Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Braves – 08/24/11

Game One Hundred Thirty: Cubs (56-73) vs. Braves (78-52)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Randy Wells (4-4, 5.84/1.54) vs. Derek Lowe (8-11, 4.73/1.48)

Updated 5:02pm CDT - According to multiple reports, the Yankees claimed Carlos Pena on Waivers

The Cubs will try to get back in the win column tonight behind Randy Wells. Q’s Cubs are 13-8 over the last 24 games despite struggling with runners in scoring position. The Cubs are a pathetic 3-for-27 in the first two games of this season and have left 24 runners on base.

For as much as the Cubs could use a long, successful outing from Randy Wells, the Cubs also need for the offense to step up and start doing their job.

In other newsAndrew Cashner made his first minor league rehab appearance on Tuesday night. Cashner threw 2/3 of an inning and allowed two runs on three hits without a walk and two strikeouts. Cashner struck out the first two batters he faced and threw 23 pitches, 15 for strikes. The plan for Cashner is to get a few more appearances under his belt in Double-A then move up to Iowa before a possible return to the big leagues.

With August coming to an end, September call-ups are just around the corner. The Cubs have not decided which players will join the big league team and they have three spots open on the 40-man roster (Carlos Zambrano is on the disqualified list and does not count against the 40-man roster). There has been talk that Bryan LaHair could be one of the call-ups. LaHair would have to be added to the 40-man roster.

Tonight is a rematch of the game in Atlanta back on August 13. The Cubs won the game 8-4. The Cubs have dropped three in a row … and tonight it all begins with Randy Wells.

Randy Wells is coming off another shaky outing. Wells received a no decision in a Cubs win over the Cardinals (5-4) after allowing four runs on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts in seven innings. Wells served up two more home runs (Yadier Molina and David Freese) but settled down after the fourth and kept his team in the game.

Wells has shown improvement but continues to struggle in the early innings, especially with walks and home runs. In 16 starts (89 1/3 innings) this season, Wells has walked 34 batters and served up 18 home runs (Wells allowed 19 longballs in 32 starts, 194 1/3 innings, in 2010). Wells must quit giving the opposition free baserunners … and keep the ball in the park.

Randy Wells is 2-0 in his last four starts with a 5.04 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.

Wells beat the Braves in Atlanta last week after putting together a serviceable five-plus inning start (two runs on eight hits without a walk and a strikeout). For his career, Wells is 3-1 in five starts versus Atlanta with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.

Braves Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Michael Bourn – 7-for-21 with 5 walks
  • Freddie Freeman – 1-for-3
  • Alex Gonzalez – 2-for-13 with a home run
  • Jason Heyward – 2-for-4 with a home run and 2 walks
  • Chipper Jones – 4-for-10 with a double and a walk
  • Derek Lowe – 0-for-2
  • Julio Lugo – 0-for-1
  • Brian McCann – 1-for-12
  • Martin Prado – 3-for-15 with a double
  • Dan Uggla – 3-for-4 with a home run and a walk

Derek Lowe is in the middle of a difficult season but is coming off a win against Arizona. Lowe held the D’Backs scoreless for five innings and gave up just four hits. Lowe came within one strikeout of tying his season high. Lowe struck out seven D’Backs and issued just two walks. Lowe is 2-2 in his last four starts with a 6.00 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP.

Lowe has pitched better outside of Turner Field (5-8 in 16 starts with a 4.62 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP) than his has at his home park (3-3 in 11 starts with a 4.90 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP) this season.

The Cubs hung a rare loss on Derek Lowe when they faced him on August 13. Q’s offense scored five runs on 10 hits against Lowe in six innings. The Cubs did not work a walk and struck out six times.

Derek Lowe has pretty much owned the Cubs throughout his career … 3-2 in 11 starts with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP, 1-0 in four starts (complete game shutout) at Wrigley Field with a 2.67 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Derek Lowe

  • Jeff Baker – 1-for-1 with 2 walks
  • Darwin Barney – 3-for-4
  • Marlon Byrd – 1-for-6 with a home run
  • Starlin Castro – 3-for-4
  • Tyler Colvin – 2-for-3 with a double and a triple
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-8
  • Reed Johnson – 4-for-14 with a double
  • Carlos Pena – 7-for-20 with 2 doubles, a triple and a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-18 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 14-for-62 with 2 doubles and 3 home runs
  • Geovany Soto – 2-for-10 with a walk
  • Randy Wells – 0-for-2

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"If you'll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your life." - Vince Lombardi
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Pena may have been claimed but he’s not going anywhere.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1512275173 Matt Collins

    5:06pm: GM Brian Cashman told MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch that a trade is “very unlikely” for the Yankees and that he’s “not optimistic” about making a deal. MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports (on Twitter) that Pena isn’t going anywhere.

