Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Diamondbacks – 07/13/12

Game Eighty-Six: Cubs (33-52) vs. Diamondbacks (42-43)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Paul Maholm (6-6, 4.57/1.36) vs. Ian Kennedy (6-7, 4.26/1.33)

Updated 4:18pm CDTFirst Pitch of Cubs-Diamondbacks game is Scheduled for 5:00pm CDT

Weather permitting … The second half of the baseball season begins at Wrigley Field this afternoon. The Cubs and Diamondbacks is the first game back from the four day All-Star break. Dale Sveum’s team opens a six game homestand with the first of three against Arizona that ends Wednesday with the finale against the Marlins.

The Cubs were playing their best ball of the year prior to the break. The Cubs won nine of 13, were 3-0-1 in the four series leading up to the break and finished the first half out of the cellar in the division.

Dale Sveum altered his rotation slightly prior to the team leaving New York. Paul Maholm, Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza will face the Diamondbacks this weekend with Travis Wood and Jeff Samardzija starting the first two games of the Marlins’ series. The Cubs moved Samardzija back in order to monitor his innings in the second half.

The Cubs are scheduled to face only one left-hander over the next three games. After Ian Kennedy this afternoon, Joe Saunders is expected to come off the DL to face Dempster on Saturday and Kirk Gibson has Trevor Cahill penciled in for Sunday’s finale against Garza.

The Cubs were embarrassed by the Diamondbacks in Arizona three weeks ago. The D-Backs took all three games and outscored the Cubs 21-7 in the process. Sveum’s team has played much better at Wrigley (19-20) than on the road (14-32) and will look to begin the second half the way they finished the first.

This afternoon all starts with Paul Maholm

Today is a rematch of the game on June 23 when both Paul Maholm and Ian Kennedy became spectators by the fifth inning. Arizona pounded the Cubs 10-5 and Maholm was not the same after he took Kennedy deep for his first longball of the season.

After just a horrible outing against the Diamondbacks in Arizona, Paul Maholm put together two very good starts prior to making his first relief appearance at the big league level.

The Diamondbacks spanked Maholm on June 23 over the 3 1/3 innings he pitched. Maholm allowed seven runs, six earned, on nine hits with three walks and no strikeouts. Maholm more than bounced back in his next outing against the Astros. Maholm came within two outs of a complete game shutout and surrendered just four hits, one walk and struck out six. Maholm followed up his stellar outing against Houston with a solid start against the Braves.

In his last outing, Maholm allowed one run on eight hits with a walk and five strikeouts in six innings in Atlanta.

Paul Maholm is 2-0 in his last two starts with a 0.62 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP.

In his first season with the Cubs, Maholm has pitched rather well at Wrigley. Maholm is 4-2 in eight starts with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.

There are no two ways about it … Paul Maholm has struggled throughout his career against the Diamondbacks. Maholm has never beaten Arizona and owns a 0-3 mark in six starts with a 5.34 ERA and a 1.81 WHIP.

Diamondbacks Career Numbers against Paul Maholm

  • Henry Blanco – 3-for-15 with two walks
  • Willie Bloomquist – 3-for-9 with a triple
  • Geoff Blum – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Stephen Drew – 0-for-2
  • Paul Goldschmidt – 1-for-3 with a triple
  • Aaron Hill – 0-for-6
  • Ian Kennedy – two walks
  • Jason Kubel – 4-for-9 with a double and a home run
  • Miguel Montero – 1-for-2
  • Lyle Overbay – 1-for-8
  • Ryan Roberts – 1-for-4
  • Justin Upton – 2-for-6 with a home run and three walks
  • Chris Young – 3-for-6 with a double and two walks

Ian Kennedy put together two solid seven-inning outings after his dud against the Cubs on June 23. Kennedy allowed five runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings to the Cubs and after his team gave him a big lead he was not able to hang around long enough to qualify for the win.

After his bad start against the Cubs, Kennedy allowed three runs, one earned, to Milwaukee on six hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in seven innings. Kennedy followed up his first win in over three weeks with a decent seven-inning outing against the Padres. San Diego ended up winning the game (8-6) but Kennedy allowed four runs on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts.

Ian Kennedy has been solid on the road this year … 3-5 in nine starts with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.

