Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 08/06/11

Game One Hundred Fourteen: Cubs (48-65) vs. Reds (54-58)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 89
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Carlos Zambrano (8-6, 4.46/1.42) vs. Johnny Cueto (7-4, 1.72/0.98)

The Chicago Cubs enter play this afternoon riding a season-high six game win streak. It took 102 games for the Cubs to win three in a row for the first time and Q’s squad is 11-10 since the All-Star break. In order for them to post their seventh straight victory, they will have to beat one of the best young arms in the league, Johnny Cueto.

It has been nearly three years since a Cubs team won seven games in a row. The last time was August 23 – August 29, 2008 when Lou’s crew took two of three from the Nationals, swept a three-gamer against the Pirates at PNC and split a four-game series at Wrigley against the Phillies.

News from the Farm … The Cubs made several minor league moves on Friday. Chris Carpenter was placed on the 7-day DL with a strained oblique. Matt Spencer was promoted to Triple-A Iowa. Larry Suarez was bumped up to the Smokies and Marcus Hatley was placed on the 7-day DL.

In other news … According to Mike Quade during Friday’s post-game press conference, both Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood will likely be unavailable this afternoon. Marmol has pitched in three straight and four of five … and Woody has pitched in back-to-back games.

Pat Hughes will not be calling this afternoon’s game. Pat is taking a scheduled day off and said Friday that everything is okay. This will be the second game this season the Voice of the Cubs has missed due to a scheduled day off. Dave Eanet will fill in for Pat along side Keith Moreland for today’s game.

Today it all starts with Carlos Zambrano

Carlos Zambrano is coming off a win against the Pirates after allowing one run (homer by Derrek Lee) on seven hits in six innings. Z walked three and struck out five in a game he admittedly did not have his best stuff.

Z has put together a solid season and admitted earlier in the week that he is shooting to throw 200 innings this year (135 1/3 in 22 starts). If Z reaches that goal, it would be the first time since 2007 he’s surpassed the 200-inning mark.

Zambrano is 2-2 in his last four starts with a 5.01 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. Zambrano must cut down on the free passes (10) and hits allowed (29) just too many baserunners (39 in 23 1/3 innings).

This afternoon will be Zambrano’s second start of the season versus the Reds. Joey Votto and company beat up on the Z when they faced him in Cincinnati back on May 16 (six runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings). Z is 16-11 in 36 games, 31 starts, in his career versus the Redlegs with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.

Carlos Zambrano must bring his A-game this afternoon with Johnny Cueto on the mound. Zambrano has struggled at Wrigley this season (2-3 in 10 starts with a 4.68 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP) and if he has trouble again today, the Cubs win streak will come to an end.

Reds Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano

  • Jay Bruce – 4-for-16 with a home run and 3 walks
  • Miguel Cairo – 2-for-9 with a double and 2 walks
  • Johnny Cueto – 0-for-2
  • Ryan Hanigan – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Ramon Hernandez – 2-for-12
  • Fred Lewis – 1-for-3
  • Brandon Phillips – 10-for-46 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs and 5 walks
  • Edgar Renteria – 13-for-36 with a home run and 8 walks
  • Drew Stubbs – 3-for-7 with a walk
  • Joey Votto – 9-for-24 with 4 doubles and 3 walks

The Cubs offense will face the best the Reds have to offer this afternoon in Johnny Cueto. After spending the first month of the season on the DL, the Reds ace has been excellent this year.

Cueto made his first start of the year against the Cubs at Wrigley on May 8. Cueto shut down the Cubs over six innings and allowed only five hits with a walk and four strikeouts.

Johnny Cueto has not allowed more than one earned run in his last three starts and not more than three earned runs in any of his 16 starts this season. Cueto is 2-2 in his last six starts with a 1.52 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.

