Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Giants – 08/31/11

Game One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Cubs (59-77) vs. Giants (71-65)
Game Time – 2:45pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – AT&T Park, San Francisco

Rodrigo Lopez (4-5, 4.80/1.47) vs. Madison Bumgarner (8-12, 3.59/1.28)

The Cubs long, six-game road trip comes to an end this afternoon with the last game of the season against the Giants. Tuesday’s win not only guaranteed the Cubs a series victory on the road but a winning record in the season series against the Giants (5-3). If Q’s squad can complete the sweep against Madison Bumgarner this afternoon, they would finish a difficult road trip with a .500 record.

The Cubs have played their best ball of the season over the last month. With one game left of the schedule, the Cubs are 16-12 in August.

Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson should be back in the starting lineup this afternoon with Bruce Bochy sending his talented southpaw to the hill. Baker should give Carlos Pena a breather with Reed Johnson in right for Tyler Colvin. Alfonso Soriano has gone deep in back-to-back games and his hit four longballs (with 10 RBI) in his last seven games.

The Cubs have posted back-to-back victories despite not hitting with runners in scoring position. Over the last nine games, the Cubs are 13-for-81 with runners in scoring position and have left 77 runners on base.

Today it all starts with Rodrigo Lopez

Rodrigo Lopez will make his 12th start of the season this afternoon. Lopez is coming off back-to-back losses to the Cardinals and Brewers. In his last start, Lopez gave up four runs, two earned, on five hits with four walks and five strikeouts. Lopez completed six innings of work for the first time since July 18 (Phillies). The Cubs defense did not help Lopez and while it was technically a quality start (three earned runs or less in six innings), Lopez’s last outing was far from one.

Lopez will finish out the season in the Cubs rotation … hopefully that is as far as it goes.

Lopez is 2-2 in his last five starts with a 5.47 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP.

Today will be Lopez’s second start of the season against the Giants. Lopez lasted just 4 2/3 innings against San Francisco back on June 28. The Giants scored four runs, one earned, on eight hits with two walks and a strikeout.

Rodrigo Lopez has never beaten the Giants and owns an 0-4 mark in seven career starts with a 6.31 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP … at AT&T, 0-2 in three starts with a 7.24 ERA and a 2.12 WHIP.

Giants Career Numbers against Rodrigo Lopez

  • Carlos Beltran – 2-for-3 with a double
  • Orlando Cabrera – 3-for-19 with a walk
  • Mark DeRosa – 5-for-9 with a double and 3 walks
  • Mike Fontenot – 3-for-11 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Aubrey Huff – 14-for-51 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs and 5 walks
  • Jeff Keppinger – 3-for-6 with a double
  • Cody Ross – 3-for-7 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Aaron Rowand – 5-for-17 with 3 doubles
  • Pablo Sandoval – 6-for-15 with 4 doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Miguel Tejada – 11-for-23 with 3 doubles, a home run and 3 walks
  • Andres Torres – 8-for-19 with a double, a triple and a home run
  • Eli Whiteside – 2-for-3 with a double and a walk

After a rough start to the season (0-4 in five starts in April with a 6.17 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP), Madison Bumgarner has pitched very well since the break and is 2-2 in his last five starts with a 2.83 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.

The 22-year old lefty is coming off a win against the Astros in which he allowed one run on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.

Madison Bumgarner is 5-6 in 14 starts at home this season with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.

The Cubs beat Bumgarner at Wrigley back on May 13 at Wrigley, 11-4 final. Bumgarner allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts in six innings. The extremely talented southpaw is 1-1 in three career starts against the Cubs with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Madison Bumgarner

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-3
  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-6 with a walk
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-9
  • Starlin Castro – 4-for-9 with a double
  • Tyler Colvin – 1-for-4
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-4
  • Koyie Hill – 2-for-7
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-3
  • Carlos Pena – 0-for-3
  • Aramis Ramirez – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-7 with 3 doubles and 2 walks

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time." – Lou Brock

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  • John_CC

    It’s hard to believe that Rodrigo Lopez has 12 starts this year. 

    • Ripsnorter1

      For me, it was harder to believe that Doug Davis got even one. In reality, they gave him 9 starts. 

  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

    • TedTop16

      The Giants made two big dollar cuts today. Rowand and Tejada. It would be nice to see us bite a few bullets. But I wouldn’t expect anything like this until the new GM is named.

      • Aaron

        The Cubs under Hendry never would do that. Let’s hope under new leadership that changes.

