Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Giants – 08/30/11

Game One Hundred Thirty-Six: Cubs (58-77) vs. Giants (71-64)
Game Time – 9:15pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – AT&T Park, San Francisco

Matt Garza (6-10, 3.68/1.31) vs. Ryan Vogelsong (10-4, 2.54/1.25)

Can the Cubs make it two in a row over the Giants? The Cubs put a lot of runs on the board against Tim Lincecum on Monday and will face a pitcher tonight they have not had much success against this season … two of Ryan Vogelsong’s 10 wins have come against the Cubs this season.

Matt Garza is coming off a bad outing and will look to bounce back against a Giants team that has their back against the wall. San Francisco enters play tonight five games back of the D’Backs with only 27 games left to play. The Giants have dropped three of the last five games against the Astros and Cubs.

In other news Andrew Cashner completed his third rehab outing with the Tennessee Smokies in impressive fashion on Monday night. Cashner struck out the side on 16 pitches, 11 for strikes, and appears to be headed for Triple-A Iowa. The plan is for Cashner to throw a couple of relief appearances for the I-Cubs and if all goes well he could rejoin the big league team on Friday.

Randy Bush and Oneri Fleita will reportedly meet on Friday to discuss possible September call-ups. Rosters can expand beginning Thursday (September 1). The Cubs 40-man roster currently stands at 37 players but with Cashner expected back as early as this week and the 30 days on the disqualified list for Carlos Zambrano coming to an end soon (eligible to return to team on September 12), the Cubs have only one open spot on the big league roster. Bryan LaHair is expected to be added to the 40-man and called up. Without any additional roster moves, the Cubs would not be able to call-up any players currently not on their Major League roster.

Over the last eight games, the Cubs are 11-for-74 with runners in scoring position and have left 67 runners on base … and tonight it all starts with Matt Garza.

Matt Garza is coming off a rare bad outing and will look to bounce back in his first career appearance against the San Francisco Giants. Garza allowed six runs, three earned, on eight hits with two walks and six strikeouts in five innings. Garza struggled with his command and emotions in the short time he was on the mound.

For as good as Garza has been he has struggled on the road this season. Garza is just 2-5 in 11 starts outside of Wrigley this season with a 5.07 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP.

Matt Garza is 2-2 in his last five starts with a 2.40 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP … since the break, 2-3 in nine starts with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.

Tonight will be Matt Garza’s first game of his career against the Giants.

Orlando Cabrera (2-for-12 with a walk), Mark DeRosa (2-for-3 with a home run), Aubrey Huff (3-for-15 with a double, a triple, a home run and two walks), Jeff Keppinger (2-for-4 with a double), Cody Ross (1-for-9 with a walk) and Miguel Tejada (7-for-20 with a double, two home runs and two walks) are the only players on the Giants active roster that have faced Matt Garza.

The Cubs will get their third shot of the season at Ryan Vogelsong … two of Vogelsong’s 10 wins have come at the expense of the Chicago Cubs this season. Vogelsong has put together an excellent year and he’s one of the reasons the Giants are still in the mix out West.

Ryan Vogelsong has not faced a team other than the Astros since August 14 … and Houston beat him both times. The Giants offense could not bail out Vogelsong in either of the outings.

Vogelsong is 2-3 in his last five starts with a 3.55 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

For as good as Vogelsong has been this season, he’s been even better at AT&T Park. Vogelsong is 6-3 in 13 games, 12 starts, in his home park this year with a 1.98 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.

Vogelsong is 3-4 in 13 career games, seven starts, against the Cubs with a 6.28 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP … but this year, 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Ryan Vogelsong

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-11
  • Tony Campana – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-6
  • Blake DeWitt – 2-for-6
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-7 with a home run
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-1
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-4 with a home run and 2 walks
  • Aramis Ramirez – 6-for-15 with 2 home runs and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-6 with a walk

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again." – Bob Feller

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  • Demitri

    LaHair is about to get the call up he deserved since early july.

    • studio179

      Being called up is one thing. Being played regularly by the Cub manager is another.

      • J Daniel

        The only possible place he will get an opportunity would be lf or rf.  But don’t count on him playing of DeWitt.

        • Demitri

          Then Colvin sits on the bench. Thats why Soriano must go. He is clogging roster space and salary space

  • paulcatanese

    I guess Byrd gets a free pass the rest of the season as he did drive in a run last night, of course it didn’t mean anything as the Cubs were way ahead at the time.
    Its too bad Qua dosent take into account what Byrd has been doing before hand.

  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

  • Neil

    As mentioned earlier, Cubs sending six to Arizona Fall League: Andrew Cashner, Brett Jackson, Trey McNutt, Chris Carpenter, D.J. LeMahieu and Junior Lake. Jeff Beliveau is on the taxi squad

    • cubtex

      If Cashner can stay healthy and be one of the starters next year…..That is huge!

