Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Phillies – 07/18/11

Game Ninety-Seven: Cubs (38-58) vs. Phillies (59-35)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WCIU – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Rodrigo Lopez (1-2, 4.02/1.44) vs. Roy Halladay (11-3, 2.45/1.02)

The Cubs open a three-game series tonight against the best team in the big leagues … the Philadelphia Phillies. The Cubs and Phillies are on both ends of the baseball spectrum and their win-loss records are almost mirror images of one another.

The Phillies took three of four from the Cubs last month in Philly and the next three days doesn’t figure to get any easier for Quade’s offense. After Roy Halladay, the Cubs face Cliff Lee on Tuesday night then a very talented right-hander in Vance Worley for the first time on Wednesday afternoon … the Cubs will counter with Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster.

The Cubs are just two losses away from losing their 60th game of the season and they will have to win 25 of their remaining 66 games to avoid the 100-loss plateau. Tonight it all starts with Rodrigo Lopez

The Cubs will give Rodrigo Lopez the ball tonight to make his fourth start of the season. Lopez has been serviceable but the Cubs would be better served having a Casey Coleman or a Jay Jackson make these starts. Lopez is 1-1 as a starter with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.

Lopez last start came 10 days ago against the Pirates. Lopez received a no decision after allowed three runs on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts in six innings. Lopez was in line for the win but Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol gave up four runs in the bottom of the eighth and the Cubs lost 7-4.

Lopez faced his former team twice during the four-game series in Philadelphia and did not allow any runs on two hits in three innings of work. Lopez walked one and did not strikeout a batter.

Rodrigo Lopez is 1-1 in six career games, four starts, versus the Phillies with a 5.74 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP.

Phillies Career Numbers against Rodrigo Lopez

  • Domonic Brown – no official at bat, one walk
  • Ben Francisco – 0-for-1
  • Ryan Howard – 6-for-11 with a home run and a walk
  • Raul Ibanez – 9-for-27 with 2 doubles and 4 walks
  • Carlos Ruiz – 3-for-5 with a walk
  • Brian Schneider – 4-for-7 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Chase Utley – 4-for-11 with 2 doubles

The Cubs offense will face one of the best in the game for the second time in less than six weeks. Roy Halladay threw seven innings of six-hit, shutout ball against the Cubs back on June 10 in Philadelphia. Halladay did not walk a batter and struck out nine of the free-swinging Cubs.

Halladay has not pitched in 10 days, other than a two-inning stint in the All-Star game, and will be ready to go a full nine tonight. Halladay received a no-decision in a 3-2 Phillies victory over the Braves. Atlanta scored two runs on eight hits with no walks and seven strikeouts in seven innings.

After posting a 3-0 record in five June starts with a 2.00 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP, Halladay was 1-0 in two starts prior to the break with a 2.81 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP.

If the Cubs do not try to make Halladay work tonight, it could be another ugly loss for Q’s squad.

Roy Halladay is 1-3 in four career starts versus the Cubs with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP … at Wrigley, 0-2 in two starts with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Roy Halladay

  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 5-for-14 with 2 doubles and a triple
  • Starlin Castro – 3-for-6
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-3 with a triple
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-6
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-3 with a home run
  • Carlos Pena – 14-for-61 with 4 doubles, a triple, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-16
  • Alfonso Soriano – 14-for-57 with 3 doubles and 2 home runs
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-3

Boys of Spring – The Movie
Friend of the CCO, Tim Sheridan, is putting the finishing touches on a Cubs documentary about his time with the Chicago Cubs. Tim is the long-time P.A. announcer at HoHoKam Park in Mesa and the film is full of behind the scenes, never-before-see footage shot by Tim as he worked next to Cubs legends like Harry Caray and Ron Santo.

From the official press release: To be a part of Boys of Spring – The Movie, fans can donate as little as $10 using an Amazon.com account. As a thank you, fans will receive a copy of the Boys of Spring documentary before its official release next spring. There are a range of donation levels and rewards available on Kickstarter.com, including Cubs memorabilia and your name in the movie’s credits.

Boys of Spring isn’t about a team winning or losing. It’s about something deeper. An examination of life on its winding path and how, in spite of perceived failures, there is happiness and success. Cub fans will find joy this season and for years to come with the Boys of Spring film by donating and claiming their place in Cubs history. An epic World Series drought can’t stop the faithful Cubs followers, who know better than anyone – “There’s always next spring!”