Ian Kennedy is 1-1 in four career games against the Cubs with a 6.66 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 1-0 in one start with a 4.50 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP (five runs, four earned, on six hits with a walk and six strikeouts in eight innings).

Cubs Career Numbers against Ian Kennedy

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-4
  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-4
  • Starlin Castro – 4-for-10 with a double and a triple
  • Steve Clevenger – 1-for-3 with a double
  • David DeJesus – 4-for-8 with two doubles and a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-3
  • Bryan LaHair – 0-for-3
  • Paul Maholm – 1-for-2 with a home run
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-8 with a home run and three walks
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-3

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    The Cubs officially announced the signing of RHP Duane
    Underwood (second round, 67th pick) this morning. The Cubs say he will report to Mesa. Underwood is actually there and has been working out according to his Twitter account. The Cubs signed their first 20 picks and 29 of this year’s draft class.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

    When will the Cubs get their own TV network? (like the Yankees Yes network) I’m tired of this Comcast Sportsnet, I can only watch WGN games… very frustrating.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

      The good news is I can watch Walker Texas Ranger Re-runs all day.

      • Cloycub13

        Too funny… you could always pend out the arse for MLB extra innings like I got… expensive but you do get to see 98% of the games.

        • John_CC

          MLB.TV via mlb.com is $100 a season, and you get pert near every game, just not the Saturday after 5 whatever BS blackout rerestriction. Run your laptop into your television and viola!

          • Tony_Hall

            I have thought about the TV situation…but I can’t watch the Cubs on MLB.TV as they are blacked out.

          • John_CC

            I didn’t even think of that. I only blacked out for Mariners games occasionally…but I don’t usually try anyway. Guess we all have to wait for the MLB to get their ridiculously confusing TV contracts straightened out.

          • Tony_Hall

            Mariners…I thought you lived in Colorado.

          • John_CC

            Montana, which I know seems like the same thing there. Seattle is the closest MLB market. And Safeco is a beautiful park, too bad the only two teams i follow both suck!

    • BosephHeyden

      The only way to get every game is to be in Chicago. Even if you just live in Illinois, you still won’t get 10-15 of the games because they’re thrown on WCIU. Though I would think the new ownership would have at least rectified the WCIU deal.

      • Bredstik

        Down here in Peoria, the local WE channel picks up the WCIU broadcasts now. I think every game has been on TV via Comcast this season.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    The start of the game will be delayed due to impending
    weather. No word yet on when they are looking to start.

    • BosephHeyden

      I don’t know what part of this storm they’re delaying it for: the part that doesn’t come or the part that has a light drizzle for about three minutes.

      • BosephHeyden

        Dangit, what gives? We’ve had maybe an inch of rain all month, this storm passes over us and gives us three minutes of drizzle. But it hits Chicago and you pretty much have to build an ark to survive. What gives?

        • paulcatanese

          Well its the start of the second half of the season, the first half started with a lot of rain, whats the old saying? History repeats itself?
          Lets hope the wins and losses dont follow from the beginning of the season and repeats.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil
  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    First pitch is scheduled for 5:00pm CDT.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Game on … 3 hour and 40 minute delay

  • Tony_Hall

    2 innings…2 double plays…nice D!

    • cmschube

      ^+1

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano’s double was the 800th extra basehit of his career

  • Tony_Hall

    Soriano…onto Waveland

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano onto Waveland … #16

  • paulcatanese

    I watch the game on ESPN gamecast(just a report) and I am amazed watching the strikezone portion of how many balls are called strikes. If the strikezone is accurate, wow its half the game.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Soriano with a 3 run shot

  • Tony_Hall

    Soriano should be playing well enough to attract an AL team to make him their DH…especially with us paying a large portion of his freight.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

      He sure is doin his best to try to net us some sort of return for him, isnt he! I dont see why any AL team wouldnt take him if we are paying 85% or more of his contract. If they dont have a spot for him next year or the year after they could DFA him and wouldnt be on the hook for much. It is all our, the Cubs, risk.

  • cubtex

    Soriano with an .828 OPS 17 Long Ones and 52 RBI. The guy just puts up numbers every year. As I have said countless times….hate the contract but don’t hate the player. He has had one hell of a career!

