Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. White Sox – 06/18/12

Game Sixty-Seven: Cubs (22-44) vs. White Sox (35-31)
Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WCIU – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 180/914
Location – U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago

Matt Garza (2-5, 4.04/1.12) vs. Zach Stewart (1-1, 5.18/1.48)

Updated 4:11pm CDT – The Cubs placed Ryan Dempster on the 15-day DL on Monday afternoon and recalled Scott Maine from Triple-A Iowa. Randy Wells will take Dempster’s place in the rotation and start Wednesday’s finale against the White Sox. Geovany Soto was activated from the 15-Day DL and Welington Castillo was optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

It is game one of round two of the City Series … The White Sox have already retained the BP Crosstown Cup with the three-game sweep over the Cubs back in May (May 18-May 20) but the Cubs have a chance of making life a little challenging for the Southsiders over the next three days. The Sox lost two of three over the weekend against the Dodgers and enter play tonight a game and a half up in the AL Central over the Indians and just three games ahead of the Tigers.

Dale Sveum will send Matt Garza, Travis Wood and for now Ryan Dempster to the hill over the next three games. Robin Ventura will counter with Zach Stewart, Jake Peavy and Gavin Floyd. The Sox altered their rotation slightly Saturday in order to give both Jake Peavy and Chris Sale extra time between starts. The Cubs might have caught a break with Stewart getting the start … that is if they make him work and take advantage of him making his first start of the season.

Over the last six years it seems every time the Cubs and White Sox square off drama has not been far behind, especially during the series on the South Side. The Cubs have lost nine of their last 12 games at the Cell and just a quiet three games, with a few wins, would be a step in the right direction.

In other newsGeovany Soto could be activated from the DL prior to tonight’s game. Soto was scheduled to catch all weekend, working up to a full nine innings in Sunday’s finale against Albuquerque. Due to the field conditions at Principal Park, the Cubs scratched Soto on both Friday and Saturday. Soto started and played a full nine innings behind the plate Sunday (0-for-4, one strikeout) and threw out a runner trying to swipe third. Dale Sveum has said that when Soto is activated they could keep Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger, along with Soto, and have three catchers on the big league roster.

If the Cubs decide to go with three catchers, Adrian Cardenas could be the odd man out.

Tonight it all starts with Matt Garza

Matt Garza pitched better in his last outing than his final line indicates. Garza technically put together his third straight quality start but still took the loss after allowing five runs, three earned, on seven hits without a walk and five strikeouts in six innings. Garza surrendered four runs in the fourth after an error by Joe Mather opened the floodgates. Garza struggled again with his defense and it cost him the win in the end.

After an excellent start to the season (2-1 in five starts with a 2.67 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP), Matt Garza struggled in May (0-2 in four starts with a 6.86 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP) but has gotten back on track of late (0-2 in three starts with a 3.50 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP). In his last 18 innings, Garza has struck out 17 and walked only two.

For as good as Garza has been at Wrigley this season (1-1 in five starts with a 2.36 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP), he’s been equally as bad on the road (1-4 in seven starts with a 5.59 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP) … maybe pitching in the same city as his home ballpark will help him tonight.

Matt Garza missed the Sox at Wrigley in May and is 1-3 in six career starts against the White Sox with a 4.73 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP (0-1 in two starts last season with a 1.93 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP) … 1-0 in three starts at the Cell with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP.

White Sox Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Gordon Beckham – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Adam Dunn – 1-for-7 with two walks
  • Orlando Hudson – 2-for-5 with a walk
  • Paul Konerko – 6-for-12 with two doubles, two home runs and two walks
  • Brent Lillibridge – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • A.J. Pierzynski – 3-for-11 with a home run and a walk
  • Alexei Ramirez – 0-for-5
  • Alex Rios – 5-for-25 with a double, a triple and three walks

After posting a 2-5 record in 10 games, eight starts, with a 6.22 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP a year ago, Zach Stewart will pitch in his 18th game of the season tonight, but only his first start. Stewart last pitched four days ago and tossed a perfect frame against the Cardinals. In his outing before, Stewart allowed two runs (home run) on one hit with a walk and two strikeouts in two innings to the Astros.

