Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 04/20/12

Game Fourteen: Cubs (3-10) vs. Reds (5-8)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186/901
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Chris Volstad (0-1, 4.91/1.18) vs. Homer Bailey (0-2, 5.40/1.71)

Updated 11:00am CDTKerry Wood placed on 15-Day DL with Right Shoulder Fatigue – Scott Maine Recalled from Triple-A Iowa

Updated 11:05am CDTRandy Wells is with the team in Chicago. Ryan Dempster is questionable for Sunday’s start against the Reds with a right quad strain. Dempster will undergo a MRI on Friday and could be headed to the DL.

Weather permitting … The Cubs begin a very difficult six-game homestand today with the first of three against the Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs’ second homestand of the season concludes Wednesday with the last of three against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The 3-10 Cubs (2-5 at Wrigley, 1-5 on the road) are in need of a win to end the five-game losing streak. And victories will not come easily over the next six games. The Cubs were 7-11 against the Reds a year ago and are already 1-2 versus the Cardinals this season.

Dale Sveum is expected to shuffle his lineup for today’s game after his team was a miserable 2-for-18 with RISP during the three-game series in Miami (15 runners left on base in the series). Reports have suggested that Bryan LaHair could be moved to the cleanup spot with Alfonso Soriano moving down and possibly hitting in between LaHair and Ian Stewart.

The Cubs are also expected to make a decision on Kerry Wood’s status prior to first pitch. Kerry Wood had a cortisone shot in his right shoulder Wednesday and if his shoulder has not responded then Wood will be placed on the disabled list. The Cubs really do not have another late inning option in the minors without clearing a spot on the 40-man roster.

Today all begins with Chris Volstad

Chris Volstad is coming off a quality start and a loss against the Cardinals. Volstad allowed four runs but only three were earned on six hits without a walk and four strikeouts in six innings. Volstad was doing his job until he allowed an error by Starlin Castro to affect him. Volstad has given up 11 hits in 11 innings but has also struck out 10 with only two walks in his first two starts.

Volstad makes his second start at Wrigley this afternoon after he received a no decision in his first outing on April 9 against the Brewers. Volstad has shown he is more than capable of getting big league hitters out but he has yet to put together a complete start … maybe the third time will be a charm for Chris Volstad.

The Cubs need for Chris Volstad to step up this afternoon and put an end to the losing streak.

Chris Volstad is 1-2 in three career starts against the Reds with a 4.34 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP … last season, 0-1 in one start with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

Reds Career Numbers against Chris Volstad

  • Homer Bailey – 0-for-2
  • Jay Bruce – 2-for-8 with a double and a walk
  • Miguel Cairo – 0-for-3 with a walk
  • Ryan Hanigan – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Ryan Ludwick – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
  • Brandon Phillips – 3-for-7 with two walks
  • Scott Rolen – 0-for-3
  • Wilson Valdez – 6-for-14 with two walks
  • Joey Votto – 3-for-7 with a home run and two walks

Homer Bailey was once one of the top pitching prospects in the game. After a disappointing start to his career, he began this season as the fourth pitcher in Dusty Baker’s rotation.

Bailey is coming off his second loss of the season. The Nationals scored three runs on seven hits in six innings. Bailey did his part to help Washington. Bailey walked four batters and in 11 2/3 innings this season, Bailey has walked seven, struck out eight and surrendered 13 hits.

If the Cubs are patient enough, Bailey will beat himself.

Today marks Homer Bailey’s seventh career start against the Cubs. Bailey is 2-2 in the first six with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP … last season, 1-0 in two starts with a 5.25 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Bailey is 0-1 in one career start at Wrigley with a 5.06 ERA and a 2.06 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Homer Bailey

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-3
  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-5 with a walk
  • Marlon Byrd – 3-for-8 with two home runs
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-7 with a home run and a walk
  • Blake DeWitt – 2-for-3
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-1
  • Bryan LaHair – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-10 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-3
  • Ian Stewart – 2-for-9
  • Chris Volstad – 1-for-3

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure." – W.J. Slim

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  • Neil

    Kerry Wood placed on 15-Day DL with right shoulder fatigue. Scott Maine has been recalled from Triple-A Iowa.

  • Neil

    Randy Wells is with the team in Chicago. Ryan Dempster is questionable for Sunday’s start against the Reds with a right quad strain. Dempster will undergo a MRI on Friday and could be headed to the DL.

    • Chadaudio

      Huh. Randy has been terrible in AAA this year… I think I’d actually rather see Casey Coleman… and that isn’t saying much.

