Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Nationals – 08/09/11

Game One Hundred Sixteen: Cubs (49-66) vs. Nationals (55-59)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Matt Garza (5-8, 3.78/1.30) vs. Chien-Ming Wang (0-2, 6.00/1.89)

After receiving an unexpected night off, the Cubs return to the field tonight for the first of three against the Washington Nationals.

Mike Quade and Davey Johnson decided to stay with their scheduled pitchers for this series. After tonight’s match-up of Matt Garza and Chien-Ming Wang, Rodrigo Lopez will face Ross Detwiler on Wednesday night with Ryan Dempster and Jordan Zimmermann pitching the finale on Thursday afternoon.

Starlin Castro was named NL Player of the Week (August 1 – August 7) on Monday. Castro put together a .515/.543/.758/1.300 line in seven games with two doubles and two home runs.

Starlin Castro is riding an impressive eight game hitting streak … as well as a nine game streak of scoring at least one run. Castro is the first Cub to accomplish a nine-game scoring streak since Derrek Lee (September 7 – September 16, 2009). The last player to score in 10 straight games was Mark DeRosa back in 2008 (May 9 – May 19).

Monday was the 23rd Anniversary of the first scheduled night game at Wrigley that was of course postponed … tonight is the 23rd Anniversary of the first full night game at the old ballpark. The Don Zimmer led Chicago Cubs beat Davey Johnson and New York Mets that night 6-4. Frank DiPino got the win and Goose Gossage picked up the save.

Tonight it all starts with Matt Garza

The Cubs have shown improvement of late. After winning 10 of 16 against NL Central opponents, the Cubs are 12-11 since the break and have crept to within four games of .500 at home (27-31).

Matt Garza is coming off his first win in over month and is in the middle of an excellent stretch. Garza shutout the Pirates over seven-plus innings and he allowed just four hits while walking two and striking out three. Garza is a very solid 1-1 in his last five starts with a 2.41 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.

Garza, unlike his rotation mates, has put together a good season in his home ballpark. Tonight will be Garza’s 12th start of the year at Wrigley and he is 3-3 in 11 starts with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.

The last time Garza started a game against the Nationals he was pulled in the third inning with one of the shortest starts of his career. The Nationals pounded Garza in third in his last start before the break. The Cubs came back and won the game after Garza allowed seven runs, six earned, with a walk and four strikeouts in two-plus innings.

Tonight will be Garza’s third career start against the Nationals … no record in two starts with a 10.57 ERA and a 2.61 WHIP.

Nationals Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Rick Ankiel – 0-for-2
  • Alex Cora – 0-for-3
  • Ian Desmond – 0-for-1
  • Danny Espinosa – 2-for-2
  • Jonny Gomes – 2-for-5 with a double
  • Michael Morse – 1-for-2
  • Wilson Ramos – 1-for-2 with a double
  • Jayson Werth – 2-for-5 with a home run
  • Ryan Zimmerman – 2-for-4 with a walk

Chien-Ming Wang will make just his third start of the season tonight after spending a majority of the last three seasons on the DL. Wang is coming off a decent start against the Braves in which he allowed six runs, two earned, on seven hits with a walk. Wang did not record a strikeout.

The Cubs must be patient against Chien-Ming Wang tonight and make him work.

Tonight will be Wang’s second career start against the Cubs and his first at Wrigley Field.

Chien-Ming Wang dominated the Dusty Baker-led Cubs back on June 18, 2005 at Yankee Stadium. Wang held the Cubs to one run on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts in eight innings. The Cubs only run came via a longball off the bat of Jason Dubois. Aramis Ramirez is the only remaining Cub that was in the starting lineup more than six years ago.

Marlon Byrd (1-for-4 with a double), Reed Johnson (2-for-8 with a walk), Carlos Pena (6-for-16 with three double, a home run and a walk), Aramis Ramirez (1-for-3) and Alfonso Soriano (1-for-3 with a walk) are the only active Cubs with at bats against Chien-Ming Wang.

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again." – Bob Feller

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  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup …

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

    • Gramps

      PLAY CAMPANA!!!!! Is it going to be the same as last September…..playing the vets to win meaningless games? The baseball world is eagerly awaiting the results of this big game between the Cubs and the Nats!!! NOT!!! Give us a break Quade……PLAY CAMPANA!!!!!

