Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 07/28/12

Game Ninety-Nine: Cubs (40-58) vs. Cardinals (54-46)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 89/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jeff Samardzija (7-8, 4.25/1.30) vs. Joe Kelly (1-3, 2.78/1.37)

As the non-waiver trade deadline nears the Cubs will look to end their five-game losing streak against the Cardinals behind Jeff Samardzija this afternoon. Samardzija is coming off arguably his best start of the season. But can he cool off the Cardinals’ offense? The Redbirds have scored 32 runs in the last four games against the Cubs while Dale Sveum’s offense has put just seven runs on the board … and six of those came in Friday’s loss.

In other news … The Cubs plans for Matt Garza could have changed Friday. While rumors have persisted that the Cubs could just keep Garza and try to sign him to an extension, the Cubs are looking to add pitching to a very weak system and the thought was that Garza could net them the best return. The Cubs announced Friday that Garza would not pitch again until after the deadline. An MRI showed a trace of fluid in Garza’s triceps area but nothing is wrong with his elbow. The Cubs are not expected to place Garza on the DL but the earliest he would return is Friday’s opener in Los Angeles.

The Cubs announced their rotation for the upcoming Pirates’ series. Right now, to be determined is scheduled for Monday, Ryan Dempster is penciled in for Tuesday’s start and Travis Wood is slated to pitch Wednesday’s finale. Justin Germano could end up getting the start on Monday.

Blake Parker threw off a mound for the first time Friday since being placed on the 60-day DL.

This afternoon all starts with Jeff Samardzija …

Jeff Samardzija is coming off one of his best starts of his season. Samardzija held the high-flying Bucs offense to one infield hit over eight shutout innings. Samardzija struck out five, walked one and kept his pitch count low. If not for a 27-minute top of the ninth, Samardzija might have had a chance to finish what he started.

Samardzija has shown signs of being a viable starter option for the Cubs going forward. Samardzija must work on his consistency moving forward. After just a miserable June (0-4 in five starts with a 10.41 ERA and a 2.06 WHIP), Samardzija is 2-1 in his last four starts with a 1.67 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP … 29 strikeouts and seven walks with 18 hits allowed in 27 innings.

This afternoon will be Samardzija’s third start of the season against the Redbirds. Samardzija is 1-0 in the first two with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP … Samardzija pitched better against the Cardinals in his no decision than in the game he posted a victory. For his career, Samardzija is 3-2 in 15 games, four starts, against the Cardinals with a 5.29 ERA and a 1.91 WHIP.

Cardinals Career Number against Jeff Samardzija

  • Carlos Beltran – 3-for-6 with a walk
  • Lance Berkman – 1-for-3 with a walk
  • Matt Carpenter – 2-for-5 with a triple and a walk
  • Allen Craig – 2-for-4 with a double
  • Daniel Descalso – 0-for-6 with two walks
  • David Freese – 2-for-8
  • Rafael Furcal – 0-for-6
  • Matt Holliday – 3-for-11 with three walks
  • Jon Jay – 5-for-10
  • Yadier Molina – 6-for-12 with a double and a walk
  • Skip Schumaker – 3-for-11 with two walks

The Cubs will get their first look at right-hander Joe Kelly this afternoon. The Cardinals took Kelly in the third round of the 2009 draft. Kelly made his big league debut back on June 10 against the Indians and has done a good job for Mike Matheny.

Kelly gave up three runs, two earned, to the Dodgers in his last outing in six innings. Kelly has completed at least six innings of work in each of his last six starts. Kelly has struggled with issuing walks (17) but has limited his hits allowed (45) in his first 45 1/3 big league innings.

Joe Kelly is 0-3 in his last four starts with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP … on the road, 1-1 in three starts with a 3.50 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.

No one on the Cubs’ active roster has faced Joe Kelly at the big league level.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him." - Leo Aikman
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  • SuzyS

    I’m sure we’re all tired of the Ryan Dempster thing….However,
    I just read this Sun-Times piece and found it interesting to note
    that Ron Santo invoked his 10/5 rights years ago when he blocked a proposed trade to the California Angels. A week later,
    He accepted a trade to the White Sox for Steve Stone et al.
    “He didn’t want to leave Chicago and we loved him for it.”

    It does put things in perspective. I’d take another Steve Stone from the White Sox if there was one! Sigh!!!
    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/14041071-573/in-an-illogical-turn-of-events-ryan-dempsterhas-become-a-villain-to-cubs-fans.html

    • still waiting

      Another 40 years without a title will change your perspective.
      Its possible, however not likely since the Braves offer seems pretty darn good, that a better deal might come along.

    • paulcatanese

      I would take Steve Stone back as an announcer in a trade,
      great announcer. He, Brently, and Len would make a good team, leave the “Hawk” and “put him on the board”.

  • SuzyS

    From the department of the redundancy department:
    “Trade Deadline Looms Large As The Cubs Do Nothing.”

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Today’s lineup:

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

      • paulcatanese

        Baker at 2nd deserves a not like.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree Suzy, as the “domino” effect will happen. Hope not
      but it could very well happen. The first trade that fell thru to Atlanta will cause that.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Not a good start for Samardzija, needed a long outing from him and he’s already at 16 pitches after walking the bases loaded.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Baker with a horrible feed to Castro, looks like they got the ‘neighborhood call’

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Good job by Samardzija getting out of his jam.

