Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Braves – 08/22/11

Game One Hundred Twenty-Eight: Cubs (56-71) vs. Braves (76-52)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Ryan Dempster (10-8, 3.80/1.37) vs. Jair Jurrjens (12-5, 2.84/1.17)

After winning two of three over the weekend from the Cardinals, the Cubs open a four-game series tonight against the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs took two of three from the Braves last week in Atlanta and played pretty good ball for the most part … especially after what took place in game one.

The Braves are coming off a weekend sweep of the Diamondbacks and Fredi Gonzalez has his team back on track. The Braves enter play tonight 6 1/2 games behind the Phillies in the east and eight games up on the Giants for the NL Wild Card.

With Ryan Dempster on the hill tonight, look for Koyie Hill to get the start behind the plate. Hill has caught Dempster’s last four starts and tonight is expected to be the fifth.

In other news … One-year ago today Lou Piniella managed his last game for the Chicago Cubs … and ironically enough it was against the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs finished last season on a positive note but overall the play on the field that began under Piniella’s watch back in 2009 has continued this year.

According to a report from the Tribune, the Cubs have tried but have been unsuccessful in contacting Greg Maddux since Friday. The Cubs would like to keep Maddux in the organization but Maddux is very close with Jim Hendry.

The list of candidates to become the next Cubs’ GM continues to grow. Various outlets have thrown out names such as Rick Hahn, Brian Cashman, Mike Rizzo (Nationals), Ned Colletti, Ben Cherington (Red Sox), Theo Epstein, Andrew Friedman and Josh Byrnes.

Andrew Cashner will begin a rehab stint with the Tennessee Smokies (Double-A) on Tuesday. Cashner is expected to make three-five appearances with the Smokies then move up to Iowa. Cashner is hoping to return to the bigs as a reliever shortly after the rosters expand on September 1 (Casher targeting early September).

Dave Eanet will call the game tonight along side of Keith Moreland on WGN Radio. Pat Hughes has a scheduled night off and will return on Tuesday. Tonight is the third game Pat Hughes has missed this season.

Tonight it all starts with Ryan Dempster

Ryan Dempster is coming off what should have been his fourth win in a row. Dempster left after seven innings with a 5-2 lead. Dempster allowed two runs (one in the first six innings) on four hits with three walks and seven strikeouts to the Astros … but Carlos Marmol served up a slam to Brian Bogusevic in the bottom of the ninth.

After just a horrible beginning to the season, Dempster is 4-2 in seven starts since the break with a 3.56 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP … in the last three, 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP.

The Cubs need a long, quality start out of Ryan Dempster tonight. Again, winning is always the goal but the starters need to finish strong to keep Mike Quade from over using pitchers like Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija, James Russell and Carlos Marmol over the last six weeks of the season.

Dempster did not face the Braves last week in Atlanta and is 2-11 in 28 career games, 17 starts, against the Braves with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.

Braves Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Michael Bourn – 9-for-26 with 2 doubles and 5 walks
  • Brooks Conrad – 0-for-1
  • Alex Gonzalez – 3-for-6 with a double
  • Eric Hinske – 0-for-4
  • Chipper Jones – 11-for-43 with 3 doubles, a home run and 7 walks
  • Jair Jurrjens – 0-for-4
  • Julio Lugo – 4-for-16 with 2 home runs and 3 walks
  • Brian McCann – 0-for-10 with 3 walks
  • Martin Prado – 2-for-6 with a walk
  • Dan Uggla – 1-for-10 with a walk

Jair Jurrjens is one of the best young pitchers in the majors and despite a rough stretch that included a trip to the DL, he’s had an outstanding season. Jurrjens is coming off back-to-back losses … one on August 17 and the other way back on August 1.

The Giants pounded Jurrjens in his first start back from the DL. Jurrjens allowed five runs on eight hits with two walks and a strikeout in six innings of work. Jurrjens is 0-2 in his last two starts with an 8.18 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP … look for him to return to form tonight.