The longest outing Stewart has had at the big league level this season was 3 1/3 innings against the Twins on the South Side. Robin Ventura has used him as his long man but it has been nearly a month since he completed at least three innings of work.

Zach Stewart is 1-1 in 14 games at the Cell this season with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP.

Tonight will be Stewart’s first career start, second appearance, against the Chicago Cubs. Stewart faced the Cubs back on May 19 at Wrigley and Sveum’s team put up four runs on four hits with no walks and a strikeout in an inning of work … both Alfonso Soriano and Joe Mather took him deep in the ninth inning of a 7-4 Cubs’ loss.

Jeff Baker (1-for-1), Darwin Barney (1-for-1), Starlin Castro (0-for-1), Bryan LaHair (0-for-1), Joe Mather (1-for-1 with a home run), Alfonso Soriano (1-for-1 with a home run) and Luis Valbuena (2-for-2) all have limited at bats against Zach Stewart.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    DeJesus – CF
    Castro – SS
    LaHair – RF
    Soriano – DH
    Clevenger – 1B
    Barney – 2B
    Valbuena – 3B
    Soto – C
    Campana – LF

    Garza – P

  • BosephHeyden

    Cubs vs White Sox…and it’s on WCIU?  Whoever signed a long term deal with that channel should be fired on principle if they haven’t been already.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Those responsible are likely gone. The TV contracts the Cubs are saddled with are not that great and have several years left on them.

      • Dnuge

        I suppose we have to blame the Tribune Co. for  yet another dumb move when they did the TV deals ! they just had no creative thinking  & games on Comcast  do not get seen by most fans that live in other states !

        Is the  contract with  WGN up soon ??

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          WGN expires after the 2014 season, the Comcast contract expires after the 2019 season

          • gary3411

             That Comcast deal completely screws us. We’ll never be able to spend with the big boys whether we sell out every game or not.

          • Tony_Hall

            When the WGN deal gets put out to market, it will be a huge amount of money.  Remember the Tribune (the left pocket) never paid the Cubs (the right pocket) a fair amount for the TV rights.  Now they are totally separate and will have a true, free market negotiation that will lead to a large amount of money being paid to the Cubs.

          • gary3411

             I hope so. I think it would be so much more if the bidding was for exclusive rights though.

        • paulcatanese

          You are correct, one must purchase the mlb
          package, bummer.

    • paulcatanese

      You’re right, on top of that the game of the year for the Cubs.

  • Ripsnorter1

    That’s an ugly lineup, folks. 

    Ugly.

    • Tony_Hall

      Ugly must be the new good, because that lineup looks great in the box score :)

    • J Daniel

      How is that line up looking now?

  • Ripsnorter1

    Guys want to talk MLB draft?  It’s a crap shoot. 

    2000 draft…first 10 picks
    Adrian Gonzalez–Florida Marlins
    Adam Johnson–Minnesota Twins
    Luis Montanez–Chicago Cubs
    Mike Stodolka–Kansas City Royals
    Justin Wayne–Montreal Expos
    Rocco Baldelli–Tampa Bay Devil Rays
    Matt Harrington–Colorado Rockies
    Matt Wheatland–Detroit Tigers
    Mark Phillips–San Diego Padres
    Joe Torres–Anaheim Angels

    How’s that grab ya?

    2001 MLB Draft…top 10 picks

    Joe Mauer–Minnesota Twins
    Mark Prior–Chicago Cubs
    Dewon Brazelton–Tampa Bay Devil Rays
    Gavin Floyd–Philadelphia Phillies
    Mark Teixeira–Texas Rangers
    Josh Karp –Montreal Expos
    Chris Smith–Baltimore Orioles
    John Van Benschoten –Pittsburgh Pirates
    Colt Griffin–Kansas City Royals
    Chris Burke–Houston Astros

    Better…but still enough busts to show it’s risky business.

