Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 04/14/12

Game Nine: Cubs (3-5) vs. Cardinals (5-3)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184/901
Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis

Chris Volstad (0-0, 5.40/1.40) vs. Lance Lynn (1-0, 1.35/0.45)

Updated 1:29pm CDT – First pitch of Cubs-Cardinals scheduled for 2:00pm CDT

Updated 12:00pm CDT – Tarp was rolled out onto the field at Busch Stadium just after ring ceremony. The game has been put into a rain delay due to a storm that is approaching the area. There has not been given an estimated time for first pitch.

Weather permitting … The Cubs will try to make it three in a row this afternoon behind Chris Volstad. The Cubs came out swinging on Friday afternoon and in their last two games Dale Sveum’s much maligned offense has scored 17 runs.

The Cubs will have to sit through another pre-game ceremony today. The Cardinals, including Dave McKay, receive their World Series rings prior to first pitch. Dale Sveum plans to make his team watch. Sveum thinks it is not only respectful but it is a special ceremony that he wants his team to see.

Today all begins with Chris Volstad

Chris Volstad is coming of a mediocre outing in his first start of the season. Volstad wasn’t bad and wasn’t good either but he kept the Brewers from putting the game away early and actually left after five with the game tied at three. The Cubs’ pen struggled after he departed and dropped the first game of the series to Milwaukee. Volstad allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts.

Volstad has had mixed results against the Cardinals in his career. One of Volstad’s two career complete game shutouts came at the Redbirds expense. In four starts, Volstad is 2-1 with a 5.11 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. Volstad has made just one start at Busch Stadium and he did not fare too well … five runs on seven hits with two walks and no strikeouts in five innings, Volstad received a no decision.

Chris Volstad must keep the ball down or the Cardinals will have a field day.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Chris Volstad

  • Carlos Beltran – 3-for-6 with two walks
  • Lance Berkman – 3-for-9 with a double and a home run
  • Daniel Descalso – 0-for-3
  • Rafael Furcal – 4-for-10 with a double and a walk
  • Tyler Greene – 1-for-5 with a double
  • Matt Holliday – 6-for-11 with two doubles
  • Jon Jay – 0-for-4
  • Yadier Molina – 4-for-11 with a double

The Cubs will get their first look at Lance Lynn the starter this afternoon. Lynn replaced the injured Chris Carpenter in the Cardinals rotation. Lynn garnered a lot of attention late last year and in the post-season with his stellar work out of the pen. Lynn was 1-1 in 18 games, two starts, last season with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP … as a reliever, no record with a save and a blown save in 10 games with a 2.03 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP.

The 6-foot-5, 250 pound right hander is coming off a dominating performance against the Brewers. In his first start, third in the big leagues, Lynn held the Brewer to one run on two hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Lance Lynn makes his first start against the Cubs this afternoon and only second appearance. Lynn shutdown Quade’s Cubs for two innings on July 30, struck out two and did not allow a hit or a walk.

Four current Cubs have faced Lance Lynn at the big league level. Jeff Baker, Marlon Byrd, Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto are each 0-for-1 against Lynn.

Hopefully the Cubs have done their homework … matchups like this have typically equaled a loss in recent years.

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

    Today’s lineup:

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

  • cubs1967

    i think it’s time to move lahair to clean-up and i would try mather against his ex-team…………had enough of the should of been released byrd.

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Peoria – Ben Wells (0-0, 2.25)
    Daytona – Zach Cates (0-1, 54.00)
    Tennessee – Brooks Raley (0-0, 2.84)
    Iowa – Travis Wood (1-0, 4.50)

    Notes: Reggie Golden collapsed rounding first on what looked like a sure double on Thursday. He didn’t play on Friday, and there is no word on his status for today.

    Jae-Hoon Ha was robbed of his first home run of the season last night on a poor call by the umpires.

    Some impressions from the past few days:

    Chris Rusin struggled with his release point, but bailed himself out with his pick-off move. He nailed a runner at first and was a bad call away from getting another at second base.

    Elliot Soto, Logan Watkins, and Jae-Hoon Ha are extremely solid and fundamentally strong ballplayers. Ha in particular showed some moxie after getting drilled in the arm by immediately stealing a base.

    Speaking of Elliot Soto, if he continues to hit the way he has, Junior Lake may have to look for a different position when he comes off the DL.

    Impress your friends, be the first one to start talking about Dallas Beeler.

    Although its still early, Rubi Silva is making a case to be the first promotion of the season.

    • Neil

      Tom, the Chiefs just announced that Reggie Golden has been placed on the 7-day DL due to an injury to his left knee.

      Oliver Zapata has been added to the Chiefs roster

      • Tom U

        Thanks Neil. There was nothing on the site or in the Peoria Star-Journal this morning.

