Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 09/05/11

Game One Hundred Forty-One: Cubs (60-80) vs. Reds (69-71)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Matt Garza (7-10, 3.64/1.32) vs. Dontrelle Willis (0-4, 4.10/1.47)

Happy Labor Day from the CCO!

The Cubs open a three-game series this afternoon against Dusty Baker and the Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs have played some of their worst ball of the season against the Reds and have won just four of the 11 games (4-7). Seven of the Cubs remaining 22 games are against the defending NL Central Champs … the Cubs travel to the Queen City next Monday for a four game series (September 12 – September 15). Most consider the Reds one of the biggest disappointments in baseball after such a tremendous season a year ago.

The Cubs will face an old foe this afternoon for the first time in nearly four years. Dontrelle Willis has had mixed results in his return to the big leagues and is still looking for his first victory of the season. Look for Mike Quade to stack his lineup with as many right-handers as possible.

The Cubs continue to struggle with runners in scoring position. Over the last 13 games, the Cubs are 18-for-118 with runners in scoring position and have left 110 runners on base. The Cubs are 4-9 during that span and have been outscored 51-42.

In other news … Rain on Saturday delayed Andrew Cashner’s second rehab appearance with the I-Cubs. Cashner pitched the seventh inning on Sunday and retired all three batters he faced on 12 pitches, seven for strikes (consistently in the upper 90s with his fastball). Cashner is looking to be activated from the 60-day DL and rejoin the big league club on Wednesday.

Blake DeWitt is dealing with a hamstring issue and was not available to start on Sunday. With Darwin Barney in the middle of a bad slump, Quade was looking to get DeWitt a couple of starts … and in turn give Barney a breather. DeWitt would not have started this afternoon with the southpaw on the hill but as soon as DeWitt is healthy enough to play in the field, look for Barney to receive a couple of days off.

The Cubs are expected to announce several call-ups on Tuesday. While players like D.J. LeMahieu, John Gaub and Chris Carpenter could join the big league club soon, one player that will not make his big league debut this September is Brett Jackson. According to multiple reports, the Cubs will not call-up Brett Jackson this year.

Today it all starts with Matt Garza

Matt Garza bounced back from his poor start against the Braves and earned his seventh win of the year against the Giants. Garza appeared to have the stuff to toss his second complete game of the season but was lifted with two outs in the seventh. Garza admitted he changed his game plan in the seventh … and it was the wrong decision. The Cubs top pitcher allowed two runs on nine hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

Garza has shown improvement as the season has progressed and posted a 3-2 record in six August starts with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. Garza posted an impressive 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio over that span (41 strikeouts, 10 walks in 36 2/3 innings). Garza has just over a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio this season (163 to 54 in 158 1/3 innings).

This afternoon will be Garza’s fourth start of the year against the Reds. Garza has dropped two and received a no decision in the third … 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP.

Reds Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Jay Bruce – 2-for-8 with a double and a home run
  • Miguel Cairo – 1-for-3
  • Ryan Hanigan – 1-for-1 with a walk
  • Ramon Hernandez – 3-for-14 with a walk
  • Paul Janish – 1-for-6 with a double and a walk
  • Brandon Phillips – 3-for-8 with a walk
  • Edgar Renteria – 1-for-4 with a walk
  • Drew Stubbs – 2-for-10 with a home run
  • Joey Votto – 2-for-6 with 2 walks

Dontrelle Willis has had somewhat of a bounce back season under Dusty Baker. The former eighth round pick of the Chicago Cubs (2000) has thrown the ball rather well of late without a win to show for it. Willis has posted three straight quality starts but the Reds are just 3-7 in his 10 starts this season.

Willis is coming off a solid start against the Phillies in a game that the Reds lost 3-0. Willis allowed three runs on five hits with five walks and six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings … the Reds offense could not string anything together against Cliff Lee.

