Not One, Not Two … But Five Big Flies – Cubs 12, White Sox 3

Game Sixty-Seven – Cubs 12, White Sox 3
WP – Matt Garza (3-5) LP – Zach Stewart (1-2) Save – None

wflag.jpgThe Cubs broke out the bats Monday night on the South Side and beat the White Sox for the first time this season. The Cubs improved to 12-11 in series openers behind a season-high in runs scored (12), hits (15) and home runs (5). Monday was also marked the most runs scored by a Cubs’ team at U.S. Cellular Field (10 runs on July 10, 1999).

The Cubs scored in four of their nine at bats and broke the game open with a six-run seventh inning, the second time the Cubs scored six runs in a single frame this season (April 12 at Wrigley against Zack Greinke).

Bryan LaHair (2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) put the Cubs on the board in the third with his 13th longball of the year. LaHair golfed a 1-2 pitch with two outs over the wall in right center. Starlin Castro (3-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and three runs scored) had another big night at the plate and his two-run homer in the fifth gave Matt Garza a little breathing room.

Alfonso Soriano (2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored) drove in a pair of runs with a mammoth home run in the fifth and a RBI single in the seventh. Geovany Soto (2-for-5 with a home run) notched a multi-hit game in his first game back off the DL. Soto cracked his fourth homer of the year in the six-run seventh.

The Cubs broke the game open with their fifth longball of the night. With the Cubs up 9-3 and two on with one down, Luis Valbuena (3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI) launched his second homer as a Cub, a three-run shot that completed the scoring.

Dale Sveum received production up and down the lineup Monday. All but one of Sveum’s starters recorded a hit and drove in at least one run. David DeJesus was the only starter without a hit and he was hit twice (both times in the seventh inning by two different pitchers) and he scored a run. Steve Clevenger (1-for-5 with a RBI and a run score) and Darwin Barney (1-for-5 with a RBI) both drove in and scored a run.

Matt Garza picked up his first win since April 29 in Philadelphia. Garza put together another quality start after allowing three runs on five hits (two home runs) with a walk and six strikeouts in six innings. Garza threw only 87 pitches, 59 for strikes, and did not come back out for the seventh with the game well in hand. Garza made only two mistakes and both left the park. A.J. Pierzynski (a solo shot in the fifth) and Paul Konerko (a two-run homer in the sixth) each hit home runs that accounted for all three runs off Garza.

Shawn Camp pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Garza and Manny Corpas retired all three batters he faced in the ninth.

With Monday’s win (Cubs’ ninth road victory of the season), the Cubs improved to 23-44 on the season …

David DeJesus (left center) and Starlin Castro (right center) both flied out to start the game. Bryan LaHair notched the first hit of the game with a single to left on a 0-2 pitch. Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning. Zach Stewart threw 21 pitches in the first, 12 for strikes.

Matt Garza set down the Sox in order in the first with a little help from Bryan LaHair with a running catch to take away a hit from Gordon Beckham for the second out. Garza caught Adam Dunn looking to end the inning and threw 13 pitches, eight strikes, in the opening frame.

Steve Clevenger grounded out to second and Alexei Ramirez took away a hit from Barney on a sensational play on a ball ticketed for centerfield to start the second. Luis Valbuena singled to left (1-1 pitch) but Geovany Soto hit a weak grounder to third to end the inning … 31 pitches for Stewart after two, 19 for strikes.

Matt Garza struck out two of the three batters he faced in the second. Garza threw 27 pitches in two innings, 18 for strikes.

Tony Campana (groundout to second) and David DeJesus (pop out to right) made two quick outs to start the Cubs’ third. Starlin Castro kept the inning going with a single to right on a 1-2 offering from Zach Stewart.

Bryan LaHair stepped in with one on and two out. LaHair fell behind 1-2 and Castro took off for second on the next pitch. LaHair golfed the low 1-2 pitch into the stands in right center … and the Cubs took a 2-0 lead. Soriano hit a weak grounder to Orlando Hudson to end the inning.

