Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Marlins – 07/18/12

Game Ninety: Cubs (36-53) vs. Marlins (44-46)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jeff Samardzija (6-8, 4.71/1.36) vs. Josh Johnson (5-6, 4.28/1.43)

Weather permitting … The Cubs will shoot to get back in the win column tonight behind Jeff Samardzija. Even with Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs have still won 12 of 17 and will look to put an end to their four-game skid against the Fish.

The Marlins have pounded Cubs’ pitching this season while Miami’s staff has kept the Cubs in check. Ozzie Guillen’s team has outscored Dale Sveum’s team 28-11 over the first four matchups this season.

Jeff Samardzija will make his first start in 11 days tonight. Samardzija last pitched on July 7 and took the loss after being outpitched by Dillon Gee. The Cubs pushed Samardzija back as part of the plan to monitor his innings in the second half.

During a recent radio interview, Jeff Samardzija said his arm and his body feel good right now and he is looking forward to the second half of the season. Samardzija feels he made strides after the break a year ago and is looking for similar improvements this season. Samardzija acknowledged he will receive extra time in between starts when possible. Samardzija has discussed with the coaching staff about monitoring his innings but the team has not set an innings limit for him this season.

As the rumors continue to swirl around Wrigley, tonight it all starts with Jeff SamardzijaJeff Samardzija finished his first half as a big league starter with a loss but despite his inconsistencies, the first half should be considered a success for the former reliever.

After a topsy-turvy beginning of the year (2-1 in four starts in April with a 4.13 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP), Samardzija was about as good as it gets in May. Samardzija posted 3-2 record in six starts with a 2.48 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. Following his outing against the Padres on May 29, Samardzija fell in love with his fastball again and it cost him.

Samardzija survived a horrible June (0-4 in five starts with a 10.41 ERA and a 2.06 WHIP) and posted a 1-1 record in his two starts prior to the break with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP … 15 strikeouts and three walks in 15 innings. Samardzija showed good command of his splitter and slider and those two pitches proved to be the difference.

Tonight will be Samardzija’s second start of the season against the Fish. Samardzija hit a wall on April 19 in Miami and left after recording just two outs in the fourth (five runs on eight hits with five walks and three strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings).

Jeff Samardzija owns a 2-1 mark in 11 career appearances, two starts, against Miami with a 5.31 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP.

Marlins Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Emilio Bonifacio – 1-for-5 with two walks
  • John Buck – 0-for-1
  • Scott Cousins – 0-for-1
  • Greg Dobbs – 1-for-3 with a double and a walk
  • Brett Hayes – 2-for-2 with a double and a walk
  • Omar Infante – 1-for-1 with a walk
  • Austin Kearns – 1-for-1
  • Carlos Lee – 4-for-9 with a home run and a walk
  • Logan Morrison – 2-for-4 with three walks
  • Hanley Ramirez – 5-for-9 with a double
  • Jose Reyes – 0-for-6 with a walk
  • Gaby Sanchez – 1-for-6

Many feel that Josh Johnson’s struggles this season is one of the big reasons the Marlins are near the cellar in the NL East. Josh Johnson, like a majority of his teammates, has been very inconsistent.

After going winless in April (0-3 in five starts with a 5.34 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP), Johnson was a perfect 3-0 in six starts in May with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP … coincidentally the Marlins’ best month of the season. Statistically, June was Johnson’s best month (2-2 in five starts with a 1.87 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP) and he has struggled mightily in his last two outings to the tune of a 0-1 record with a 8.71 ERA and a 1.94 WHIP.

Johnson has struggled on the road this year (1-2 in seven starts with a 5.45 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP) and the Cubs’ offense must be patient against him tonight. Johnson has struggled with his command and is not missing many bats right now.

Josh Johnson faced the Cubs back on April 17. The Marlins won the game but Johnson did not receive a decision. Johnson allowed two runs on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts in seven innings … and the Marlins won the game in the eighth after Hanley Ramirez hit a three-run shot off Rafael Dolis.

Josh Johnson is 0-1 in four career games, three starts, against the Cubs with a 5.12 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 0-1 in two games, one start, with a 8.53 ERA and a 2.05 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Josh Johnson

  • Darwin Barney – 3-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-3
  • Steve Clevenger – 1-for-3 with a double
  • David DeJesus – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-5 with a home run
  • Bryan LaHair – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-16 with a double
  • Geovany Soto – 2-for-5 with a home run and a walk

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO


  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Randy Wells was placed on Iowa’s DL today with a right elbow strain

    • John_CC

      And the list of possible rotation fillers get slimmer. That could spell the end of Wells’ career, at least for the Cubs one would think.

