Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 09/12/11

Game One Hundred Forty-Seven: Cubs (64-82) vs. Reds (71-75)
Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Rodrigo Lopez (4-6, 4.82/1.53) vs. Dontrelle Willis (0-5, 4.21/1.48)

The Cubs open a four-game series tonight in Cincinnati … the Cubs final trip of the year to the Queen City. The Cubs took two of three from the Reds last week at Wrigley and are 6-8 on the season against the Dusty Baker’s team.

The Cubs offense will face the same three pitchers they saw last week in Chicago to start the series. After Dontrelle Willis tonight, Mike Leake and Johnny Cueto will take the hill on Tuesday and Wednesday with Homer Bailey pitching the finale on Thursday. Mike Quade will send Ryan Dempster to the mound in game two with Casey Coleman and Randy Wells starting the last two games of the series.

With the lefty on the hill tonight, look for Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker in the starting lineup … along with the return of Marlon Byrd, Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto.

16 games remain on the Cubs schedule … and tonight it all starts with Rodrigo Lopez.

Hopefully tonight is one of the final starts for Rodrigo Lopez in a Cubs’ uniform. Lopez hit a wall in his last start and received a no decision in the only game the Cubs lost against the Reds at Wrigley (Bryan LaHair tied the game in the ninth and the Cubs lost the game in 13 innings). Lopez could not complete six innings again and has only completed six innings once since July 18. Lopez gave up two runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

After a miserable August (2-3 in six starts with a 5.68 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP), Lopez is 2-3 in his last seven starts with a 5.30 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP.

Rodrigo Lopez is 2-0 in eight career games, seven starts against the Redlegs with a 4.37 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP … Cincinnati has hit a robust .340 against Lopez in 35 innings.

Reds Career Numbers against Rodrigo Lopez

  • Jay Bruce – 5-for-9 with a home run and a walk
  • Miguel Cairo – 6-for-20 with a double and a triple
  • Juan Francisco – 1-for-3
  • Todd Frazier – 0-for-2
  • Ramon Hernandez – 2-for-15
  • Devin Mesoraco – 1-for-3
  • Brandon Phillips – 2-for-10 with a double and a walk
  • Edgar Renteria – 3-for-18 with 3 walks
  • Dave Sappelt – 2-for-3 with a double
  • Drew Stubbs – 2-for-6
  • Chris Valaika – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Joey Votto – 3-for-8 with 2 doubles

The Cubs will get their second look in seven days at Dontrelle Willis. The Cubs offense was non-existent early against Willis but managed to score a single run in the fourth and three more in the fifth. The Cubs hung on and posted a 4-3 victory. Willis is still looking for his first win of the year and Q’s offense must be patient against the lefty tonight … that was the key to the win on Labor Day. Willis allowed four runs on six hits in seven innings with five walks and eight strikeouts.

Dontrelle Willis has pitched better than his numbers but his command, mainly the walks, has been the difference. If the Cubs come out swinging, Willis will post his first victory of the year against the Cubs.

Willis is 0-3 in six starts at Great American Ball Park this season with a 4.42 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP … and 0-4 in last seven starts with a 4.57 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Dontrelle Willis

  • Jeff Baker – 3-for-6 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Marlon Byrd – 6-for-23 with 2 doubles, a home run and 3 walks
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-3 with a walk
  • Blake DeWitt – 0-for-1
  • Koyie Hill – 0-for-3
  • Reed Johnson – 3-for-6 with a double and a walk
  • Bryan LaHair – 0-for-3
  • Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-19 with 2 doubles and 3 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 9-for-24 with 2 doubles, a home run and 3 walks

Cubs Photography
The CCO recently received an email from about passing on info about some pretty cool Chicago photographs … created in a unique way.

For more info, including how the final photographs are assembled, please visit

Stadium Journey – Wrigley Field publishes reviews of pro and college stadiums and recently posted their review of Wrigley Field. Paul Swaney emailed the CCO and thought our readers would be interested in reading their review of the Friendly Confines.

