Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Mets – 06/25/12

Game Seventy-Three: Cubs (24-48) vs. Mets (39-34)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Travis Wood (1-3, 4.14/1.26) vs. Johan Santana (5-3, 3.00/1.12)

The Cubs open a six-game homestand with the first of three against the New York Mets tonight. After taking two of three on the South Side last week, the Cubs were outscored 28-7 over the final four games of the trip and finished the three-game series in Arizona 3-for-25 with RISP and left 26 runners on base. Until the Cubs start taking pitches and putting themselves into hitter’s counts, the struggles with runners in scoring position will continue.

The Cubs have played better at Wrigley (14-19) than on the road (10-29) and will face what many feel is an overachieving Mets’ team six times over the next 13 games. The Cubs won four of six against Ron Santo’s favorite team a year ago.

The Metropolitans enter play tonight five games over .500, second place in the NL East, three-and-a-half back of the first place Nationals and a half-game up on the third place Braves. Terry Collins has his team playing good ball. David Wright is leading the way offensively and R.A. Dickey is one of the best stories of the season.

Travis Wood will face his third former Cy Young Award winner in as many starts (Justin Verlander, Jake Peavy) tonight. After sending Travis Wood to the hill against Johan Santana, Dale Sveum will give Randy Wells another chance Tuesday night against Dillon Gee and Jeff Samardzija will try to bounce back from his last start in Wednesday’s finale against lefty Jon Niese.

The Cubs are 3-16 in games started by southpaws this season and tonight it all begins with Travis Wood

Travis Wood is coming off back-to-back quality starts and his first win of the season. Wood and the bullpen held the Sox to one run at the Cell last Tuesday and the result was the Cubs’ first series win on the road under Dale Sveum. Wood continued putting runners on base but continued to make the big pitch when he needed it. Wood allowed four hits in six innings with five strikeouts and a season-high four walks.

Travis Wood must make life a little easier for himself. If he does not, soon all of the baserunners he’s stranded will come around to score.

After posting a 0-1 record in his first three starts with a 5.94 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP (teams hit .194 against him), Wood is 1-2 in his last four starts with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP (teams hitting .247 against him) … the 11 walks and 18 strikeouts with 21 hits in his last 24 2/3 innings are of concern.

Travis Wood has not posted a win at Wrigley in a Cubs uniform and is 0-1 in his first three starts at the old ballyard this season with a 6.11 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP.

Tonight will be just the second start of Travis Wood’s career against the Mets. Wood received a no decision in his only other outing (July 5, 2010 in New York, second start of his career) and allowed five runs, three earned, on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.

Mets Career Numbers against Travis Wood

  • Ronny Cedeno – 1-for-3 with a walk
  • Ike Davis – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Andres Torres – 2-for-3 with a walk
  • David Wright – 2-for-3 with a triple

Johan Santana is back after missing all of the 2011 season. Santana tossed the first no hitter in Mets’ history four starts ago and is coming off a win against the Orioles. Santana tossed six shutout innings his last time out. Santana struck out five and walked two after struggling in back-to-back five-inning outings after the no-no. Santana is 3-1 in his last four games with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.

For as good as Santana has been he has struggled on the road. In six starts outside of Citi Field, Santana is 1-2 with a 6.37 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.

Johan Santana is a perfect 3-0 in six career games, three starts, against the Cubs with a 1.65 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP and tonight will be his first career start at Wrigley Field. Santana’s last start against the Cubs came on April 22, 2010.

Cubs Career Numbers against Johan Santana

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-3
  • David DeJesus – 4-for-24 with a double and two walks
  • Reed Johnson – 13-for-25 with a double, a triple, a home run and two walks
  • Joe Mather – 0-for-4
  • Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-13 with two walks
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-3
  • Luis Valbuena – 1-for-3

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

    • BosephHeyden

      You know how you stop a losing streak? By busting out the same non-existant lefty platoon offense that has failed against almost every other left handed pitcher they’ve faced.

