Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Red Sox – 06/17/12

Game Sixty-Six: Cubs (22-43) vs. Red Sox (32-33)
Game Time – 7:00pm CDT
Coverage – TV: ESPN Sunday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 89/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Paul Maholm (4-5, 4.91/1.33) vs. Franklin Morales (0-1, 3.04/1.23)

Happy Father’s Day from the CCO! Even with Saturday night’s loss, the Cubs have a chance to win a series for the first time since sweeping the Padres at the end of May. In order to accomplish the feat they will have to win a game started by a left-hander (3-14) and the key will be showing the same patience they did in Friday’s win over Daisuke Matsuzaka.

The Cubs’ old friend, Josh Beckett, was scheduled to start tonight’s finale but was scratched Friday afternoon then placed on the 15-day DL on Saturday with a shoulder injury. The Cubs will first face lefty Franklin Morales then the Sox pen in what is being labeled a ‘bullpen day‘ for Boston. Morales is hoping to go as long as possible in his first start of the season.

In other newsGeovany Soto was expected to be activated from the DL for the start of the three-game series with the White Sox but Soto’s return could be delayed. Due to rain in Des Moines on both Friday and Saturday, Soto was scratched from the lineup to field conditions. The Cubs did not want to risk further injury or delay and did not allow Soto to play. Multiple reports said that the Cubs wanted Soto to catch at least one full game (nine innings) before they brought him back from the DL. Soto caught only seven innings on Thursday.

Speaking of catchers, Koyie Hill cleared waivers Saturday and was outrighted to Triple-A Iowa. Hill has not accepted the assignment yet.

In a battle of southpaws, tonight all starts with Paul Maholm

Paul Maholm is coming off his best start in well over a month. Maholm held the Tigers to two runs on six hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in six-plus innings. Maholm did not allow a run to score while he was on the mound and set a season-high in strikeouts with seven. Maholm received a no-decision after Casey Coleman blew the three run lead. The Cubs ended up winning the game, the first started by Maholm since May 9.

Maholm struggled in his starts leading up to his last outing but still managed to post a 2-1 record in five May starts with a 3.56 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Maholm is in need on another good outing. While he may be 0-2 in his last three starts with a 5.87 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP (teams hitting .339 against him), Maholm has struck out 14 and walked just four in his last 15 1/3 innings.

Paul Maholm is 3-2 in six starts at Wrigley this season with a 3.82 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP (on the road, 1-3 in six starts with a 6.16 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP) and will face the Red Sox for the second time in his career tonight.

Maholm posted a win in his only start against the Red Sox. Maholm allowed one run on six hits in 5 1/3 innings with three walks and two strikeouts last June 24 in Pittsburgh.

Red Sox Career Numbers against Paul Maholm

  • Adrian Gonzalez – 3-for-11 with a double and a walk
  • Franklin Morales – 0-for-1
  • Dustin Pedroia – 1-for-3
  • Scott Podsednik – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Nick Punto – 0-for-7 with two walks
  • Jarrod Saltalamacchia – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Kevin Youkilis – 0-for-1 with two walks

Franklin Morales last pitched eight days ago and threw three perfect innings against the Nationals. Morales struck out three and has not allowed a run in his last 7 1/3 innings. Morales kept the Blue Jays off the board for 4 1/3 innings the outing before (June 3). The veteran southpaw has been serving as Bobby Valentine’s long-man but if the Cubs can show any patience they could get into a very questionable bullpen.

Morales has been lights out on the road. In nine games, 11 innings, Morales has allowed one run on eight hits with a walk and 12 strikeouts.

Tonight will be Franklin Morales’ second career start against the Cubs. Morales does not have a record in four games, one start, against the Cubs (3.09 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP).

Cubs Career Numbers against Franklin Morales

  • Jeff Baker – 1-for-2 with a double
  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-2 with a double
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-4
  • Paul Maholm – 0-for-2
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-3

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else." - Charles Dickens
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Johnson – RF
    Barney – 2B
    Castro – SS
    Soriano – LF
    Baker – 1B
    Mather – CF
    Castillo – C
    Valbuena – 3B
    Maholm – P

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Geovany Soto is playing for Iowa today. Hitting third, catching and 0-for-2 for far with a strikeout. Soto did throw out another baserunner.

    • http://www.facebook.com/scott.mcmeekan Scott McMeekan

      Happy Father’s Day Neil, and everyone else!

