Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Phillies – 04/28/12

Game Twenty-One: Cubs (7-13) vs. Phillies (9-11)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/901
Location – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

Randy Wells (0-0, 3.60/2.20) vs. Joe Blanton (1-3, 4.34/1.39)

Updated 3:21pm CDT - Steve Clevenger Placed on 15-day DL with Right Oblique Strain – Welington Castillo Recalled from Triple-A Iowa

Updated 3:33pm CDT - Geovany Soto scratched from lineup with upper back tightness; Welington Castillo starting at catcher and batting eighth.

Can the Cubs make it two wins in a row tonight behind Randy Wells? If the Cubs are able to take care of business, Dale Sveum’s team would be 4-1 in their last five.

Randy Wells could be making his last big league start for a while tonight. Ryan Dempster is expected back from the DL prior to Thursday’s finale against the Reds. Wells needs a good outing tonight in order to possibly avoid a trip back to Iowa. The Cubs need a long reliever in the pen … and Wells or Chris Volstad could fill that role.

The Cubs also announced Friday a slight change to the rotation. Chris Volstad will start Monday’s finale against the Vance Worley and Phillies. Jeff Samardzija is not injured or sick, the Cubs are trying to make sure they do not overwork him this season. Samardzija will start Tuesday’s opener in Cinicinnati.

Kerry Wood could return Thursday as well. Wood threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Friday and if all goes well he should return by the end of the road trip.

Steve Clevenger is expected to be placed on the DL prior to tonight’s game. Welington Castillo will be recalled to take his spot on the active roster.

Tonight all starts with Randy Wells

Randy Wells makes his second big league start of the season tonight after a so-so outing his first time out. Wells kept his team in the game but was not sharp. Wells gave up six hits with five walks in five innings. Wells threw 93 pitches, just 52 for strikes. The Reds could not unclog the bases or the final score would have been more than a one-run loss for the Cubs.

Wells was slightly better on the road (3-3 in 11 starts with two complete games, a .497 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP) than he was at Wrigley last year (4-3 in 12 starts with a 5.00 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP) … and the Cubs need for him to step up tonight.

Randy Wells has two no decisions in two career starts against the Phillies with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP … at Citizens Bank, 0-0 in one start with a 11.57 ERA and a 2.14 WHIP (three runs on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings).

Phillies Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Laynce Nix – 3-for-14 with a double and a walk
  • Hunter Pence – 6-for-17 with a double, a home run and four walks
  • Juan Pierre – 4-for-10 with a triple and two walks
  • Placido Polanco – 0-for-6
  • Jimmy Rollins – 1-for-5 with a home run
  • Carlos Ruiz – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Jim Thome – 1-for-1 with a home run and two walks
  • Shane Victorino – 2-for-5

After an excellent start to the season (one run on three hits in seven innings against the Marlins), Joe Blanton has struggled in his last two outings. Blanton surrendered four runs on 11 hits to the Giants in five innings then served up six runs, three earned, on seven hits to the Padres in six innings. Both of Blanton’s last two starts were on the road and his results in his home park while with the Phillies have been mixed.

Joe Blanton has never beaten the Cubs … and has not lost to them either. Blanton has four no decisions in four career starts with a 3.04 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. His last start against the Cubs came on July 16, 2010 at Wrigley.

Cubs Career Numbers against Joe Blanton

  • Starlin Castro – 3-for-6
  • David DeJesus – 3-for-14 with a double
  • Reed Johnson – 5-for-12 with two doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Joe Mather – 0-for-3
  • Alfonso Soriano – 6-for-18 with two doubles, a triple and three walks
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Ian Stewart – 0-for-3

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"The more reasons you have for achieving your goal, the more determined you will become." - Brian Tracy

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Steve Clevenger has gone back to Chicago for treatment on right oblique.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soto scratched from lineup with upper back tightness; Castillo starting at catcher and batting eighth.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Updated lineup:

    DeJesus – RF
    Barney – 2B
    Castro – SS
    LaHair – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Stewart – 3B
    Johnson – CF
    Castillo – C
    Wells – P

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Dempster to return on Thursday in Cincinnati

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Tamara-Petty/100000776295511 Steven Tamara Petty

    As much as I like Johnson, I am upset that Campana is not in this lineup.  Why?  Also, Soto?  Cmon, give Castillo a shot.  It is Randy Wells pitching.  Was Castillo not catching Wells in AAA?  WOW, no wonder we are the “loveable losers”!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

       Castillo is starting, just announced. Soto’s back is tight. Can’t explain Campana yet.

