Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Dodgers – 05/06/12

Game Twenty-Eight: Cubs (10-17) vs. Dodgers (18-9)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/907
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Travis Wood (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Aaron Harang (1-2, 5.72/1.55)

Updated 3:20pm CDT – First Pitch Set for 4:00pm CDT

Updated 12:31pm CDT – The Start of Today’ Game will Be Delayed – No Official Word on Start Time

Updated 10:23am CDTBlake DeWitt Designated for Assignment - Travis Wood Added to 25-man Roster

Weather permitting … Dale Sveum’s Cubs have a chance to begin the homestand with a series win over the Dodgers … that is if they can pull out a victory this afternoon behind Travis Wood.

After being scheduled to pitch the second game of the series Saturday, the Cubs have decided to skip Matt Garza this time through the rotation. Garza is dealing with the same flu that sidelined Scott Maine before his demotion to Iowa and has kept Jeff Baker from being available over the first two games of this series. The Cubs were hoping to have Garza start this afternoon but decided against it and announced he would pitch the opener Friday night in Milwaukee.

Travis Wood joined the team Saturday and was on the field at Wrigley prior to Saturday’s game. The roster move to officially bring up Travis Wood from Triple-A Iowa is expected early Sunday morning.

In other newsSteve Clevenger is showing improvement after suffering a displaced fracture of the cartilage in his rib cage and only slight oblique strain according to ESPN Chicago. Clevenger could return quicker than expected because recovery time for damaged cartilage is quicker than an oblique strain. Clevenger could start light swinging as early as Wednesday.

Today all starts with Travis Wood

Travis Wood has been given an unexpected chance to pitch his way onto the Cubs’ rotation … something Randy Wells could not do while Ryan Dempster was on the shelf. Chris Volstad has struggled in six starts and is not showing any signs of improvement.

Travis Wood has not pitched badly in Triple-A … but has not pitched that good either. Wood had two bad outings that skewed his numbers, one coming in his last start against Memphis. Wood has thrown strikes (30 strikeouts to eight walks) but has also served up four home runs in 28 1/3 innings. Wood was 1-3 in five starts with a 5.08 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP.

Travis Wood made his big league debut against the Cubs at Wrigley on July 10, 2010. Dusty’s Reds beat Lou’s Cubs 3-2 and Wood received a no decision after allowing two runs on two hits with three walks and four strikeouts in seven innings. Wood is 1-0 in two career starts at Wrigley with a 3.38 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP.

Today will be Travis Wood’s third career start against the Dodgers. Wood is 1-1 with a 7.59 ERA and a 2.16 WHIP in his first two outings against Los Angeles. Both starts came last season.

Dodgers Career Numbers against Travis Wood

  • Mark Ellis – 0-for-1
  • Andre Ethier – 3-for-4 with two doubles
  • Dee Gordon – 2-for-4
  • Tony Gwynn, Jr – 0-for-1
  • Matt Kemp – 2-for-4 with a home run and two walks
  • James Loney – 0-for-4 with two walks
  • Juan Uribe – 1-for-3 with two walks

Aaron Harang has struggled in his first five starts in a Dodgers uniform after an excellent season for Jed Hoyer’s San Diego Padres. Harang was 14-7 in 28 starts a year ago for the Friars with a 3.64 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. Harang is coming off a loss to the Rockies in which he allowed five runs on six hits with a walk and five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Harang has not allowed less than three earned runs in each of his five outings this season.

Aaron Harang is 1-2 in three road starts this season with a 6.19 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP.

The former Cincinnati Red makes the 26th start of his career against the Cubs this afternoon. Aaron Harang is 11-8 in the first 25 with a 4.45 ERA, last season as a member of the Padres Harang posted a 1-0 record in one start with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Harang owns a 6-3 career mark in 13 starts at Wrigley with a 4.86 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Aaron Harang

  • Jeff Baker – 1-for-1
  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-6 with a double
  • David DeJesus – 2-for-3
  • Blake DeWitt – 2-for-7
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-2 with a double
  • Alfonso Soriano – 11-for-40 with three doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 5-for-23 with two doubles, a home run and two walks
  • Ian Stewart – 3-for-5 with two doubles and a walk

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    DeJesus – RF
    Campana – CF
    Castro – SS
    LaHair – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Mather – 3B
    Barney – 2B
    W.Castillo – C
    T.Wood – P

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From ESPN Chicago: Travis Wood start today looks like a one and done. Expected to be sent down after the game no matter the result.

