Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 05/27/12

Game Forty-Seven: Cubs (15-31) vs. Pirates (22-24)
Game Time – 12:35pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186/914
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Matt Garza (2-2, 3.72/1.12) vs. Erik Bedard (2-5, 3.52/1.39)

Matt Garza gets another shot today at putting an end to the Cubs’ losing streak. Garza could not accomplish the task five days ago against the Astros and admitted afterwards he was trying to do too much to lead his team to victory.

The Cubs enter play today just 1-8 against games started by left handers and it does not figure to get any easier against Erik Bedard. The entire offense is trying too hard and is not taking what the pitchers are giving them. Early runs would go a long way for an offense that is just 1-for-the-last-29 with runners in scoring position. While the Cubs did not outhit their opponent for the fifth game in a row Saturday night, the team is getting their hits … just not when they count the most.

Look for Dale Sveum to load his lineup with right handers this afternoon. Right handers are hitting .284/.350/.369 against Bedard while lefties have managed just a .171/.237/.275 line.

Today all begins with Matt Garza

Matt Garza is coming off his second worst start as a Cub and admitted he was trying too hard to end the Cubs losing streak the last time out. Houston pummeled Garza to the tune of seven runs on five hits (a pair of three home runs) in just three innings … and that was after Garza retired the Astros in order in the first inning.

Garza started the season 2-1 in five starts with a 2.67 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. After returning from the flu bug, Garza is 0-1 in three starts with a 6.14 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP. His teammates need for him to step up this afternoon.

Something is going to give today. Garza has struggled on the road (1-2 in four starts with a 6.30 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP) but has been outstanding in day games (2-0 in three starts with a 0.83 ERA and a 0.60 WHIP).

Matt Garza is 1-0 in two career starts against the Pirates with a 1.93 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. Both of those outings came last season and in his only outing at PNC Park, Garza tossed seven innings of shutout ball (four hits, two walks and seven strikeouts on August 3).

Pirates Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Pedro Alvarez – 4-for-7
  • Rod Barajas – 4-for-19
  • Clint Barmes – 2-for-9 with two home runs
  • Garrett Jones – 2-for-7
  • Andrew McCutchen – 1-for-3
  • Casey McGehee – 1-for-6 with a double
  • Michael McKenry – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Jose Tabata – 3-for-4
  • Neil Walker – 0-for-7

Erik Bedard is healthy and pitching quite well for the Pirates this season. The veteran southpaw is coming off a no-decision against the Mets in which he allowed four runs on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts in five innings. Bedard has allowed four runs on six hits in each of his last two outings (6.55 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP) after he made it just one inning in a start against the Nationals on May 9.

Bedard has done his job at home this season despite not posting a win at PNC (0-2) in four tries, Bedard has allowed eight runs, seven earned, on 19 hits with eight walks and 15 strikeouts in 20 innings (3.15 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP).

This afternoon will be Erik Bedard’s first career start against the Chicago Cubs.

Cubs Career Numbers against Erik Bedard

  • Jeff Baker – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • David DeJesus – 0-for-8 with three walks
  • Reed Johnson – 7-for-29 with a double and two walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-6 with two doubles, a home run and two walks

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time." – Lou Brock

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  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    DeJesus – RF
    Castro – SS
    Mather – 3B
    Soriano – LF
    Baker – 1B
    Johnson – CF
    Barney – 2B
    Hill – C
    Garza – P

    • Calicub

      neil, not sure if its becaue i have an andriod, but i was having trouble loading the 40 man Roster and thought i should let you know.

      It really reminds you how opposite this team is to the cubs of three to four years ago in terms of LH vs. RH, when they cant even fill the line up w/ rightys.

      • Neil

        Thanks for letting me know, I will check into it

    • CubsTalk

      OMG…we are going to lose agian today with this lineup.

  • matthew8510

    i dont know what to say just  keep running them out there

  • BosephHeyden

    I won’t actually be bothered by a loss today.  A win would be nice, but a loss puts the Pirates a game under .500 and throws them into the thick of things in the NL Central, meaning only Milwaulkee and the Cubs would not be realistically in it.

  • Neil

    According to the Trib, Dolis out as closer.

    • CubsTalk

       past the tissue….

  • Neil

    James Russell and Shawn Camp will share the closer duties for now

    • CubsTalk

       until further notice…..

