Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 09/24/11

Game One Hundred Fifty-Eight: Cubs (70-87) vs. Cardinals (86-71)
Game Time – 12:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 89
Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis

Rodrigo Lopez (6-6, 4.71/1.52) vs. Kyle Lohse (14-8, 3.47/1.18)

Five games remain on the Cubs 2011 schedule

The Cubs will shoot for their third straight win today behind Rodrigo Lopez. Q’s Cubs will face a desperate team this afternoon. The Cardinals are hanging on by a thin thread in the NL Wild Card race and enter play today three back of the Braves with five left to play … Atlanta’s magic number is just three games. If Q’s Cubs can take care of business this afternoon they would all but end the Cardinals’ quest for the post-season.

Rodrigo Lopez is making his final start of the season this afternoon … and should be making his final appearance in a Cubs’ uniform. Rodrigo Lopez has appeared in 25 games for the Cubs this season and has started 15 games. The Cubs must add pitching in the off-season and say good bye to the likes of Rodrigo Lopez, Ramon Ortiz and John Grabow.

The Cardinals have had Lopez’s number this season to the tune of a 0-3 record with a 10.13 ERA and a 2.25 WHIP. This afternoon could end up as another ‘Bullpen Day‘ and if it does maybe Rafael Dolis will make his big league debut.

Geovany Soto is expected back in the starting lineup this afternoon … and is penciled-in to start four of the final five games. Steve Clevenger is scheduled to make his first big league start on Monday in San Diego.

The Cubs rotation over the last five games is to be Lopez, Randy Wells (Sunday), Casey Coleman (Monday), Matt Garza (Tuesday) and Ryan Dempster (Wednesday).

For the last time, today it all begins with Rodrigo Lopez

Rodrigo Lopez is coming off back-to-back wins against the Reds and Astros. Lopez was the beneficiary of a ton of run support against the Reds and took advantage of the young Astros’ lineup in his last outing. Lopez held Houston to one unearned run on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in six innings … the first time Lopez had completed six innings in a start since July 18 (Phillies).

Lopez is 2-0 in his last three starts with a 3.71 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP … and since the break, 5-4 in 12 games, 11 starts, with a 5.07 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP.

This afternoon will be Lopez’s fifth game, third start, of the season against the Cardinals. Lopez is 0-3 in four games, two starts, with a 10.13 ERA and a 2.25 WHIP.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Rodrigo Lopez

  • Lance Berkman – 2-for-12 with a double and 2 walks
  • Daniel Descalso – 0-for-4
  • David Freese – 1-for-4 with a walk
  • Rafael Furcal – 10-for-26 with 2 doubles, a triple and 2 home runs
  • Matt Holliday – 7-for-15 with 4 doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Jon Jay – 3-for-5 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Yadier Molina – 5-for-16 with 2 home runs
  • Corey Patterson – 0-for-3
  • Albert Pujols – 6-for-18 with 3 home runs and 2 walks
  • Nick Punto – 3-for-7
  • Skip Schumaker – 6-for-15 with 2 doubles
  • Ryan Theriot – 4-for-9 with 2 walks

Kyle Lohse has been extremely inconsistent for Tony La Russa this year. Lohse has seemingly has one excellent start, then one bad start just to rebound and put together a mediocre outing. Lohse is coming off an impressive outing against the Phillies in which he held the NL East Champs to one unearned run on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings … and in the start before, the Pirates scored three runs on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts in six innings.

Lohse is 2-0 in his last three starts with a 1.40 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

This afternoon will be Lohse’s third start against the team that selected him back in the 29th round of the 1996 draft. Lohse is 1-0 in the first two starts with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP … Lohse is 2-4 in 12 career starts against the Cubs with a 5.97 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Kyle Lohse

  • Jeff Baker – 1-for-5
  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-5
  • Marlon Byrd – 1-for-4
  • Tony Campana – 2-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-8
  • Tyler Colvin – 0-for-5
  • Blake DeWitt – 2-for-5 with 2 walks
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-5 with a double
  • Reed Johnson – 3-for-9 with a walk
  • Rodrigo Lopez – 0-for-4
  • Carlos Pena – 9-for-35 with a double, a triple, 2 home runs and 3 walks
  • Aramis Ramirez – 7-for-17 with 3 doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 16-for-41 with 3 doubles, 3 home run and 2 walks
  • Geovany Soto – 5-for-15 with 3 doubles and a walk

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself." - Eleanor Roosevelt
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

    • Calicub

      This line up has what they call WOW Factor..

