Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Padres – 08/08/12

Game One Hundred Nine: Cubs (43-65) vs. Padres (48-64)
Game Time – 5:35pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV- Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – PETCO Park, San Diego

Jeff Samardzija (7-9, 4.37/1.32) vs. Clayton Richard (8-11, 4.01/1.22)

The Cubs long trip to the West Coast (0-5) comes to an end tonight with the series and season finale against the Padres (3-2). After sweeping the Friars at Wrigley back in May, the Cubs have lost the last two games by a combined score of 9-4. Not only has the offense been anemic since the trade deadline, the pitching staff has not fared much better. The Cubs have been outscored 38-16 during the seven-game losing streak.

Not only has Dale Sveum’s team struggled against left-handed starters this season (12-20), the Cubs have played bad ball of the road this year (16-41) and it doesn’t figure to get any easier tonight with the lefty Clayton Richard on the hill for the Padres.

With Matt Garza on the DL, Jeff Samardzija has the most tenure of any starter on the Cubs’ staff and Dale Sveum needs a long, efficient outing from Samardzija tonight. The bullpen has been used a lot over the last seven games and the Cubs do not have another day off for a week.

Alfonso Soriano is expected back in the starting lineup tonight. Soriano was a late-scratch Tuesday due to an injury he received sliding into second base in the sixth inning of Monday’s game.

In other news … The Cubs have used 46 different players this season, five short of the franchise mark set in 2000 (51). Only six players remain on the active roster from the 2011 Opening Day roster and 15 of the current 25-man active roster are new to the team this year.

Tonight all starts with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija is coming off a rough start in Los Angeles. Samardzija was sharp the first time through the lineup then his outing fell apart. Samardzija could not get through six innings and allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. Samardzija did not walk and batter and struck out three.

Samardzija posted a 2-1 record in five July starts with a 1.91 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP, since the break 1-1 in four starts with a 2.96 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

The road has not been too kind to Samardzija this season (4-6 in 12 starts with a 5.00 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP) and it will not get any easier for him this evening.

Jeff Samardzija beat the Padres back on May 29 at Wrigley after allowing three runs on eight hits with a walk and eight strikeouts in seven innings. Samardzija is 2-0 in three career appearances, one start, against the Friars with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP … Samardzija has thrown only 1/3 of an inning at PETCO Park.

Padres Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Yonder Alonso – 0-for-4
  • Alexi Amarista – 0-for-2
  • John Baker – 2-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Chris Denorfia – 0-for-3
  • Jesus Guzman – 0-for-1
  • Chase Headley – 0-for-4 with two walks
  • Mark Kotsay – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Cameron Maybin – 1-for-4 with a walk
  • Carlos Quentin – 3-for-5 with a double and a home run

Clayton Richard has been very inconsistent this season but when he’s been good, he’s been very good. Richard is coming off an excellent outing against the Mets. Richard held the Metropolitans to one run on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts in seven innings. Richard posted a 3-2 record in six June starts with a 2.21 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP then struggled in July to the tune of a 2-3 mark in six starts with a 5.09 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. Over his last five starts, 2-2 with a 4.36 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

Like so many pitchers, Clayton Richard thrives at PETCO Park. Richard is 5-4 in 10 starts in his home park with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

The former Southsider beat the Cubs the only time he faced them (one run on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings) on August 18, 2010 at Wrigley Field.

Cubs Career Numbers against Clayton Richard

  • Darwin Barney -1-for-4
  • Welington Castillo – 0-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-3 with a walk
  • David DeJesus – 2-for-8
  • Joe Mather – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-3 with a double

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    DeJesus – CF
    Barney – 2B
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Castro – SS
    Castillo – C
    Vitters – 3B
    Mather – RF
    Samardzija – P

  • cubtex

    Heard on mlb radio that the Cubs have made it public that LaHair will be a bench player the rest of the year. I had been very vocal about what Bryan LaHair is. Could he have been moved earlier??? We as fans will never know for sure…..but he isn’t worth a bag of balls anymore. How many wanted LaHair to take an outfield spot over Soriano earlier this year? How many thought this guy would be a starting player for the Cubs for the next several years? I don’t like to see feel good stories fail….but I called this months ago.

    • Zonk

      I think GMs around the league could read stats, and understand that his hot start was fueled in large measure by an impossibly high BABIP. I would bet the offers for him weren’t that great, otherwise he would have been traded.
      I will say this about LaHair: His defense in RF has been surprisingly average. He doesn’t look bad there.
      I also think he still has value in the league, as a low-grade DH/1B type option. His main asset is that he is cheap power, and that could net something in return this offseason. Just not anything great.

