Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 08/05/11

Game One Hundred Thirteen: Cubs (47-65) vs. Reds (54-57)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Ryan Dempster (8-8, 4.96/1.41) vs. Mike Leake (9-6, 3.89/1.20)

The Cubs open a six-game homestand this afternoon with the first of three against the Cincinnati Reds. The homestand concludes with three night games against the Nationals before a day off next Thursday. The finale of homestand is Ron Santo Day at Wrigley as his statue will be unveiled in pre-game ceremonies.

Q’s squad enters play riding a season-high five-game winning streak, the last time the Cubs posted six victories in a row was September 13 – September 19, 2010.

The Cubs have struggled against Joey Votto and the Reds this season and have won only two of the eight games (2-6) against the defending NL Central Champs. The Reds are dealing with their own issues. The Reds just lost two of three in Houston and are looking up at the Pirates, Cardinals and Brewers in the division (fourth place, 7 1/2 back of the Brewers). The Reds are in need of a bunch of wins and are looking to feel much better about themselves after the next three games at Wrigley.

Tony Campana is expected to get the start in centerfield this afternoon. During his pre-game show Thursday, Mike Quade said Campana would likely start today’s game in order to give Marlon Byrd a breather. Alfonso Soriano will be back in left and Tyler Colvin should be in right … especially with his career numbers against Mike Leake.

The Cubs are 25-31 at Wrigley this season … and this afternoon it all begins with Ryan Dempster.

Ryan Dempster is coming off a very good outing against the Cardinals. Dempster faced one over the minimum through the first four innings and ended up going six strong and allowing three run on seven hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Dempster made only one mistake … and Lance Berkman made him pay for it.

After a bad start against the Phillies and a poor start versus the Brewers, Dempster rebounded nicely against the Redbirds and is 3-2 in his last five starts with a 4.82 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP.

Dempster has already faced the Reds twice this season … and has one won and lost one. In two starts against Cincinnati, Dempster has allowed three runs on eight hits in 13 innings with 12 strikeouts and one walk (2.08 ERA and a 0.69 WHIP).

Reds Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Jay Bruce – 4-for-13 with a double and 4 walks
  • Miguel Cairo – 1-for-14
  • Ryan Hanigan – 1-for-6
  • Ramon Hernandez – 7-for-15 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
  • Mike Leake – 0-for-2
  • Fred Lewis – 1-for-10 with a triple and 2 walks
  • Brandon Phillips – 3-for-26 with a home run and 2 walks
  • Edgar Renteria – 8-for-26 with 2 home runs and 4 walks
  • Drew Stubbs – 4-for-12 with a double and a home run
  • Joey Votto – 4-for-21 with 2 home runs and 2 walks

The Cubs will get another shot at Mike Leake … and until they learn to make Leake work, the young right-hander will continue to have his way with the Cubs. Leake has already beaten Q’s squad this season and is a perfect 3-0 in four career starts versus the Cubs with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

Leake is coming off an impressive win against the Giants (two runs, one earned, on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings without a walk and seven strikeouts) and has not allowed more than two earned runs in his last three starts. Leake posted a 2-2 record in five July starts with a 3.90 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Since June 1, Leake is 5-4 in 11 starts with a 3.17 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP (49 strikeouts and 12 walks in his last 71 innings).

Cubs Career Numbers against Mike Leake

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-9 with a double
  • Tony Campana – 0-for-1
  • Tyler Colvin – 3-for-9 with 3 home runs
  • Ryan Dempster – 0-for-1
  • Blake DeWitt – 4-for-8 with a double and 2 walks
  • Koyie Hill – 0-for-2
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-1
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 1-for-10 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-6
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-7 with 3 walks

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"The riches of the game are in the thrills, not in the money." – Ernie Banks

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  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Castro – SS
    Campana – CF
    Ramirez – 3B
    Pena – 1B
    DeWitt – 2B
    Soriano – LF
    Colvin – RF
    Hill – C
    Dempster – P

    • paulcatanese

      See where Qua has the “B” team going today. I would like to see Campana switch with Castro, but it should work out, hard to double up Campana, but not so hard if Castro is in the 2 spot. DPs will be a little harder with DeWitt and 2b.The mere fact that Hill is catching gives Colvin a shot higher in the lineup. We will see. Not going to rap anyone today, but maybe I should as every time I do they have a good game. Qua is in his own realm, dont have to say anything, he takes care of it himself.