Dayan Viciedo flied out to deep left to start the third (0-2 pitch). Garza fell behind Alexei Ramirez 3-0. Ramirez hit a 3-2 pitch back up the middle that Garza deflected slightly with this glove. Barney fielded the ball and tried a glove-to-glove toss to Clevenger but the ball stuck in his glove and Ramirez beat the throw (Sox first hit). Orlando Hudson popped Garza’s first pitch into center for the third out.

After three, the Cubs led 2-0.

Steve Clevenger grounded out to second to start the fourth. After Barney lined out to right for the second out, Luis Valbuena recorded his second hit of the night, a single to center. Alejandro De Aza made an excellent diving catch to take away an extra basehit from Geovany Soto to end the inning.

Matt Garza struck out one of the three batters he faced in the fourth … 51 pitches for Garza after four, 35 for strikes.

After four, the Cubs had a 2-0 lead.

Tony Campana led off the fifth with an infield single. Campana hit a 2-2 pitch back up the middle that Ramirez dove and kept the ball from the leaving the infield but could not make a throw. On a 2-0 pitch to DeJesus, Campana took off and swiped his 24th bag of the season. DeJesus grounded out to second on a 3-2 pitch. Campana advanced to third on the productive out.

Starlin Castro lifted a 1-0 pitch into left center. The ball kept carrying and left the park. Castro’s sixth longball of the season put the Cubs’ up 4-0. Bryan LaHair drove Stewart’s first pitch to deep left. Viciedo caught the ball on the track for the second out.

Alfonso Soriano stepped in and crushed a 1-0 pitch from Zach Stewart. The ball traveled a wonderful 440 feet, ended up in the ivy beyond the centerfield wall and gave the Cubs a 5-0 lead. Steve Clevenger popped out to center to end the inning.

The White Sox got on the board in the bottom of the fifth. After Alex Rios grounded out to short to start the inning, A.J. Pierzynski crushed 0-1 pitch well over the wall in right for the Sox first run.

Garza missed on a 3-2 pitch to Viciedo and issued his first free pass of the night. Alexei Ramirez singled to center and the Sox had runners on first and second with one out. Garza struck out Orlando Hudson looking and De Aza grounded out to first to end the inning … 75 pitches for Garza after five, 51 strikes.

After five, the Cubs led 5-1.

Zach Stewart started the sixth by retiring Barney and Valbuena on a flies out to Rios in right. Geovany Soto lined Stewart’s first pitch over the wall in left for his first longball since May 7. With the Cubs up 6-1, Robin Ventura went to his pen and brought in Will Ohman to face Tony Campana. Campana struck out swinging to end the inning.

Gordon Beckham led off the sixth with a single to left. Matt Garza fell behind Adam Dunn but eventually caught him looking at a 2-2 pitch for the first out … the third time Garza struck out Dunn in as many at bats on Monday night.

Paul Konerko muscled a 1-0 pitch toward center, the ball hit off the top of the padding and bounced over the wall. The Cubs lead was cut to 6-3. Alex Rios just missed Garza’s first pitch and flied out to left for the second out. A.J. Pierzynski lined out to third to end the inning. Garza threw 87 pitches in six innings, 59 strikes.

Will Ohman started the seventh by hitting David DeJesus with a 2-1 pitch. Starlin Castro ripped a 2-2 pitch off Beckham’s glove into right center. Bryan LaHair looked at a 1-2 pitch on the outer part of the plate for the first out. Robin Ventura went back to his pen and brought in Nate Jones to face Soriano.

With runners on first and second with one down, Alfonso Soriano ripped a 2-2 pitch from Jones back up the middle past a diving Alexei Ramirez. DeJesus scored (7-3 Cubs) and Castro advanced to third on the play. Steve Clevenger made it an 8-3 game with a single to right (1-1 pitch). Castro scored (8-3 Cubs) and Soriano stopped at second.

Nate Jones’ first pitch to Darwin Barney sailed past Pierzynski. Both Soriano and Clevenger advanced ninety feet. Pierzynski made a wild throw to third in an attempt to get an out and if not for a diving stop by Orlando Hudson in foul ground, Soriano would have scored before he did. Barney blooped Jones’ next pitch into right. Soriano scored, 9-3 Cubs and Clevenger stopped at third with one out.