    2002 MLB Draft…Top Ten Picks
    Bryan Bullington –Pittsburgh Pirates
    B. J. Upton–Tampa Bay Devil Rays
    Chris Gruler–Cincinnati Reds
    Adam Loewen–Baltimore Orioles
    Clint Everts–Montreal Expos
    Zack Greinke–Kansas City Royals
    Prince Fielder–Milwaukee Brewers
    Scott Moore–Detroit Tigers
    Jeff Francis–Colorado Rockie
    Drew Meyer–Texas Rangers

    2003 MLB Draft….Top Ten Picks
    Delmon Young Tampa Bay Devil Rays
    Rickie Weeks Milwaukee Brewer
    Kyle Sleeth Detroit Tigers
    Tim Stauffer San Diego Padres
    Chris Lubanski Kansas City Royal
    Ryan Harvey Chicago Cubs CF
    Nick Markakis Baltimore Orioles
    Paul Maholm–Pittsburgh Pirates
    John Danks–Texas Rangers
    Ian Stewart–Colorado Rockies

    2004 MLB Draft–Top Ten Picks
    Matt Bush–San Diego Padres
    Justin Verlander–Detroit Tigers
    Philip Humber New York Mets
    Jeff Niemann Tampa Bay Devil Rays
    Mark Rogers Milwaukee Brewers
    Jeremy Sowers Cleveland Indians
    Homer Bailey Cincinnati Reds
    Wade Townsend Baltimore Orioles
    Chris Nelson Colorado Rockies
    Thomas Diamond Texas Rangers

    2005 MLB Draft….Top Ten Picks
    Justin Upton Arizona Diamondbacks
    Alex Gordon Kansas City Royals
    Jeff Clement Seattle Mariners C
    Ryan Zimmerman Washington Nationals 3B
    Ryan Braun Milwaukee Brewers
    Ricky Romero Toronto Blue Jays
    Troy Tulowitzki Colorado Rockie
    Wade Townsend Tampa Bay Devil Rays
    Mike Pelfrey New York Mets
    Cameron Maybin Detroit Tigers

    Not every pick is a winner.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      No, not every pick is a winner but you gave only two possible options last night not a third.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I was responding to Cubtex’s excitement that we’d have the #1 pick in the draft. In other words, he gave the third option. 

        MLB draft is more difficult than the NFL draft, imo, in that it is more difficult to predict winners. MLB draftees are almost never ML ready. There is much work to do to bring them up to ML speed. Many NFL draftees are ready to play right out of camp. 

        • cubtex

          I realize that more as much as anyone!

    • CubsForever

      I saw Luis Montanez make 5 errors in one game with Daytona…..I kid you not….3 at shortstop, then 2 at second…..i knew then the Cubs wasted a draft pick.

  • CubsForever

    Blue Jays Kyle Drabek will have a second Tommy John surgery….he was mention in Garza trade talks.

     

  • Brian

    Wait, I thought LaHair was unable to play the outfield.

    • BosephHeyden

       Nope, he’s actually serviceable.  Heck, if/when Rizzo comes up, I’d imagine he’d be platooning (ugh, I hate that word) with Soriano.

      • Brian

         Sorry to confuse you, Boseph, I was being sarcastic.  I know LaHair is a serviceable outfielder, but so many wrote him off without really seeing him play.  We are so quick to judge and rate.  Let it play out.  That is what my sarcasm was trying to say.  In the ned, he may be rather bad, but who knows right now. 

        • BosephHeyden

           No worries, but you’re right:  I think people just kinda assume once Rizzo’s up, LaHair is done.  I know most sportswriters not based in Chicago think that, as do a lot of Chicago beat writers.  But most of us have actually watched some games, so we have “insider information”, as it were.

        • cubtex

          Lets see…..what makes a good outfielder? Speed? Arm? There is a reason why LaHair plays 1B. He doesn’t run well and doesn’t throw well. You are ready to call him servieable after 2 or 3 innings? That is funny. Hopefully he hits and a team like the Pirates might give up a mid level prospect for him. LaHair is not part of the future.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            No it’s not funny. I think Brian is also taking into consideration last year.

          • cubtex

            Another short sample. He can’t get to many balls Neil. Are you saying he can be a good starting everyday mlb outfielder?

          • BosephHeyden

             How do you know he wouldn’t be?  Statistically speaking, he’s performed well in the outfield more often than he has poorly.  You can’t call him a bad outfielder until he’s had more bad games than good.