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Thank you, Scott … you too!

      • Tom U

        Thank you Scott.

  • paulcatanese

    Morales will go at least four innings against the Cubs tonight, I still do
    not care for the platoon setup, it hasn’t worked yet and it will not work again tonight.
    Having said that, evey time I make a prediction the opposite happens,
    maybe it will happen again. I hope so.

  • Tom U

    Congratulations to the Iowa Cubs on their 30th win.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Buster Olney: Dempster likely is first to go among
    the Cubs, maybe in next 10 to 14 days; LAD/BOS on Dempster. Garza more
    likely a deal closer to July 31.

    • matthew8510

      not fast enough how bout tonight

    • cubtex

      I hope Theo stays away from Boston. I don’t want to deal with them especially after all the compensation issues.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Buster Olney: To this point, Cubs have not talked to
    Soriano about possible trades and waiving his no-trade. Unclear if a
    market will develop for him.

    • matthew8510

      release him now

      • BosephHeyden

         That’s a complete waste.  He’s producing.  Just because a guy has a big contract doesn’t mean you release him.  If they can’t trade him (which they should be able to), then just play him less.  Releasing him just means we have to pay his contract and someone else gets him cheap.

        • cubtex

          He has the most HR’s in the NL since May 15th so that makes sense to release him. That is crap all the flack he got for not running out that bullet to 3rd. I heard a quote that Sveum said 100% of major leaguers would have done the same thing.

          • BosephHeyden

             I’m getting a bit tired of listening to anyone other than Len and Bob commentate on the Cubs during TV broadcasts.  Buck and McCarver are idiots as is (an aside:  seriously, how does McCarver still have a job?  ESPN fired Joe Morgan, and he was only stupid 95% of the time.  McCarver is constantly made fun of by shows on his own network because of how dumb he is) and Buck needs a storyline to keep himself awake during whatever game he’s watching.  Eric Karros used to be tolerable, but  his last game or two he spent harping on how the Cubs lacked effort, as well as jumping on Soriano for run-limping at a sinking line drive heading his way.  And these clowns on ESPN that I haven’t bothered finding out who they are seem to harp on the Cubs not winning because they think that’s what we want to hear (typically, it is, but not until mid-July).

            I really wish I had a radio that wasn’t in my car.

          • J Daniel

            Couldn’t agree more with you!

          • paulcatanese

            Agree, and didn’t hear any cheers for him as he hustled to beat a double play throw, and then on second he was on his way to steal third, he hustles when his body allows it, but he hustles and that should be acknowledged.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    That didn’t take long. Even the outs were loud.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Nice triple by Castro

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another very good throw from Castillo, nailed Pedroia … not close

  • RynoTiger

    ESPN just showed Theo on camera texting someone…he was textingme and it was funny! :)

    • cubtex

      No way that Casto’s pop up should be called a hit. I have a feeling they will change ruling.

      • Ripsnorter1

        That “double” was an error.

        Pathetic defense by Boston tonight.

        My question: Boston’s play…is it “The Red Sox’s way?”

        • Ripsnorter1

          I’m surprised that Koyie Hill rejected his assignment to AAA. 

          Nobody else wanted him. Does this mean he’s quitting baseball?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Awesome hustle by Barney

    • cubtex

      And a great slide!

  • BosephHeyden

    Four innings in the books and only four hits against an emergency starter.  This is inexcusable.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Boston looks AWFUL.
    What a lousy team! Basically 3 errors leads to a Cubs’ run! What a  joke.

    • cubtex

      Castro is getting a gift 3 for 3 tonight. His triple should have been his only hit.

    • cubtex

      Yes…..but they are playing the Cubs so they can get away with it.

  • cubtex

    Red Sox are doing a very good Cubs impression this inning to tie up the game. Not one ball hit hard or out of the infield.

  • cubtex

    Same ol sorry unfundamentally sound Cubs!

    • Ripsnorter1

      Yes. 

      And the Red Sox are demonstrating “the Red Sox’s way” tonight, too. It’s a primer on how the game is supposed to be played, don’t you think?  LOL

  • cubtex

    Congrats to Webb Simpson on winning the US Open! Great win for him. Shot 68……68 last 2 rounds.

