Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 08/28/11

Game One Hundred Thirty-Four: Cubs (57-76) vs. Brewers (80-54)
Game Time – 1:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee

Casey Coleman (2-6, 7.59/1.98) vs. Zack Greinke (12-5, 4.22/1.16)

After putting together a decent stretch of games, the Cubs have lost six of seven and are on the verge of being swept for the second time this season in a three-game series in Milwaukee. This afternoon is the Cubs final game of the year in Milwaukee … and the Cubs last chance this season to break their seven-game losing streak at Miller Park.

The Cubs are in need of a long, quality start from Casey Coleman this afternoon. With all of the short outings by the starters of late, the Cubs pen is taxed again. The team’s next day off is not until Thursday and reinforcements figure to be on the way with the roster expanding on Friday but the Cubs still have a three-game series in San Francisco before getting a breather. If Coleman struggles this afternoon, he might have to take one for the team.

On paper, today’s pitching match-up is extremely lopsided and it could get very ugly if Coleman falls behind and struggles with his command. Coleman will face the best lineup he’s seen since he last faced the Brewers.

The Cubs offense will have their hands full with Zack Greinke. Greinke has not lost a game at Miller Park yet this season (9-0 in 11 starts) and he shutout the Cubs the last time he faced them. The Cubs’ problem of late has not been putting runners on base … but getting them in. The Cubs are 8-for-58 with runners in scoring position and have stranded 52 baserunners in the last six games.

In other newsAndrew Cashner completed his second rehab outing on Friday night and according to a report from Bruce Levine, Cashner will pitch in the Arizona Fall League in an attempt to build up his arm strength to compete for a spot in the rotation next season.

Starlin Castro and Aramis Ramirez have hit safely in 11 and 16 games respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, Geovany Soto is 0-for-19 in his last six games.

According to a report from the Sun-Times, the Cubs are not planning on calling up Angel Guzman when the roster expands on Friday.

The Cubs are 5-15 on Sundays this season … and this afternoon it all begins with Casey Coleman.

During an interview on ESPN 1000, Casey Coleman said despite his struggles he feels he’s close to putting together a string of good starts. Coleman did not make any excuses for his poor outings but did say this has been a challenging year for him. From the lack of preparation in Spring Training (Cubs did not stretch him out) to the planter’s wart on his pitching hand to the ups and downs from the minors to the majors to the minors and back again, he really does not feel like he’s been able to get into a rhythm. Casey knows he’s been given another shot and must make the most of his opportunity this time.

Coleman struggled again in his last outing. The only positive was he somewhat righted the ship well enough to complete five innings of work. If the offense could have done anything against Mike Minor he would have been taken off the hook. Coleman allowed five runs (all in the fourth) on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

Casey Coleman is 0-2 in the two starts since being recalled from Triple-A Iowa with a 9.35 ERA and a 2.19 WHIP.

Today is a big start for Casey Coleman.

Coleman faced the Brewers back on April 10 in Milwaukee, his first start of the year, and actually out pitched Yovani Gallardo. Coleman was in line for the win before Kerry Wood served up a two-run shot to Casey McGehee in the eighth inning. Coleman allowed four runs on nine hits in five innings on that Sunday afternoon with a walk and two strikeouts. Casey is 0-1 in three career games, two starts, against Milwaukee with a 7.43 ERA and a 2.10 WHIP.

Brewers Career Numbers against Casey Coleman

  • Yuniesky Betancourt – 1-for-3
  • Ryan Braun – 5-for-8 with a double and a home run
  • Craig Counsell – 1-for-4
  • Prince Fielder – 3-for-5 with a home run and 2 walks
  • Jerry Hairston, Jr. – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Corey Hart – 3-for-4 with a walk
  • Mark Kotsay – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
  • Jonathan Lucroy – 0-for-5
  • Casey McGehee – 0-for-3 with a walk
  • Nyjer Morgan – 0-for-3

The Cubs will get their third look of the year at Zack Greinke. The Cubs have been both extremely successful against Greinke and shutout by the former Kansas City Royal. The Cubs and Matt Garza had their way with Greinke at Wrigley back on June 16 and handed him one of his worst starts of the season (eight runs, six earned, on eight hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings). Greinke then shutout the Cubs over 6 2/3 innings at Miller Park on July 27 … the Cubs managed three hits and three walks and struck out nine times.

Zack Greinke is 1-1 in two starts against the Cubs this season with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP … with five walks and 19 strikeouts in 12 innings.

Greinke is coming off a rare bad outing that resulted in his fifth loss of the season. The Pirates scored seven runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings against Greinke in the second game of a doubleheader last Monday.

