Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Dodgers – 08/05/12

Game One Hundred Six: Cubs (43-62) vs. Dodgers (58-50)
Game Time – 3:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles

Justin Germano (1-1, 3.38/1.32) vs. Joe Blanton (8-9, 4.59/1.19)

Updated 11:58am CDTAccording to multiple reports, the Cubs have recalled Josh Vitters from Triple-A Iowa and have also called up Brett Jackson from Triple-A Iowa. Corresponding roster moves have not been announced. Jackson will have to be added to the 40-man roster, which currently stands at 39 players.

Updated 12:20pm CDTJeff Baker has been traded to the Tigers for Two Players to Be Named Later.

Updated 12:22pm CDT - Tony Campana Optioned to Triple-A Iowa

After taking two of three from the Dodgers at Wrigley, the Cubs need a win this afternoon in order to finish the season series against the Dodgers with a .500 record. The Cubs are not hitting and will turn to Justin Germano to end the four-game skid. Germano actually started and posted a victory the last time the Cubs won a game.

The Cubs have been outscored 22-6 over the last four games after putting 14 runs on the board six days ago.

Aaron Harang was penciled in to start this afternoon’s game but has been pushed back a day. Joe Blanton will make his Dodgers’ debut instead. Blanton was scheduled to start Friday night for the Phillies but was traded a few hours before game time.

In other news … It appears Matt Garza will start Tuesday’s game in San Diego. Garza completed his bullpen session Saturday and declared himself good to go for Tuesday. If Garza is unable to pitch Tuesday, the Cubs will likely recall Casey Coleman or could turn to lefty Brooks Raley according to the Sun-Times. In order for Brooks Raley to make his Major League debut he would have to be added to the 40-man roster, which currently has one open spot.

This afternoon it all starts with Justin Germano

Justin Germano is coming off his first win at the big league level since August 28, 2007. Germano held the Pirates in check before the offense turned it on against Erik Bedard and put the game away. Germano allowed two runs on four hits in five innings of work. Germano hit his spots again and issued two walks while striking out three.

For as good as the Pirates offense had been to that point, Germano will face a much more dangerous lineup today than the one he faced six days ago.

This afternoon will be Germano’s third appearance, second start, in a Cubs’ uniform.

Justin Germano has never beaten the Dodgers. In six games, five starts, Germano is 0-4 with a 5.93 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP … at Dodger Stadium, 0-3 in three starts with a 8.80 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP. The last time Germano faced the Dodgers was on April 4, 2008 in a Padres’ uniform.

Dodgers Career Numbers against Justin Germano

  • Andre Ethier – 1-for-4 with three walks
  • Tony Gwynn Jr. – 0-for-3
  • Matt Kemp – 6-for-11 with a home run
  • James Loney – 5-for-11 with two doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Hanley Ramirez – 0-for-3
  • Shane Victorino – 1-for-3

Joe Blanton will make his Dodgers’ debut this afternoon and just the fourth start of his career at Dodger Stadium (1-0 in three starts with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP). Blanton was throwing the ball rather well for the Phillies before making his way to L.A. on Friday. Blanton was a hard-luck loser in his last outing. Blanton held the Braves to two runs on four hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in seven innings. Blanton has struck out 13 batters and walked only two in his last 15 innings of work (two starts).

Joe Blanton finished his last month in a Phillies’ uniform with a 1-3 record in five starts with a 3.82 RA and a 1.05 WHIP … since the break, 1-1 in three starts with a 2.74 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP.

Joe Blanton beat the Cubs in Philadelphia on April 28. The Cubs managed only two runs on eight hits over 7 1/3 innings while Blanton struck out eight and did not walk a batter. For his career, Blanton is 1-0 in five starts against the Cubs with a 2.91 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Joe Blanton

  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-4
  • Tony Campana – 1-for-1
  • Welington Castillo – 0-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 4-for-9
  • David DeJesus – 4-for-18 with a double
  • Bryan LaHair – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Joe Mather – 0-for-3
  • Alfonso Soriano – 7-for-21 with two doubles, a triple and three walks

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Posted in game recap this morning. Nothing new to report yet.

