Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 08/03/11

Game One Hundred Eleven: Cubs (45-65) vs. Pirates (54-54)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Matt Garza (4-8, 3.99/1.32) vs. Charlie Morton (8-6, 4.04/1.56)

For the second time this season the Cubs will shoot for the first four-game winning streak of the year. After the Cubs swept the Astros at Wrigley (July 22 – July 24), Ryan Dempster and the Cubs came up short against Milwaukee … the last time a Cubs team won four in a row was September 13 – September 19, 2010 when they posted six straight victories.

Tyler Colvin returned to the starting lineup Tuesday night and responded with his best game of the season. Colvin pounded out three hits that included a double and one of the Cubs six home runs. According to several reports, Colvin is scheduled to start the remainder of the series in Pittsburgh and at least the opener against the Reds on Friday.

Quade said Tuesday that he plans on giving Alfonso Soriano and Marlon Byrd breaks and that will help getting Reed Johnson playing time. Despite what Jim Hendry said after he traded Kosuke Fukudome to the Indians in order for the Cubs to see what they have in Tyler Colvin, Quade said Tuesday that Colvin would have to earn his playing time.

A team that enters play 20 games under .500 on August 3 should be focused on giving time to young players such as Tyler Colvin to see what that player could possibly bring to the table. August is a good time to look at younger players and not September … another reason Chris Carpenter and John Gaub should be with the big league team instead of the likes of Ramon Ortiz and John Grabow.

Tonight it all begins with Matt Garza

Matt Garza is coming off a much better outing than his final line. Garza was charged with six runs on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings last Friday night in St. Louis. The Cubs defense made several bad plays behind Garza that were not ruled as errors … and two that were. Garza was tagged with his eighth loss of the season.

Garza has pitched much better at Wrigley (3-3 in 11 starts with a 2.70 ERA and 1.13 WHIP) than on the road (1-5 in nine starts with a 5.96 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP). The Cubs need for Garza to finish the year on a positive note … and for the front office and a majority of the mainstream media not to look at his win-loss record but his other numbers.

Even with the poor line in his last game, Garza finished July 0-2 in six starts with a 3.82 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

Matt Garza has not faced the Pirates since his tremendous start against them in the third game of the season. Garza pitched seven strong innings and allowed three runs on 12 hits (all singles) without a walk and a season-high 12 strikeouts. Tonight will be Garza’s second start versus the Bucs … and his first at PNC.

Pirates Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Pedro Alvarez – 2-for-4
  • Ronny Cedeno – 1-for-3
  • Garrett Jones – 2-for-4
  • Ryan Ludwick – 2-for-4 with a home run and 2 walks
  • Lyle Overbay – 11-for-40 with 3 doubles and 2 walks
  • Neil Walker – 0-for-4

The Cubs will get their first of the season at Charlie Morton tonight. After a sensational and surprising first two months of the season (April: 2-1 in five starts with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP; May: 3-1 in five starts with a 2.06 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP), Morton has come back to earth and has struggled mightily over the last two months (June: 2-2 in four starts with an 8.50 ERA and a 2.11 WHIP; July: 1-2 in five starts with a 4.97 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP).

Morton is coming off a horrible start against the Phillies in which he allowed eight runs, six earned, on nine hits with four walks and four strikeouts in four innings.

The Cubs have had their success against Charlie Morton in the past (2-2 in four starts with a 7.85 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP) but Morton beat Lou’s crew last May 5 in Pittsburgh … two runs on five hits without a walk and three strikeouts in six innings, only one of two wins for Morton in 2010.

Cubs Career Numbers against Charlie Morton

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-5
  • Marlon Byrd – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-3
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-3 with a triple
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-4
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-6
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-4 with a double

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time." – Lou Brock

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  • John_CC

    I bet Garza would rather throw 174 pitches than hand the ball to Marmol or Wood tonight.

    • J Daniel

      So would he but it worked out.

  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

  • Neil

    C Justin Marra (North York, Ont.) 15th rounder signs with Cubs

  • Harvschnepper

    If anyone heard Steve Stone on the Score today,he said of Aramis Ramirez”If you won’t accept a trade then you will become an expensive pinch hitter sitting on the bench instead of stoking up your stats.” I know the Cubs wouldn’t do that but I would do it to anyone that they wanted to trade but couldn’t.That includes Dempster and Pena and whoever else turned them down

    • Demitri

      I read it the first time and I agreed. But then I thought about it, it is not his fault Jim Clueless gave him the no trade clause. Although we could’ve got decent prospects for Ramirez and I would trade him in a heartbeat, as a manager (which I wish I was) I would not make him suffer because of a stupid general manager

      • Brp921

        Baseball is a business. They’re making millions right? Let them cry all the way to the bank. I wish I could.