      • paulcatanese

        Agree, lets just hope if they bring him back to the Cubs this year he keeps it in perspective and dosent overdo it, in other words hide from Qua.

      • cc002600

        I think he should be in bullpen. He reminds me of Wood.  Starting pitchers who are power pitchers always seem to have arm issues, and he has already. That’s not a good sign.

  • Neil

    Bryan LaHair named 2011 I-Cubs MVP. John Gaub honored as Pitcher of the Year, Chris Robinson receives Community Service Award

    • paulcatanese

      That was well deserved by all three. Hope LaHair gets a fair shot as I don’t know how much more he could add to his resume. Don’t know how many
      more disapointments I can handle with Qua the way he handles the kids
      that are brought up.

      • cc002600

        Someone help me understand this logic. I have read by some fans that Lahair is the second coming of Hoffpair or DuBois. He is the classic AAAA player. Ok, I get that, maybe that will be true.

        But can those people please answer this simple question: How the heck are you EVER going to know if you don’t give him a chance ?????

        I just don’t get it.

        Look at the white sox right now….they are on a roll right now ONLY because of 3 guys who have have given them a HUGE shot in the arm from the minors: De Aza, Flowers, & Viciendo.  If they would have kept the same old dead wood (AJ, Q, Donkey) in the lineup they would probably be done by now. In fact, they are morons for not bringing them up earlier, but I digress.  By the way, De Aza has another 3 run HR tonight. 

        But OUR manager always feels that the veterans have “earned” playing time. Ugh.  We know what Pena is, let’s see what LaHair can do. What can it hurt ?  Does it mean we might lose 96 games instead of 94 ? WTF.

        • J Daniel

          As I have mentioned several times, the veterans deserve nothing as they are the ones that dug the hole.  Maybe some other guys can help get out of it?  Worth a shot.  The problem is a September call up really does nothing to help get a grasp on what a guy can really do.

          • cc002600

            agreed, but a sept call-up is better than nohing….and then give him the job next year.  we have nothing to lose.

        • Ripsnorter1

          How do you know? 

          The answer is: If a guy cannot handle a AAA curve ball, you know he cannot hit a ML curve ball. IF a guy cannot handle a AAA fastball–I mean, he has a hole in his swing and he can’t handle the pitch on the inner half–then you know he cannot handle the ML fastball in on his hands. 

          Believe it or not, the Cubs’ management can see these things in their minor league players without calling them up. 

          • cc002600

            huh ?  The guy has 38 HR, 100+ RBI and is hitting .330 in AAA.

            What isn’t he “handling” in AAA ????

      • Ripsnorter1

        It says it right here: LaHair gets LESS THAN 36 ABs for the Chicago Cubs in 2011.

    • Jim_Tinley_Park

      And at MLB level:

      Koyie Hill voted MVP
      John Grawbow Pitcher of the Year

  • Tom U

    Bryan LaHair hit his 38th home run to become Iowa’s all-time single season leader in home runs.

    LaHair’s 38 home runs are the most by a Cubs Triple-A player since Karl Pagel hit 39 for the Wichita Aeros in 1979

    LaHair has a shot at the all-time single season record for home runs by a Triple-A player in the Cubs’ system. Adrian Garrett hit 43 in 1971 for the Tacoma Cubs (Garrett was also 28 years old at the time).

    • Ripsnorter1

      Karl Pagel wasn’t nothing, either. 

      And Adrian Garrett couldn’t hit ML pitching, either. He was a career .185 hitter in 313 PA, so yup, he got a chance.

      • Tom U

        Just the records Rip, nothing more.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I’m trying to demonstrate for our CCO brethren that they should not get excited about LaHair.

           Pagel, who was a 1st round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs in 1976,  hit 39 taters for AA Wichita at age 24. He also drew 100 BB that year, drove in 123  runs, while hitting .316. He would accumulate a total of 3503 minor league PAs, but only 67 at the ML level. 

          • cc002600

            Again, I am NOT saying he is oing to be a stud..He probably won’t be…..but one thing I know for SURE. 

            Until you give him a chance, YOU WILL NEVER KNOW. what the heck do you have to lose ?  please tell me.

            Are you saying he can’t be a late bloomer ?  That has never happened before ??
            and are you sying he can’t higher than .223 ?? That’s what our current 1st baseman is hitting, in case you were wondering.

  • Neil

    Good at bat for Barney, made him work … flied out to center on the 11th pitch of the at bat but made up for Castro’s one-pitch at bat.

  • Ripsnorter1


    With his 2 RBI night, Funko now has 25 RBI, and he is now tied with Sonny Jackson of the 1971 Atlanta Braves for fewest RBIs for any player of any position with at least 502 PA. 

    Funko hit a double to drive in two runners in Cleveland’s victory over the A’s tonight.