      Will say this, Barney would have made that play look like a routine double play.

      • Tony_Hall

        Why is Baker starting instead of Barney? I sure hope it wasn’t so a team could see him play 2B…

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          They say to give Barney a day off.

          • paulcatanese

            As Charlie Sheen would say, “I understand”.

          • Tony_Hall

            It really is a good idea, as we are getting into August and they want him to keep his level of play up for a whole season.

          • Brp921

            Seems like Samardziga has settled in and is pitching well.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Samardzija did a good job of keeping his team in the game on a day he did not have his best stuff.

      • Tony_Hall

        On ESPN’s home page they make it easy to see the Top 10 WAR by batting, pitching, defense, and overall.

        Barney is 1st at 3.1 for just his defense, and Castro is 4th at 2.0

        2012 WINS ABOVE REPLACEMENT
        FIELDING WAR
        1 Darwin BarneyCHC 3.1
        2 Brendan RyanSEA 3.0
        3 Yunel EscobarTOR 2.2
        4 Starlin CastroCHC 2.0
        5 Brett LawrieTOR 1.9
        6 J.J. HardyBAL 1.8
        Andrelton SimmonsATL 1.8
        8 Mike AvilesBOS 1.7
        9 Alexi CasillaMIN 1.5
        10 Robinson CanoNYY 1.4

    • paulcatanese

      With Sveum being an ex-shortstop, he must have choked on that one.
      Got to be that its giving Barney a rest, no other reason for Baker to be at 2nd, can’t believe Sveum would be that dumb.
      And I look for Barney to be there before the end of the
      game especially if the Cubs were to have the lead.

  • Tony_Hall

    Giving up only one run after walking the first 3 batters is not too bad.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Not at all … sure missed Barney on Beltran’s grounder

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro is really squaring balls of late

    • Tony_Hall

      I would like to see him hit the mistake fastballs right down the middle out of the park.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Agreed, it will come. The changes he is making will help.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano with a triple to left

    • Tony_Hall

      Who said his legs are shot? I think I have on more than one occasion. In his younger days, he may of had an inside the park homerun.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        He looked good on that triple.

        • Tony_Hall

          He has looked good for quite awhile. Yet, I just needed a bat in my fantasy baseball league for an injury replacement, and I still couldn’t pick him up, because I am just not confident that he won’t get injured or his hitting will stop. Maybe that is why teams aren’t willing to trade for him, they just wonder when it will all stop. Plus he is still only about the 15th ranked LF in fantasy, so he is just producing about average for a LF.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            All due respect but I have not seen him run that smoothly in quite a while. Good to see.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree, not sure if anyone has every hit an inside the park home run in the left field corner at Wrigley, without someone falling down.

    • paulcatanese

      Whaaaaat? Darn guy is loafing again:):):)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Campana stole that base on Molina.

    • paulcatanese

      Yeah, well Sveum had his speed team in the game, Soriono and Campana:)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Reed with a bunt single …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro was safe … Sveum ejected

    • Brp921

      Good for sveum!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Trevor-Petersma/565104388 Trevor Petersma

    Settle down Marmol and just pitch…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Trevor-Petersma/565104388 Trevor Petersma

    Very nice play by Barney to end the game!!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Cardinals 3-2 Saturday afternoon – Jeff Samardzija: 2R,3H,6BB,7K,6IP;
    Alfonso Soriano: 1-for-4,3B,2RBI; David DeJesus: 2-for-3,R,BB; Starlin Castro: 1-for-4,2B,R

  • paulcatanese

    Johnson for pinch hitter of the year.
    Aside from that, he has to have at least 4-5 bunt singles this year.
    Difference between him and Campana, Johnson waits on the ball, and makes sure he makes contact for a good effort.

  • cubtex

    Imagine what this team’s record would be without Soriano? They would have the #1 pick locked up.

    • Tony_Hall

      Unfortunately, fangraphs says he has only been worth 2.8 Wins over a “replacement” level player, which is a guy in AAA. Baseball reference says only 1.7 WAR.

      With that said, he has had a very good year, ever since he listened to his coaches and went to a lighter bat.

      • cubtex

        Doesn’t fangraphs also say Barney is the best 2nd baseman in baseball?

        • Tony_Hall

          No, it’s baseball reference that puts more on the defensive side.

      • cubtex

        And also……fangraphs showed Garza as a top 15 starter in all of baseball last year. Couldn’t resist that little dig.lol

        • Tony_Hall

          It was a career year for him…

          • cubtex

            hahahahaha. that is why he has a career best WHIP……this year

          • Tony_Hall

            That’s because throwing errors by pitchers don’t count against WHIP…

          • cubtex

            it doesn’t effect your ERA either.

          • Tony_Hall

            Good thing…otherwise his would be over 4, in the weak ole NL Central.

      • cubtex

        What is Soriano on pace for this year Tony?????
        31 HR and 98 RBI?
        That is why that stat is totally flawed.

        • Tony_Hall

          It is based on wins over replacement. It has an assumption that all teams win XX amount of games. The Cubs, therefore, can not have much WAR as a team, and therefore, no players can have that high of a WAR.

          And if you look at LF, he is about 15th in MLB. Or league average LF.