    • cubtex

      What happens if he wins the game and pitches well? Volstad hasn’t won a game in 16 starts! Volstad is not a major league starter. He was awful last year and he has been awful this year. I would hope that decision changes if Wood pitches well today.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        I’m with you on this, keep in mind it is one report from one reporter.

      • Ripsnorter1

        He hasn’t won in 17 starts, Mr. Cubtex.

        But he looks good in his uniform.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cardenas is in the I-Cubs starting lineup for this afternoon’s game, hitting third, playing third.

    • RMercer

      Neil…I’ve been posting occasionally as a guest from my iPad, how do I register as a member of this site?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        You need to go to disqus and create an account, here is a link

        http://disqus.com/

        You can create a user profile with a password that will allow you to have an avatar, etc. You will also be able to use the same account on any site that uses Disqus as the commenting platform.

        Let me know if you have any questions.

        • RMercer

          Sorry to bother you with this right now, but I’m clicking on “sign up” and signing up a website pops up. Am I in the wrong spot, don’t see anything else?

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            You should be creating a user account, not signing up to use on a webpage.

            No bother, let me know if you have any additional questions.

  • RMercer

    Like this lineup…especially with Mather getting a shot at 3rd

  • paulcatanese

    Pretty busy for a Sunday Neil, looks like you’re hopping around with all the changes.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Paul, thanks for noticing. There never seems to be a dull moment.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From ESPN Chicago: Hard rain coming. Will start by 12:30 or so and be done before 1:30. Expecting a short delay but nothing official yet.

  • paulcatanese

    Wonder if all of these guys got their flu shots, not just for us old fogies.

    Added note, glad for the news on Clevenger,hope he gets back soon.

    • John_CC

       Great news on Clevenger. Geo better get going, hitting or packing, one or the other.

      • paulcatanese

        Would not upset me at all:)

  • cubtex

    Gerardo Concepcion didn’t get past the first again on his start yesterday. For anyone thinking that he could be a possibility for the rotation next year…..think again. He has a long way to go. Here is the write up from baseball america (The not so hot sheet)

    • Gerardo Concepcion, lhp, Cubs: The Cubs gave Concepcion a rather stunning five-year major league deal worth $6 million in March, a move that was widely derided throughout the international scouting community. While the deal was seen as a significant overpay, Concepcion at least figured to be able to handle the low minors without much issue due to his success in Cuba’s Serie Nacional at a young age. Instead, the 20-year-old’s first two low Class A Peoria starts have resulted in 12 rus in 5 2/3 innings, including a start this week in which he couldn’t even get out of the first. Concepcion is throwing strikes, but he’s also struck out just two of the 32 batters he’s faced, a pattern consistent with his middling strikeout rate in Cuba with a very hittable fastball that sits in the high 80s.

    • cubtex

      Neil- Question on Concepcion and the 40 man roster….Does he need to pass thru waivers with every major league team to be dropped off of the 40 man roster? And next question……If that is true….If a team claims him, will that team be responsible for the 5 or 6 mil or is that all on the Cubs?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Concepcion would have to pass through waivers exposing him to the other teams in order to be taken off the 40-man. If he was claimed, the claiming team would be responsible for the contract he signed, minus the signing bonus.

        • BosephHeyden

           Welp, there’s our out.  He’s a waste of a 40 man roster spot right now, and maybe someone thinks he can be a part of their team in the long term.

        • cubtex

          Ok thanks. I don’t think there is a chance any team would be willing to pick up that contract so when the time is needed they can pass him through waivers. Thanks for getting back to me!

    • John_CC

       Come on guys, let’s give it a rest. 

      Key words:
      “20 year-old” and “first two low A starts”
      …of his career. 

      I’m not saying he’s going to be anything, but it’s quite premature to write him off, can we agree?  Three months ago there was a lot name calling dismissal of the skills of Cubans and then the scorn of giving that bum Cespedes so much money for never proving anything.  Well, Beane is going to win out on that one when he trades Yoenis to a contender this summer.

      • cubtex

        He had another start yesterday so I don’t know what you are talking about.

        He was signed as a future top of the rotation starter. He is the big international free agent signing of the offseason.

        0-3 in 3 starts in A ball
        18.90 ERA
        BAA .514

        • John_CC

           I just quoted from the quote you supplied.

          Look, I simply said that the facts are the kid is 20 years old and has now made 3 starts in Low A.  And to write him off after 15 or whatever innings is extremely premature and really just another non-issue.  That is what I was talking about.