Today will be the 12th start of Cueto’s career against the Cubs … 4-5 in 11 starts with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. Cueto is 2-3 in seven career starts at Wrigley with a 2.51 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Johnny Cueto

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 5-for-8 with a double and a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-8 with 2 walks
  • Tyler Colvin – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Blake DeWitt – 3-for-10
  • Koyie Hill – 2-for-5 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 3-for-8 with a double
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-2
  • Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-21 with a double, 2 home runs and 5 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 9-for-26 with 3 home runs and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 6-for-24 with 3 doubles, a triple, a home run and 2 walks

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time." - Betsy Smith

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

    • Calicub

      “Hey ever since this Colvin kid has come up my team has been mashing! But seven wins in a row is too much to handle Despite his hot bat i’m gonna let him sit on the bench.”

      • paulcatanese

        Agree, so much for giving Colvin every opportunity. After all Johnson has been in a slight slump, needs to get him going again. And lets continue to showcase Soriono, no one else in baseball knows what he can do. May be a blind general manager out there somewhere.What can these guys do in the long range of things for the Cubs? The reverse should be happening but never will. Use them as pinch hitters along with Byrd,Pena,and Hill.Point is, none of these guys have to be showcased, everyone knows what they do.

        • Calicub

          The UNTOUCHABLE Line-Up:

          Castro SS
          Johnson RF
          ARAM 3B
          Pena 1B
          Byrd CF
          Soto C
          Soriano LF
          Dewitt 2B

          Can’t wait for 2012 to see this championship caliber team!

          • Calicub

            I’m actually really surprised not to see Hill in the line-up what with his .300 average against Cueto

          • diehardcubfan

            Actually, life time he is hitting .400 against Cueto (2 for 5) but yes if the Cubs are trying to win then they should pair up who hits who the best against a certain pitcher.

            Have you seen Quade though actually use baseball logic?  Most managers have common sense to create matches that will allow the team to compete but Quade has not done that all year.

            Why should he start now?

        • Brp921

          Your right about Soriano. If Quade feels Johnson needs playing time he should put him in left field This would also boost the defense on a day when its more than likely going to be touph to score to many runs.

      • Brp921

        Good point. My first thought when I read the lineup was “no Colvin?” I am as big a Reed Johnson fan as anyone and definately think he should be brought back next year. But we know what Johnson can do and he is very good at what he does whether he’s coming off sitting on the bench for a week or after playing a week straight. Colvin needs to play everyday period. He has been playing decent and even if he doesn’t you have to run him out there everyday to make the determination on whether he can be an everyday player for this team next year or whether he can’t. Once again JH is more worried about finishing well to protect his job and keep Quade on for next year than he is concerned about next year. 

        • paulcatanese

          Thats absolutly correct with youre take on Colvin. I do not dislike Johnson as he does everything asked of him. But trading Fukodome to give Colvin every chance to show what he can do seems to have slipped by Qua. As far as what has happened I think its just rhetoric to hide the truth that the Fukodome trade was just to get rid of his cost. I’m fine with that if management were to just say it that way and not use the excuse of more playing time with Colvin as it looks like that is not their intention at all.

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

            Am I the only one who noticed how over matched that Colvin was against Chapman yesterday? If you want this kid to get his confidence back you have to pick his spots a little better. He probably does need to sit for a second today and watch how the other guys are approaching Cueto just so he can have a better over all approach when seeing guys like this.

          • Brp921

            Theres a lot of lefties that are over matched by Chapman, a lot of righties for that matter. I see you point, but I look at it as a good experience for him to get some at bats against some of the toupher pitchers, at least until he starts struggling.

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

            I do not for the life of me get this till he starts struggling stuff. He has struggled all year. He has only 5 hits since he got called back up in 20 AB’s which is .250 not struggling as much as he has but not hot either.

             As far as today after looking at how he approached yesterday against Chapman and I agree that he makes a lot of people look very bad. I would have him sitting next to Byrd every inning picking his brain. Byrd absolutely loves the guys like Cueto and Chapman.

          • Brp921

            The main reason for his struggles early in the season was the fact he hardly got to play and when he did it was usually against lefthanded pitching. It ruined his confidence and he ended up not being able to hit anybody. I agree with being mentored by veterans, I just think he needs to be playing at the same time. Hitting .250 is not the best but he’s showing improvement and I would like to see if he can keep it up. I think it’s important, also to see how he handles it, if he hits a period when he stops hitting.