          • cubtex

            Outfield statistics are misleading. I am just looking at his physical abilities. He can’t run very well. He is performing better than expected but lets get what we can for him in a trade. I am sure the front office isn’t envisioning him as a starter in 2013 or 2014.

          • cubtex

            Not to mention that stone glove he has as well.

          • Tony_Hall

            For a guy you say is horrible in the OF, he made some pretty nice plays.  

            I get that a faster player would have made them easier, but that play in the 1st was pretty good.

          • cubtex

            He is not someone who should be considered to be a starting mlb outfielder is what I am saying. Isn’t this about selling short term assets for long term? LaHair is not a long term asset.

        • J Daniel

          Agree.  Smardj was Cy Young after his first start.  Heck, Sandburg would have been a bust as I don’t think he got a hit until is 30 something at bat. 

          To many people judge way to early.  Heck, I hope they keep LaHair in right after Rizzo comes up.  Just think, not to long ago this spiral started because they needed to get left handed power.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good grab by LaHair

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Comcast SportsNet:Theo wouldn’t comment specifically on
    Soler, but said immigration/procedure “sometimes could take even a few
    weeks” before deal’s announced.

    • CubsForever

      Someone needs to call Hillary Clinton…she can solve this problem with a phone call.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with a 2-run homer …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano with another homer as a DH

    • SomeGuy27

      That DH thing does suit him…

  • SomeGuy27

    I do love when Sox broadcasts get silent.

    • DWalker

       I am having to make use of my mute button.

  • Dorasaga

    Neil and anyone else who watched games daily, do you know if Castro was ever replaced late for defense? I don’t think Starlin ever had a day off, either.

    Good game so far. Some pop that was missed the last night against another random longman (K.Morales, should have imploded, but Good Gracious, the Cubs did nothing).

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I don’t think it was for a defensive replacement but he was lifted in the seventh inning of one of the games last week, the only three innings Castro has missed all year.

      • Dorasaga

        Thanks for knowing! I had the impression that Sveum would play Castro regardless of the situation. Perhaps that’s been the best way for the young man to learn fundamentals. But I still believe he needs a break (day off). Won’t hurt if we can watch more prospects play as Rizzo perhaps will be up soon…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soto with a home run

    • Zonk

      He needs to play.  He was very very unlucky so far this year, and I think he can turn it around.  If he does, some teams would be interested in trade. 

  • Zonk

    Did anyone else find the defensive OF alignment odd?  You would think it would go LaHair LF- Campana CF- DeJesus RF.  I guess they feel LaHair is much more comfortable in RF, otherwise why play the other 2 guys out of position? 

    DeJesus was originally a CF, and is a good fundamental OF, but his range is a little short for CF.

    I’m sure Campana can handle LF, and maybe his rag arm plays better there

    But interesting alignment for sure

    That was a nice grab by LaHair in the 2nd; he looked very smooth in RF on that play.  Maybe he isn’t that bad out there…..maybe it’s the lack of high socks.

    • Tom U

      Here are the minor league defensive stats on LaHair.

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=lahair001bry 

      As you can see, he has the most outfield experience in left field.

    • DWalker

       they may have been thinking with Dejesus in center, they had a veteran to back up LaHair.

    • John_CC

       Don’t you think it is because RF will be the most likely spot for LaHair when Rizzo comes up?  Until the Soriano trade we’ve all been fantasizing about for years happens, he is going to be playing LF, that move DeJesus to CF. 

      Rizzo should be up by next week, so this is a good time to try it out.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Valbuena with a 3-run shot

  • Tony_Hall

    How many times has a player ever been hit twice in the same inning?

    • Zonk

      OK, just looked it up……5 times apparently, most recently 2010, Jose Guillen

      http://www.baseball-almanac.com/recbooks/rb_hbp2.shtml

      Make that 6 times now…..

      • Tony_Hall

        Thanks…I am surprised it has happened that many times.   Rare enough to get hit twice in one game, let alone in the same inning.

  • Zonk

    DeJesus with 2 HBPs in one inning…..that doesn’t happen too often!

  • paulcatanese

    See! I told you guys that the bunting contest would pay off.

