Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 06/07/12

Game Fifty-Seven: Cubs (19-37) vs. Brewers (25-31)
Game Time – 1:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/914
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee

Matt Garza (2-4, 4.10/1.15) vs. Randy Wolf (2-5, 6.05/1.70)

The Cubs have a chance to leave Milwaukee with a series win. It has been all or nothing for both teams over the first two games and what has been close contests between the Cubs and Brewers in recent years have been blowouts so far in this series.

In order for the Cubs to leave Milwaukee with a victory, they will have to do something they’ve only done twice this season … win a game started by a southpaw. The Cubs are a miserable 2-11 in games started by left-handed pitchers this season. Expect Dale Sveum to load his lineup again today with as many right-handed bats as possible, including Koyie Hill, against Randy Wolf. Lefties are hitting .216/.333/.300 while righties are hitting .338/.393/.477 against Wolf this season. Today is a rematch of the game back on May 11 that the Brewers won 8-7 in 13 innings.

Matt Garza will have to deal with a better Brewers’ lineup this afternoon than either Ryan Dempster or Paul Maholm had to face in the first two games. Aramis Ramirez is expected back in Ron Roenicke’s starting nine.

In other news and rumors… The Cubs were one of many teams that were on hand to watch Jorge Soler’s workout Wednesday. The Cubs are expected to be very aggressive in the bidding for the 20-year old outfielder and Jed Hoyer confirmed Wednesday the Cubs would be bidding on Soler. Barry Praver, Soler’s agent, has asked all of the teams interested in Jorge Soler to submit bids today. Jed Hoyer acknowledged that the Cubs have heavily scouted Soler and have done their work on him.

The rumors of the Cubs’ interest in Soler surfaced not long after the new regime took over baseball operations. According to the Sun-Times, the Cubs were more interested in Jorge Soler from the beginning than Yoenis Cespedes. The Cubs offered Cespedes a six-year, $36 million deal and he signed a four-year contract for $36 million.

Jed Hoyer told the Tribune that he is predicting the team would be very active before the July 31 trade deadline. Ryan Dempster said Wednesday that if the Cubs “want to trade me to better the ballclub, I have to listen to what they have to say.” Dempster has not spoken to Theo Epstein or submitted a list of teams he would be willing to waive his no-trade rights. The Dodgers are rumored to be interested in Dempster with Ted Lilly on the shelf.

Today it all begins with Matt Garza

Matt Garza more than bounced back from his poor outings against the Astros and Pirates in his last start against the Giants. After struggling with himself for two outings, Matt Garza was very good in San Francisco. The only problem was … he did not receive any run support from his offense. Garza was simply outpitched by Matt Cain and lost his third straight start after allowing two runs on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts in six innings.

Due to the scheduling, Matt Garza will make his fourth straight start on the road this afternoon. Garza is 1-4 in six starts outside of Wrigley this season with a 6.10 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP.

Matt Garza makes his third start of the year against the Brewers this afternoon. Garza tossed a gem against the Brewers at Wrigley back on April 12 and came within his own throwing error of a complete game shutout. Garza took the loss on May 11 at Miller Park in his first start back after missing time with the flu.

Matt Garza is 1-0 against the Brewers in two starts this season with 0.66 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. For his career, Garza is 3-1 in five starts with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP … at Miller Park, 0-1 in two starts with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP.

Brewers Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Norichika Aoki – 0-for-1
  • Ryan Braun – 3-for-13 with a double, a home run and four walks
  • Carlos Gomez – 1-for-3
  • Taylor Green – 0-for-3
  • Corey Hart – 2-for-9 with a double and three walks
  • Travis Ishikawa – 0-for-1
  • George Kottaras – 2-for-9 with a home run and a walk
  • Nyjer Morgan – 7-for-15 with a triple and a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-3
  • Cody Ransom – 1-for-2
  • Rickie Weeks – 2-for-14 with two walks
  • Randy Wolf – 0-for-2

Randy Wolf has struggled against just about every team his faced this season with the exception of the Chicago Cubs. Wolf has won only two games this year and the Brewers are 3-8 in his 11 starts but one of those team wins came at the expense of the Cubs.

Wolf is coming off another bad outing. The Pirates torched Wolf for six runs on eight hits with four walks and five strikeouts in six innings. After posting a 2-2 record in his first five starts with a 6.84 ERA and a 1.90 WHIP, Wolf is 0-3 in his last six outings with a 5.97 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP.

The veteran southpaw tossed six innings of shutout ball against the Cubs back on May 11. The Cubs managed just four hits and three walks and really made it easy on him. The Cubs must be patient today against Randy Wolf … swinging early is the recipe for another loss.

