Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Braves – 07/03/12

Game Eighty: Cubs (30-49) vs. Braves (41-38)
Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185/914
Location – Turner Field, Atlanta

Chris Volstad (0-6, 7.46/1.61) vs. Jair Jurrjens (1-2, 6.07/1.79)

Chris Volstad Recalled from Triple-A Iowa – Casey Coleman Optioned to Triple-A Iowa

Weather permitting
… Can the Cubs post their fifth straight win tonight with Chris Volstad on the mound? The Cubs posted a season best fourth straight victory on Monday night to open a very difficult seven-game road trip. Jeff Samardzija more than bounced back from a forgettable month. Now it is up to Chris Volstad to put his last year at the big league level behind him.

Chris Volstad will make his first big league start tonight since May 17 and not only he winless in his last 19 starts in the majors but the Cubs are 0-8 in the games he’s started this season. Casey Coleman was sent down to Triple-A Iowa following Monday’s game to make room for Volstad on the active roster.

In other newsAnthony Rizzo took responsibility for Starlin Castro’s apparent gaffe on Monday night. Dale Sveum greeted Starlin Castro when he came into the dugout and the Cubs’ skipper was not too happy with his shortstop. Rizzo told Sveum that the play was his fault. He told Castro to hold the ball not realizing how fast Dan Uggla can get down the line. Sveum apologized to Castro.

David DeJesus was held out of Monday’s lineup with a stiff neck. DeJesus is listed as day-to-day and is not expected to miss significant time.

Ryan Dempster threw 40 pitches off a mound Monday and depending on how he feels today will have another side session Wednesday. Dempster is on target to return during the series against Arizona at Wrigley after the All-Star break.

Ian Stewart will have surgery on his wrist next week and is likely done for the season. Stewart said on Twitter that he is hoping to return in September. Stewart managed just a .201/.292/.335/.627 line in 55 games with the Cubs this season. Stewart hit five home runs, five doubles and two triples. Stewart remains under the Cubs control for next year but is a non-tender candidate this off-season. Stewart is being paid $2.3755 million in his second year of arbitration eligibility.

Tonight it all begins with Chris Volstad

With Ryan Dempster on the shelf until after the break and Randy Wells no longer on the big league roster, Chris Volstad figures to get two chances before the break to show he can be an effective Major League pitcher. The new regime is beginning to weed out the pitchers that will not throw strikes, which has been an issue for Chris Volstad.

While Volstad’s walk totals are not that bad (15 in 41 innings), he often pitches from behind in the count. During his time in the Cubs’ rotation, Volstad has allowed 51 hits in 41 innings to go along with the 15 walks … 66 baserunners in 41 innings (eight starts).

The Cubs were happy with the way Chris Volstad pitched down at Triple-A. While the numbers do not look much better (2-3 in eight starts with a 4.44 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP, 12 walks, 41 strikeouts and 59 hits allowed in 50 2/3 innings) they claim his location has shown improvement. Volstad is coming off one of his longer outings of the season, a seven-inning start against Oklahoma City in which he allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.

It has been nearly a full calendar year since Chris Volstad posted a win in the majors. Volstad beat the Astros in Miami on July 10 after allowing three runs on seven hits with a walk and six strikeouts in six innings of work … that is a string of 19 straight starts without a win and his new team is 0-8 in his eight starts this season.

Chris Volstad’s last big league start came on May 17 at Wrigley. The Phillies knocked him out, and down to the minors, after just two innings (four runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts).

Chris Volstad did not face the Braves earlier this season. Volstad owns a 2-4 career mark in nine starts against Atlanta with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP … at Turner Field, 2-2 in five starts with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

Braves Career Numbers against Chris Volstad

  • Michael Bourn – 4-for-14 with a double and four walks
  • Matt Diaz – 2-for-2 with a double
  • Freddie Freeman – 3-for-7
  • Jason Heyward – 3-for-9 with two home runs and three walks
  • Eric Hinske – 3-for-8 with a home run and a walk
  • Chipper Jones – 4-for-15 with a walk
  • Jair Jurrjens – 1-for-4
  • Brian McCann- 4-for-24 with a home run and a walk
  • Martin Prado – 5-for-16 with two doubles
  • David Ross – 0-for-2
  • Dan Uggla – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Jack Wilson – 0-for-2

After just a horrible start to the season (0-2 in four starts with a 9.37 ERA and a 2.45 WHIP), the Braves sent Jair Jurrjens down to Triple-A for him to work things out. Jurrjens showed a little improvement and finished his minor league stint with a 3-4 record in 10 starts with a 5.18 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. Jurrjens walked 14, struck out 30 and allowed 68 hits in 57 1/3 innings. The Braves had no choice but to bring him back … and he’s responded quite well.

