Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 04/10/12

Game Five: Cubs (1-3) vs. Brewers (2-2)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185/901
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Paul Maholm (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Chris Narveson (0-0, -.–/-.–)

The Cubs will shoot to get back in the win column tonight by Paul Maholm. The veteran lefty makes his Cubs debut in a park he’s had success in as a visiting pitcher. Dale Sveum used a majority of his middle relievers Monday night and if Maholm cannot turn in the Cubs’ fourth quality start in five games, Sveum might have use Rodrigo Lopez for an extended outing.

The problems with the bullpen have been front and center over the first four games (10.38 ERA, 2.54 WHIP and .395 opponent’s batting average) and the concerns that were there in Arizona have been magnified. The Cubs have been outscored 19-14 and have lost each game by one, three and two runs.

Dale Sveum is expected to run out his right-handed lineup tonight … that likely means Jeff Baker at first, Joe Mather at third and Reed Johnson in left. Sveum might think about giving Alfonso Soriano the night off instead. Soriano is 1-for-13 with a walk in his career against Chris Narveson.

Tonight all starts with Paul Maholm

Paul Maholm makes his Cubs debut tonight after spending his entire career in the Pirates organization. The southpaw was the eighth overall pick in the 2003 draft and is coming off a better season than his 6-14 record. In 26 starts, Maholm posted a 3.66 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP with 97 strikeouts and 50 walks in 162 1/3 innings.

Maholm is very familiar with the lineup he will face tonight. In 19 starts against the Brewers, Maholm is 3-8 with a 4.45 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP … last season, 0-2 in two starts with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

Tonight will mark the 12th time Maholm has started a game at Wrigley Field … he is 6-2 in the first 11 with a 5.48 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. One of Maholm’s five complete games was at Wrigley and one of his three complete game shutouts came in his new home ballpark.

Paul Maholm’s next win will be his first since July 10, 2011 against the Chicago Cubs.

Brewers Career Numbers against Paul Maholm

  • Ryan Braun – 11-for-33 with two doubles, a home run and six walks
  • Carlos Gomez – 5-for-12 with a double and a home run
  • Alex Gonzalez – 3-for-12 with three walks
  • Corey Hart – 14-for-44 with four doubles, a triple, three home runs and five walks
  • Cesar Izturis – 2-for-8
  • George Kottaras – 1-for-4 with a double and a walk
  • Jonathan Lucroy – 2-for-5
  • Nyjer Morgan – 1-for-5
  • Chris Narveson – 1-for-4
  • Aramis Ramirez – 10-for-38 with two doubles, two home runs and two walks
  • Rickie Weeks – 8-for-40 with a double and seven walks

The Cubs will face a pitcher that has owned them over the last two seasons. Chris Narveson puzzled the previous roster to the tune of a 2-0 record in five games, one start, with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP in 2010 and 3-1 record in four starts last season with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Narveson has posted 23 wins the past two seasons, five against the Cubs alone.

In his career, Narveson is 6-1 in 13 games, six starts, versus the Cubs with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 3-1 in nine games, three starts, with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP.

Maybe the Cubs’ new skipper can give his team a better scouting report than they’ve had on Chris Narveson.

Cubs Career Numbers against Chris Narveson

  • Jeff Baker – 5-for-15 with a home run and two walks
  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-4 with a triple and a walk
  • Marlon Byrd – 5-for-14 with five doubles
  • Starlin Castro – 4-for-14 with a walk
  • Blake DeWitt – 3-for-7 with a double
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-11 with a double and a home run
  • Paul Maholm – 0-for-4
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-13 with a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 7-for-18 with a double, a home run and three walks
  • Ian Stewart – 1-for-5 with a walk

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
    Barney – 2B
    Castro – SS
    Soriano – LF
    Stewart – 3B
    Baker – 1B
    Soto – C
    Byrd – CF
    Maholm – P

  • Neil

    Josh Vitters: 2-for-3, RBI, BB; Anthony Rizzo: 0-for-4, BB, R; Brett Jackson: 0-for-4; Adrian Cardenas: 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 2RBI in Iowa’s 6-5 loss on Tuesday

  • cubtex

    Some of those career numbers look better than I thought they would against Narveson. Especially Soto….

  • Zonk

    BABIP so far in 2012

    vs. Cubs Starters:  .203
    vs. Cubs Relievers:  .438

    I’m not saying the releivers haven’t sucked, but some correction is due here for both groups……..

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Peoria – Willengton Cruz (0-1, 54.00)
    Daytona – Austin Kirk (0-0, 4.15)
    Tennessee –  Nick Struck (1-0, 1.50)

    Tonight’s spotlight game: Tennessee v. Jackson
    Nick Struck comes off of a dominant, 10 strikeout opening day performance. While not as offensively gifted as last year’s team, the Smokies were poised in come from behind wins the past two days.

  • paulcatanese

    Any particular reason LaHair is not in the lineup tonight? Rest?
    No problem with it, just asking.