Cubs Career Numbers against Randy Wolf

  • Jeff Baker – 10-for-26 with two doubles, a home run and two walks
  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-8
  • Tony Campana – 0-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 8-for-21 with two doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 3-for-18 with a double
  • Bryan LaHair – 1-for-6 with a double
  • Joe Mather – 0-for-6 with two walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 9-for-37 with a double, two home runs and five walks
  • Ian Stewart – 2-for-5 with a double, a home run 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:

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

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Peoria – Michael Jensen (5-2, 2.51)
    Daytona – Robert Whitenack (0-1, 6.23)
    Tennessee – Dae-Eun Rhee (3-2, 4.97)
    Iowa – Chris Volstad (2-0, 4,12)

    As Neil reported earlier, Daytona OF Matt Szczur was placed on the 7-Day DL; OF Elieser Bonne was activated from the DL

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Bruce Miles: Rehab stints for catchers Soto and Castillo may be delayed said Sveum. Their knees are still tender according to Carrie Muskat

  • Steven Petty

    Normally, when it comes to our Cubs, I am the most supportive ever! But c’mon man, seriously, this lineup is pathetic!!!!

    • BosephHeyden

       Yeah…you kinda have to wonder if maybe the reason the Cubs are 2-11 versus lefties is because the “lefty platoon squad” is quite awful.

      Then again, if this is going to be a repeat of that last Wolf/Garza matchup, maybe we’re better off keeping the regs fresh on the bench.  But, realistically, this game will probably be over by the fifth, one way or another.

      • DWalker

         I was thinking the exact same thing, that with the lefty squad they keep trotting out, its almost surprising they actually WON two games.

  • cubtex

    I don’t really care if they have to overpay a little to sign Soler. The free agent market next year is weak. Add a power bat with upside. Theo has been way too conservative in the draft and with the trades he has made thus far. Start gambling!

    • Aaron

       I would pay 6 and $36 for Soler. If that’s what the Cubs were going to offer Cespedes, then in my opinion, and most everyone else’s opinion is that Soler is the better talent, then you almost have to pay that much for him.

      Here are some #’s for everyone to ponder:
      2004-Angels sign Kendry Morales for 4 yrs, $10 million
      2005-Mariners sign Yuniesky Betancourt for 4 yrs, $2.826 million
      2007-White Sox sign Alexei Ramirez for 4 yrs, $4.75 million
      2009-White Sox sign Dayan Vicideo for 4 yrs, $10 million
      2012-A’s sign Yoennis Cespedes for 4 yrs, $36 million

      Expect Soler’s deal to be about the same as Cespedes, but for a lengthier deal, given his young age. The fact is, the Cubs have the budget to pay $6 million/year to a guy not in the big leagues given what they’re paying guys like Volstad, DeWitt, Wells (previously), and Concepcion…giving them over a million to play in the minors.

      If scouting reports are true, then next year, Soler should be at the minimum in AA. He should rocket through the system.

      For comparison, Viciedo actually started off in AA at age 20. I believe Soler is the same age, but given the conservative nature of Team Theo and their promotions through the system, I’d bet Soler starts this year in Daytona, then goes AA next year, AAA the following year, and then he’d be with the Cubs with 3 yrs, $18 million left on his deal, unless they can work something out where he starts at AA.

      Given the dearth of positional talent available in the next few years on the FA market, signing him to a big deal to ensure you get him might be the most prudent thing to do.

      • Dorasaga

        Don’t forget another Cuban for comp., Yunel Escobar, who left his home at age 21 and became a draftee (2005, round-2, ATL).

        I don’t think anyone can honestly believe herself to evaluate Soler the better talent than Cespedes. Soler never played the level Cespedes did, and we don’t know how long it’ll take the younger man to develop to the Big-league-ready.

        Hasn’t the CBS report (via Neil) claims Chapman a successful signing? I don’t know. The Reds paid him money to pitch as a starter. How would any prospect be paid 30M just to relieve? The Reds tried Chapman as a starter only down the minor, know not if he’ll play out for them (to start games).

      • daverj

        I rarely say this … but I agree 100% with Aaron.

    • cc002600

       Totally agree.
      They have loads of dough to spend now…..their committments after this year are at Pirate or Royal levels, for cryin’ out loud.

      There is absolutely NO REASON in the world they shouldn’t be offering big bucks…..if they overpay, so what ?

      If they don’t, it would contradict everything they have been preaching about “long term” and “rebuilding with young players” …etc, etc….

  • SuzyS

    On a lark, just reread the June 7th, 2008 archive…(Z lost to the Dodgers that day.)
    Jim K suggested a trade with the Blue Jays…where we give up Sean Gallagher/Theriot and a “couple of prospects” for Roy Halliday .

    Rest in peace Jim K. I’m sure you would not be happy with our Cubbies just now.

  • paulcatanese

    While I totally support left handed hitters against rightys, don’t the leftys face left handed pitchers in the minors? It would seem to me that the more often they platoon with right handed hitters like today, it could destroy and put out of sync the leftys that sit on the bench.

    Again I would say it’s a sound procedure if it in fact works, but so far, it has not. The state the Cubs are in right now dictates a lineup that is the best  against leftys or rightys, go with one and leave it at that, substitute on an as needed basis.

