Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 08/10/12

Game One Hundred Eleven: Cubs (44-66) vs. Reds (66-46)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV- Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Justin Germano (1-1, 3.38/1.11) vs. Homer Bailey (9-7, 3.98/1.36)

The Cubs ended their losing streak with a come from behind victory Thursday night, can Sveum’s team make it two wins in a row this afternoon behind Justin Germano?

The Cubs look like a different team at home than on the road but will face another challenge today in Homer Bailey. Bailey has put together a solid season and he has been very tough on the road.

Brett Jackson made his Wrigley Field debut last night. Will Josh Vitters make his first appearance at the old ballyard this afternoon? Dale Sveum said that Vitters will play against most lefties and he will pick his spots against right-handers … Homer Bailey has fared better against left handers (.267/.327/.371 with 11 doubles and five home runs) this season than righties (.279/.323/.438 with 10 doubles and 14 home runs).

This afternoon it all starts with Justin Germano

Justin Germano has done an adequate job in his short time in a Cubs’ uniform. Germano could easily have a couple of additional wins under his belt but instead he has two no decisions in four outings. Germano held the Dodgers to two runs on three hits with no walks and three strikeouts his last time out. Germano left the game with one out and one on in the sixth with the Cubs up 2-1 … but the bullpen could not hold the lead.

This afternoon will be Germano’s second start at Wrigley Field in a Cubs’ uniform. Germano was the last starter to post a victory … the 14-4 win over the Pirates on July 30.

Justin Germano is 1-0 in one career start against the Reds with a 1.69 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP (one run on five hits with four walks and five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings on August 11, 2007).

Ryan Ludwick (3-for-3 with a double and a walk), Brandon Phillips (0-for-3) and Scott Rolen (1-for-3) are the only players on the Reds’ active roster with limited at bats against Justin Germano.

Homer Bailey is finally living up to at least some of his hype. At one time the hard throwing Texan was one of the top pitching prospects in the game but was unable to throw enough strikes at the big league level to sustain any success. Bailey has turned the corner this year while still struggling with consistency.

Bailey was outstanding in July (4-0 in six starts with a 2.61 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP) and even with a bad start against the Pirates the last time out (four runs on nine hits with a walk and three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings) he is 2-1 in his last five starts with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.

Like so many Reds’ pitchers, Homer Bailey is much better on the road (6-2 in 10 starts with a 2.63 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP) than at Great American Ball Park (3-5 in 12 starts with a 5.35 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP).

This afternoon will be Bailey’s ninth career start against the Cubs. Bailey is 3-2 in the first eight with a 5.60 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 1-1 in two starts with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Homer Bailey

  • Darwin Barney – 3-for-11 with a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 4-for-13 with two home runs and a walk
  • David DeJesus – 2-for-7
  • Bryan LaHair – 5-for-8 with double, a home run and a walk
  • Joe Mather – 0-for-1
  • Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-16 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-5

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

  • paulcatanese

    While Soriono takes heat from time to time about throwing to the wrong base,(Brenly) is not giving him a fair shake, and Brenly knows better.
    In the first place, Soriono has been in left field with several different center fielders,DeJesus,Campana, Mather, and now Jackson. All have different range, approach, and speed.Converging on a ball takes on an experience for the outfield on balls in the gap.
    That being said, the most important thing that is overlooked is the help he does not get from Castro. It is Castro’s job on anything hit to left to let Soriono know what to do with the ball. When one see’s Soriono hesitate with a throw it means no one has communicated with him in letting him know where to go with the ball.
    The outfielder is conentrating on a ball in the air, a ground ball,
    etc. and has very little time to make a decision.
    Castro on the other hand has one job, to let the outfielder know. The learning process that Castro is going thru will get better and that will cease to happen.
    Case in point, you do not see the same result with the right fielder, Barney is directing traffic. As bad as LaHair is out in right, one thing is being done, Barney is now calling for the ball from him as LaHair has probably the worse arm out there.
    Same holds true with Mather who is not a genuine outfielder
    Barney is there, directing.
    Now Sveum knows this as an ex-shortstop and I am sure he is working with Castro on this, but the multiple issues that are being worked on takes time, and I am sure Castro will get it right.
    So the next time the fans hear Brenly critique Soriono remember that little tidbit. Its much easier for Brenly just to lay it on Soriono than to go into the correct explanation.

