Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Phillies – 04/30/12

Game Twenty-Three: Cubs (8-14) vs. Phillies (10-12)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, ESPN Monday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/902
Location – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

Chris Volstad (0-3, 6.14/1.27) vs. Vance Worley (2-1, 2.16/1.24)

If Dale Sveum’s team can figure out a way to post a victory tonight, the Cubs will do something they have never done … win a series at Citizens Bank Park. The Cubs are 0-7-1 in series at the Phillies’ park since it opened in 2004.

Jeff Samardzija was scheduled to start tonight’s finale but was pushed back a day and will open the three-game series in Cincinnati tomorrow night. Samardzija is not hurt. The Cubs are monitoring his innings and will give him breaks from time to time in order to ensure he is not overworked in his first season as a big league starter. Chris Volstad will get the ball instead pitching on regular rest.

Geovany Soto is expected back in the starting lineup after missing the past two games with tightness in his back. With Steve Clevenger on the DL and Welington Castillo on the active roster, the Cubs’ catching depth is a little banged up. Clevenger is expected to miss at least a month and Soto’s days as the Cubs’ starting catcher could be coming to an end. Soto is not hitting and the other two catchers on the 40-man roster are pushing for playing time.

With two roster moves expected prior to Thursday’s game, Randy Wells will be available out of the pen for the first two games of the Reds’ series (Tuesday and Wednesday).

Tonight all starts with Chris VolstadChris Volstad is in need of a good outing … from beginning to end. Volstad is coming off an excellent five innings but a not-so-good six inning start against the Cardinals (four runs on six hits with no walks and two strikeouts in six innings). Volstad was going pitch-for-pitch with Lance Lynn through five then fell apart in the sixth. If not for the horrible outing by Randy Wells on Saturday night, Volstad could be pitching for a spot in the rotation tonight … unfortunately the Cubs do not have a better starting option right now.

In four starts this season, Chris Volstad has one quality start under his belt and has not posted a victory the last 15 times he’s started a game. His last win came on July 10, 2011.

Chris Volstad has struggled when he’s faced the Phillies. In 12 career starts, just 2-5 with a 5.88 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP … at Citizens Bank, 2-1 in six starts with a 6.53 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP. Last season Volstad was a horrendous 0-2 with a 13.97 ERRA and a 2.28 WHIP (15 runs on 19 hits with three walks, six strikeouts and five home runs in 9 2/3 innings).

Phillies Career Numbers against Chris Volstad

  • Laynce Nix – 2-for-7 with a home run
  • Pete Orr – 1-for-1 with a home run and a walk
  • Hunter Pence – 5-for-14 with a walk
  • Juan Pierre – 2-for-8
  • Placido Polanco – 3-for-11
  • Jimmy Rollins – 13-for-29 with two doubles, a home run and two walks
  • Carlos Ruiz – 9-for-20 with four doubles and four walks
  • Shane Victorino – 8-for-28 with a double, a triple, two home runs and a walk

Vance Worley has picked up where he left off last season and has so far quieted his critics. Worley was 11-3 in 25 games, 21 starts, a year ago with a 3.01 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP … and is 2-1 in four starts this season with a 2.16 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP, 27 strikeouts and nine walks with just 22 hits allowed in 25 innings.

Worley is coming off his second win in a row after holding Arizona to one run on five hits in six innings. Worley has allowed one earned run in his last two starts (13 innings) with four walks and 17 strikeouts.

The Cubs offense will not have a good time tonight facing Vance Worley.

Worley faces the Cubs for the second time in his career. The Cubs were shut down by Vance Worley last July 20 at Wrigley … one run on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in eight innings.

Cubs Career Numbers against Vance Worley

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-1
  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Tony Campana – 0-for-1
  • Starlin Castro – 0-for-3 with a walk
  • David DeJesus – 0-for-2
  • Blake DeWitt – 0-for-1
  • Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-3
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-2
  • Ian Stewart – 0-for-1

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

    • BosephHeyden

      This is a good game for Castillo to sit out.  He looked out of place the last two games, and if he truly is the future starter for the Cubs, he needs to sit out a game like today, because the Cubs will need offense, and that could put a bit more pressure on a young prospect being hailed as a future staple of the club that isn’t hitting.

      I’ll also say this:  Volstad, as awful as he is, should thank his stars Wells is doing almost as bad.  Neither is shaping up to be a good starting option, and both need to be converted to relievers and/or traded.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Trib: Kerry Wood’s simulated game went “great” according to Chris Bosio. Wood is on track to return Thursday.

    • John_CC

       I sure hope he actually is OK, and can stay healthy for a while, but what are the odds of that at this point?  We need Woody really bad.