    They won with a lineup and the lost with the same lineup, why not look at it for the tie breaker? I don’t believe they should panic and go with a platoon just because they lost a game, they have lost plenty of games already and are going no-where. Get a repeated lineup and go from there, easier to see what they have.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Hey, a Cubs’ player walked.

    • BosephHeyden

       Pssh, that’s not even a real thing.  It’s an urban legend like “sacrifice bunts”, “outfield assists”, “team chemistry”, and “smart free agent signings”.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Hey, the Cubs scored a run.

    • Dorasaga

      Haha. You sound like what other kids in “Peanuts” called Charlie Brown… Hey, Charlie, you did it!

    • John_CC

      Hey, Koyie Hill has an RBI.

      • brent carmona

        Gasp! Pitcher must’ve thrown a meatball up there

  • John_CC

    Hey, LaHair can still hit!

    • paulcatanese

      Ya gotta love it, Soriono took off for second as LaHair hit the HR. Last guy on the Cubs one would expect to run.
      Soriono must have thanked the Heavens LaHair hit it out.

  • BosephHeyden

    Hey, LaHair figured out how to murder outside breaking balls!

  • Dorasaga

    If Hoyer will just DFA or release Baker, then Lahair could have played, even against a leftie, and did that: DA BOMB.

  • roguesqr09

    #4 – hot dog. with ketchup. won’t eat the rest

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    LaHair!

  • BosephHeyden

    So…this is good they’re winning and all, but with Russel and Camp already used in this game, and Corpas coming in after the double-switched Russel into the game…I really hope Corpas gets that 6 out save, because we all know WHO is coming in for the 9th if they have a lead.  And he’s most definitely not up for that.

  • John_CC

    Blah.

  • Dorasaga

    I don’t see the point of IBB ARam here. He’s not as good as he used to, not been producing when the team needs him, and overall now.

    • BosephHeyden

      He’s exactly as good as he used to be:  slow and only capable of hitting home runs when his team is out of it.  The Brewers aren’t officially out of it, but realistically they don’t have a chance, so why risk facing no-pressure Ramirez when you can walk him with a base open and make the Brewers waste a pinch hitter AND use a pinch runner in the process.

      Though, to be fair, that plan probably works the best when they aren’t coming off a Zach Grienke start.

  • daverj

    Camp needs to be the closer.  Not because he’ll be a great closer, but because he’s the only reliever on this team that appears capable of holding a lead.

  • BosephHeyden

    Okay, so this looks like it will be exactly the same as the last Garza/Wolf matchup.

  • John_CC

    3rd Career HR …  2nd of the day!!

    BLAH!

    • paulcatanese

      Sudden death,again, and again, and again. The “rebuilding ” goes on, and on, and on.
      On to tommorow, a new day?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 4-3 in 10 innings to Brewers on Thursday – Matt Garza: 2R,3H(HR),1BB,6K,6IP; Bryan LaHair: 1-for-1,HR,2RBI; Alfonso Soriano: 1-for-4,R; Hill: 1-for-4,2B,RBI

  • John_CC

    The Astros sign Correa for just under $5M.  KC signs Zimmer (5th overall) for $3M.  Will Boras really get more than the first overall pick for Almora or hold him out and risk injury in college? 

    • paulcatanese

      I think Boras has enough mad money in the bank to carry him another four years with Almora if he dosent get what he wants.

      With Boras I think it’s more about his own reputation of getting what he wants VS thinking about the player. He could care less about the deal as long as he gets what he demands.

      • cubtex

        The Royals signed Kyle Zimmer for 3 mil who was picked right before Almora. Cubs need to offer no more than that. Tell him take it or seeeeeee ya!

        • Aaron

          Ha….very funny. No way he accepts. He’s already proven he’s a Boras sleezeball type….arrogance runs through his veins, and he’s the PERFECT Boras client in that regard.

          Nothing whatsoever about his statements even indicates he wants to be a part of the organization. After all, who would at this point? The point is, as a high school guy without any power, or above average skills (other than the fact he’s a “gym rat” that makes good contact…well, guess what….a LOT of high school varsity hitters make good contact) should NOT be demanding overslot. He should be happy with what he gets

  • cc002600

    What’s the deal with Stewart ?
    This guy looks to be a real bust
    His numbers are brutal

    3rd base looks to be a real problem again for the forseeable future, unless Vitters surprises, which I doubt.

    • Aaron

      Stewart is dreadful….I said the day the trade was made the Cubs would regret trading away LeMahieu, and thus far, that’s proving true. LeMahieu is a hitting machine. He likely will never develop the power potential that Stewart has, but my point then….and still is…that you simply CANNOT trade away a hitting machine like LeMahieu. 

      By the way….how is Weathers doing? Oops….he was DFA’d, wasn’t he? I believe he’s on the DL now too, since I haven’t seen him in box scores lately.

      I’m not worried about Colvin being traded…that was never my concern, and the trade should’ve started and ended with those two being dealt for each other.

      …but I digress