          • Brian

             I could not agree more.  We are looking for too much, too soon.  Give the kid some time, please!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    The start of today’ game will be delayed – no official word on start time

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Peoria – Michael Jensen (3-1, 2.79)
    Daytona – Austin Kirk (1-0, 1.69)
    Tennessee – Brooks Raley (1-1, 3.82)
    Iowa – Jay Jackson (2-2, 6.04)

    Today’s spotlight game: Daytona v. Jupiter
    The system’s most consistent pitcher in Austin Kirk takes on a Hammerhead squad the was thoroughly embarrassed yesterday. Elieser Bonne may be the hottest hitter in the minors, going .341 with 1 HR, 5 RBI, and 3 SB in his last 10 games.

    Some thoughts and info from the past few days:

    If Blake DeWitt clears waivers and goes to Iowa, expect to see Adrian Cardenas and Josh Vitters to get some action in the outfield

    Reports are that Junior Lake can be activated any day. He will probably be assigned to Tennessee, where he will resume playing shortstop.

    The possible corresponding moves when Lake is activated may include Elliot Soto moving down to Daytona, Ronald Torreyes to Peoria, and Marco Hernandez to EXT

    IF Luis Acosta, 3B-C Mark Malave, OF-1B Delbis Arcila, and C Antonio Valerio have all been reassigned to the Dominican Academy in Boca Chica

    Since joining the Cubs’ organization, Javier Baez has had 97 AB in various capacities. He has struck out 29 times and has yet to take a walk.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Tom … Minor League moves: Jonathan Mota added to Iowa Cubs roster, Junior Lake added to Double-A Tennessee

      • Tom U

        Thanks Neil. I’ve been monitoring their sites all day, but nothing had been posted.

    • Chadaudio

      Funny.  I think DeWitt is atrocious as a fielder, but I think he still has some promise as a hitter.

      Would the Cubs be better without him in the system at all?  I don’t know (I don’t think that our current 2B is all that great), but I do agree that if he was able to play everyday – he would be a different player.  But, he is a terrible bench player and pinch hitter so…

  • paulcatanese

    At the risk of “beating a dead horse” I would rather see Campana leading off than DeJesus.
    I know the Cubs brought him in for the leadoff spot, but I dont think that should be written in stone.
    Campana in the two spot has to take too many pitches and then bunt for the sacrifice. He is in the hole before he starts, and he cannot afford that to be effective.
    If Campana gets on he just cannot automaticly steal second, he has to give Castro the opportunity to hit.
    Bottom line, DeJesus is a natural two hitter, can bunt, hit,and move Campana around, much more able to score runs.
    Campana has the probability to score from first much more with DeJesus and Castro following in the order, even on a long single.
    I see very little that is happening with the top three the way it’s pencilled in now.

    • Ripsnorter1

      You’re beating a skeleton, Paul! LOL

      I am with you. It makes all the sense in the world. DeJesus can take a pitch, and that gives Tony a chance to steal. 

      I see no upside to the current lineup arrangement.

      • John_CC

         I like that DeJesus is a pretty solid on base leadoff hitter.  Campana is a good bunter and can not only move DeJesus over but most likely reach safely on an infield hit.  There is very little chance of him hitting into a DP. There is some upside and I could as easily claim that there isn’t that much downside.  Has having Castro hit behind him really reduced Campy’s ability to steal?

  • Ripsnorter1

    Aaron will be pleased to know that Adam Dunn is on a 40 HR pace. Just hit #9.

    DeWitt…sorry things didn’t work out. It’s a bummer for everybody. But he’ll catch on somewhere else. He’s much better than his current slash line. He’ll go hit .260 somewhere else.

    • Aaron

      For our sake, I hope DeWitt finds another team, and refuses the assignment. It’s getting ridiculous with him and they’re completely ignoring not only his past stats in MLB, but also in the minors. He was an average player in the minors at best before the Dodgers brought him up based on necessity. When he was first brought over, Hendry’s guys said he had a “pretty lefty swing”…REALLY?!? I have no idea what they were watching, but the guy had a VERY awkward swing when he came over, and it’s only gotten worse. Anyone noticed how he seems to slash at the ball, flailing away. 

      The swing is almost reminiscent of a beginner lefty swing. What I mean by that, is often times when guys try a new side of the plate, they will have an odd-looking slash swing to the ball.

      As for Dunn, yes, I am pleased to see it, but I still hold true to my opinion the Cubs should’ve signed him in the first place instead of Bradley…and I wouldn’t have recommended they extend him beyond that, because he’s 32, and according to Bill James’ research, that’s the time a player starts declining. Again, timing is everything, and he would’ve been ideal back then when they needed someone like him, but I do not want him now

      • Ripsnorter1

        Yes, the Cubs should have signed Dunn instead of Bradley. He probably wouldn’t have had the mental issues that he had last year.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Minor League moves: Jonathan Mota added to Iowa Cubs roster, Junior Lake added to Double-A Tennessee
     

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Delay keeping Blake DeWitt on active roster http://es.pn/IRD6m4
     

    • John_CC

       Any ETA on this first pitch?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Looks like 3:30 is what they are shooting for

        • John_CC

           Thanks, I better go get some weekend chores checked off the list !