  • SuzyS

    Wow…Soto scratched with upper back tightness??? With Clevenger hitting the DL…who would back up Castillo if Soto hits the DL???

    Could be a Wally Pipp moment…good luck to Castillo!!!

    • Ripsnorter1

      Jed, a Mr. Koyie Hill is on line one….

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Peoria – Jose Rosario (1-3, 5.85)
    Daytona – Matt Loosen (0-1, 11.57)
    Tennessee – Dallas Beeler (0-0, 2.42)
    Iowa – Chris Rusin ( 2-2, 3.38)

    Today’s spotlight game: Iowa v. Nashville
    After having two nights off sandwiched around a 7-1 on Thursday, a well rested Iowa squad takes on a Nashville team with the worst record in the PCL at 4-17. Chris Rusin came within three outs of pitching a complete game shut out in his last start.

    Some notes from the past few days:

    Michael Burgess, who had 11 outfield assists last season, already has five for the Smokies.

    Both Logan Watkins and Jae-Hoon Ha will surpass 100 plate appearances this weekend.

    Daytona has three players in the top 15 in hitting in the FSL: Rubi Silva, John Andreoli, and Greg Rohan

    Peoria’s PJ Francescon leads the Midwest league with a 0.67 WHIP. Michael Jensen is fifth at 0.90.

  • Aaron

    Soto “scratched with upper back tightness”…

    Why couldn’t they just say, “Soto scratched for suckiness syndrome”…or something like that…LOL

  • Aaron

    Also, just wanted to add, and I know hardly anybody likes him, including myself (usually except last year when he was spot on with the Cubs), Steven Rosenbloom had an article up talking about why Marmol is even still on the Cubs.

    He happens to be spot on once again with his assessment. WHY?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why in the world would the Cubs, who are supposed to be rebuilding, ever employ a guy like him, who blows games, can’t throw strikes, and “earns” $6+million (increasing to $9+million next year)…

    A closer like him is a luxury item on a team like this. And “luxury” is just a cliche word I threw in there, because he doesn’t even come close to that word in general with his performance (or lack thereof).

    When Wilson went down for the Giants, Theo should’ve had Sabean on speed dial (let’s face it, it’s NOT Hoyer that’s calling the shots). 

    • cc002600

      Gee, I wasn’t aware that Marmol is only closer that blows saves.  

      I must have missed that memo.

      Relievers go up and down. last year was a bad year. before we hit panic button and trade him when his value is at its lowest, (real smart) let’s see how he does this year. What do we have to lose to let him try and work out of it ?  He still has a very nasty slider.

      Very, very few closers are good year in and year out.  Not too mention, they get hurt. See Wilson.

      • John_CC

         It is the Year of the Blown Save, at least so far into this short season.  I tend to agree with you on this one.  Aaron, the Giants aren’t the only team with shaky closers making big messes at the end of games. Boston, Philly, Miami, KC, Cleveland, Toronto, Cleveland all have serious issues…for that matter look at Guerra, Putz, Walden – all with ERAs North of 5.50.  The closer landscape is a flipping mess right now.  But you know this, my question: why would Sabean want to jump the gun in April and acquire a closer that can’t close games?  Particularly with backup in his pen like Romo and Castilla? 

        I want Marmol gone too, quite badly.  I bemoaned his extension and thought it was a terrible idea. I was yelling for him to be traded in 2010 for the very same point Rosenbloom is trying to make — building around a closer is dumb, if you can’t give the guy a game to save, what’s the point? 

        And yes, I dislike Rosenbloom quite a bit.

        • Dorasaga

           If Thoyer truly see* something out of younger pitchers to replace Marmol, then I can imagine Senior Nasty turns out to be a hot commodity.

          – Marmol was signed a good deal, team friendly.

          – Veteran and proven closers always have chances.

          *That’s a plural form with for both Theo and Hoyer.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Aaron, let’s give it a break today. Thanks man.

      • Aaron

        I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying, but….okay…just thought I’d post about rebuilding the team, guess this isn’t the forum for that

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Thanks Aaron for understanding.

          • Aaron

            np…all the best

    • Carmelo

      If you were Sabean, would make a trade for Marmol?

      • Aaron

        only if the Cubs picked up the majority of his contract (meaning leaving about a $4 million tab per season…because that’s what decent non-closers make)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Trib: Steve Clevenger will be lost for indefinite period of time after suffering a right oblique strain on Friday.

