Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 09/20/11

Game One Hundred Fifty-Five: Cubs (68-86) vs. Brewers (90-64)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Randy Wells (7-4, 4.93/1.40) vs. Shaun Marcum (12-7, 3.40/1.14)

Updated 3:32pm CDT – The Cubs named Bryan LaHair and LHP Jeff Beliveau the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year on Tuesday.

The Cubs announced Gary Hughes, long-time special assistant to Jim Hendry will not return to the organization following this season.

Weather permitting … The tied for fourth place Chicago Cubs will shoot for their second straight win over the Brewers tonight behind Randy Wells. With Monday’s win, coupled with Arizona beating Pittsburgh, the Cubs enter play tonight tied with the Bucs for fourth place in the division … yes, this is what the season has come to.

Regardless of what happens over the next two games, Q’s Cubs will not have to watch the Brewers celebrate their first division title since 1982 at Wrigley Field. The Brewers magic number remains at four after the Cardinals beat the Phillies on Monday.

Starlin Castro inched closer to 200 hits on Monday night. Castro collected hit no. 196 on Monday and reached base for the 32nd game in a row. Castro is on record saying he would like to reach the 200-hit plateau at Wrigley … he has two days to reach his goal against two difficult starting pitchers.

The Cubs added two players to the active roster on Monday. Steve Clevenger was added to the 40-man roster and called up from Double-A Tennessee. Rafael Dolis was recalled from Double-A and added to the pen. The question now is, will Mike Quade use either player over the next eight games?

Kerry Wood’s season is over after he felt a pop in his left knee on Saturday. Wood will have his knee scoped next week and is hoping to be re-signed by the Cubs in the off-season.

With only eight games left on the 2011 schedule … tonight it all begins with Randy Wells.

After arguably the best stretch of his big league career, Randy Wells came crashing back to reality last Thursday in Cincinnati. Wells struggled from his first pitch on and could not complete five innings of work. The Reds scored five runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings against Wells. Wells walked two and struck out two but could not locate his change-up and was very hittable.

Randy Wells had won his last five decisions and even with his poor outing, Wells is 6-1 in 12 starts since the break with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. The Cubs are 7-3 in Wells’ last 10 starts … and Wells is 4-2 in 11 starts at Wrigley this season.

Tonight will be Wells’ third start of the year against the Brewers. Wells is 0-1 in two starts with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP … for his career, Wells is 2-3 in 10 games, eight starts, with a 4.53 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP versus Ryan Braun and company.

Brewers Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Yuniesky Betancourt – 4-for-6 with a double
  • Ryan Braun – 10-for-24 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Craig Counsell – 2-for-12 with 2 doubles
  • Prince Fielder – 6-for-17 with a double, a home run and 4 walks
  • Jerry Hairston, Jr. – 1-for-7
  • Corey Hart – 4-for-20 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Jonathan Lucroy – 2-for-8
  • Casey McGehee – 3-for-11 with a home run
  • Nyjer Morgan – 6-for-10 with a double and a walk
  • Rickie Weeks – 6-for-17 with 2 doubles

Shaun Marcum might just be the best off-season acquisition in all of baseball. Marcum has been very good in his first season in Milwaukee. Marcum posted a 7-3 record in 19 first half starts (3.39 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP) and is 5-4 in 12 starts since the break with a 3.42 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

Marcum is 1-2 in his last three starts with a 4.82 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP and is coming off back-to-back loses to the Phillies and Rockies. Marcum allowed six runs, five earned, on eight hits in five innings to Colorado in his last outing with a walk and four strikeouts.

Shaun Marcum beat the Cubs in his only start against them this season. Marcum held the Cubs to two runs on seven hits in six innings back on July 28 at Miller Park.

Cubs Career Numbers against Shaun Marcum

  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Marlon Byrd – 1-for-7 with a walk
  • Tony Campana – 1-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 0-for-3
  • Bryan LaHair – 0-for-2
  • Carlos Pena – 3-for-14 with a double and 3 walks
  • Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-2
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-3

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"The riches of the game are in the thrills, not in the money." - Ernie Banks

Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub (1931-2015)

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  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

    • diehardcubfan

      I think this is the lineup we will see at the start of the season next year but one can hope Jackson and Colvin somehow work there way into it during ST. 