Jurrjens is 1-0 in his last two starts with a 2.03 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP with four walks and four strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings. Jurrjens dominated the Red Sox (one run on three hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings) but struggled somewhat in his last outing. Jurrjens allowed two runs on six hits with three walks and no strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. The Cubs must be patient tonight against Jair Jurrjens.

In four career starts against the Chicago Cubs, Jair Jurrjens is 1-1 with a 2.59 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. Jurrjens did not face the Cubs at Wrigley in May and pitched 6 1/3 innings of shutout ball against the Cubs last August (five walks, one strikeout, eight hits).

Cubs Career Numbers against Jair Jurrjens

  • Jeff Baker – 1-for-4
  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-2 with two walks
  • Tony Campana – 1-for-1
  • Starlin Castro – 0-for-4
  • David DeJesus – 0-for-2
  • Joe Mather – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Anthony Rizzo – 0-for-2
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-11 with three doubles
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-3 with two walks
  • Chris Volstad – 1-for-3

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"People ask me a lot about the values I got from playing for the Cubs for so many years. The value I got out of it was patience. A lot of people these days are not very patient." - Ernie Banks

Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub (1931-2015)

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  • Christian2334

    I don’t know why, maybe it’s volstad starting, but I get the feeling tonight could be a very high scoring affair. Rizzo is catching steam, lahair is bound to break out of his slump along with Castro, soriano has great #s at turner field, and valbuena seems to get a hit whenever he has RISP. Couple that with how bad jurgens has bee, I think tonight could be a fun game to watch! Just wish it was on WGN!!!

    • Trevor Petersma

      What’s the feel on Valbuena long term? I’ve not had a chance to watch as consistently as I’d like to this year, but he seems to stick in my head as doing better than I had anticipated. Is he at least a capable bench guy that should stick?

      • Tom U

        Trevor, I feel he’s worth having around for a while on the bench. He played better than expected at shortstop in Iowa, has some power, and has major league experience.

      • Neil

        Trevor, Valbuena has played better than expected but is really only a roster filler at this point. He might be a good utility player on a winning team.

      • Trevor Petersma

        Thank you Tom and Neil.

    • BosephHeyden

      Well, they sent down the right guy. The next step is the proverbial “do or die” for Casey Coleman: he has failed as a reliever, plain and simple. Near the end of last season he showed signs of being a competent fifth starter, and, since he’s 25 years old, there’s still time to salvage him. He needs to replace Volstad as a starter in Iowa, not be used in any other form outside of starter, and the next time he gets called to the bigs, it needs to be as a starter. Volstad’s had enough time to show what he has as a starter (read: nothing), so if he doesn’t pan out in his umpteenth starting chance (which he likely won’t), convert him to the long man in the pen. It’s time to see what we have on this team in the positions we need help in.

    • Cory

      I hear that! I’m in Texas and can usually only catch the games on WGN as well. (Though I cant blame Fox and espn for not picking them up).

      • cubtex

        Another Texan! Welcome!

        • texcubnut

          Yes! Welcome, Cory. This is a great site for Cubs fans. My favorite!

  • Neil

    Raining at Turner Field …

  • CubsInsider

    Trivia Quiz Time……

    Name the major league ball player who threw firecrackers at a group of kids some years ago?

    Remember kids, fireworks are not only dangerous, they are against the law.

    Don’t blow your hand off this 4th of July.

    If you want to play with explosives,…… join the military.

    Enjoy the game.

    • John from Texas

      Vince Coleman

      • CubsInsider

        You are Correct Sir…..

    • Neil

      First pitch scheduled for 7:00

  • Neil

    First pitch will be delayed … no official word on when. Will post but it is still raining at the park.

  • CubsInsider

    From……Strong rumors out of Detriot is that the Tigers will pay the Cubs asking price for Matt Garza….deal can happen soon.

    • BosephHeyden

      I’m not seeing that anywhere on right now, is there a link to that? I know there’s a lot of chatter as far as what teams like who, and how the Yankees love Garza one day and Dempster the next, but with the asking price for Garza being established as “the same type of return the Rockies got for Ubaldo Jimenez”, I would expect Garza to be moved at the exact date of the deadline if he is moved.