Luis Valbuena pulled Jones’ first pitch over the wall in right … and just like that the Cubs led 12-3. Geovany Soto looked at three straight out of the strike zone before ripping a single into right on a 3-1 pitch. Ventura decided he’d seen enough and brought in Hector Santiago to face Tony Campana. Campana flied out to left for the second out of the inning.

David DeJesus led off the inning by getting hit on a 2-1 pitch by Will Ohman … and in his second at bat in the seventh inning he was hit on a 2-2 pitch from Hector Santiago. After DeJesus was plunked by the second pitcher in the same inning, Castro grounded out to third to end the inning.

The Cubs scored six runs in the top of the seventh on six hits … and one big home run.

Shawn Camp took over for Garza in the seventh and set down the Sox in order.

Hector Santiago stayed in and retired the Cubs in order in the eighth.

Other than a two-out single by Adam Dunn, the Sox did nothing against Shawn Camp in the eighth.

The Cubs did nothing in the ninth against Hector Santiago … and the game went to the bottom of the ninth with the Cubs up 12-3.

Manny Corpas retired Jordan Danks, Tyler Flowers and Dayan Viciedo in order to end the game.

It is always a good day with the Cubs beat the Sox …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Travis Wood is scheduled to face Jake Peavy in game two of round two under the lights Tuesday night.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"The riches of the game are in the thrills, not in the money." – Ernie Banks

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  • Trevor Petersma

    Thanks for the recap Neil, I wasn’t able to see the game.  A good win.

  • SuzyS

    I mentioned the other night that Corpas looked pretty good when I saw him live in the Sat. Boston game…He might actually pan out as a good “buy low”…coming off TJ surgery.

    • Tony_Hall

      And gives the option of keeping him or selling high at the trade deadline to a team looking for a veteran relief pitcher.

      • cubtex

        you won’t be able to sell high on Corpas by July 31st. That is being way too optimistic.

        • Tony_Hall

          You can make trades all the way until August 31st…if he can clear waivers, which I would think he would.  

    • John_CC

       Glad you got to see your two favorite teams matchup, Suzy. That’s great!

      • SuzyS

         Thanks John, we had a great time.

  • paulcatanese

    Sveum made a good move with LaHair in the three spot and made it tough, DeJesus was protected by Castro by LaHair and he inturn prtected by Soriono. This would give all ahead of Soriono good pitches to hit and it worked out.  that way.
    The lineup was pretty well protected all up and down, and the score showed it. Very good production from the whole lineup and a good win.

    • Tony_Hall

      Now put Rizzo behind Soriano…sorry that puts Campana on the bench.

      • DWalker

         as much as I love watching him play, if it means the rest of the lineup actually starts consistently scoring runs and making things happen, I’ll live with him as a pinch runner/late innings move. Before I get too giddy on the idea of that line up, I’ll wait and see if

        A. Dale uses it again
        B. they can actually do it again against a different starting pitcher with less wind. 

        • Ripsnorter1

          That was one horrible starting pitcher for the Sox last night. He has a career (11 starts) record of 2-6 with a 6.00 ERA, 63 IP and 86 H as a starter.

          HE’S AWFUL. 

          But he made us look good.

          Try that same lineup tonight vs Jake Peavy. 
          Accuscore gives the Cubs a mere 27% chance of beating Peavy tonight. 

          • cubtex

            Zach Stewart was aquired from Toronto in the Edwin Jackson trade. IF the Cubs trade Garza to the Blue Jays…..I hope the pitching prospect they get back is better than Stewart!

          • cubtex

            It doesn’t matter how bad the lineup looks on paper if the opposing pitcher throws meatballs

          • paulcatanese

            Probably wont see the same lineup, that game last night and the boxscore will end up in a gold frame and hung over the entrance at Wrigley, the crowning achievement of the year:)

      • paulcatanese

        Hey Tony, thats baseball,just have to wait and see.
        DeJesus being hit twice in one inning——– Partial payback.