Greinke is one of the big reasons Milwaukee has been so dominant at Miller Park this season. Greinke is a perfect 9-0 in 11 starts with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Zack Greinke

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-3
  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-2
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-18 with a home run and 2 walks
  • Tony Campana – 1-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-4 with a double and 2 walks
  • Blake DeWitt – 0-for-5 with a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-2
  • Carlos Pena – 5-for-33 with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
  • Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-6
  • Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-13 with a double and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 2-for-5 with a walk

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did." - Mark Twain

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

    • Calicub

      how stagnant has this line-up now become. I know no matter what quade does he gets bashed but with the current streak of disaster you’d think Quade would want to inject a littlle pep and energy into the line up and field and let dear Campy start. He’s a menis on the basepath and helps get things going. Nothung about Byrd in the last two weeks has screamed I’m hot and you should keep playing me to the point of vomitting.

      I’d love to see Byrd’s line for the past two weeks and how many dp’s and runners left on base he’s caused/allowed.

      May the new GM cometh and the bad players he taketh away..

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Here ya go:

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=byrdma01&year=2011&t=b

        This link should provide everything you are looking for.

        • Calicub

          Mucho gusto Senor Neil…

          The last two weeks:

          43 PA .179 BA .238 OBP .282 SLG .520 OPS 2 GDP (i feel like i remember far more) 11 Total Bases in 2 wks.

          I couldn’t find for the last two weeks but this season he is:
          .192 w/RISP
          6 GDP 
          23 SO in 104 AB’s.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil
    • Calicub

      I think he’s logically everyines first choice and fits every criterion set forth by Rickett’s.

      Oh man if we got Friedman who in turn pulled Joe Maddon in I would be so dang happy. All faith lost in the past three to four years would return so fast…

    • paulcatanese

      Very good article on Friedman Neil. Seems he would be a great fit for the Cubs, young, energetic, and has a way to make things happen. The downside on trying to bring him to the Cubs seem to be of the Cubs own doing. Lack of imagination, philosophy, and the complete willingness to change. Freidman has it as he wants it there and has complete control. Money again does not seem to be an issue, but a devotion to a system that the Cubs may be unwilling to impliment.

      • Calicub

        I feel like this is Ricketts’ guy and anything to get him here would be well worth it. Neither Ricketts nor any other dope currently in the organization should not have complete control over this team and any kind of control over baseball decisions that Friedman would want should be more than acceptable. The Rays are a sweet gig yes but imagine if that sort of franchise wide doctrine if you will was brought to the North Side… A payroll double what he is used to. Free agents coming off the books and plenty of exceptional depth in the minors.

        In other words do it do it do it do it. No matter the cost. If Friedman came in, the World Series would be won or atleast the cubs could make it there in three years tops. tops.

        • paulcatanese

          I agree, bring him to the Cubs if possible. The first thing I think he would do is take a serious look at the minor league players and bring up what he thinks may succeed, send others that are not cutting it on their way(vets). He looks like my choice, hope it comes about.

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

            Are you willing to make Friedman the highest paid GM in baseball to do it? He seems to be in a place he is comfortable place and does not have many ties to Chicago. So it might take a break the bank deal to get him here.

          • paulcatanese

            Richard, in reading the article I think that it not be money to bring him to the Cubs, more of him being comfortable with his system and the acceptance of the Cub organization of it. Looks like a tricky thing to get him to the Cubs, a lot of intangibles need to happen. In the back of his mind(if it were me) he has to feel the pressure of trying to right a ship that has been on the rocks for a long time, and does he need that? Chicago is not an easy town for making things happen with the Cubs, the fans(and rightfully so) are impatient, to win them over would take a special effort, I don’t know, maybe that would appeal to him more than money. That’s what is appealing about the choice for him, acceptance instead of money.
            Don’t really know Richard, but that’s what I kind of got out of the article.
            .

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

            There was an article in one of the Boston papers today about Cashman and Epstein both using the Cubs job as leverage in renegotiation with their current teams. The writer thought after getting some comments from the Redsox Team President that is what was going on behind the scenes. If that is the case then ANY established GM we go after is going to demand to held in the same price range as those 2.

          • paulcatanese

            Interesting Richard, in that the corresponding article( link) (right word?) that Neil posted indicated in some form that money was not the primary case with Friedman. Who knows? I cant think of anyone that doesn’t like money.

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

            Here is a link for you if it will let me put it today. Yesterday was having problems with some of my links.

            http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2011/08/28/what_are_brass_tacks_with_epstein_cashman/?p1=Well_Sports_links

          • paulcatanese

            Got it Richard, sounds like Pujols getting a deal. You are right about the money and driving the price out of sight. I guess money drives the world, don’t like to see it, but cant blame them either.

