Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 09/04/11

Game One Hundred Forty: Cubs (59-80) vs. Pirates (64-75)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Randy Wells (6-4, 5.06/1.38) vs. Charlie Morton (9-8, 3.74/1.51)

The Cubs and Pirates square off for the last time this season with the Cubs looking to salvage the finale behind Randy Wells. The Cubs have had a ton of trouble with Pittsburgh dating back to the final series in 2009 … and simply do not match up well against the Pirates. The Cubs are 12-20 over the past two-plus years versus the Battlin’ Bucs and must win this afternoon to finish the season series with a .500 mark (Cubs 7-8 versus Pirates this season, 2-6 at Wrigley).

Q’s veteran lineup has refused all year, and for the majority of the last three seasons, to change their approach with runners in scoring position. The Cubs become very predictable and incredibly impatient at the plate with runners on base. Over the last 12 games, the Cubs are 15-for-103 with runners in scoring position and have left 97 runners on base. The Cubs are 3-9 during that span and have been outscored 48-36.

Today would be a good time for Mike Quade to give Tony Campana a start in center … and Bryan LaHair his first start in a Cubs’ uniform. Alfonso Soriano has been hot of late but has a less than stellar line against Charlie Morton (1-for-9). Marlon Byrd has been struggling of late, especially with runners on base, and is 1-for-8 with a walk against Morton.

There are 23 games remaining on the Cubs 2011 schedule and Q’s squad is 5-16 on Sundays this year. Today it all begins with Randy Wells

Randy Wells is coming off, by far, the best start of his big league career. Wells took advantage of the Giants’ offense and tossed the first complete game shutout of his career. Wells allowed just two hits and four baserunners (a walk, two hits and an error) over nine innings and struck out seven.

Wells is coming off back-to-back wins and has posted a victory in each of his last four decisions (Cubs have won his last four starts).

Randy Wells is 4-0 in his last six starts with a 3.32 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP … 2-0 in his last two starts with a 0.57 ERA and a 0.45 WHIP.

This afternoon will be Wells’ third start of the season against the Bucs … 1-1 in two starts with a 6.30 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.

Pirates Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Ronny Cedeno – 2-for-12 with a home run
  • Ryan Doumit – 1-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Jason Jaramillo – 3-for-5 with a double
  • Derrek Lee – 0-for-5 with a walk
  • Andrew McCutchen – 8-for-16 with a double, a triple and a walk
  • Michael McKenry – 0-for-2
  • Xavier Paul – 0-for-4
  • Steve Pearce – 1-for-2
  • Jose Tabata – 0-for-5 with a walk
  • Neil Walker – 5-for-8 with a double

The last time the Cubs faced Charlie Morton, the former Atlanta Brave shut them out for seven innings. The Cubs won the game thanks to a solo homer by Starlin Castro. Morton made the Cubs look very bad all night long (five hits, two walks and seven strikeouts).

Charlie Morton has really turned his career around after spending time in the off-season with Roy Halladay. Morton is coming off back-to-back losses and may be running out of gas like the rest of his rotation mates. Morton has already doubled his innings total from a year ago and has thrown 50 more innings (149 1/3) this season than his previous career high (97 in 2009).

Morton is 1-2 in his last six starts with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.

This afternoon will be Morton’s sixth career start against the Cubs and second of this season. Morton is 2-2 in five career outings versus Chicago with a 5.68 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Charlie Morton

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-5
  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 1-for-8 with a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-3
  • Tyler Colvin – 0-for-2
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-3
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-3 with a triple
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-1
  • Carlos Pena – 2-for-2 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-7
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-9
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-6 with a double

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday." - Dale Carnegie

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Castro – SS
    Campana – RF
    Ramirez – 3B
    Pena – 1B
    LaHair – LF
    Byrd – CF
    Barney – 2B
    Hill – C
    Wells – P

    • paulcatanese

      Is that lineup for real? Was Qua late to the ballpark? I dont believe it. The better produce or they will not see the light of day for the rest of the season. At least Qua left the Cubs best RBI man still in the lineup, cant win without Byrd out there and dont forget home run Koyie, need him also.

      • Rbmercer

        Shakin my head, even when he gets it right, he gets it wrong!!!! Byrd SHOULD not be playing! Figure out a way to keep Soriano in the lineup instead of BYRD bcuz he is hot right now and that is the ONLY time he is valuable while still playing Campana and Lahair

        • paulcatanese

          Agree with you, should be Campana in center, Soriono in left and LaHair in right. Campana should be leading off and Castro second. But cant have it all. If both Campana and Castro get on, look for a stolen base contest. At least this promises to be an interesting day for a change. I was mentioning Byrd as a joke, dont think he should be playing at all.

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

            Why don’t you wait to see how LaHair is in LF before you move him to one of the hardest RF’s in baseball.