          • Dakeller80

            First let me say like I like Colvin and think the Cubs owe it to him, the organization, and the fans to give the guy a fair shake and see what he can do the rest of the year.  At the same time, the Colvin fetish continues to baffle me.  He’ll get plenty of at bats in the next few months.  What’s the problem with rewarding Johnson’s hard work and success with one or two starts per week.  

            Also, this “Colvin’s confidence was ruined” argument is bogus.  He’s 25 years old, been playing baseball for almost two decades.  He’s a big boy now.  If his confidence is really that easily shaken, then that is a major psychological flaw, just like any physical flaw and should be taken into consideration when putting together a roster.  Why is a lack of mental toughness forgivable for this guy?  Just like bad swing mechanics, sports-psychological issues can be corrected with lots of practice and work, so don’t give him a pass this year and his fragile confidence was damaged.     

          • paulcatanese

            Again Richard, overmatched or not Colvin needs to have the Cubs at his back and support him when it is a tough day for him. By sitting him in Colvins mind that could indicate a lack of confidence by management regarding his ability.As far as watching the others and how they approach Cueto is probably not the best way he could learn anything unless he is watching on what not to do. It’s a tough decision by management for the right way either way.

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

            Paul normally we agree but on this one we I do not see how. You do not put kids in a position to fail. Any progress he has made will be gone if he can not adjust to a guy like Cueto. As far as figuring out what not to do from Byrd I think you should look at his line against Cueto in particular ( Marlon Byrd – 5-for-8 with a double and a walk) and hard throwers in general. He absolutely feasts off of them.

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

            And then today Byrd lays an egg. Man I need to keep my mouth shut.

          • paulcatanese

            Not at all Richard, Byrd helps in anumber of ways, his glove today for example. The guy hustles as much as anyone in baseball. As it turned out Cueto was not a problem for anyone today, but thats not the line on him, as he figured to be tough and it was the right call to have Byrd in there. I guess my point is the Cubs are not going anywhere this year and I would like them to get as much as they can learning about new players and whether ot not they are going to help in the future. Wins with veterans that may not be here do not get my attention.

          • diehardcubfan

            Colvin with .333 lifetime average against Cueto (2 for 6) not good enough?  Having a hard time understanding that.

    • paulcatanese

      The top two should produce, but where do they go from there?

    • diehardcubfan

      Cannot stand how the Cubs continue to not reward good play by the youngsters.  Colvin is hitting a respectable .286 with a 1.119 OPS over the last five games and has batted .333 lifetime against Cueto (2 for 6), though it is only 6 games.  Colvin’s main issue is RISP as he is a woeful .000 but I think that will change.  Campana has been hitting at a ,375 clip over the past 30 days but gets no respect. 

      If the Cubs are trying to win cannot understand the logic of not playing them?  The management just continues to boggle the mind and refuses to even move any of the veterans.

      No matter what they seem to do they will not be given a fair shake. 

      Great for Colvin and Campana’s confidence.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Andrew Cashner was just on ESPN 1000. Cashner said he should be able to start a rehab assignment in 10-14 days. Hopeful to be back this season.

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

      And here comes the critics saying that we are ruining the kids future and should shut him down for the year.

      • Calicub

        Well I mean there is no reason to rush him back… this season is done and i’d rather he be fit and healthy for next year than forcing him to throw another thirty forty innings the month he’d be back.

        I’m sure people will disagree but with the possible future ace of this club I would rather be safe than sorry. Pitching depth is a premium and cashner is one of the few with immediate potential. No reason to push him…

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

          I think it is probably safer to put him in the bullpen for the rest of the year than sending him ARZ or somewhere to work out. He needs to face live batters and he has about 8 weeks of the season left so we might as well see what he has. Any discomfort or set backs and he sits down then. But the kid will be a lot better having pitched this year just from a mental standpoint for the future.