      • Jaredraupp

        Playing campana is useless, everytime I watch him bat I feel like I am watching a replay. He fails miserably at a bunt and then grounds out weakly he is a poor man’s Juan Pierre. Weak ARM and weak batter all he can do is run. Bring up Jackson if you want to see some real talent.

        • cmschube

          I’ll agree that someone with his speed should have honed his bunting skills a WHILE ago However..I don’t know too many other people who can make it 360 feet in just over 14 seconds.. Thats exciting!! In the time it took me to write this post on my phone, I’d be about12-0 Campana… 😉

        • roseyc

          But now is the time to find out instead of playing Soriano. See if he’s the real deal then trade Byrd and then bring up Jackson

        • paulcatanese

          Maybe we should just take Campana out and shoot him. You forget he was brought up for his speed, not as a home run hitter, he does what he does and everyone in the park knows what he does and he still gets away with it. Think about it, how many times has a pinch hitter recieved an ovation when he steps into the box? Jackson is not here and I wish he was to play center but he’s not, and until someone can run faster he should play.

          • Jr

            i agree he was brought up for his speed, but its pretty sad when guys like Campana, and Reed Johnson are starting in the majors. We need to get this thing turned around and fast. I have been a die hard my whole life but I am losing patience. Quade looks clueless and all he ever does is look at his notes. 

  • Neil

    Updated lineup … Aramis Ramirez is a late scratch with back spasms

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

    • John_CC

      Aram is a lazy dog! 

    • Guest

      Does that mean Wittsy is in for Rammy?

  • cmschube

    Nice article about Sandberg over on

  • Neil

    From Tim Wilken on Javier Baez: Wilken hopeful Cubs can come to terms with top pick Baez: “I guess we just have to find out if we’re still on the same page as we get close to the buzzer.”

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Iowa – Nick Struck (2-3, 3.97)
    Tennessee – Austin Bibens-Dirx (1-2, 6.98) Game 1
                       Brooks Raley (6-8, 4.29) Game 2 projected
    Peoria – Brett Wallach (0-1, 6.75)
    Boise – Yao-Lin Wang 3-2, 2.57)
    AZL Cubs – Hunter Ackerman (0-3, 3.32) projected

    Daytona’s game has been postponed 

    • Tom U

      Larry Suarez (0-0, 9.00) has been announced as the Game 2 starter for Tennessee.

  • Neil

    According to Bruce Miles, Baez is close to signing

  • The Maven

    Marlon Byrd in center, where every fly ball is an adventure.

  • GaryLeeT

    On behalf of the United States Postal Service, I would like to thank the Cub players for their patronage.

    • Neil

      Excellent …

      On a positive note, Jackson is 2-for-3 with a run scored and a stolen base so far tonight

  • Calicub

    Cubs getting no hit and the only thing that makes me sad is castro’s hitting/scoring streak and how colvin won’t be playing tomorrow not to mention whatever isane reason as to how it was all the kids’ fault.

  • cubtex

    Heard Cubs and 4th round pick Tony Zych close to signing.

  • Neil

    The Cubs got a hit!

  • Neil

    Jackson is now 3-for-4 and Flaherty hit a home run

    • Brentcarmona

      go flaherty! snap outta that slump.

      • Richard Hood

        He just needs time and for someone to explain to him that he is on his own schedule and what ever happens with Jackson is not relevant to him. I think he will come out of it. Guys got a talent hopefully he gets it soon.

  • Neil

    Castro! Homer!

    • studio179

      That was a nice homer out to right center by Castro. Stayed with the pitch and drove it.

      • Aaron

        Once again…Castro is the ONLY reason to keep watching this team. We already know that any young guys that will be added to the team won’t play at all down the stretch. (frankly, if I were Ricketts, and I’m watching Q Ball destroy the talent by letting them waste on the bench, I wouldn’t add them, but moreover, it’s the actual monetary cost of adding them to the roster that’d annoy me if I were an owner, and watched them rot as they did last year when Q Ball was trying to earn the job)

        • paulcatanese

          Agree agan Aaron, If you pay, you must play! Ricketts must be starting to have nightmares.

      • paulcatanese

        You know I liked that one.

