Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 09/21/11

Game One Hundred Fifty-Six: Cubs (68-87) vs. Brewers (91-64)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Matt Garza (8-10, 3.51/1.29) vs. Randy Wolf (13-9, 3.45/1.28)

The last game of the season at Wrigley Field

The Cubs will suit up for the final time this season in the clubhouse at Wrigley Field … and many of the players will be playing their last game as a Cub at the Friendly Confines. John Grabow, Rodrigo Lopez and Ramon Ortiz do not figure to be in the Cubs plans moving forward and all three are free agents at the end of the season. Alfonso Soriano could also be playing his last home game at Wrigley. The Cubs will reportedly try to move him this winter … and are willing to eat a majority of his remaining contract. Marlon Byrd said he knows he could be traded.Reed Johnson will be a free agent and his future with the team is unknown.

Then there is the Cubs’ manager … most feel today will be Mike Quade’s final home game as the skipper of the Chicago Cubs.

Aramis Ramirez left Tuesday’s game after the sixth inning with a mild strain in his right quad. Ramirez is doubtful for today. Following Tuesday’s game, Ramirez admitted he’s probably played his final game as a Cub at Wrigley Field.

Prior to the beginning of the homestand (3-2), Starlin Castro said he would like to reach the 200-hit mark in front of the home crowd. Castro collected no. 197 on Tuesday and will have at least four at bats to reach his goal this afternoon. Castro also enters play having reached base safely in 33 straight games.

Mike Quade mentioned Monday that Bryan LaHair would likely get the start today at first base. Quade said he wanted Carlos Pena to face Chris Narveson in the opener and would give LaHair the start against the Brewers’ other southpaw, Randy Wolf, this afternoon.

Steve Clevenger will get at least one start before the end of the season, likely against the Padres in the final series of the season. Clevenger is expected to compete for the backup catcher’s job in the spring … which puts Koyie Hill’s future with the Cubs in question as well.

The Cubs are 38-42 at Wrigley this season … and the Cubs last home game of the year begins with Matt Garza.

Matt Garza is coming off his second nine-inning start of the season … too bad his manager left him in one batter too long. Garza allowed one run to Houston in the first eight innings of last Friday’s start. Garza had made only one mistake and his pitch count was extremely manageable. Garza struggled with his command in the ninth and ended up serving up a two-run homer to Carlos Lee (1-2 pitch with two outs) after he shook off Geovany Soto twice. Garza received a no decision in a 4-3 Cubs victory that took 12 innings to complete.

Garza has been very good this season for a bad team and has shown steady improvement in nearly every start. Garza is 1-0 in his last three starts with a 2.66 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP (16 strikeouts and six walks) and is 4-3 in 13 starts since the break with a 2.69 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP (80 strikeouts in 87 innings with 27 walks).

Today will be Garza’s 17th and final home start of the season. Garza is 5-5 in the first 16 with a 2.67 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

Matt Garza has faced the Brewers twice this season … he’s won one and lost the other but did not fare well in either. The Brewers have scored five runs in each of the games against Garza this season (10 runs on 14 hits in 11 2/3 innings with 11 strikeouts and six walks, 7.71 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP).

Brewers Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Yuniesky Betancourt – 5-for-21 with a double
  • Ryan Braun – 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Prince Fielder – 3-for-6 with 3 doubles
  • Jerry Hairston, Jr. – 2-for-3
  • Corey Hart – three walks
  • Mark Kotsay – 1-for-5
  • George Kottaras – 1-for-4 with a home run
  • Casey McGehee – 1-for-6 with a double
  • Nyjer Morgan – 3-for-5 with a triple
  • Rickie Weeks – 2-for-6 with a walk

The Cubs will see a very familiar foe in the final game of the season at Wrigley. Randy Wolf will make his 23rd career start against the Cubs today and is coming off a solid start against the Reds.

Randy Wolf is in the middle of his best stretch of the season. Not only are the Brewers 8-2 in his last 10 starts but Wolf has not allowed more than three earned runs in his last three starts. Wolf held the Reds to three runs on seven hits in seven innings last Friday. The free-swinging Reds struck out seven times and did not manage a single walk.

Randy Wolf is 2-0 in his last three starts with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.