  • cubtex

    Gerardo Concepcion didn’t make it out of the 1st for his second start. Not starting out too well for him to put it mildly!

    • Ripsnorter1

      Look at the bright side, Cubtex. Gerardo Concepcion has only given up 1 HR so far.  And he’s only 20.

      12 ER5.2 IP 
      13 H
      2 BB
      1 HBP
      2 K
      2 starts

      He just isn’t fooling anyone at all. 

      Pujols syndrome?

      • cubtex

        well….the international scouts weren’t really glowing about this guys stuff. He doesn’t miss many bats and were pretty surprised the Cubs signed him for what he got.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Sure. You are 100% correct. And his stats in Cuba weren’t all that good, either.

          Now say something positive about him.

          • cubtex

            he looks good in his uniform :)

          • SuzyS

             :) Wow…you really like him!!!

          • Jim_Tinley_Park

            It’s Theo’s fault.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Not all that excited about tonight’s lineup because….

    Campana batting #2 instead of leading off, and
    Soto starting at C instead of Castillo, and
    Stewart starting at 3B instead of Mather, and
    DeWitt starting at 2B instead of Barney, and
    Volstad

    • paulcatanese

      Slightly upsetting Rip, I guess the Cubs don’t really place any importance of taking the first series in a long time from the Phillies.
      Not even a smile from me on this one.

    • BosephHeyden

      The Campana thing…I don’t actually mind that so much.  They’ve been manufacturing some good runs with the DeJesus/Campana 1-2 punch, where DeJesus gets a single or double, Campana bunts, and either Campana beats it out or there’s a runner in scoring position with one out.

      Until a better bunter than Campana emerges, he works well as a number two hitter, especially since he rarely walks.

    • Cory

      I can’t stand to see DeWitt in the lineup.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Hey! YOU! Get ahold of yourself!
        LOL

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Iowa – Travis Wood (1-2, 4.24)

    Daytona lost 8-6 to Lakeland. The D-Cubs had 14 hits, as Rubi Silva was 3-for-4 while Matt Szczur and Elieser Bonne 2-for-5.

    Peoria lost 8-4 to Fort Wayne. Gerardo Concepcion was shelled for 7 runs in 0.2 innings.

    • cubtex

      Would like to see Travis Wood continue to progress. Being lefthanded and with Volstad not having won a game in 15 straight starts……hopefully he will take Volstad’s spot in the rotation in the not too distant future

      • carmelo

        I agree — would Volstad be better in a late inning role, he seems to get the first 6-7 hitters out during his starts.  Then Wood to the rotation.

        • cubtex

          Volstad to AAA and T Wood to the rotation. If he has a good start tonight maybe this could happen immediately.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I think the Cubs will have to go to a closer committee of Maine and Dolis before too long.  Marmol has not pitched well enough to keep his job for a long time–going back to last year. 

    And who gets cut to activate Kerry and Dempster? Sure, Wells will get cut, but who is the other unfortunate?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Trib: Sveum says Kerry Wood may start out in 7th inning when he returns to relieve stress, w/ Dolis as set-up.

  • Ricky20m

    Volstad = worthless, enough said.

    • cubtex

      Cmon. He is only 25 :)

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

     Neil , if we monitoring the Shark innings why he was not the number 5 starter that made no sense at all

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      One reason … Maholm was coming off an injury and started the spring late due to injury. I think you are seeing why with Volstad.

  • RMercer

    There has got to be someone we can run out there every 5th day besides Volstad.

  • Michael

    Wow, Volstad is complete garbage. For a lineup that couldn’t score much the last couple of days vs our pitchers, Chris gives up 4 in the first. He is just awful and should be in AAA with Wells taking his spot or randomly drawing a fan from the crowd.

    • Ricky20m

      LMAO!! Randomly drawing a fan from the crow. Lol

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    Volstad new name should be Hitstad ugghhhh

  • Zonk

    If the Volstad act is repealed to AAA, maybe Travis Wood will be coming up.  Let’s see how he does tonight in Memphis. 

    Randy Wells isn’t an option, and I don’t think I want to see Casey Coleman again either

    • Ripsnorter1

      Travis Wood has not been stellar down in AAA Iowa, either. 

      Remember his ST performance?

      • Kojak Osborne Jr.

         i dont even think we have a replacement for Voldstad oh wait maybe that why Lopez is starting in Iowa now lol

      • Tom U

        Travis Wood just served up a 3 run homer to Allen Craig in the 1st.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Iowa Cubs are having some difficulties right now.  

    • Zonk

      Nevermind, Memphis 3-0, bottom of the first already, Wood still trying to get the third out.

      Move along people, nothing to see here…..