    There is a reliable report that Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters are in LA today and in a Cubs’ uniform. Nothing from the mainstream media and the report has confirmed it is Brett Jackson and not Clayton Kershaw.

    Will post when I can confirm.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Carrie Muskat indicated that Jackson and Vitters are on their way to LA. Different from the earlier report that both are already with the team. Will post once confirmed along with the corresponding roster moves.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Reports are confirmed that Jackson and Vitters have been called up. Nothing official, no word on roster moves or if the two will be in the lineup today.

    • calicub

      So wwho are the odd men out?

      Campana and Valbuena

      or

      Mather and Jeff Baker?

      Id pick the latter… although the former would be easier as far as the roster goes

      • calicub

        and as i post Jeff Baker gets traded. 2nd most fun i’ve ha this season. July 31st being the most

  • RMercer69

    Neil…is the feeling that they will be in the starting lineup today?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Jeff Baker has been traded to Detroit

      • matthew8510

        yes baker gone bout time

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Mixed reports, speculation is yes.

      Baker has been traded to the Tigers.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Baker has been traded to the Tigers for two PTBNL, Tony Campana optioned to Triple-A Iowa

    • calicub

      Paul is going to be crushed!

    • Zonk

      Surprised that many teams took a pass on Baker on waivers….not that he’s great, but he’s cheap and has a couple skills.
      I’m sure the players coming back will be nothing special

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Sun-Times reporting Brett Jackson is in the starting lineup

    • Zonk

      I saw the lineup card, but are you sure that’s not Clayton Kershaw playing CF and batting 2nd?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Positive

        • Zonk

          If Carrie Muskat reported it, it must be true

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Actually Carrie did not have the story first today about the call-ups, Brian Bedo and Jordan Bernfield did.

          • The Maven

            You must be thinking of Dickey Dunn.

  • RMercer69

    Exciting to see the Cubs future on display. It should provide some answers for our future and how we proceed forward.

    Will be real interesting to see where everybody is slotted in the batting order.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    DeJesus – RF
    Jackson – CF
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Castro – SS
    Castillo – C
    Valbuena – 3B
    Barney – 2B
    Germano – P

    • BosephHeyden

      So…8/9 of the lineup is right. It’s just that pesky third base that needs work.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I’d never pay $10 million for that RF, either. Make that 7/9th of the lineup….

        • cubtex

          I read a couple of reports that teams had zero interest in DeJesus at the trade deadline. They didn’t want him under a 2 year deal and the main reason…….he is not that good.

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

            If his wife were more like Sandburgs, teams would be lining up for him.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Lining up for medical treatment?

          • Ripsnorter1

            He’s a $10 million dollar bust. Incredibly bad signing.

  • RMercer69

    Couple observations:

    Vitters not in the starting lineup…would like to know why?

    With the characters in the lineup today, it looks to be extremely difficult to construct a batting order that fits. There are a lot of guys that don’t fit in their spots in the order.

    • calicub

      yeah castro in the 5 hole rubs me a bit weirdly but what can ya do?

  • Ripsnorter1

    Why is Joe Mather still on this team?

    • Zonk

      I’m not defending Joe Mather mind you…but who else would we put in that spot? It doesn’t make sense to call-up a youngster to have him sit on bench, and they need someone who can play several positions

      No idea why he ever plays CF though……he’s not good out there

      • Zonk

        I really hope Brett Jackson does well. I have my doubts though, he needs to make more contact than he did at Iowa to succeed. If he doesn’t, he’ll go the same way as Brian Anderson and Joe Borchard, 2 toolsy CFs for the south-siders that couldn’t overcome difficulties with the K.

        • J Daniel

          Hope you are wrong but your statements are true.

      • Ripsnorter1

        He’s absolutely horrible at 3B, too. So why not keep Campana and keep Paul happy?

        • J Daniel

          Ya, tough birthday present for Paul!

        • Zonk

          That would leave Valbuena as the only backup infielder. And Campana isn’t going to play, unless we bench B-Jax, LaHair, DeJesus, or Soriano.

          Mather is just roster filler to get through this season. He won’t be back.

          • J Daniel

            Campana is going to play in Iowa. He does need to play. Not sure what the dislike was but in a lost year it might have been good to see if he could hit .250 and steal 60 bases? Scotty Podz wasn’t the greatest but his speed impacted the game.