Wolf will face the Cubs for the fourth time this season … and the veteran southpaw has held the Cubs’ offense in check. Wolf is 1-1 in the first three with a 1.37 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Randy Wolf

  • Jeff Baker – 9-for-21 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-6
  • Marlon Byrd – 4-for-13 with a double, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Tony Campana – 0-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 5-for-15 with a double and a home run
  • Tyler Colvin – 0-for-5
  • Blake DeWitt – 0-for-7
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-12
  • D.J. LeMahieu – 1-for-3
  • Luis Montanez – 1-for-3
  • Carlos Pena – 0-for-6
  • Aramis Ramirez – 6-for-33 with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 7-for-32 with 2 home runs and 4 walks
  • Geovany Soto – 8-for-27 with a double, 3 home runs 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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  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

    • Calicub

      What the eff is thes bull honky????

      Reed in the three hole? LaHair in the 8?

      What the EFFF?

      • Rbmercer

        IF Byrd has to play….. HE should be in the 8 hole. Its comical that he started the year as our 3 hole and he continues to hit as high as he does.

    • paulcatanese

      Again true to his word, Qua has two rookies in the lineup today, hope they get a full nine in.

    • gocubs

      Johnson and Baker in the 3 and 4 spot?  Hugh?  What alternate universe is Quade living in?  

  • Neil

    Ramirez’s agent, Paul Kinzer, is meeting with Randy Bush today

  • Neil

    According to Paul Sullivan and Bruce Miles, Mike Quade thinks he will return next season

    • studio179

      I just heard that report while eating a snack. I just sat back thinking this can not be true. Would ownership or the new GM actually bring him back? I will chalk this up to wishful thinking on Quade’s part until something official is announced after the new GM is hired.

      I guess Quade feels calling in Grabow from the pen helps his case in coming back. Unbelievable. 

    • paulcatanese

      Good Golly Neil, what wonderful news that is about Qua, and before my morning coffee to boot, think I will add more than dairy creamer. If he is back next year, I will have to remove one more letter from his name-Qu.

      • Calicub

        If Q returns there is no way the Cubs will pull anywhere near 3 million fans next year, hell i’ wouldn’t be suprised with half of that.

        His line up today just screams fire me. What a joke. I feel for Quade though, I do. The man is so delusional its ridiculous. Musta found some crazy pills Pinella left in his desk drawer and Q has built up such an immunity he’s starting to double the dosage..

        • paulcatanese

          As you may have noticed the stands, even though season ticketholders still have their seats have been emptier the last several games. Starting to look like they may close the upper deck again. If Qua does come back, I do not see too many people following them next year.

      • Brp921

        If he keeps the job you’ll have to start calling him Uq.

    • Tony_Hall

      Q should be thinking that way, as he has a contract.  If he came out, in public, and announced he didn’t think he was coming back, that would be the end of his career anywhere, because who would want to hire that guy.

      With that said, he knows the end is near, but he can’t say it.

      • paulcatanese

        I agree Tony, and have said that he has not heard anything to the contrary,so one would have to say he is until someone says he is not.
        I think that Ricketts waited too long with this issue and has backed himself into leaving Qua status Quo (Qua,Quo?) until the end of the year, this was not a good business decision by Ricketts, as Qua has alienated quite a few Cub fans, who are much smarter than those of years gone by (myself included).

      • studio179

        He can be thinking that way and I understand your point, but Q does he have to say anything like that today. If asked, just avoid the whole coming back thing. Just say ‘we want to finish strong and worry about it later’…blah, blah. He avoided why the vets stunk it early on and is good at making excuses. He should be use to avoiding questions.

        As far as his career, I think he ends up the same fate as many ex Cub managers. He is done as an MLB manager.

        • Tony_Hall

          There is no doubt he is done as a MLB manager, but he could have many years of a coach for a MLB team, or as a minor league manager.  

          Yes he could just avoid the question, or say no comment, but that is basically the same as saying he knows he is done.

          • studio179

            I agree someone might hire him as a coach in the bigs or minors. 

            After thinking about it, I have to do a turnaround from my post 1/2 hour ago. I get his thinking in what he said. He knows he is gone. I guess I am just bothered by anything that guy says anymore. 

      • cubtex

        100% agree

      • Ryan7

        Tony finally something we both agree on, lol

    • Bredstik
    • Ripsnorter1

      So do I, unfortunately……

    • Brp921

      Is Quade talking about himself or Ramirez?

    • Jay from sandwich

      You got to be kinding me. What dream world is he in anyways.
      If Qua is back it is time to pull out the paper Bags Cubs Fans With the worlds “Shame On me” on the foehead above the eye holes.

  • studio179

    I will wait for Ricketts to announce he has 100% confidence in Jim…I mean Mike.

    • Calicub

      Screw TR! The new GM better not have to answer to TR or else we might just have a repeat of Hendry (too much power no legitament check). Hopefull TR grows a brain and hires a baseball guy as president and dumps Crane “Your kidding me he hasn’t been fired yet” Kenny.