    • Tedtop16

      Why would the CUBS not make a deal?  If he is traded, it would not have any effect on his return for next season. Our best hope for this season is to play a spoiler role.

      • studio179

        I agree. Why not make the deal. The only thing I can think of is they are trying to keep Pena happy and showing some sort of good faith by not moving him during the season. He was relieved when he was not moved at the deadline. But why would he not want to go to the Yanks and try to win? I don’t know. I can’t figure out why the Cubs would not deal him.  

        • studio179

          Sounds like the Yanks want the Cubs to eat all Pena’s money and not give anything back.

          • Tedtop16

            Do you have any info on this or is this you conclusion?

          • studio179

            It was the way Kaplan made it sound. He did not say those words, but left the interpretation open as that was the case. So no, nothing official.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    According to the Score, the rumor concerning Gavin Floyd is accurate. They did not have any other details.

  • paulcatanese

    Even though I am personaly pleased that Campana is getting a start, I would say that he again is in the wrong spot in the lineup. His speed is what he is there for
    and batting where he is negates it. Then again he is an outfielder and Qua always hits his outfielder’s 5-6-7, and right now they are the last three to be lumped together.

    • Ripsnorter1

      QQuade–he couldn’t manage a daycare with just one child to look after. 

      INCOMPETENT!!!!

      • paulcatanese

        On the other hand Rip, not many managers huddle the whole infield together
        on the mound and puts his arms around a couple of guys, that had to be heartwarming.

        • paulcatanese

          Rip, I meant the post to be a joke, guess everyone thought I was serious.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Bruce Miles: Pena claimed on waivers but it’s highly unlikely he’s going anywhere. Cubs on hook for most of the money anyway

    • Ripsnorter1

      Make the Yanks pay most of the money anyway and forget the prospects.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Let’s see….
    Braves are 22-10 since 2001 at Wrigley, best in the NL……
    Accuscore gives the Cubs a 38% chance of winning tonight……

    I like Wells to beat the Braves tonight. That’s right. Wells beats the Braves tonight.

  • Ripsnorter1

    WHY CARLOS MUST STAY

    Career stats vs. LHP”.211 BA
    .309 OBP.
    .426 slugging

    At age 33, Playing for the Cubs stats, vs. LHP:.134 BA
    .254 OBP
    .309 slugging

    QQuade says, “He’s improving everyday. You can see that in his stats.”

    VS. RHP in 2011
    .251 BA (career .239)
    .370 OBP (career .350)
    .495 slugging (career .486)

    So QQuade is right IF you only look at his stats vs. RHP.PENA IS A PLATOON PLAYER THAT PLAYS EVERYDAY.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      yeah He’s improving everyday he’s 33 not a 23 year old prospect! Qua I can’t wait to see you gone.

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Iowa – Chris Rusin (3-2, 3.12)
    Tennessee – Trey NcNutt (3-5, 4.56)
    Daytona – Dae-Eun Rhee (7-7, 4.17) Game 2 projected
    Peoria – PJ Francescon (1-3, 4.23)
    Boise – Yao-Lin Wang (3-4, 3.39)

    Daytona playing a double-header after yesterday’s game was postponed due to weather. Angel Guzman started and pitched a scoreless inning. Michael Burgess and Jake Opitz hit back-to-back homers with two out in the top of the seventh. Daytona loses 4-3

    • Tom U

      Matt Loosen (1-2, 4.84) got the start in Game 2 for Daytona

    • studio179

      I am interested in Rusin’s start. Go Iowa Cubs!

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    UGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Cubs should take what they can get for Pena!!!!!!!!!
    They should have traded mr. 23 rbi Marlon Byrd and Jackson should be starting. Campana in LF!!! Speed, Pitching and defense.

  • cubs1967

    pena should just be given to the yanks; like the jays did last year with rios to the sox.  eliminates the monies owed next year OR is their something in the contract that puts it back on the cubs??  does anyone know??

    there is NO guarantee that the new GM would want pena; pk mccaksey really needs to get fielder or pujols ; his PR status is like a junk bond.

    play colvin at 1b, campana in lf and jackson in cf rest of year; it doesn’t matter anymore………..

    hello tommy boy???