      As in WOW what factor in Q’s brain makes him think that sending out basically the same lineup everyday will produce different results…

      The fact that Clevenger gets one start is horrendous.

  • paulcatanese

    Guess Clevenger will be judged like fottball players are, film on a rainy day.

  • paulcatanese

    Both Campana and Johnson have better numbers than Byrd and he still gets the start. And whatever DeWitt brings to the game today with his bat, he will give back with his glove. I guess Colvin can expect his release. 

    • Aaron

      This is why Quade will never, and should NEVER get another chance to be a manager at the MLB level (or minors for that matter)…..Nothing he is doing right now is in the best interest of the ballclub moving forward. Additionally, he puts players constantly in positions to fail.

      When you can’t even find a pinch hitting spot for Clevenger, or the opportunity to insert Dolis….you’re a COMPLETE moron…and that’s what Quade is. 

      With the increased emphasis on “developing from within” across MLB, and Quade’s insistence on playing out the string with veterans….well, all that’s doing is showing all GM’s and owners out there that he is not competent enough to run a successful team on the field.

      Guys like Colvin, Campana, LeMahieu, Montanez (not that it’s a big deal, as he’s not great….but he’s better than Byrd, that’s for sure), and now Clevenger have all rotted on the bench. How does that help a team that hasn’t been in contention since Opening Day?!?!?

      • paulcatanese

        Right on the money Aaron, and I am taking bets on Lopez, like a boxing match, will he be KO’d in the first, third, or fifth?

        • Aaron

          3rd….and will have given up 4 home runs: Pujols, Berkman, Holliday, and Molina

          • paulcatanese

            Yeah, well we both took gas on that one, for Lopez, he pitched a gem.

      • cubtex

        My guess is that they want Colvin to end the season on a high note. He is currently hitting .154 and they want to keep that average above .150

        • Aaron

          lol…very funny….and so Q-Ball esque…. .150 is a milestone according to Q-Ball

          • cubtex

            Unfortunately…..I think some team will overpay for Edwin Jackson since free agent market is thin. I like your idea of trying to add him as a #4…. but I think the Cubs will be outbid.

    • Brp921

      Man did you ever call that one.

  • paulcatanese

    Qua is so bent on individual records (I dont think he had many of his own) that when Pena approachs 30 home runs,I would not be surprised at all if Qua has him lead off in the order to give him every opportunity to reach that goal(Qua’s).And the statement that Soto will start the next four games and maybe Clevenger starts one tells exactly what Qua is about, nothing. Not one veteran should be starting the rest of the games, it means 0. The vets have been around long enough to see right thru the efforts of Qua, knowing that as he pads the vets records he believe he is padding his own resume. If the vets hang around after games I would like to be a fly on the wall to hear what they really have to say about their glorious leader. It started last year when Castro reached the .300 mark Qua sat him to preserve that mark, make no mistake Qua is about Qua.

  • Aaron

     I think the Cubs need to let Pena go this offseason, and if they don’t trust a platoon of LaHair and possibly Ridling or LeMahieu at 1B, then they should sign Casey Kotchman to a 1 year deal. Kotchman will NEVER be confused with a typical power hitting 1B at all. He’ll sit at about 10+hr, 50+RBI. This year, he’s got a slash line of: .309/.379/.428, 150 hits, 24 doubles, 2 triples, 10 hr, 48 RBI, and 48 walks vs 65 K’s. Obviously, he’s not going to be an impact player, but he’s not going to hurt the team either with his bat. In fact, he has about 40 more hits than Pena, hits over 70 points higher than him, and has a nearly 20 point lead on him in OBP, and RARELY strikes out. That means he’s more prone to moving runners along, getting them in scoring position than Pena is.