  • paulcatanese

    Great for LaHair, glad to see him in the lineup today. The rest of the rookies, well there’s always next year, as Bogart said “another time. another place”(I think thats what he said) anyway someone did.

    • Neil

      Paul,don’t know if you saw above but LaHair was named the Cubs Minor League Position Player of the Year and Jeff Beliveau was named Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

      • paulcatanese

        Yes Neil I did, and thats great for both of them, thanks.

  • studio179

    No surprise Hendry’s guy (Hughes) is leaving. 

  • Brp921

    I just can’t help it, as much as I want the Cubs to get a better draft choice, and Quade to look like the inept manager that he is, I want to win out and finish higher than the Reds and take the Cardinals out of the playoffs. So I’m going to drink some more Kool-aid and root for for the Astro’s the Pirates and the Mets, and hope the Cub’s can win eight more games in a row.

    • paulcatanese

      Heh Heh!! I know what your’e feeling, go for it.

  • gocubs

    For those who advocated giving LaHair a look all season (I was not one of them), you are being vindicated (at least temporarily) with his stellar play thus far on the big league club.  The guy deserves to be in the lineup everyday and so far has looked like he deserves a solid shot to make the team next year (if he has a good spring).  If theres any way we can unload Soriano, Id be fine with him in LF if he continues to look this good, or if we dont sign Fielder or re-sign Pena, 1B. 

    Also, as much as I dont think Castro is a leadoff hitter, he does seem to excel in that spot.  He needs to walk more and I see some signs of him doing that lately.  Maybe Jackson is more of a #3 hitter with his power.  We have some great options and flexibility coming to this lineup soon.  Campana has got to focus on walking more.  It should be his #1 priority.  Imagine if that guy was like a .350 OBP guy…he could steal 80 bases…at least.  Some nice tools at this team’s disposal for next year. 

    In a perfect 2012 world…

    Campana RF .360 OBP 80SB
    Castro SS .350 OBP 30 SB 20 HR
    Jackson CF .390 OBP 40 SB 26 HR
    Fielder 1B .400 OBP 40 HR
    Ramirez 3B .360 OBP 30 RH
    LaHair LF .360 OBP 30 HR
    Soto C .380 OBP 25 HR
    LaMahiue 2B .345 OBP 15 HR 15SB

    • Brp921

      The last month of this season there was the opportunity to see what LaHair could do against major league pitching on a consistant basis and if he could handle first base. However, just like last year with Colvin playing first base, the opportunity was wasted in favor of playing veterans whom we knew how they could perform.

    • Jay from sandwich

      Campana also needs to work on the drag bunt and bunting to both sides. I also would like him to work on bouncing the ball off home plate. with his speeed he could get a lot of hts that way.

      • Brp921

        One of the TV or radio guy’s (Moreland I think) talked the other day about how it was almost impossible to throw Campana out on a two bouce ground ball. That and the things you mention are what will keep Campana in the big leagues. If he could perfect that part of his game he would be very valuable to his team. 

      • paulcatanese

        I know this will sound a little strange, but after moving to Calif at the age of 30 I started playing fastpitch softball, turned to the left side and learned to bunt and hit down on the ball creating ground balls, its a stretch I know but I did play in the highest lg out here and firmly believe Campana could learn a thing or two from high  league players or coaches. Dont laugh, I havent seen many hardball players convert very easily at 46 ft and 88 MPH. It could work. 

    • Ryan7

      LaMahiue is not any better than Barney. LaMahiue when playing 2nd for the cubs this year has looked as if he has never played the 2nd in his life. IMO Barney looks more of a 2nd basemen than lamahiue has. Barney is much better again IMO. its Barneys first year and know one want to give his a chance to get the damn rookie year behind him.

      Look at what he has done for us,

      He was our 2nd best hitter on the team until ARAM pulled his head out of his @ss. Barney hit over .300 for 3/4 of the season. Ya he has commited some errors but even Ryne Sandberg made 12 errors his first full year in the bigs.



      • Tony_Hall

        Wow, a little worked up here.  GoCubs didn’t even say 1 negative thing about Barney, he just put DJ in his lineup moving forward. 

