Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. White Sox – 05/20/12

Game Forty-One: Cubs (15-25) vs. White Sox (20-21)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet (Cubs), WGN TV (White Sox) – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Paul Maholm (4-2, 4.35/1.17) vs. Jake Peavy (4-1, 2.65/0.92)

The Cubs will shoot to avoid the sweep at the hand of the White Sox and salvage the last game of the homestand behind Paul Maholm this afternoon. After a good stretch of ball, the Cubs have lost their last five games and enter play today a season-low 10 games under .500.

The injury bug has hit the Cubs. Not only did they lose their starting and backup catcher in the same week that forced a move to bring back Koyie Hill but an injury to Blake Parker during the eighth inning of Saturday’s game might force another move. Parker left the game with tightness in his right hamstring and will be re-evaluated Sunday morning.

Steve Clevenger and Carlos Marmol will begin rehab assignments on Monday with the Iowa Cubs. The Cubs are targeting a May 25 return for Clevenger. Marmol is scheduled to throw a side session Monday, then a simulated game on Wednesday. Marmol’s first Triple-A action is scheduled for Friday.

More changes to the Cubs’ roster are expected over the next three days but the injury to Blake Parker could force them to alter their plans. Dale Sveum is dealing with a lot of injuries right now, mainly to the catching corps, but the poor play has the Cubs staring at the possibility of a winless homestand (0-4).

Today all begins with Paul Maholm

After a string of four excellent starts, Paul Maholm hit a bump in the road in his last outing against the Cardinals. Maholm barely made it through six innings and was hit pretty hard throughout the afternoon. Maholm allowed four runs on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts and received a no-decision.

Even with his rough start against the Redbirds, Maholm is 2-0 in his last three starts with a 2.37 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. Maholm has kept the ball down and pitched to his defense, two things he must do today against the Sox.

Paul Maholm is 3-1 in four starts in his home park with a 3.13 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP.

Today will mark the third time in his career that Maholm has started a game against the White Sox. The veteran lefty is 1-1 in the first two with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.

White Sox Career Numbers against Paul Maholm

  • Adam Dunn – 3-for-28 with seven walks
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-5
  • Paul Konerko – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • Jake Peavy – 1-for-2
  • A.J. Pierzynski – 1-for-4
  • Alex Rios – 0-for-3

The Cubs get the tough task of facing a rejuvenated Jake Peavy this afternoon. As a franchise the Cubs have always struggled against Peavy and he has been very, very good this season.

Until his last outing, Jake Peavy had allowed three earned runs or less in each of his seven starts. The Tigers hit around Peavy in his last start to the tune of six runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. Peavy tied a season high in walks (2) while striking out a season low four batters.

Peavy is 2-0 in four road starts with a 2.12 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP and is 1-0 in his last three starts with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP after beginning the season 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA and a 0.69 WHIP.

Jake Peavy is 6-2 in 11 career starts against the Cubs with a 2.62 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP … at Wrigley, 2-2 in six starts with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. Peavy beat the Cubs the only time he faced them a year ago (three runs on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings).

Cubs Career Numbers against Jake Peavy

  • Jeff Baker – 1-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-5 with a walk
  • David DeJesus – 0-for-11
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-8
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-4 with a walk
  • Paul Maholm – 0-for-2
  • Joe Mather – 1-for-1 with a home run
  • Alfonso Soriano – 8-for-23 with three doubles, three home runs and four walks
  • Ian Stewart – 2-for-5 with a home run and a walk

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did." - Mark Twain

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    DeJesus – RF
    Campana – CF
    Castro – SS
    LaHair – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Cardenas – 2B
    Hill – C
    Maholm – P

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the beat writers on Rizzo:

    Sveum said Cubs will have to talk about bringing Rizzo up in June, says you have to play him though

    Sveum: Bringing Rizzo in June has to be talked about but he has to play every day

    Sveum expects to talk to brass about adding Rizzo in next few Weeks, possibly coinciding with DH games

    ‏@JordanBernfield

    Sveum says team will definitely discuss bringing up Rizzo in June. Said he’d definitely play 1B. Meaning LaHair would move to OF.