      • Zonk

        His career had a chance to continue? :)
        With a $3 mil salary, he is a guaranteed non-tender,

        • John_CC

          Right. I hope he socked some of that loot away.

    • J Daniel

      To many 12 oz. curls?

  • Ripsnorter1

    Cubs are 17th in MLB in quality starts. Our pitching has carried us to 28th in MLB. We are two games ahead of Houston, and one ahead of Colorado.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Dude, Rip, if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all. You’re very knowledgeable and I appreciate your insight but you’re negativity is out of control. If you detest Team Theo and everything about the new Cubs so much why do you still follow them so closely? And to that same point, why do you shower all of us on the CCO with your venom? I’m sure you are well meaning but you’re act is wearing thin…you seem out of control.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Just think how good this team will be if the Cubs actually do trade Dempster and Garza away. The starting pitching has actually carried us out of the cellar. We are 13-5 in the last 18 games, with a starting pitching ERA of 1.00.

        In short, I thought I posted the facts of the case.

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      Hey Rip,
      You predicted this “lose on the cheap” team months and months ago while all the rest of us were still drinking the blue koolaid.
      I am sure you are glad to see our recent successes, but always keep us realistic.
      Thanks.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I am being realistic. The Cubs’ pitching has saved the day. This team would be way horrible if we were 29th in MLB in quality starts. Nothing poison about the post.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          My comment was more directed at your TEAM THEO rant. Stating facts is what you do best. It’s the vitriol that I grow tired of reading…

  • Vivid_Reality

    Red Sox reportedly interested in moving Carl Crawford. He is owed 102.5m through the rest of his contract not including this year. It would be interesting to see how much the Sox would be willing to eat to move him. Picking him up at pennies on the dollar might be a smart investment if he can revert back to form. I’d give the Sox Lake+ if they ate 60 to 75% of his contract, assuming Fonzi or Dejesus got moved.

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

      not that im a big fan of bringing in another huge contract on an oft injured player, but if they got him, id think it would be a swap where theyd prob take fonzi back along with prospects like Lake and not eat any salary. We would be off the hook for the monies owed Soriano and in moving that bad contract they take on something thats much more managable. But again, not really keen on this idea.

      • Aaron

        Not a chance that happens. First of all, Team Theo is trying to rid themselves of awful contracts, NOT add them, which is why they took an awful pitcher back for Zambrano (Volstad). They’d rather surrender Soriano for a low-A ball player not living up to his potential and eat 100% of his salary than accept another bad contract in return. Crawford is signed another 5 years (35 yrs old) after this year. After a year or two, you’re already looking at Baez, Vitters, Lake, Szczur, Soler, and possibly even Almora and Vogelbach knocking on the door (and the reason I even mention current non-OFers like Vogelbach, Baez, Vitters, and Lake, is you never know about position moves. Plus, so much of his game relies on speed and he’s already in his 30′s

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

          Yeah i completely agree, was just saying that if that was the case and we were interested im sure wed be making them take back Sorianos bad contract. I dont like the idea of this one bit. I did read earlier today that Boston was in talks with the Marlins in a deal of Crawford for Hanley and Bell. Man bostons been trying to get Hanley back ever since they traded him lol.

    • cubtex

      Yea. What crazy GM gave Crawford that ridiculous contract???

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

        I really dont think all the bad contracts there are 100% on Theo. The owners battle with the yanks and Steinbrenner had alot to do with things. Kind of a, we have to pay him so they dont get him type of thing. And the Yanks were players for Crawford too at the time. Im sure John Henry went to Theo and said do whatever it takes so the guys in NY dont get him before us.

        • cubs1967

          um…..kinda like when the tribune co told JH to spend-spend-even mcdonough helped out adding 2 yrs to sori’s 6 yr deal…….it can’t be one way for Jh and diff just cuz it’s team Theo.

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

            Did I even bring up Hendry? Nope, but regardless, its a different situation between NY and Boston, they are always competing for the same FAs and it runs prices up. As far as Hendry goes Soriano wasnt his only bad deal. Now maybe trib told him to make the Bradley deal and the Fuko deal, im not sure. But I didnt mention him one bit. As far as im concerned its pointless to even mention his name anymore. it is the past and we are moving forward with Team Theo. it really is a shame that people want to continue to compare the two and not just be happy that we are moving on in a positive direction.