  • Aaron

    …..proving yet again Q Ball just doesn’t get it, and needs to be put out of his misery…not just because he might be the dumbest manager on the planet, but because he’s shortening the lives of Cubs fans everywhere with his idiotic statements and decisions…consider tonight with DeWitt in the 3 hole. What?!?!?…but it gets better:

    RE: Keeping Lopez in the rotation versus going with a young player

    “I’m committed to him right now.” Quade said. “As I look at this thing as it pans out — take it four days at a time — we’re going to play Washington, who is in the hunt still, and we have contenders throughout the rest of the month. That’s part of the reason I want to keep the pitching in line.”

    MOMMY MAKE IT STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Seriously, is this guy really that stupid? I initially thought, “hey, give him some time, new guys make mistakes.”…..but it’s one after the other with him, and he NEVER learns.

    All of our biggest fears have come true:

    1)Q Ball owes it to veterans to play them no matter what, because they got him the job.

    2)Veterans suck/get injured, ruin the season, and Cubs are out of contention before the end of April.

    3)Cubs are out of contention long enough, and have enough injuries to play young guys to see what they have….but Q Ball has other ideas. He’d rather start Koyie Hill everyday than play Welington Castillo when Soto went down. He’d rather start an infielder who had NEVER played the OF in Soriano’s spot when he went down, versus playing a real OF like Montanez or Snyder. But it gets better….

    4)The Cubs went on a 7 game winning streak recently, making it even less likely now that the Cubs will actually do the right thing, and clean house, starting with Kenney, Hendry, and Quade. In fact, what this likely means is…..

    5)Q Ball will now work overtime to save his job (remember, last year, he was trying to WIN the job…and couldn’t have cared less what Ricketts wanted with developing players). That means, Q Ball’s statement above is actually TRUE…and he intends to follow the same damn plan that helped him win the job, to help save it. In fact, he’s ALREADY using the same excuse he did last year for not playing the young guys. He said with teams in contention, he couldn’t do it, because it wasn’t right to do so…..LMAO….I literally hate that man….literally…..can’t stand him or Hendry….and every time either of them opens their mouth…the more I want to punch them

    • Aaron

      Sullivan, also added this, after Quade’s idiotic comment:

      “Actually, the Nationals began the day 19 1/2 games out of first in the National League East and 11 1/2 behind the wild-card leading Braves.”

      That, folks, is HILARIOUS….Nationals are “in it” according to Q Ball….LOL

      • paulcatanese

        Great reply Aaron, he (Qua) is on the same direction he was last fall.

    • carmelo

      “the more I want to punch them”——

      • Tony_Hall

        and your point YOU are trying to make….

    • jey518

      I agree 100%!

  • Demitri

    Castro has 3 home runs in the month of August.. He is getting better day by day. He is by far the best hitter on the team

  • Neil

    Castro has 3 homers in last 6 games after hitting 3 home runs in his first 107 games

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 3-1 to Nationals Tuesday night.

    Matt Garza: 3R, 6H (2 HR), 2BB, 9K in 6IP. Starlin Castro: 1-for-4
    with a HR; Cubs only 3 hits

  • Neil

    Cubs have scored a total of two runs in Matt Garza’s last two starts … both runs solo homers by Starlin Castro

  • gocubs

    On what bizarre parallel planet does Blake Freeking DeWitt hit 3rd?  You have got to be kidding me. If this manager is here next year, we are in way more trouble than we even realize now with this Rickets guy.   

    • paulcatanese

      I totaly understand youre pain,and agree with youre post, but think about it a sec. who would you have batted third with the lineup Qua put out there? You have the strikeout king Pena, again with Soriono, big foot Soto, and you and I know he would never ever put Colvin in that spot, who does that leave? As long as he had those guys in the lineup tonight that may have been the best choice,UGH.

  • Neil

    Brett Jackson: 3-for-5, 2 runs, BB, SB in Iowa’s 14-7 win over Sacramento on Tuesday night. Ryan Flaherty hit 2nd Triple-A HR (1-for-5)

  • Cheryl

    Quade wants to play the veterans AGAIN for what purpose? to secure his job for next year? Now is the time to see if Campana or any of the other rookies will be around for next year. For some reason I doubt Colvin will return, So, as Gramps says, PLAY CAMPANA.