    So like I said, as an insurance policy if the Cubs aren’t convinced with internal options. He’s 28 years old this year, and he could likely be signed for $4 million or less.

    So…..$10+million for Pena, or…..about  1/3 the cost for Kotchman at $4 million or less….hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. To me, it’s a no brainer if the Cubs want an insurance policy for one of their unproven guys. Plus, Kotchman already has NL experience with good results with the Braves in 2009:
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/k/kotchca01.shtml

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    DeWitt two plays at third so far … and both were adventures, the second one resulted in an infield single for Kyle Lohse.

    Good turn by Barney and Castro, Furcal just beat the throw.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Make that three plays by DeWitt, the third one an error

    • cubtex

      The ball always seems to find you when you are struggling.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    36 straight for Castro

  • cubtex

    The one thing that is happening today is that DeWitt playing himself out of any thought of using him as a stopgap at 3rd for next year. Imagine how many combined errors the Cubs would have on the left side of the infield next year between DeWitt and Castro?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Castro will improve … can’t say the same thing about DeWitt at either second or at third.

      • cubtex

        I totally agree and as you know am an advocate of keeping him at short.

        • paulcatanese

          Boo!

          • cubtex

            I was waiting for you on that Paul…lol

    • Aaron

      If there’s a silver lining in this wasted season, it’s that very fact you just mentioned….

      Of course, now that Hendry is gone, the likelihood of them keeping crappy players isn’t as high as it once was…that is, assuming they don’t hire a Hendry clone like Coletti. 

      Guys like DeWitt, Baker, Johnson, Hill, Lopez, Ortiz, etc. wouldn’t even be a thought with a competent GM….

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    DeWitt makes another bad play in the field. Should have been an inning ending double play. Caught Pujols in a run down but the Cardinals have runners on 2nd and 3rd with two down. Four plays for DeWitt at third today, one handled correctly.

  • cubtex

    Another miscue by DeWitt. Should have turned 2 and be out of inning.

    • paulcatanese

      That was the play,two,always especially when hit so hard and to his left side.

  • Rbmercer

    LMAO…WGN couldn’t even make it back from advertisements to see Byrd swing at the first pitch and fly out, they missed it. He no doubt is last in MLB in “time of possession”

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent diving catch by Marlon Byrd

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    That was a nice inning for Cashner. Threw heat then snapped off an 85 MPH slider to strikeout Descalso swinging to end the inning.

    • GaryLeeT

      He certainly has ‘ace” stuff. Too bad about the injury, would loved to have seen what he could have done as a starter this year.

  • cubtex

    Nice to see Cashner punching it up at 98!!! He will be a huge addition next year if he can stay healthy

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another exellent defensive play by Byrd to hold Holliday to a single

  • cubtex

    Why does Barney continue to behind the bag on a steal attempt?

    • cubtex

      I have seen him do this on a number of occasions. I don’t get it. It is the 9th inning in a 1 run game. You need to beat the baserunner to the bag and get in front of the base. That was not Soto’s fault. He should have been there.

      • cubtex

        Paul….I know you have watched most of the games this year. How many times have you seen Barney be late to cover the bag and be behind the runner coming in? No one seems to mention this…but I don’t ever recall seeing this happening as often as it has been happening  as with Barney. I don’t get it and the announcers never mention it.

        • paulcatanese

          I agree, I cant figure that either, at the very least straddle the bag, but not behind it, no chance to make the play,it will hit the runner 9 out of 10 times.

          • cubtex

            Exactly. I haven’t seen as many games as you have…but I have seen Barney be behind the bag on steals numerous times. And no one ever seems to mention it.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost to Cardinals 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.

    Marmol walked the bases loaded, walked in the tying run and uncorked a wild pitch to allow Chambers to score the winning run. Marmol’s 10th blown save of the season.

