Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Twins – 06/08/12

Game Fifty-Eight: Cubs (19-38) vs. Twins (22-34)
Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 179/914
Location – Target Field, Minneapolis

Travis Wood (0-2, 4.56/1.06) vs. P.J. Walters (2-1, 3.69/1.36)

Dale Sveum and the Chicago Cubs begin a stretch of 12 straight against the Junior Circuit tonight with the first of three against the Twins. The Cubs are 0-3 in Interleague play this season and will host Detroit starting on Tuesday night for three games. The Red Sox make the trip to the North Side of Chicago for three games starting next Friday and the Cubs finish their Interleague schedule with three on the South Side (June 18 – June 20).

The last time the Cubs faced the Twins was in 2009 at Wrigley Field. The Twins took two of three in the weekend series that is most remembered for Milton Bradley throwing a ball into the right field bleachers.

Dale Sveum announced Thursday that Alfonso Soriano will serve as the Cubs’ DH during the three games against the Twins and possibly all six games in American League parks. Soriano has a .364/.391/.682/1.073 slash line in 19 career games (44 at bats) as a designated hitter with three doubles, a triple and three home runs.

Maybe adding a position player to the lineup will help the Cubs offense. The Cubs are 15-11 when they score four or more runs this season … just 4-27 when they score three runs or less.

In other newsWelington Castillo has reported to the Tennessee Smokies and is expected to begin a rehab assignment tonight. Geovany Soto was also expected to begin a rehab assignment today. Soto has not been cleared to play yet and is still too sore to catch. Soto is back with the team and will be in Minnesota this weekend. Reports early Thursday indicated that both Castillo and Geovany Soto would have their rehab stints pushed back. Once he is ready, Welington Castillo is expected to report to the Iowa Cubs so he can play every day.

Tonight it all begins with Travis Wood …

Travis Wood is coming off his best start in a Cubs uniform and if his defense could have caught the ball he might have picked up a win. Wood did not allow a hit to the Giants until the fifth inning and ended up allowing one run on three hits with two walks, a hit batsman and seven strikeouts in seven innings. Wood was hung with the loss because the Cubs could not plate a run against Barry Zito.

The Cubs need a similar outing from Travis Wood tonight.

Travis Wood has never faced the Minnesota Twins and is a very good 0-2 in two road starts this season with a 2.13 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP. Outside of Wrigley, Wood has struck out 10 batters in 12 2/3 innings with four free passes.

Jamey Carroll (0-for-5 with a walk) is the only Twin on the active roster that has faced Travis Wood.

The Cubs will see a somewhat familiar face tonight in Minnesota. P.J. Walters began his career with the St. Louis Cardinals and was dealt to the Blue Jays prior to the deadline last July with Trever Miller, Colby Rasmus and Brian Tallet for Octavio Dotel, Edwin Jackson, Corey Patterson and Marc Rzepczynski. Toronto granted Walters free agency in September and he signed with the Twins in December.

Walters was very good in his first four starts of the year (2-1 with a 2.96 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP) but struggled his last time out. Cleveland put up four runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings and for the third time, Walters walked more batters than he struck out.

P.J. Walters does not have a decision in four career games, one start, against the Cubs. In 9 2/3 innings, Walters has allowed four runs on eight hits with three walks and 12 strikeouts. The Cubs were very aggressive in the past against Walters, they must make him work tonight.

Koyie Hill (0-for-1), Reed Johnson (2-for-3) and Alfonso Soriano (0-for-4) are the only Cubs on the active roster that has faced P.J. Walters.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us." - Earl Nightingale
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  • Vivid_Reality

    Shark and Maholm have better walk rates than Castro…

    • Cory

      Most pitchers are always looking. Castro is always swinging.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From ESPN Chicago: Soriano says sore knee much better than it was in late April but admits he’ll have to think about surgery in offseason.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Welington Castillo is in the Smokies’ lineup tonight. Castillo is hitting third and playing first base.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Johnson – LF
    Castro – SS
    DeJesus – RF
    Soriano – DH
    LaHair – 1B
    Mather – CF
    Clevenger – C
    Barney – 2B
    Stewart – 3B

    Wood – P

    • John_CC

       Seems like it would have been a good opportunity to Campana in CF and leading off and Mather in LF.  Tomorrow is vs. a lefty so this is probably the lineup for tomorrow too, except of course with the great Koyie Hill.

      • paulcatanese

        Agree John, I have a gut feeling Sveum is becoming dis-enchanted with Campana. Don’t like it, but then I have no say in it.

  • CubsTown

    Tonight’s Poll  is…….