      • Zonk

        What difference does it make, really? Probably none; they will both be gone before too long.

  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    DeJesus – RF
    Barney – 2B
    Castro – SS
    LaHair – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Stewart – 3B
    Soto – C
    Byrd – CF
    Volstad – P

    • Hoosierboy3423

      Just out of curiosity, could the Cubs and Byrd reach an agreement on an Injury Settlement if Byrd were to come forward and say that he has like PTSD from the ball to the face? I mean hes not gonna get another contract after this year the way things are goin. And the likely hood of him being traded diminishes with each at bat he has. Both sides need to come up with something.

  • paulcatanese

    Good post Neil, looks like you may be right about Homer Baily with the stats that you put up there.
    As much as I would like to see Byrd on the bench the numbers say he should play. Four at bats for him today should say whether a turn around is in the wind. If not, well there is room on the bench.

    • BosephHeyden

       Agreed.  I’m not saying this game is make or break as far as determining Sveum’s decision making skills, but clearly Byrd has not been doing well and clearly Reed Johnson has been doing better.  Today is the day where you let Byrd get in his AB’s against a pitcher that he’s done well against in the past and isn’t doing particularly well this season so far, and, like you said, if he doesn’t show improvement, it’s time for Reed and Byrd to swap spots and to start shopping around Byrd.

      I do feel a bit bad because Byrd did take that pitch to the face last year that fractured it a bit, and that isn’t really an injury you get over.  But, at the same time, if he can’t get over it, he should be allowed to collect an easy paycheck, either on the bench, with another team, or at home.

  • paulcatanese

    Wood on the DL,Dempster headed there, Wells back up, Maine brought in, only a couple of weeks into the season.

    The History teacher I had in grammar school once said in class,
    “History will always repeat itself”, seems the Cubs are having that happen again from 2011.

    • John_CC

       Yeah, this is a serious development. If Randy the party-man-child is going to replace Dempster in the rotation this season is going to get really ugly.

      • cubtex

        It’s not already???

        • cc002600

           You mean you aren’t impressed with 3-10 ?

          • John_CC

             not impressed at all, but it’s still just 13 games, so I’m calling it UGLY…it’s about to get really ugly.  Then again, they didn’t win for Dempster’s gems so difference will just be bigger point spreads.

  • WidespreadHisPanic

    Get Clevenger in there.

  • Rmercer

    i dont care what Byrds numbers are, he is clearly not the same guy that put those numbers up. He does not need to be continually run out there. AND I’m done with watching Soto

    • paulcatanese

      Correct, my point was that at least he had good numbers against Homer.
      And to further agree with you, I feel the same way about playing him every day. As had been pointed out many times they run him out there in the hopes that he will put up the numbers to be sought by other teams by the trade deadline.
      Well apparantly you,I, and other teams know pretty much that is not going to happen, and if by some miracle it does I still don’t think he will bring much in return.
      I would like to see Clevenger instead of Soto, or at the very least platoon them. This alone would give Clevenger more playing time because the majority of pitchers are right handers.

  • xaxinho

    If Sveum is thinking about lineup changes, is good to move LaHair to n. 4 for I think the 2011 Soriano is returning. He is getting better against sliders outside the zone but there are other problems being noticed by scouts/pitchers

    • Zonk

      It’s like Soriano fixed all his problems (poor defense, can’t get slider on outside), but the boat sprung other holes in the process (isn’t turning on anything)

      • xaxinho


  • cc002600

    Well, all I can say is that I hope there are a couple monster studs that come out of the 2013 draft, because if there are there’s a good chance we’re getting one of them. Wow.

  • Nathan

    Well if you can ever feel confident about a cubs game, its when Homer Bailey is pitching, let’s hope today shows off some Cubbie bats

  • Neil

    Two more errors ..

  • cubtex

    That’s all for me today!  4 Runs 4 Hits 2 Errors and we are only in the top of the 1st! Have a Great Weekend Everyone!

  • Tony_Hall

    Amazing, a young shortstop makes an error, and with a gold glove 1B.

  • cubs1967

    50 wins?
    Gotta start to wonder……
    Talk is cheap team Theo ……. Results matter!

    • Tony_Hall

      What would be the difference between 50, 60 or 70 wins, except better draft picks for a worse record?  None of them make the playoffs.

      • GaryLeeT

        Come on Tony. Wins are usually in direct correlation with attendance. So the more wins, the more money the team makes. Wins always matter for a major market team.