  • cubtex

    Some other rain delay fillers.
     
    Chris Archer is 1-4 with a 6.30 ERA in 6 starts for AAA. The alarming stat is that he continues to struggle with command.
    30 IP  he has walked 23 batters!

    Hak Ju Lee has gotten over the Mendoza line. He has his average up to .228

    • Tom U

      Lee also had a horrible night defensively yesterday. While only charged with one error, he could have easily gotten three more if you could assume the second out on a double play.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    First pitch set for 4:00

  • Tom U

    Junior Lake is leading off and playing short for Tennessee.

    Iowa now getting toasted 12-4 by New Orleans in the 8th.

    Peoria down 4-1 to Quad Cities in the 5th. 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    It’s official … Cubs recalled LHP Travis Wood from Iowa Cubs. To make room for Wood on the roster, IF Blake Dewitt has been designated for assignment.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent play by Castro and LaHair to start the game

  • Aaron

    Lake doubles in first AB of year

    • Aaron

      Dan Berlind was also released

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Mota is now playing third for Iowa, Cardenas has been removed

    • Tom U

      Jonathan Mota now pitching for Iowa

  • Dorasaga

    Good hustle by Campana. A “fleet” double with the ball dropped shallow outfield!

    • Dorasaga

      Not a smart move by Campana…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Now Mota is pitching for Iowa, late in the game and a blowout in Des Moines

    • Tom U

      Mota no runs an a strikeout in an inning of work. For his career, a 1.59 ERA, 4 K in 6.2 innings.

  • Dorasaga

    Good hustle catch by ol’Fonzi, and a quick release to Lahair that scared the pinch runner back first base…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    That’s 24 straight for LaHair

  • GaryLeeT

    I am kind of doing a Volstad vs Wood comparison, and there is no comparison. Wood has no out pitch, and labors through almost every single at bat. I don’t have to wonder why he can’t make it in the bigs, and I’m headed back to wait for my paint to dry. 

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    sigh travis hotwood sucks this team is killing me softly

    • Aaron

      on the plus side, if pitching doesn’t work, maybe he has a future as a hitter

      • Carmelo

        Aaron, what’s your take on Wood today?

        • Aaron

          about what I saw of him on MiLBtv, which is average. He got extremely lucky that Kemp wasn’t in the lineup earlier, but he also got lucky a couple of times when he was consistently up in the zone, and the Dodgers just didn’t capitalize. When he was in the minors, those pitches were absolutely hammered, so you have to chalk some things up to dumb luck. 

          His command was spotty, which is exactly the same problem he had in the minors. You’re playing with fire when you can’t spot your pitches, because you have to groove some just to get a strike, and they get hammered, just like Rivera did today.

          …having said that, it was a great that he was able to come back from a difficult start.

  • Dorasaga

    This is a good game. Wood two hits… A lot could be discussed (Travis Wood working his cutters? Mather our 3B 2012?), but not many audience here at CCO. Surprise, surprise… or not.

    • Carmelo

      If nothing else the LHH for the Dodgers are 0-12 vs Wood today.  Good outing.  The inablity to turn the easy double play in the second inning is the difference in the game.  Not only prevents the run in the second, but changes the line-up in the third. And Harang was running.

      • paulcatanese

        Agree, watched the replay of that, LaHair could have picked that throw,(could have) not should have.
        And Castro missed second base by a good foot, as it turns out I guess the Cubs were lucky to get one.

  • JimBo_C

    wood’s pitching looked a lot better in innings 4 thru 6 than in innings 1 thru 3.

    as a bonus …. he can hit!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good outing for Wood after a rough three innings. Technically a quality start.

    • JimBo_C

      Would like to see Volstad take a seat and give Wood a shot at a few starts.

  • BosephHeyden

    Wellington Castillo is looking like the lesser of the two young catchers right now.  His approach behind the plate seems average at best, but right now he looks (literally) completely lost at the plate.  I don’t know if he’s nervous or what, but he’s had a week to get over it, and his approach looks the exact same as it did when he looked lost in Philly.