      • cubtex

        I would put Rizzo in front of Soriano and LaHair behind Soriano. Rizzo is the better hitter.

        • Tony_Hall

          I would too, after he is up for a few weeks, and isn’t a “suspect prospect” anymore.  I really doubt they will call him up and put him in the 3 hole.

    • RMercer69

      Also, in AL park that puts Campana in 9 hole as extra leadoff when lineup turns over and moves everybody down a spot to their ideal spot: Dejusus becomes 2 hole, Castro 3 hole, Lahair 4 hole, Soriano 5 hole (and DH) etc….to bad we can’t play like that all year.

    • John_CC

       I liked that lineup card a lot as soon as it was posted. I was reading here and read all the groans about how horrible it was and that Sveum was conceding another game before it started, but it was a refreshing lineup and as you said, Paul, pretty well constructed for the pieces that he has to work with.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Whatever happened to Lendy Castillo?

    • Tony_Hall

      He is on the DL…for the rest of the year.

      • Steve Rock-Vegas

        Does that mean they get to keep his rights now or does that risk that rule?

        • Zonk

          They can stash him on the DL all year.  Techinically, there is a process to call “foul” on the Cubs for intentionally doing that.  You are not suppossed to.  But MLB doesn’t really enforce it.

          The Cubs must have seen something in Castillo to do that, because having him sit that long won’t help his development. 

           I am guessing that he’ll start “rehabbing” in August with some appearances in the minors, and then be miraculously cured when rosters expand in September…..

        • Tony_Hall

          As long as no one call them on DL they are fine.  They just need to get to Sept 1st and then they are fine.

      • Aaron

        Tony, you’re most likely correct, even though it was said to be a minor injury…I just can’t see them letting him pitch again, and instead opt to hide him on the DL

      • DWalker

        Doesn’t he still need a few active days during the all star break or roster expansion?

        • Tony_Hall

          He becomes active on September 1st when rosters expand.  No more need to hide him on the DL.

  • CubsChitChat

    A win over the White Sox last night, and everyone believes we are going to the World Series.   Everyone relax, put the Blue Kool-Aid down.  It is a long road ahead.   A very long road.

    • John_CC

       What are you reading? 

      It’s Cubs fans happy about beating the crap out of the White Sox in a lost season. 

      Didn’t you create that Twitter account yet?

      • CubsChitChat

        A win over the White Sox is a moral builder, but not lets get too far…..Hopefully, Kenny Williams can trade for a Dempster, Garza or a Maholm on desperation, so Theo can loot the Sox farm system.

        • ldsteam

          White Sox have the worst farm system in all of baseball.  Rated dead last in every list I have seen.  I do not think there is anyone Theo wants in their systemm

          • CubsChitChat

             yeah, i saw that also after i wrote last……as Emily Litella would say…”never mind”

      • paulcatanese

        Actually John, that game was game seven of my world series for this year.

  • cubtex

    Garza with 4 straight quality starts. Giving up 3 runs yesterday on a night like that was pretty good. Sox Park is a bandbox at times.

    • paulcatanese

      Either the Hawk or MLB said the 40MPH winds accounted for all the home runs. Just hard to get credit when its a last place team.

  • cubtex

    Another Cuban outfielder……Yasel Puig 21  6’3 210 will become elgible shortly to mlb teams. He has more experience than Soler but not as seasoned as Cespedes. They are saying he will probably get a contract similar to Soler.
    I doubt that the Cubs will have any interest since they just signed Soler.

    • Zonk

      I beleive, though, that clubs now have to fit the contract in the new CBA limits for free agents.  So, Puig is unlikely to get Soler money; Soler’s contract was inflated by the fact that he was the absolute last FA you could sign without limits.  It was “Last Call” on big spending!

      • cubtex

        so really the only team who could get a player like this would be a team who cannot sign a 1st round draft choice? Say if the Pirates cannot sign Appel…..they can sign Puig and then they will still get an additional 1st round pick next year?

        • Zonk

          Don’t quote me on this, I am a little hazy on foreign FAs.  But….