          • paulcatanese

            Willing to wait,but just so excited to see the kids in there I lost my head.
            You are right. Funny thing though,in my playing days RF was one of the easiest for me and LF one of the hardest, but then I was a shortstop anyway.

          • Ripsnorter1

            What? Are you saying that you’re really Blake DeWitt writing under an assumed name? Or Jeff Baker? Or D.J.LeMeihu?

          • paulcatanese

            I dont think so Rip, my wide says I’m not untouchable.

          • paulcatanese

            Have to correct that, Imeant my wife, not wide, I want to live to see tommorows game.

        • Ripsnorter1

          FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

          BAT CAMPANA #1; CASTRO #2!
          QQUADE STRIKES AGAIN!AND AGAIN!

    • Cheryl

      It’s amaing. Not only is LaHair in the lineup but he bats right behind Pena and Campana is there. Don’t like Byrd being in but it’s not a bad lineup.

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

    With that line up behind Wells what is the over/under on having a quality start?

    • Ripsnorter1

      I expect a quality start and a W for Wells.

      • cubtex

        That makes one of us.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Too bad you weren’t on board today…..

          • cubtex

            I am hoping for an upgrade next year with the staff. Wells lived a charmed life today. This is why you need to look at more than just stats when evaluating a pitcher.

  • paulcatanese

    What would be wrong with batting LaHair fourth? and Pena fifth, seems that with LaHairs glove the advantage should be used with his power in the 4 slot, he cant strike out any more than Pena and looks like he would have more power.

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

      Wow talk about pressure. Hey LaHair you have not seen major league pitching in 3 years and struggled then but please on your first start bat clean up.

      • Cheryl

        Let’s hope LaHir and Campana do well today. Otherwise both will be riding the bench for a long time to come.

        • paulcatanese

          You are right Cheryl, lets hope for the best. And lest hope that if they do well today the are not relegated to the bench again tommorow. In Qua’s mind the Cubs are always playing contenders. One other thing, lets hope those orders came from the top.

      • paulcatanese

        Yeah I know, but Pena hasnt seen it either, so its a wash. Got to have a little fun today, its been a long time waiting for this. Just sad that Jackson is not here for center field.

      • paulcatanese

        You know that would not have been a bad move, Pena didnt get a hit today.

  • Ryan7

    I’m more excited about this off season more then I am of seeing another game this season. I can’t wait to see all the crap the gets shoved out the clubhouse doors, and Angus to see what replaces it. Lol anyone else feel that way?

    • paulcatanese

      Agree. I am only excited to see some of the kids play the rest of this year, and lets hope the broom is big enough to sweep what needs to go.

      • Ryan7

        Broom, don’t think that will work, I think they are going to need a bulldozer to get it all out.

  • cubs1967

    cubs fans:  we are headed for heartbreak with the new GM.  it will be josh byrnes or some other asst GM.  just more BS from PK Ricketts with his talk of an established GM.  the foreshadowing is already there.

    Z is not released; why?? cuz Kenny Crane has told Pk not to eat the contract, make the new GM trade him; ya know like milton got traded for silva; that worked good.

    the new GM duo of PK and Kenny just signed Oneri…………that’s a huge spot for the new GM to fill……………wtf?…..who’s gonna be in charge again??

    Pena was not given to the Yanks………..why?? that 5M could of offset Z’s 18M for next year.  is PK gonna tell the new GM pena must stay??

    brett jackson……….where the hell is he???………..are we really gonna base the CF job next year w/o him getting at bats now……….

    yeah…………i can’t wait till some of the candidates start interviewing Ricketts and tell him politley bluntly their opinion of Kenny, the reality of Z and any trade and that Sori needs to go…………….at an 85% loss of salary as addition by subtraction fits for him.

    103 yrs and counting……….no WS in 5 yrs at most………..Ricketts will be selling this team………..

    • cubs1967

      oh………..and why is quade still around and why was he not told to play all the kids………….so the new Gm could see game tape of them in action???……….

      • cubtex

        The Cubs would have still been responsible for the 5 mil for next year if they traded Pena.

        • cubs1967

          ummmmmm…..last time I checked the team that a player ends with must the remainder of the player’s contract………..which would of been the yanks.
          OR was their something JH did again where the cubs were??

          otherwise………..Yanks problem; which is why no one claimed him; no other team wanted to pay it.

          • cubtex

            Ummmmmmm. Not when it is structured the way his was. It was reported that Cubs were responsible for the deferred 5mil if he was traded.

    • Ryan7

      I don’t agree at all. You will see just wait. Only a few more weeks of this crap. It’s going to be fun this off season : )

      • cc002600

        I would not get your hopes that a new GM is going to come in here and starting making tons of moves. That would be foolish.  When he gets here he’s going to need time to figure out what he’s got, which to me means it will be a very quiet offseason.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Bruce Levine: Cubs call ups on Tuesday. Brett Jackson will
    not be one of them.