    “The concerning point is I’ve had run-ins with these kinds of things,
    when guys have trouble talking, and coughing and stuff,” Sveum said,
    “It’s definitely more than a couple or three weeks. (Recovering) is
    usually a long process. That’s the unfortunate part about it. I think he
    got it really good.”

    Sveum said Soto is still his starting catcher, but that Castillo would
    probably get more starts than Clevenger did because of his experience.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-no-timetable-for-clevenger-return-from-oblique-strain-20120428,0,2357033.story

    • John_CC

      Bummer!  Man that really sucks…sometimes when it rains, it pours, or more often than not for the Cubs.

      • Tony_Hall

        Honestly, Chicago is mourning a much bigger loss right now
        :(

        • John_CC

           Who, what happened?

          • Tony_Hall

            DRose…out for the season

            Torn ACL

          • John_CC

             O, sorry for your lose.  I am pretty much only a baseball fan and pay very little attention to other pro sports.

          • Tony_Hall

            Can’t say that I watch the regular season all that much, but I was looking forward to the playoffs.  Without Rose, the Bulls have no chance to win it all.

          • Dorasaga

            The Bulls had little chance last year with Rose all-in and MVP-ed. The team has been relying solely on defense (top one or two depends on your metrics), but has been less than good overall offensively.  Noah really needs to step up offensively to match up his once reputation as their #1 pick…

    • Ripsnorter1

      HUGE disappointment!  So sorry for Clevenger and for the Cubs. WOW! That was totally unexpected.

      Well, like Suzy says, “It’s a Wally Pipp moment.”
      Let’s hope he makes the most of it.

      • Tony_Hall

        I have to believe if Clevenger is out a month, then it’s likely Castillo’s job to lose.  He can beat out Soto, H2H right now, and when Clevenger is ready, he would do a rehab assignment at AAA, then come up once they trade Soto.  This injury could work out good for the long run.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Soto needs to platoon now. Not hitting RHP anymore. I don’t know if he is like my read on Byrd: he wanted out, and mentally quit. Whatever the case, we shall find out in short order. Castillo needs a tater tonight!

          • Tony_Hall

            You might be right, and as a catcher, you can never mentally give an inch, let alone quit.  Either way, Soto will be gone in the next few months.

    • Chadaudio

      Can’t believe it.  Indefinitely?  That’s just how it goes I guess.

  • Tom U

    Daytona will have their work cut out for them tonight, as they are facing Detroit top prospect Jacob Turner.

  • Tom U

    Catcher Juan Apodaca promoted to Iowa, Matt Cerda reinstated from the DL for Tennessee.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Campana has been a real help to this team. His speed has helped get us some runs. Our power is almost totally absent. Sure would to have liked to see him start. 

    Blanton is not a great starter. He can be beaten. 

  • Ripsnorter1

    Maybe Castro can swipe a base for us here…

    • Ripsnorter1

      YUP!

      • Ripsnorter1

        YUP!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    LaHair with a 2-out RBI double.

    • Tony_Hall

      Did I see that right?  17 game on base streak…pretty impressive for a power guy that K’s a lot.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Yes, you did. 17 game on base streak for LaHair.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Now Wells throws a shutout, and keeps his job in the rotation. Volstad to the pen.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Let’s see….Wells shuts them out tonight. Blanton knocked out of the box by the fourth inning….Phillies run into the Chicago Cubs buzzsaw, and life is good!

    • Tony_Hall

      Ah Rip, nice to see you take a swig of the Cubbie Blue Kool-Aide :)

      • Ripsnorter1

        Remember, it’s my man Wells pitching…..LOL

        • Tony_Hall

          Wells is looking sharp tonight!  

          Of course maybe it’s the catcher :)

          • Ripsnorter1

            It is. 

            Koyie Hill is phoning in the calls, long distance. 

  • Tony_Hall

    I’ll say this with the thought, that I believe Castro should be given plenty of time to see if he can bring down the errors at SS, BUT, he would be a great CF, the way he runs down those flyballs in the OF.

    • Ripsnorter1

      He needs to move from SS. Not going to happen for him at this position–so say the scouts I read. 

      I know, I know…..

    • John_CC

       I thought that yesterday…but I was thinking LF.