        • Tony_Hall

          I think that affects small market teams more than a major market team like the Cubs.  Yes attendance and actual turnstile attendance will take a dip if the team only wins 50, but the Cubs will still sell a lot of tickets, and when the team starts to win again, they will be back to selling out and packing the house again.  

    • Tony_Hall

      And you prove talk is cheap, over and over and over again…

      • cubs1967

        gotta love a cyber bully.

        thanks for the personal attacks……….

        what kind of results would you like me to produce??……..that I said all winter long this team is bad and you said they haven;t played a game yet??
        so now they’ve played 13 games; how’s my prediction looking??

        sorry I’m a realistic person and not drunk on theo kool-aid like yourself accepting a 3-11 W-L record.

        truth hurts.

        • Tony_Hall

          cyber bully???  really??

        • John_CC

           Give us all a break, please with the melodrama.

          Apparently the truth does hurt.

          • cubs1967

            personal attacks really??

          • Tony_Hall

            Where was the personal attack?  It was a play on your own words.  

            Awful thin skin.

      • GaryLeeT

         You usually stick to the debate, and don’t stoop to insults.

        • Tony_Hall

          Sorry, but he repeats the same stuff over and over and over again, and then repeats.

          • cubs1967

            again… freedom of speech is not allowed because you say so;
            don’t put words in my mouth.

            you don’t know shi* about what I say so do not be speaking for me;

          • Tony_Hall

            That would be the talk is cheap part.  Never said you can’t say whatever you want.  

            Not sure where I put words in your mouth, you say enough all on your own.

            Never spoke for you, but we all know what you are going to say before you say it…again.

  • Tony_Hall

    Castro crushed that ball!  Wow is the wind blowing in.

  • Tony_Hall

    5 total errors through 3 innings.  Not much fun on a cold day, with the wind blowing in.

  • Neil

    Good for LaHair getting the run in

  • Neil

    Soto and Byrd, 2 total pitches … 2 outs

  • John_CC

    Wow. Is Shawn Camp really the best option for the bullpen?  Is there really no one in Iowa that is no better than this?  Isn’t Coleman better?  I’m asking, I don’t know any of the relief arms on the farm. 

  • GaryLeeT

    It’s not bad enough that the 27th ranked offense has scored 7 runs (so far), but to do it with the wind howling in?

  • cc002600

    You got to really like LaHair.
    I hope they can find a spot for him in OF when Rizzo gets here.

  • John_CC

     Two extra base hits in the same game!  I’m proud of LaHair, it’s really too bad no one would give him a chance last year.

  • Theboardrider

    (I posted this yesterday and was hoping for some good dialogue but I only got one reply.  I’m reposting in the hope that I can get more talk on this subject.  Thanks to Dorasaga for your reply on my earlier thread.)Is Darwin Barney clutch? When I think of Cubs hitters, that’s the last thing I’ve thought of in years.  Remember when Sammy would hit all of those late inning, blowout game home runs?  Not to knock him because he participated in some fun years to watch but to me, his hitting is a microcosm of the Cubs over the last 10-15 years.  When was the last time we had a clutch hitter?  Sandberg?  Grace?  Has it been that long?  I’m sure that Rip or Aaron or someone that has a better grasp on statistics than myself could probably prove me wrong.  It just seems that Barney, to the eye test, seems to be clutch and be the type of guy that wants to be at bat with men on base.  As opposed to say, Soriano.  When I grew up playing sports we called guys like that a “gamer.” Is Barney a gamer?And to that point do we have any other gamers?  I can’t really think of any, and that makes me like Barney.  Maybe Lahair?  Way too early to tell. Best case scenario is he similar to world series champion David Eckstein?   Honestly, when I think of the two I see Barney as a guy that can hit for more power and possibly more average.  Eckstein was a pretty good shortstop for a few seasons.  (Dang, was he a shortstop?  I honestly just can’t picture him as more than a 2nd baseman but was he?  If so makes him even more respectable.)  I guess my point is that Barney seems like a guy who “gets it.”  What does everyone else think?  And does he measure up to say Eckstein?  If we have a guy like Eckstein at 2nd, that may not work out too bad. When I think of him at short, I can’t believe Eck started in the show.  But when I think of him at 2nd, he seems a lot more serviceable.  And do you guys think Barney could be better than Eckstein?  I do…Just a few thoughts.  If anyone would care to respond or critique I would love to hear what you have to say.  Just curious and trying to have some dialogue.  

