Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Phillies – 04/27/12

Game Twenty: Cubs (6-13) vs. Phillies (9-10)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/901
Location – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

Paul Maholm (1-2, 8.36/1.57) vs. Roy Halladay (3-1, 1.50/0.90)

The Cubs begin a difficult seven-game road trip with the first of four tonight in Philadelphia. The trip concludes Thursday afternoon in Cincinnati then the Cubs head home to begin a six game homestand against the Dodgers and Braves.

Tonight is the first of a four game wrap around series against the Phillies, the series finale is Monday night. The Cubs have not played well in Philadelphia over the years and were just 2-5 versus Philly last season.

The Cubs will face a much different Phillies team than in recent years. Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Cliff Lee are on the DL and the Cubs will miss Cole Hamels over the next four games … which is good news for Bryan LaHair. Following tonight’s matchup of Paul Maholm and Roy Halladay, Randy Wells will square off against Joe Blanton on Saturday night. The only day game will feature Matt Garza and Kyle Kendrick on Sunday. The series wraps Monday night with Jeff Samardzija facing Vance Worley.

Dale Sveum’s team is 5-8 against the Central this season … just 1-5 versus the NL East.

Tonight all starts with Paul Maholm …

The following statement is sponsored by Captain Obvious: Paul Maholm is coming off his best start in a Cubs’ uniform. After a horrible outing against the Brewers and an equally horrible start versus the Cardinals, Paul Maholm took a big step forward with his performance against the Redlegs. Maholm allowed just one run on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts in six stellar innings his last time out … and picked up the only win of the series with Dusty’s Bunch.

The Cubs need Maholm to build on his last game and finish his first month with his new team on a positive note.

Paul Maholm is 3-2 in seven career starts against the Phillies with one of his five career complete games. Despite the winning record, Philly has hit him very well (4.50 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, .276 batting average). Maholm did not face the Phillies last season and has started only one game against the Phils over the last two seasons. In two career starts at Citizens Bank, Maholm is 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP.

Phillies Career Numbers against Paul Maholm

  • Hunter Pence – 14-for-44 with four doubles, a triple, two home runs and two walks
  • Juan Pierre – 4-for-13 with a triple and two walks
  • Jimmy Rollins – 4-for-18 with a double and two walks
  • Shane Victorino – 4-for-8 with a double, a triple and a walk
  • Ty Wigginton – 4-for-10 with two doubles

The Cubs will face one of the best in the business tonight in Roy Halladay. Halladay is coming off a rare loss in which he gave up two runs on five hits in seven innings to the Padres. Halladay struggled with his command (at least for him) and issued four free passes while striking out just five.

Halladay has not been as sharp as usual in his last two starts … 12 hits, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in his last 15 innings, but only four runs allowed.

Roy Halladay has struggled in his career against the Cubs and is just 1-4 in five starts with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Roy Halladay

  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-5
  • Starlin Castro – 5-for-9
  • David DeJesus – 4-for-19
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-3
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-3 with a home run
  • Alfonso Soriano – 14-for-59 with three doubles and two home runs
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-6 with a home run
  • Ian Stewart – 3-for-9 with a double

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way of playing the game." – Babe Ruth

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  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

    • Josh

      Startin to look like Sveum’s lineup against rightys at this point. Not sure why Clevenger didn’t get the start given just how bad Soto has been (.108 AVG in last 10 games). Also would rather have Clev batting sixth instead of Stewart.

  • Neil

    From Sun-Times: Samardzija backed up one day to open cincy series. Volstad goes Monday.

    It does not sound like anything is wrong. They are not planning on overworking Samardzija.

    • Chadaudio

      Interesting.  Thanks for all the updates Neil.

      • Neil

         You’re more than welcome

  • Neil

    Cubs hoping to activate Kerry Wood, who threw 25-pitch bullpen today, by end of road trip.

  • Neil

    Dempster (quad) also threw and ran. Expected back from DL when eligible. Wells will start one maybe two more times according to reports.

  • cubs1967

    If your a betting person; today would be a day to bet on a no-no by Hallday; despite his bad W_L vs. the Cubs…..

    • EqDoc

      I’ll take that bet that he doesn’t.  What odds are you giving?

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Peoria – PJ Francescon (1-1, 2.57)
    Daytona – Eric Jokisch (1-2, 4.56)
    Tennessee – Trey McNutt (0-1, 0.77)
    Iowa – Postponed, rain

    Note: Trey McNutt is coming off the 7-day disabled list. Tennessee and the Southern League have not announced the move, or any corresponding move. 