    Which Cubs Player will be first one to be traded before the trade deadline?

    A – LaHair
    B – Dempster
    C – Garza
    D – Marmol
    E – Soto
    F – Johnson
    G – Soriano
    H – DeJesus
    I – Maholm
    J – Castro
    K – Stewart
    L – Baker
    M -Volstad
    N – Wells

    • Cory

      CubsTown, really?

      • BosephHeyden

         I get the feeling a lot of these are joke accounts from other people now.

        • paulcatanese

          Probably, if so they had a good teacher. I ignore some people anyway, no time for the BS.

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Peoria – Jose Rosario (4-5, 4.57)
    Daytona – Robert Whitenack (0-1, 6.23) game 1
                   Frank Del Valle (4-1, 4.36) game 2 projected
    Tennessee – Nick Struck (5-6, 4,41)
    Iowa – Rodrigo Lopez (1-0, 2.52) game 1
              game 2 TBA

    Note: Iowa placed RHP Frankie De La Cruz on the 7-day DL; called up RHP Ty’Relle Harris from Tennessee

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo just hit his 18th homer

  • Tom U

    Welington Castillo, playing first base for Tennessee tonight, hit a 2-run homer in the 3rd inning. Smokies ahead of Mississippi 4-0.

  • Dorasaga

    I’m watching the Twins feed via mlb.tv; funny they flashed a bunch of Cubs’ historical greats until Castro, but perhaps intentionally, missed Sammy Sosa. If we really want to understand how the Cubs became what it’s now, Sammy Sosa must be mentioned. He changed baseball, 1998. In fact, Sammy SAVED baseball.

    • Calicub

      One might even go so far as saying that sammy was the INJECTION of energy baseball needed :)

      • Dorasaga

        So did McGwire and perhaps 50-75% of baseall players from minor to Major. Different system back then. The public was misinformed not understood that PED infatuated the sports world. I bet there are still PED in football and NBA.

        I won’t take anything away from Sammy’s historically stature, what he did for baseball late ’90s.

        • Calicub

          It was merely a joke. I didn’t mean to ruffle your feathers.

          I don’t actually nave a problem with players who took steriods, the game was exciting back then in ways it isn’t now diue to the drop in power/hrs. I even admire guys like Bronson Arroyo who maned up about his use vs. Guys like Bonds, conseco, etc. And now with the likes of Braun, and Manny a few years agowhich has been down right shamefull

          • Dorasaga

            I see. I’m with you. I was trying to expound on the Sosa idea, not to defend myself. Good times. Heck, even ’04 n ’06 were still more exciting.

          • Calicub

            Indeed indeed.

            The times they are a changin’

  • Dorasaga

    Two runs, ol’Fonzi knocked second!

    • Dorasaga

       and all the way, right through middle of centerfield.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano with a blast #350 of his career … he killed that ball.

  • Tony_Hall

    Nice start to the game.  Good to see the bats driving in runs.

    • Dorasaga

      Denard Span out due to flu, ouch for my Century, but Hoorah! for the poorly armed Cubs-pitching staff.

  • Dorasaga

    I’m feeling bad for Josh Willingham. He’s been a very good player, but just on various lousy, loser teams.

  • Dorasaga

    Nice catch by Mather.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent catch by Mather

    • Calicub

      #sportscentertopplays worthy?

      • Tony_Hall

        No

        • Calicub

          Bullocks… I didn’t have the game on then so I didn’t see

  • Calicub

    These are some long laborious innings for t wood

  • Dorasaga

    Bert Blylevan just said, “I tell you what: Once you’re a Cubs fan, you’ll always be a Cubs fan.”

    I hope Suzy heard this.

    • Suzy S.

      Dorasaga, I didn’t hear Blylevan’s statement…But it IS an obvious truth to me.

  • BosephHeyden

    Looks like the Cubs and Padres may be in for a bit of a race today:  both teams at the top of the 4th right now, with the Cubs winning their game and the Padres tied with the Brewers right now, it looks like it is going to be close…one of these teams may win 20 games before the other.  So, the Poll Question of the day….

    If you were a hot dog, and you were starving, would you eat yourself?

    A)  Yes
    2)  No

    • Brian

       #Harry

    • Calicub

      iii) do i get a bun and condiments?

      • Calicub

        oh and is ther anyway im a wrapped in bacon?

        • BosephHeyden

           …Cubs win everybody!

        • Calicub

          i know it was a harry ref. but now you just got me thinking of sweet sweet bacon wrapped cannibalism…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with a 2-run homer

  • Tony_Hall

    Castro with #5

  • Calicub

    cubbies got some umph in their bats today

  • Dorasaga

    Castro hit a tall homer.