          1.  There are two pots of money.  Draft money is totally separate, and cannot be used on foreign FAs.  If Pirates do not sign Appel, they LOSE that money this year, and cannot use it on someone else.  (However, they get an extra pick next year at #9, and they do get that extra money next year)

          2.  Foreign FAs have a defined set of bonus money too.  I think it’s equal for everyone, but not sure.  But the unlimited spending days are over.

          • cubtex

            so did the Cubs exhaust all their slotted money with the Soler signing?

          • Zonk

            Those rules apply after July 2; it’s “anything goes” until that date.  So, no, Cubs got Soler free of any restrictions.  That’s why the price was bid-up on him.

            If Puig can get declared a FA before July 2, and sign, then he would also fall outside any restrictions.  So, it’s very much in his financial interest to move fast.

            It’s “Last Call”

          • cubtex

            thanks for the info Zonk!

          • Zonk

            No problem…

            I looked it up, that bonus pool for International Talent is $2.9 mil TOTAL for the next year….

          • gary3411

             Talk about an even playing field

  • CubsChitChat

    According to MLB Trade Rumors, Cubs might trade Darwin Barney.

    • DWalker

      I got blasted last week when I suggested that teams might be interested in him……

      I doubt he goes though, not much value in trading a decent club controlled young Darwin Barney for a potentially possible future Darwin Barney.

      • DWalker

        unless of course barney were to go as part of a package deal for some impact prospects.

        • CubsChitChat

          Marmol & Barney trade package sounds good.

  • cubtex

    I think I will check out the Iowa Cubs again tomorrow in Round Rock. Chi Chi Lopez is pitching tonight so I have no interest in seeing him pitch. Hopefully this will be the last series that Rizzo plays in and is brought to the show this weekend.

    • paulcatanese

      It’s the obvious time to do it.

  • Zonk

    Speaking of Rizzo, I think that outfield config yesterday was a preview of what the Cubs are going to do with Rizzo.  And it’s not a bad solution.

    I wrote earlier that I thought the Cubs would have to cut or move Soriano in order to make room for Rizzo, assuming LaHair would be moved to LF.  That is no longer feasible, given Fonzi’s recent surge of productivity.

    I didn’t think of moving DeJesus to CF, but it makes sense offensively.  LaHair looked comfortable last night (small sample size).  DeJesus came up as a CF, but was moved due to lack of range, but he is a fundamentally sound OF, and I guess we can live with him out there.

    Campana will obviously gather more time on the pine, and come in as PR/defensive replacement late, or occasional start.  Reed Johnson will probably play CF vs. LHP, moving DeJesus to RF and LaHair to the bench. 

    So, on most days it will be Soriano-DeJesus-LaHair.  That is the best OF offensively.  I hope that holds defensively, because first glance that’s pretty brutal.

    • paulcatanese

      Strange, but most sports announcers think that LaHair is a top prospect and consider him to have great trade value, personally I don’t believe he would bring that much, dosent have enough of a track record in the Majors.
      But if he continues to hit the long ball,and yesterday indicated that he may be able to with a bat behind him in the order, he may very well improve his stock.
      Over the long haul, his playing in the outfield in right field is suspect, not an easy place to play. Left would be easier or better in his case, but as long as Soriono is there, no chance that would happen.

  • CubsChitChat

    Steve Rosenbloom says Cubs & Theo need to trade Garza soon before he lands on the DL….. Steve, you are correct.   Theo, Please look at the Braves farm system.   Braves lost a pitcher, and need help.  Or the Yankees.

    • Aaron

      I agree with Rosenbloom, but the comment he made you are referencing, was more likely cynical in nature than anything else.

      But I agree in principle, mostly because I feel that most pitchers, if they’re going to have TJ surgery and shoulder issues (especially if they’ve pitched a lot early in their 20’s at the MLB level) start cropping up between their 28-32 year seasons. 

      For that reason alone, they should consider trading him immediately. After all, what good is a current 2 starter on the DL to a rebuilding team. I’d much rather take my chances cheap, top pitching prospects than deal with the realization that he’s more likely to succumb to injury than he is ever to reaching his potential as a #1.