    • cubtex

      Since we are on Soriano. Take a look at his HR totals from 2004 and 2012. Did he switch to a lighter bat in 2004?

      2004 2012

      April 1 0

      May 5 7

      June 6 8

      July 8 4

      August 4 1 (so far)

      Sept 4 ?

      Hmmmmmm

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Soriano with a two-run double and steals third

        • cc002600

          so this is what “rebuilding” looks like ?
          :-)

          Yikes

          • Tony_Hall

            Yep, watching your ex-player yanked in the middle of the inning, while your return is at 3 different levels playing.

      • Tony_Hall

        Hmmmmmmmmm

        Maybe it had to do with being only 28 years old.

        Also 2004 was his lowest homer total during that span of years, not exactly a fair comparison to what he was normally doing when he was younger and able to handle that heavy wood.

        • cubtex

          One last thing on this because it is a ridiculous argument for you to constantly belittle his performance by saying that he is having success because of the lighter bat…
          How do you explain the 7 HR’s he hit in the month of August last year with his heavy bat at age 35? At his age…he should have been worn out and ready for the retirement home swinging that heavy bat all year….and he hits 7 HR’s?

          • Tony_Hall

            He has always been a streaky hitter.

            Why is it you continue to grasp to the ridiculous thought that it didn’t help him speed up his bat, to have the longest extended “good” hitting period of his Cubs career? Even Soriano has admitted it, and Neil has pointed that out to you a time or two.

            Before this year, he hit in streaks, of 1 or 2 weeks, then went long periods of little production, but it added up to a decent enough stats for the year. Not playing fantasy baseball, you might not have noticed how extreme his streaks were. He was a tough player to have on your team, as you had to play him, to get the hot streaks, but he hurt your team most of the other weeks.

          • RynoTiger

            why must we as a society continue to measure a man and his performance by the size of his bat?
            it’s not the size that counts, it’s how you perform with it
            Happy Weekend to everyone :) hahahahahaha

        • cubtex

          He’s on pace for the same amount of HR’s as 2004…that is why I used that as a barometer and it is very similar.

        • BosephHeyden

          Regardless of the outcome, both of these teams are losers today. This is one of the worst played games I have ever seen.

      • Tony_Hall

        Every play is an adventure out there today.

    • RMercer69

      Paul, I disagree…the cutoff man, Castro, when the ball is in left is not calling the base for Soriano. It is Barney at at the 2nd base bag or the catcher who has the play in front of him. Conversely, on a ball hit to right, it is Castro that has the play in front and will be calling base for Barney and RF

      • paulcatanese

        Late getting back, taped the game, just finished.
        Anyway, what you are saying with a stadium filled with 39,000 people that the second baseman is going to call the ball hit to left, over 200 feet away,
        right? Or the catcher, making the call, over that distance, and everyone is going to hear it, right?
        I would say no, its not done that way, not enough time,or within hearing distance to make that happen.
        Its not an actual call, its the shortstop lineing up in the direction the throw should go and shouting at the same time holding his hands in the air to give the left fielder a better look.
        The catcher makes the call on bunts with his arm or
        voice, or calls the throw to home plate to “cut” or “no cut” so that it comes thru. Or he may say “cut two”, but thats for the last cutoff man, most cases the first baseman.
        I could go on and on and diagram it, but in the end I think we are talking about two different scenerios, and wish I could explain it better.

        • Tony_Hall

          Paul, but it’s the second baseman who is telling the SS how to lineup or switching the cut-off play from 2nd to 3rd or home by telling the SS what is going on while his back is turned to the play.