The CCO will be running reminders during game previews for the next few weeks and I encourage the Faithful to check out ‘Boys of Spring – The Movie

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Baseball is all I ever wanted. I could eat, sleep, and dream baseball." - Smoky Joe Wood

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

    • paulcatanese

      De-Ja-Vu all over again

    • paulcatanese

      On the “Boys of Summer”, thanks to you I know who this is and will participate.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Will have more on Aramis’ situation later … But here’s what his agent Paul Kinzer said today. From Ken Rosenthal: Ramirez willing to waive option. Cubs could trade Aramis Ramirez. Update from agent, Paul Kinzer. http://t.co/qjqhqu6

    • John_CC

      It is interesting how misleading a slash line can be.  Aramis’ line is .300/.350/.500 16HR 56RBI

      That looks really good on paper.

      But he was flat out horrible until June 1.

  • BosephHeyden

    The only interesting thing about the game tonight (which, with it being on WCIU, means this game is irrelevant anyways) is whether or not CM Punk makes an appearance at Wrigley tonight to “defend” his WWE title (apparently the big reason the guy did the stretch Friday is he’s the most popular thing to come out of pro wrestling since the Rock over the past few weeks and announced his “last match under WWE contract” would be for the WWE title, which he won and then promptly fled the building to party with the belt around Wrigleyville…before retiring for the night and granting Piston Honda the first shot at his new title).

  • paulcatanese

    Quade says Marmol could be ready for Monday, does he mean tonight? A week from tonight?, he wasnt very clear on that. I wonder how, when a pitcher sel-destructs over three months that he can be fixed in a matter of four or five days? I guess Quade believes in phantom arms as well the lineups he puts out every day.

    • Brp921

      Looks like Quades handler is telling him to pitch him.

    • paulcatanese

      I have to eat a little crow tonight as Marmol did a sevicable job. I did notice it was due to using more fastballs instead of sliders to get the first two and when he went back to the slider, well, still needs work.

  • John_CC

    I smell a No-No…

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Iowa – Alberto Cabrera (1-2, 7.00)
    Tennessee – Marco Carrillo (4-0, 1.21) Game 1
                       Austin Bibens-Dirx (0-0, 0.00) Game 2 projected
    Daytona –  Jeffry Antigua (2-0. 1.84)
    Boise – Ben Wells (2-1, 4.61)

    Peoria lost to Fort Wayne 5-3 this afternoon. Frank Del Valle the losing pitcher.
    Tennessee’s double-header is the continuation of yesterday’s suspended game and tonight’s match-up.
    Daytona goes for their 60th win tonight.

  • Brp921

    The Cubs should tell Ramirez that, if he won’t approve a trade before the deadline, then they will hold on to him and let him set on the bench for the rest of the season. Then they would buy out his option and let him see what he was worth on the open market next year. I would think teams would look at hi slow starts and put some incentives in his contract. On the other hand if he was to go to a contender and play well, it could help him get a better contract next year.

    • J Daniel

      Sounds great in theory but when you do that you will rub other players and agents wrong and it will become difficult to attract other players here when you need to.  He was granted the no trade in his contract so you have to honor the request.

      • Brp921

        You make a good point. They would need to tell him that they respect his no trade rights but, they are going a different direction next year and want to play the young guys, and let he and his agent figure it out from there.

  • Calicub

    Long time no post but I’ve been reading religiously as always. Neal, you and the gang do a tireless job every single day multiple times a day.

    Is it just me or is everyone as pleasantly delighted that the cubs are twenty below and plumeting?

    Everyday is a loss but every loss is one day closer to the end of this debacle. At the end of this season Mr. Ricketts will sit down with a fleet of pencil pushers and bean counters and recognize that the lack of success is corellating to an unexpected drop in profits. As Aaron has repeatedly hounded Ricketts Sr. for gloating about his win/loss cash cow fans, this seems to no longer be the case. Hmmm… what to do?

    Fire the staff and upper management, drop deadweight contracts/ avoid renewals of useless players, find true baseball minds to run the org. The way it should be and finally fill spots with youngsters/players you can build you team around for the next five to six to ten years………. or………… will he ask Hendry for a creative solution to the cubs problem? And since Jim “The Mastermind” Hendry got em close back in 08 and 09 and oh wasn’t that great? And in turn our fearless leader will say your right Mr. Ricketts, it wasn’t me it was quade he lost our players support but let’s get another one of my guys who will get all our vets going!