      • cubtex

        Are you aware that he has the least range amongst all RF’s in baseball? He can’t get to many balls. I don’t think he has any value. My guess is that Thoyer wasn’t shopping him. They wanted to wait until Rizzo was brought up which was too late. His flaws were exposed already by then. I agree he probably wouldn’t have brought back a whole lot(maybe a 25 to 40 team prospect) but that is better than nothing.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Here are the quotes from Sveum on LaHair that were in yesterday’s game preview

      http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2012/08/2012cubslive108.php

      • cubtex

        thanks neil. they brought it up on mlb radio today that is the reason why I mentioned it.

        • Tom U

          Tonight’s minor league starters:

          Boise – Jose Arias (2-2, 3.43)
          Peoria – Yao-LIn Wang (3-3, 3.16)
          Daytona – Robert Whitenack (1-5, 6.25)
          Tennessee – Dallas Beeler (4-6, 3.99)

          Iowa lost 5-1 to Reno this afternoon. Starter Ryan Rowland-Smith singled and came home on Greg Rohan’s sacrifice fly. Reliever Jay Jackson allowed 4 ER in 2.1 IP and took the loss.

          Other news:

          As Neil reported, Jae-Hoon Ha was actived from the 7 day DL by Tennessee

          Congratulations to Boise’s Rock Shoulders for winning MiLB.com Moniker Madness, given to the minor league player with the best name. Shoulders won in a landslide, 60 to 40% over Hickory Crawdad’s SS Rougned Odor.

          http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120807&content_id=36271262&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_milb

          • cubtex

            Tom. I looked at Jay Jackson’s numbers and all I can say is wow!

            76 IP 98 hits 6.87 ERA he does have 71 K’s(not bad)

            Have they moved him to the bullpen exclusively? It looks like his days as a starter are over.

          • Tom U

            Jackson is now in the pen, and after today’s game his ERA is 7.12.

          • Zonk

            I would say his days as a Cub are about numbered. He’s moving backwards now, not forwards. He used to be in BA’s top 100.

          • Tom U

            Agreed. I would not be surprised if he is released following the season. If you can remember, he also struggled in the winter leagues.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          I thought you would like the quote from Sveum, in case you missed it.

      • CubsFan4Life

        I’m glad this road trip is almost over. It seems like the Cubs never play well in southern California. It would definitely make the flight back to Chicago a little more enjoyable if they can avoid being swept by the Padres after being swept by the Dodgers. We really need a strong start by Samardzija tonight. Let’s Go Cubs !!!

    • cc002600

      While you are patting yourself on the back, don’t forget our little argument about Cashner. I told you that he is an injury waiting to happen, and he will NEVER be an effective starting pitcher. At best, he is a setup guy. That will go down as one of the best cub trades in history. you disagreed :-)

      As for LaHair, what did you have to lose by giving him the opportunity ? Would you rather have seen Joe Mather ? And yes, he has been bad recently, but I have to tell you, Brett Jackson looks bad, REAL bad. And yes, I know its only a couple games, but he is showing what he did all year in AAA with all those K’s. Hope I’m wrong, but he looks like a bust to me. Again, hope I’m wrong.

      We shall see.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Rizzo ain’t made it yet. He hasn’t been here six weeks yet. I am watching to see if he pulls a Lahair out of the hat, or not. He’s 5 for his last 29.

        • cubtex

          I am sure being at PetCo is giving him flashbacks of last year! lol

        • Brp921

          There is still time for Rizzo to fail but I’m betting against it. I like this kid. I think he’s the real deal (did I really just say that I don’t want to jinx him) I think the Cashner/Rizzo trade ends up a good one for the Cub’s, and I was a big supporter of Cashner and still wish him the best.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I would agree with you, but I am holding back to see how he adjusts. Castro had the same experience, if you recall, and Lou benched him for 3 games I think. Then he came back just fine. Rizzo wasn’t going to hit .353. But still I am holding back judgment until I see how he handles all of this.

            Let’s face it: MLB is one tough place to live.

          • Brp921

            I would agree and only wish I could have given it a try:)

      • Ripsnorter1

        Sveum took Cubtex’s advice and gave Brett Jackson a night off. 8 K’s in a row must have worked. Too bad. I wanted to see how far this could unwind.

      • cubtex

        At best he is a set up guy? I think that is a little premature to call him that. He is 25 who can get it up to 100 mph. I like Rizzo. I have said I would do the trade again…..but to call this a steal yet again is premature. They talked about this trade on mlbtv with John Hart and Mitch Williams. Both said how rare it is to have an arm like Cashner. They both agreed it will end up being a good trade for both teams. They definately did not call it a steal for the Cubs.
        Can you imagine how good Cashner will be as a starter at PETCO? He will be dominant in that park with his stuff if he can stay as a starter.
        Just like BJax. Give the kid some time. This is not a 29 year old Bryan LaHair here.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Theo said that there isn’t such a thing as a AAAA player.