    Tonight’s spotlight game: Peoria v. Lake County
    The Chiefs have made a line-up change for today, benching Zeke DeVoss and placing their two hottest hitters, Pin-Chieh Chen and Wes Darvill, at the top of the order. After a great outing on Sunday, PJ Francescon looks to make it two in a row.

  • Neil

    Good job by Maholm getting out of the jam in the first

  • Agustinrexach

    Hey Guys!

    • Jim_Tinley_Park


  • Neil

    Well, a hit is a hit. There goes Campana …

  • Neil

    Castro with a RBI single …

  • Trevor Petersma

    Wow, Brenly isn’t holding back!

    • Chadaudio

      What did he say?

      • Trevor Petersma

        Ripping on CB Bucknor for the non-strike calls that were clearly strikes.  Basically said Bucknor has no business being in MLB.  Said if a hitter performed as poorly at the plate as he does behind the plate they would be out of a job, yet year after year Bucknor keeps coming back.  

        • Chadaudio


        • Tony_Hall

          BB may be getting a phone call for those comments.  Very deserved, but brutally honesty on the air is not always appreciated by league offices.

          • Trevor Petersma

            No doubt.  I actually turned up the volume a bit when I got rolling as  he was clearly on a tangent. 

          • Chadaudio

            I was listening to the game on the radio… had no idea.

        • John G

          There is definately a history between those two. Just Google “bob brenly and c b buckner”

  • Devin Hill

    Ian Stewart getting alot of work today. Good stuff defensively

  • Chadaudio

    Well that double play was disappointing (bad base running), but that just means this inning for Maholm is huge.

  • Trevor Petersma

    Good win.

  • paulcatanese

    Happy to see Campana get four starts in a row,thank you Dale.

    • Chadaudio

      Yeah, I was happy to see that too.  Campana is so fun to watch play.

    • Ripsnorter1

      He’s earning the playing time with another 2 for 4 outing. I wonder if we can deal him off for a DFA’d pitcher?

      • Tony_Hall

        Because Byrd had 2 hits when he was traded???

      • paulcatanese

        Hey Rip, go drink some buttermilk:):)

        • Tony_Hall

          You have to be loving seeing Campana out there everyday :)

  • Chadaudio

    Campana should be fined for every fly ball he hits.

    • paulcatanese

      He may automaticly drop at home plate and start to do pushups,(major league),flyballs are a no no for him.

      • Chadaudio


  • Ripsnorter1

    I want to know who pitches the 9th. I mean, after Marmol.

    • Trevor Petersma


  • Ripsnorter1

    LaHair….47 AB….20 K…

    Things aren’t always going to be as good as they are right now. When the weather warms some, the pitchers will throw curves with a bigger, sharper break. Same with the slider. Then lookout.

    And I like him. But this is a harbinger of trouble ahead.

    • Tony_Hall

      Thats on pace for a 170+ k’s.  Not out of line for a power hitter,  especially if he keeps hitting over 300 to go along with the power production.

      • Ripsnorter1

        That’s 42% strikeout rate. 

        Let’s compare with another freeswinger: Mark Reynolds.
        Reynolds had 196 K in 534 AB for a 36% rate. I believe…..I believe, since I did not do the research again tonight…that Reynolds had the highest fan rate in MLB. Carlos Pena is pretty close…32%.Can’t live up there, Tony. 

        • Tony_Hall

          Just think if he cuts that back just 10%, with his BABIP.   Also the ball will fly more when it warms up and power production goes up at that point.  

          But if his avg stays even above 280, you take that over 196 any day.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Sure. I like LaHair. I want him to hit .300 or .280, with 30 taters. 

            That would be more than Carlos Pena.

        • cubtex

          that is not good! hopefully he keeps his average up high enough so they can move him and get something for him.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Halladay is going to be 1-5 lifetime vs the Cubs. This is his worst record against any team. 

  • Chadaudio

    I don’t know if I can watch Marmol pitch… think I’ll just check back later.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Dolis with 2 IP save. 

      Tells you that Sveum has NO CONFIDENCE in Marmol. 

      • Tony_Hall

        Do you blame him?

      • Chadaudio

        Yup.  The biggest “little” thing in this game was that Dolis pitched the ninth instead of Marmol… hmmmm. I’m sure Sveum waited to do this move on the road to avoid a lot of questions from the press.  Man, I’m so glad we didn’t have to see Marmol tonight.

  • Tony_Hall

    Nice outing by Paul Maholm, out dueling the great, some might say nearly un-hitable Roy Halladay.

  • Chadaudio

    Cubs win!!! Cubs win!!!

  • paulcatanese

    A good win, Neil,can’t wait for you’re re-cap, could not get it on MLB.

