Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Braves – 08/12/11

Game One Hundred Nineteen: Cubs (50-67) vs. Braves (69-49)
Game Time – 6:35pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Turner Field, Atlanta

Carlos Zambrano (9-6, 4.46/1.43) vs. Mike Minor (1-2, 4.85/1.59)

The Cubs begin a six-game, two-city road trip tonight with the first of three against the Atlanta Braves. The Fredi Gonzalez led Braves are the last team in the NL that the Cubs have not played this season … and they will face them seven times over the next 12 games (four-game series at Wrigley, August 22 – August 25). The Cubs won only two of six against Atlanta a year ago and both were memorable series.

The Braves are dealing with a lot of injuries but still maintain a record winning record … and the second best mark in the National League. Not only are Jair Jurrjens and Brian McCann on the DL but Tommy Hanson could also be joining them on the disabled list. The Cubs will not face Jurrjens, Hanson or Tim Hudson this weekend but Q’s offense will have to deal with Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy (Sunday against Matt Garza) and an old nemesis in Derek Lowe on Saturday night (against Randy Wells).

The Cubs will see a few familiar faces in a new uniform this weekend … the red-hot Dan Uggla, who is currently riding a 31-game hitting streak, and Michael Bourn. The Cubs will also face a Braves team for the first time since 1990 without Bobby Cox in the dugout. Fredi Gonzalez is calling the shot now … and maybe the Braves will not throw at Alfonso Soriano during the series.

Bobby Cox will be on hand and in the park tonight. The Braves are honoring their former skipper by retiring his familiar #6 in a pre-game ceremony.

The Cubs have won nine of the last 11 and are have hit at least one home run in the last nine games. Eleven different players have hit 21 longballs during the nine-game streak.

Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker should be in the lineup tonight against the Braves’ southpaw. Will Starlin Castro get a breather tonight after his ten-game hitting streak ended on Thursday?

Tonight it all starts with Carlos Zambrano

Carlos Zambrano is coming off back-to-back wins and solid six-inning starts against both the Reds and Pirates. After holding the Pirates to one run (a Derrek Lee homer) on seven hits in six innings, Z gave up three run to the Reds on six hits in six innings. Z walked four but most of his inconsistency and struggle with the strike zone came before he launched his second home run of the season.

Z is 2-0 in his last two starts with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP (seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 12 innings) … since the break 3-2 in five starts with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP.

Tonight will be Z’s 13th career start against the Braves. Z is 2-4 in 12 career games, all starts, with a 5.43 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP … and one of Zambrano’s more memorable starts in his career came against the Braves on June 1, 2007.

Carlos Zambrano has not posted a win against the Braves since July 15, 2002 and is 1-1 in four career starts at Turner Field with a 6.52 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP.

Braves Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano

  • Michael Bourn – 8-for-25 with a double and 6 walks
  • Brooks Conrad – 1-for-3 with a triple
  • Alex Gonzalez – 6-for-19 with 2 doubles
  • Jason Heyward – 1-for-1 with a home run
  • Eric Hinske – 1-for-3
  • Chipper Jones – 7-for-25 with a double, a home run and 3 walks
  • Julio Lugo – 1-for-3 with a home run
  • Martin Prado – 2-for-3
  • David Ross – 2-for-12 with 2 home runs and a walk
  • Dan Uggla – 1-for-9 with 4 walks

The Cubs will get their second shot at the Braves’ former first round pick (2009 out of Vanderbilt). Mike Minor spent a lot of June and most of July down on the farm and is coming off a no decision against the Mets (August 7) after allowing four runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. The Braves won the game 6-5 in his first start in the majors since June 21.

The Cubs must be patient against the very talented southpaw. He can lose command and when he does he is very hittable.

Mike Minor is 1-1 in three starts at Turner Field this season with a 4.67 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP … teams are hitting .294 against him in his home park.

The 23-year old lefty is 1-0 in the only start of his career against the Cubs with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. Minor beat the Cubs at Wrigley last August 22 … Lou Piniella’s last day as the skipper of the Chicago Cubs.