          • J Daniel

            And correct, Mather will not be back. Can’t imagine Valbuena will be either.

          • Zonk

            I could possibly see Valbuena coming back. He did have a nice 1/2 season at Iowa, and we will need a veteran utility infielder next year. We also don’t figure to spend much on our bench. Valbuena will be cheap and available.
            But who knows.

          • Tom U

            Today’s minor league starters:

            Boise – Ian Dickson (3-3, 4.38)
            Peoria – Michael Jensen (9-4, 3.40)
            Daytona – TBA; PJ Francescon (2-5, 3.86) projected
            Tennessee – TBA; Eric Jokisch (7-2, 2.99) projected
            Iowa – Casey Coleman (2-4, 5,01)

            Comments:

            For those who are concerned about Brett Jackson. Remember, in the not too distant past, it would have been Jeff Frazier instead of Jackson being called up.

            Ditto that for Josh Vitters, and insert Blake DeWitt for Frazier.

            Hopefully, this will signal a massive move by the system. Justin Bour and Logan Watkins moving to Iowa, Rubi Silva and Rafael Lopez to Tennessee, Chadd Krist and Pin-Chieh Chen to Daytona, and Gioskar Amaya and Dan Vogelbach to Peoria is a rotation I would like to see.

            Expect Lendy Castillo to be recalled soon to the parent club and inserted in the starting rotation. He has just been promoted to Tennessee.

            For those keeping track, Javier Baez was 0-4 in his Daytona debut (surprisingly, that didn’t make it to Twitter)

            At this moment, Dustin Geiger and PIn-Chieh Chen are two of the hottest hitters in the organization.

            Boise has 3 players in the top 10 in hitting (Gioskar Amaya, Stephen Bruno, Jeimer Candelario) while Tayler Scott is 3rd in ERA (1.71)

          • The Maven

            Jeff Frazier?????

            REALLY??!!

          • Tom U

            Here’s something else for everyone to chew on. Prior to promoting Brett Jackson, the organization seriously considered bringing in Dave Sappelt, who is hitting .311 since July 1.

            With that in mind, don’t be surprised to see a deal similar to Baker’s in the future, involving Reed Johnson.

          • cubtex

            Reed is already gone Tom :)

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

            lol, I thought I had missed something.

          • Tom U

            Sorry, still in vacation mode. Insert Joe Mather instead.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Duane Underwood is making his first start today.

          • J Daniel

            They do need a cheap veteran utility guy for sure. Could be him. Who knows. Since Dusty is gone I know it won’t be Neifi Perez.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Cardenas. You know, Aaron’s boy that busted up the no-hitter by A.J. Burnett. He’s a backup INF, isn’t he?

  • matthew8510

    ya why jackson and not vitters ,maybe vitters missed the plane

    • J Daniel

      Maybe to give all posters something to complain about.

    • The Maven

      Don’t you know? Jackson bats ahead of Vitters!

      • cubtex

        Alright! BJax and Vitters called up! No better time than the present with this sorry team. The only thing I would do differently is keep Castro where he is at in the 2 hole. Why move Castro for BJax now? Bat BJax lower in the lineup where he will not have to think as much and just hit. But again…..I am just happy they will play. Next…… Vitters for Valbuena on an everyday basis.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Look for Castro to be dealt in a waiver deal for two PTBNL….maybe Fontenot or Baker……LOL

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Sun-Times: Sveum says Jackson to start 80-90% games. Vitters mix and match, to start vs. most LHPs.

    • Zonk

      Very strange with Vitters…..you would think they would play him every day. Maybe they want to build his confidence, given that he has always started slow after moving up a level. Let’s hope that trend breaks.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        His defense. The coaches will be working with him and the more improvement he makes, the more he will play. Lots of room for improvement in that part of his game.

    • cubtex

      That’s ridiculous. Play him everyday. He doesn’t need to sit against rhp for Valbuena.

  • J Daniel

    I do question why Castro is in the 5 hole? Do they feel Jackson would be a #2 hitter because he sees a lot of pitches and therefore that is where they are putting him? I don’t have any input on the lineup but like Castro at #2.