      • matthew8510

        dont listen to cubs insider hes a troll hes the one who always does those stupid polls

        • BosephHeyden

          Yeah, we know, but we’re trying a second chance dealy.

        • CubsInsider

          What is “hes”?

          Spell Check my friend.

          • matthew8510

            i didnt know this was a professional baseball board where we had to use spell check

          • CubsInsider

            Are you saying that this is a unprofessional baseball blog….shocking….just shocking……

          • Neil

            Another walk to a relief pitcher

        • J Daniel

          yes – how about eliminate the . . . really . . . oh, the stupid poll question of the day . . .

          Please go away!!!!!!

    • Neil

      What an ugly inning. The Cubs took advantage but what an ugly inning.

  • Neil

    Pat Hughes just estimated about 40 minutes to an hour … thinking somewhere around 7:00 – 7:15pm CDT

  • Tony_Hall

    Here is a look at a Detroit Tigers blog, that discusses them trading for players.

    Always good to see how other teams, blogs, and their fans look at our players.

    Matt Garza – Solid pitcher. Overrated. His career numbers (56-60, 3.85 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, .249 BAA) aren’t really in line with the asking price.

    Ryan Dempster – Having a great year (2.11 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, .204 BAA) but one year removed from a very bad one (4.80 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, .271 BAA). He’s also on the DL. And 35 years old.

    Mentions Castro as “can’t see them trading” and Barney as solid (among other 2B options) but would want to give up next to nothing to get him.

    • cubtex

      Author…..Human_Paraquat :) Don’t know if I would believe too much from a guy who calls himself human paraquat. Ha

  • Trevor Petersma

    Return of the one bad inning. :(

  • BosephHeyden

    Congrats to Chipper Jones, since Matt Kemp officially just removed himself from the All Star game and Jones has been named his replacement. I always liked Chipper, he was one of the few guys that stuck with a team his entire career, and he never once changed the way he played the game to indicated PED’s. First Ballot for sure, and an All-Star nomination in his last season is the best middle to end your career on.

  • cubtex

    Chris Carpenter is having shoulder surgery and out for year. Cards will probably get back in the Garza/Dempster derby.

    • CubsInsider

      they have a weak farm system……and they are inside the division….won’t happen.

      • cubtex

        I really don’t think Theo cares about that…….see Sean Marshall. Shelby Miller and Kolten Wong would be a nice start.

        • J Daniel

          Don’t think Theo cares about that nonsense. Cubs are not competing yet and need to make the best trade regardless of who it is to.

          By the time they are ready to compete Dempster will not be there anyways.

  • Neil

    Volstad imploded again … 20 straight without a win.

    • Trevor Petersma

      It really is amazing.

    • RMercer69

      Yeah, feel like I’m watching the movie Groundhog Day. He has just had this one inning implosion all year and sometimes it’s just out of nowhere. SMH

    • BosephHeyden

      Again…I know we all understand why the trade was made, but was it really worth 9 losses to make a bunch of guys that will likely be traded anyways happy?

      • J Daniel

        Would you have liked that they kept Z? Remember, no trade clause. He was only going to Miami.

        I was one of the few that kept posting that I would have kept him and then given him the option of being a ball player or else . . . but the options were limited.

        They obviously came to the conclusion they were better of paying his salary to go away and get nothing in return.

        • Ripsnorter1

          The first 20 pitches from the Cubs’ staff in the Atlanta sixth:
          3 strikes.
          17 balls.

        • Tony_Hall

          If only it was that easy for all us to get rid of the cancer on this site.

        • BosephHeyden

          Yeah, there weren’t a lot of us that were in favor of keeping Z. Both at the time, and in retrospect, I would have kept Zambrano, at the very least for a few games. Keep in mind, Zambrano seemed to be making a legitimate effort to make things right in the off-season and get refocused on baseball. He went to Theo to get approval for Winter Ball and met with him to see what he needed to do. But two guys made it very clear that Zambrano would not be welcome back: Marlon Byrd (no longer with the team) and Ryan Dempster.

          Again, it is easier to say this knowing Zambrano is where he wants to be, seeing how a change of scenery did not help Chris Volstad, and just seeing how poor of a state this team is in. But trading Zambrano for Volstad was a loss for the Cubs. Holding onto Zambrano, letting him pitch a few games that, being realistic here, he would have pitched better than Volstad, and then trading him to Miami and eating salary in the process…you just get the feeling you get a better return than Chris Volstad.