Jeff Baker (0-for-3), Darwin Barney (0-for-3), Marlon Byrd (2-for-3), Starlin Castro (2-for-3 with a double), Koyie Hill (0-for-3), Aramis Ramirez (2-for-3 with a home run) and Alfonso Soriano (0-for-3) are the only Cubs with limited at bats against Mike Minor.

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him." - David Brinkley
Share on Fancred
  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

    • paulcatanese

      Certainly is a veteran lineup for the Cubs tonight, there should be no excuses for not winning. No rookies in sight,a dream come true for Qua,as he has really put it together.

      • Rbmercer

        I’ve been defending Reed Johnson, he is our best outfielder. I don’t see why he can’t be our everyday center fielder right now. If we really want to give Colvin a look, play him in right or play him in center and Johnson in right. I’m sick of watching Soriano and think its BYRD, not JOHNSON that should be a FOURTH OUTFIELDER. Everybody keeps picking on Johnson being in the lineup, Byrd and Soriano are the ones that need to sit.

        Byrd looks like a lion with a loud roar, but all we hear is a MEOW!

        • paulcatanese

          Not picking on Johnson, he is playing well and should play. Its just what one sees as the way the Cubs are going. I feel that they should be looking towards the future as they are not going anywhere,, Again. Simply put, play the rookies.
          I do agree that Byrd should be the fourth outfielder out there,so you can see the problem here. Byrd is not going to sit nor is he going to play any corner spot on this team according to Qua. Defend Johnson, I see nothing wrong at all with that. This is just a procedure opinion on how the Cubs should go forward and I feel it should be with the youngsters.

    • Calicub

      It almost seems like spite keeping Colvin out of the game. Petty bull—t. Talk about Bush League

      • Calicub

        I’m sick of the Status Quo-de.

        Ha!

      • Cheryl

        The way Quade destroyed Colvin’s confidence earlier I’m not surprised that he’s not playing much. Colvin may or may not be good but there’s no excuse for not playing him and finding out. In my mind there was always some doubt that Colvin would get a fair shot after he was sent down. He’d be better off elsewhere at this point.

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Iowa – Casey Coleman (4-2, 3.91)
    Tennessee – Ryan Searle (4-2, 3.72)
    Daytona – Casey Harman (3-2, 4.17)
    Peoria – Eric Jokisch (8-3, 2.94)
    Boise – Willengton Cruz (1-2, 2.30)
    AZL Cubs – Brian Smith (2-3, 3.55) projected

  • Tom U

    This one slipped past me the other day:

    Hak-Ju Lee was promoted from High-A Charlotte to Double-A Montgomery.
    Lee was batting .317 with 16 doubles, 11 triples, 4 HR, 22 RBI, and 28 stolen bases.

    Here’s one thing to note: Evan Crawford has nearly identical numbers (more doubles, less triples, more RBI), yet is stuck in Daytona while James Adduci and Ty Wright patrol the outfield in Tennessee.  

    • Brentcarmona

      tom,

      any idea if we will release those two guys at the end of the year? or if we promote somebody up from aaa do they stay around to give aaa a shot?

      good info

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Brent, James Adduci will be a minor league free agent and will have to resign with the Cubs. James Adduci re-signed with the Cubs last off-season as a minor league free agent after they DFA’d him.

        As for Ty Wright, he has another year before he will be a six-year minor league free agent.

        • Tom U

          I bow to Neil.

        • Bryan

          Beautiful night here in Atlanta….am looking forward to taking in the three games here at the Ted…always a Cubs fan, but this weekend am hoping the Braves show their talent, and “give it” to Quade.  Tonight, first row seats in the left-center bleachers…wonderful view.

          (Neil, sorry that this message is in “reply mode” to your post, but lately the functionality on Adding a New Comment has been sporadic, at best…..Bryan).

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Bryan, no worries … you should look at clearing your ‘cache’ that might help. Have a great time …

          • paulcatanese

            Enjoy yourself,Bryan, but dont get caught in that traffic circle downtown, once spent a full hour trying to get out.

