Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Diamondbacks – 07/15/12

Game Eighty-Eight: Cubs (35-52) vs. Diamondbacks (42-45)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Matt Garza (4-7, 4.32/1.20) vs. Trevor Cahill (7-7, 3.64/1.28)

As the trade rumors continue to swirl around Wrigley, the Cubs will try to complete the three-game sweep over the Diamondbacks this afternoon. Dale Sveum’s team is 2-3 in the first five games of the year against Arizona. Due to the schedule makers, the Cubs have one more series against the Snakes this season … at the end of the year in Arizona (September 28 – September 30). The Cubs have already won this series and improved to 4-0-1 in their last five series with Saturday’s victory. The Cubs have shown a lot of improvement over their last 21 games (13-8) … and have won 11 of 15.

The same 10-12 teams that were on hand Saturday to watch Ryan Dempster are expected to stick around this afternoon to see Matt Garza. Garza and Dempster are garnering a lot of attention right now by basically the same teams. While Dempster appears to have made his last start in a Cubs’ uniform, Matt Garza’s future with the Cubs is unclear.

Matt Garza was not happy after his last outing and labeled his first half the ‘Crapshow‘. Teams are interested in trading for Matt Garza regardless of what type of first half he had. According to Bruce Levine, the Tigers are looking at Garza and Darwin Barney in what could end up being a five-to-seven player swap. The Tigers have a better system than a team like the Dodgers and if a deal cannot be worked out for Garza, maybe Detroit would be a better landing spot for Ryan Dempster.

From the something-that-should-have-happened-a-long-time-ago department, Ron Santo will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame one week from today.

This afternoon all starts with Matt Garza

Matt Garza’s first half was really broken in two … before he caught the flu and after. Garza was tremendous in April and started his season with a 2-1 record in his first five starts with a 2.67 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP, teams hit just .175. After he returned from missing 12 days with the flu, Garza struggled mightily in his next four starts (0-2 with a 6.86 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP, teams hit .295). Garza rebounded with a decent June (2-3 in six starts with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP) but is just 2-4 in his last seven starts with a 4.46 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. Garza has allowed 40 hits with 10 walks and 37 strikeouts in his last 40 1/3 innings.

Matt Garza is coming off a bad outing in Atlanta. With scouts on hand, Garza allowed five runs on five hits in four innings with three walks and six strikeouts. Garza served up three home runs (Jason Heyward, Brian McCann, Freddie Freeman), two in the first inning.

Matt Garza has pitched rather well at Wrigley this season (2-1 in six starts with a 2.50 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP) and lost his start in Arizona back on June 24.

The Diamondbacks scored three runs on five hits over seven innings and Garza issued just one walk with seven strikeouts … the seven-inning start for Garza was his first since April 29.

Matt Garza is 1-1 in two career starts with a 3.60 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP.

Diamondbacks Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Willie Bloomquist – 0-for-3
  • Stephen Drew – 2-for-3
  • Aaron Hill – 10-for-31 with two doubles and two walks
  • Jason Kubel – 1-for-5 with a home run and a walk
  • Miguel Montero – 2-for-6
  • Lyle Overbay – 11-for-43 with three doubles and two walks
  • Gerardo Parra – 2-for-5 with two triples and two walks
  • Ryan Roberts – 1-for-6
  • Justin Upton – 2-for-7 with a double
  • Chris Young – 0-for-3 with a walk

Trevor Cahill has been solid for the Diamondbacks in his first year in Arizona. Cahill is coming off a win against the Dodgers and has a 4-3 mark in nine road starts with a 2.72 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.

Cahill posted a 4-1 record in five starts in June that included a complete game shutout in San Diego. Cahill allowed 14 runs, 12 earned, on 29 hits with 12 walks and 28 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings (3.15 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP). Cahill has received a decision in each of his last seven starts and is 5-2 with a 3.23 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.

Trevor Cahill has faced the Cubs a ton of times in the Cactus League but just once during the regular season. Cahill beat the Cubs at Wrigley in an A’s uniform back on June 15, 2010. Lou’s crew scored four runs on six hits against Cahill in 5 2/3 innings but Carlos Zambrano could not get the job done and Oakland beat the Cubs 9-5.