  • Triple

    I think I can finally see a lineup for the Cubs that would be acceptable.  And it should be a possibility by the weekend: 

    CF DeJesus
    SS Castro
    RF LaHair
    LF Soriano
    1B Rizzo
    C Clevenger
    2B Barney
    3B Valbuena
    P (fill in the blank)

    This would leave Campana as a late inning pinch runner/defensive replacement, and hopefully Soriano continues to do well with protection in front and behind him to warrant a decent trade and the the growth of more possible future parts.  

    • Dorasaga

      June 24th against the DBacks will be a tough matchup for Rizzo, against a groundball machine and leftie (Miley).

    • J Daniel

      I know what you are saying based on the current roster but . . . need a new cf, lf, 2b, 3b for sure so that is 50% of the lineup.  LaHair and Clevenger might or might not be good enough.  That leaves Castro and Rizzo.  There is a long way to go.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat White Sox 12-3 on Monday night

    Matt Garza: 3R, 5H (2HR), BB, 6K, 6IP; Starlin Castro:
    3-for-5, HR, 2RBI, 3R; Alfonso Soriano: 2-for-5, HR, 2RBI, 2R; Bryan LaHair: 2-for-5, HR, 2RBI; Luis Valbuena: 3-for-5, HR, 3RBI; Five different Cubs homered (LaHair, Castro, Soriano, Soto, Valbuena) and the Cubs scored 12 runs on 15 hits

  • Brett

    Very very very early BUT…. Valbuena is 5/17 (.294) with 2hr & 7rbi and Corpas has allowed 1 earned in his first 8 innings so far. Not that they will maintain that pace but it is nice to see guys with some potential signed and given a chance at minimal expense. Not very Hendry-esq. They need a few of these signings to pan out

    • cubtex

      If you keep picking up players like Sonnanstine,Corpas,Cardenas,McDougal,Valbuena,Edgar Gonzales…..are you getting my point? You will eventually find some value in a player or 2 but you will go through a bunch of garbage to find them.

      • CC002600

        so what’s wrong with that ?

        • cubtex

          nothing at the stage the Cubs are at. I am just saying that if you throw enough sh## against the wall……something might stick.

      • Brian

         Cubtex,

        While I understand what you are getting at, what you just laid out, is what, well, basically every professional sports franchise goes through.  Somehow, in your opinion, only the Cubs are idiots for doing so. 

        • cubtex

          Where did I say the Cubs are idiots for doing so? It is a small market re-build philosophy. The Royals,Astros and Pirates. The Pirates hit on Juan Cruz(former Cub) and he has been a huge help. The bad teams are the ones that have the 40 man roster flexibility to add and remove constantly. My point is that the Cubs picked up several several DFA’d players so they are bound to get some use out of a player or 2. Valbuena looks like he can be a decent utility guy. Asencio and Corpas are better than Bowden so that is an upgrade. It is not a shot at the Cubs….it is just pointing out that they also had several misses as well.

      • Brett

        Better than paying aaron miles millions to barely break the mendoza line though wouldn’t you agree? This is the time to try guys out…maybe catch ones when the “light comes on” for them in their career. Theo has said he gave into the free agent quick fix trap. We’ve seen that for years here & what did that net the organization?… I’ll tell you what…a team that was 20 games under last yr & with the worst record in baseball this yr. You can’t build a consistant winner like that. They need to gut the system & try to find guys who might turn into something & do so at minimal cost. Who cares really if they miss on a couple players? Of course they will, its to be expected. Tell me who sould’ve been signed? Better yet, since hindsight is 20/20…tell me the moves they need to make from this point forward & do so without missing on a couple guys…

        • cubtex

          you misunderstood my point. See above.

      • Tony_Hall

        Exactly!!!  Now you are finally figuring out the purpose of doing that this year.   If they find 1 starter for next year, that is great.

        • cubtex

          I don’t think they found a starter but Valbuena can take over the Blake DeWitt role. I know what they are doing Tony.

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Daytona – Robert Whitenack (0-1, 5.79)
    Boise – Ian Dickson (0-0, 0.00)

    Iowa has the night off, Tennessee and Peoria are on All-Star break.

    No pitching update tomorrow, as I’ll be on assignment at the Midwest League All-Star game.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    LaHair with a two-run shot