  • Ripken Boy

    Let’s hope Hoyer is scouring other teams minor leagues for a veteran catcher (Max Ramirez)  that is better than Koyie Hill.

    If not, let’s hope Castillo and Clevenger heal quick and with no setbacks. I don’t undertand why Lalli does not get a shot vs. Hill. We all know what Hill can and cannot do. Lalli must be real bad if Hill is appointed starter immediately.

    Yikes, back to the 100 lose possibility.

    • CubsTalk

      I looked over the teams…nothing at all…..maybe some teams will overpay a Geo Soto by end of July……

      MLB talent has really got water down……need to reduce back to 24 teams for better play………but the Union will not let that happen…..just have to wait for clubs to fold up due to economic costs.

      • Denver Mike

        Anyone who thinks the economy is going to cause the MLB to fold teams is delusional. This isn’t the NBA or NHL…with revenue sharing and teams like the Yanks, Sawks, and Cubs charging $100 plus for cheap seats the “talent pool” is the last thing any decision maker is concerned with.

    • BosephHeyden

      After thinking about it, I really do understand the reasoning, but hindsight really shouldn’t be needed to realize it is dumb reasoning.  Dempster hit most of the pitches and locations Hill called for, and as a result, he gave up four runs early and looked mediocre throughout the game.

      We really haven’t been hurting defensively at catcher.  I mean, we really haven’t been helped defensively at catcher either, but Soto’s inability to throw out runners hasn’t cost us many games (1 game maybe, but it makes very little difference now).  And we all saw what “familiarity” gives us:  Dempster looked very familiar when he reverted back to his 2011 form.

      The extent of what Jed Hoyer traded for when he got Koyie Hill was a near-automatic out.  I can’t believe for a second Blake Lalli provides anything worse than what Hill gave us.  Getting any free agent catcher, not just Varitek or Pudge, but any of the veteran catchers that are out there that wouldn’t mind a nice pay day for a number of days of work, with the option given to them that, if they desired, they could stick around in the minors given they provided good service to us (after being DFA’d off the 40 Man when their services were no longer required, of course).  I doubt any of the catchers out there that aren’t potential Hall of Famers would mind a $500K pay day for half a month of work.

      Heck, they could have even gone with the bullpen catcher.  But Koyie Hill just isn’t that good.  He never was, and never will be.  They were right the first time.

      • paulcatanese

         I agree with you, and am a little disappointed in the decision to bring Hill back. Kind of says that they were wrong in letting him go in the first place.
        Besides people getting hurt and bringing guys in and out(without the injury factor) the roster changes are fast and furious, some guys dont have a chance to unpack and their on the way down again.
        They are being told, produce now, today, or you’re on the next bus. They are trying to pick lightning out of a bottle. Lot’s of cayous going on now.

    • Tom U

      The Cubs signed Brian Esposito, and have assigned him to Triple-A Iowa

      Esposito was drafted in 2005 by the Red Sox, and saw brief major league stints with the Cardinals in 2007 and the Astros in 2010. He has a career minor league average of .216 and a career caught stealing percentage of 27%.

      • CubsTalk

         Geez…I thought for a second we are going after old Blackhawk goaltenders to be our catchers.

      • Ripsnorter1

        That’s a pretty low BA. Sheeesh.

  • CubsTalk

    If the Cubs bring up Rizzo, then play him in every game.
    LaHair will not be great in the OF.
    Marlins need a first baseman.  Lets raid their farm system.
    Will Peavy go head hunting today?

    Neil, just a suggestion….when doing Cubs lineup…include the other side lineup also…..like to see who they have against us.

    I cannot believe we have Koyie Hill back on this team……

    who is next…Jeff Blauser?….Gary Woods?……..Larry Biittner?