      • studio179

        My reference to Ricketts having 100% confidence in Mike was a joke. Ricketts stated in June he had 100% confidence in Jim before firing him in July. 

  • cubs1967

    the new GM needs a drug test ASAP if his first move is not to launch Quade!

    otherwise; PK McCaskey may need to find a whole new fan base from the ground up; the rest of us will be leaving!

  • paulcatanese

    If the poll that I saw means anything 94% voted they thought he would not be back and 6% said they thought he would, not much for Qua’s hopes.

  • paulcatanese

    With Qua’s lineups, I think the rookies ought to position themselves at the nearest Pizza joint and give the cell phone number to Qua and have him give them 15 minute notice on when to come back, why waste their time and be hungry as well.

  • paulcatanese

    Qua say’s he is disapointed in the team’s record but not his own. He must be living in a world without mirrors. Who does he think made the lineups and the manuvers in the everyday games? Did his “vets” let him down? Of course they did and his continuance and insistance of playing them along with the destruction of any resemblence of a pitching staff, all contrbuted to the season that was. He has to look no further than the mirror to see what happened.

  • paulcatanese

    Last game of the year at Wrigley,what does Ricketts offer as thanks to the loyal fans this year? Free hot dogs? Oh no, they have been out their on the field for a great deal of the year, led by the biggest Chicago dog of all, the one who puts ketchup on his.

  • studio179

    I really hope Castro gets his 3 hits today at Wrigley. Fans need something to see and cheer about this year.

    • studio179

      That’s 1…almost a triple.

      • paulcatanese

        It took a great relay and a greater tag to get him, would have liked to see a replay in slo mo on that one. Umps have been missing a few this week, must be a long season for them too.

      • studio179

        That’s 2…

        • studio179

          Oh well, Starlin will have to get his 200th hit in Saint Louis. The Brewers intentionally walked him two ABs ago and pitched around him his last AB.

  • Neil

    Brewers intentionally walk Castro to face DJ in the fifth

    • Calicub

      Pretty classes I thought especially when your going for a milestone like that. You don’t have to give it to him but good thing DJ made em pay

  • Neil

    Good job by DJ making the Brewers pay, 2 run double

  • Neil

    Byrd #9, 3-run shot

  • John G

    I think Keith Moreland has picked up a little bit of Ronnie. He was talking about the Cubs reaching 3MM attendance and he said it was the “8th consecutive season in a row”.

  • Neil

    Cubs beat Brewers 7-1.

    Matt Garza: Complete Game – 1R, 6H, BB, 10K, 9IP; Starlin Castro: 2-for-3, 2B, RBI, R, 2BB (199 Hits); Marlon Byrd: 3R HR; DJ LeMahieu: 2-for-5, 2B, 2RBI, R; Geovany Soto: 3-for-4, 2B, RBI, R

  • Calicub

    RT @ESPNChiCubs Cubs get draft pick if they offer arbitration and Ramierz signs with another team. 30 minutes ago

    That solves that issue.  Offer arbitration and dump him.

  • John G

    Neil, With all the talk yesterday about the Brewers not being able to clinch at Wrigley, it got me to thinking – When was the last time anyone clinched at Wrigley? I think the ’84 team did, but I don’t remember if the ’03, ’07 or ’08 team did. Or did some other team clinch at Wrigley?

    • studio179

      The ’84 team clinched at Pittsburg. Sut went the distance.

    • Neil

      The ’84 team was in Pittsburgh, Sutcliffe to Jody a swinging strikeout. The ’03 team clinched at Wrigley after taking two from the Pirates. The ’07 team celebrated in the clubhouse in Cincy and the ’08 team won at Wrigley. Edmonds caught the final out against the Cards.

      • John G

        Thanks. I was looking it up while you answered it. The ’89 team clinched in Montreal (Maddux). And of course don’t forget the ’99 team clinching the wild card in that one game playoff at Wrigley.

        The cobwebs are now dusted off.

        • John G

          I meant ’98

          • Neil

            Yep, game 163 was won by the Human Rain Delay.

          • cmschube

            HAHAHA.. NICE

      • John G

        ’05 Cards clinched at Wrigley. If I read it right on Baseball Reference.

        • studio179

          I was fortunate to be at every one of those Cub clinching games and remember them well. I remember another clinching game, though I was not there and it was against the Cubs. It was the ’86 Mets. I still do not like the Mets and for some reason I remember those bums clinching it at Shea against the Cubs. Anyway…

  • paulcatanese

    And Byrd with a three run homer, he has finally turned it around, Qua will start him all of the final games, to pad his RBI total. After all he is a vet.