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

Game One Hundred Thirteen: Cubs (44-68) vs. Reds (68-46)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Brooks Raley (0-1, 15.75/2.75) vs. Johnny Cueto (14-6, 2.58/1.19)

The Cubs have lost 10 of 11 and it will not get any easier for Dale Sveum’s struggling team this afternoon in the series finale against the Reds. After ending their eight-game skid on Thursday night, the Cubs have had two rough games and will turn to rookie Brooks Raley in the series finale. Raley will make his first start at Wrigley Field against arguably the most underrated pitcher in the league.

In other newsBrett Jackson was held out of Saturday’s lineup with a sore upper body after Friday’s collision with Starlin Castro. Dale Sveum described Jackson’s injury “as whiplash-like“. Jackson was available to pinch-hit Saturday and is expected back in the starting lineup this afternoon.

Josh Vitters will likely be out of the starting lineup once again in today’s finale against the Reds. Johnny Cueto dominates right handed hitters (.207/.265/.274) and Sveum will likely load up his lineup with as many lefties (.299/.345/.367) as possible.

Theo Epstein was in Daytona watching the organization’s High-A affiliate. Epstein discussed the Cubs’ system, the “spy-cam”, the infield of Christian Villanueva, Javier Baez and Ronald Torreyes with the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Jason McLeod discussed the Cubs’ system with Bruce Miles and indicated that they are planning on backing off the newly acquired Kyle Hendricks due to the amount of innings he has already thrown this season.

This afternoon all starts with Brooks Raley

To say Brooks Raley’s Major League debut did not go so well would be an understatement. Brooks Raley was fine the first time through the lineup then the Padres adjusted and teed off on him. The key for Raley, like many pitchers, is pitching from ahead in the count. Raley does not have the stuff to blow hitters away and must rely on hitting his spots early and often in the count … basically pitch, instead of throwing. Raley admitted afterwards that he was nervous last Tuesday night in San Diego. Unfortunately it will not be any easier for him today at Wrigley Field.

In his first big league start, Brooks Raley allowed seven runs on eight hits (one big blast by Carlos Quentin) with three walks and four strikeouts in four innings.

This afternoon will be Raley’s first action against the Reds and no one on Cincinnati’s roster has faced Raley in the big leagues.

If the Cubs thought Bronson Arroyo and Mike Leake were fun, they are in for a real treat this afternoon. Johnny Cueto might be the best pitcher in baseball that no one talks about. Cueto is coming off two mediocre starts, by his standards, and has a win and a loss to show for his efforts … to go along with 18 strikeouts and one walk in 14 1/3 innings.

Johnny Cueto is coming off a loss in Milwaukee that he allowed three runs on six hits with no walks and nine strikeouts in seven innings. The Reds lost the game 3-1 and Mike Fiers shutdown Dusty Baker’s offense. Prior to his last start, Cueto posted five straight wins and he is 7-3 in his last 10 outings.

Cueto has followed up an excellent first half of the season (10-5 in 18 starts with a 2.39 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP) with five very good ballgames (4-1 in five starts with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP, 33 strikeouts and eight walks in 33 1/3 innings).

Johnny Cueto has already beaten the Cubs once this season (two runs, one earned, on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings) and is 5-16 in 15 starts with a 3.55 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 3-4 in 10 starts with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Johnny Cueto

  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-4
  • Starlin Castro – 4-for-18 with three walks
  • David DeJesus – 3-for-9 with a double and a walk
  • Bryan LaHair – 2-for-5 with a walk
  • Joe Mather – 0-for-1
  • Alfonso Soriano – 10-for-35 with a double, three home runs and two walks
  • Luis Valbuena – 2-for-3 with two doubles

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"The riches of the game are in the thrills, not in the money." – Ernie Banks

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  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

    • Neil

      From ESPN Chicago: Vitters not starting today but will begin to play more starting in the
      next series vs HOU. Will start at least 2 and possibly all 3.