    • BosephHeyden

      Yeah, we’re all on the same page:  most of us aren’t necessarily DELIGHTING in the Cubs losing, but at the same time, we’re not really giddy about Cubs wins (though I might cheer a bit if they win three in a row, however doubtful that is).

        And yet…at the same time, we’ve seen this before.  After 2004, a good amount of Cubs fans were sick of Dusty ruining most of our starters.  Then 2005 happened and we were well out of it by June, and almost every Cub fan wanted Dusty gone.  Yet Hendry talked his way into keeping Dusty for one more go, and we wound up with a 2006 team that managed to be just awful to the point where Dusty may have voluntarily left if Cubs management didn’t fire him.

      And again, there was 2007, where we weren’t great, yet we made strides and won games late.  And that lead to a really solid 2008 team…a team Hendry managed to tear apart completely.  Most of us knew it would be a bad 2009, and it was.  2010 somehow managed to be worse, and now we’re here.

      Hendry, by my count has been riding off of three playoff seasons out of nine seasons, and four pretty good trades that may have been steals, but didn’t net us any World Series appearances (Hundley for Grudz and Karros, Bobby Hill for A-Ram, the Nomar trade, and the Harden trade…or Bradley for Silva if you want more recent).  And that has been enough for him to survive this long.  Until I see his release in the papers, I don’t believe he’ll ever be gone.

  • Tom U

    Greg Rohan doubled in his first at bat for Daytona.

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    Let hope the Cubs does not torture us again tonight . Go Cubs

  • Zach

    On MLB Tonight Ken Rosenthal said that Quade was a good manager.  I don’t think that h has ever watched Quade manage.

    • studio179

      Rosenthal can not be serious.  

      I believe a couple weeks ago Rosenthal stuck up for Hendry, too. 

      Interesting.

  • RickinMSP

    Robinson Chirinos with his first major league hit tonight off of A.J. Burnett, a double to center over the head of Granderson.

  • Aaron

    Neil,

    All the stuff just recently posted by Miles and Muskat just go to show how stupid Rogers really is. He frequently comes up with bizarre trade scenarios that never happen, and he expects to be taken seriously? C’mon, Phil….we already know your games.

    He just wants to get hits on his column so he can say he does a good job….that’s the bottom line.

    • carmelo

      Sounds like your posts—

      • Aaron

        you left your circle….why’d you have to do that? Once again, you have NO class, and don’t even belong on this site

        • carmelo

          C’mon, Mr. LOL…we already know your games.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Aaron, you know my thoughts about Mr. Rogers.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Aramis with #17 … broke-up no hitter and shutout

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Here is a stat for everyone … Aramis Ramirez leads the league with 8 homers on the first pitch of an at bat. Aramis and Pena started tonight tied for the league lead with 7.

    • Kojak Osborne Jr.

      to bad they could not hit these home runs earlier in the season.

      • diehardcubfan

        You are so right.

    • paulcatanese

      Its a good thing he does, avoids the low outside slider. He is having success with first pitch swings.

  • roseyc

    What is the obsession with Koyie Hill? Good Grief!! We are not a pennant contender and he can’t hit and he’s not that good of a catcher. So what if our pitchers like pitching to him. I’m sure Quade has some stat says that Hill grounds out against Halladay instead of striking out.

    • paulcatanese

      But he now had his third major league steal tonight, and look for him to be moved to leadoff so Quade can take advantage of his speed.

  • Aaron

    Not that it matters, but I think I’ve figured out why Hill sucks so bad at hitting. If you watch 99% of the hitters on this team (even Soriano), you’ll see their heads turn to follow pitches. Yet, when you see Hill, his head never turns even slightly towards the ball, meaning he’s swinging blindly….completely blindly at the ball, and hoping the ball is on the same plane as he sees it 6 feet or so from the plate. If the ball darts away, you’ll notice that his swing often times is toward the center of the plate.

    Yet another reason why Hendry and Quade were idiots for allowing him to stick with the team when they had Clevenger and Castillo

    • Kojak Osborne Jr.

      They kept him for his defense lol

      • Aaron

        Weird though….his next AB, I saw him follow 2 pitches in that sequence

    • roseyc

      That’s one of the reasons this organization can’t develop any catchers. Either they given up and decided that Hill can at least bat lefthanded and be like a pitcher and don’t make bad outs.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree Aaron, as you have I have watched him do the same thing over and over. If he didnt he would follow called strike three, right down the pipe. He cannot seem to see anything out of that plane and does just what you say.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Nice catch by Soriano

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    For those scoring at home … Flaherty is at third tonight and DJ is at second.