        • Brp921

          I would have made him sit on the end of the bench in the bullpen untill he was fed up enouph to retire. His ego could not have handled it.

      • J Daniel

        We all would have liked them to get much better in return but I think they probably got all that they could.

        Really a change of culture needed to be started and you can’t do it unless the idiots go bye bye.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I can’t believe Clevinger missed that tag at home plate. They had him dead to rights.

  • GaryLeeT

    I can’t believe 9 walks in 6 innings lead to 10 runs.

  • Neil

    No excuse for not throwing strikes … none

  • Ripsnorter1

    28 minutes to get 3 outs….and 50 pitches!!! 50!!

    • BosephHeyden

      We caught lightning in a bottle with Shawn Camp. Not so much with the other DFA claimants. Both Bowden and Ascencio, well, they’ve performed at the level I would expect of a player that was willingly being released by another team. On the flip side, when we inevitably DFA Ascencio, at least he’ll probably clear waivers.

  • Mike Simala

    on another note, Cashner just left before the 3rd inning of the Pads game with an arm issue, undisclosed injury as of right now.

    • Neil

      I hope he is okay, I have not seen what happened, paying attention to the obvious. Do you have any details?

      • Mike Simala

        He was warming up before his half of the inning, everything kinda stopped and the medical staff came out to take a look, He walked off shaking his arm. I heard that his final warm up pitch was very wild and he pointed to his elbow. Doesnt sound good.

        • Neil

          That does not sound good. Thank you for posting the details.

          • Mike Simala

            actually just got a report from a friend, said its a strained lat. Not as bad as originally thought. But still going in for tests is what i was told.

          • Mike Simala

            This sounds odd to me with him pointing to his elbow coming out, dunno why the lat strain was reported by MLBN just seems wierd.

        • Tony_Hall

          Reading some Padres blogs, they are speculating Tommy John surgery. They are also saying how the Cubs ripped them off.

          I hope for Cashner’s sake it isn’t that serious and he can go back out on the mound soon. Baseball needs good young pitchers who throws like he does to keep pitching.

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 10-3 to Braves Tuesday night

    Chris Volstad: 6R,7H,2BB,3K,4.1IP; Bryan LaHair: 2-for-4,RBI; David DeJesus: 2-for-4; Steve Clevenger: 1-for-4,RBI; Cubs pitching issued nine walks

  • Anthony

    TomU, LEC will be in Schaumburg July 16/17/18 if you get a chance

  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    DeJesus – CF
    Castro – SS
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    LaHair – RF
    Clevenger – C
    Barney – 2B
    Valbuena – 3B
    Volstad – P

  • RMercer69

    Neil…can you tell me when the deadline is to sign Almora?

  • WidespreadHisPanic

    That’s too bad for Ian Stewart.

    I really thought he could turn it around with us this year.

    Hope he makes a strong recovery.

  • Ripsnorter1

    5 pm, 13 July 2012.

  • Neil

    July 13 is the deadline

  • RMercer69

    Ahhh…thanks to both of you. I knew I had seen it, but was thinking July 3rd, knew there was a 3 in the date. Hope they get him signed.

  • Neil

    You’re welcome … It might come down to the last day but they will get him signed

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Boise – Ian Dickson (1-0, 4.15)
    Peoria – Joe Zeller (0-0, 0.00)
    Daytona – Austin Kirk – (4-1, 2.26)
    Tennessee – Trey McNutt (4-7, 4.68)
    Iowa – Randy Wells (2-2, 7.71)

    Thank you to everyone again for your comments and kind words on today’s minor league mid-season report.

  • CubsInsider

    Tom….which Cubs farm team puts on the best after game fireworks show for the 4th?

  • brent carmona

    A little late, but yes excellent work on the mid season report!

  • Shawng81

    The Fireworks show @ principal Park in Des Moines,IA is a pretty good show.. show off over the river and downtown in back ground.. last year was a pretty good and long show!

  • Tom U

    I’ll just repeat what Joe Bohringer told me, Fireworks night is a scout’s best friend.

    Actually, I’m taking my family to the Schaumburg Boomers for a free fireworks show tonight. Gates are open now, Fireworks at 9:30 after a showing of “The Sandlot”.

  • CubsInsider

    Poll Question of the Day……

    Matthew loves these polls……..

    Would you like to see the Cubs explode fireworks after Cubs home runs at Wrigley?