Cubs Career Numbers against Trevor Cahill

  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-3
  • David DeJesus – 2-for-8 with a double and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-2

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

  • Tony_Hall

    Dempster is in high demand.

    http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/8166795/new-york-yankees-chicago-white-sox-clubs-interested-trading-ryan-dempster-chicago-cubs

    “You see a guy like that struggle with command and pace, (but) at the same time get all the important outs,” an American League scout said. “Dempster makes it easy for me to call my GM and say, ‘Get this guy now because he has such a great sense of how to get the job done (and) he will help you win each time he goes out there.’ ”

    • J Daniel

      Hopefully they can pull the trigger soon and receive a 10 year contributor in return. Someone has to be willing to overpay a bit because they are “all in”.

      • Dorasaga

        You know the Murphy’s Law, right? When the team is in dire need to sell, and thought most other teams are “in,” they picked the highest bidder. Well, that’s what the Twins thought they were doing with LHP Santana. Didn’t work out after six years to look at those prospects.

        • J Daniel

          Agree, that is the gamble and usually does not work out wit the few exceptions such as Smoltz.

          • Dorasaga

            That’s why I think trading Dempster ASAP will be more plausible than trading Garza under this same scenario. Dempster is a “rental.” Nobody seriously believe that he’s Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, or Jamie Moyer, either has a longer and more successful career than Almost.Every.Body.Else (I’m stealing this thunder from Bill James). The track record wasn’t there. I looked at his stats, compared to Chris Carpenter during the same span (2008-’10, as both were full time starters), never was “ace.” The management probably knows this.

            It’s still a gamble to predict 2012 with the past, but with Dempster, it’s easier to know he’s not part of the future, than say Shark or Garza. We want to see the old man traded for a rebuild. I hope this makes sense.

          • J Daniel

            Absolutely and they are trying to work out a Smoltz type deal, that is the goal with these types of trades.

            Also, there is NO need to move Garza unless blown away. I can see them holding on, there is no rush.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.canavan.14 Jim Canavan

    1 more week until Ronny gets his due.

  • paulcatanese

    Just reading about some of the contracts out there,1992, Bobby Bonilla–five years for 29 million,he is now 49 years old and will be paid more money by the Mets this season than 17 players that start the year. He recieves $1,193,248.20 each year for 25 years,on a deffered payment schedule.
    Then there’s Manny Ramirez, from the Red Sox,annual payment
    of $1.9 million started on July 1,2011 and ends in 2026.
    Matt Holliday, the Cardinals $1.4-1.6 million starting July 15, 2020, ending in 2029.
    Ryan Braun, the Brewers, paying $1.8 million starting July 1 2022, and ends in 2031.
    Those are just a few that I have come across, and am sure their are more.
    I don’t really know how the Cubs stack up in this scenerio, but cant imagine that they are as bad as the contracts above.

    • Tony_Hall

      Bonilla’s is hilarious as the Mets owed him $5.9M in 1999. But instead of paying it, they put it off until 2011 at 8% interest and over another 25 years. Bonilla also collects $500,000 until 2015 from the Orioles and collects a $200,000 salary from the players association as a special assistant, with his only real duty to talk to the players.

      He must have one amazing agent, to set him up this good after his playing days.

      The rest, I believe, were all negotiated into their contracts, to help fit them into budget.

      • paulcatanese

        Thanks for expanding that Tony, the article I read didn’t go into it like you did.

      • Dorasaga

        There’s only one Bonilla, though. The agent’s probably retired now. Some one like Mike Lewis gotta contact that guy and interview him: What you said to the Mets?

      • John_CC

        Pretty sweet deal for Bonilla!

        • triple

          Hopefully we get to see another Soriano blast onto Waveland!

      • cubtex

        Kind of like the difference between a 15 year mortgage and a 30 year mortgage. You don’t know what their financial situation was at the time.

        • Tony_Hall

          It was the Mets….of course it was bad…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From David Kaplan: Baseball sources tell me they expect
    Ryan Dempster to definitely be moved before his next start + White Sox
    are not at all in play for him.

    • Christian2334

      Good news to hear for Demp and the Cubs, also from Buster Olney that I just read: While the Dodgers once looked like the favorite to land the veteran, it’s now unclear if they can outgun the rest of the field to trade for him.

      • John_CC

        I’d be willing to bet that Garza has a big second half. He should have regained his strength by now and tends to be better the second half anyway. There is no trouble in being patient with moving him. If puts in a couple really good starts like he can, he’ll be a good July 31 chip. Or even into August, though he would surely be claimed off waivers.

    • Dorasaga

      Whoever pressed that “down” button, I hope you LOVE Dempster to stay, and wasn’t directing your angst against Neil, who’ve been doing the best he can to inform all of us, Cub fans who can’t have enough of any of these!