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Iowa – Alberto Cabrera (3-4, 6.61)
    Tennessee – Ryan Searle (5-2, 3.70)
    Daytona – TBA, Probables – Casey Harman (4-3, 3.99) 
                                             or Jeffrey Lorick (8-6, 5.16)
    Peoria – Luis Liria (1-3, 4.68) projected
    Boise – Ben Wells (3-4, 5.29)
    AZL Cubs – Amaury Paulino (0-0, 0.00) projected

  • Tom U

    It is my opinion that the probability of Andrew Cashner going to the Arizona Fall League is a bad decision.

    While Cashner is still a young player, with limited experience, his development has progressed beyond the level of the AFL. The purpose of the league is to see how your prospects stack up against some of the best out there. Cashner  has already proven that to some extent at the big league level.

    Cashner can rehab his arm and face live batters in the Instructional league. While there, he would serve both as a mentor to younger players and as an example of the type of talent they are up against.

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

      I agree with that and at the same time am kind of in favor of it. Cashner needs to see live hitting and go into the winter already stretched out. IF we are planning on shutting him down in November and not letting him play winter ball then AFL is as a good of place as any to see if he can get his arm strength back. The only issue I have is it takes a young guy totally out of the picture as far as the experience he would get from going to Arizona.

      • Tom U

        That was also part of my thought process.

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

    I have been thinking over Ramirez’s comments recently about him not walking much because he is Dominican and I can’t seem to get over the truth of it. Vlad Guerraro was the guy that stated that he has never seen anyone “walk” off the island and again there is a lot of truth to his statement. It goes back to the idea that there is no choice but to hit your way into a development system in most of the Camps in Latin America.

    As I was watching the Little league WS recap show this morning one thing really stood out between Mexico and Japan. The Mexico team even though I thought they looked the better team in terms of talent were out “fundamentaled” all the way through the game. Japan consistently went the opposite way and just played better team ball. Pitching helps but you could see how the Japanese team won the game very early.

    So this being said what does it mean to the Cubs organization. For one our “Academy” in the DR should be more focused on teaching a fundamental philosophy than just letting the kids hit their way off the Island. A second thing that should be taken from this is that Japanese players may not translate well as far as talent but they are more in tune with what MLB fans want to see as far as skill set and teaching aspects.

    • Brp921

      I think Ramirez’s comment was kind of rediculous. Maybe walks don’t get you “off the island”, but he’s been “off the island” a long time. The fact that he’s not more willing to take walks means he is not a team player and that is selfish. I can’t say I don’t like Ramirez because he’s done some good things for the Cubs, but I’ve always felt he was he was a selfish player.

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

        Yes it is selfish but it goes back to the mindset that is instilled in the DR kids before they ever get out of the baseball academies. They are taught basically to be aggressive. It is not like Rammy doesn’t walk at all. He actually consistently runs 40 to 50 % higher in his OBA which for Latin players in huge. He just expands his zone and is hyper agressive on first pitches sometimes getting an easy out because of it. I am not making excuses for his approach just trying to show that he is exactly what he says he is. There is a reason that Bobby Cox said that you can not win with just Latin players and Rammy personifies it.

        • Brp921

          When you couple his walk total with his lack of hustle it adds up to selfishness. That has nothing to do with being Dominican. Again I don’t want to sound like I’m trashing him, for the most part his tenure with the Cubs has been well worth the salary he’s earned, and I’ve enjoyed having him around, but theres just no denying his shortcomings and it’s more here lately that they have come to the surface. ( I should add before this streak he’s been on.)

    • Tom U

      Perhaps trying to be too “fundamental” in the DSL would make the Cubs an unpopular team to sign with? I don’t know, but that is worth considering.

      In any event, fundamentals can be stressed to all players once they’re part of the minor league system.

    • paulcatanese

      I agree with you Richard, and have felt that for years the teams from Japan stressed fundementals over all the teams they played against. While they may not win each and every game the key here is that they are in every game they play. What that means to me is I have always thought fundemenal baseball and let the home runs come when they may. I do not believe a team can be compiled of strictly waiting for the ball to leave the park. In the long run fundemental baseball will come out on top, not to say that the home run is not important in the last inning with runners on base and one hit will do it. But a good fundemantal team that can do a number of things besides hitting a ball 400 ft. will generaly be in the game more often.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Andrew Cashner will make third rehab start for Smokies on Monday. Next phase would be two games at AAA Iowa. Expected to start in Arizona Fall
    League.

  • Brp921

    How much are you talking? He would be worth a whole lot if he could bring a championship to the northside. How much is one top free agent? It would take more than one free agent to put us over the top. Thats the question, it’s speculation. 

    • Brp921

      Oops the above comment was supposed to be a reply to Richard on making Freidman highest paid GM.

      • Calicub

        An investment in a solid GM would far outweigh any investment into even the best of the free agents and probably come at several million less.

        • Brp921

          I agree.