  • Aaron

    As I have said since the Cubs traded for him, Garza is an outstanding talent that has yet to put together any semblance of a legit #1 starter. He is an above average #2-3 starter though. Dempster has at least had 2 seasons worthy of consideration for a #1 starter. And given the fact that Dempster has evolved into more of a Maddux-esque pitcher without his power stuff anymore, and yet still experienced success, it’d lead you to believe he’d be the more valuable pitcher in the long run. As Garza loses velocity, he will likely lose effectiveness. 

    Anyway, the reason I bring that up is Dempster seems to be getting the most play of any of the Cubs veterans this year in trade rumors, so it got me thinking about trade values, what the Cubs could expect back, etc.

    Given Dempster’s age, the Cubs can’t expect much in return. If I were the Cubs, I would, however, approach him about a possible contract in advance of next seasons. He enjoys Chicago. His family enjoys Chicago. And his daughter has familiar physicians in Chicago. What might be prudent is for them to deal him and get the best possible return, but then feel him out for a contract next year if he’d accept a trade. It’d obviously have to be on the Cubs terms (meaning NOT a $12 million plus sort of contract….but it’d be wise for them to at least broach the subject with him.

    As for Garza, he’s younger, is still considered a power pitcher, and some teams even still see him like Hendry did (potential for #1). 

    IF the Cubs were smart, they’d be wise to trade both these guys…

    Dempster-because he’s older, and they need to get something for him while his value is high right now…well…WAS high before minor injury (unless he agrees in advance to decline arbitration)

    Garza-because he wants to be paid like an ace, but he has yet to produce like one. What I see is a guy with unrealistic expectations in terms of salary, and I also see a guy that is fiercely competitive and loyal to the team he happens to be playing for…HOWEVER, he seems unwilling to commit to the Cubs, if that makes sense, just based on comments he’s made.

    I would imagine the Cubs are also considering trading Wells, Maholm, Stewart (though all 3 of their values have tanked exponentially recently), LaHair (only for the right deal), Barney, Soriano, DeJesus, Soto, Johnson, Baker, Camp, and Marmol.

    I just can’t see the Cubs finishing the year with those guys….it’s just not likely.

    Here’s what the roster might look like at the end of the year:

    T. Wood
    De la Cruz (as a placeholder)
    Volstad (just one last try)


    C-Castillo, Clevenger
    3B-Vitters, Valbuena
    LF-LaHair, Wright
    CF-B. Jackson, Campana
    RF-Lake, Mather

    Pitching would be dreadful, but with the draft and players already in the system, the Cubs would at least be able to weed out some guys that probably wouldn’t amount to anything. 

    The lineup could look something like:

    B Jackson

    I think it’s a shame that they haven’t been able to find more playing time for Cardenas, as he’s a very patient hitter. With Jackson, Rizzo, LaHair, and Cardenas in the same lineup together, it’d help somewhat off-set the free swingers in the lineup like Castro, Lake, and Vitters. 

    By replacing Soriano with LaHair, then adding Rizzo at 1B, they actually add an additional patient hitter. By adding Jackson in place of Campana, they’re adding a patient hitter, but subtracting one with the loss of DeJesus, so there’s no gain there. By subtracting Stewart and replacing with Vitters, they lose a patient hitter, but gain contact…and by adding Cardenas in place of Barney, they’re gaining one, so it’s even. Overall, it’s a net gain of 1 in terms of patient hitters, and that, in general, is the type of hitter Team Theo is looking for.

    Obviously, the Garza, Dempster, Soto, and perhaps even DeJesus trades would bring upper level talent to give guys like Lake, Vitters, etc. more time in the minors, and perhaps they’d receive some good pitching talent as well to replace the likes of Volstad, De la Cruz, etc. In the past, I had McNutt and Rusin in the mix at the end of the year, but both have been awful of late.

    • CubsChitChat

      Wells?……will he be traded?…Barney also gone?