Dontrelle Willis’ problems continue to be his command. In 59 1/3 innings, Willis has walked 27 batters with only 43 strikeouts. In his last six starts Willis has issued 17 walks in 36 1/3 innings (0-3 in six starts with a 4.46 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP). If the Cubs can be patient (big if), Willis will give them plenty of baserunners this afternoon.

Dontrelle Willis has been very successful in his career versus his former organization (4-3 in nine starts with a 4.25 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP, 3-1 in six starts at Wrigley with a 2.21 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP) but he has not faced a Cubs team since September 27, 2007.

Cubs Career Numbers against Dontrelle Willis

  • Jeff Baker – 2-for-3 with a home run
  • Marlon Byrd – 6-for-20 with 2 doubles, a home run and 3 walks
  • Koyie Hill – 0-for-3
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-2 with a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-17 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 8-for-21 with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-2 with a walk

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

    • Calicub

      I get it when coaches try to be revolutionary or edgy and try new spots in their line ups and what not ala tony larussa batting the pitvher 8th and things like that. But in no way should jeff baker be cleaning up. There is just no logic behind it. Its not like he offers protection or threat behind Aram. In my mind if things get sticky why pitch to Aram when youbcan IBB hum and go after baker?

      • paulcatanese

        I dont know how many times Qua has been burned with his stupid platoon lineup, and he does it again. Baker has no business being in the 4 spot and I agree with you. Soriono has been hot lately and may work out, Byrd will not. The key against Willis is patience, he reallly has control problems. At least LaHair is at first base, might as well see what he does over there. But the one sided lineup comes back to hurt later in the game. Willis can be had but only if they use their heads. They will have to rely on the long ball today, only one legitimate speedster Castro in the lineup/ and the bench? S ton of leftys waiting in the wings.

        • Calicub

          I really cant wait until the line up is similar to:

          BJAX- CF
          Castro- SS
          ARAM -3B
          Pena/LaHair/Fielder- 1B (whomever gets re-signed, remains with the
                                    big league team or signs a mando contract respectively)
          Colvin/Soriano- LF
          Soto/Clevenger/Castillo- C (whomever wins the spot in spring training or     after callups but i cant imagine both of them, Clevenger and Castillo being called up I’m sure some of you know better than i would who is staying to partake in minor league playoffs but i digress)
          Barney/Lemahieu- 2B
          Pitcher
          Campana- RF

          Bench:
          Byrd Johnson Baker LeMahieu/Barney Soto/Clevenger/Castillo

          (Soto should stay no matter what wether he’s the everyday catcher or bench mentor ala Henry Blanco and I am sure there are better bench possibilities but I’m working w/ what I got)

          BP:
          Carpenter
          Russel
          The Shark
          Marshall
          Wood (at the same discount of course)
          Marmol

          Rotation:
          Garza
          Demp
          FA/Trade Ace
          Cashner
          Wells (if he can improve on his last few starts. Which i think he will but if not another FA/Trade pitcher, some have mentioned Edwin Jackson?)

          could you imagine the speed/youth/benefit/homegrowness of that team?

          The possibilities of a triple steal? WoooWeee
          Castro BJAX and Campana on 1st 2nd and 3rd respectively Castro Goes BJAX Goes Campana Steals Home! Oh man oh man
           

          • Calicub

            Has a triple steal ever even happened? My mind is boggling at the possibilites

          • paulcatanese

            Excellent question, will try to look that one up. I would imagine it has but just dont know.

          • paulcatanese

            Yes there were, acording to Baseball Reference, 21 responses to that.
            Indians against the White Sox Oct.1 1987 and again Indians vs White Sox
            May 28,08. and I think again in 2011 cant tell for sure, not good at reading those stats.  

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

            OK I love your enthusiasm on the lineup but. Step one is getting everyone on base at the same time. Campana has a long way to go to prove that he can do that. Step 2 is taking the bat out of ARAM’s hands in a triple steal scenario. No matter who the manger is that is not going to happen.