Take a minute and read Stadium Journey’s review of ‘Wonderful Wrigley Field

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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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  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

    • Tedtop16

      Well. We have learned Quade’s standards for playing rookies. If you are hitting .500 or less then you don’t qualify to play. Take that LaHair. Veterans need not worry about such nonsensical standards. Hitting under .250 and less than 40 RBI then you are good to go.

      • paulcatanese

        Absolutly on the money ,but maybe Quade wants to spare the rookies from embarassment in chasing the balls all over the park with Lopez on the mound.The veterans know of course, because they are vets where the balls will be hit and can station themselves deep as they can to be in the area. Quade does not want too much excitement either with the kids running all over the place and eating sunflower seeds, too messy for him.
        And he would have to watch more than Castro, that would mean multi tasking for him, not in his vocabulary.

        • ldsteam2011

          What has Baker done to warrant the clean up spot?  I know he kills lefties, but come on!  I think LaHair has clearly worked his way into the everyday line up.  See what he can do against lefties, we already know Pena can not hit lefties. 

          • John_CC


          • paulcatanese

            Well if its any comfort, and I know its a gossip post but Bleacher Report is saying that the seven worst managers in Cub history is headed up by Qua.
            He was voted the worst. And LaHair can hit leftys.

          • paulcatanese

            He gets the cleanup spot because Qua 99% of the time bats the first baseman fourth. What can anyone expect with the mentality of Qua?

          • Brp921

            I totally agree.

  • Gocubs

    unacceptable to be playing this lineup. Lahair deserves to be there.

    • John_CC

      I hate the world where a left handed hitter will never play against a left handed pitcher. I hate it.  LaHair is patient, and zoned in.  Willis is wild and…crappy.  I see no reason to not give LaHair the nod, it would be a nice pat on the back and confidence boost to him. 

      But NOOOooooooo……

      • paulcatanese

        Think about this John, under Qua, Ted and Billy Williams along with Musial would not have played tonight.

  • paulcatanese

    Ricketts rumored  to wait a year Epstein? Who handles the ship till then, the interem GM? This could stink of Qua coming back for another year.

    • John_CC

      That’s a mighty rumor, Paul. I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.

  • roseyc

    Quade is so inept that he thinks a mediocre righthanded hitter (of course he’s untouchable)(Baker) can hit better than a lefthander hitter. Because the book says so. Then it must be right. If you go by the book all the great lefthanders hitters should never be given a chance to hit a lefthanded pitcher. When the Hall of Famer pitcher Don Drysdale said that a mixture (left and right) was harder for him that a straight one sided lineup..quoting Brenly. Futher indication that Quade is lost as last year’s easter egg.

    • Brp921

      I think his managerial skills stink as bad as last years Easter egg as well.

  • Gramps

    Wondering how many more games the Cubs would have won if Soriano, Byrd and Soto had about 250 rbi’s among them? Currently they have 148. And Soriano has 75 of those! Ridiculous that Quade constantly plays all righties against a lefty. All pitchers say it is more difficult to pitch against a lineup which is mixed from both sides. With only righties a lefty can pitch from the same angle all game. But then again, what does Quade know? I am not going to answer that question!!!!

    • Ripsnorter1

      Don’t forget Funko. He had just 18 RBIs in 325 AB for the Cubs.

      • Brp921

        I think you mean 13 RBI’s Rip in 293 AB’s

        • Ripsnorter1

          You’re right.

    • John_CC

      And we’re not talking about CC Sabathia here…it’s Dontrelle Willis fer chrissake.  He’s got problems enough.

    • roseyc

      He knows how to yes sir and no sir

  • Jay from sandwich

    I was looking forward to september to see the kids play from the minors along with Tyler and Tony. So we the fans have something to look forward to for next year. So everytime there is at least not two rookies/beginers in this line-up. I will be turning to other mease of intertenment. I will watch TV or leason to the radio. But at the present way this manager is doing the line up I will not go to any more games this year. So I would like to take this time to thank Neil on a wonderful job he has done this year. He not onwly improved the site he manage to stay positive ta boot he is a true Cubs fan and my hats is of for him. Also I will continue to come to this site all off season because we have alot of outstandy emailers and website contributers that I will enjoy ready. By the way I thought that Tom U’s down on the farm reporting was alsome thanks alot and I hope you can do it next year. As the Cubs final will start rebuilding from the ground up. A great xmass present would be seeing Sanberg back in the organization as the Manager or Bench coach (learning from Brently for few before he takes over premently). 