      • cubtex

        Wow. Way to step it up Wood. I guess it is Casey Coleman time :)

        • Ripsnorter1

          I can’t stand Volstad. I didn’t want him at all. But….I don’t think Wood is ready–may never be ready–Coleman, HUSH YOUR MOUTH! Lopez beats those three.  

          • cubtex

            Lets see….. I’ll give you Zambrano and 16 mil for Volstad :)

          • Ripsnorter1

            That’s Z and $18 million for Volstad! 

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Please give it a break. Thank you.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Please give it a break. Thank you.

        • Tom U

          Coleman gave up three runs (two earned) in two innings of relief on Saturday

          • cubtex

            Nevermind….Next :)

          • Tom U

            The best option now would be Chris Rusin

          • cubtex

            Lets give him a shot!

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Good call Tom and I agree. Might be worth a look.

          • Tom U

            Thanks Neil!

  • GaryLeeT

    Just tuning in here in the 5th. No surprises on the scoreboard with Volstad pitching, and batters 5-9 combining for a .121 average.

  • GaryLeeT

    Castro has struck out 7 times in his last 6 games. That’s a lot, for him. He’s probably trying to do too much.

    • cubtex

      I thought this would happen with him hitting in the 3 spot. He probably feels he needs to drive the ball more and therefore will pull off more pitches and raise his K rate.

  • BosephHeyden

    Geovany Soto just single-handedly killed that rally.  At this point in time, the man has zero trade value, and they might as well just cut him.  If guys like Hideki Matsui and Brandon Inge are winding up being cut for lack of performance, Soto shouldn’t be immune, either.

  • GaryLeeT

    Too bad, that 7th had some promise. I thought maybe the blind squirrel crew was going to find their nut. 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo just knocked in two with a bases loaded single

  • cubtex

    Rizzo with a bases loaded single to drive in 2 runs!

  • Zonk

    Don’t look now, but Shawn Camp, after a bad first week, has actually been pretty solid. 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro and Campana combine on the second run …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Adrian Cardenas smoked a HR to center field and tied the I-Cubs game at 3
     

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    LaHair ties it up!

  • Tom U

    Adrian Cardenas with a solo shot to tie things up.

  • Jim_Tinley_Park

    The baby bears !

  • SomeGuy27

    LaHair!!!!

  • cubtex

    Nice comeback!

  • BosephHeyden

    LaHair is a keeper.  Regardless of how this season goes, the Cubs cannot trade him until they have two other power hitters established in their lineup.  Because he will be a good trade piece come the deadline, yet at the same time trading him without having another two people to fill his void as a power bat can kill this team.

    • GaryLeeT

      Trade him? At what point do the Cubs start keeping good players? I was seeing him as the everyday left fielder of the long term future.

      • BosephHeyden

        I would love to keep LaHair.  Love to.  But he’s also 28.  And the Cubs seem intent on a youth movement.  Long term, it seems like Sczur and Jackson are the two guys being groomed.  With Campana quickly emerging as a solid speed guy that you can plug into the top of the lineup, that’s three guys that are all but locked in.  However, since Sczur seems to be struggling, that leaves it open for LaHair to be the third guy.  And that’s definitely not a bad outfield.  It just isn’t the outfield that’s going to mesh with the whole “youth movement” theology.

  • Zonk

    I think Dolis stinks.  95 mph fastball, 14 innings pitched, 2 Ks.  TWO.  He just can’t miss bats. 

    • BosephHeyden

       He’s not a strikeout pitcher, rather he pitches to contact.  The key is to make that contact ineffective, which, to this point, he’s done.  The thing he needs to work on right now is his walks.  If he can bring those down, he’ll be fine.

      • gary3411

        What he said^ Dolis will NEVER miss bats as long as he throws that sinker more often than not. And he cant be effective without missing bats, it’s ok.

        • gary3411

           can*

  • GaryLeeT

    Well, at least I was saved from the anxiety of a Marmol appearance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Trevor-Petersma/565104388 Trevor Petersma

    Well it was 4-0 when my wife, son, and I are were at the restaurant.  I missed the comeback while driving.  Then I checked CCO on my laptop and immediately turned the game on.  To which, I get to see us fall behind again.  

    I swear I’m bad luck for this team.   

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 6-4 to Phillies Monday night

    Chris Volstad:
    4R, 8H, 3BB, 4K, Balk, 6IP; Starlin Castro: 2-for-4, R, RBI; Bryan LaHair: 2-for-4, HR, 2B, 2RBI; Cubs:
    2-for-7 RISP, 7 LOB
     

  • Josh

    Anyone else think that Frank Batista is a rising star?

    23 yo at Triple A  with a 0.00 ERA so far

    • Redlarczykg

      You are absolutely right Josh!  Hopefully we will see him soon as part of the rebuilding process.