      • Tony_Hall

        You are right, it is not his fault that JH gave him a no trade clause, or that they have earned 10 and 5 rights.

        It is also not the Cubs fault, if they don’t allow them to pad their stats, while they sit the bench, until agreeing to be traded.  

    • Brp921

      My thoughts exactly. He would then change his mind.

  • John_CC

    And he puts Colvin in the “get nothing to swing at” slot in the order. Because after all 3-4 with a moon shot didn’t earn anything yesterday.

    • jfish1219

      Thats because Mike Quade is a flipping moron 

    • paulcatanese

      Right,Colvin must go 9 for 10 after sitting for a couple of games to pay homage to Qua.

      • Ripsnorter1

        9 for 10 doesn’t guarantee you anything with Qua. “You’ve got to earn your playing time.” 

        I cannot stand that manager.

        • studio179

          Ditto…and we likely get him coming back (Hendry, too). 

          Does not sit well knowing more of the same in 2012.

  • jfish1219

    Neil is there a way to get comments to auto-load with out having to refresh the page?

    • Neil

      Sorry, the page has to be refreshed.

  • Neil

    Tom Ricketts is in Peoria visiting the Chiefs. Kevin
    Capie of the Peoria Journal Star has tweeted several comments from his press conference. Here are the tweets:

    Ricketts on if he’s anticipating any changes: “I don’t know just yet. It’s something we’ll decide at the right time.”

    Ricketts: “We want to be known as a team that drafts and develops players better than the other teams.”

    Ricketts on what area of the organization the new ownership has had the
    most impact: “It’s hard to say we’ve had any type of big impact on the
    baseball side, but that being said a lot of the stuff we’re doing now
    should pay off in the long run.”

    • cmschube


    • Tony_Hall

      If I didn’t think that Tommy Boy is bringing JH back, I would say he is setting the stage for JH to be fired, with these comments.

      Ownership has had no impact on the baseball side…means JH has done it all.

      On any changes, I don’t know…no vote of confidence.

      On being known as a team that drafts and develops players better than other teams….they are known to be bad at it, today.

    • SuzyS

      As the owner of a baseball team can’t make an impact on the baseball side of things….nothing else matters….I really no longer care about the long run….because I have absolutely no faith in the management currently making decisions….and that includes Ricketts.

      I have not been to a game this season….have watched perhaps a total of 5 innings all season…and have little reason to watch at all….for the remainder of the season.

      Mr. Ricketts….I was once a bread and butter Cub fan….watched or listened to each and every game for close to 50 years….and this is how sick you’ve made me of the Cubs…..Good going Tom & Family.

      When Clown Kenney/Jim Hendry are replaced….perhaps then I might watch again…But until Sandberg or his ilk is managing….Somebody 
      other than JH is at the helm….and there are at least some signs of shrewd/competitive decision=making…The Cubs will not get one iota
      of my cash.

      Hi to Neil and all the long time CCO family.  I just wish the baseball news were better.

      • Brentcarmona

        to believe, or not too believe…that is the question.

        hang in there. i contunue to watch/listen to the games. dont worry you arent missing much. its really hard to stick with my favorite team nowadays..

      • Neil

        Suzy, great to hear from you. I hope all is well.

      • diehardcubfan

        You go Suzy, great to hear from you.  Miss your commentary.

    • paulcatanese

      Neil, I swear Ricketts is a used car salesman,OOPS, I didnt mean to insult used car salesmen,they have more on the ball. Ricketts is not even good at twisting what he is saying, as he has said,,,,,,,nothing

  • paulcatanese

    I dont know how Ricketts can justify the statements he has made today, they are beyond reason or intellegence of any human being on earth, he must be from the “Planet of the Apes” but then Apes are smarter, they stay away from hot dogs, wheras Ricketts surrounds himself with them.

  • Neil
  • Spoda

    I have just one thing to say… where is Mark Cuban when you need him… not good for baseball..? thanks Selig… and Tommy Boy (I had to steal that, I laughed when I ready that)… is good for baseball..?  Can someone please pull the fork out of my eye…

  • Neil

    Tyler Colvin and Mike Quade ejected in the fifth inning by Bob Davidson.

    • studio179

      It was neither Colvin or Quade’s fault, either. An ego maniac ump.

      I think this is the first time all year I support the Cub manager.