    • paulcatanese

      Sveum answered my question. But if Baker is in there against leftys why not go all the way with Mather and Johnson instead of stewart and DeJesus.?

  • Ripsnorter1

    I don’t get it….DeJesus  or Stewart instead of Mather? Byrd instead of Johnson?

    • Aaron

       I don’t get it either….doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. If you play it right, you get Johnson in RF and Mather at 3B.

      At the same time, maybe Sveum is realizing what just about everyone else has, and that’s the fact that he has a team of hackers, and really only LaHair, Stewart, and DeJesus take pitches (though LaHair hacked his first game back at first pitches). I don’t know enough about Mather to say he hacks all the time, but maybe he does, and that’s his reasoning.

      • cubtex

        LaHair doesn’t take. I think he has swung at the first pitch every at bat but maybe twice this year.

  • matthew8510

    no mather 
    no lahair=loss

  • Trevor Petersma


  • matthew8510

    RT @CarrieMuskat #Cubs Sveum picks Baker over LaHair at 1B: “[Baker] swings the bat too good against left-handers to get him out of there

  • WidespreadHisPanic

    Let’s go Cubs. Raise that W tonight.

  • Anthony

    Reasons why Soler has a verbal contract with the Cubs organization:1. The signings and retentions of fellow Cuban teammates and countrymen2. The quick release of a plus athletic(freaky as someone said) RF with one of the best arms in the system who was lighting it up in ST and was jettisoned because of no financial investment and would have forced the Cubs to play him in RF in Daytona.3. The release of another promising RF athlete acquired from the Indians4. The conversion to catcher of another RF with a strong arm currently working at it in EXTST5. The demotion of an under-achieving RF to Daytona from AA with a huge hole in his bat6. The short-term signing of DeJesus, and others, who aren’t RF’s7. The unusual signing of an old Cuban named Bonne who is 25 years old camped out in A+ Daytona along with what appears to be a weak bat at that level for that age. This was a gap filler to allow the cuts of the athletes in numbers 2/3 above, and someone to hold the hand of Soler.Wouldn’t be surprised if a few more Cubans get signed as they are favorites of Theo, and obviously Fleita(the chase for Iglesias09/10).The Cubs have created an environment to make the one many covet simply impossible to reject.The winter joke of the Chicago Cubans isn’t a joke anymore.Soler will be a CUB which will make many of you very happy.

    • Aaron

      Couple things wrong with your claims:
      1) If that were the case, then Cespedes would’ve signed with the Cubs. It’s ultimately up to the player where they sign

      2) I actually have no argument with your point here…just wanted to go in order. I still don’t understand the release of Klafczynski

      3) Abner Abreu sucked ass…he had less plate discipline than Soriano does, so that’s saying something

      4) Giansanti was horrendous at the plate. That is PRECISELY why he was moved to catcher. Sometimes guys like Robinson Chirinos and others convert to catcher, because that’s usually the preferred route versus converting to pitcher

      5) Are you referring to Nelson Perez? If so, I’m not sure what your point is. The point I would make if it were me is why the hell did the Cubs release Klafcyznski, who is a far better and well-rounded player, while they kept this jack-wagon, who has no plate discipline, and has really shown no promise whatsoever offensively and he’s 24 years old now.

      6) DeJesus, Maholm, and Stewart were acquired/signed because the Cubs intend to trade them at the deadline…at least that’s just my opinion. I don’t see how any of them fit on the team next year, especially with their likely salaries (speaking of Maholm and Stewart who aren’t signed for a given amount next year)

      7) You have no argument from me here. I hated the Bonne signing. Actually, I haven’t really liked any of their Cuban signings other than Del Valle and Concepcion. I’m starting to warm up to Silva…but still not a fan of the $1 million or so they gave both him and Cabezas (which was an absolute joke for Cabezas if you looked at his stats).

  • Tony_Hall

    Stewart is 2-2 this year in his 2 AB’s against lefties.

    I bet he doesn’t keep that pace up, but it might be why he was given the start against the lefty.

    • Theboardrider

      So far Stewart has looked like the type of player I wish the Cubs had more of.  I can’t quote stats or anything, he just looks like a gamer and a team player.  I hope he stays around unless we get a phenomenal deal for him…

  • EqDoc

    Hopefully Sveum is making a statement to Byrd by batting him 8th.  Start hitting or your on the bench…

    • Neil

      Sveum hit Byrd eighth yesterday as well.

  • EqDoc

    Wrigley is less than 25% full tonight. 

    • EqDoc

      5 runs for the Brewers already…  Okay now I know why no one is at the game…

    • Jason Penrod

       We have the 3rd highest ticket prices in the league, yet we are going to lose 100 games.  Maybe Ricketts will get the message soon.   You can never just build.  You have to completely commit to re-building.  Blow up the entire team, and start from scratch.  The Fan base is no-longer satisfied.

