Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 04/13/12

Game Eight: Cubs (2-5) vs. Cardinals (5-2)
Game Time – 2:15pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/903
Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis

Jeff Samardzija (1-0, 1.04/0.46) vs. Adam Wainwright (0-1, 4.76/0.88)

Updated 12:41 pm CDTFirst pitch has been pushed back for today’s game. There has not been an official announcement but it is expected to be at least an hour delay.

Weather permitting … The Chicago Cubs begin their first road trip of the season this afternoon with the Cardinals’ home opener. The trip concludes next Thursday with the finale of a three game series in Miami.

The Cubs’ new skipper gets to experience his first Cubs-Cardinals series and this one has a little more meaning.

If helping the Cardinals get into the post-season last year wasn’t bad enough, the Cubs get a first row seat this weekend as St. Louis unveils their World Series Championship banner (Friday) and the players receive their rings prior to Saturday’s game.

Dave McKay will receive his World Series ring this weekend and will actually be part of Tony LaRussa’s coaching staff at the All-Star Game. LaRussa is going to manage at least one more game after he was given permission by Major League Baseball to lead the NL squad in the Mid-Summer Classic.

The Cubs were a miserable 5-10 versus the Redbirds last season and while this version of the Cardinals is off to a good start, several of the familiar faces are no longer in Cardinals’ red. Albert Pujols, Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan are gone. Mike Matheny is now calling the shots and Lance Berkman is the Cardinals’ first baseman … but not this weekend. Berkman is expected to miss the Cubs series because of a strained left calf muscle.

As for the pitching matchups for the weekend, Chris Volstad is scheduled to face Lance Lynn on Saturday with Paul Maholm and Jake Westbrook squaring off in the series finale on Sunday afternoon.

It will be interesting to see if Dale Sveum sticks with Steve Clevenger for another day or inserts Geovany Soto in his starting lineup … and his decision could have little do to with the way Clevenger is swinging the bat right now. Jeff Samardzija praised Clevenger after his last start and talked about the chemistry the two have had coming up through the Cubs’ system.

Marlon Byrd is expected back in the lineup … and don’t be surprised if Blake DeWitt makes his first start of the season.

Today all begins with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija is coming off a spectacular season debut against the Washington Nationals. Samardzija salvaged the final game of the series with an impressive 8 2/3 innings in his first start of the year. Samardzija held the Nationals to three runs, one earned, on four hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. If not for a throwing error by Starlin Castro on what should have been the 27th out, Samardzija would have tossed the first complete game of his career in only his sixth start.

Samardzija now has the tough task of following up his gem against a much better team. If Samardzija falters today, the doubters will surface once again.

Two of Samardzija’s six career starts have come against the Cardinals. Samardzija is 2-2 in 13 career games, two starts, versus the Redbirds with a 6.04 ERA and a 2.15 WHIP (Albert Pujols, 5-for-12 with a double, two home runs, seven RBI and three walks) … at Busch Stadium, 2-1 in five games, one start, with a 4.15 ERA and a 2.19 WHIP. Samardzija posted a 1-1 record in six games against the Cardinals last season with a 10.50 ERA and a 2.83 WHIP.

This afternoon will be a true test for Jeff Samardzija.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Carlos Beltran – 1-for-1
  • Lance Berkman – 1-for-3 with a walk
  • David Freese – 0-for-2
  • Matt Holliday – 2-for-5
  • Jon Jay – 3-for-7
  • Yadier Molina – 3-for-6 with a walk

Adam Wainwright returned to the mound against the Brewers last Saturday in his first start since missing last season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. Wainwright was an out short of notching a quality start against Milwaukee. Wainwright allowed three runs on four hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Wainwright appears to be back … and if he is and the Cubs do not make him work this afternoon it is going to be another frustrating day for Dale Sveum’s offense.

Wainwright was one of the best pitchers in the league before last season and figures to be again soon.