             I could see it play out as this Campana gets on base. Steals 2nd and gets Sac’d to 3rd by the pitcher. Jackson hit’s n runs,scoring Campana. Jackson steals second on the first pitch to Castro. Castro hits a screamer between ss and 3rd in the hole created by Jackson going on the pitch. Castro ending up on 2nd with the throw home. Aram comes up with 1 out and a guy on second with 2 runs already in. That is a nice fundamental baseball play that can absolutely happen.

  • Jacob

    Of course the cleanup hitter with the most homers, Jeff Baker is in the lineup. Plus we have LaHair hitting 8th even though he got 2 hits yesterday. Also Neil, any chance we see Dolis or Jay Jackson get called up tommorow?

    • Tom U

      Sorry, I know you asked Neil, but Rafael Dolis will not be called up. At least, not until the playoffs are over for Tennessee.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Jacob, I think Dolis will be up after the playoffs and may pitch a couple of innings at the most. As for Jay Jackson, they do not have a spot on the 40-man roster to add him. I doubt that happens. With the year he’s had it would be better to just shut him down.

      • Ripsnorter1

        It’s REALLY VERY SIMPLE:

        JUST CUT GRABOW NOW AND CALL UP SOMEBODY WORTH LOOKING AT>

        Grabow isn’t coming back. We’d don’t need him even to mop the floor or take out the trash. JUST CUT HIS HIDE NOW.

        And then you have a roster spot.

        • Ripsnorter1

          AND IF YOU NEED ANOTHER ROSTER SPOT…..

          JUST CUT ORTIZ.

      • Jacob

        Thanks, good job with the site by the way.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Thank you

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Jacob, more on the call-ups …

      http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/6356/cubs-activate-cashner-more-moves-expected

      Gaub and LeMahieu expected tomorrow. Dolis and Clevenger could be called-up after the playoffs. Clevenger would have to be added to the 40-man. If he is called up, the Cubs will have to make a move. As I’ve mentioned, Zambrano will take the last spot on the 40-man roster when he comes off the disqualified list. Zambrano will not rejoin the team but will count against the 40-man.

      Scott Maine, Chris Carpenter and Welington Castillo not expected to be called up due to injuries.

  • Calicub

    You know neil everytime I post on a previous article you introduce a new one! Your too good, too fast.

    • paulcatanese

      I noticed that also,so I sit here and try to outguess Neil, you are right he is fast. But its fun trying to guess whe the next one is due. like it.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thanks guys … and Paul, I’ve almost gotten back on track so I can start working on the other article.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Baker vs. LHP in 2011—
    .333 BA
    .353 OBP
    .471 slugging

    Now, .471 slugging is pretty good….who is better?
    Aram……………..512
    Reed Johnson….510
    Soriano………….477

    That’s it, folks.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Let me tell you who reads ChicagoCubsOnline without ever commenting…..

    Thomas “P.K” Ricketts. I’m sure of it. He’s been taking our advice lately. Example: 

    Fire Jim Qlueless.Let Bryan LaHair have a shot at hitting in the MLs. 

    • roseyc

      I hope is next move is to fire Quade and let another interim manager play the kids

      • Cheryl

        Couldn’t the Iowa Cubs manager take over for the rest of the season? It would be a temporary move and still allow the new GM to choose his manager.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Chiefs awards: PItcher of the Year-Eric Jokisch;
    Community Service-Anthony Giansanti; Sandberg Award-Micah Gibbs; MVP – Richard
    Jones.

  • Brp921

    I’ve been out of town for the weekend and haven’t been able to keep up with the Cubs. Has LaHair been playing and if he has , how has he done?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      LaHair played left field yesterday. Went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles (one off a lefty) and a RBI. Reached base in each of his last three at bats.

      • Brp921

        Thanks Neil its good to see him playing. I would rather see him at first base though.

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

          That is where he is today.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Cashner is officially off the DL and has
    been reinstated. Word is, he’s at Wrigley

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Brett Jackson led off today’s game with his 10th homer of the year at the Triple-A level, sixth lead-off homer for the I-Cubs.