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Peoria – Michael Jensen (4-2, 2.92)
    Daytona – TBA, PJ Francescon (0-0, 1.50) probable
    Iowa – Chris Volstad (1-0, 6.00)

    Tennessee has the day off


    Although it isn’t official, all the tea leaves point to Javier Baez being promoted to Peoria. The Chiefs are entering a stretch of playing their next 24 games against AL affiliates, half of which are away games. Expect Baez to do a lot of DHing. Also, the Midwest League All-Star break, on June 19, is three days after the opening of Boise’s season. If the organization sends Baez down, that would be about that time.

  • paulcatanese

    I had spent too much time last year bashing Quade and don’t want to go there again this year, but these lineups look very familiar to some I have seen before in regards to substance.
    Although the way this is all constructed, management has achomplished one thing, they know how to keep the fans confused.
    If their is a plan, the fans don’t know it, and I doubt if management knows it either.
    This is one big mess,and it will take years, and I mean years, to bring a winner to the North Side.
    This was not forseen by me, and was willing to give the benefit of the doubt, I am not so sure anymore.

    • Dnuge

      I had thought the Cubs could be a contender in perhaps 3 years & now I agree that ithe may take several years, we have almost nothing in the minors that can help before that. 

      Bringing Rizzo up now would be a mistake, as he alone cannot help the mess the team is in. 

       I also hear rumors of the hitting coach being fired and perhaps replaced by Mickey Hatcher who was recently fired buy the Angels.

      • paulcatanese

        You got it. If depending on what they draft would mean(using common sense) means they won’t be ready for at the least 2-3 years.
        And as for trading for ballplayers, wht can be achomplished bringing players in and hoping that the rebound from an earlier year?
        They have absolutly nothing to trade with, so that answers that.
        As for a hitting coach, anyone they bring in would have to have the cooperation of the players to even start to succeed. And that is a time consuming process for whatever is being attempted to get over to the player.
        The bad habits that hitters have are pretty well ingrained, could be a thankless task, or better yet an imoppsible one.

  • Anonymous47701

    I wonder how well this year’s MLB Draft and Trade Deadline will turn out for the Cubs.

  • Michael

    Haha, Dolis out as closer?!?!

    We don’t need to name a damn closer because we cant beat anyone right now.

    Dolis out as closer, ha!

  • Anonymous47701

    A Fire Sale is well overdue!, Theo and Jed!

    • BosephHeyden

       I already don’t trust Epstein OR Hoyer with trading guys to get prospects, I’d prefer not to see how bad they could break this team by trading guys just to get rid of them.

      • RynoTiger

        yes i’d rather trust posters on this site because we know they could get Babe Ruth and Joe Dimaggio for Reed Johnson, Jeff Baker and Chris Volstad.

        • BosephHeyden

          I’m never said I could do better, but their histories show they’re not good at it, past and recent combined.

        • brent carmona

          LOL good one…

      • Anonymous47701

        Are you implying that the Cubs are better off not trading anyone just to continue losing?

    • GaryLeeT

       Unfortunately, the Cub’s fire sale, looks more like a rummage sale on Sunday afternoon. Nobody is going to want their junk.

  • Dorasaga

    It’s sunny at Cincy but looks like a cool day for Cubs baseball. Mather’s earning a starting job. Nice if this new look gets more than 2 (runs)!

    • Dorasaga

      Well… That break for Mather (a good breaker right through his knee-high could be a K instead of 3-2) didn’t work out… double played…

  • BosephHeyden

    I never understood why errors on the pitchers that lead to runs still counted as unearned runs.  Maybe Garza realizes this when he tries to launch balls into the stands.

  • BosephHeyden

    Today solidifies the answers to two questions:  is Garza an ace and should we resign or trade him?  The answers:  no and trade.  These past few games, he’s starting to turn into the Marmol of our starters.

  • Neil

    Third three-run homer off Garza in last three innings he’s pitched

  • Michael

    Shaking off signs, body language and that 3 run homer by Alvarez. Garza looks like he couldn’t care less today and would like to be doing anything else other than being in a Cub uniform.

    I don’t blame him.

    • BosephHeyden

       I’m glad I’m not the only person who is seeing that.  The second he gave up that lead-off single, his body language and facial expressions changed completely, like a run was a foregone conclusion and an insurmountable odd (that one is actually a realistic expectation with this offense), and everything that followed re-emphasized that belief.