          • Bryan

            Paul…thanks.  Yes, 285 can be a “treat” here in Atl.

            I gotta tell you, on a night when the Braves have had a great ceremony acknowleding Bobby Cox, Carlos Zambrano was absolutely classless this evening, and truly embarrassed the Cubs organization.  Lot’s of Cub fans here this evening (as always) and most around us are truly sick of this baby’s antics. 

          • paulcatanese

            Just got thru watching, man you dont even come close to the Chipper, Z shouldnt been out there that long to begin with. Dont let it spoil youre night, the tv shot in the dugout and Z was smiling, what a………

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Reed with an RBI single … 2-for-2

  • Calicub

    And once more reed proves his worth and spells colvin for one more day.

    Why is it that soriano and byrd are never sat. Our everyday outfield should be

    Colvin – LF
    Campana – CF
    Reed johnson – RF

    • Calicub

      Nice to see the vet line up doing work against a real team in contention.

      Spoilers! Hahahahahahaha

    • paulcatanese

      Absolutly, I’ll buy that.

  • gocubs

    Where is Castro’s day off?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Getting ugly quick for Zambrano … two homers and five runs in three innings.

  • GaryLeeT

    Watching the Cubs play a team like the Braves is depressing. Minus Cashner, these are your “full strength” Cubs. No one in their right mind could even conjure the phrase “wait till next year”.

  • Jdarby

    It will be real interesting to see how the Cubs fare in the next 19 games, with 16 coming versus playoff contenders.  If Ricketts still hasn’t made up his mind on what to do in the offseason – though the rest of us figured it out long ago – he should judge the team on these next 19 games, and not the 9-2 stretch versus the pretenders.  I have a feeling the next few weeks are not going to be pretty.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Fourth homer of the night allowed by Zambrano …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Make that five homers off Z …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Zambrano ejected for throwing at Chipper

    • Rbmercer

      Totally immature by Z. I’m all for throwing at guys when the situation calls for it. But, this was not the case, they were hitting all that fat puss he was throwing up there and kicking his butt. No showboating, just hitting balls a long ways! And then he decides to throw at Chipper of all people! Cmon!, there isn’t a classier guy around! He once again shows his immaturity and while he’s showering, he puts his teammates in harms way. Its also chicken@$it, bcuz the Braves actually have something to lose and to play for right now and the CUBS dont. I hope pitches against them at Wrigley and the Braves throw at him.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Uggla homers. Z hits Uggla in the next AB.

        Chipper homers. Z throws at Chipper in the very next AB.

        Crybaby Z gets tossed out of the game.
        Z is as big a Crybaby as Milton Bradley. 

        • paulcatanese

          Bradley may have had more class.

      • Brp921

        I was busy and didn’t see Zambrano throw at Jones. Where did he hit him?. Must have been pretty blatant to get ejected.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Z threw twice–and missed him. But he did come very close twice.

      • paulcatanese

        Actualy thats a good remedy, knock Z down.

  • John G

    So what exactly did Z accomplish by that action? He sent a warning to the Braves not to hit any more HR’s off of him tonight? I think it’s time the Cubs part ways with this head case.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Only one way to part company with Crybaby Z: release him. Nobody–and I mean nobody–on the entire planet wants him. He’s a #4 starter now. He’s unreliable. He’s moody, angry, mouthy and stupid. AND he’s paid $18 million per year. 

      Isn’t that a recipe for success? 

      Thank you Jim Qlueless.

      • paulcatanese

        I think Z may have solved that problem for the Cubs. If they hold him at his word they may not have to pay him anymore.

    • Bryan

      Joe Simpson (respected Braves announcer) has been all over Zambrano based on that crap move on Chipper.  Joe called Z a chicken, and recommended he walk straight to the bus.  He also questioned how long the Cubs can put up with these antics. 
       
      One classy organization tonight….the other, a total embrassment and failure. 
       