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

      Well here comes the cat calls for Jackson to be on the roster tomorrow.

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

    Finally a second baseman/ shortstop that actually knows to back up a throw on a SB attemped.

    • Rbmercer

      Realistically it’s the cf’s job…the other middle infielder must hold his position in case the ball is hit. You don’t want both your infielders breaking on the pitch. The other will be able to get there from time to time when he positioned close to the bag.

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

        If the CF back up with it being Byrd then Stubbs ends up at 3rd. With our current CF’er we have to have the off fielder do it. Spaghetti Arm Byrd would have had to hit the cutoff man to get it back to the pitcher.

        • paulcatanese

          Right with Byrd’s arm, the only time he can get anything on the throw is when he spins around to his left and can have his whole body behind the throw to get  it back in with something on it. Coming stright in he has 0 on the ball.

  • Rbmercer

    Hey Quade: I wouldn’t worry about bunting a guy into scoring position in a close game and the WIND howling in!!!!! Castro on to LEADOFF the inning and Johnson strikes out and we get nothing.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Marlon Byrd is now 1-for-13 with the bases loaded this season.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I didn’t realize he had a hit in that situation…….

  • Rbmercer

    Oh for the love of Marlon Byrd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now 1-13 with bases loaded with a weak K. Overmatched by the D trains 89 mph fastball. Or if you are a half full guy…he didn’t swing at first pitch and didn’t hot into a dp, lol

    • Calicub

      Here we go again

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good at bat by Ramirez

  • Jim_Tinley_Park

    The headline for toda’s game recap:
    “What you walkin about Willis”

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Very good, better than mine. I should have checked the comments first.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Here is one that will get everyone going … that is not my intention.

    Ryne Sandberg leads Lehigh Valley (Phillies Triple-A) to first ever playoff
    appearance.

    • Aaron

      And despite having one of the best lineups in the PCL, and some pretty good arms (albeit with poor results this year), the Iowa Cubs missed the playoffs.

      Correlation? Perhaps…..I just think Sandberg was a great teacher, and knew how to win with what he had.

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

        I will agree with that. I imagine he will be on a major league staff next year. I just do not know if he will be the head man at the majors yet. He should have been the bench coach for an established manager this year but that is another topic all together.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Soto gets waived in from third … out by a mile.

    • paulcatanese

      That was a lot of chugging and churning going around the bases.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Reds 4-3 on Monday afternoon.

    Matt Garza: 3R, 1ER, 6H, 3BB, 8K, 7.2IP; Aramis Ramirez: 1-for-2, 2RBI, R, BB; Alfonso Soriano: 1-for-3, RBI, BB; Starlin Castro: 1-for-3, BB, 2R

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the I-Cubs beat writer: Look for the Chicago Cubs to call up pitcher
    John Gaub, infielder DJ LeMahieu and outfielder Lou Montanez from Iowa.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the message on Chris Carpenter’s twitter account, it sounds like he’s done until the AFL season begins.

    • junior

      No longer injured,hit 98 in last outing Sunday… not good enough or old enough evidently. Does this possibly mean he is trade bait and no longer a part of the future?? Looked decent in his Chicago stint earlier.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        I would say neither. He’s dealt with injuries and there is nothing wrong with a little break before the Arizona Fall League starts up.

        • junior

          I would probably say that 3 weeks in Chicago throwing bullpens, working with their trainers if necessary and getting in a few games a week there would be a much greater benefit to him and his future with the Cubs than going home for that time and then going out to AZ and throwing to mostly all star A – AA players twice a week. Doesn’t sound like logical reasoning to me. Injury isn’t  an issue. The Cubs bringing up just 1 pitcher at this time of year when you need to be evaluating the future sends up a big red flag (among the many I’ve seen this year in Chicago) for me.Current bullpen has 7 guys at 30+ years of age on a team so far out of contention??