Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Braves – 08/23/11

Game One Hundred Twenty-Nine: Cubs (56-72) vs. Braves (77-52)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Casey Coleman (2-5, 7.43/2.04) vs. Mike Minor (3-2, 4.26/1.52)

Weather permitting … One year ago tonight Mike Quade made his big league managerial debut. The Cubs beat the Nationals 9-1 in D.C. behind a tremendous outing from Casey Coleman. The Cubs finished last season 24-13 under Quade and Jim Hendry removed his interim tag in the off-season.

Fast forward a year later and the Cubs enter play tonight 56-71 under Mike Quade with Randy Bush serving as the team’s interim GM in the wake of the dismissal of Jim Hendry.

The Cubs have won 80 and lost 85 under Mike Quade.

With the lefty on the hill tonight for the Braves, look for Quade to run out a lineup that includes Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson. After Monday’s loss, Quade was asked about Starlin Castro returning to the starting lineup tonight. Quade was not sure at the time but his availability will determine if Jeff Baker is at first or second base tonight … and a possible day off for Carlos Pena.

Casey Coleman will make his second start tonight since taking over in the rotation for the disqualified Carlos Zambrano. Coleman struggled mightily against the Astros If Coleman pitches the same way tonight, the Braves will put the game out of reach early.

In other newsAndrew Cashner begins his minor league rehab stint tonight with the Tennessee Smokies.

Q’s Cubs are 14-7 in the last 21 games … and tonight it all starts with Casey Coleman.

Casey Coleman made his return to the big leagues in the finale in Houston … and showed no improvement was made during his time in Triple-A. The Cubs viewed Casey Coleman as their sixth starter when the season began but they did not prepare him as a starter in the spring. After being thrown into the rotation without really being stretched out, along with a wart on his pitching hand, he’s struggled from day one of his season … both in the majors and in the minors.

Coleman is a pitcher that must rely on keeping the ball down, throwing strikes and not falling behind in the count. He simply does not posses an out pitch. If Coleman wants to remain on the Cubs’ radar, he must finish the season with quality start after quality start. If he continues to perform the way he has, Coleman will be lost in the mix by the new regime.

In his last three big league starts, Casey Coleman has allowed six earned runs on seven hits in 1 1/3 innings (Mets, May 25); three runs, two earned, on five hits in 5 1/3 innings (Nationals, July 4) and four runs on 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings (Astros, August 17). Over those three starts, Coleman has walked four and struck out nine (10.45 ERA and a 2.42 WHIP).

Casey Coleman has struggled mightily at Wrigley in his brief big league career. In 10 games, seven starts, Casey is 1-4 with an 8.92 ERA and a 2.17 WHIP in his home ballpark.

Tonight will be Casey Coleman’s first career start and appearance against the Atlanta Braves. Michael Bourn (2-for-2 with a double and two walks) and Dan Uggla (0-for-2 with a walk) are the only Braves on the active roster that has faced Casey Coleman.

Mike Minor is coming off a four-hit, six-inning shutout performance against the Giants and really settled in after Chipper Jones hit a solo homer off Tim Lincecum (the only run in the game). Minor put together one of his best big league outings and earned his second victory in a row. Tonight will be Minor’s tenth start of the season, the Braves are 7-2 in the nine big league starts he’s made this season.

Minor was the beneficiary of Carlos Zambrano’s homer fest and subsequent meltdown back on August 12 in Atlanta. Minor held the Cubs to three runs on nine hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings … but the Cubs hit him hard and if not for the five homers off Zambrano, the Cubs would have had a chance.

The very talented southpaw has struggled on the road in limited action this season (0-1 in four starts with a 4.98 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP) and will make his second career start at Wrigley tonight.

Mike Minor is 2-0 in two career starts against the Cubs with a 4.63 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Mike Minor

  • Jeff Baker – 2-for-5 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 4-for-6 with a double
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Koyie Hill – 0-for-3
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-3
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-3
  • Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-6 with a home run
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-6 with a double
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-3

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"The will to succeed is important, but what's more important is the will to prepare." - Bobby Knight
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

  • paulcatanese

    Pray for rain

    • studio179

      As in Spahn and Sain and pray for rain. We are playing the Braves. I know it is because you are looking at the Cub line up, but I like your cleaver approach.

      • paulcatanese

        thank you, sir.

    • John_CC

      It only delays the inevitable. 

      What you don’t like the mighty Jeff Baker, clean-up hitter? Or the O-fer-12 with runners on base combo of Byrd and Soriano hitting back to back?