  • Neil

    From Phil Rogers: Cubs sign Seth McClung to AAA contract. Casey Coleman left last night w/shoulder pain.

    Coleman left in the second inning of last night’s game.

    • Tom U

      Today’s minor league starters:

      Boise – James Pugliese (1-4, 4.17)
      Peoria – Starling Peralta (4-7, 3,17)
      Daytona – PJ Francescon (2-5, 3.75) Game 1
      Austin Kirk (7-3, 3.13) Game 2 projected
      Tennessee – Yoannis Negron (0-0, 0.00)
      Iowa – TBA (suspended game)
      Frankie De La Cruz (1-5, 3,71) Scheduled game, projected

      Iowa’s game was suspended on Saturday due to rain, while Daytona’s was postponed

      Along with Theo Epstein being in Daytona, Tom Ricketts was in Tennessee this past Wednesday

      A player to watch right now is Boise outfielder Izaac Garsez.

      Peoria has returned Wes Darvill to his original position. shortstop, and he has responded by hitting .325 over the past 10 games.

      Tennessee had it’s most complete starting line-up of the season on the field last night, and it showed in their 2-0 shut out of Huntsville.

      • cc002600

        Tom U,
        Question about Vogelbach.
        Any chance this guy can play LF or RF ?
        I know he is strictly a 1B but I think we got that position solved for a long time with Mr. Rizzo, and there is no DH in NL.
        Even if he is just adequate in the OF, his kind of power would be surely be an asset, I would think…..and yes, I know he is a long way from the big club at this point being so young.

        • Tom U

          At 19-years old (won’t be 20 until December), he’s still a very young man and has a lot of time to get in shape.

          That said, I believe that Rizzo is a better athlete. So reversing your thought process, if it every comes down to the two of them on the same team, may be in line.

          It has been interesting to note that Boise has used Rock Shoulders in the outfield recently.

          • Zonk

            I read a scouting report on Vogelbach that described his speed as “surprisingly average”. You don’t hear that very often!

            I think if he emerges as a prospect, and Rizzo continues to impress, the most likely outcome will be trading Vogelbach to the American League for young pitching.

          • Tom U

            I reminds me of the time someone at work told me that I look good, for a change.

    • cubtex

      OK Sports Fans……. 50 Games Left! The Cubs are currently 24 games under .500(the most at anytime during the year) Lets break down their record per month.

      April 8-15
      May 10-17
      June 10-17
      July 15-10
      August 1-9

      They have to win 19 games to avoid 100 losses. So…..IF they go on a hot streak and win 6 games this month(highly unlikely)….they would have to win 13 in September(No Chance)

      This team is a lock to lose 100 games!

      • EqDoc

        So who cares? 99 losses, 100 losses, 120 losses. It means nothing. Fixating on a meaningless number does nothing. We all new this was a lost season before it began, but in my opinion, the Cubs played better and are better set up for the future. Do I like everything that was done this year? No. But I will take it over what happened last year.

        • cubtex

          Cubs have not lost over 100 games since 1966! It is not easy losing 100 games! Team Theo should be applauded!

          • Ripsnorter1

            103 losses in both 1966 and 1962. These are the most losses ever by a Chicago Cubs team.

          • Tony_Hall

            And if that day actually happens, then go ahead and gloat how about how great you are…until then stop acting like it already happened.

          • Tony_Hall

            Raley looked good the first time through. The second time through is the next test for him.

          • Neil

            Yes he did and yes it will be

          • Neil

            Cubs lost 3-0 to Reds Sunday afternoon – Brooks Raley: 3R,5H
            (2HR),BB,2K,6IP; David DeJesus: 1-for-4; Brett Jackson: 1-for-3; Cubs: 4 hits,

          • cubtex

            What a great game! Cubs got 4 hits! Brooks Raley looks like he can be a #3. Valbuena made a great backhand play at 3rd. Manny Corpas pitched a scoreless inning. Shawn Camp pitched a scoreless inning. Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless inning. We have the makings of a great bullpen! The future is great! I can’t wait till the Astros come in town. Keep fighting boys! It is great to be a Cub fan! This is so much fun! It is finally sinking in. Wins don’t matter! What a concept! It is about turning over the roster and building for next year and the year after. This is great! So they can do this again next year and the year after with no talent on the field and it is not about winning games. Now I get it. Maybe they can sign a free agent next year on a 1 year buy low deal at a couple mil per year. I am keeping my fingers crossed. This is so great!