  • CubsForever

    All baseball fans should appreciate the umpires we have and Bud Selig as Commish.  They might get a call wrong once in a while, but they do not throw games.  Like the refs in the NBA are doing.  If David Stern wants the Heat and LeBron James win it so badly, give them the NBA trophy now.  Stern has his NBA refs in his pockets and makes the NBA look really bad.    The “FIX” is in. 

    • Ripsnorter1

      Nice catch Reed Johnson. 

    • BosephHeyden

       I hate myself for even responding to this, but if the NBA had an agenda, it’d be more profitable for them to NOT let Lebron win the big one.  Once the Heat wins a title, there’s that much less of a reason for people to watch them, especially since people tune in to watch the Heat mainly to cheer against them and hope Lebron doesn’t win an NBA championship.

      And no, we don’t have to appreciate Bud Selig and the MLB umps.  They actively fight against technological changes to the game, and while they may lose one or two battles, they’re ultimately winning the war.  And they don’t miss calls “once in a while”; this season is widely being criticized by everyone as the worst performance by the entire officiating staff of MLB in a long time.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Pretty crummy looking double play attempt by Castro. Youkollis of Boston…what on earth was he doing? He could have been safe. 

    Very poorly played game by both teams tonight. 

  • Ripsnorter1

    Buster Olney talking about Castro. Other GMs think Theo will deal Castro this offseason because Castro doesn’t walk enough.

    I don’t like Theo in the least. And if he deals Castro, that will be just one more thing that proves he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

    • matthew8510

       i dont know about you but i can go without castros 25-30 errors every season and lack of walking if you can get 2 prospects im all for it

      • BosephHeyden

         I’d rather have a guy that’s already proven he can hit major league pitching than two guys who haven’t.  Prospects have potential, and potential is the ugliest word in the English dictionary.  A move to second base is like in the future for Castro, since a shortstop with a better glove should be either developed easily or bought on the free agent market.  Getting rid of the perennial All-Star is not good business.

        • DWalker

           Thats why I don’t think Castro will go, keeps coming up, but I just don’t see it. Yeah, he doesn’t fit theo’s ideal mold, but he performs at the plate, hes young and cost controlled. He also has time to learn his position.  Sounds to me like wishful thinking from those GM’s and someone looking for a soundbyte, because even if Castro is tradable, the price will be more then most teams could even consider. 

          • BosephHeyden

             Well, keep this in mind:  there’s very good reasons why Castro SHOULD stay.  But you nailed a very good reason why he could go:  he doesn’t fit the mold this front office has.  At the end of the day, Starlin Castro could be beloved by everyone in Chicago, but if the front office doesn’t like which foot he uses to step on second base, they will trade him to make room for someone they feel can.

             It’s kinda like LaDanlian Thomson over in San Diego:  the entire city loved him, wanted him to stay forever (albiet in a reduced role, which he was willing to do), but their idiot GM questioned his toughness, constantly threw him under the bus, and drove him out.

      • Ripsnorter1

        There are only 5 players in MLB HISTORY that have as many hits as Castro at his current age:

        Castro
        Arod
        Caesar Cedeno
        Al Kaline
        Joe Dimaggio

        SO NO, I do not want to trade him.

        It would be a DUMB move. Incredibly dumb.

        And I don’t think Theo is above making this kind of move, either.

        Theo’s gripe: he doesn’t walk enough.

        • cubtex

          Exactly! Castro should be an untouchable.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Dimaggio was the other. 

        • John_CC

           Joe DiMaggio had 75HR after his second season, at the age of 22. Then hit 32 more when he was 23.

          Al Kaline, 80HR at the age of 22.

          Both HOF.

          ARod had over 100HR at the end of his third full season at the age of 22.  Certain 1st Ballot HOF.

          Even Ceasar Cedeno hit 25 HR in his age 22 season, and 20+ the season before.

          I think its a really great stat too, the amount of hits Starlin has and it’s cool to put his name with these others, but he will be lucky to have 30 HR after his third full season. It is misleading to put him in this group. Starlin is not Joe DiMaggio or Al Kaline or ARod. Not even close.

          • paulcatanese

            Just too many mistakes to list, very sloppy game by both teams in the infields.
            And if the Cubs are going to use the shift, they need to trust that the third baseman is their for the double play, and not blow it all the way around.
            Again I say no to the platoon system, play the ones who are the starters win or lose, and then the Cubs won’t get stuck with all leftys on the bench.