  • gocubs

    Absolutely unbelievable they would be playing this lineup.  Quade is not only a BAD manager, I truly believe the guy is completely insane.  This lineup is total insanity.  How can Rickets, who has player development as his #1 priority, allow this to continue?  Im so confused. Why on earth would at the very least Lemahieu and LaHair not be playing everyday?  Baker hitting 4th?  There is not a single other ML team where Baker would hit 4th.  Not the Pirates, not the Orioles, no team would be that ignorant.   

  • Cubssuck

    Soto should be benched for trying to stretch that double to a triple.  Must think he has wheels!

  • diehardcubfan

    By the way, speaking of Quade.  I just wanted to point out that in today’s Bleacher Report Quade is rated as the worst manager in Cubs history.

    Hopefully that will influence the GM decision making process in the off season and we will be rid of Quade.

  • Jim_Tinley_Park

    These are the real cubs!

  • Neil

    Castro extends his hitting streak to 13 games with the RBI double in the fourth … and has reached base in 25 straight games.

  • Neil

    Castro with a bomb to left center … two-run shot

  • Neil

    A tape measure shot for Aramis

  • Neil

    Aramis Ramirez hits 25th HR, and now joins
    Billy Williams as only players in Cubs history with 30 doubles/25 HRs six different

  • Neil

    First career homer for Devin Mesoraco

  • Ripsnorter1

    Better get Lopez outta there so we have a big enough lead that even Kerry Wood can hold…..

    • Ripsnorter1

      “Mr. Clutch-Less”

  • Neil

    Reds HRs off Lopez have traveled a
    combined 1,698 feet.

  • Neil

    Excellent defensive play by Barney

  • Neil

    Andrew Cashner looked sharp. Phillips looked at a 98 MPH fastball for strike three.

  • Neil

    Finally … here’s John Gaub.

  • Neil

    Nice inning for John Gaub … 1-2-3 on 14 pitches. Struck out Sappelt, Votto grounded out to first and Bruce popped out to left center

  • Neil

    Starlin Castro with his 21st three-hit game of the season. Castro has hit two doubles and a HR tonight … 190 hits for the season.

  • Neil

    Cubs beat the Reds 12-8 on Monday night.

    Rodrigo Lopez: 5R, 9H (4HR), BB, 4K, 5.1IP; Starlin Castro: 3-for-4, HR, 2 2B, BB, 3 RBI, 4R; Alfonso Soriano: 2-for-5, 2B, 3RBI; Aramis Ramirez: 3-for-5, HR, 2B, 2RBI, R

    Tied a season-high with 12 runs (June 16 vs. Brewers)

  • jw

    Dusty… looks like the team finally responded to your coaching style

  • paulcatanese

    And on a hitters night, lest we forget Byrd, 6 runners left on base and 1 GIDP.

  • paulcatanese

    Did anyone notice Castro eating seeds in the batters box? Thengetting three hits. He spit just as he hit that home run, gave him extra power. Ten more to go, I thought he might last spring, keep it up.

  • paulcatanese

    I shouldn’t have mentioned that Castro was eating seeds in the batters box, if Qua gets wind of it he will bench Castro for not concentrating. Three hits, give him all the seeds he can handle.

  • paulcatanese

    I know John, but I get more nervous every day he is still there.

  • Demitri

    How does someone earn their way into a line up… Batting .500 apparently is not enough. Worst manager ive seen.

    • Cheryl

      I saw LaHair’s nme in the box score. Didn’t get a chance to follow the game. Was he in for an inning at first base?

      • paulcatanese

        Yes, but dont think he got an at bat. Campana was also in left at the end.

        • Cheryl

          Thanks. That’s what I thought.

      • Neil

        Cheryl, LaHair came in on a double-switch with Ramon Ortiz in the eighth. LaHair finished the game at first but did not bat.