    • cubs1967

      another bad move by the new GM tandem of CraneTommy.

      tick tick tock tock…………the good GM candidates run for the dock!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    More ugliness from the fundamentally challenged Cubs

  • Ripsnorter1

    1st inning and we have our first LaHair moment. 

    What will it be, boys?

    HR?

    Strikeout?

    I’m betting strikeout…..

    • Ripsnorter1

      He struck out. 

      More of that to come.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Wells is really struggling today. Getting hit very hard and just lost the eighth place hitter after being ahead 0-2.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Wells is throwing too many pitches to last six innings today. 48 pitches and not through the 2nd inning!  Come on, Randy! I root for you to do well, and this is how you treat me!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Wells got out of that jam … 29 pitch inning. 52 pitches in two innings, only 29 strikes.

  • Tom U

    Len and Bob have officially run out of things to talk about.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Is that bad?

      I don’t know; I just askin’.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Nice single by LaHair.

  • Michael

    Christ, Byrd does it again! Junk first pitch swing with runners on 1/3 with one out and he grounds into ANOTHER DOUBLE PLAY. He is garbage, nice catch by Campana

  • Tom U

    Here’s some food for thought for everyone at CCO.

    In doing some research for an up-coming piece, I’ve found out that the quartet of Ryan Flaherty, Marwin Gonzalez, DJ LeMahieu, and Brett Jackson have been responsible for a 15% drop in errors by the Iowa Cubs!

    Considering the parent club is #1 in the NL in errors committed, and 16th in fielding percentage, do you think these guys could help?

    • Calicub

      Stop making too much sense!!!!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Nice hustle by Hill to score on the infield single by Castro

  • Rbmercer

    Byrd is up with bases loaded and none out again…this is past comical!!!!! I’ve got the game paused as I’m typing this……..I can’t wait for his result!!!!!!

    • Rbmercer

      Big shocker, swung at first pitch again, but in one of the biggest upsets of the year, he didn’t hit into a double play!

      • Rbmercer

        A wimpy sac fly and HE GOT ALL OF IT!!!!!

  • Calicub

    I like how the crowed oohhh for a second when byrd hit the ball like it was gonna be a homer.

    ITS BYRD PEOPLE! Its going to be a DP or a hopelessly pathetic attempt at getting a hit. The RBI was a victim of circumstance.

    • Calicub

      How the crowd ooohhhed*

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Bruce Levine: Chairman Tom Ricketts will meet with
    scouting director Tim Wilken weekend of sept 16 th to talk about his job
    status.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Wells is starting the seventh after throwing 114 pitches in six innings.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Wells taken down after pinch-hitter announced

  • Ripsnorter1

    Why shouldn’t we win today?

    Wells pitching.Hill with a base hit.QQuade managing.Oh right. QQuade managing, we figure on losing.

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      Hmmmmm, let’s see, 5 to 3, probably time for moron Qball to bring in Marmol huh??
      He could walk a few guys, hit a few guys and give lee a present.

  • RynoTiger

    Hard to believe LaHair had so many HRs in the minors.  For a guy his size, his swing is awkward and seems to be made for dunking hits in left center more than anything.

  • jfish1219

    I have to say this, I have been talking with Bruce Miles on twitter and there cant be a nicer man, he has taken the time to answer every question I have asked. Truly a stand up guy.

    • Dorasaga

      He doesn’t beat around the bush. That even made Hendry closing the door from him (Hendry had no time for critical comments from a beat writer, I guess). But this Chicago club is just coming out of a mess right now. I doubt any beat writer knows what to say about them.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    4th walk for Pena, a career-high. First Cub to walk four times in a game since Ryan Theriot in September of 2009.

    • paulcatanese

      Thats exactly what I replied to Richard Hood,Pena did not get a hit today.
      That was a good day though.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Pirates 6-3 on Sunday afternoon.

    Randy Wells: 1R, 7H, 2BB, 2K in 6IP;
    Starlin Castro: 2-for-5, RBI, SB; Aramis Ramirez: 1-for-3, 2BB, 2R; Carlos Pena: 0-for-1, 2R, 4BB; Marlon Byrd
    2RBI; Bryan LaHair & Koyie Hill w/ RBI

    Sean Marshall picked up fourth save

  • paulcatanese

    I have to say the play of the game for me was Campana disapearing into the Ivy in right field, never saw that before.

  • paulcatanese

    All kidding aside, that was not a bad lineup today. Runs were scored, pitching held up, and the right hitters were there for pinch hitting. Johnson,Colvin,DeWitt,
    Soriono and Soto. Not trapped by a one sided lineup. And guess what Coleman in to run, Qua must be reading his press clippings on the CCO. One bad move though why let Wells come out to warm up and then lift him when a pinch hitter is announced? Not a terrible move by Qua, just a classless one.