      • studio179

        I agree with your outlook. I would rather switch ‘Camps’ and ‘Casie’. Barney actually gets a day off and Colvin moves up in the order due to Hill’s bat…I mean ‘Barns’ and ‘Colvs’. DeWitt batting 5th does not seem right. Like you said, we will see.

        • John_CC

          Does Colvin have a pet name?  I don’t think he has earned it yet. 

          • Bredstik

            I think it’s “Colv.”

            I know, I’m surprised it’s not “Colvie” also.

          • studio179

            Hilarious! I was writing that exact comment, but decided to back off Qua and his pet names. Good stuff! But I really don’t know if Colvin has earned a pet name.  

  • John_CC

    What did Quadie say after the game last night?  Humor me.

  • Matt Hirschi

    I guess a five game win streak warrants a complete overhaul of our lineup?

  • Ripken Boy

    I hate to say this, but let’s hope for a losing streak so Q and Jimbo are 86

    • studio179

      You would think so, but I would not bet on it. Tom likes Jim, who likes Mike.

  • Calicub

    Here’s to hoping the cubs maintain a 420 winning percentage for the rest of the year

  • Rbmercer

    CAMPANA!! With the most exciting play in baseball!!!! Love it.

  • Neil

    Tony Campana with an inside the park homer

  • Neil

    Cubs first inside the parker since Soto in Houston in 2008 … first at Wrigley since Sosa in 2001

    • Rbmercer

      Neil, I was just about to say they are very rare in Wrigley and ask you when the last was! Good work!

    • Brp921

      I’ve watched a lot of Cub games over the years and I would not for the life of me been able to guess that Sosa had the last inside the park home run, let alone having had two of them. I just don’t remember them and I didn’t think of Sosa as the type of player to do it. I was surprised to say the least.

      • paulcatanese

        Must have been when he first came over to the Cubs when he was slim and trim and not “pumped” up.

  • paulcatanese

    CAMPANA,CAMPANA,CAMPANA, Rip, I told you the guy has power! Move him to fourth in the order. Love it, knew it was only a matter of time.

    • Ripsnorter1

      LOL. I didn’t see it. Look, they play him in front of the girl’s line, so all he has to do is hit a medium depth fly ball and they’ll never catch it. 

      So let me guess what happened: he hit a liner that went between two OF and rolled all the way to the vines, and he beat the throw to home.

      • paulcatanese

        Thats true Rip, but he did hit it hard down the left field line past the bullpen,
        left fielder had it bounce off the left wall and to the outfield wall. Campana scored standing up, no throw. Longest ball he has hit this year. Got to be a thrill for him, first ever, HR. Hey without Castro,Barney and now Colvin, hasn’t been too much to cheer about. Points out that the rookies are exciting.

        • Brp921

          I liked Brenley’s (I think) accessment that he could have made it around the bases and back around to second. I don’t know about that but I bet he could have made it back around to first easily. That kid is fast!

  • Neil

    Colvin with a homer … 4th of career off Leake

    • Chris Lubenow

      Too bad its also 4th of the year

      • Brp921

        Quade better hurry up and bench Colvin or he just might become successful.

      • John_CC

        Now that maybe he’ll be given a chance we’ll see more.  Colvin has flaws at the plate, for sure, but the kid has a lot of power. That was a bomb into the wind.

        Brenly really likes him, you can tell by how excited he gets for him.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I wish they’d bring up LaHair and let’s watch what he can do. Just start LaHair in LF, Campana in CF, and Colvin in RF, and see if they don’t do just as well as Sorry-oh-no, Byrd and Funko. 

    Can’t be much worse.

    • Bryan

      Why do that?  Quade I’m sure thinks we’re back in the race now.  It’s great that the team is getting such a joy out of playing spoilers…with a $130m payroll. 

    • John_CC

      Yeah, I can’t believe that it would any worse.  LaHair could lucky guessing at fastballs just as well as Sorry does and I have little doubt that Colvin can 25 in a full season.  Campana would steal more bases alone than Sorry, Funky and Byrd combined.