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

      There was an article back in May that talks about general salaries but I think we will be talking 5 million plus for Epstein or Cashman. Just because of the ownership stakes that some of the other GM’s have and the amount that the managers are now getting.

      http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Billy-Beane-other-MLB-GMs-are-underpaid-050510

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Quade ejected in the first inning

  • Rbmercer

    Just wondering aloud…..if we could just Quade ejected BEFORE he writes Marlon Byrds name in the lineup!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Already 1-0 Brewers, 10 minutes into the game

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Quade is one argument away from matching Cubs single season record
    managers getting ejected (seven, shared by Evers & Frisch)

    • Rbmercer

      Here is even more criticism for Quade:

      He doesn’t even get ejected well. Each time he gets ejected, there isn’t much to it. He never goes off like a firecracker that warrants him getting tossed. There isn’t any entertainment value and he NEVER gets his money’s worth! A good ejection should inspire your team.

      He even looks overmatched with the umpires. Usually when Mgrs get ejected they always look like they get the best of the umpire. Not with Quade, he always looks helpless after an ejection and instead of the umpire looking defeated, it is Quade who walks off with his tail between his legs.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Back-to-back walks to Hart and Morgan …

  • RynoTiger

    Greinke is looking quite good today…it reminds me of what a dominant pitcher in your starting roatation looks like…I had forgotten…

    no hitter today by Greinke?

    • paulcatanese

      No we had to watch Byrd with a bloop to right center and then a big smile on his face after reaching first base.

      • Rbmercer

        I thought the same thing when I saw him smiling about that rocket (bloop) he hit into right center, makes me wanna puke.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Very good play by the Cubs defense to get out of Coleman’s jam in the third

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Byrd with the Cubs first hit to start the fifth

  • paulcatanese

    Greinke’s stolen base, why not? Pena not holding over there, Greinke could have walked to second base, practicly did.

    • RynoTiger

      sorry that was my fault.  i called the Cubs dugout between innings and told Coleman that the best strategy would be to let Greinke get on base so that he would have to run and get tired.  I assured him nothing would or could go wrong with this strategy.  so that was my bad.  sorry.

      • paulcatanese

        I know what you are saying, I have tried the same thing with sour results, keep calling, now that Qua is not there for the rest of the game someone may listen.

  • paulcatanese

    The total baseball being played by the Brewers are to be admired and noticed. They take walks, they bunt runners over, they steal, and manufacture runs, and the occaisonal home run. Defense is suspect, but thats all. They should win the Central and if they continue to play fundemental baseball thru the playoffs should end up in the World Series, I wish them luck, nice to see a team play”team baseball”.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Barney with his second double of the game breaks up the shutout

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Colvin with a homer off Axford in the ninth

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 3-2 to Brewers on Sunday afternoon.

    Casey Coleman: 3R, 6H, 3BB, 6K
    in 7IP; Darwin Barney: 2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, Blake DeWitt: PH 2B, R; Tyler Colvin: 1-for-4,
    HR

  • Dorasaga

    That was a good game. Coleman was shaky in most innings but he got the job done and gave the bullpen a rest.

    The Cubs failed to stay patient, again. The only good at-bat was Castro’s last against Greinke, fouling off tough pitch and went full count.

    This game ended only a few minutes later than the Rays @ Canada game, which started an hour and 5 min. earlier than this. That tells you how sad the Cubs lineup has been.

    Oh well, same ol’ Cubbie… I can’t wait for our new GM.

  • paulcatanese

    Another stupid mistake by Qua’s crew. Why did they not pinch run with Campana for Byrd in the ninth inning after his walk? 95% chance he would be standing on second and possibly on third when,,,Soriono hits the long fly to the track in right. Or at the least would have tagged and gone to third. Tying run would have scored on the ground ball to third. What is the matter with these idiots?

    • Brp921

      You have to wonder if Quade was hiding somewhere in the dugout still making the decisions.

      • paulcatanese

        I don’t know about him hiding in the dugout, but it was again stupid conservative baseball.

        ———- Forwarded message ———-

    • Rbmercer

      Agreed, he would have been on 2nd and tagged to go to third on Soriano fly ball and would have scored on Johnsons ground ball that McGhee booted. But let’s say that stiff doesn’t even happen. You STILL have to run Campana there almost 100% of the time. They did the same thing the other night at Wrigley vs the Braves when they didn’t run him for Ramirez in the ninth down one run

      • paulcatanese

        I know, its just do the simple math, who can go from point A to point B the fastest, its not brain surgery, but then one must have a brain.

  • paulcatanese

    Coleman did well today, one of his better outings. Too bad with the Cub offense he would have had to throw a shutout to get any kind of win.

  • Chuck

    With nearly identical records, who is worse:  Chicago Cubs or Minnesota Twins?

    • paulcatanese

      Chuck, I would have to say the Cubs as they are playing in the weaker Central Division.