    • Aaron

      I hate to say this, but Sveum is looking more and more like Quade EVERY DAMN DAY!!!!!!!

      Baker in the 5-spot? Are you freaking kidding me?!? Baker playing at all? Are you freaking kidding me?!?

      Fact is, if anyone watched the game the other day, Baker missed an easy double play ball which led to a big inning. After supposedly “crushing lefties”, he’s hitting just .238/.292/.338 overall, and .235/.298/.353 against lefties….WOW!!!!!

      • matthew8510

        bring back pinella

      • Bothevolfan

        Who would u suggest plugging in the 5 spot. Mather, soto, campana?

        • BosephHeyden

          Well, there’s a very simple fix to Baker in the five spot: start the actual starters instead of pulling this platoon crap. LaHair has had 32 AB’s against lefties and only 3 hits, sure, but this platoon stuff was decided well before the first left handed starter. Who knows, maybe with more AB’s against left handed STARTERS, he’d be batting a more respectable .225 against lefties. That’d still be better than Baker.

          • paulcatanese

            Agree, as you know how I feel about platoons.

        • J Daniel

          No answer!

      • cubtex

        Tell me about. I am not even going to waste my time watching. They don’t want to win.

      • http://www.go-for-it-productions.com JoeS_SanDiego

        Bright side is…this could be Baker’s last game as a Cub…..he is likely getting future endeavored tomorrow when Rizzo is added.

    • paulcatanese

      Again, not you Neil, but the lineup.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        No worries …

      • WidespreadHisPanic

        Yeah. it, the lineup, stinks. Period.

    • http://www.go-for-it-productions.com JoeS_SanDiego

      Wouldnt NOW be the perfect time to insert LaHair against ALL lefties…and let him try and figure it out? The season is a waste already…so wouldnt the better option be to just throw him out there every day and hope he can get it together against southpaws?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Barney hustling as well …

      • J Daniel

        Not if you are trying to increase his value and he has a poor history against leftys. Put players in a position to succeed.

        • cubtex

          His value has already been decreasing. They will probably keep him and end up with nothing for him. He should have been moved weeks ago.

          • Tony_Hall

            Nobody was wanting to trade for a 29 year old rookie, with 4-6 weeks of good play. Yes, if it was possible to trade him then, his value was higher, but just because it was the best timing for the Cubs, doesn’t make the other teams make bad deals.

          • cubtex

            Tony……this is the sell high talk that you have been saying for months. You can see his high BABIP and knew he could not maintain that. His high K rate and the fact that he can’t hit lefties. He will also prove to be a bad outfielder. I don’t understand that thought process. He is not part of the future…..so why hold him until he is worth nada. Just because he is cheap? If that is the only reason……bring up Ty Wright and let him play. At least he is an outfielder and it is not putting a square peg in a round hole.

          • Tony_Hall

            No it is not. You can’t sell high after 4-6 weeks. Just doesn’t work like that. You need a buyer to be able to sell, and no team was buying in May, a 29 yr old player in his rookie year, no matter how good his April stats looked.

            He is not a part of the future (long term), but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a part of the short term (next couple of years). We will only get a decent return trading him, if he has a full season or even up to 2 season of good production. No team is that dumb, no matter if Lahair’s value was at it’s highest.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    For those that missed the news earlier today …

    Marlon Byrd suspended 50 games for PEDs

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-mrlon-byrd-suspended-50-games-for-peds-20120625,0,2512908.story

    • http://www.go-for-it-productions.com JoeS_SanDiego

      Very sad to hear this about him. Guess there was a little more going on in the Byrd’s Nest than we knew….

      • J Daniel

        More going on in EVERY aspect that we do not know about.

    • Dorasaga

      Posted without reading yours first, I guess the BoSox cut him lose for good… Very stupid for him to do so.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Notes from the mainstream media:

    Sveum confirms Rizzo will play at 1B every day, even vs lefties to start.