      “Funky” really would have been a GREAT nickname, much better than Fook or Dom-A.

      • Roland

        He already has more stolen bases than Soriano, Fukudome and Byrd.

    • cubtex

      What a brutal outfield that would be! Firstly, you need to continue to play Byrd and Sori if you hope to move them. Secondly, why play LaHair in a position he will not play and do you really think Campana is an everyday mlb player? They need to move Byrd or Sori asap so they can bring up BJax to play everyday. BJax has been crushing the ball as of late. He is your future…..not LaHair or Campana.

      • John_CC

        Yes, it would. But the point was that it wouldn’t be much worse than the one we started with.  I think that LaHair could duplicate Sorry’s offensive stats (.240/20/50)…and probably his defensive prowess as well.  Campy probably is not an every day player, but platooned with Untouchable Johnson, it would be as serviceable a CF as Byrd (.308/6hr/ 20rbi really isn’t that hard to duplicate).

        But I agree, they need to find a taker for Byrd, and soon.

        • paulcatanese

          I agree that the outfield could not be any worse with what they have right now.It looks as though Colvin has called off the wolves for now and will recieve additional time to prove himself. As far as showcasing Soriono to trade him, I dont think thats neccesary, as I doubt that any team does not know what he is capable of. He could be replaced now. The same holds true for Byrd, what team dosent know him? So I agree that whoever they put out there to lean for the future would be an improvement. Of the two Byrd should at best be platooned.

      • paulcatanese

        I know Campana is not an everyday player, but I sure enjoy it when he does play, even as a pinch runner he brings excitement.

        • cubtex

          In spurts and if used properly….he is very valuable. Q does not use him how he should.

      • Skeldor

        I like how everybody thinks that LaHair isn’t a MLB player.  He’s had 1 count it 1 chance in the majors 5 years ago.  All he’s done is crush AAA pitching while hitting for average.  He’s done everything that is asked of a AAA player but has not been rewarded with a call-up.  He should have played everyday last year in September.  I’m not saying he’s a hall of famer but goodness he deserves a shot to show what he can do. 

        • Skeldor

          28 is the new 23 haven’t you heard, I mean just ask the latin american players

        • cubtex

          He deserves a September callup but not in lf. He is a 1st baseman.

          • Skeldor

            I agree…..

          • Tony_Hall

            He has played OF, and specifically LF, during his minor league career.  If he is ever to make a bench role, it will be as a 1B/OF bench spot.

  • Neil

    OF Matt Spencer promoted to AAA Iowa from Tennessee. RHP Larry Suarez added to Tenn roster. RHP Marcus Hatley on DL.

  • Neil

    Campana with a great catch …

  • BosephHeyden

    This is just unreal.  This team puts zero effort into the first three quarters of the season, and now that their way of life (aka “not having to try or play hard”) is in danger, this team is now potentially close to fourth place.  A sweep this weekend puts the Cubs four games behind the Reds and, judging from how fast the Reds are falling, and the fact the Cubs are winning games now, they’re extremely likely to pass the Reds this month.

    It’s very very improbable the Cubs can make it to the postseason, and we all know they know this.  Right now, they’re playing for next season…but for the wrong reasons:  they want to maintain the status quo and, with Hendry, Kenney, and Quade still under contract, this will be all Ricketts needs to see to keep everyone around for another season.


  • Neil

    Cubs beat the Reds 4-3 Friday afternoon … six wins in a row.

    Ryan Dempster: 2R, 4H, 6BB, 5K, 6IP; Starlin Castro: 3-for-4,BB,2R; Tony Campana: 3-for-5,HR,2B,2RBI; Tyler Colvin: HR

  • paulcatanese

    Had to be the best game of Campana’s career,ever. 3-5 and a very nice catch in center. Don’t see it very often when an outfielder just turns and sprints to the wall full speed, turns and makes the catch into the wall, just a superior effort. His hits were all solid and one of the outs to Phillips was hit on the nose. If he never plays again I’ll keep the tape. Thats what I call excitement.

    • John_CC

      that was a stellar catch. 

  • Neil

    Chris Carpenter, now at Triple-A Iowa, placed on DL with strained oblique

    • paulcatanese

      Saw that Neil, what next? How serious?

      • Neil

        Have not heard how serious yet … will post when I do.