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

      maybe its a matter of trying to give bjax some of that protection that everyone is saying soriano provides rizzo, We all know castros gonna hit, protection or not. So maybe to get bjax off to a better start they want to protect him with Rizzo. Eventually with bjax pop and k rate i dont see him in the 2 slot, more the 5 or 6 spot.

      • J Daniel

        Yes, you are correct! That is why I don’t make the lineup card!

  • RMercer69

    Neil, so any concrete answers as to why Jackson and not Vittters today?

    • BosephHeyden

      Sveum says they’re platooning Vitters and Valbuena “for the time being”. I’m getting sick of this platoon crap: I know that Vitters has questionable defense, but Valbuena keeps switching between .190 and .200. I don’t care how well he hits with runners on, because it clearly isn’t winning games (it’s a corner infield Koyie Hill). Just let him play every day: experience is the best teacher, and the platoon system hasn’t worked so far.

      • Baron_S

        Oh hell no!! Valbuena … get him outta there!

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Brett Jackson with first hit of his career, a single to right on 2-2 pitch off Joe Blanton

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

          “Corner infield Koyie Hill.” Love the comparison…

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Nothing concrete. As I mentioned below, I think it has to do with his defense for now. The more improvements he makes with the coaching staff, the more he will play.

      • RMercer69

        Not sure 1-2 days is gonna be a huge deal for his D all of a sudden. Would have have less pressure starting on the same day with BJax. Now, ALL eyes on him when his day comes. JMO

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          It will give the staff a chance to evaluate. He should start tomorrow against the lefty Stults.

  • paulcatanese

    I step out for groceries and come back, THE CUBS HAVE FALLEN APART!!! Campana gone?
    Seriously, I am glad for him, it made no sense whatsoever just sitting on the bench. Baseball is a game that is played on the field.
    Personaly I dont think he will be back and has had his season of glory.It was fun for me while it lasted, and wish him well.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Do you want to bet that Campana’s .259 will be a higher BA that Brett Jackson’s 2012 BA?

      • RMercer69

        You would like that wouldn’t you?

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

          I have a feeling that if the front office/ manager did everything Rip wanted them to do he would still get on here and criticize them.

          • RMercer69

            Exactly, Mike.

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

          One thing I have to say is Team Theo has done a great job in picking up free agents and players discarded by other teams. Camp, DeJesus, Germano, Maholm; even the decision to re-sign Johnson and Baker. These are all moves that have benefited the Cubs and in a couple of cases they brought us young players in return. The only deal I can think of that didn’t go the Cubs way was Stewart and that was a flyer based on the hope that he could stay healthy. You can argue that Joe Mather either was or wasn’t a good signing. He’s played and produced a little, and given the youth movement, you need guys like him to play a few innings here and there so overall I’d say Mather did what we thought he would do and possibly even overachieved a bit.

          • Baron_S

            I really hope they leave these 2 guys up for the rest of the season… I’d MUCH rather see them than Dejesus and company —-
            Theres no experience like big league experience.

          • cubtex

            here here!

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Here comes Vitters

  • RMercer69

    Just read on Twitter from a Dodger journalist that when Loney showed up at the clubhouse today he wasn’t late, but didn’t get to the park very early either. He said that when Loney walked in, Victorino looked at his wrist and said:” you MFers better start showing up earlier around here!” Love it, already making his prescence felt. This prescence is something that the Cubs will need to add or come from the current cast as these kids continue to grow over the next couple years.

    • RMercer69

      If you think about it, this Cubs team may be a similar version of the current Dodgers were some years ago when Loney, Either, and Kemp were coming up. We need some young arms that they had at that time too like Kershaw and Billingsley. A veteran prescence like Victorino has been rumored to be needed on the Dodgers for quite some time now.

  • cc002600

    I really really really don’t understand the thought process of bringing up Vitters to then have him sit more than half the time, which is what will happen if he is platooned. These games are absolutely meaningless, are they worried about losing 96 games instead of 93 ? WTF
    I have said this for the last 2 months and I stand by it….Vitters is not their guy. Theo / Jed do not like him for some reason. This just proves it to me.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Let’s see how it plays out over the next few weeks

      • J Daniel

        EXACTLY! He is up. Let them take care of their job.