    • cubtex

      that’s where I wish they would be playing them all the time.

      • Tom U

        I don’t know? LeMahieu is very lanky, all arms-and-legs, which projects better to a corner infield position. Flaherty, although only an inch shorter, is much stockier and seems a better fit a second, but also not out of place at third. It’s going to be interesting to see out it plays out.

        • cubtex

          I am saying this more for the type of hitters they are. It is nice to have that flexibility though.

  • Jim_Tinley_Park

    Neil:

    What do you think? Will ARAM accept a trade? I keep hearing yes and no.

    • Kojak Osborne Jr.

      I think Aram might be like Derek Lee last year and gets traded in August if he is traded at all

      • Aaron

        I think you might be correct, especially if, like Lee, he’s told he will NOT be brought back next year. I think once August rolls around, reality sets in for most players, and the fact is, the Cubs are freaking 20 games under .500 right now….which, is absolutely terrible, and if they do simple math,they’ll understand they can’t possibly come back, unless the 4 teams ahead of them (Reds, Pirates, Cardinals, and Brewers), all go on unprecedented losing streaks all at the same time….

        Lee realized this, just as Fred McGriff did when the Cubs traded for him nearly 10 years ago…..veterans just want stability, which is why so many of them are demanding NTC when they sign contracts. Plus, when their younger, players are able to move around a lot, and normally don’t care if they’re traded mid-season. But if guys are married, and have kids that are attending school, that’s an entirely different matter, as ARAM pointed out himself.

        So….August makes more sense to him as he mentioned, especially if Hendry is told they can’t sign ARAM next year.

    • Aaron

      I know you asked Neil, but Rogers and Rosenthal were supposedly the only ones claiming he’d waive it. 

      ARAM and his agent have both said otherwise, with ARAM saying pre-game today he won’t go

      • Jim_Tinley_Park

        Aaron:

        Are you going to check out “Moneyball”?

        • Aaron

          I’ll rent/buy it, but not theaters…I couldn’t justify seeing that in a theater, just like pretty much every baseball movie I’ve ever seen, except for Field of Dreams

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      If he does it will be after July 31, which will not help with the players the Cubs could possibly get in return.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Very good at bat by Castro

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Who are these players in blue pinstripes?

    • Kojak Osborne Jr.

      It is a smokescreen , Halladay has struggled against us in his career

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Don’t just look at Halladay’s record against the Cubs … look at his other numbers.

        Just making a comment, not reading anything into the first three innings.

    • Aaron

      Well….they’re the Cubs…..still…..so we’re probably staring down a heartbreaking loss due to defensive miscues or the pen failing a surprisingly decent start by Lopez

  • roseyc

    Neil you said that why are pitching Lopez instead of Coleman or Jackson and i agree to a point but I don’t see anything in Coleman.He’s got journeyman written all over him just like Wells.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I’m not saying Coleman is necessarily an answer but with the team being 20 games under, it would be a good time to see if a player/pitcher could be a part of your team moving forward.

      • roseyc

        i understand just like they are doing with Wells but Wells is pitching his way off this roster hopefully someone will notice maybe he needs a change of scenery and take him off our hands but that’s wishful thinking Quade and Hendry will say that he’s on the verge and give him a 4 year deal

  • Aaron

    For those of you that are interested in the minor league system, Kyle Smit was demoted from AA to Daytona, and in his first appearance, gave up 1 inherited run, and 5 overall….

    My guess is that he will be DFA’d if Hendry needs a spot for Cashner (if he ever comes off the DL), or another move coming up.

    • Kojak Osborne Jr.

      I am really worried about Cashner he sound like another Mark Prior they said it minor and then he never came back

    • J Daniel

      I doubt that Cashner will be back this year.  You would think he would be back already unless there is something really bad.

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    Neil , is there any update on Cashner

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Cashner was supposed to start his second rehab today in Mesa. I have not heard of any plans changing. He’s hoping to return this season in a relief role.

      • Kojak Osborne Jr.

        Thanks Neil , great work as always

  • JimBo_C

    Rip,
    Kosuke now has 13 RBIs for the season. It took him 271 ABs to get there.

    Exactly what we want from a RF power position.