    • Ripsnorter1

      Excellent point: “there is no guarantee that the New GM would want Pena next year.”

      I’ll guarantee you this: If the New GM wants Pena next year, he’s the same old, same old. Nothing will have changed at Wrigleyville. And he’s not from a winning organization. And he’s not good with the numbers, as P.K. Ricketts states. 

  • studio179

    Quade?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano with #22, a two-run shot

  • GaryLeeT

    I am going to use rocket science to help me theorize that Wells’ winning percentage is dramatically higher when he makes out of the first, not scored upon.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Jon Heyman: hearing rick hahn and josh byrnes for cubs gm job. cashman/beane/epstein long shots to go, friedman not 2 likely either

    • Brett

      How bout Friedman who then brings Maddon over with him to manage…. too bad we don’t live in that fantasy land.

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

      If you are choosing between a could be guy and a guy that has already gotten fired in the last 18 months please start to think outside of the box. There a number of qualified guys that are could be’s and should be’s but this is not the Pirates or the Marlins. We need an Is at GM. Nothing against Hahn but give me a name with some sizzle.

      • studio179

        I am not that high on Byrnes and I am luke warm on Hahn as well. They say Hahn is smart and well liked by agents in the industry though. Friedman was my choice, but that is looking like wishful thinking on my part. 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Campana’s speed led to the third run

    • paulcatanese

      I enjoyed it, Brenly enjoyed it and thousands of fans enjoyed it, chanting his name. The Braves figured it out though, put two on in front of him.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Ramirez is not going to get anything to hit for the rest of the series

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent catch by Barney

  • MikeT_2008

    Not to get away from the game for a Phil Rogers rumor but I saw Neil said the rumor about Gavin Floyd being possibly claimed by the Cubs or something was true, was just wondering what that was all about?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From STATS: With 2 walks against Braves, Ramirez has reached base in 8 straight plate appearances, longest streak of his career.

  • diehardcubfan

    Excellent outing by Wells so far tonight.  Rip, your prediction might just come true.

    • paulcatanese

      I agree, it was a very good outing by Wells. What I didnt like from Qua was he
      let Wells hit for himself with a runner on second instead of pinch hitting for him, and then pulled the same thing he usually does in the top of the inning and pulled him with two outs after a run scored and brought Marshall in.

  • diehardcubfan

    If the Gavin Floyd rumors are true?  (We are talking about Phil Rogers here) The Cubs should then take a chance.  It can’t be any worse then what we have seen all year. 

    I think he would do well in the NL.  

    • cubtex

      They need pitching for sure…but remember the Sox will want a decent package of prospects back.

  • Skeldor

    We get rid of Hendry and the next guy in line still follows the same logic.  I can’t wait until they hire someone.  Just trade Pena for goodness sakes and let LeHair play the rest of the year and even next year.  I’d rather have him out there than Pena, can’t do any worse and would be a heck of a lot less expensive.  The guy deserves a shot, he’s done more than enough in the minors the last 3 years and the team has been bad the last 2.  I hate how this organization treats/uses/doesn’t use their prospects. 

    • studio179

      Yep. This new GM decision is so huge for Ricketts and the Cubs organization.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From David Kaplan: Baseball source just told me that Cubs not
    motivated to deal Pena but NYY might make it interesting because of Posada’s
    struggles.

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

      If we can get a prospect that equals to his value (ie the same as a sandwich pick next draft) and can save some money I say go. If we have to give him away just to clear payroll ? It is not worth it.

      I agree that we need to move some of these players and contracts but we also have to look at the business of baseball. If he ends up the season as a B Level Free Agent then we need to get some return for that. Why would the you want the Yankees to get a rental and a pick for him? That is just short sided.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Cottonpickin’ Mr. CLUTCH-LESS KERRY WOOD!!!!!

    Wells pitched a game, and this guy’s going to blow it. YOU WATCH.

  • studio179

    I pound ‘Wellsie’ for his poor outings often, so I will give credit tonight. By far, his best outing of the year. Good job!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Colvin squared up two balls rather well tonight and has nothing to show for it.

    • diehardcubfan

      Scary we thought alike on this Neil.

    • Gramps

      He looked the best he has looked all year. Now I am hoping Quade plays him tomorrow. He really pasted the ball the last 2 times up. I hope he starts driving that outside pitch to left and left center instead of trying to hook every pitch to right field. 

  • diehardcubfan

    I am liking Colvin’s approach at the plate right now.  It seems he is working to actually go with the pitch. 

    He has also hit a couple of balls solid tonight but unfortunately nothing to show for it.