    • cc002600

       I agree. I like Barney.  He doesn’t wow you with his tools, but he’s a solid, smart player that does the little things that will help you win that don’t show up in the box score.

      he’s probably not the long term answer at 2B, but I don’t see anyone in AA or AAA coming up that will unseat him in the near term.

      and yes, clutch hitters for the cubs have few and far between over the years.  I thought Grace was one of the best that we had. And actually, prior to the last couple years, I thought ARAM was a pretty good clutch hitter, too.

      • SuzyS

        In my opinion…Aram was never clutch…he always seemed to have his best games when it didn’t matter.
        Remember when DLee went down with the wrist injury…Aram was useless.

        Billy Williams/Santo/Grace/Banks…all = clutch.

        • cc002600

            Re: ARAM being clutch……see John CC’s response below. 

          Sorry, Suz, but the numbers are with me.


        • Nathan

          the past few years Aram wasnt clutch, but for the most of his tenure with the cubs, he was considered league wide as one of the clutchest hitters in the game

          • John_CC

             i think the term is Clutchiest

    • daverj

      Barney is decent player to have on a team as long as he’s not being relied on for significant production.  Eckstein is a good comparison for Barney’s upside.  I don’t think Barney will be better than Eckstein, but he could develop into a similar type of player if all goes well.  If the Cubs can develop power hitters at 1B, 3B, LF, and RF and have get some offense from SS in Castro, I have no problem with Barney at 2B.

      As for clutch, I’m not so sure Barney is particularly strong or particlular weak in clutch situations … seems pretty average.  His career batting average is .272 overall, .289 with runners in scoring position, and .235 with runners in scoring position and 2 outs.

    • John_CC

       Well, “clutch” hitting has been viewed by the new statisticians as a fallacy basically.  The view taken is that over a large sample there is no difference between hitting with RISP or not. It is all just hitting.

      On the contrary, the argument against this idea that there is no such thing as clutch hitting is generally like the one you have given.  “The eye test” or that Sosa seemed to hit more HR when they did not matter.  To a stat-head, this is not an argument at all, it is not based on numbers.

      BUT, about a year ago I heard a story about a couple guys that were developing a sabr-metric stat that actually could measure the “clutch” aspect of a hitter.  Unfortunately, I have never been able to find that story again, though I have searched for it.  It broke down ABs with runners on each base, by inning, by score, etc.  Pretty cool.  And the hitter that they referenced as one of the most consistent “clutch” hitters of the last decade was….Aramis Ramirez. 

      Aramis was a stud from 2004-2008. I remember always feeling like he could deliver the big hit when there was a man on the Cubs needed it.  Another hitter I always thought of as a great clutch hitter was Big Papi.

      I guess I should try to find more about that metric again.

      • Theboardrider

        I remember feeling that way about Aram as well, a few years ago…

        Thanks to all for the conversation.  It was good to read your thoughts.  Everybody made some good points and kept it classy!  Gotta love it.

        I agree that if we can really get some quality hitters at the other positions than Barney could be a long term 2nd baseman.  Back to Eckstein; with the Cardinals and the Angels he was surrounded by talented hitters but if I’m not mistaken he did bat some 2 hole, at least in his Angel days.  

        I really think Barney could be every bit the player Eckstein was. 

  • John_CC

    Nice grab Marlon!  Saved that inning from getting completely out of control.

    I can’t believe I’m still watching this…I’m so bored.

  • John_CC

    Chapman is a STUD

  • Redlarczykg


  • Neil

    Cubs lost 9-4 to Reds Friday afternoon

    Chris Volstad: 6R, 5ER, 7H, 2BB, 4K in 5IP; Bryan LaHair: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, R; Starlin Castro: 1-for-4, R; Cubs 3 more errors

    • Chadaudio

      Well, it was good to see LaHair respond to hitting fourth and Main seemed to do alright.

  • cc002600

    wow, 3-11 .,..wohooo!!

    I know all of you remember 1997 when the cubs started 0-14

    its scary to think, but this ain’t too far away from that.

    Holy crapola

    all you can do is laugh at this point.

    • Tony_Hall

      I remember 0-14 and if this season leads to 1998 then I am fine with that thought.

      • John_CC

         They lost 94 games that year.

        Heck, 2006 was worse…96 Losses followed by a first place finish in ’07 with around 88 wins, then 97 W in 2008.

        So this isn’t something the Win Now crowd wants to hear.  But the fact is, clubs can turn around fast.

        • matthew8510

          starting with getting rid of byrd and soriano and calling up jackson and moving lahair to left