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Boise – Felix Pena (0-1, 2.16)
    Peoria – Zach Cates (0-1, 3.38)
    Daytona – Robert Whitenack (0-4, 6.67)
    Tennessee – Dallas Beeler (4-6, 3.99)
    Iowa – Chris Rusin (6-6, 4.69)

    • BosephHeyden

      If I were Chris Rusin, I might be a little more inclined to pitch my best game today. Because there is a very good likelihood that a spot may be opening up for a pitcher pretty soon.

      • J Daniel

        Right on

  • cubtex

    Thrilled to hear that they will likely move Dempster before his next start. No point risking anything else with his next start. Get teams to submit their best offer and make a decision.

  • Tony_Hall

    And this is why you do the fake to 3rd and turn and look at 1st when you have 1st and 3rd.

    Jeff Weaver pitching against the Yankees just did the move, and got Cano jumping off of 1st. They got in a run down and tagged him out, and then had ARoid hung up between 3rd and home and turned a double play, tagging him out at home.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Nice single by Rizzo …

  • Tony_Hall

    That is just pathetic…how can a major league pitcher, be totally unable to throw a ball to 1st…over and over again.

    • cubtex

      it’s a mental game. you will get your wish soon and you won’t have to see that much more.

      • Tony_Hall

        My wish is for him to be extended….

        That is basic PFP, that he needs to work on, and someone yelling to him to set his feet or eat it.

    • Tony_Hall

      Nice outing for Garza!

    • paulcatanese

      What is amazing is that the other teams do not bunt him very often, if at all.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    That’s 10 straight games with at least one double play for the Cubs’ defense

  • cubtex

    Vitters with ANOTHER RBI double today to extend his hit streak to 14 games! Hello???

    • Tony_Hall

      I think the way the FO handled Rizzo’s time this year should buy them a little credit in how they handle Vitters. I would like to see him up for 2+ months to get his feet wet this year, but don’t think they intend to call him up until his season in Iowa is over.

      • cubtex

        They have Valbuena playing everyday. What purpose does that do? Quit babying him. He was a top 5 pick. Treat him like one and lets see what he can do. I don’t understand what letting him rake in AAA for another month would do?

        • Tony_Hall

          I would assume it’s the things that we don’t know, that would explain it all…

          • DWalker

            reports are the cubs are actively looking at top prospect 3B’s. Maybe theres something in his swing still, or maybe its just his D, but I don’t expect him up either until much later.

        • BosephHeyden

          He’s still there because Rizzo didn’t do well in a pitcher’s park last year and Hoyer doesn’t want to “risk that” with Vitters. He pretty much said as much, except for the part where I pointed out San Diego was a pitcher’s park.

          • BosephHeyden

            And for the record, I believe Vitters isn’t coming up because he’s not a Theo guy, hence why they’re shopping for pitching and a third baseman.

          • Tony_Hall

            He doesn’t really match the mold of what they like to see. He is too much of a free swinger. That could be why he is in the minors, where he is piling up numbers. If they bring him up, he could struggle, which would lower his value. If they somehow get a 3B in a trade, I would expect to see Vitters leaving in a trade.

          • triple

            I agree with that scenario.

          • matthew8510

            so the end of the road for demp is by thursday am i correct?

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            That’s what most think could happen.

          • J Daniel

            Posted that same scenario with Cubtex last week, maybe he will be in an expanded deal, maybe Detroit?

          • J Daniel

            Nothing to do with that as if he were the answer or ready they would go with it”

  • cubtex

    How about Ben Sheets today for Atlanta! 6 IP 2 hits 0 Runs 1 walk and 5 K’s. He is a low risk gamble who could pay off big.

    • Tony_Hall

      Some do work…but it is only 1 start and Sheets was a stud before.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      A good story with Sheets, he worked out for the Braves then took a group of Little Leaguers to a Braves’ game he had bought tickets for way in advance and negotiated his contract with Atlanta during the game.

  • triple

    Khalil sings much better than Cutler!

  • cubtex

    Watching Clevenger today….the down year that Soto is having….and being totally unimpressed with Wellington Castillo…..I hope the Cubs deal for a young catcher. Clevenger and Castillo are not everyday starting catchers imo. I still think Soto is the best out of the 3…but he is costly.

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

      I been dropping Rob Brantlys name for a few weeks here now. He is the guy they need to get included in a deal with Detroit.
      http://www.scoutingbook.com/players/p2986

      • cubtex

        93 AB’s in AAA with only 3 extra base hits? Not a lot of pop. I love Christian Bethancourt with the Braves. He is a game changer defensively. If the Braves are interested in either Garza or Dempster….he is someone I would want back.