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Peoria – Gerardo Concepcion (1-3, 8.10)
    Daytona  – Austin Kirk (2-0, 1.75)
    Tennessee – Trey McNutt (1-3, 2.84)
    Iowa – Rodrigo Lopez (1-0, 1.93)

    Today’s spotlight game: Tennessee v. Mississippi
    Scheduled to start yesterday, McNutt was moved back a day, as Dallas Beeler started and won. Now, the Smokies are challenging Peoria to be the first to win twenty games. McNutt went seven inning his last start. Maybe he is ready to put some of his physical setbacks behind him?

    • CubsTalk

      there are a couple good pitchers there…..Kirk i heard have not been that bad…….lets hope Theo drafts some great arms soon.

  • paulcatanese

    Peavy’s remarks on the air about retaliation for Konerko show’s what classless players comes from the South Side. How stupid and immature his statements are. Who does he think he is? Instead of just going out and pitching a good game and win, he has to bring that up.
    He dosent have enough faith in his ability to pitch but must put that thought in the back of the minds of Cub hitters and give him an edge.

    Anyone who watched the game that the Shark pitched in and saw Konerko getting hit has got to know it was NOT intentional, not even close, and who was the first guy in to home plate to see if he was alright? The Shark. He cared, and I just don’t understand how it could be interpeted any other way.

    The class thing that should have been said would have come from Konerko saying he knew it wasn’t intentional even if it was.

    If Peavy does hit someone today it will be one of the smallest players on the Cubs, a way to eliminate someone of stature charging the mound.

  • Tony_Hall

    Has anyone ever gone to their favorite hang out with friends, and had someone new, who tries desperately to be the center of attention and get involved in everyone’s conversation….anyone…

    • paulcatanese

      Good one Tony:)

  • Tony_Hall

    Trying to find an article that talked about how soft throwing left handed starters have been the biggest benefactors to the new era of less offense.   In it they listed 7-10 starters as examples and Maholm was one of them that they said their value was going up due to this.

    Of course anyone who talks about lack of offense needs to go to Wrigley with the wind blowing out and the temperature around 90.

    • Tony_Hall

      Here it is.  It is an ESPN Insider article though.

      http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7946017/barry-zito-chris-capuano-mark-buehrle-pitchers-benefitting-most-new-era-mlb 

      Here is a small sample.

      In 2007, the league batting average on balls in play was .299, which was the second highest season total in the last 100 years — the only time it had ever cracked .300 was 1930. While home run rates began declining in the earlier part of the decade, the league was still offense-oriented due to the amount of hits that were falling in when batters did make contact. However, league BABIP has declined in each year since 2007:

      2007: .299
      2008: .296
      2009: .295
      2010: .293
      2011: .291
      2012: .288

      And, with the league shifting back toward an environment where pitching to contact is rewarded with outs more frequently, there’s one group of pitchers that is reaping the rewards more than others — soft-tossing lefties.Over the past three years, there have been eight left-handed starters who have consistently pitched with a fastball that averages below 88.0 mph or below — Mark Buehrle,Chris Capuano, Bruce Chen, Ted Lilly, Paul Maholm, Jamie Moyer, Jason Vargas, and Barry Zito. There are other slow-pitch southpaws floating around the league, but these eight are the ones who have been regular members of starting rotations over the last four years. As a group, these eight threw more than 1,000 innings in each year from 2009-2011, and they’ve already thrown 375 innings this year.

      • Brp921

        Could this trend of declining BABIP have to do with more teams intigrating sabermetrics into their placement of fielders?

        • Tony_Hall

          I am sure that is a part of it.  As defense gets more shifts, it makes it harder to get hits.  Good thought.

  • Zonk

    Wind blowing out, but both pitchers looking good early.  Maholm doing a nice job keeping the ball down

  • Tony_Hall

    Let’s compare

    David DeJesus 286/371/407- 140 AB’s
    Kosuke Fukudome 167/289/194 – 36 AB’s

    I’ll take DeJesus and his higher salary.  

    • cubtex

      With these Cubs Tony….DeJesus is one of the few who has been decent. I am sure you don’t want to go the comparison route with many others :)

      • Tony_Hall

        Just seeing Fukudome made me look it up.

        We can compare Lahair to Pujols :)

  • Tony_Hall

    By now, you would think that teams would pitch Lahair in, in and in.  