In the two seasons prior to the injury, Adam Wainwright dominated the Chicago Cubs just about every time he faced them. Wainwright is 6-4 in 23 career games, 14 starts against the Cubs with a 4.09 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP … but was 2-1 in three starts in 2010 with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP and in 2009, Wainwright was a perfect 3-0 in five starts against Lou’s crew with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Adam Wainwright

  • Jeff Baker – 1-for-6 with a walk
  • Darwin Barney – 3-for-5 with a double
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-9 with a double
  • Starlin Castro – 3-for-6
  • David DeJesus – 4-for-11 with a home run
  • Blake DeWitt – 5-for-15 with two doubles
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-3
  • Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-28 with two doubles, a triple and five walks
  • Geovany Soto – 5-for-20 with two doubles, a home run and two walks
  • Ian Stewart – 1-for-6 with a double and a walk

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"And if I have my choice between a pennant and a triple crown, I'll take the pennant every time." - Carl Yastrzemski
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

  • paulcatanese

    Not second guessing here, but the Cubs two wins were called by
    Clevenger, and the offense clicked without Byrd in the lineup.
    Until the rest of the League catches up with Clevenger ( if they do )
    he is swinging a hot bat right now, and probably be used. No contest with Byrd, out.

    • Shawng1981

      same Cubs different year, Play the names not who deserves to be out there.

    • Ripsnorter1

      If that’s not second guessing, what would you call it?  Oh, I get it: second-facting.

      • paulcatanese

        You got me Rip, but I never do that! Ha!:):)

    • Chadaudio

      Wow.  That lineup baffles me.  You are totally right Paul.

      Well, it looks like they may get rained out today anyway so…

      • J Daniel

        Guess this was a bad lineup today!!!!!!

  • Cloycub13

    Ugh Dale! It is decisions like this that start the questioning! Knock it off!

  • John_CC

    I can’t believe LaRussa is going to manage the all-important, home field advantage winning, meaningful All Star Game this year!  What a crock.  Seriously.  Take a guy out of retirement to manage a game with real implications?  I hate the All Star game more every year. What freaking joke. Maybe they could devise some new way to add a 3rd wildcard team based on who scores first in the Summer Classic.

    • http://twitter.com/MattWeaverSBN Matt Weaver

      Respectfully, this is a silly debate.

      If the idea of “this game counts” is that the best managers coach the two squads, it’s a no-brainer that Tony LaRussa manages the NL.

      He IS the defending World Series-winning manager. The fact that he retired doesn’t much change that.

      Worried that he’s not invested? This could be his last hurrah. There’s nothing that means more to him than winning this ballgame. It’s possible that this game counts more to LaRussa than anyone else who’s involved.

      There’s also a precedent: Danny Murtaugh retired after managing
      the 1971 Pirates to the World Series title, and managed the 1972 NL All-Stars.

    • Henry

      John_CC i agree.  Selig screwed up way back when.  He should have told everyone this is an exhibition game!  The max is 10 innings, tie or no tie!   Now that is has meaning they should change the rules and have only the best players.  We should no longer be subjected to a player from every team unless that player actually deserves to be there.  There is too much at stake!

  • Anthony

    For those who care, a follow up:

    http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2012/04/cubsminors40312_1.php

    comment added

    • Chadaudio

      Thanks Anthony.

    • John_CC

       Are you Ben Klafzniscki?

    • Aaron

      Anthony,

      I agree with you that it is a travesty that Ben was released but i find it very hard to believe Theo would make a blanket statement like that otherwise we would’ve seen a lot more guys released. There were certainly a lot of releases this year than in years past but it was a mix of guys…both big and small bonuses alike so i don’t see a connection.

      If you are right, then we ate in trouble because it shows a Hendry-like approach where big salaries/bonuses get preferential treatment even if low salaried guys outplay them…shame on him if that’s the case.

    • Zonk

      First, I don’t get why that’s a travesty, except to Ben.  Klafczynski was a 20th round draft pick who posted a .589 OPS in low-A ball as a 22 year old corner outfielder.  That doesn’t sound like ML pedigree at all.  Guys like that get released all the time.  Also, nobody’s picked him up, so 29 other teams feel pretty much the same way.

      But I would bet Theo didn’t order that “any player that had minimal financial investment is to be released regardless of baseball ability”.  That’s ridiculous nonsense. 

      I’m sorry I clicked that link and read, because that’s a minute of my life I’ll never get back

      • Aaron

        I think it’s a travesty because he is better than Bonne and others and came on strong at the end of last year and by accounts and reports from AzPhil this spring were favorable to him….