Jurrjens is just as good on the road (5-3 in 10 starts with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP) as he has been at Turner Field (7-2 in 11 starts with a 2.81 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP) this season.

The Cubs missed Jurrjens during the trip to Atlanta. Jurrjens is 0-1 in three career starts against the Cubs with a 3.50 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP … at Wrigley, 0-1 in two starts with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jair Jurrjens

  • Jeff Baker – 1-for-4
  • Marlon Byrd – 1-for-5 with a triple and a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 0-for-4
  • Ryan Dempster – 1-for-5
  • Blake DeWitt – 3-for-6 with 2 walks
  • Koyie Hill – 2-for-3
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-8 with a double and a home run
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-8 with 2 doubles
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-3 with 2 walks

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." – E.E. Cummings

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  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

  • studio179

    Valentine benches Castro. Our manager did not notice anything wrong. 

    • Brp921

      Castro’s been needing a day off, but it’s sure one heck of a coincidence isn’t it. I had to laugh when I saw the lineup. I can’t wait to hear Quade’s explanation for this one.

      • studio179

        Quade told the media just a little bit ago that Castro is not benched, but he is getting a ‘mental day off’.

    • paulcatanese

      Of course it was Valentine and not Qua, and after all the fuss, Qua had no choice but to bench Castro, but I know Qua would not have if the cameras were not watching. Of course Qua does not listen to Valentine, as Qua know’s it all and does not need advice from an amatuer like Valentine. In reality Castro should be on the bench for a game or even two, his defense has been down and could use the rest.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Like I mentioned earlier: that’s the worst coma I’ve witnessed by a ML SS ever. He’s lucky to be alive…and another thing: if I managed, I’d stop the eating of the lunch on the field. The pitch is coming and he’s got a hand in his pocket pulling out more sunflower seeds. 

        Will Castro turn into a porker? He’s not skinny anyway. 

        • paulcatanese

          Yes Rip, I have noticed his uniform is a larger size. But the funniest part of this whole thing is because of a few comments by Valentine on the tube, and all of a sudden Qua is full of comments on Castro, and how he was going to give him a rest and blah,blah etc. I love it. Qua is the one not using his smarts and now everyone knows why he leaves pitchers in too long, has to wait to the next day to make a decision.

        • Brp921

          Look at the guys mentoring him, and then look at the guy managing, and then look above that. This club needs new direction. Lets hope we get someone here at the top that insists on good fundamental baseball at any cost, along with the good baseball sense it takes to put the right kind of system in place. I will say that we are moving in the right direction with this years draft. I hope our ownership keeps it going with a strong new GM

        • Brett

          I was literally having a conversation 3 or so wks ago about how that kid eats seeds non-stop during games. We were actually laughing about how whenever the Cubs try to extend his contract they could pay him in seeds. If you watch close for it he seriously is always mowing through them like he hasn’t had a meal in years.
          I wish instead of having future hall of famers Baker & Dewitt on the roster they would’ve brought in Orlando Cabrera to have on the bench to help mentor Castro on the little things that need to be done to play ss at this level. Playing along side ARam seems to be wearing off on him.

          • paulcatanese

            It looks like Castro definatly has a “Salt Fix”.

  • Agustinrexach

    Yuck ! Lineup sucks but it’ll soon be over Neil! You are a tough dude, thanks.

  • studio179

    So Hill is Demps catcher…

    • studio179

      Demps personal catcher…

  • Neil

    From Bruce Miles: Castro says he has apologized to teammates for Sunday night action

  • Mark

    That’s a pretty offensive lineup for tonight.

    • paulcatanese

      Like that one Mark.

    • Ripsnorter1

      The Cubs are over .500 in Hill’s starts. Coincidence? We know it is not his bat winning those games……

      • GaryLeeT

        Not hard to believe if he didn’t have to catch the starts of Coleman, Lopez, Ortiz, Davis, and Russell.