      • Neil

        Chalk that one up to Balkin’ Bob being Balkin’ Bob …

  • Neil

    I’ve lost count of all the times in the past two seasons when Byrd comes to the plate with the bases loaded and swings at the first pitch.

  • cubs1967

    time for Ricketts to tell his GM to tell his temp mgr (he’s not really a manager……..)Quade that the kids play……….Colvin-Castillo-Carpenter-jackson etc.  same crap as last yr when barney did not play nor castillo.

    quade needs to know his job is temp…………..the bigger picture does not include you and you no longer control how the players get time.

    the team and the fans deserve better.

    OR be PK mcCaskey and not do a damn thing!!

    your call Tommy boy.

    • Brp921

      I really don’t think Quade’s been making those decisions all along.

      • paulcatanese

        Toataly agree with you, Qua is in the shadow of JH.

  • Neil

    Castro with a BOMB!

    • studio179

      Yet another shot that was not cheap. Cubs feeling strong in this series.

    • paulcatanese

      Absolutely a shot.

  • Matt

    So glad we decied to keep Byrd!

    • Matt


  • Ripsnorter1

    Game over. Pirates are done for the season.

  • Ripsnorter1

    White Sox losing 13-1 in the third inning, but they are still batting around in the 3rd. 

    Adam Dudd hasn’t gotten any hits yet, either.

    • paulcatanese

      Got to get this one in Rip, youre favorite RBI guy was mentioned by the ESPN announcers as the guy who will lead Cleveland.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Yeah, I heard it. I was drinking some Coke at the time, and it cause me to spew Coke all over the computer. 

        Yes, Funko led Cleveland tonight–to a 4-3 loss to the Red Sox. 0-4 with 1 RISP left on base. 0 RBIs for Funko!Keep it up, Funko!!

        • paulcatanese

          Great, could have been chili, Rip.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I –and this is the truth–eating chili and drinking Coke at the time. 

            So it almost was the worst: chili on the computer screen and keyboard.

          • paulcatanese

            Rip,next time try Pizza, if you dump it the cheese solidifys and is easier to clean up. Been their a couple of times myself. One consolation, the White Sox got dumped on. Liked the Yankee way, “grind em into the dirt” and keep scoring.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I watched the White Sox eat dirt last night. I thoroughly enjoyed myself! 

            Man, is that team bad or what??!!
            Alex Rios–Keeeeeeeeenny ought to fired just for that one signing. Add in Mark Tehan and Adam Dudd, Jake Peavy (he ain’t no star no more–4-5 with 5.13 ERA) and his other bone-headed moves, and the Sox are as bad as the Cubs.

            Rios looked AWFUL last night–at the plate, and esp. in the field. He ought to be released, but alas, he’s signed for next year, too.Terrible team!

            GO YANKS!

  • Neil

    What a horrible call on the 2-2 pitch to Derrek Lee

    • Bredstik

      Several bad ones in the Alvarez AB too.  Terrible..

      • Neil

        Agreed …

  • cubtex

    You think Garza is confident here?

    • Bredstik

      I’m sure he’s confident.

      Notice I didn’t say confident in the save…

      • cubtex

        Finally Garza has his bullpen help him out!

  • Neil

    Cubs beat the Pirates 1-0 Wednesday night.

    Matt Garza: 0R, 4H, 2BB, 7K, 7+IP; Starlin Castro: 3-for-4, HR; Darwin Barney: 2-for-4, 2B; Carlos Pena: 2-for-2, 2 2B, 2 BB

  • paulcatanese

    Did I miss something tonight? What was the switch to have Johnson go to rignt and Colvin out? Why?

    • Brp921

      Colvin and Quade ejected.

    • paulcatanese

      Never mind, I saw it in another post, Colvin and Qua thrown out of the game,at least Qua did something right backing Colvin.

      • J Daniel

        Both getting kicked out was a complete JOKE!  Watch the highlights, it is comical.

  • J Daniel

    Maybe Davidson cam ump all of the games behind the plate, Quade can get kicked out, and someone else can run the team.

    What a BRUTAL game behind the plate.  BRUTAL! Should not be allowed.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Pirates ran into that Chicago Cubs BUZZZZZZZZZZZSaw!!!
    4 wins in a row!!!!!

    “We’re so sorry, Uncle DLee. We’re so sorry, but its all over in Pittsburgh.”

  • Ripsnorter1

    Has anyone ever told you that A.J. Burnett is AWFUL?

    Can’t hold a 13-1 lead!You know why the Yanks still have him on their roster? Because he’s more mature than the six year old crybaby Zambrano!