      • Tony_Hall

        Too good of arm to be put in LF, with his range.  If he moved to the OF he would be CF or RF.  But a BJAX and Castro combo in CF/RF would be pretty nice defensively.

    • paulcatanese

      Woah, were did I hear that one before? Posted it last year and still feel that way:)

      • Tony_Hall

        Thought you would like that….I did say that he needs to be given plenty of time to stay at SS.  Until someone is clearly better at SS, and there is a need in the OF, he will be at SS……or 3B :)

        • paulcatanese

          Oh, I agree Tony, they could not make that move until they have someone to take his place, and shortstops don’t grow on tree’s.
          I do forsee a move, but not at this point.
          If anyone can judge shortstops it would be Sveum, and if Castro cannot improve with Sveum mentoring him, he never will.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Blanton hit by pitch….Wells trying to knock Joe out of the game since the Cubs’ bats are too silent.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Soriano came thru with an infield single.

    No power at all this year. Not even a double!  I wonder how long he will be powerless? Has his bat really slowed this much?

  • Ripsnorter1

    Wells needs a strikeout right here and now!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Ugh!

    • Tony_Hall

      4 pitch walk to the pitcher…not enough Cubbie Kool-Aide in the world to make that look good.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Walking the pitcher? After hitting the pitcher?

  • Tony_Hall

    Mr Volstad, your rotation spot is still yours…

  • Ripsnorter1

    “I think we’ve seen enough…”

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Wells imploded … no hits in first three, could not get through fourth.

    • Ripsnorter1

      He looked like Enrique Lopez out there.

      Meanwhile, Marlon Byrd took his first walk as a BoSox…..

  • Ripsnorter1

    This past week, Ryan Flaherty has been playing everyday for the O’s….2B, 3B, and tonight, RF.

    • Tony_Hall

      And he is batting 200
      Getting on base at 235 
      and slugging 200

      • Ripsnorter1

        In 16 AB…

        Tony Hall would say, “It’s early” if we were speaking about some current Cub. 

        :-)

        • Tony_Hall

          Absolutely!

          But we are talking about an ex-Cub, who everyone cried and moaned about losing…

          Plus, you seemed to leave out the part that he wasn’t playing well.

          • Ripsnorter1

            You read too much into my post. I simply noted that he played 3 diffo positions this week. I did not leave out anything in order to say “he’s doing a great job.”

            But imo, Buck Showalter kills rookies. Take for example Jake Fox…last ST, smacked 10 taters in ST. Made the team. Then did not play the entire first month. 

            “Okay, GM–did you get the message?” says Buck, “I don’t want him on my team [for some reason].” 
            Then after rusting on the bench for a month, Buck gives him a handful of ABs so that he fails. 

            This is not a good manager.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree on Showalter, never been impressed with him.  

  • Ripsnorter1

    4 Philly runs on 3 hits….

  • Ripsnorter1

    Where’s Paul tonight? Campana singles to center, and he needs to be here for the SB.

    • paulcatanese

      Watching my grandson go 6-7 in a doubleheader. Taped the game, had it on, fell asleep, and woke up when the announcer said Campana batting for the pitcher. Didn’t miss it Rip, but too little too late.:)

  • John_CC

    I would LOVE to see Campy steal home.  

    • Ripsnorter1

      Yes. But that’s a very, very dangerous play. Somebody could get hurt–most likely, Campana.

      • paulcatanese

        Actually you are correct, if the catcher blocked the plate, Campana could be knocked back to third base.
        He’s a ver gutty guy but probably weighs about 125 soaking wet.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Officially, he weighs………..165 lbs.

          Believe what you will……

          • paulcatanese

            Rip, I don’t believe that 140-150 maybe.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 5-2 to Phillies Saturday night – Randy Wells: 4R,
    3H, 4BB, 3K, HBP, 3.2IP; Starlin Castro: 1-for-4, RBI, R, 2 SB; Bryan LaHair: 1-for-4, 2B, RBI

    • Chadaudio

      Huh.  Had to miss most of the game… I look forward to the summary to hear what happened to Wells.

      • Ripsnorter1

        3 no hit innings….2/3 IP with 3 hits and too many walks.

        • Chadaudio

          Thanks Rip.  Seems like he got shaken up, and just fell apart instead of refocusing again… too bad.  Guess we’ll see more of Lopez then.

          • paulcatanese

            As much as people are wary about the old man, he is not the worse choice and pretty much gets it done for a short period.
            Never thought I would think that way about him, but he’s not bad at all.