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

            And if i remember correctly the market on Soriano wasnt even competitive, Werent we bidding agaisnt ourselves. So yeah i guess the two situations arent even similar at all.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From ESPN Chicago: Soler to DH in AZ league tomorrow. First game action. Almora not ready for games yet.

    • paulcatanese

      No time like yesterday to see what he can or cannot do,
      glad he is starting to play.

      • Dorasaga

        I like your positive thinking. It must be wisdom that came with a veteran.
        :-))

  • cubtex

    I think the Garza to Toronto has a lot of substance. Toronto has a hard time attracting free agents to sign with them which is why they bid pretty heavily on Yu Darvish. They need to aquire the majority of their talent(other than homegrown) via trade. Since Garza has another year of control…..I can see Alex Anthopoulos parting with some very good prospects to aquire him and try and lock Garza up to an extension. It makes sense and the Jays have a very good farm system to make it work.

    • SuzyS

      Just saw on mlbtraderumors that the Rays are looking to bolster their team w/catcher & rotation the prime need. Thoughts on the Rays as a trade partner???

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

        Well if they are down on Matt Moore and hes a possiblitly then a package of him and Tim Beckham or gettin Lee back might not be bad. Aside from Moore and Archer they are generally considered a very pitching rich farm, but I dont see anything myself thats overly impressive. I dont know their farm all to well though. Just in looking at prospect lists and stats for them, Not to impressed. Matt Moore would seal any deal though if he was included, especially if it was a Dempster, Wellington Castillo trade. I dont think theyd want Soto, maybe they would though. If not id rather deal with Detroit and Toronto

        • Dorasaga

          The Cubs dont need Lee back. Baez has flashed more talents. Castro is a lock the next 3 years. I believe the Cubs will want to dip into Tampa’s pool of LHP.

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

            Yeah i agree, was just stating the prospects that they have in tampa, It doesnt seem like much of a talented system, though i hear they are pitching rich. My main target of their system for me would be Moore if they are begining to sour on him. But yeah Im not really that high on Lee anyways hes not hitting well in AAA this year and didnt after his promotion last year either.

          • Dorasaga

            I watched both Moore and Price for years, and be impressed. A little research on fangraphs says Moore was selected 2007, same year as Price, but round eight. Price fast-tracked and, next year, immediately closed for Tampa all the way to World Series.

            We just know Rays got good LHP development. Other names from their system:

            Alex Torres, 8-th season with the org., AAA., traded for Kazmir from the Halo.

            Enny Romero, 5-th season, A+. Fireballer but you wonder…

            Jake McGee, big leaguer, still eligible as a rookie this year.

            Braulio Lara, A+.

            Kyle Lobstein, AA.

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

            Thanks, Ill have to look into those guys, I know McGee and Torres, but if they are having talks with Tampa im gonna have to find out who were lookin at. Much Appreciated.

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

            I dont know Tampas system that well, maybe you could help us out, who are the LHPs we should take a look at?

        • SuzyS

          Mike…thanks for the reply…I’m not so sure Castillo would be included in a trade just now. I see Soto maybe going first. While I’m not sold on Wellington…until we have another higher level catching prospect in the system…I just don’t see him being traded.
          I’m with you…I don’t know that much about Tampa’s system…except it’s supposed to be good.

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

            Yeah I agree that Soto should be the first to go over Castillo, but in all reality im shocked that Neil posted something earlier that there actually is interest in him. I wouldnt expect that many teams would be beating down the door for Soto. But apparently there are some teams that are interested. So i amend my earlier statement and replace Castillo with Soto lol.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Long inning for Samardzija, but no runs. A couple of pitches looked like strikes to me

    • Dorasaga

      A tense game so far. We really need Shark to show consistency from now on. He’s on pitch-count limit for the rest of the year, may be shut down anytime, so he needs to give his all and learn to adjust… Then not all is lost; I’ll enjoy this inning then go to bed…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent play by Barney to tag Bonifacio

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

    Great play by Barney!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Already more than 60 pitches for Samardzija with two outs in the third.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    85 pitches for Samardzija after four

    • BosephHeyden

      When he gets squeezed, he gets squeezed. He should be spotted an inning or two.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with #8 … breaks up no-hit and shutout with one swing.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I am watching the FL broadcast…Bonifacio on that triple was dogging it to 1st base and 2nd base….he just kicked it when the ball didn’t go out…..

    Soto dropping the ball didn’t help Samardzija too much…

    • Tony_Hall

      Bonifacio has some wheels.