        It has nothing to do with matching Sandberg’s numbers, it has to do with his ceiling.  We have seen the best he can play (1st half) and the league has caught up to him and we have seen that (2nd half). Defensively, he can play 2B or SS well enough to start, but his bat is going to be a little lacking.

        His best use will be as the main utility guy, filling in at 2B/SS/3B.  I bet he could even play OF and be a “super-sub”, which would lead to a very long career in the majors.  He will be our starting 2B, until someone (from a large supply of middle infielders in our system) take it from him.

        The Cubs will be a better team, when we have enough good players to make him the utility guy.

    • Neil

      Jackson is not a #3 hitter, sorry to say. Jackson is quicker, faster and a better baserunner that Castro from what I’ve seen of Jackson. He will be a good top of the order hitter but he is not a middle of the order bat.

  • JimBo_C

    Lahair is the best left handed hitter on the parent club right now.

    He gets his bat into the zone quickly, has good bat speed and extends thru the ball pretty well. He strikes the ball hard too. He seems comfortable and confident with his approach; not at all in awe of his second crack at the show. I think that he is seeing many pitches per AB because he trusts his ability to get to the ball quickly and therefore waits a tick longer to assess the pitch.

    At 400K per year … this guy is a keeper!

    • Jim_Tinley_Park

      No, it is koyie Hill LOL.

      • Neil

        Jim, I was thinking DeWitt but you are probably right …

    • Tony_Hall

      Not sure if he will be that cheap moving forward.

      Neil – How does it work for a guy like Lahair?  Is he still controlled for 3 years and 6 years to FA, even though he was released and resigned.

      I ask this, as he will get some offers to go to Japan, and I am sure an AL team would pick him up for next year as well, if they could.

      • Neil

        Hey man, yes the Cubs have the same control as if LaHair came up through the system but he is out of minor league options.

        • Tony_Hall

          But can he can still leave MLB and go to Japan, right?  If so, he will get some offers, and he may have the leverage to force the team to pay him more, and/or give him a real contract.

          • Zippy2212

            I believe it is the same situation as Hoffpauir last year.  The team wanting to sign LaHair would have to work out some sort of deal with the Cubs.  I think for Hoffpauir the Cubs were paid like $200,000 or something.  Essentially covering the portion of the players salary that the MLB team is still responsible for because the “released” him.  Of course this would all change if the Cubs just drop him from the 40 man.

      • JimBo_C


        What did you think of Lahair? Do you he think he projects as a viable contributor?
        The mere thought that a guy stuck in AAA could be the best LH hitter on the parent team is indicative of the sad state of affairs for the 2011 squad.

        • Tony_Hall

          I believe he has done everything to deserve an opportunity to play everyday.

          If this team was loaded with players that still deserve to play everyday,and were a part of the future (a team ready to compete against the best teams, then he would be bench player.  But with this team, he should be starting everyday.  Where at, depends on who they have at 1B and the OF, but his spot in the lineup should be the there everyday.  Let’s see if he can do it, in 2012, since we didn’t get to see in 2011. 

          The Cubs have bottomed out.  No where to go but up from here.

          • JimBo_C

            I get your point. Soriano and Pena are blocking a guy like Lahair.

            When you compare Lahair’s on the field playing skills to Pena’s … I just dont see how this team could substantiate choosing to pay Pena another 10 million. The only rationale would be Pena’s off the field skills in the clubhouse which you might want to keep with a young team but not a championship caliber team.
            Lahair versus Soriano … Lahair would probably hit less bombs but for a higher average and it would be a wash in the field .. Soriano is not the kind of guy that you want on a young team or a championship caliber team … this could/should be the year they eat the remainder of Soriano’s contract
            Thanks for the dialogue

  • John G

    If the Brewers magic number is 4, a win for the Brewers and a loss for the Cards tonight and tomorrow night will enable them to celebrate the Division at Wrigley. Assuming of course that the Cards game is over before the Brewers game. Of course they would still celebrate at Wrigley, just not out on the field. It’s going to take yet another win by either the Cubs or Cards to prevent a celebration by Milwaukee at Wrigley. Am I wrong?

    • jfish1219

      No with the loss last night and the Cards win, the Brewers can not clinch at Wrigley. It was tweeted by multiple  people last night.