  • Texcubnut

    Castro!!!!  Power surge by the Cubbies! Love this.

  • Texcubnut

    Castro has the toughest half of the cycle done.

  • Dorasaga

    Hmm. Now I wonder who will hold, and who will close?

  • Tom U

    PJ Francescon starts game 2 for Daytona; Ryan Roland-Smith starting for Iowa in game 2.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    A strike from DeJesus … nailed Doumit at second.

  • Dorasaga

    A bunch of good outfield defence today saved Cubs pitchers a lot of runs.

  • Dorasaga

    Via bullpen, there is no end to our suffering.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Randy Wells is being Randy Wells … no decision for Travis Wood.

    • BosephHeyden

      There really isn’t a plus side to this, because even though the Padres are losing, too, they’re losing to the Brewers.  So, while we won’t necessarily be the last team to 20 wins just yet, it’s coming at the cost of a Brewers win.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano with a homer to the upper deck!

  • Dorasaga

     Alf Saves The Cubs.

  • Someguy27

    Any AL teams need a DH?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    What a shot! Estimated a 440 feet. Pat Hughes is estimating at 480 feet

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

       Who hit that? I missed part of the game.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Sorry, I missed this earlier. By now you know it was Soriano.

  • Dorasaga

    I don’t mind what you were, Camp, just notch up and close this one.

    • Dorasaga

      Willingham is the only bright spot on this doormat team, so get it down, Shawn!

      • Dorasaga

         O well, just another Cubbie bullpen day.

  • BosephHeyden

    So…Shawn Camp’s not the answer at closer.  Or maybe we just shouldn’t start that experiment versus a team that’s hurt him in the past.

  • Dorasaga

    Sounds like some miscommunication to realign the defensive positioning-s. Maybe Sveum was caught looping, thinking “what do you want me to do?,” the echo of Lou.

    • BosephHeyden

       Campana and DeJesus were WAY too deep when Doumit came up.  Campana was close to the warning track and DeJesus was pretty much at the wall.  Neither of those are ideal positions with a runner at third and no outs.

      • Dorasaga

        They were like more than half way towards infield. Maybe they were good runners towards the track, seemed deeper than where they were initially?

    • Dorasaga

       Ah, that’s creative.

      • Dorasaga

        Another baserunning blunder by the Twins tonight left out some runs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

    I’m confused… why not try the double play?
     

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

       Tailor made DP, and he threw home- that’ll cost them the game I think

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

         They got lucky

      • BosephHeyden

         You can never assume a double play, especially when the batter that’s at the plate has only hit into one.  If the runner beats out the throw to first (which odds are he does because he’ll be running faster than usual), the game is over.  One out, a slower runner at first moving to second on the play, and a chance to nail the runner at home, you take the runner headed home ten times out of ten.

  • John_CC

    And more BS

  • matthew8510
    • CubsTown

      Lets resign Byrd, so he can work off that contract rather sitting at home and eating Big Macs and KFC.

  • Dorasaga

    I must say I like this Target Field a lot better than what it replaced. The Metrodome, a few balls went out, but in general, doesn’t carry the balls very well. They died and wouldn’t fly. A lot more exciting stuffs in the air at Target Field…

    Mather on base.

  • BosephHeyden

    Camp got squared up pretty good the last inning, and I’m surprised he got out of it.  There’s no reason to keep him in for a second inning, and that walk just showed it.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 8-7 to Twins Friday night in 10 – Travis Wood: 3R, 6H, 3BB, 3K, 5IP; Alfonso Soriano: 3-for-5, 2 HR, 3RBI; Starlin Castro: 2-for-5, HR, 3B, 2RBI, 2R; Ian Stewart: 2-for-4, 3B, R

  • BosephHeyden

    I’m confused by both of those five infielder situations.  The first, Bob said it best:  Mather was directly behind the pitcher, which seemed to make less sense since a double play was not ideal in that situation.  This second five infielder situation…if you have a right handed hitter, four infielders, and a shift-based defense, why not have the third baseman guard the line, move the shortstop to the third baseman’s position, Mather near second (not ON second), and Barney can play the hole between first and second.

    It seemed like a wasted batch of moves.

  • CubsTown

    Post Game Poll of the Night….

    With the Cubs losing tonight to the Twins, how do you feel about the Cubs so far?

    A – Cubs Really Suck
    B – I expected the Cubs to be this bad this year.
    C – Cubs are a Major Disappointment
    D – I hope Theo & Jed back up the truck and trade everyone.