    • Texcubnut

      Too late Tom, I’ve already mentioned him on my posts, twice. I believe this kid can be a top of rotation type of starter. I’ve always liked Beeler.

      • Tom U

        Don’t know where you live in the great state of Texas, but hope you can see the Iowa team at Round Rock.

        • Texcubnut

          Thanks, Tom. My son lives in Austin and I make many trips there annually. I live in North Texas so I guess I’ll have to make my trips to coincide with Iowa Cubs/Round Rock games.It’s a beautiful area especially the area west of Austin, beter known as ‘The Hill Country.’  Maybe I’ll run into Cubtex or Charles in Texas. (Haven’t seen Charles post in quite a while.) Anyway, thanks for the tip and as always, thanks so much for your insightful posts.

    • Theboardrider

      Thanks for all of your hard work and the updates Tom!  Much appreciated…

      • Tom U

        A belated Thank You! I was working some overtime today.

  • Neil

    No David Freese in Cardinals lineup because of irritation of finger on right hand.

  • Zonk

    The weather map doesn’t look good for a timely start….any update there?

    • Neil

      Tarp being rolled out on the field. No word on when or if this game will be played … no estimated start time.

      They are seeing a window to get the game in.

      • Zonk

        With a 12:05 start, seems like there would be alot of time to do it.  Not sure how long they would push it back though, particularly since the Cubs will be back in StL later in the year

        • Neil

          Opening weekend, big box office, middle game of the series … I would think they will wait a while. Pat is convinced there will be baseball today.

  • Neil

    Tarp being rolled out on the field. No word on when or if this game will be played … no estimated start time.

  • Neil

    From ESPN Chicago: Starting to clear but still light rain. Radar suggests we should be playing within the hour. Nothing official, though.

  • Neil

    Cubs-Cardinals scheduled to start at 2 p.m.

    • Texcubnut

      Thanks for the updates, Neil.

      • Neil

        You’re more than welcome

    • Craig Y

      I know you get this alot Neil, but thanks for all you do!! This is the only Cubs website that I go to for any information. Thanks again bud

      • Neil

        Craig, thanks I appreciate it more than you know.

  • Neil

    Good job by Soriano advancing on the fly out by Stewart

  • Dorasaga

    I almost forgot that Shark is still 27 young, after four productive years as a wide receiver for Notre Dame, then signed the big contract with the Cubs to keep him out of football (he posed with Bud Selig, the first draftee to do so, right?). He can still be considered a prospect, and he should be at his career height right now. I’m hoping he keep it up for a few more years before we see him pitch at Game 2.

    • Tony_Hall

      27-31 are the most productive years, and all keeper years as well :)

      • Dorasaga

        It’s 25-29 according to Bill James, but that’s close enough for us not managing a baseball club. Guys like Thoyer might need to look harder into those things.

  • cubtex

    Anthony Rizzo is now hitting .400 with 5 bombs for Iowa. Going to the game on Monday night.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I was listening to Zonk talk about Rizzo…he said, “You’ll know he’s ready, not by what he does (stats), but by what he doesn’t do. If he lays off the high fastball. If he lays off the breaking stuff in the dirt. If he doesn’t chase the slider outside the zone. That’s when he’ll be ready.”

      • cubtex

        You can say that about every player :)

  • Zonk

    That’s 4 throwing errors for Castro in 9 games.  And he had alot of problems last year. 

    Not sure what the solution is.  The quick fix is switching him with Barney, but not sure that’s in our long-term interests. 

    ’tis a problem……..

    • cubtex

      He needs to stay there. He needs to realize he doesn’t have Pena over there. LaHair is definately below average defensively.

      • Zonk

        I want Castro to stick at SS, because this bat profiles there as a real plus, but if he moves to the OF, he’s just another guy. 

        No Pena is a factor, and D-Lee was a good 1B man too.  Castro has been spoiled there.  He needs to be able to work with average. 

        • cubtex


  • Neil

    Castro with a single and a nice job of getting to third on the Soriano single …

  • Neil

    Camp serves up a homer on a 1-2 pitch …

    • Zonk

      Camp is roster fodder until we have a better alternative.  Which will hopefully not be long…….

      • Neil

        I agree, just pointing out the obvious. One thing that bugs me almost as bad as pitchers issuing walks is pitchers serving up homers on 0-2 or 1-2 pitches.

  • GaryLeeT

    I felt like the Stewart AB in the 6th with runners at 1st & 3rd and one out, was the point at which something needed to happen for the tide to turn in this one. Too bad, because I don ‘t have a good feeling about the Maholm start tomorrow.

  • Neil

    Cubs lost to Cardinals 5-1 Saturday afternoon

    Chris Volstad: 4R, 3ER, 6H, 0BB, 4K in 6IP; Starlin Castro:2-for-4, 2B, RBI, 2E; Alfonso Soriano: 2-for-4; Cubs offense: 1-for-7 RISP, 7 LOB