Cubs go in order on 9 pitches in the bottom of the first

  • Neil

    Being very, very aggressive today. 10 pitches and 4 outs for Vazquez

  • Neil

    Zambrano with the hardest hit ball, and best at bat of the day

  • GaryLeeT

    Once again, baseball’s worst starting staff, demonstrates how they have earned their well deserved title.

    • cubtex

      How true. They need to forget about Fielder and add starting pitching!

  • Neil

    Stanton with another bomb, 8-0 Marlins

  • Neil

    Cubs shutout through five innings on Saturday with only one hit and 8 strikeouts. Cubs offense has only two RBI in the series.

    • Brentcarmona

      offense has been pathetic this series. sorianos rbi’s dont really count yesterday so technically we were shut out. and day before byrd hr is the only real run(barney hbp not counting). rememver minimun out of the maximum? we cant even get the minimum anymore….just sad.

      • Neil

        That is the reason I said only two RBI. I did not count the two runs scored on the error yesterday, they were not RBI. The third run on Thursday night scored on a passed ball. The Byrd homer and Barney hit by pitch were the only two RBI before Aramis’ homer today

    • garrett

      Sad…. one of the RBI was a hit by pitch with the bases loaded

  • Neil

    Sure glad Ramon Ortiz is still with the team.

    • Aaron

      Again, you have to really wonder who is running the asylum.

      Ricketts’ stated goal was better player development. You don’t get there by repeatedly sending down prospects that are projected to be a big part of your future in order to “get more playing time”

      If rumors are correct that Hendry and Quade are gone at the end of the season, then what the hell are they still doing here, ruining the prospects and the chances of competing next year (just as they did last year). This is 2 years in a row those idiots have wrecked player development. August-September of last year should’ve been nothing but prospects playing a majority of the time. This year, there were injuries early on….prospects did NOT play, even though they were recently added to the 40-man and promoted, thus starting their “option clocks”.

      Hendry is a moron…there’s no other way to say it. I literally hope he never gets a job in MLB ever again, because he’s ruined the Cubs for years to come. I hope MacFailed hires both Quade and Hendry next year so their lack of baseball intellect will be on display for all to see, and they’ll understand it’s NOT just the Cubs….it’s THEM!!!!!!!!! They’re the problems. Just as the Reds are finding out with Baker. You simply can’t be that dumb, for that long and get away with it. A blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile, and Hendry did in 2003, 2007, and 2008….but remember in 2007 and 2008 he had a motivated Piniella as his manager that got the most out of his players….then when players like Wood, DeRosa, and Edmonds said they were not prepared, Piniella threw a tantrum, and they all got let go, and he completely lost the team thereafter.

      In 2004, the players threw tantrums, and Hendry caved, and got rid of Stone and Chip, versus telling his players to worry about their play on the field, along with their “player’s manager” who had lost all control of the team.

      Honestly, I don’t think any owner would need more evidence of the incompetence displayed by Hendry and Quade to let them go….We’ve literally seen Quade lose about 10 games by himself this year.

      • paulcatanese

        Aaron, you are being gracious, at least 15-20 games and a destroyed pitching staff.

  • Neil

    Ramirez with a 3-run shot … #16

  • Dorasaga

    Oh my Holy Cow. The Pirates is at first place. The World is upside-down. The Cubs stays the same. It’s a true comfort to see Jim Hendry and Company present us the biggest joke of another Century.

    I’m Lovin’ It! Yum-yum!

  • Tom U

    The Peoria Chiefs add OF Taiwan Easterling to the roster, and place 2B Pierre LePage on the DL for back problems. 

    • cubtex

      nice. another athlete!

  • diehardcubfan

    I am going to go out on a limb here and predict if Wells has another bad start and Bush pitches ok at Iowa I bet Wells will get sent back to Iowa and Bush called up to replace him or Wells gets demoted into the bullpen.

    That is my assessment as to why the Cubs brought Bush aboard. 

    Other than that I see no other logic given a year of moves that have no logic.  This team stinks!!!  There is no sugar coating it.

  • Neil

    Cubs pounded by Marlins 13-3. Carlos Zambrano: 8R, 7H (2HR), 4BB,
    6Ks in 4.2 IP; Ramon Ortiz: 3R, 3H (HR), 0BB, K in 1.1 IP; Aramis Ramirez: 1-for-3,
    3R HR

  • paulcatanese

    Again the tried and true lineup that Quade ran out today did the same as they have been doing the last few days, nada. Their are many little things to point out on todays performance, but why bother, tommorow is Sunday and everyone knows how the Cubs relate to Sunday baseball. Have to mention though I didnt put too much stock in Arams home run as the Cubs were behind by 11 and he was going to see nothing but fastballs down the middle with that lead. One other little thing, has anyone seen Castro take batting practice?(not trying to be funny here) and if you have,, has he hit any balls out? Just wondering when some power is going to show up.

    • cubtex

      Hopefully another team got excited about ARam’s homer though. KRod waived that clause in his contract about finishing a certain amount of games and ARam might be willing as well to get a chance to play in playoffs.

      • Neil

        K-Rod did not waive the vesting option, he renegotiated it. It is now a mutual option (club and player) and he received a higher buyout.

        • cubtex

          Ok. Tecnically re-worked the contract but my point is the Cubs and another team wishing to aquire him could re-work that trade clause so they are not stuck for the 17 mil.

  • bpot92

    I was at the game today, about 10 ft from Ricketts before the game and he was smiling and greeting fans while signing autographs. he scriibbled go cubs go- Tom Ricketts ona little kids card b4 leaving. It did not even look like he cared what the outcome was because besides the right field bleachers, the place ws fairly crowded. The only problem was no one around me ws talking basebaall, they were all talking about things like their weekend and stuff. I was Row c behind home plate and a little to the left, you would think for 376 dollars a ticket the people would be fans that actually care about the game. BTw the team looked even worse than usual today and thaats saying something. When the best thing about the game is mrveling at how stong and how good Mike Staton will be, then you know that it is  bad season

    • paulcatanese

      Wow, $376.00 for a ticket? For that money Ricketts ought to at least shine your’e shoes. That aside, the cameras were rotating arond the field late in the game and I saw many dis enchanted fans with blank stares and one was simply picking his nose. They may have been there because of pre paid tickets but they sure were not having a good time. It wont be long that Ricketts will  not be showing up at all, as fans start showing their dis pleasure and really start booing at the sight of him.

      • bpot92

        i actucally did not pay that. A friend ws given the tickets and he took me with. I would never pay that much for  ticket unless the Cubs were good. I buy the 30 -50 dollar tickets every year at lest once but I usully watch t home since i dont want to pay to see  bad team

        • paulcatanese

          Ah, I long for the old days when 3-4 thousand would show up and I paid 3-3.50 for a box behind third or first, my choice. But they played just as bad, well not this bad. Didnt even need reservations, just walk up to the window and but the tickets. Those days may come back, they are trying to make it happen. Inow see over a hundred games a year,if not more, on TV and MLB tv. Try not to miss any of these inglorious b888888s if possible.

  • Neil

    The Iowa Cubs re-assigned Austin Bibens-Dirkx to AA.