    • Neil

      John, even if the Brewers win tonight and tomorrow and the Cardinals lose, the Brewers cannot clinch on the field. The Cardinals play at 7:15 tomorrow night.

      • John G

        Okay, I get it. The Cubs and Brewers play in the afternoon.

        • John G

          Unless there is a long rain delay and a lot of extra innings, in which case the Brewers could conceivably clinch at Wrigley.

          • Neil

            I’ll give you that one … at least the Cubs would set another record if that was to happen.

  • studio179

    ehhh…tonight does not look promising.

    • jfish1219

      I turned the game on looked at the score and went back to watching Deadwood. I am done with this trash.

  • Neil

    Two wild pitches by Wells in the same at bat to Ryan Braun.

  • Neil

    Braun flips bat 15′ in the air after lining out to Ramirez.

    • paulcatanese

      Watched Braun all year, now there is a spoiled brat.

  • Neil

    Byrd has seen six pitches tonight … and struck out on three pitches in both at bats.

    • paulcatanese

      And if Byrd were a man, he would excuse himself for the rest of the year.

  • Neil

    Castro with a homer, #10 … #197.

  • Neil

    Good thing Ramon Ortiz was used there instead of Rafael Dolis.

  • Neil

    The HR was Castro’s 336th hit, the most by a Cubs player in his first two years. Glenn Beckert had 335 in 1965-66

  • Neil

    Aramis left with a mild, right quad strain. Doubtful for tomorrow.

  • Aaron

    Well said:

    I wonder if the Kapman has been perusing my posts on here, because it’s pretty much verbatim what I’ve said in the past

  • Rbmercer

    So…………..Q is gonna run Ortiz and Grabow out there, but not Dolis?

  • Rbmercer

    Was that a dream? Did he really give that inning to Grabow?

    • Neil

      Quade’s going to play the vets … unacceptable. Those innings should have gone to Dolis and Gaub.

  • Rbmercer

    I hope the Cubs light KRod up for running his mouth the other day, it would serve him right! No respect for him after that.

  • diehardcubfan

    Here is how I would like to see the Cubs bullpen shape up for next year.  Marmol of course remains a ? but I think he can straighten it out.  I do not think Wood should come back.  I do not want to see Cashner pushed to start next year but instead think he would be better off in middle relief.

    Marmol – C (mainly because there are no other options including FA)
    Cashner (8th inning) (I do not want to see Cashner ruined like Wood and Prior)
    Carpenter/Dolis (7th)
    Gaub (7th)
    Samardzija (long relief unless he starts)

    The Cubs have options here because at least AAA has some decent bullpen guys. 

    The Cubs will have to spend money to fix the starting rotation but the bullpen is not as difficult.  It just needs to be tweeked.   

    • joey u

      Carpenter @ Dolis need to establish better command to compete at the major league level.  Unless the Cubs can come with two starting pitchers by next spring you’ll see both The Shark @ Cash competing for rotation spots……One name that could be a darkhorse for the next year is Beliveau  minor leauge pitcher of the year.Woody will probably be back.

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 5-1 to Brewers Tuesday night.

    Randy Wells: 5R, 6H, 2BB, 3K, HBP, 2 WP in 5IP; Starlin Castro: 1-for-4, HR (Hit 197); Barney: 2-for-4, 2 2B

  • paulcatanese

    Qua is a total embarassment to Major League Baseball, no other way to say it.

    • brent carmona

      Pretty sad to see. Ortiz and Grabow really have no chance of coming back next year. Can Quade possibly be thinking those two will lobby for Quade to get the job again next year (or at least say he did a good job, I know hes signed through 2012) like the vets did before this season started? Ignorance=detatched from reality.

    • joey u

      One good thing Hughes is out the door one of Q’s main supporters.

  • paulcatanese

    Wanted to keep these separate, the lineups that Qua puts out there are an embarassment to Cub fans, no other way to say it.

  • paulcatanese

    Aram out with a quad strain, how do you like that Qua? Aram has said he is probably going to leave anyway, so what has been your’e excuse to keep running him out there Qua?

  • paulcatanese

    Thats something to look forward to Z,Aram,and Ozzie in Miami,can’t happen soon enough.