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

      Maybe they know Vitters track record of initially struggling at every level hes gone to and want to put him in the best position to not go through those struggles. Get off the ledge and have a little patience and see what happens.

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

    Patience people!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Speaking of stubborn players who only want to play for the Dodgers…….add Mr. Alfonso Soriano to that list.

    Yup. Soriano refused to consider the Giants, who had taken enough stupid pills to actually consider picking him up from the Cubs. They figured they needed a limping OF with no speed to cover the spacious dimensions of AT&T park.

    But the deal was nixed by both Soriano and the Cubs. The Cubs didn’t want to send enough cash along with Soriano, who would not have gone anyway, so it’s all a moot point.

    http://www.sfgate.com/giants/shea/article/Soriano-and-Giants-Not-meant-to-be-3763437.php

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

      If its all Moot, why are you harping on about it?

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

        Soriano has been raking. Why wouldn’t a team in need of offense want him? Other than the contract? If a team picked up Soriano I think they may be taking “smart pills.” I said before, if you think you’re one big bat away from contending for a title, a GM would be smart to pick up Alfonso. Particularly a GM in the AL, where he could be amongst the league leaders in most offensive power categories if he didn’t have to play in the field.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Brett Jackson did not deserve this call up. Not hitting well enough to deserve it. But if you are picked high enough in the draft…….

    • cubtex

      Deserved or not. Let’s give him some playing time. Why not? He has some skills and upside. Would you rather see LaHair play? Lol

      • Ripsnorter1

        You are right. Bench LaHair. Please. Play Jackson. Play Campana.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    DeJesus with a walk, B.Jax advanced with a foul ball and Rizzo drives in DeJesus … then Rizzo forgets how many outs. Wierd first inning.

  • cubtex

    What do you think people would be saying on here if that was Castro instead of Rizzo who just had that braincramp? Just sayin.

    • Cory

      Trade him ASAP!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Not just here, everywhere.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Jackson with a 4-pitch walk

      • cubtex

        lol. you are right about that

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo made the bullet hit by Loney look routine.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Welington Castillo with a BIG fly to right center

  • cubtex

    Alright! Like I said the other day….Let Castillo, BJax and Vitters play EVERY DAY the rest of the year. Castillo could use a blow every now and then and you can give Clevenger a few innings here and there…..but these 3 could be starters.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Nice single by Jackson … glad Brenly pointed out how well Jackson has hit against lefties this season.

  • cubtex

    BJax with a nice debut!

    • cubtex

      Soriano turned on that fastball!

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Soriano with a double, Jackson scored from first.

  • cubtex

    Hang that Russell! Terrible pitch and Eithier ripped it!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo with a game-tying homer

    • Zonk

      From the Wire: Rizzo is good

  • cubtex

    How about the day the 3 kids who started in AAA this year had? Rizzo,Castillo and BJax!

  • Dorasaga

    Is this deja-vu? The Dodgers West swept the Cubs in Division Series, 2008. Now, they did it again! Dempster imploded in that series, while Z didn’t have it, but kept the Cubs in the race, though his teammates have been hitless.

    • cubtex

      Don’t count on many wins this month.

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

      The only difference here is that Ryan Dempster wasn’t around to wet the bed in game #1

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 7-6 to Dodgers on Sunday afternoon – Justin Germano: 2R, 3H, 0BB, HBP, 3K, 5.1IP; Anthony Rizzo:2-for-4, HR, 3RBI, SAC; Alfonso Soriano: 1-for-5, 2B, 2RBI;
    Welington Castillo: 2-for-5, HR; Brett Jackson: 2-for-4, BB, R

  • cubtex

    Entertaining game. Wellington Castillo and Rizzo with bombs. BJax with 2 hits. Soriano with a 2 run double to give the team the lead. Bullpen is still brutal…..but at least this game could give us a peak at next year. LaHair on bench. Clevenger on bench. Next…Valbuena on bench.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Garza sent back to Chicago after feeling stiffness in his arm following bullpen session. Likely headed to the DL. Casey Coleman pitched today, so they will have to add someone to the roster.