        I had him as a sleeper in my report i did for Neil on the draft…he’s a complete player….it’s just unfortunate and i am like you….i don’t believe Theo ordered it like Anthony asserts. I just wish he was given a full season to prove himself is all I am saying

  • brent carmona

    Neil any word on how the weather will be gametime? I heard its raining at the moment…

    • Shawng1981

      Hearing a 3:45p first pitch is expected.. rain should be outta area by 3pm

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I will keep updating. I am hearing 4:15

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    First pitch has been pushed back for today’s game. There has not been an official announcement but it is expected to be at least an hour delay.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Nothing official, somewhere between 3:45-4:15 for first pitch

  • John_CC

    I’m watching a little of the SSide home opener during the delay…because I like the Tigers a lot this year.  On every rare occasion that tune into a Sox game, it never ceases to amaze me how painful it is to listen to Hawk and Stoney. They are awful! 

  • John_CC

    Wow, Konerko BARELY scored from 1st on a triple to the RF corner (actually he was out). He is the worst runner I’ve ever seen. 

    • Roland

      Have you seen Soto run?  And I am a Soto fan.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Players on the field, stretching. Tarp is off. Festivities should start soon at Busch

  • paulcatanese

    The delay is not good news for the Shark, mess’es up his routine. I think it will be a harder test for him because of it, hope not.
    Then again it’s the same for Wainright.
    The good thing about it would be it was delayed before anyone got loose, that ease’s the time for prepation.
    It’s just the wait for everyone to begin.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Time to play ball …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro RBI single

  • EqDoc

    DeJesus is starting to heat up a bit.  Average up to .348  hope he can keep it up.

  • EqDoc

    Ian Stewart’s First Cubs Home Run.  Let go Cubbies!  Let’s wreck the Card’s celebration day!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Stewart with a 3-run shot

  • http://twitter.com/MattWeaverSBN Matt Weaver

    Digging the start to today’s game.

    This team is going to have to score in bunches to outpace this awful bullpen.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    LaHair with a SLAM!

    • daverj

      Neil –

      Do you have thoughts on what the Cubs are thinking about LaHair’s future?  If he keeps hitting, do you think they open to putting him in left when Rizzo is ready?

      • Zonk

        I’m not Neil, but it’s hard to say.  Probably not as long as Soriano is out there.  LaHair is a fairly bad LF, and would be an appalling RF. 

         I suppose the Cubs could move Soriano to RF, but I don’t think that will happen either, since suddenly Soriano is playing a decent LF; don’t want to mess with that!

        It’s a good problem to have.  IF Rizzo and LaHair both hit, I think they’ll have to trade LaHair.  What they get will depend on what he hits.  Too early to say.

        • Zonk

          PS:  If they find someone to take Soriano, that’s another conversation.  But that’s not easy………

          • cubtex

            I don’t think LaHair runs well enough to play of. The other issue is then they would be too lefthanded. LaHair, BJax, DeJesus, Rizzo, Ian Stewart. They would need to trade some pieces.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

             too lefthanded is a good problem to have.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        I have heard rumblings that if LaHair and Rizzo both hit they will find a place for LaHair to play. Before the season LaHair discussed the possibility of him moving to the outfield and he was more than open to doing so. LaHair said he could play left field.

    • cubtex

      LaHair is making me eat my words. Good for him! That ball kept carrying!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Cubs first Grand Slam since Oct 2010

  • Baron_S

    LaHAIR!!!

    • Carmelo

      Great example of having left-hand hitters in line-up.  And power hitters.  Most starting pitchers in baseball are right handers, having LHH is vital..Just think with Jackson, Rizzo, Steward, and Lahair is same line-up the damage that can be done.

  • http://twitter.com/MattWeaverSBN Matt Weaver

    I walk away and return only to find the Cubs offense transformed into the 1927 Yankees.

    Wacky.

  • Ripsnorter1

    So happy for Bryan LaHair…and for me! We need a 1B with POWER! |

    • cubtex

      Pena didn’t have any? Just kidding. Nice to see LaHair hitting early in the year.

      • daverj

        LaHair does need to cut down on those K’s … I think he has 8 now in 22 plate appearances.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Pirates being 1 hit by SF’s Cain. The only hit: P McDonald. 

    Pirates have a pathetic offense thus far in 2012.

  • Dorasaga

    To whoever bashing this lineup repeatedly: I’ll listen to you guys every day if this is the result.

    Cubs 9 Runs while the Cards got zip! Hallelujah!!

    • cubtex

      How many runs do the Cards have?