        Let’s also hope the new guy understands the age-old concept of “buy low, sell high”

        Fact is, as painful as it might be right now, guys like Marmol, Marshall, Russell, Barney, and Soto should’ve been traded or at the very least been shopped to see what they’d net in return. But alas, they weren’t, and by the time the Cubs uber prospects like Baez, Vogelbach, Maples, Whitenack (post-TJ), and others are ready, they’d all be in their thirties or in the case of Barney and Russell….be far past their peak value with higher ceiling guys waiting in the wings.

        • cc002600

          hmmm, that’s interesting
          Hendry traded Derosa (“sold high”) and everyone had a attack, and some people still talk about it to this day, and yet Derosa has done absolutely nothing since we traded him and we were able to use Archer to get Garza.

          and oh, your memory must be fading.

          They cut Silva and ate his dough.  AND they are paying the Indians to take Fukudome off their hands.    Also, they will most certainly be eating the bulk of Z’s contract since he’s thrown his last pitch in cubs uniform and NO ONE will take that contract w/o cubs paying the bulk.

          Remember those ??

          • Dorasaga

            That’s the thing about Hendry. He’s not a bad GM. I don’t mind to repeat all these again: He’s mediocre. He’s not good enough for Chicago and a World Series.

            NO World Series in 11 years under his tenure, with no future, that’s Hendry.

            The Cubs should at least TRY to court a good GM such as Friedman. At the end of the year, the owner can hire anyone, but Colletti and Byrnes do not seem like the new, cutting-edge that the Ricketts want (neither do I or some Cubs fans).

          • cc002600

            2 things about Friedman that I’ve heard that seem to indicate he could be overrated.

            a.) Supposedly there was an excellent support system (i.e president, good scouts, etc) in place before he arrived that has made his job a lot easier and that’s he very comfortable with, and is somewhat reluctant to leave that.

            b.) After finishing really bad for a long time they were able to finally reap the benefits of very high draft picks.

            I’m not saying that Friedman wouldn’t be good, but sometimes guys get over hyped by the media and fans, when in fact there are things that make a guy look a lot better than he really is.

          • cc002600

            It sort of reminds me of Dave Wannstedt.  Remember how when the Bears fired Ditka, Wannstedt was supposed to be the hottest coach alive at that time that was going to take the Bears to the promised land ?  But as we soon found out after he got here, he was nothing more than the beneficiary of a great situation in Dallas with great players. Put him on the Bears with lesser players and look what happened. He was a total dud.

            Remember that ? 
            Just sayin

          • studio179

            I can not agree with you any more on DeRosa. Fans were ready to build a statue for his legend once he left. I did have a problem with two things indirectly with that trade. 1) Hendry did not have a capable back up at 3B after trading DeRosa when Ramirez went down. They were forced to use Fonteno at 3rd. Not good. 2) The whole reason DeRosa was traded was so Hendry could clear some money and sign the great Bradley. Again, not good. I had no problem with the trade itself at the time. I thought even though the reason Hendry was trading DeRosa was not good, selling before his value went low was good.

          • Brp921

            The thing about the DeRosa trade was that he was the only guy they could realy trade to get the lefthanded power that Piniella thought they needed. I was O.K. with that. But Hendry was sold on Milton Bradley. Now I can’t say I foresaw the cancer that Bradley was, but I was against bringing him in because he was not a lefthanded power guy. He was a switch hitter whose only power came from the right side of the plate and was not all that much anyway. So it made absolutely no sense to go out and get him, especially when Adam Dunn was available for the same position. Then what happened after the Milton Bradley fiasco? Piniella comes out and says they don’t neccessarily need Lefthanded power they just need a powerhitter.

          • studio179

            You bet. The whole left handed / right handed power thing kind of came and went. Anyway, Bradley was never the big run producer prior to Chicago, so I don’t know why they tried to sell that concept to fans. 

          • J Daniel

            The problem is when they traded him they were very close to the top and got nothing in return that would immediately help the cause.  I have no problem trading anyone but that trade was the wrong one at the time.

  • Neil

    Soriano with a 4-pitch walk

  • Neil

    Smokies closer Rafael Dolis named to the Southern League Postseason All-Star Team

    • RickinMSP

      Funny how sometimes when you have a typo the entire meaning of the word changes while other times the meaning is still obvious.

      • Neil

        Gotta love copy and paste, I corrected.

  • Neil

    Keppinger and Sandoval with back-to-back blasts off Lopez

  • Ripsnorter1

    Aaron Rowland was designated for assignment by the Giants today.
    He’d be a PERFECT platoon player with Byrd in CF.

     1. He hasn’t drawn a walk since July 5. That’s fantastic!  10 BB for the year.
    2. Most often, he swings at the first pitch–just like Byrd.
    3. Like Funko, he doesn’t drive in runs. Only 21 RBI in 331 AB.