      • paulcatanese

        Richard, I agree that coming back this year and pitching would be a tremendous mental help to Capenter. But I also feel that this kid could have it all, so I would hope that the Cubs would excerciise extreme caution in the way they go about his involvement the rest of the year, pitch yes, overdo it no.

        • paulcatanese

          Meant Cashner, but the same holds true for Carpenter.

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

          That is exactly what I said down a little bit Paul. He has to get his confidence against live hitters. Any sign of trouble shut him down but he needs to see major league players. He will look at anything else as a step down just because of his mid set.

          • paulcatanese

            OK Richard, and I agree with that.

  • Ripken Boy

    Colvin and Campana on the bench and Soriano and Johnson playing and the Cubs wonder why they have not won a World Series in 100 years. They never let any more than one kid at a time develop at the major league level and most good young players they have become successful elsewhere. Examples: McGhee, Palmeriro, etc….

    The Cubs need to play Campana and Colvin everyday for the rest of the year.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Brett Jackson is 14-for-35 with 9 runs, 2 doubles, triple, 4 home runs, 7 walks, 9 strikeouts in last 10 games for Iowa, reached base all 10 games (.400/.500/.800/1.300)

    In 22 games at the Triple-A level, Jackson is hitting .291/.394/.570/.963 with 5 doubles, a triple, 5 home runs, 14 runs scored, 14 walks and 28 strikeouts (23-for-79)

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

      Love the way the Kid has bounced back and adjusted. Keep it up.

      • diehardcubfan

        Agree, but with the untouchable Byrd and Johnson patrolling CF we will not see Jackson permanently in CF anytime soon.

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

          part of me thinks that is a smart move. Let him wait until September and see if he can make an impact. Unless we move an outfielder then all bets are off and he should be in the line up everyday. Regardless if it is here or Triple A. Jackson is not an off the bench player.

          • J Daniel

            September is not the month to make evaluations for the next year, especially with prospects.  You can get a little feel but July and August would be a better indicator.

            The Cubs and the Bears must ultimately be run by the same inept people!

            This is a major market on both are a JOKE!  Sorry for the Bears commentary.

    • Cubnundrum

      For the previous week was BA’s 4th hottest player in the minors. Optimistic but skeptical…We know if he gets a call up for September which he should that he just rots on the bench….Not sure how i feel about this but at least he is looking like the real deal of late.

    • Brp921

      I think he may be ready to see some major league pitching this year after all. With his performances earlier in the year @ AA and AAA I was beginning to think he may need more time before being promoted.

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

    For all the fans outside of the chicago area the MLB.com free game today is Chicago and the reds.

    • RynoTiger

      what do you mean free?  i went to MLB.com and it kept asking me to purchase a subscription to watch.

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

        hmmm for me it is registered as the free game.

    • paulcatanese

      Thats great Richard, now you tell me, I already paid for it.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Somebody needs to go talk to Zambrano

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Z got out of the jam … really let the missed call on the 2-2 pitch to Votto get under his skin.

    After the three walks in the first, Z and Dempster have walked nine batters in seven combined innings in this series.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Ramirez and Pena hit by a pitch

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Peter Gammons: C. Zambrano, Farnsworth among those who went on waivers yesterday

  • Brp921

    Zambrano’s lack of control is going to catch up with him. He better get it together soon or it will be a long day.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    That was Soriano’s first walk since the All-Star break … 21 games, counting today.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Z is horrible today … already 71 pitches in three innings. Be lucky to get four innings out of him at this point.

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

      Well he made it four but Cueto didn’t……….. Who would have thunk it?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Z with a home run … #23 of career

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

      lol this is just funny. He can’t seem to concentrate pitching then he drills a pitch over the wall.

      • paulcatanese

        And that made his day, couldnt stop grinning in the dugout, holding a bat.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    1-2-3 for Z in the fourth on nine pitches

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Chris Carpenter: Field early for rehab… Gotta get my side taken care of!