      I like to see Biaz in that line up……and we will by the end of 2013 season…….

      If Cubs don’t trade Soriano now, then he is with us till the end…..and when his contract ends, he will stick around and wash Theo’s BMW during the games…..

      I wonder what a Volstad/Wood package can bring to us?

      Dempster is a nice guy, but he did not help us win anything….we need to reward players who get us to the World Series……not into last place…….

      If Castro is still making mental mistakes and gafs by next year, does Theo begin to look for a trade on Castro?….I say “Yes”…..

      So far, I like Valbuena’s bat……Ian Stewart, you lost your 3rd base job…….and maybe a roster spot….

      After Dempster & Garza are gone, Theo & Jed will be on the clock for next year’s #1 draft pick selection.

    • carmelo

      Valbuena is SS by trade—if he continues to show power ( he did hit 17 hrs in minors one year, 10 with Cleveland) he could be the LHH secondbaseman we are looking for.  More upside than Barney.

      • cubtex

        I like that thought. If they deal Barney….Valbuena could take over 2B.

        • paulcatanese

          Agree with that, even though I am a Barney fan. He has still things that are a problem for him, and Valbuena does look good to this point.
          Don’t want to touch too much on this but
          Theriot is having a pretty good year with the Giants.

          • Calicub

            you had to bring that up…..

        • Chadaudio

          I’d do that.  Valbuena is supposed to be a good defensive 2B… and Barney is NOT.  Plus, I have to believe Valbuena would be a better backup SS then Barney anyway.

          I’m not a big Barney fan.  If he was a defensive expert, I would excuse the other downfalls of his game.  As it is…

      • Zonk

        Valbuena is a .227 career hitter who was given away by Cleveland, then DFA’ed by Toronto.  While he’s a decent pickup IMO, I wouldn’t get too excited about him being a long term answer.  he’s probably just more roster filler. 

        I hope I’m wrong about that

        • Chadaudio

          True.  But if he can glove, I’d take that roster filler over Barney.

  • CubsChitChat

    So…will tonight’s game be on channel 44?

    I remember back in the 70’s how Harry & Jimmy would talk about the women in the stands when the Sox were losing…..cameramen would scan the women with nice boobs walking around in the stadium …….. and you then switch over to WGN, and Brickhouse would want Arnie Harris to show women’s hats…….kinda makes you wonder.

    • cubs1967

      i’ve heard it got moved to sportschannel instead; reinsdorf complained “his” channel was not getting enough games.

      gotta love sux fans not filling in their own park against the hated cubs; 33K last nite; and with the cubs tanking the year; sux fans can’t fill their park w/o the wrigleyville crowding buying tix………..poor jerry!

  • cubtex

    For all of the Starlin Castro detractors………He has 84 hits(tied for 5th in all of baseball) 6 triples(tied for 3rd in all of baseball) plays EVERY game at the most demanding position in the infield(other than catcher) and oh yea……..he is freakin 22 years old! He is a special player.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree, but can he play third base?:)

      • cubtex

        ha! He is getting better at short. He still makes too many mistakes but he is still 22. He has been better this year than last year…..wouldn’t you say?

        • paulcatanese

          Absolutly, just had to throw that in, he’s much better than last year, and hasn’t been making the same mistakes that he was making, even from the beginning of the year, Thats what makes the new ones he’s creating now that stand out so much.:)
          All kidding aside, he has improved, Throws are better and so is the footwork. And have never seen more accurate and strong relay throws, those are repetitive with him, a very strong point in his favor. Dont know how many assists he has in that venue, but he makes everything close(and I mean that).

      • Zonk

        He has 12 errors at SS this year, but it seems like they all occured in like one week.  He’s settled down a bit lately.

        I’ve come around on Castro; he has made some great plays this year, I think he stays at SS.  That is very important for his long-term value.

        I’d like to see him develop more patience, but we have to keep him.  Castro and Shark are the only young, potentially impact players on our roster right now.

      • Chadaudio

        LOL.  Love it Paul.  I think I’m voting for 2B or OF now though.

    • J Daniel

      Yes he is!