    If Colvin continues to go the other way I think that will serve him well going into next year.

  • Brp921

    How about Z to the Sox for Floyd and a prospect? I wonder if it could work because Ozzie may think he can straighten him out and maybe he could. It could be a win win situation.

    • diehardcubfan

      Either Ozzie and Z would get along great or would end up killing each other.  I would be for it.  I would take Floyd particularly since he is only 28.  Change of scenery would probably do him good.

      • Brp921

        There are not a lot of pitchers available. So I could see a deal like that happening. Whether or not prospects would be involved is anybodies guess. If Z could pitch like he used to then the White Sox would really benefit, if not then the Cubs would get the best end of the deal.

      • paulcatanese

        I go along with that,as I wouldnt miss either one of them.

  • diehardcubfan

    Tough luck for Soto. You can’t hit it much more square than that.  Typifies the Cubs year.

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

    I got a bad feeling about this one.

    • diehardcubfan

      You just never know with Marmol.

    • paulcatanese

      Always an adventure, but starting to get a little tired of it. I really thought he was going to blow it.

  • diehardcubfan

    Gutsy play by Barney.  He may have saved the game.

  • diehardcubfan

    By the way anyone out there who questions if Barney can be a everyday ML player must not be watching this series with Atlanta. 

    I have been watching the Atlanta coverage and the announcers are only singing Barney’s praises. 

    I think Barney deserves some respect.

    • Rbmercer

      I’m one in his corner…love him

    • Brp921

      I agree. Barney is an everyday player. 2B should be his to lose next year.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Braves 3-2 on Wednesday night.

    Randy Wells: 1R, 2H (HR), 2BB, 6K, 6.2IP; Alfonso Soriano: 1-for-2, HR, 2RBI, BB, HBP; Aramis Ramirez: 1-for-2, 2BB; Cubs offense: 1-for-8 RISP, 8 LOB

  • Aaron

    great pitching by Wells today!

    onto business…..

    The Cubs could do a LOT worse than hand over the 1B gig to Bryan LaHair, who is now hitting .334/.411/.660 with 144 hits, 37 doubles, 35 hr, 102 RBI

    They shouldn’t give a damn what they get for Pena, and just let him go….for several reasons:

    1) First of all, both agents and players are now acutely aware that teams are likely to offer arbitration to get draft picks, and with players that are 32 years and older (and not named Pujols), the agents realize that multi-year deals for average players into their 30’s just isn’t likely anymore, so they’ve been calling team’s bluffs and accepting arbitration, which would likely result in a $9-10 million contract for the Cubs, which is WAYYYYYYYY too much 

    2) Secondly, the Cubs have the opportunity to re-sign Pena this offseason and still save $1 million this season by letting him go to the Yankees outright. They’re stupid to basically suggest that by keeping Pena, it increases the likelihood he’ll re-sign with them. LOL…Are you kidding me?!?! He’s represented by Scott Boras. Do they not realize this? 

    3) The afforementioned LaHair is waiting in AAA, and would do no worse offensively than Pena. Yes, defensively, he wouldn’t be near the same…but let’s face it…does it really matter at this point?

    4) If the Cubs, with all the payroll coming off the books, and with decent options like LaHair, Ridling, and even Bour lurking in the minors, PLUS, versatile guys like Flaherty and LeMahieu (hopefully he adds more muscle for added power this offseason)….unless you’re planning on spending for Fielder or Pujols, it makes absolutely NO sense to bring back Pena with those guys in the system….PLUS, they just signed Shoulders, Gretzky, and Vogelbach for the future

    As for Gavin Floyd…I can’t really understand where that rumor came from, because….

    1) The White Sox just traded Edwin Jackson at the deadline, which diminished their rotation depth. Unless they get back Zambrano (teaming him up with his buddy Guillen), then I don’t see how this helps them. And even then, Zambrano in the AL would be laughable, and he’d probably have a 6+ERA

    2) The White Sox, unlike the Cubs, still have an outside chance of winning their division, so, again, trading Floyd, a decent contributor makes ZERO sense

    3) Who are the Cubs going to trade to get him? Do you trade Barney to get him, and then request the struggling Beckham in return as part of a bigger package? Do the Cubs give the White Sox guys like Struck, Rusin, LeMahieu, etc. again, as part of a bigger package including Adam Dunn (where the Cubs would let Pena go, not go after a major FA 1B, and just insert him at 1B, hoping Rudy can work his magic)….There’s a lot of “what if’s” and other factors there. 