  • Neil

    Aramis stole second …

    • paulcatanese

      Ha, they should have pulled the base and given it to him. That has to be the ultimate insult by Aram.

  • Neil

    This got ugly quick …

    • Aaron

      welcome to 100+loss season

      • Kojak Osborne Jr.

         i thought we could of been a wild card team but i guess i was wrong this team is killing me softly

  • brent carmona

    Rodrigo lopez, time to serve your purpose, mop up duty!

  • cubs1967

    why was 4.75M wasted on maholm??

    we had wells; we had already done the horrid trade for bombs away wood; we knew jh favorite rod lopez was coming back; we knew smardz had a chance to make the rotation………saved the money for later OR use it in the pen……….or use it to extend sean 2.8 WAR marshall…………i would hope the 3rd largest market does not need 18 yrs in a row loser rejects from the bucs………..

    WOW……..enjoy the empty seats tommy boy.

    • cubtex

      I still think Travis Wood will be a better starter than Volstad and Maholm. I expect him to be in rotation at sometime this year.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Yeah, yeah, yeah. The Reds thought that, too. And when they finally gave up on him, then Theo was sure Travis Wood would be in our rotation. And now you have jumped on the bandwagon, too. 

        What we need is Dusty to manage his workload….

  • cubtex

    I guess it is the Bulls vs Nicks tonight. I can’t watch this crap!

    • cubtex


      • paulcatanese

        Knick,knick, Three stooges.

  • SuzyS


    • Neil

      Maholm started aiming …

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    oh Maholm whyyyyy you so awful I can see that i will be hiding under a rock this year after every game unless the Shark is starting

  • Neil

    Good at bat by DeJesus … not so much from Barney

  • Neil

    Wind held both of those balls in the park

  • Nathan

    That was a horrible at bat by Soto, Narvenson walks Baker on 5 pitches and he swings at two pitches out of the zone to start his at bat and ends up striking out

  • cubtex

    Are we mathematically eliminated yet?

    • Jason Penrod

       maybe by June

  • GaryLeeT

    You would think a pitcher down by 6 runs would stand at the plate hoping for a walk, instead of swinging at a pitch over his head that would have been ball 4 for a leadoff walk.

  • Brian

    Sori hit a breaking ball.  He actually hit a breaking ball.  What is going to happen next?!?!

    • Ripsnorter1

      The world will end soon

  • Trevor Petersma

    As mentioned by someone else already, it is good to see the Cubs at least attempt to fight back in this game.  Hopefully we see max effort for the whole year.

  • Nathan

    Soriano has looked well so far this season, Im all for trading him if we can especially because of the rebuilding process, but I think some of the negative comments towards him have been unwarranted this year because of the way he is playing so far. Maybe his trade value will be higher at the deadline

    • Theboardrider

      Can’t deny his play.  I don’t think he is in the long-term plans so I hope the Cubs can get something for him and let him play for a team in contention where he can make a difference.  He’s been a good citizen and although he’s largely underachieved he’s not been the problem. 

  • BosephHeyden

    I will say this:  Sveum seems to have done something with this offense, because this is two games in a row they haven’t given up yet.  Had it been 6-0 early in the game last year, you better believe that pitcher was getting a complete game shutout.  As is, they’re still kinda in it.

  • cubtex

    Hak Ju Lee is hitting .227 starting off year in AA. Chris Archer had a very good first start in AAA 6IP 1ER 3BB and 8K’s

    • Nathan

      Im not gonna read too much into it until later on, its too early to care

      • cubtex

        Yes…. I know. Just looked it up before Bulls game.

  • Aaron

    man DeWitt looks awful at the plate. For the life of me, I don’t know what they see in him….

  • Nathan

    The umpire screwed Dolis three or four times on calls during that inning

    • gary3411

       Dejesus last strikeout was at least 3 inches lower than the leadoff walk to Weeks in 1st. They showed side view of both. If Maholm got that call, this game is different.

  • Neil

    Soto with his first dinger of the season

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 7-4 to Brewers Tuesday night

    Paul Maholm: 6R, 6H (2HR), 2BB, 2HBP, 2K in 4IP; Alfonso Soriano: 2-for-4, 2 RBI; David DeJesus: 2-for-4, BB, R; Starlin Castro: 1-for-3, 2B, R, BB; Geovany Soto: 1-for-4, HR

  • Ripken Boy

    I don’t get it, Mather best hitter in Spring Training and he can’t even get a start vs. a lefty for a 1-4 team?

  • Zonk

    I was there tonight.  It was COLD!  Many empty seats around us

    On the bright side, the last sip of beer tasted like it was right out of the tap.  Colder, maybe.  That’s a bonus of April baseball!

    • paulcatanese

      OK Zonk, but were the hot dogs cold too? On TV the upper deck looked almost empty. Like to envy you for being at the game, but liked my seat better, nice and warm and did’t have to drive home. You were brave.