          • paulcatanese

            Tony, I was trying to make the point on balls
            (deep or in the gap). The shortstop is the closest to the left fielder, especially when its hit into the gap. As I was saying he (SS) is telling the left fielder what to do with the ball, and automaticly lines up . It may be that the second baseman is shouting to the shortstop where to go with the ball, but all involved have an idea what needs to happen. Thats a split second decision that has to be made. My point was the communication is between Castro and Soriono initally, then and only then does it change.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Pierce Johnson has been promoted to Boise

  • Aaron

    I am very interested in the rotation for next year.

    I think it’s safe to assume Volstad will be non-tendered, and if Garza makes a few starts before the season is over, then he’ll be traded, so we might end up with the following choices for the rotation:
    Samardzija
    T. Wood
    Germano
    Raley
    Rusin
    Vizcaino
    Struck
    Coleman
    Whitenack
    Jokisch
    Loosen
    Kirk

    But my question is this…..What if the Cubs decided to reach all the way down to A-ball for Jensen, Burke, Antigua, Wang or Peralta? All are 21, except for Burke (24) and Antigua (22). Remember my post from a few days ago about top flight starters getting a shot at age 21 or younger in the bigs?

    I would love to see a rotation like this for next year, even if they might get lit up early on:

    Samardzija
    Whitenack
    Vizcaino
    Burke
    Peralta

    As I said, aside from perhaps Samardzija and Vizcaino, who both have MLB starting experience, they’d likely get lit up, but most starters do when they first come up. And since the Cubs apparently are refusing to go after big free agents, we can assume that all we’ll get is Justin Germano types (who incidentally is not that bad) to fill-in, or they make trades (only guys that could bring something in return are Garza, Castro, Rizzo, and Samardzija, and you certainly wouldn’t want to deal the latter 3)

    It’s a shame McNutt sucks so bad, because he would’ve been a great option for next year. The thing I like about Samardzija, Whitenack, Vizcaino, and Peralta, is they all throw mid-to-high 90’s, and while Burke has experienced some growing pains upon his promotion to Daytona, he is a lefty that can run it up to 94-96 mph, which is something the Cubs do NOT have, with a bunch of soft-tossing lefties like Raley, Rusin, Wood, etc.

    I’m also interested to see what they will do with Vogelbach. In case you were curious, here is Vogelbach’s stats this year:
    39 games, 180 plate appearances, 54 hits, 17 doubles, 2 triples, 13 hr, 46 RBI, 1 SB, 18 walks, 28 K’s, .335/.400/.708 slash line (oh, and he’s even done better than that overall line upon his promotion to Boise).

    How does he compare to the top prospect in the system….Baez?
    Baez-62 games, 254 plate appearances, 73 hits, 11 doubles, 5 triples, 12 hr, 37 RBI, 21 SB, 11 walks, 53 K’s, .317/.370/.565

    There is no comparison for the speed Baez brings to the table, but if you have ever seen Vogelbach run, he’s basically the same as Rizzo, who isn’t known for his speed, but is better than you’d think.

    My question is this….Would it be possible to put him in Camp Bussy this fall, drop a few pounds, and start playing LF? He’d be an absolute monster if he dropped a few and could play the OF.

    Imagine this lineup for a second:

    B. Jackson-CF
    Castro-SS
    Rizzo-1B
    Baez-3B
    Vogelbach-LF
    Soler-RF
    Barney/Lake/Torreyes-2B (whomever does best)
    Castillo-C

    Jackson, Castro, Baez, Soler, and Lake could all potentially be 20+SB guys at the MLB level.