    • Tony_Hall

      Amazing what a lighter bat will do for resurrecting a career that was fading…

      Every year….you might want to look at a few of his years with the Cubs again.

      • cubtex

        20 plus HR’s EVERY year since 2002? How many mlb players claim to do that? I know you don’t like him but look at his 162 game career average. It is amazing. Not many players in history have a 162 game average like that!

        • Tony_Hall

          Not many, just like not many players can have an OBP under 300 in a season.

          If he played like this in his previous years, he would never have drawn the ire of the fans. He has had a very good career, but his past faults (no need to list ALL of them again) hurt the team. He is actually a positive again, thanks to his lighter bat and effort on defense. If only he wasn’t so stubborn, for so many years.

          Another hit for Rizzo…keep them coming.

          • cubtex

            Not many can have an OBP under .300? Ha. Just look at Ian Stewart lol and Koyie Hill.
            On the lighter bat. I was trying to find a quote where Soriano said how better he feels with the lighter bat…but I couldn’t.
            He said he went down to an ounce and a half lighter and it might help a little but he was quick to say that any lighter would be uncomfortable. He credits his knee feeling better(just as I was saying) to his power returning!

          • Tony_Hall

            Of course he does…yet he looks awful running around.

            You can see him get around on the ball and drop those doubles down the left field line, and just watching him you can see the swing we use to see, a few years back, when he could still handle the heavy wood he was using.

            You want to compare Soriano to Hill and Stewart….not the best company to lump him in with…

          • triple

            I’ve always thought Soriano was okay for the Cubs. Unfortunately we got him right as he started to decline. JH should not have overpaid (bidding against no one). That’s what hurt the Cubs the most. All Soriano did was play through injuries (and never complain) since he got to the Cubs and he has averaged .266/24HR/69RBI/.815OPS in 121 games played per season. Low RBI’s can be attributed to batting lead off the first 3 years, and a lack of hitters in our lineup and protection behind him. If JH wouldn’t have overpaid and could have provided more for our lineup, his numbers would be great. And don’t go comparing his numbers to what others did during the steroid era. I think it’s obvious that Soriano did not juice. I think the Cubs need some true 3-4-5 hitters (Rizzo looking like one), and if they had that, I think Sori would be great batting 6th especially if a guy like Soto (on a good year) batted behind him. Unfortunately, Soto is an “if” and the Cubs having solid 3-4-5 hitters for now is a much bigger “IF.”

          • cubtex

            Nice post Triple!

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Soriano has credited the lighter bat. The rest is helping his knee. The Cubs are also planning more days off for him in the second half due to the knee. Sveum said he played him too much in the first half and it wore him down.

            The bottom line is he is producing.

      • cubtex

        I will put it up for you TH. Soriano is 36. How many players can boast these career averages. He should be applauded everytime he comes to bat at Wrigley for what he has done in his career.
        .274 Avg
        40 2B
        34 HR
        94 RBI
        28 SB
        .827 OPS
        People booing this guy have no clue about baseball.

        • Tony_Hall

          Take a look at his Cubs career averages

          266 AVG
          32 2B’s
          26 HR’s
          73 RBI’s (not one year over 100)
          11 SB’s

          The RBI’s is awful for a middle of the order bat.

          Most of his #’s came in his pre-Cubs years.

          No Cubs fan should care what he did before the Cubs, just like no Angels fan should care what Pujols did with the Cardinals.

          As a baseball fan, yes he has had a nice career.

          • cubtex

            He was hitting leadoff for most of that time. Even hitting leadoff….those numbers are good for any left fielder. You just love to hate!

          • Tony_Hall

            I’ll give you that, it was a waste of a power bat, batting lead-off. Still his numbers with the Cubs are no comparison to his pre-Cubs numbers. I just hope someone will pay something in the form of a decent prospect to get him to the AL, where he belongs.

          • Tony_Hall

            Look whose talking :)

        • J Daniel

          Agree! But the problem is fans ALWAYS tie in the contract. Who really cares how much they are making. If the owners couldn’t pay it they wouldn’t. I know the answer is ticket prices, they are over paid, I would do it for nothing . . . The answer is don’t go, thay are all over paid, and nobody would pay to watch any of us! They have a skill we don’t and that’s it.