  • Neil

    Cubs beat Phillies 5-1 Friday night

    Paul Maholm: 1R,5H,0BB,K,6.1IP;
    Tony Campana: 2-for-5,2R,SB; Starlin Castro:2-for-4,2B,RBI,SB; Reed Johnson: RBI Triple

  • Neil

     Cannot confirm but according to Enrique Rojas, Welington Castillo has been recalled from Triple-A Iowa

    No word on if Soto or Clevenger is hurt or if one has been traded. Will post once confirmed.

    • Aaron

      methinks it could be DeWitt that is sent down…it only makes sense. Sending Clevenger down wouldn’t make sense, given how he’s hit, and Soto didn’t appear injured, so here’s what I think…

      Either Soto has been traded (unlikely), or DeWitt is optioned, because both Baker and Mather can play ALL positions that DeWitt can play (remember, Mather played 2B in ST), so he’s really redundant.

      Clevenger also has experience at 3B and 1B.

      So, either injury/trade w/ Soto or DeWitt optioned

      • paulcatanese

        Good guess Aaron, Clevenger can play other positions
        and you are correct about Mather. I don’t as well think Soto was traded as that would leave the Cubs with two rookies behind the plate, but stranger things have happened this year.

        • daverj

          I’ll speculate on a Soto trade with the Rays.

        • Aaron

          I did a google search on it, and other than BCB, no other site besides here seems to be reporting about this. One of the bloggers there said he thought Soto hurt himself running on the Reed triple, but acknowledged that it’d be pretty damn difficult to crouch behind the plate if that indeed happened, so that appears unlikely.

          Who knows? 

          WOW…just found out it’s Clevenger who is hurt…did it during BP:

          • Neil

            Aaron, you are right. Clevenger going on the DL

          • paulcatanese

            Bummer Neil.Clevenger was making a push, hope it wasn’t serious.

          • paulcatanese

            As I posted to Neil, thats a bummer, hope it gives Castillo a shot.

          • Aaron

            One thing that is peculiar about the timing of all of this is that Soto is struggling badly…Byrd was struggling badly, and was traded, and both “earn” around the same amount of money. 

            I know injuries happen during BP, but usually you hear about it with pitchers taking too big of a cut, etc….not typically with a light-hitting (albeit extra base hit-type) catcher like Clevenger…

            Obviously, this is the conspiratorial nature in me coming out, but I think this could potentially be the precursor to a Soto trade in the very near future, and here’s why…

            1) You don’t just DL a guy immediately after a BP incident with “tightness in his side”, then come out with the excuse of “we don’t want it to become a problem” sort of thing…

            2)…having said that, it’s never a good idea to have your back-up catcher being injured, but I find it extremely hard to believe they’d act this quickly

            3) Clevenger has already done a good job of handling pitchers. His one issue has been keeping the running game at bay.

            4) Soto has been dramatically overrated with handling pitching staffs, mostly because his ROY campaign was 2008, when the entire damn team played out of their minds. This year he’s been exceptionally bad at managing the staff (5.27 ERA), controlling the running game (20% CS), fielding his position (3 errors already just 3 weeks into the season…after having close to a record for catchers last year with 13 errors). Clevenger, meanwhile has managed the staff well (1.84 ERA), fielded his position well (0 errors)…though he hasn’t caught anyone stealing yet (5 attempts, 0 caught vs Soto’s 15 attempts, 3 caught), and that’s not even mentioning the offensive numbers: .140 for Soto vs .500 for Clevenger…which brings me to my next point

            5) The Cubs are probably concerned with Castillo’s perception of not handling staffs very well. They’re sold on his arm controlling the running game, as well as his bat, but they need to know what to do with Soto. Should they just keep him through the season, and attempt to trade him then?…or, should they cut their losses like they did with Byrd, hand the position over to a rookie, and build from there? I think there’s a VERY good reason the Cubs have chosen to go with Soto for pitchers like Samardzija where Clevenger has far better numbers catching him, and that’s because they’re trying to gauge if Soto is really that bad at calling games or not. Bringing up Castillo just gives them another gauge.

            Time will obviously tell what their gameplan is/was, and how bad the injury really is, but my guess…just call it a gut feeling, and that’s the fact that as mentioned, they’re planning to move Soto, and need to know what they have with Castillo and Clevenger

          • paulcatanese

            That would be a welcome scenerio to have that happpen.
            Dosent sound that far out.
            I agree that an injury like that is very rare unless Clevenger was trying to swing out of his shoes at a pitch.
            Just dosent happen in BP, pitchers (or whoever is throwing BP) are not trying to fool or strike out hitters, just getting the eye ready for the game. Adds a lot of credence to you’re theory.