    The Cubs need to figure out a way to get Vogelbach in there though. He, along with Jackson and Rizzo would really work counts and get on base, while the others (except for maybe Soler) are all free swingers….They have nobody else in the system except for maybe DeVoss, Chen, Watkins, Andreoli, Szczur and Cerda that take their walks, make good contact, and see a lot of pitches. Unfortunately, only Szczur out of that group projects as an everyday MLB player, and that’s not even a given. DeVoss’ average has plummeted this year, while his OBP has remained high, and Cerda has seen a dip as well, even though his OBP remains high. The reason Andreoli doesn’t project as an everyday MLB player is that despite his nearly 50 SB, he has ZERO power.

    I just hope the Cubs don’t dump Vogelbach because of their man-crush on Rizzo. I feel he is a superior hitter to Rizzo with even more power and plate discipline. The crappy thing for Vogelbach though, is he’s a butcher with the glove at 1B and Rizzo is tremendous.

    Don’t be fooled by what others say about Vogelbach and his agility. If you’ve ever watched him run, you’d realize he’s a lot better than people say, just because they have a bias based on his weight. If he drops about 25-30 lbs and moves to LF, I firmly believe he’d be a monster out there, and they have to do that this offseason.

    Heck, I’d even send him to the AZFL to see how he does with more advanced pitching. If he does well there at his age, then I would go all-out in transitioning him to the OF.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Aaron….

      Too much Kool-Aid on Germano…check out his career stats. He’s not a rookie, but he is awful.

      I don’t want to see that rotation. I don’t want another 100 loss season.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From ESPN Chicago: Lendy Castillo back from the DL and rehab assignment. Likely to be activated Saturday.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Vitters again …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Opposing pitcher with another hit and RBI

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with the Cubs’ third error of the inning

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Two more errors, now five on the day … and it’s only the sixth inning.

  • Tony_Hall

    Boy the wind is really making it difficult today, but that wasn’t even close by the Reds RF.

  • Hey!Hey!

    Who was that guy who sang at 7th inning stretch? All you have to do is pay to sing?

    • calicub

      i think they won a charity auction. don’t quote me on that though

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Padres scouting director Jaron Madison to take same job with Cubs: http://ht.ly/cTqYm

    • Ripsnorter1

      The thought of that happening just warms my soul….NOT.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Cubs lost 10-8 to Reds Friday afternoon – Justin Germano: 6R,4ER,7H,2BB,2K,5.2IP; Alfonso Soriano:
        1-for-5, 2B, 3RBI; Starlin Castro: 2-for-4, 2B, 2RBI, BB; Darwin Barney: 3-for-5, 2R; Welington Castillo:
        2-for-4, 2 2B, 2RBI, R; Cubs: 5 errors, a passed ball and two wild pitches

        • Zonk

          I didn’t see the game, but the tweets refer to Sveum’s deep unhappiness with Castro. What happened?

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Castro had lapses again in the field and on the bases. Castro lost track of the ball while running the bases in the sixth inning and was easily thrown out amid his confusion. Phillips “deeked” him badly.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Sveum on Castro: “He was decoyed, but if you’re going to steal a base 5 runs down, you better damn know where the ball is hit.”

  • Tony_Hall

    Chapman is almost not fair, especially facing LH batters

  • Tony_Hall

    Chapman from 102 to 88…that’s tough to hit.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Trib: Cubs close to hiring Padres scouting
    director Jaron Madison, who worked under Jed. Wilken will stay with Cubs
    in expanded role.

  • brent carmona

    Guys…

    We got Madison, wilken, Joe boehringer, shiraz rehman, fleita and crew in Latin America, theo/jed/jason….front office is STACKED!!

  • paulcatanese

    What irked me about Castro today was his lack of hustle down the first base line on his pop-up down the right field line, he was loafing down the line and didnt start really running until just before first base. He should have easily been standing on second on that play. It cost the Cubs.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Tremendous! Both Vitters and Jackson are starting today!

  • cubtex

    That Sveum is a genius. He know exactly when to play the young kids and when to rest them. LOL

  • paulcatanese

    Cubtex, thats brilliant, Sveum knows that
    20yr olds need a rest, classic.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Exactly.