      Are you telling me that you are smarter than Theo?

      • cubtex

        No. I am saying that I could see this coming though and I knew he was a AAAA player. I could see that he was getting some flat pitches to hit in April and when the weather started to warm up and pitchers started to throw him curveballs….he was lost. He has 2 huge holes to get him out. He can’t catch up to the high fastball and he chases the curveball down. He is simple to pitch to.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Then I’d rather have you as GM and Team President because Theo didn’t know there was such a thing as a AAAA player.

          $20 million just doesn’t buy what it used to in the GM/Team President market these days.

          • Tony_Hall

            That’s because he feels that what we call a AAAA player is just a AAA that hasn’t had an opportunity to show what he can do. He would call the AAAA players, AAA players, as that is where they can play as a productive player.

          • cubtex

            That made me dizzy reading that post. :)))

          • Tony_Hall

            Me too….but the difference is just in the wording, we all know the type of player, one who seems to be one of the best players at AAA and can’t seem to handle the majors.

    • Tony_Hall

      How many actually thought Soriano would be productive this year…before he switched to a lighter bat?

      Amazing, you are now admitting that you don’t know whether he could have been moved in April or early May…about time.

      There is no reason to stick a fork in the guy, he will get limited playing time the rest of the year (unless Soriano is traded) and will go play winter ball and try to work on his hitting. Being still a controlled player that can’t go to arbitration, he will be back unless a team does decide to give up a mid-level prospect.

      • cubtex

        me! I said when Soriano’s knee got stronger his power would come back. It is not strictly the lighter bat. It isn’t that simple. Remember I put a poll up on when Soriano would catch LaHair in HR’s? I think LaHair had like a 6 or 7 HR lead at the time.

        • Tony_Hall

          Sorry, it is the lighter bat, everyone knows this but you.

          • Aaron

            well…that sucks…1-0 game over

          • brent carmona

            Jeff just snapped his bat over his knee. He knows once he gave up one run, it was over. Sad….

          • cubtex

            Maybe LaHair should use a lighter bat if it is that simple.

          • Tony_Hall

            I don’t believe Lahair is using an overly heavy bat, as Soriano, so stubbornly has been doing for years.

  • paulcatanese

    With this lineup, Soriono must feel like a Scoutmaster with his troop. Whether he realizes it or not, he is the leader of the pack, if only by de-fault with his age.
    I believe he will take pride in that, and will continue to hustle and show the kids how it’s done.
    Not so much with anything in particular, but his determination to prove that at his age things can get done.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Smokies roster moves: Roster Moves: Jae-Hoon Ha activated from disabled list Wednesday http://wp.me/pMW4q-1p4

  • Brp921

    I just got in and am looking forward to tonights game. I have known Clayton Richard since he started school. My sons played ball with him all through the little leagues. Unfortunately my genes did not lend them to continue playing with him through high school. He’s a great kid and I wish him well. Just not tonight lol.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Frustration has set in for most of the club

    • Tony_Hall

      The offense needs to step up and put a few runs on the board and win a game.

      Samardzija has pitched well, and the defense has done their job.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Agreed, agreed … and agreed.

  • Tony_Hall

    Are we ever going to get a call…that’s not helping the frustration level.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Two bad calls, thought Angel Hernandez was out there for a minute.

      • Tony_Hall

        I would like to see a good replay of the play at second, it looked like the glove was down in front of the runner.

        If Barney walks, like he should have, it really changes that inning.

        Either way, the offense needs to do more if they expect to win games.

  • Tony_Hall

    Castro with a well timed walk.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 2-0 to Padres Wednesday afternoon – Jeff Samardzija:
    1R,4H,2BB,6K,7IP; David DeJesus: 2-for-4; Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-4; Cubs: 5H, 2BB, 2-for-6 RISP, 7 LOB

  • brent carmona

    Man I was only listening to the game, not watching….still depressing. Wish vitters was more patient today, great outing from Jeff and starlin got a hit/walk….such a meh kinda day

    • GaryLeeT

      days.

      • brent carmona

        Hahaha looks like i made a typo! You are correct sir.

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

    Is this road trip over yet? :(

  • GaryLeeT

    As a team, the Iowa Cubs are not having a good season, so I didn’t expect them to fare better at the ML level. But wow,

  • calicub

    the only positive thing about this losing streak is that the olympics have been on for a distraction.

    As the games wind down, the rest of august is going to be LONG!

    But hey 8 straight losses are eight straight wins in the race for 1st pick!

    • Brp921

      If only we could catch the Astro’s. but then again….