    • matthew8510

      tonights lineup
       David DeJesus (L) CF
       Starlin Castro ® SS
       Bryan LaHair (L) RF
       Alfonso Soriano ® DH
       Steve Clevenger (L) 1B
       Darwin Barney ® 2B
       Luis Valbuena (L) 3B
       Geovany Soto ® C
       Tony Campana (L) LF
       (T. Wood – R)

      • Zonk

        More RF for LaHair, and CF for DeJesus.  I think we’ll see that all the time when Rizzo comes up.  Campana will take a seat on the bench while Soriano takes his spot in LF.

        Not sure how well the Soriano/DeJesus/LaHair OF will play defensively, but it is the best offensive config, no question

  • Texcubnut

    Here is a trade proposal.If I were Theo and Jed I would be on a plane to Arlington for a sit-down with Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan and propose this: Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Bryan Lahair, Geovanny Soto and David DeJesus for Robbie Ross, Mike Olt, and Jurickson Profar in a blockbuster deal.
     The Rangers have expierienced several pitching injuries lately including for the year, Neftali Feliz and for quite awhile, Derek Holland and most recently, Alexi Ogando. A starting rotation of Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison with Garza and Dempster as your 4-5 starters looks excellent.
     The Rangers are not happy with Mitch Moreland at 1B nor are they happy with their catching tandem of Torrealba and Napoli ( they like him as DH) and after Hamilton and Cruz, the third outfield position has been by commitee. This trade addresses all of their problems and after two straight W.S. losses this organization wants it all and they are ready with this trade. They get starting pitching, power hitting and starters and depth where they need it.
       The Cubs get a starting infield of Mike Olt at 3B (eta 2013), Jurickson Profar at SS (eta 2014) Starlin Castro at 2B and Anthony Rizzo at 1B. That will be an all star infield for many, many years to come. Couple that with an outfield (eventually) made up of B. Jax, Matt Sczur, Jorge Soler and Albert Almora and position-wise, that will be a team that competes for it all, annually. Of course, catcher would be manned adequately by Clevenger/Castillo and a bench including Junior Lake and Javier Baez.

       The rotation will be Samardzija, Ross(like Jeff and like Cashner can be a 2/3 starter) and with plenty of money for a large market team, they go out and get a Greinke/Hamels for a top of rotation starter and an Edwin Jackson/Anibal Sanchez typestarter to compete with T. Wood/P. Maholm for Fifth starter and hope last years draft (D. Maples) this years draft (P. Johnson) and next years draft(No.1 pick) can supplement starting rotation. Of course we still have to straighten out bullpen situation.
       Well, that is it. That’s my trade proposal. It can be tweaked to satisfy Rangers if they want, say, bullpen help (J. Russell) for instance. His dad was very popular and a teamate of N. Ryan. I know it seems like a lot but believe me, we are getting back three top players of the future and isn’t that what we are about. Rebuilding takes time but we’ll get there. I have faith.

    • paulcatanese

       I agree with almost everything you posted except for Dempster, Nolan Ryan seems to have in his mind that
      pitchers on his staff have to throw heat (where did he get
      that idea?).
      I don’t agree with tha notion as his staff will come up with more injuries than the normal staff of other clubs, but that seems to peak his interest with pitchers, but who knows?

      • Texcubnut

        You’re right, Paul. We would have to sell Nolan on the fact that Dempster would be a nice change of pace pitcher that would fit in a power rotation. Sort of an expierienced Greg Maddux-type pitcher
         I know we could sell their pitching coach, Mike Maddux on that point.

    • DWalker

       I don’t see it happening, but I can’t say I’d object. Pitching is stll the problem, but that deal would potentially block some talent that might be tradeable for more pitching.

  • Tom U

    Just a quick note: Boise won their first game of the season last night, 6-4 over Salem-Keiser in 11 innings. Dong-Yub Kim with his first home run.

  • Dorasaga

    Is the “Dong-o-meter” on? :-)

  • CubsChitChat

    Who was the last minor league ballplayer from Boise who made it on the Cubs 25 man roster?

  • joejoed