  • Ripsnorter1

    According to 670theScore, the Cubs put Mr. .196 on trade waivers today. Let’s see if they can dump him before the season ends. I’d like that. Save some money for later.

    • jfish1219

      I think some one will claim him and now that Bimbo is gone hopefully a deal can get done

  • paulcatanese

    Dont know why Castro apologized to the team, they are all a bunch of loafers, the only one out there that hustles is Soriono as he hops and skips around the field.
    Blazing speed.

  • paulcatanese

    Baseball is a lot like the game of Chess, one must know where all of the piece’s are at all times, and be ahead of the opponent in your’e moves and know what the moves that he or she can make and be prepared to counter.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    My vote gows to Andrew Friedman!

    • Anonymous47701

      Count me in as well, I’m voting for Andrew Friedman.

  • Neil

    Two excellent catches by Marlon Byrd in right center … doubled off Bourn the second time.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    With Castro out Campana shoild be in LF and batting lead off, but that makes too much sense for Quade.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree with Campana leading off, but he dosent play shortstop and thats the only person for Qua to hit leadoff. Shotstops lead off, 2basemen bat 2nd and 3basemen bat third, and so on. Kind of like he makes his lineup like a little league coach, by the base.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Byrd should be on Waiver’s as well! Jackson is ready.

  • Rbmercer

    Castros situation is exactly why we need Ryno on the bench managing this team. He is the perfect guy to mentor and manage a talent like Castro that needs a little polishing in field prescence. Ryno would put him on the path to the Hall of Fame.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree, and hope he learned a little by watching Barney in the field and at bat,
      and what to do with the pitch when someone has a base stolen. Castro is talented, more so than Barney, but comes up way short when it comes to baseball smarts.

  • Neil

    Bases loaded, one out … and Byrd grounds into a double play

  • Brp921

    I’m tired of seeing Byrd in the meat of the order, Soriano too, give the kids a chance. Who cares how many games the Cubs win now.

  • Neil

    Excellent play by Darwin Barney

  • Neil

    Barney robbed Uggla of another hit

  • roseyc

    This just shows how clueless this Quade is ….he can’t handle the things he sees and isn’t aware of his own players and what they are doing on the field. Somebody has to do the paint by the numbers thing and then he puts his spin on it. Ricketts should put him out of his misery now and he can join Hendry on their binge together. When the callups come in Quade should go out

  • Tom U

    In his second Double-A start, Eric Jokisch has nine strikeouts in five innings. Tennessee up 4-1 starting the sixth.

    • cubtex

      Go Northwestern.

  • Richard Hood

    I just want to say this. I am not making excuses for our lack of hitting with RISP. We all know that we do.

     But this is what top of the rotation starters are suppose to do. Figure out what you got. Use your defense and minimize damage. If we had a starter that actually did what top of the rotation guys are suppose to on a consistent basis then it would not be so shocking when it happens to us.

  • Neil

    Nine runners left on base for the Cubs in the first five innings

  • Neil
    • paulcatanese

      Thats what it looks like Neil.

  • Richard Hood

    at least it was not a double play

  • Neil

    Make it … 2-for-8 with RISP, 11 left on base

  • GaryLeeT

    OK Raise your hand if you want to run onto the field, and snatch Byrd’s bat from his hands, as the pitcher delivers the first pitch.

    • paulcatanese

      Been raising my hand and waving it hard for a couple of weeks now, but Qua just dosent seem to see it.

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 3-0 to Braves Monday night.

    Ryan Dempster: 3R, 6H (2HR), 3BB, 8K in 6IP; Aramis Ramirez: 3-for-4, BB; Carlos Pena: 2-for-4, BB

    Cubs 2-for-14 with RISP, 15 LOB

  • Neil

    Cubs left 15 men on in 3-0 loss to ATL, 1st time Braves have shut out an
    opponent who stranded 15+ runners since 9-26-1946