    In my opinion, this would be a fair trade:

    Floyd, Dunn, and Beckham

    for…

    Zambrano, Byrd, and Barney (Z and Byrd’s deals make up for part of Dunn’s contract, and Z is only 2 years older than Floyd). 

    Dunn and Beckham are disappointments for the White Sox, while Byrd (run production-wise) and Z are disappointments for the Cubs. Zambrano has far better historical stats than Floyd has, so this deal could make sense.

    ***EDIT: LaHair just hit his 2nd of the game and now has 36 hr, 105 RBI

    • cubtex

      I know you are a Cubs fan Aaron….Believe me, I am too…. but that is stealing ! Z Byrd and Barney? Yes Dunn and Beckham have been disappointments BUT they can bounce back next year and have better years, and Floyd is a decent #4. Why would the Sox want Byrd? Z would only be a one year option and will be a free agent and the only player who has any real value would be Barney.

      I don’t see it for the Sox side of it!

      • Aaron

        Here’s why it’d be interesting (and believe me, I was thinking of including prospects like Struck, etc. from the Cubs, but decided against for good reason)…

        -Floyd has one season below a 4 ERA
        *Zambrano has only 1 season as a starter above a 4 ERA (this season)
        *Guillen has a great relationship with Zambrano, and both he and Cooper could straighten him out
        =if you believe Z can turn it around under Cooper and Guillen, then based on age, and contract obligations, this is a wash. Zambrano is due $18 million for 1 more season, while Floyd is due $7 million next year, and has a team option of $9.5 million in 2013

        -Beckham is similar to Colvin in a way…a potential one year wonder. He’s now hitting .238/.296/.340, 93 hits, 13 doubles, 9 hr, 34 RBI, 23 walks, 89 K’s
        *Barney is a ROY candidate, hitting .294/.331/.372, 123 hits, 17 doubles, 5 triples, 2 hr, 36 RBI
        =this is a CLEAR win for the White Sox, and it’s not even close

        -Dunn is hitting a pathetic (and I love the guy, believe me, so it pains me to say this) .167/.294/.294, 60 hits, 13 doubles, 11 hr, 40 RBI and 62 walks vs 151 K’s
        *Byrd is hitting .292/.336/.415, 100 hits, 20 doubles, 2 triples, 6 hr, 23 RBI and 16 walks vs 63 K’s
        =This is a win for the White Sox, especially with them having locked up Konerko. It gets them out from under the Dunn deal. Dunn is due $42 million over the next 3 seasons, while Byrd is due $6.5 million. With Reinsdorf’s stated goal of cutting costs after the disappointing season, and the White Sox needing to lock up Buehrle, this deal makes a TON of sense from the White Sox perspective.

        Next year, the Cubs would be subtracting about $3.5 million. They have washes in salary with Beckham vs Barney; add $7.5 million with Dunn, but subtract $11 million with Zambrano vs Floyd.

        The Cubs might need to kick in some salary for Z to make it worthwhile to Reinsdorf, so who knows.

        But I can tell you this, it actually makes good sense on both sides to do this. It saves the Cubs from a long-term commitment on Pena, Pujols, and Fielder, and allows the kids in Shoulders, Gretzky, and Vogelbach to develop for 3 years while they let Dunn handle 1B duties. This also gives the Cubs an opportunity to see how special Rudy really is, and if he can turn around Dunn. Dunn also happens to hit very well at Wrigley.

        From the Sox perspective, you have to understand how disappointed they are in Beckham right now. Barney instantly gives them a boost, and from the Cubs perspective, if Beckham doesn’t pan out, at least they have a plethora of options for middle IF in their system.

        Additionally, as mentioned, you have to understand Reinsdorf is trying to cut costs, and he gets rid of two long-term commitments $9.5 million due to Floyd in 2013 and $28 million due to Dunn 2013 and beyond. Total savings would be $37.5 million (oh, and Beckham is closer to arbitration than Barney)

    • cubtex

      White Sox also put John Danks, Matt Thornton, Paul Konerko as well as Gavin Floyd so I am sure they are just seeing if anyone offers them something they can’t refuse. I would much rather try and pry Danks from the Sox ahead of Floyd.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Pena told Cubs will
    pull him off waivers. Says he was flattered

    • paulcatanese

      He should be.

  • paulcatanese

    The comment by Selig regarding te 2013 All Star game, I would think depends on how much Ricketts is able to achomplish in refurbishing Wrigley Field. If nothing is done with improving the field, I doubt that he would give the game to the Cubs.