    At this point in time, he’s coming off like a AAAA guy rather than a “next big thing” prospect.  I hope that changes soon, but as of right now Soto is more deserving of playing time, and that says a lot.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another rough one for Soriano

  • paulcatanese

    Wood did a decent job, I have no complaints on his performance today.
    His bat also looke very good today. Good prospect for a bench pinch hitter.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Campana with a game tying RBI double

    • Dorasaga

      Aggressive running (Dejesus directed by 3b coach) results to a tag on his butt… Need Castro to keep the inning alive…

  • RynoTiger

    I know Sveum wants the runngers to be aggressive..but there’s a different between dumb aggressive and smart aggressive and the players AND coaches need to know the difference..and the coaches need to know the difference for each player

    • Jknoes14

       Agreed, DUMB sending of the runner

  • paulcatanese

    Good call sending DeJesus, nothing to lose and everything to gain.
    Took two good throws to get him and already tied up. great comeback by the Cubs, now lets win it in the 10th.
    I predict a walk off HR by LaHair.

    • Jknoes14

       You’re telling me it’s a ‘good call’ to send him when there is only 1 out and Castro up next? … While I strongly disagree with you on that issue, I hope you are right about LaHair!

      • RynoTiger

        well Paul was wrong..he’s voted off the island…”He Gawn!!!”

        • paulcatanese

          Bad enough I was wrong, but “He Gawn” ugh, my least favorite announcer. You got me good on that one:):)

      • paulcatanese

        Yep, good call, I would do that one over and over again.When the opportunity to win the game and was just tied up,yes, as I mentioned it took two throws to get him, two good throws. And when an infielder has to spin around to make the final throw ists always a good risk in the runners favor.
        And you still had Castro in the wings to pick him up.

        • Carmelo

          Plus the ball was hit to Either’s glove side in the outfield, always a great time to try and get a extra base.

          • paulcatanese

            Exactly, would have done it again.:)

          • Jknoes14

            I would’ve preferred to have Castro “picking him up” with 1 out rather than two, but whatever – they won the game.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I just saw Bryce Harper steal home on Cole Hammels. 

    WOW! 

    That was his first ML stolen base!

    • Chadaudio

      I wish I could have seen that live.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Cole Hammels nails Harper on the first pitch of the game from Hammels to Harper. Harper moves up to 3rd on a single by Werth. Then Harper steals home. The game is still 1-0 two innings later. 

        BTW, Zimmerman, P, Nats, nails Hammels on the first pitch when he comes up to bat in retaliation.

    • paulcatanese

      He has nothing left for an encore, blew it all in the first one:)

      • Ripsnorter1

        Campana was a big contributor tonight. Couldn’t have won without him. Again. 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Samardzija hits for Dolis and is hit by a pitch

  • Dorasaga

     This is why Dejesus leads off. A patient hitter gets most opportunities to get on-base. The Cubs might end up double-played if we had another groundballer going all-contact in such situation.

    • paulcatanese

      He wasn’t all that patient, swung on 2-0 swung at ball four (high and outside) he was too anxious to get the run in via a hit. But it worked out.

      • cubtex

        just got back and rewinded the dvr to see the last couple of innings. I was shocked he swung at the 2-0 pitch and then again….he swings at the 3-1 pitch…ugh! but like you say, it worked out!

        • paulcatanese

          As I was sitting and watching, I said to myself, take at least one, and then on the 3-1 pitch(ball four) he swings again, I thought oh no, but the Cubs got lucky with ball four.

      • Dorasaga

        I wouldn’t say it’s pure luck. How many times we’ve seen other batters “lost it” after a 2-1 count and grounded out to a double play? How many times we’ve seen good batters work a 0-2 count to become a 3-2 count then walks for a potential run? (another situation, but worth think about and compare with regards to our definition of “patience.”)

        Dejesus worked the count. He swung at 2-0 and 3-1, not 0-2 or 1-2. We are in front of a monitor criticizing his approach that at-bat, not standing in the batter’s box facing an 85 mile slider after a 95 mile fastball, while both seem like ending up in the zone by the same pace. Patient major league batters work the count to his advantage. Most of the time, Dejesus did so. Few other previous Cubbie lead-off batters could, before him.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat Dodgers 4-3 in 11 innings

    Travis Wood: 3R, 3H, 3BB, 4K, 6IP, 2-for-2, 2B, R; Bryan LaHair: 3-for-4, 2B, BB; Starlin Castro: 1-for-5, 2RBI; Tony Campana:
    2-for-4,2 2B, RBI

    David DeJesus with the GW RBI on a bases loaded walk in the 11th

  • paulcatanese

    Dolis is making points, hope someone is watching, and learns.

  • Agustinrexach

    a series win is a series win. 

    • paulcatanese

      Absolutly, win those on a fairly regular basis and you’re in for post season play.