  • Tony_Hall

    Cubs need waves and waves of pitching…

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-epstein-cubs-need-waves-and-waves-of-pitching-prospects-20120718,0,658634.story

    “As a whole, not specifically regarding these potential deals that are coming, we need to add a lot of pitching to the system. It’s not enough to have a handful or two. You need waves and waves coming through your system, and we don’t have that. We don’t hardly even have one wave coming, so we need to rebuild a lot of pitching depth.”

    Asked if the Cubs could be competitive by next year, Epstein said: “We’re hoping we’re very competitive very soon. But yet, wanting it to be so doesn’t make it so. You have to build an organization.”

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

      This is definitely something Theo and the rest noticed, hence all the pitching taken in the draft after Almora. It doesnt take much looking at our farm to see we are horribly lacking in that department.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Pitiful. Soto just dropped the ball.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent job by Samardzija

  • Ripsnorter1

    Who is the #2 PH in all of MLB?

    Tony Campana at .500.

    As soon as I saw that, I thought, why doesn’t Team Theo send him down now?

  • Tony_Hall

    So that’s how a pitcher throws the ball to first.

    Set his feet, look at the base, and throw….

  • cubtex

    This just in……Bryan LaHair actually put a ball in play! A productive out advancing Soriano to 3rd. Soto comes through and drives in go ahead run.

  • Tony_Hall

    Big inning from the bottom half of the order!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    … And the game is in delay.

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

      Good news!

      Never heard about that almost deal to the Pittsburgh last year. I wonder what was on the table? Hendry was defacto GM at that point, right?

  • http://twitter.com/MattWeaverSBN Matt Weaver

    Hey guys, Just tuning and saw a bit of the eighth inning. What in the hell was Farrell doing?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Pushing his new movie … they threw out the first pitch after announcing the starting lineup.

      • http://twitter.com/MattWeaverSBN Matt Weaver

        I wish they hadn’t.

  • cubtex

    When Dempster and Garza are dealt…….Brooks Raley deserves a callup as a filler. Another good start tonight. He has put together several quality starts. The least it would do is cause a little Aggie and Longhorn banter between James Russell and Raley!

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

      Good call, i havent heard much about him but his numbers arent half bad. Is there any scouting report on him, his pitches, velocity etc. Tom U could you assist?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Game called, Cubs win 5-1.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Marlins 5-1 in 8 innings Wednesday night – Jeff Samardzija:
    1R, 6H, 3BB, 9K, 5IP; Starlin Castro: 1-for-3, HR, BB; Geovany Soto: 1-for-3,RBI,R; Alfonso Soriano:
    1-for-3,R; Jeff Baker: Pinch-hit, 2 run double

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

      And we are that much closer to that magic number of wins, 63. 25 more wins till we assure ourselves of not having a 100 loss season. Some of us will be very busy eating crow.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

  • Ripsnorter1

    Soto is moving inexorably up to the Mendoza line….

    I’m so proud of him.

    He and Ian Stewart both have an OPS of .627.
    Pathetic, really. But Tony Campana is worse at .613. And Koyie Hill, God bless him, had an OPS of .385. I didn’t know the number could get that low myself…..

    You wonder how the Cubs could be 29th in MLB in runs scored.

  • paulcatanese

    Speaking of Campana, where is he? I think the bat boy gets more action than he has lately.
    Dont like to see that, trade him, send him down, whatever, even release him, but dont just let him sit there collecting dust.

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

    hopefully hes somewhere learning how to bunt.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Paul,
    This is TEAM THEO.

    You have no right to question their wisdom.
    NO RIGHT AT ALL.

    DO YOU GET IT?

    YOU CAN’T QUESTION THEIR WISDOM!

    DO YOU UNDERSTAND?

    THIS IS TEAM THEO! TEAM THEO!

  • triple

    Since the Cubs have gone 12-6 in the last 18 games, Campy’s been inserted into 9 games and has gone 2 for 8. Sure he got off to a hot start, but his BA has been in free fall since April 21 when he was brought up. The only thing that has stopped his free fall is the bench. His only weapon is speed, so he’s limited to a PR in a close game. Between Campana and LaHair, it’s a no-brainer to go with the left handed power bat, even if he’s not batting much better right now. I think it’s right to keep him as a bench player as his speed and defense can be important late in any 1-run game.

  • paulcatanese

    It may be something as simple as not watching the ball hit the bat, or not following it in all the way(pulling his eyes off too soon).
    Notice all the good hitters (slow motion) you can see their eyes on the ball at impact.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Thank you for the constant reminder

  • J Daniel

    Really!