  • Neil

    Soriano just crushed that ball … #24

    • carmelo

      Can we read anything into the fact that LaHair is playing LF tonight?

      • Neil

        Tonight is LaHair’s 12th game in left. Of all the players not on the 40-man that I think is coming up it is LaHair. If you are hinting about a deal involving Soriano by tomorrow’s deadline, it has been very quiet.

      • Tom U

        Not really. LaHair has made eleven other starts in the outfield this season, and has 198 outfield starts in his career.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Randy Wells vs. Matt Garza: which one should we release?

    I don’t want to release or non-tender either one. But on this forum you hear the talk that Wells ought to be released. Well Vince, let’s look at the stats between these two pitchers……

    Wells: 18 starts. 6-4 record. Cubs are 9-9 in his 18 starts–which means that he has a better record in his starts than the team as a whole has. After all, he’s .500 as a starter, and 6-4 when he gets a decision.Garza: 25 starts before tonight’s loss. 10-15 record when he takes the mound. He sports a 6-10 record. Oh yeah, Marmol has blown three Garza saves, but even with that, he’s a sub-.500 pitcher. 

    I agree: Garza has better stuff (when he’s on). BUT HE’S INCONSISTENT. Gotta love that 2-5 5.07 record on the road. NOW THAT’S CONSISTENTly awful. 

    Please don’t give me the “Garza has a great ERA of 3.68. The man has made 7 errors in 25 starts, and has given up several runs by way of his own inadequate fielding. IMO a pitcher’s own errors ought to be charged as “earned runs” rather than “unearned runs.” 

    So in reality, he has pitched worse than his ERA.

    I don’t want to dump either pitcher. We need as many arms as we can find. We are short starters. IF Wells would put his shoulder to the grind stone, we, the Cubs and he, too, would be better off. And Garza needs to find a way to consistently deliver the goods.

    • cubtex

      What are you talking about Rip? Why would you compare Wells and Garza? He has been brutal fielding this year, I’ll grant you that…but he has 6 career errors going into this year. He has gotten 6 no decisions this year when leaving the game with a lead. He hasn’t been as bad as you say!

    • cubtex

      Let’s play the comparison game with 2 Red Sox pitchers. John Lackey and Josh Beckett. Who should they dump? Hmmmmm. The Red Sox have a better record in games started by John Lackey so lets compare…to use your arguement.

      John Lackey 12-9 5.98 ERA 129.1 IP 160 Hits 1.546 WHIP

      Josh Beckett 11-5 2.43 ERA 163 IP 116 Hits  0.969 WHIP

      So, I guess Lackey is more valuable or equal to Beckett? See how ridiculous it is to compare Wells to Garza as well?

    • Brp921

      I chalk this year up to a new league and trying to justify the high price of the trade. I think he’ll have a better year next year and in the future.

  • Neil

    A triple by Castro and a nice sac fly by Castro

  • Rbmercer

    Smart move by Pena to get himself thrown out at 2nd base on Sorianos RBI hit…he knew with Byrd up next that he can’t hit w/ risp!

    • Ripsnorter1

      Funko and Byrd are tied with 25 RBIs apiece for the entire season. 

    • cc002600

      I betcha Lahair wouldn’t have been picked off !!


      • Richard Hood

        Lahair wouldn’t have been on 2nd base to begin with.

  • Neil

    Barney doubles off Sandoval …

  • Michael

    Im really going to miss Pens’s glove at first. Would love to give him another contract and ask if he’s interested in moving to second

  • Michael

    I have seen Byrd hit that same high chopper to the third/SS side about 73276 times

    • paulcatanese

      So have I, but guess what, he will play again tommorow, probably higher in the lineup. What a joke this has become.

  • Neil

    Horrible call. Colvin would have scored easily.

  • Brp921

    I think Colvin would have scored.

  • studio179

    When Garza started the 7th, I thought he MIGHT be able to go the distance. 

    Good job anyway.

    • paulcatanese

      When Garza loses ot I think its not about what happens on the field, but what happens when Riggins or Qua come out their to talk to him.

  • Neil

    Cubs beat the Giants 5-2 Tuesday night.

    Matt Garza: 2R, 9H, BB, 6K in 6.2IP (2-for-4 at the plate); Alfonso Soriano: 2-for-5, HR, 2RBI; Geovany Soto: 1-for-3, 2B, 2RBI, BB; Starlin Castro: 1-for-4, 3B, R, BB

  • paulcatanese

    One minus on the pitching staff tonight or Soto. Derosa is a notorious fastball hitter, always has been and whats the first pitch he sees? a fast ball down the pipe and he smoked it, lucky it was right at Castro or it would still be rolling.
    Castro would have had a home run at Wrigley and Colvin stroked the ball well, and of course their were the four ground balls that Byrd hit, Ha, Garza outhit him tonight.
    And least we forget in the sunset of his career Soriono with his blast, hit very well.