    • cubtex

      They do but pitchers make mistakes. That curveball Peavy threw was not where he wanted it. I am convinced that we will see LaHair decline considerably in average and power numbers from this point forward.

  • cubtex

    Anthony Rizzo is listed #1 on Baseball Americas listing of Prospect Hot Sheet for the week of May 7. You don’t need a subscription to view this article      baseballamerica.com

    • CubsTalk

      Plus we have Baez, Vitters, Lake, Jackson…..we need these guys to pull through.

  • cubtex

    Wow! That was crushed!

    • cubtex

      First HR hit onto Waveland this year.

  • RynoTiger

    so other than the 9th inning of yesterday’s game, has there been any other inning where the Cubs have hit the ball really hard? 

    most of the contact i have seen seems rather weak

    • CubsTalk

       again, I blame the hitting coach…..Rudy is not doing the job.

  • Tony_Hall

    Not a bad outing for Maholm.  With the wind blowing out, to give up 3 solo HR’s in 6 innings is keeping his team in the game.

    Time for the offense to take advantage of these great hitting conditions.

    • cubtex

      What does that say about Peavy’s outing? Just saying :)

      • Tony_Hall

        He’s having a great outing, as a front of the rotation flashback for him.

    • Zonk

      He’s limiting the damage by throwing strikes, and not walking anybody. 

      Our offense is not good….what can you do

    • GaryLeeT

       I think you meant that being down by only 3 runs in the 6th, most teams are still in the game. However, Maholm’s isn’t one of them.

      • BosephHeyden

         It’s not helping that 3 after 6 has quickly turned into potentially 6 after 6 and a third.

  • cubtex

    Listening to Hawk Harrelson do this game……especially with the Sox winning is about as painful as it gets watching a baseball game! He Bruuuuuutal!

    • Tony_Hall

      Why would you do that to yourself?

      • cubtex

        Tuning in the Heat/Pacers game on commercials. Hoping to see the Heat lose today.

        • Tony_Hall

          Do you not get CSN Chicago?

          • cubtex

            No, unfortunately.

        • Brp921

          BEAT THE HEAT!!!

  • CubsTalk

    4-0 in the 7th…does not look good for those Cubbies..

    bye bye Maholm…

  • CubsTalk

    At least Theo & Jed has a handful of Vets to trade at the end of July…

    Garza, Dempster, Maholm, Marmol, Stewart, Soto, DeJesus……

     

    • cubtex

      What can you get for Soto, Marmol or Stewart at the deadline?

      • BosephHeyden

         Of those three, Stewart is one that, ideally, has value.  I get the feeling the thinking behind obtaining Stewart and signing DeJesus was that, either this trade deadline or next, should either of those guys return to form, they should provide a pretty good return.

        Of course, only DeJesus is really living up to that.  Stewart is a bit of a question mark, and, if he does get hot, teams would love a power hitting, good fielding, left handed bat for their team.  He is going to have to do really well, though, to get players back of the equivalent value of what we gave up for him.  Because the Rockies won that trade as of now.

      • CubsTalk

        Depends on what the trade market bears at the time…..never know what a playoff will do if they feel they can win it this year.

      • Zonk

        Hard to say.  Right now, Soto and Marmol have zero trade value.  

        I don’t see the Cubs trading Stewart.  We don’t have options at 3B, now or in the foreseeable future, unless you count Vitters, which I don’t

  • Tony_Hall

    Camp is sure making a lot of arm movements that look like a guy who is sore and/or stiff.

  • CubsTalk

    Fergie Jenkins was the pitcher at the first Cubs game I saw at Wrigley….Cubs lost that day to Seaver and the Mets.

  • cubtex

    Look at all those empty seats! On a Sunday against the Sox? I would never have thought that would be the case even with a bad team.

    • CubsTalk

      Don’t worry, the new stadium signage will make up for the lost revenue.

      • cubtex

        I should have said in the bleachers. The rest of stadium looks fairly full….but bleachers are empty.