      • Dorasaga

        Haha, at least I won’t need to listen to the bashers from now on! What an afternoon so far… yeah, got to let the team play; nobody expect this lineup to deliver a World Series, nor do we expect Shark to be less than a project… I’m against dumping ALL the veterans, while not expecting guys like Byrd to return or do much (either as a trade return)… So many “negative” words used here, so I guess this is a good Cubbie game after all.

        New thought: Good timing to sign Garza for a 4-yr 70M deal? ;-)

        • cubtex

          I think Theo will still move him. I like Garza alot and would love to lock him up but I don’t think Theo wants to.

          • Dorasaga

            Great. The Yankees need him. Whom can we steal from them?

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          Like your style Dorasaga!

          • Dorasaga

            Thanks for your compliment. I’m happy when the Cubs win and play good baseball.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Let them right back in the game …

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

    My fault guys.  I slept through through the beginning of today’s game and just stumbled downstairs when it was still 9-1.  So I must be the bad luck charm.  ;(

  • Dorasaga

    Can anyone explain to me why Major League players loooove that head-first slide? Hustle factor? Looks “cool”? Pete Rose lives forever? What’s wrong with the old, safe way??

    • Dorasaga

       And Dejesus is growing on me.
      :-)

    • http://twitter.com/MattWeaverSBN Matt Weaver

       They’re ribbing the clubhouse manager doing laundry this year!

  • Dorasaga

    A hustled diving catch by ol’ Fonzi.

  • http://twitter.com/MattWeaverSBN Matt Weaver

    Blake DimWitt plays the Cardinals like he’s fan.

    He’s now hitting under .250 against them.

  • Anthony

    The Baez HR was not without controversy.

    Baez stood at home plate for a couple of seconds after absolutely walloping the gopher ball 400+ feet and off the roof of a house on the north side of 8th Street (Baez did the exact same thing on Tuesday when he launched a three-run homer over the LF fence at Indian School Park in Scottsdale), at which point one of the Angel coaches yelled, “Run the bases!”

    Baez initially took the “advice” and he did run the bases (albeit a bit of a “Cadillac” trot that probably further irritated the opposition), but upon reaching home plate Baez stopped and yelled back at the Angel bench, “I can do whatever the f**k I’ want!” Trey Martin and Gioskar Amaya (who were on base in front of Baez) and on-deck hitter Rock Shoulders pulled Baez back to the Cubs bench, avoiding a potential bench-clearing brawl on the field.

    http://www.thecubreporter.com/2012/04/13/baez-can-do-whatever

    • cubtex

      He will learn. Bryce Harper did the same thing his first year. They are just out of high school and immature.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

         The difference is that Harper was immediately called by a number of people in the organization when that happened. It sounds to me like this kid is getting away with that chip on his shoulder.

      • Nathan

        I know Harper personally, he most likely won’t change

  • Dorasaga

    Cubs Win! Nice save by Senior Nasty.

    • Dorasaga

      Some late break out of Marmol’s sliders tonight, plus a 94 mph fastball, hopefully he puts them all together again.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat Cardinals 9-5 Friday afternoon

    Jeff Samardzija: 5R, 10H, BB, 5K in 5IP; Starlin Castro: 3-for-4, 2R, RBI, SB; Ian Stewart: 1-for-2, HR, 3RBI, 2BB, 2R; Bryan LaHair: 1-for-4, HR, 4RBI

  • SuzyS

    Anyone watch the game? I heard it was nine to zip and the next thing I know it’s nine to five…(no dolly parton). What happened to Shark????

    • GaryLeeT

      He looked a little gassed from his previous outing. No 98 mph fastballs today. Still, only one walk, one extra base hit, and the rest were singles.

    • Dorasaga

      Like Gary said, they are singles. Tough luck. I didn’t track location of all the pitches, but Shark seemed to have lost some command and threw to the sweet spots in that one big inning when the Cards piled up singles and runs. According to the STL broadcast, an inconsistent strike zone baffled both starting pitchers.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        At least he threw strikes.  If he can keep that up he’ll be good.  

  • Tom U

    Anthony Rizzo with a two-run blast in the first inning. Iowa up 2-0 over Round Rock.

    • GaryLeeT

       He’s proven before that he can pound AAA pitching.

  • paulcatanese

    Soriono makes it look so easy with the glove:)