    A – Yes…explosions are great
    B – No….neighborhood residents & pets will go nuts

  • Denver Mike

    Seems like a quiet night tonight, I’ve only started posting recently but have been a reader of CCO for about 5 years now. I guess it’s as good a time as any to share a couple thoughts about the new regime and this season to date.

    – As painful as this Cubs roster has been to watch this season I would rather lose with new faces than continue to lose with the same one’s we had seen for the last few years. We are trying something new…wasn’t it Einstein who said “the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing and expecting different results”? At least we’re doing something different even if the results are similiar thus far.

    – Theo and Co. will never come right out and admit it, but I’m willing to bet that after a bottle of wine they would confess that finishing last (or close) this season was something they expected (and wanted)….if you were given the task of rebuilding this farm system wouldn’t you want the absolute best picks possible to start with?

    – Brian LaHair has been a pleasant surprise thus far but must be traded for anything you can get. I have a feeling his long-term upside is somewhere between Todd Hollandsworth and “glorified Jeromy Burnitz” feel free to disagree.

    – Anthony Rizzo looks like the real deal, talk about small sample size but you can just see his confidence at the plate.

    – Luis Valbuena would make a great utility man for a team ready to compete. He is already a FAR better contributor than DeWitt, Baker, and Stewart combined.

    – I am loving the shifts being used by Sveum and his staff. No doubt at the insistence of Theo and Co. but none the less it has worked. I haven’t had the chance to watch a team that regularly used this approach but I think it has really helped our pitching staff’s numbers so far.

    – A few more good appearances and we may actually get a mid-level prospect back for Marmol (not holding my breath).

    – Platoons don’t work for this team, we need to move on.

    – Thanks for all the great updates, news and debate over the years. I don’t remember how I stumbled upon CCO but I’m glad I did!

  • Trevor Petersma

    Welcome to active posting Denver Mike! I agree that LaHair should be traded if they can get value. Not top shelf value, but more than a bag of balls.

    I also think Rizzo is the real deal. He will struggle at some point, but I think this kid will battle through.

  • matthew8510

    c-would like to see cubsinsider house go up in flames from fireworks

  • RynoTiger

    CubsInsider, could you do some research for us and see if there is an ordinance or agreement in place that wouldn’t allow the Cubs to let off fireworks? I bet there probably is.

  • CubsInsider

    I have a feeling there is……do that ex-Mayor Daley ( a white sox fan) only let the Sox have one……Cubs were always getting blocked by City Hall……..and now that old man Ricketts is against Obama, we will see more of the anti-Cubs theme from the new guy…..

    Maybe we can have some guy with a Billy Goat run around the field after a home run!…..similar what they do at Texas football games with a steer….

    maybe we can get Tony Hall or BospheHeyden to do that on field privilage……

    See “Magic Mike” yet?……

  • CubsInsider

    that sounds like an arson threat to me……you need some anger management class before you end up in prison or dead!

    You are not classy ……you need to be removed from this blog……and be reported to the police through your IP address as an arsonist……does Neil support your actions?

    Control your anger before it is too late.

  • brent carmona

    I support his actions :)

  • matthew8510

    how bout you leave and stop trolling and changing your name our are ashamed of your unclassy names or is neil just banning every name you come up with

  • J Daniel

    Absolutely would agree with you. I would be very shocked if he didn’t. Just waiting to see how much money is left in the pool.

  • CubsInsider

    whose actions?……matthew?

  • brent carmona

    Matthews of course.

    But this is a joke you see, just like Matt’s comment was.

    So relax.

  • Neil

    4 runs on one hit and six walks for the Braves in the sixth

  • Mike Simala

    “you’re killin me smalls!”

  • Scott McMeekan

    You know I don’t normally even take the time or relatively small amount of effort to ridicule your inane posts. But when you open the door this wide, I can’t let it pass. You put yourself forward as a serious grammaticist…and yet each paragraph above contains an egregious grammatical error. ‘do that ex-Mayor…’? My guess is that you meant to say ‘do KNOW that ex-Mayor…’ Instead you sound ignorant. Next paragraph, ‘similar what they do…’? I’m sure you meant ‘similar TO what they do…’ Instead, you now look stupid. And then the next paragraph, you make a sloppy, sophomoric spelling error…oh wait, you DO have spell check right? So maybe you thought you were smarter than your spell check when you typed ‘privilage’ rather than ‘privilege’, which would have been correct.

    Live by the sword, die by the sword. If you would stop being so insufferably arrogant, you might actually be able to offer something to a conversation! Try it!