      Jeez, Paul, lighten up!

      • paulcatanese

        Cant say that I do John, not much but bathroom breaks between Aram and Soto.

    • cubtex

      Yes Paul! I would say that Mike Minor’s ceiling is just a little bit higher than Casey Coleman :)

  • studio179
    • Sean

      If true, this quote from the article is infuriating: 

      “The Cubs had hoped to replace Hendry with Pat Gillick, but the Hall of Famer wanted to come in as team president and not GM. The Ricketts family was unwilling to fire current president Crane Kenney, however, quashing Gillick’s candidacy.”

      Very disheartening if Crane Kenney is viewed as indispensable.  

  • John_CC

    Any news on the disqualified Zambrano?  I am curious what the union is saying, what the agent is saying and if the owners might fight this one.

  • studio179

    Barney gets a day off. I can’t argue that.

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s starting pitchers:

    Tennessee – Andrew Cashner (0-0, 0.00)
    Daytona – Angel Guzman (0-3, 3.72)
    Peoria –  Luis Liria (1-3, 5.47)
    Boise – Ben Wells (3-4, 5.28)

    Iowa won earlier 14-7 over Oklahoma City. Bryan LaHair was 4-for-5 with four doubles and 5 RBI. Alberto Cabrera picked up the win, even though he surrendered 5 runs (4 earned) in 6.1 innings.

    • studio179

      I assume Cashner is on a pitch count. Is there any word on it?

      • Tom U

        Have not heard at this time, but I will monitor the broadcast and post when I get any info.

        FYI – Brett Jackson was given the day off and Ryan Flaherty got his first start in Left for Iowa today.

      • Tom U

        According to Smokies play-by-play man Mick Gillespe, no pitch count for Cashner, but he’ll only pitch the first inning.

        • studio179

          Thank you! 

    • jw

      I think it would be fun to see what the best of the Cubs minor league system could do here on out…keep a few guys in there but let the rest of the marginal vets sit…Hendry is not there to worry about how the veterans would hate him if he did that..problem I guess would be using up minor league options but does that count if it is September?

  • BosephHeyden

    There’s a huge difference between watching Casey Coleman going 5 innings and getting knocked around and watching Rodrigo Lopez do the same.  At least with Coleman, you get a young guy used to facing different major league batters multiple times and build up his experience.  Lopez…that’s a move you make if you’re still in it and you need to give the other four starters a breather.

    Of course, Quade is in it to win, so if Coleman struggles, chances are pretty good he’s getting benched and becoming another above average reliever, which we really don’t need anymore of.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cashner strikes out first batter he faces

  • Tom U

    Cashner struck out the first two batters on eight pitches. Third batter singled on a 2-2 count, stole second. Fourth batter singled runner home, also on a 2-2 count. Fifth hitter singled home another run. Clocked at 96 mph, 23 pitches. Ryan Searle now pitching

    • studio179

      Thanks for the update. I’m not able to get Smokies play by play today.

  • cubtex

    Alot of news out there on former Cubs players….1st. Felix Pie designated for assignment by Orioles and he is out of options. Orioles also purchased contract of former Cub Jake Fox. Out with one former top prospect in with another former top prospect.
    2nd- Tom Gorzellany had been relegated to the bullpen with the Nats and put on waivers and cleared waivers. As I have been saying to all these Gorzo backers….He is not and was not a big loss!
    3rd- Ted Lilly placed on waivers and cleared waivers. He has given up 27 HR’s in 149 IP and is till owed close to 27 Mil on his contract. The Cubs didn’t get anything  back on the Ted Lilly deal but at least they aren’t stuck with his contract!

    So there you have it. 2 of the 5 Cubs starting pitchers at the start of 2010 placed on waivers and cleared. That should tell you all you need to know.

    • gocubs

      That Ted Lilly contract is a new one LA signed him to in the off season.  It isnt the Cubs contract. 

      • studio179

        Yes, Lilly was signed by the same Dodger GM who some Cub fans want. Granted, he has worked under some crazy ownership stuff, but look at Ned’s history. I’ll Pass. 

      • cubtex

        yes I know.  Alot of people wanted to hold on to Lilly and sign him long term.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Cubtex,
      Well, there are two of next year’s starters to go with Dumpster and Wells and Garza and  Z. Lilly and Gorzelanny fit right in there.
      Gorzelanny is better than Casey Coleman…..better than Ortiz….