          • Tony_Hall

            I care what they make, because it can keep you from adding a player down the road. The White Sox are a classic example of overpaying and then not being able to keep guys that they really wanted to keep. Soriano’s contract kept the Cubs from having the money to add on properly the last few years the JH team was competitive.

          • J Daniel

            I don’t buy it for a minute, not the cubs. They could have done it if they really wanted to. They are not the pirates or royals. They – TR – chose not to.

          • Tony_Hall

            Any team’s owner could decide to throw out business sense and just spend more money. They all have it.

          • J Daniel

            Exactly! And I accidentally hit the down button on iPad – stupid thing. I always like your posts even if I don’t agree

          • Tony_Hall

            Are you saying that we disagree at times :)

            It was nice to be able to watch a game in full…live. First weekend not on a baseball field since Mother’s Day weekend.

          • J Daniel

            Save your smiles for Cubtex :) and we agree most of the time

          • Tony_Hall

            I thought you were Cubtex on that one. When you don’t refresh for awhile, it seems to have the wrong name at times.

            And yes the smile on Garza was ALL for Cubtex!

          • cubtex

            So that means you care Theo wasted 6 mil on Concepcion :)

          • Tony_Hall

            Yes! Just because I wasn’t going to beat up their moves, doesn’t mean I agreed with all of them. That seemed like they wanted a “win” in the free agent market, and added a few million to make it happen. BUT, it is not that much money in any single year, so, I would rather spend $18M each year on chances like that, then have Soriano.

            Of course that is all gone now…thanks Jerry and Bud.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Nice call on the Maholm bunt

  • John_CC

    Do you think Gracie a couple frothy ones during the delay?

    I love him!

    • Tony_Hall

      Is your MLB.TV working? I was trying to watch the Nationals game and I can’t get it to work today, on any game.

      • John_CC

        I was watching the Cubs then had dinner…i haven’t tried another game.

        • Tony_Hall

          Thanks…it’s still not working for me, but MILB.TV is and Brooks Raley is pitching for the Iowa Cubs.

          • John_CC

            I tried and it said “experiencing technical difficulties” or something. i’ve never had that happen before.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the D-Backs 8-1 Friday afternoon/evening

    Paul Maholm: 1R,6H,BB,5K,7IP;
    Alfonso Soriano: 4-for-4,2 HR,2 2B,5RBI,3R; Anthony Rizzo: 2-for-4,2R

    • BosephHeyden

      After a full month or so of Soriano doing what he usually can only do during one of his hot streaks, I think we can say the light bat is a success. What’s more, even though he should be fully tradeable, if we can’t get something back for him, I would not mind seeing what this Soriano can do with a better team for a full season (granted he gets days off or his knee taken care of).

  • J Daniel

    Question is, do you move Maholm or keep him because he is doing pretty wheel, affordable, and left handed? Has turned into a nice #4 or #5.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Teams are interested in Maholm, one of them is the Pirates.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Sorry, I hit post by mistake. If they can get a useful piece for Maholm, yes.

      • J Daniel

        Agree but isn’t he a useful piece?

        • Tony_Hall

          I would have no problem keeping Maholm, if teams aren’t willing to give up enough. He is a useful peace and not really a lot of money for a SP.

          • J Daniel

            Would have no problem keepin him as a #5. Maybe Wood is a #4? Smardj a #3? If that is the case they need 2 studs and it wouldn’t be bad.

          • Tony_Hall

            Don’t rule out Garza staying. He would fill the #2, until they did get 2 studs

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Maholm has pitched well but if they can get a good player for him, I think they will.

  • J Daniel

    And NO to the Dodgers!!!!!! The last deals with them were a complete waste of time! Nothing for the Lilly and Theriot deal! BRUTAL trade. Same with Maddux.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      The Dodgers system is not good

    • Tony_Hall

      As Neil points out their system is not good. But if the Cubs have to eliminate teams, because JH made bad trades with that team the last time, we will be in trouble…

      • J Daniel

        No doubt – just saying they need a god return and I am confident it will happen and they are using the dodgers or it would have been done already

  • J Daniel

    Yankees signed,Funko – another JH deal? Minor league deal but you would think he saw enough of e twirl a Rama!