    • studio179

      Plus, he is a close buddy with Reed Johnson. We can’t have enough good clubhouse vibe going on winding down the season. Having a good clubhouse is the reason they want to resign Pena, right. 

      • Ripsnorter1


  • Neil

    Another bad decision by Quade … Should have pinch hit for Lopez in the top of the sixth and never sent him out to start the inning. Cost him a run.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I think the Cubs have proved that Lopez is about a 3-4 inning pitcher. 

    12 starts have demonstrated that he cannot be relied upon to pitch 6-7 effective innings. 

    In other words, 


    • Ripsnorter1

      ChiChi Lopez’s stat…..

      RH batters are hitting him at a .333 pace. 

      They are killing the ball vs. Lopez: .613 slugging (making every RH batter a star–did you know that Jose Bautista lead all of MLB with .642 slugging, and that 2nd place goes to David Ortiz at .589?? Lopez is making every RH batter a star slugger).

      RH batters’ OBP–a whopping .389.

      RH batters’ OPS vs Lopez–1.010. [Joey Votto is 2nd in MLB with a .995 OPS. Bautista is 1st with 1.094].

      So somebody admit it: HE CAN’T GET RH BATTERS OUT.

      • J Daniel

        I thought I heard that they were very fortunate to get him.  

  • Neil

    Cubs AA minor leaguer Matt
    Camp received 50-game suspension after a 2nd violation for a drug of
    abuse. Suspension is effective immediately.

    • Ripsnorter1


    • Richard Hood

      Wasn’t he already suspended ? What a piece of work. CYA later Matt Camp you could have, Should have, well almost did make it to the show in spring training.

      • Neil

        Yes he was already suspended. This is his second violation.

    • Demitri

      Release him. Done. If you arent abiding the rules you should Not play. Not fair to everyone else who abides them

  • Neil

    Andrew Cashner scheduled to pitch an inning for the Iowa Cubs Thursday

  • Dorasaga

    Why is a LHB in Dewitt facing a lefty?

    The Cubs look overmatched today. Castro has been the only bright spot so far.

  • Neil

    Cubs shut out by Giants 4-0 on Wednesday afternoon.

    Rodrigo Lopez: 4R, 9H (2HR), 2BB, 2K in 5.1IP

    Cubs offense: 2 hits (Season-low), 2 BB, 12 strikeouts

  • studio179

    Bumgarner did his job against the Cub hitters today.

    • Brp921

      I had a feeling the Giants bats would be better today. Day game and Lopez pitching.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Releasing some of the dead weight around the Giants locker room inspired the Giants to win today.

    A boss that can fire people is feared. He inspires performance.That’s why Z never grew up to be a man. 

  • woody34

    I usually don’t take too much from the Bleacher Report other than entertainment value, but I could go along with parts of this one:

    • Dorasaga

      I like all those ideas except the rotation thing. Dempster and Wells are not sure thing for 2012. One might see his own retirement coming–and please do; the Cubs need the 40-man roster spot so no excuse for not bringing up youth. The other might be dealt and traded in a package.

      The Cubs farm system is loaded with solid pitching. It’s time to see what they got. Commitment, like this bleach columnist says, and I say, play more. A month is not enough. The same common sense we’ve known since 2003. The youth needs to play. 2012 will be the perfect time (actually, since August, 2009 they got all the time, but well…).

      By the way, Paul Catanese had good reasons for Castro to move to third base. But I’m not sure ARam should play first base. The Cubs still have some outfield depth in their system. They should explore Colvin and LeMahieu options at first base, and let other younger players platoon old Soriano. 2cents, any more thoughts on the platoon situation the Cubs should get?

    • Demitri

      I like everything except the four man rotation. We can’t have that because our starters( garza, dempster, wells, cashner) arent guys that go deep in games usually. A bench day would be bad. Go after jackson or wilson. However, im not sold on wilson yet

    • cc002600

      yikes. Lots of bad stuff.

      Soto is your cleanup hitter ???? Holy crap.. If that happens, they won’t win 50 games.  and a 4 man rotation that includes a young flame thrower who’s been out all year with shoulder problems. Is he kidding ?

      ARAM at 1B ? no way. and contrary to what he says, he’s not terrible 3B defensively. He’s not a GG, but he’s not terrible.

      DJ and Flahery at 2B ? OMG.

      To me, cashner should be in bullpen, and they should trade soto (and prospects) for some pitching.

      The only thing I liked was the Sori / Colvin platoon.

      • woody34

        I didn’t say it was all good.  I said there were interesting ideas in the report.  One of which was Sori/Colvin platoon.  This team is in rebuild mode, does that lineup look better than what Q is currently putting out there on a daily basis.  

  • Anonymous47701

    2012 Pitching Staff Idea