      • cubtex

        not again Rip! I have had enough of Lilly and Gorzo.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I don’t blame you. They are not the future; they are the past. 

          Have you had enough of John Grabow yet?

          • cubtex

            Hey, that is 4 straight appearances by Grabow without giving up an earned run!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Andrew Cashner gave up two runs on three hits, no walks and two strikeouts in 2/3 IP . 23 pitches/15 strikes

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    That is 17 runners left on base in last 10 innings

  • Rbmercer

    Let’s wait until Coleman gives up 5 runs before Riggins goes and talks to him.

    • studio179

      Riggins is another one I don’t get.

      • Anonymous47701

        Somebody call Mike Maddux 911.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Cubs, the last I heard, haven’t been able to get in contact with Greg Maddux since Jim Qlueless was ..ahem…”released.” 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Heyward with a slam … the sixth grand slam served up by Cubs pitching this season, Cubs offense has not hit one.

    • cubtex

      Coleman cannot pitch at this level!

      • studio179

        No, he can not. Good guy, just not an MLB pitcher.

  • paulcatanese

    The downward spiral has started. As I had mentioned earlier in the year,the Cubs would start off in the hole, and they did. Then would go on a streak to pick some ground up and then go backwards from there. The pattern they have had over the years is appearing once again. Been around too many years for it to be different. Now is the time for change,JH is gone so dump Qua now. It wont get any better than this if they dont. P.S. shut the game off after the Grand Slam, and will watch tommorow.

    • paulcatanese

      Just got in and read the posts on the game, maybe I shouldnt have shut it off, my mistake.

  • Aaron

    reason #6.5 million to get rid of Byrd (the amount due him next year)….My goodness….How often does that turd swing at the first pitch?!?!?!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Hey, the Cubs scored. Soriano with #21

  • GaryLeeT

    Freakin Aramis. That SOB is going to get his 100+ RBIs again, isn’t he?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano with a hustle double to left.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Grabow shuts down the Braves!!!!!
    What a performance!!!!!

  • studio179

    A hustle double! That a boy, Soriano!

  • GaryLeeT

    What in the heck happened to Wood? He sucked forever, then one day….. boom, he’s lights out. Was it all a blister issue? I think he might be the hottest reliever in the League right now.

    • Ripsnorter1

      The games are meaningless now. The pressure makes the difference on Choke-Boy.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Can Marlon Byrd not swing at the first pitch of an at bat? He grounded out to second on the first pitch in the fourth, grounded out to short on the second pitch in the sixth and just grounded out to second on the first pitch in the seventh.

  • Rbmercer

    Ugh…Marlon Byrd…Are. You. Kidding . Me?…so bad

    • GaryLeeT

      Maybe this all stems from from when he got hit in the face, and he’s thinking that the less time he spends in the box, the better.

  • GaryLeeT

    Byrd must have 1st pitch put in play escalator in his contract. He’ll be rich.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    What a double-play by Casto and Barney

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Marlon Byrd left six runners on base Monday night. Byrd has left four on base in first seven innings of Tuesday’s game.

    • Ripsnorter1

      And your point is?

      Funko and Byrd are RBI kings and huge run producers. Extend their contracts immediately. 

      • Ripsnorter1

        And don’t forget: Byrd is starting his post-All-Star break slump. Last year he hit .263 post break. This year, with the injury, he’s a little late getting started. Hitting .233 in August….

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent diving catch by Marlon Byrd … saved at least one run.

  • Rbmercer

    Mr Quade…let me introduce you to Tony Campana!…uummm, he might be the fastest player in all professional sports.

    • Rbmercer

      And, i don’t care that he was out of infielders. Play anybody, that is your only chance. Arams not scoring on much. So what, if u play extras with guys out of position, you’re still playing an you have a chance. Maybe could have put Soriano at second and Barney or Castro at third.

      • jfish1219

        And since when has Quade cared about playing guys out of position. 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 5-4 to Braves Tuesday night

    Casey Coleman: 5R, 5H (HR), 2 BB, 4K, 5 IP; Aramis Ramirez: 5-for-5, 2B, R, 2RBI; Alfonso Soriano: 2-for-4, HR, 2B

    Cubs: 1-for-13 RISP, 9 LOB

  • studio179

    That is that.

  • cubtex

    Kimbrel is filthy!!!!!!

  • Mac

    Hey Neil got another one of those what if questions lol. Ive been reading alleged rumors that a possible Zito for Zambrano trade could gain some momentum any thoughts on this?