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

          Yeah hes adjusting, hes a left handed contact hitter who hardly Ks and takes walks. 20 of his 56 hits in AA were extra base hits before his promotion this year. And from what ive heard about him he handles the defensive part very well too. Now yeah he doesnt put up the power numbers but the kid looks like a good hitter. Bethancourt, btw, only has 4 extra base hits in 189 abs at AA this year. The two look like very similar hitters, no power, low strikeouts. Id be pleased with either.

          • cubtex

            Agreed. Betancourt isn’t great offensively……but what a gun behind the plate! He is Yadier Molina like.

    • Tony_Hall

      When you figure in the cost…I’ll take Clevenger and Castillo splitting time next year. Clevenger is a back-up, but if you split the time, it’s about the same. Castillo can still be a starter between the two.

      • DWalker

        Castillo could be, he hasn’t really looked like a starter yet. Considering how hard it is to find a really good catcher, I expect we are stuck for a while, but its not a position of strength right now. I don’t have a lot of confidence in any of the three.

      • triple

        With a guy like Rizzo at 1st base now, I wonder if there would be any thoughts about trying to convert Dan Vogelbach to a catcher.

        • Tony_Hall

          Ah…no….

          not even sure if he could squat down…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the D-Backs 3-1 Sunday afternoon – Matt Garza:
    0R,5H,1BB,7K,7IP; Darwin Barney: 1-for-3,HR,2RBI; Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-3,RBI,BB

    • Tony_Hall

      Rizzo has sure changed this team…I expect them to win….

  • paulcatanese

    Another solid game in spite of Marmol who had two at-em balls yesterday and today to end it. He took a shot today off his left hip area, that was pretty well squared up. He almost had runners in a position to score the tying run on a single.
    Whats amazing is the Cubs are actually playing great ball up and down the team, good hitting, excellent pitching, what now?
    Hoyer had mentioned in the Trib that this a tough position to be in,winning,playing well and having to trade some of them away, and said he hopes they are not in that position again.
    Maybe I didnt get it all correct in what he had said, but it was refreshing to have someone from the front office say it.
    The problem as he mentioned,playing well and then trading players will drop them down again, just when Sveum looks like he has it figured out and is presenting a decent lineup.
    Even though I dont care for it(trading off everyone) and oing backwards again, as I say at least someone knows it and is willing to take the heat for it(Hoyer).
    What they have right now, today, if no changes are made is a team that could finish at .500 or close to it.

    • Tony_Hall

      Now that we are 3+ months into the season…do you enjoy the style of baseball you are seeing the Cubs play?

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

        cubs1967 says in his best “Major League” impersonation, “theyre still sh!tty.”

      • paulcatanese

        Most of it Tony, have been some good stuff happen
        to them, totaly enjoy the hustle, as I mentioned yesterday, they may not have the talent, but what they have they give 110%. Cant argue with that:)

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

      the thing is, the goal is to not be a .500 team. The positive to take from this, is that Sveum has proven he is a competent coach. And when he has a roster made up of the guys that are brought in he will be that much better. We could have added a few FA this year and be contending for a wild card birth, but really, where would that get us. Obviously by saying this is a .500 club you are saying that the things that are being done are the correct ones. So let them keep going so that it becomes a pennant winning club, not an average one.

      • paulcatanese

        Get the point Mike, however by finishing at .500 or close to it means that they would play tremedous ball the second half, probably in the area of .700 to get there.
        To think that prospects are going to come in and make an impact even in three or four years is a stretch in my opinion, as they will all be prospects.
        I understand how all of the people ( or most of them) are content (well patient is a better word) to see this develop into a team that is constantly knocking at the door, they are all probably a lot younger than I and can afford it.
        This team now as it stands today is not a bad ballclub and is starting to develop and I dont think they need wholesale changes to be successful.
        Here and there OK but not several at a time.
        Hey I’m having fun right now, but know what you are saying.

  • Tony_Hall

    Woody is enjoying his retirement…

    Expect to see him in the clubouse when the rosters expand to help work with all the pitchers.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/11814/kerry-wood-to-take-more-active-role-soon

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Barney with a 2-run homer

  • triple

    I certainly hope Barney remains with the Cubs after the trade deadline.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rough inning for Garza but he escaped. That was a 29-pitch third inning … and that puts him at nearly his per inning average of late for the game, 56 after three.