      • cubtex

        Who do you think they can replace these players you want to get rid of with?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 7-4 to Red Sox on Sunday night – Paul Maholm: 3R, 6H, 1BB, 6K in 6IP; Starlin Castro: 3-for-4, 2B, 3B, 2RBI; Barney: 1-for-5, 2R; Cubs: 8 hits, 2-for-12 RISP, 7 LOB

  • cubtex

    22-44. Worst record in mlb and in first for the #1 pick

    • Ripsnorter1

      And your point is…..?

      They may pick someone that busts out.Or they may pick someone that they cannot sign. Crap shoot.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Or they could select a player that succeeds … Let’s not forget all of the possibilities.

        • BosephHeyden

           On the subject of next year’s draft:  since there didn’t seem to be a consensus #1 pick this year (most people thought Appelt, it wound up being Correia), is there anyone coming out next year that is a potential #1 pick?

  • cubtex

    This brings up the point that if the Cubs are going to take 4 years to be competitive……..Why hire Theo in the 1st place? If they are not going to spend money in free agency(other than international younger players) and build thru the draft, every GM in baseball could do this. Before anyone disagrees with me….here me out. You put money in scouting(any gm could do this) You identify your weaknesses in the minor leagues(any gm could do this) You identify your short term assets(Dempster,Garza,etc) and you make the best possible trade you can for them(any gm could do this)
    If the plan was to build through the draft and have a complete rebuild….Ricketts could have saved paying Boston compensation and paying Theo all this money and hired a number of other credible GM’s.
    Every single GM in baseball would like to have as long a leash as Theo has with no pressure to win right away. He has the least amount of pressure in baseball.

    • BosephHeyden

      Every single GM in baseball COULD do this.  But Theo is filling the executive role, and it’s the executive’s job to determine how the team is going to get to where it needs to get.  Realistically, the Theo hiring wasn’t a “replace Jim Hendry” move; it was a “get Crane Kenny out of a decision making role” move.  In short, Kenny’s philosophy over the past few years has been all over the place.  As a result, Jim Hendry had no idea what he was doing.  We all saw how that worked out (and, no, I’m not defending Jim Hendry here).

      Theo is instilling a “philosophy” with the team.  Whether or not that philosophy is going to work is up in the air, personally, building a team strictly through the farm system, in my opinion, is ridiculously dumb and not a success story in the past by any means (the Royals say hi).  But he was hired, he, in turn, took two guys he knew would translate his philosophy into the draft, scouting, etc, and, ergo, we have this:  a team that is somehow performing worse than it did last year despite getting rid of major flaws in that team (well, Koyie Hill for a little bit).  Ideally, they take a look at this team playing how its playing, replace the pieces that don’t fit, and build.  How they replace those pieces is up to the front office (again, I doubt it’s fixable purely by “prospect power”).

      Basically, Theo was hired to bring order to the chaos that has been the Cubs 2009-2011 seasons.  And it’s a chaos that should be fixed in no more than three years.

      • DWalker

         I disagree. Any GM could have come in and 90% of them would have been a guaranteed failure in 5 years. The Cubs have DECADES of neglect in their entire system, not just 2009-2011; well below average facilities, enthusiastic (hopefully) but fairly clueless owners, had one of the smallest staffs in all areas, a mediocre farm system devoid of top level talent, a patchwork of low level players, expiring contracts and over priced contracts. Top it off with a fanbase that will still fill the stands but second guess every move, media that will put you under a microscope, a city that really doesn’t want anything to change and all sorts of little major market items that keep popping up. They weren’t looking to hire a GM, they were looking to hire a mastermind to completely rebuild an organization from the ground up.

        Theo got hired because he proved he could stand up to brutal media scrutiny of a world series hungry fan base, overhaul a club not just to modern standard but to cutting edge and do it without breaking into a sobbing ball huddled in the corner. Not only that, he has the cred that despite the attitude of the die hard fans that they are entitled to a world series right now, He can make the hard choices. Ricketts was smart enough he knew he needed someone who could stand up to him and to the pressures of the job.  Yeah, Theo didn’t look good leaving Boston, but theres a lot to that story it sounds like.