    • GaryLeeT

      As a platoon player!

  • Tom U

    Zeke DeVoss, batting lead-off and playing second for Boise, walked, stole second, and stole third.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    That was an excellent turn by Barney and Castro.

    Very good outing by Rodrigo Lopez

  • Aaron

    Very well done by Lopez tonight….I didn’t want him on the team, but who would’ve thought he’d have the best ERA of the starting pitchers? Nice start….hopefully the pen doesn’t blow it, like they do Garza’s nice starts….or, in other words, if Marmol stays out of the game, Lopez stands a good chance of winning it.

    • paulcatanese

      Aaron as you know Marmol did come in, but was not that convincing to me.
      Still has a way to go with his slider. Just glad it wasn’t a one run game.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent play by Barney to end the seventh

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Pena with a BOMB

  • GaryLeeT

    With only my memory to back up my statement, Lopez’s last 3 starts are probably the best 3 consecutive starts, from any Cub pitcher this year.

    • paulcatanese

      Youre right Gary, now the Cubs only have to win 65 more in  row to turn it around. But Lopez did a good job.

  • RickinMSP

    Hey Quade, Russell has now gone at least 11 consecutive outings without giving up an earned run.  Amazing what guys can do for you when you put them in a position to succeed.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Welington Castillo with his 12th homer of the season to give the Iowa Cubs a
    3-2 lead over Nashville in the 7th

    • Tom U

      Zeke DeVoss has stolen his third base, and is giving the opposing pitchers fits. 

  • GaryLeeT

    Marmol looks like different pitcher. Much less falling off the mound, and less side arm.

  • GaryLeeT

    Now Marmol has gone back to the side arm release.

  • zonk

    Cubs have lost 8 straight series, putting up a castoff pitcher vs. Roy Halladay, and the best team in the National League.

    Of course we win!

    • paulcatanese

      Go figure, I agree Zonk,  very good outing.Marmol good job, but dosent have it all together yet. Fastball ok slider not yet.

      • Aaron

        Paul,

        While his slider has been bad, it’s the lack of velocity overall that has hurt him.

        Someone on this site mentioned they heard on a broadcast (ESPN I believe) that the reason Marmol’s velocity has declined so much is he relies heavily on the slider, which actually takes away from his velocity, as he’s no longer relying much on the fast twitch muscles that allowed him to run the ball upwards of 97 and even 98 mph on occasion a few years ago. The velocity has steadily declined since then has his reliance on the slider has increased. Tonight, I don’t recall him breaking 92 mph on his fastball. Again, Marmol was like a Chris Carpenter (Cubs style) with his high 90’s fastball, and a slider that was 89-91 mph….THAT is one of the reasons he was next to unhittable. But now he’s sitting low 90’s with his fastball, low 80’s with his slider. That is NOT a good combination.

        I never really thought of it that way before, but it makes a lot of sense from personal experience. I had a similar thing happen in college, but never thought of it until now. I did end up blowing out my shoulder, so my reliance on my 12-6 breaker might not be the sole reason for my temporary drop in velocity at the time….who knows?

        • paulcatanese

          I actually thought that response came from you as it made sense about Marmols slider and you being an ex-pitcher. Sorry about that, cause when someone had posted that and wondered who had compared the loss of the fastball because of the slider I immediatly thought of you and said it was probably you that had said that.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Phillies 6-1. Rodrigo Lopez: 1R, 5H, 0BB, 3K, 6.2IP;
    Starlin Castro: 2-for-5, SB; Aramis Ramirez: 1-for-3, HR, SAC, 2 RBI; Carlos Pena: 3-for-3, HR, BB, 2 RBI;
    Darwin Barney: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, R

  • Cubs PA Guy

    Neil, thanks for the write up on Boys of Spring – The Movie and posting the video. Much appreciated! This film shows some of the inside stuff that goes on that we fans don’t normally get to see, as well as telling an interesting Cubs story that many people don’t know.Glad to have the CCO’s support, we need Cubs fans to help make this movie happen. Nice to see the Cubs win tonight. Tim

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Tim, you are more than welcome.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Brett Jackson: 0-for-4,BB,R; DJ LeMahieu: 2-for-5; Ryan Flaherty:
    2-for-4,2B; Tyler Colvin:2-for-5,3B,RBI,R; Welington Castillo:
    1-for-4,BB,HR,2RBI in Iowa’s 5-3 loss on Monday night