    Rodrigo Lopez: 0R, 4H, 2BB, K, 6IP; Starlin Castro: 1-for-4; Darwin Barney: 1-for-4,R; Alfonso Soriano: 1-for-4, RBI; Bryan LaHair: 2-for-4

  • Coolpdxcubsfan

    Moron Quade and Choke Marmol strike again!!!!

    • cubtex

      Quade is a moron……But this game was all on Marmol!

      • Coolpdxcubsfan

        Oh I don’t know, maybe after walking 3  it might have been a good idea to bring in another pitcher.

        • cubtex

          He had 2 outs and a man at 3rd. This has been the problem with Marmol ever since he has been here. He walks Molina on a 3-2 pitch and just loses it. It is what it is. He is their current close and until someone else takes over this will happen again no matter who manages the Cubs next year.

          • Coolpdxcubsfan

            I respectively disagree. This is not the first time he has done this. He  walks a few, hits a batter, or throws it away, DUH- this is a one run game. If he can’t find the plate, then replace him. Obviously he chokes, even if he gets a batter or two. He didn’t just walk Molina, he walked 2 others too. If someone else was pitching after the 2nd walk, maybe we still have a chance.Get his a.. out of there.

  • Aaron

    Comment of the year from my wife:
    “Is the game over? Was that a replay from earlier this year?”

    Me: “no…that just happened”

    Wife: “that same situation has happened though, I thought I was watching a replay”

  • Aaron

    If not for Marmol this year, the Cubs would be 81-76….still not enough….but whatever.

    • cubtex

      He has been brutal! Now the question is do they go another year with Marmol as your closer next year? I don’t think they can that.

    • cubtex

      Wow! I knew it would be better than it is currently..but that goes to show you how absolutely brutal Marmol has been this year. Thanks for sharing that stat.

  • cc002600

    at this point, losing these last few games is better….. Their draft pick will be anywhere from 6 through 11 depending on these few games…….

  • cc002600

    I know its a very small sample size and its Sept, but I think LaHair has definitely opened up some eyes.  There is no reason in the world why he shouldn’t be given a legit chance to start somewhere next year, whether its 1B or OF.

  • Brentcarmona

    Been listening to the games and viewing mlb gameday, good news for marmol (yes I’m taking a positive from this guy) is his velocity has been up on his fastball from 92-94 instead of 90-92 his last couple of outings. Slider has been around 84-86 too instead of 82-84. I’m not able to view the games so I’m not sure if his slider has been sharper, I know its been flat all year from what I’ve heard here from posters.

    another note, quade showed a brain replacing dewitt with dj late in the game. Neil noted his poor d, but will quade give continue to play dewitt at third? That is the question.

    • cubtex

      Yes but his mechanics looked awful. I hope they bring in a good pitching coach next year too because Riggins had zero effect on this staff.

      • paulcatanese

        Like and double like, and that boo above was for still voting against Castro to third.        Riggins is a double 0.

        • cubtex

          I saw that and responded. Look above on my post about Barney not covering the bag properly and give me your thoughts.

          • paulcatanese

            I did above, and agree.Never once at short or second did I ever cover behind the bag, didnt catch the ball, but thats not the point anyway. No I never was in that position, how can anyone catch the low throw from there?

    • paulcatanese

      Only until monday, Aram has declared he wants to play then. Plus DeWitt is the vet over LeMaieu, and you know Qua.

    • paulcatanese

      On Marmols slider, he is dropping his arm way down and the slider goes sideways, way out of the strike zone as evidenced today.

  • paulcatanese

    Why am I not surprised with Marmol, anyone could see that coming, he has a 9 foot zone on his slider.I would rather had see Gaub in there,

  • Brett

    I don’t know how it will play out but I hope they move Marmol back to his old setup role & get a more consistent closer. I was at the games last night & thought he looked sharp but then wets his pants today. Q never has someone ready even knowing on days when Marmol doesn’t have it you gotta get him out quick. If he isn’t closing they worry about pulling him quick & can have guys warmed up, ready to go.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree all the way.