      It’s times like this I kinda wish Zambrano was still on the team:  I doubt he’d change the losing streak at all, but at least it would be entertaining.

    • RynoTiger

      with the articles indicating that roster management will become more of a priority after the early June draft, I’m thinking that Garza’s fate with the Cubs is finalized, whether it be trade or extension, by the end of June, if not sooner.

  • Dorasaga

    The Buc broadcast just showed Dejesus, in between the inning, made a long toss. The ball traveled over the outfield stands and ended up into the river. Quite impressive, and a pretty sight. I must say PNC is my favorite ballpark, artistically. David must be frustrated by himself, methinks.

    • John_CC

       It was the Alvarez home run ball, it bounce off facade and landed in the OF. DeJesus picked it up and launched it!

  • John_CC

    Koyie HIll is so damn bad I can’t believe it.  His AB he watched three fastballs in a row go straight down the pipe.  He tried to make a snap throw to 1B and one hoped it. That last swing was pathetic.

    Please tell me he will be cut loose when Clevenger comes  back. Clevenger and Lalli well be better. 

    • RynoTiger

      nope. it would be Hill and Clevenger.

      • John_CC


        • RynoTiger

          because of his “veteran” presence and experience.  just a hunch.

  • cubtex

    Just walked in and see the Cubs are down 8-0 in 6th. Not going to watch. What a joke of a mlb team!

  • Tom U

    I just got back home. Robert Whitenack is the announced starter for Daytona.

  • Neil

    Castro with a two-run homer …

  • Aaron

    I’ve been trying to stay away from the Cubs as much as possible lately, mainly because I just don’t care anymore…wake me up in 2-3 years, and I’ll pay more attention.

    I must say though, I was absolutely right, once again, prior to this year when I said offense once again (as I said the past 3 years) will be an issue, and pitching wasn’t as much of a concern. Granted, I picked the wrong day to say it with the horrible game pitched by Garza today, but in large part, the starters have been pretty good, with Garza, Samardzija, Dempster, and Maholm all pitching well. The weak link was Volstad, who is now gone, and replaced by T. Wood, who has turned in solid outings.

    Sure, the pen has been dreadful, but if you look at 90% of those games, there was NO offense whatsoever, so the fact the pen would give up a handful of runs doesn’t really mean a damn thing. During this soon to be 12 game losing streak, the hapless Cubs have scored just 32 runs (having just scored seconds ago from typing this).  In other words, they have tallied just over 2 1/2 runs per game.

    As a pitching staff, knowing you’re only going to get 2-3 runs per game from your offense, it puts even more pressure on you to be perfect

    This team blows, and so does management, who set them up to fail both in the interim, and I’d argue with some of the trades they’ve made thus far (Stewart….cough)

    • cubtex

      I agree Aaron. I am watching college baseball which is much more entertaining! I have been staying away and will stay away until there is something worth watching. Mather and LaHair as a 3-4? Koyie Hill catching? Theo did a terrible job last offseason! Dale Svuem is clueless! They almost HAVE to trade Garza now because this team will not compete for several years. The problem is that Theo hasn’t made a good deal in years! The free agent market is thin. Gerardo Concepcion was a terrible sign! They better sign Soler if and when he becomes a free agent. It sucks being a Cub fan this year!

      • Anthony

        I thought everyone agreed 2012 for the Cubs was a season of transition, so there should be no great expectations, especially also taking into account how BOS has struggles as well as SD.

        Everyone who got super-excited about Epstein and his Band needs to remember BillyB said NO to the Chowda’s and Epstein was the default afterthought who inherited a high-level team. Epstein/Carmen drafts of late have been awful, as well as his RSOX FA moves.

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 10-4 to Pirates Sunday afternoon

    Matt Garza: 6R, 7H
    (3HR), BB, 6K, 5+ IP, David DeJesus: 1-for-1, 2BB; Starlin Castro: 1-for-4, HR, 2RBI; Blake Lalli:
    1-for-2, R

  • matthew8510

    lets go for 13

  • edw hansen

    Been a cub fan for 50 years, I had such high hopes we would at least see the kids play like other teams do when thier rebuilding at least some pitching from AA, but the cubs never could judge talent and it looks like the wonder boys cant either.This enough to make you a Sox  fan