      Home runs zooming all around us tonight.  Nothing cheap, that’s for sure

  • GaryLeeT

    So is Soriano’s home run trot on a warning track fly, going to go unpunished?

    • Ripsnorter1

      Yes.

      He’s also unpunished for home run trotting to 1B on pop ups, ground balls to the infield, and balls that hit off of the wall. 

      Gary, what do you expect for $138 million dollars? 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Chiefs Anthony Giansanti with best Midwest League OF arm in Baseball America’s Best Tools issue. Matt Szczur named best defensive OF.

  • Demitri

    This team is a joke

  • Ripsnorter1

    I wonder how many years Jim Qlueless will extend Grabow’s contract?

    Sign him for 3 more years or 4? Or maybe even 5 or 6?

    Just can’t afford to let him get away from us. Milton Bradley was a worse signing (years, dollars and anger was all more than Grabow), but Grabow was a bad sign. 

  • GaryLeeT

    Ya know, I’m looking over Grabow’s stats, and given the number of innings pitched, he is the worst relief pitcher in baseball. It’s hard to believe, but I think his contract is worse than Soriano’s.

  • John G

    The only thing more annoying than the Cubs (or Z) tonight is that incessant tomahawk chop in the background.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree with that. The only thing that made that even close was when Jane was in the stands.

  • Tom U

    Congratulations to the Tennessee Smokies on their 70th victory.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs pounded by Braves 10-4 on Friday night.

    Carlos Zambrano ejected in the 5th … allowed 8R, 8H (5HR), 0BB, 3K in 4.1IP; Alfonso Soriano: 1-for-4, 2RBI, 2B; Starlin Castro: HR; Reed Johnson: 2-for-4, RBI

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    This is breaking and all over right now

    Z walks out on team. Cleans out locker before end of game. Said to have talked of retiring. Q fuming

    Will update

    • jfish1219

      We could only be so lucky to have this nutbag walk away

    • John G

      Good! It will free up some salary money.

    • John_CC

      Another suspension coming, at the very least. Jimbo didn’t take kindly to it last year.  This has to be it.

      • Calicub

        Good. Freaking good. Hopefully soriano and grabow will feel the loyalty and take a hike too. Take koyie with ou and do us all a favor and bash some skulls on your way out. This team needs a full on embarassment that can’t be glossed over and recieves national coverage this insanity needs to end

    • Ripsnorter1

      I hope he quits right now.

    • BosephHeyden

      I’ll just say it: Zambrano may be a nutjob but he’s still our second best starter and replacing him with Coleman or Ortiz is NOT an upgrade. This hurts in the future if this is true.

      • John_CC

        I disagree.  The sooner he is gone the better.  Step ONE in moving ON!

  • Tom U

    Brett Jackson with another lead-off home run, Iowa up 1-0 in the first.

  • John G

    WGN reporting that Cubs signed Trevor Gretzky. Does he swing the bat underhand like his dad did?

    • Kevininsandiego

      He is LH.

      • Kevininsandiego

        So I would say yes

  • Tom U

    Congratulations to the Daytona Cubs on their 70th victory.

  • paulcatanese

    Z retired,walks out on team? Boy, guys will do anything to get away , Sutcliff really let him have it on the air. Say’s it too late to take him back, I agree.

  • paulcatanese

    Someone should send Stoney a telegram and let him know he’s in elite company now with Z.

  • John_CC

    Is Dave Bush still available?

  • cubs1967

    if Z retires…………cubs save 6 weeks of salary plus next yr.  GREAT!

    take the savings and release soriano.

    start over in 2012…………hello ricketts…………..got a Fuc****** clue yet?

  • paulcatanese

    Boy, did JH jump on this one. He can see dollars saved here. That should free a lot up for next year and shouuld be taken advantage of.

    • Cheryl

      This forces Q’s and JH’s hand. They can’t just go to the bullpen and have them all pitch in like they did before. Don’t regret Z’s leaving but in a way I feel sorry for him. He’s probably going to have a rough time in the weeks ahead.