    Ian Stewart is hitting. Still working on timetable. Dempster threw flat ground.

    Sveum sez Rizzo will bat 3rd or 4th. Sori would like Rizzo to hit behind him, which would be 5th.

    Dempster throws, feels good, but likely to miss 3 starts this time.

    • http://www.go-for-it-productions.com JoeS_SanDiego

      Hopefully Rizzo is ready this time. He had the same hype last year here in San Diego when he tore it up at AAA and then came to the Padres and looked completely overmatched. Certainly rooting for him to do well…he could be a great one!

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Boise – Jose Arias (0-0, 1.13)
    Peoria – Zach Cates (0-0, 0.00; season – 0-6, 9.55)
    Daytona – PJ Francescon (0-2, 3.27) projected

    Iowa won 2-1 over Round Rock. Josh Vitters 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI. Brooks Raley 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 K.

    Tennessee dropped a doubleheader 11-3 and 10-3 to Jacksonville.

    Daytona won game 1 of a doubleheader 7-3 over St. Lucie. Arismendy Alcantara 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, SB. Matt Loosen 6 IP, 3 ER, 7 K.

    Comments:

    Good luck to Anthony Rizzo in his promotion

    If they keep going this way, Gioskar Amaya and Jemier Candelario may want to check their leases in Boise, and make sure they go week-to-week.

    If your looking at a successor to Rizzo, Justin Bour might be the answer. Bour is currently hitting .281 with 6 HR and a league leading 55 RBI for Tennessee.

    • cubtex

      Raley has Round Rock’s number!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good at bat by Castro (first walk since June 2) and Soriano with his first hit off Santana

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: For those of you into numerology, Joe Mather has switched from No. 16 to No. 21. His choice.

  • Tom U

    Reports from the Peoria Chiefs are that Javier Baez injured his hand trying to make a barehanded play.

    http://twitter.com/#!/KevinCapie

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Mather with a 2-run homer … it’s the number

  • CubsChatter

    Poll Question of the Night…..

    How do you think Anthony Rizzo will fair on Tuesday?

    A – Will get the game winning hit with a HR
    B – Will drive in 7 RBI’s, hitting for the cycle
    C – Will strike out 4 times
    D – Will be put on the DL with a game injury.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      How about just letting the kid play?

      • J Daniel

        NICE ANSWER!

    • Christian2334

      Quite possibly the worst poll you’ve ever put up. And you’ve had some really terrible ones.

  • Dorasaga

    Another classic pitching duel; this Cubs team has talents… Just heard former Cubs Byrd was caught using PED. Hmm…

  • texcubnut

    Another quality start by Travis Wood. I hope he can keep this up. He could end up being a quality back of the rotation pitcher for the Cubs.

  • GaryLeeT

    I was not a big fan of the trade that brought Wood here, and I know it’s a low bar, but I have to give him the Cub pitcher of the month award.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    0-for-4 with RISP and six left on base for the Cubs after six innings

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Gotta like Cardenas’ hustle

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Trevor-Petersma/565104388 Trevor Petersma

    This is one of the weirdest innings I have seen in a while…

  • John_CC

    One legitimate hit this inning would be nice.

    • Dorasaga

      I thought I’ve seen it all, but ELEVEN BASES ADVANCED on 3 errors (2 runs)? We need to give the players credit for heads-up play. Good baserunning all the way!

    • Dorasaga

      And your wish came true1

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Mets 6-1 Monday night – Travis Wood: 0R, 5H, BB, 6K, 7IP; Joe Mather: 1-for-3, HR, 2RBI, BB; Alfonso Soriano: 2-for-3, R, BB; Jeff Baker: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From ESPN Chicago: Cardenas will be sent down Tues to make room for Rizzo.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Great news on Baez everything checked out ok. Day to day,