        Now, Theo in 5 years might be another failure, but I’ll give him credit that hes got a better shot at it then most. I can understand a lot of his moves so far and see what he’s been trying to do, and I don’t disagree with most of it in theory. Ramirez was not coming back no matter what, he didn’t want to be a Cub anymore and I don’t see the pile of free agents he should have spent money on. Scrap heap big dollar contracts was Kenny/Hendry thinking to patchwork it up and hope you got lucky. Theos doing it small money hoping to find a rough gem, because money is going to be spent cleaning up this mess of bad contracts. I really haven’t liked some of the actual moves, but I can’t fault most of the theory behind it.

        This year theo gets some leeway from me, let him develop his resource base, system and personnel. If next year at this time his draft picks look ho hum, he made mediocre trades and theres nothing in the foreseeable pipeline; I’ll call him a flop. 
         

        • cubtex

          Disagree 100%. 95% of GM’s “IF” given a 5 year window with NO PRESSURE to WIN NOW could do the same job. Honestly……Who wouldn’t want the Cubs job. You sell the owner on how badly the team was run for years and how this is not an overnight fix. You build thru the draft…..you throw enough buy low players against the wall(one will eventually stick) because you are not in win now mode and you will eventually get some good young players like the Royals,Rays,Orioles……with the difference being that the Cubs can then buy some free agents to get over the top and keep their own young stars. Simple Simple job.

        • BosephHeyden

           Another thing:  he really didn’t endure anything.  He took over as GM in 2004.  They won the World Series in 2004.  The extent of what he did was trade away one of their star players and got an average catcher/first baseman and an average shortstop in return (I would argue that the ALCS would have been an easier trip had Nomar still been a member of the Red Sox, but the results are there, so it would be unnecessary hindsight).

          He did wind up building a World Series team of his design later on, but that 2004 team wasn’t drafted or built by Theo, so he had very little to do with that team’s success, so if they hired him for the sake of “endurance”, they hired wrong.

          On that note, I can’t believe that would be why they hired him.

  • cubtex

    It is also ridiculous how badly Sveum gets outmanaged in late innings.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Anthony Rizzo just hit his 23rd homer of the
    season. Rizzo’s two-run shot in the seventh put the I-Cubs up 3-2 … and it came off a lefty.
     

  • J Daniel

    How would the top 10 prospects look if Almora signs?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Koyie Hill has declined assignment to Triple-A Iowa and is now a free agent.

  • CubsForever

    Boston Red Sox looking at Dempster in a trade…….the Red Sox have a pitcher in the minors named Mark Prior who the Red Sox people say is near “big league ready”……. lets make that deal!

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.mcmeekan Scott McMeekan

    Neil, aren’t we within a week of the time when we can call Rizzo up without losing a year of control?  It seems like it’s been watching paint dry waiting for it.

  • matthew8510

    take baker and  johnson with you

  • CubsForever

     and Marmol.

  • BosephHeyden

     Baker, yeah, but Johnson?  Man’s hitting upwards of .290.  He’s going to wind up having some sort of trade value…not for anything huge, mind you, but getting anything for anyone is usually always good (except for that Zambrano trade…that might as well have been an outright release).

  • BosephHeyden

     The 23rd is the date that it no longer affects service time.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    June 23rd for Rizzo

  • DWalker

    I think everyone is having a hard time answering that right now. Just looking around a little, I haven’t seen much consensus.  

    Seems like I am hearing though:
    Rizzo (9 on BR’s top prospects)
    Baez
    Almora (43 on BR’s top prospects)
    Soler
    Jackson (29 on BR’s top prospects)

    with the middle three all very interchangeable. I think people are rating Baez higher now though as he’s actually in the system and performing while the other two have yet to appear. Soler is also considered a more unknown with less international and high level experience so he has been getting dropped back to 4. Almora and Soler both though are regarded as higher potential then Baez by a lot of folks. I have seen Jackson listed all over from 2 to 5 depending on interpretation and how heavily you weight guys who have never seen a pitch in the cubs system.

    After those, seems like
    Vitters
    Lake
    Szcsur
    Maples
    Mcnutt
    Castillo
    Alcantara

    Candelario

    are all in the mix, and Pierce Johnson might slot in there as well. Thats been the problem with the system, theres not really any clear cut leaders after the top 5. I think thats going to get mixed up though a lot by wintertime, especially pitchers wise. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a couple who are off the charts right now in the lower minors start looking pretty good.

  • Calicub

    Haha good one

  • J Daniel

    When you look at that list – probably most would go with a similar order – It shows how thin the system was and the improvement that has already been made.

    Rizzo, Solar, Almora already at the top – and that was my point of the question.