  • Dorasaga

    Just woke up from a serious flu bestowed on me (or my body just reacted) today, and seeing Barney is  clutch, what a joy.

  • Tony_Hall

    I know many don’t think we got back much for Sean Marshall, and I would rather have Marshall on my team if possible.  But he has been struggling this year, and now has been removed from the closer role.

    14.1 IP
    5.02 ERA
    1.744 WHIP
    21 K’s is Marmolesque

    • cubtex

      Yes he has. It is a very different role. Just ask David Robertson. He is not a closer but he is an excellent set up man. I think Marshall was worth more than they got back. They didn’t need Sappelt in that deal. This team needs pitching.

      • Tony_Hall

        A little unfair to Robertson, he got hurt right after Mo went down.  But I totally agree, the 9th inning is totally different than the 9th, and it takes an attitude more than stuff when the game is on the line.

  • cubtex

    Our left hand batters really struggle against left hand pitching.

  • RMercer69

    It’s tiring watching our hitters swing at so many pitches out of the strike zone everyday.

    • Dorasaga

      Tell Ian about it…

  • Dorasaga

    This kind of strikezone is more like it! Ol’Fonzi earned a rare Pass with a 3-1 count.

  • cubtex

    Anemic! The Sox are trying like crazy to let the Cubs back in the game by walking the bases loaded and no clutch hits!

  • Dorasaga

    Maybe a sinkerball will aggravate that Dunn bottom? Yeah, I’m evil, knowing they’ll play Adam at Telecomm Playground of the Bad Guys !

  • RynoTiger

    two observations:

    1. I think Castro’s maturity as a hitter has worsened. He’s just swinging at anything now.  Perhaps someone is not coaching him.

    2. It’s shameful that a runner just scored on that double to LF.  Soriano’s knees are just terrible. He just looks terrible running.  I still can’t believe that runner scored.  That was disgusting.

    • Brp921

      I agree about Castro. I think that the Cub’s need to teach patience up and down through the system instead of aggressive free swinging. I don’t blame just Rudy Jarramillo, it was the JH way of doing things. Hopefully this is something that the Theo regime will work on changing. It is something that can’t be changed overnight.

    • paulcatanese

      I agree on Castro and have said it several times. First time up was a classic example, two down the middle and strikes out on a ball, low and outside.
      And he did the same thing on a later at bat, struck out on a pitch he could not reach.
      He has 0 plate discipline, and in spite of his average, it should be a lot higher.
      As a hitter he is not the guy I want to see at bat with the game on the line. Swinging at everything just to swing the bat does not get it done.
      He could care less about the game situation, the score, moving runners up period, he is at the plate for one reason only, himself.
      Instruction goes completely unheeded with him and does what he wants. Anyone with only four walks for the year tells it all, and there isn’t in his mind a ball that cannot be hit.

      I cannot comment on Soriono and his bad knees, they keep running him out there to suffer and look bad, so where does the fault lie? Not with Soriono, Mather can play left, and the excuse that the large contract that Soriono has should not dictate that he must play. If he were healthy I would say yes, play him, but not this way, it only makes him look worse than he is out there, and he has hustled before damageing his knee a short time ago.

  • Dorasaga

    –guess Barney’s clutch enough that Ventura needed his closer up there.

  • Dorasaga

    Too many White Sox fans @Wrigley…`

    • CubsTalk

       just think at it this way…. they are paying for Zambrano’s contract.

  • CubsTalk

    Those two L’s in the bleachers with the black tutus on was too much.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs shutout 6-0 by White Sox Sunday afternoon

    Paul Maholm: 5R, 9H (3 HR), 0BB, 5K in 6.1IP; Cubs: 5 hits, 0-for-6 RISP, 10 LOB, shutout for first time in 2012

  • SuzyS

    Any chance that MLB makes Soler wait beyond July to be declared a free agent? If So, what happens then…regarding the size of contract he might be able to sign?

    • paulcatanese

      Suzy, I had totaly forgotten about Soler, havent seen his name pop up. You could be very right and that may prohibit the Cubs from signing him or going after him. It’s confusing the way the Cubs are going after players if at all.