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

    Here is to hoping that we are getting into a serious hot streak with Soriano just so he is easier to move.

    • John_CC

      Come on, Richard, there isn’t a GM in the league that is going to think any differently about Soriano.  Well except maybe one, but unfortunately he already owns Soriano.

      But I’ll hope along with you!

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

        Actually I think that the Angels would already have him but they took the other worst contract in baseball in Wells. But teams this time of year get desperate. I’d like to think that desperation may get the Cubs out of this contract. Crazier things have happened.

        • John_CC

          Zambrano is one that I had hoped would get dialed in, he’s a guy I could see a contender going after for the stretch.  But he really sucks now. 

          What is the waiver rule, time on the wire before a player “passes”?

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

            3 days with every team getting a shot at them. Starting with the teams that have the worse record.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Pena with his third bases loaded walk of the week.

  • John_CC

    Who is this team!?!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Byrd is 0-for-3 with RISP so far today, six left on base.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with RBI 49 & 50

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Pena killed that ball … double to center

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

      Over the last couple games I have noticed as guys try to pitch him away he is driving that pitch. Here is to keeping that up.

       He could actually turn into a pretty good hitter if he was not over 30 when he figured that out.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Alfonso Soriano no walks in first 20 games after All-Star break … two walks on Saturday afternoon

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with an impressive 12-pitch at bat … ends with single to left, 43rd multi-hit game of the season for Castro

  • Brentcarmona

    the 2011 cubs have featured some of the most lowest, strangest and frustrating moments out of any team this year…

    but whats been happening this last week has got to be the scariest!!

    no more high draft pick. quade the bafoon really thinks hes a good manager. hendry and company’s injury lines seem like legit excuses now..i wish i could jump inside one of those guys heads and take a look around to see what the heck they are up to.scary to think about what their direction will be, as their plans seem up in the air..

  • Baron_S

    Castro hits a mind-boggling .385 batting leadoff.

    Castro hits a Pena-like .224 batting 3rd

    WHY WOULD YOU EVER PUT HIM THERE AGAIN??

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/8611/situational;_ylt=AmgC0Em9fBF5Hr3YxpfHHjWFCLcF

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Better get Marshall up in the pen. Grabow gives up a leadoff double to Bruce.

    • Baron_S

      Grabow is a big pile of crap

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

        Agreed but this is the type of game he needs to pitch in. Just to see if he can improve enough to move. I doubt there is any takers but mop up duty is just that.

  • Dakeller80

    Way to go Cubs!  Granted this streak is coming against below average teams, but both the Pirates and Reds still had dreams of getting back into the division race this week and had a lot more to play for the the Cubs.  I know a strong finish to the season could be bad for the prospects of getting positive changes made in the organization, but what the hell, I’m a Cubs fan.  Since when have though positive change was a real possibility anyway?  In the meantime, I’ll cheer the wins

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Got to admire Marlon Byrd for playing the game the right way. Horrible day at the plate and his team up by 8 in the ninth and he made a terrific diving catch.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree Neil, Byrd knows that hustle is on both sides of the game.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Reds 11-4 on Saturday afternoon.

    Carlos Zambrano: 3R, 6H, 4BB, 6K in 6IP; Starlin Castro: 2-for-5, 4RBI, 2B, 2R; Carlos Pena: 2-for-3, 2 2B, BB, 3RBI; Reed Johnson: 2-for-5, 2B, 3R; Alfonso Soriano: 2B, 2 BB, RBI, 2R

    Seven in a row …

  • John G

    Who are these guys? If I didn’t know better, I would think they switched uniforms with the other team the last 6 games.

  • Rbmercer

    Before this streak, I had it figured if the Cubs won 37 in a row, we would be in the race.

    7 down and 30 to go….let’s go!

    Seriously though, unlike some others on here, I’m always glad to see the Cubs win, regardless of when and how.

  • cubs1967

    play *&(*#(R^&&&&*$&&#  COLVIN damn iT!!!

    are we sure Ricketts is a man………..does he have any to control his GM and Mgr?????