          • anthony

            cry me a river……..

          • John_CC

            Wow, step away and take a deep breath. Maybe stop watching for a little while…why do you actually keep following the games? Just so you can have an audience to cry and moan to?

          • cubtex

            This is actually the first game I have watched in August. Olympics are over today. I was hoping to see Vitters Bjax and Castillo. I got 1 out of 3….but I wanted to see Texas product Brooks Raley pitch. He did well for 4 innings. What’s wrong? Isn’t that exactly the kind of post Tony, Mike and others post all the time? Just pretend that was Tony Hall and it would be another day on cco.

          • Tony_Hall

            You don’t like Theo, you don’t like the path they have chosen to take to rebuild this franchise.

            WE GET IT!

          • triple

            Seriously your life must be miserable that you always spew out this negativity. YOUR ACT IS PATHETIC!!! If you want to act like a Yankees or Red Sox hater fanboy, go ahead and find one of their fan sites to be miserable on. Please stop rooting for the Cubs and go away. It’s pretty sad that because a few bad attitudes around here, I choose not to come here much anymore.

            Neil, I understand that we all have a certain “freedom of speech” about such inconsequential things such as baseball, but is there a way that I can just block certain users comments? That would probably actually bring me here more often, and I’m sure there are others that would agree.

          • cubtex

            I am not always right….but I am never wrong! Take a look back at my predictions mr. kool aid! lol

          • Tony_Hall

            And you wonder why you get so many dislikes on your posts….

          • cubtex

            Like I care! lol

          • cubtex

            Here….I added a dislike to get it started. ha

          • Neil

            Raley with a quality start

          • Tony_Hall

            It’s too bad that DeJesus knows the strikezone better than the umpire. One strike thrown to him, only pitch he swung at and he fouled it off…hard way to strike out.

        • RynoTiger

          good points EqDoc. I don’t get this continued obsession with the 100 loss season. I’ll say something’s as if some posters want the Cubs to lose 100 so that they continue an agenda of berating and bashing Team Theo because they have something against them.

          • Trevor Petersma

            No doubt this season has been frustrating to watch at times, but it has also been exciting to watch the young talent get added to the major league roster and the organization as a whole. The difference between this year and last year is that I am looking forward to the continuation of this roster building. There is plenty of reason for optimism Cubs fans, and no Kool-Aid is necessary.

          • Neil

            Jackson with a very good at bat … first hit at Wrigley

          • Tony_Hall

            RynoTiger – it doesn’t just seem like it, it is true. Many on here only know how to be critical of everything going on. Let’s face it, in baseball the negative people are right more often than not.

            This year wasn’t about wins and losses, it was about turning over the roster, evaluating the players in the system, and adding talent into the pipeline. Yet some people are still worried about the record.

          • cubtex

            Hey! That’s the Houston Astros every year! You should become a fan of that team if you enjoy this! hahaha

          • Tony_Hall

            Not really…the Astros were tops in the NL for many years when they had their homegrown killer B’s.

          • cubtex

            homegrown? only Biggio was homegrown. But……. nice try :) Bagwell and Bell were aquired. Maybe you can pass that along to Theo.

          • Tony_Hall

            I’ve been corrected on Bagwell, but Berkman would be the other Killer B, not Bell, and he was drafted by the Astros in the 1st round of 1997 draft. Chris Burke was the only other one ever marketed or promoted as a Killer B, and he was also drafted by the Astros in the 1st round of 2001 draft. So that would be 3 out of 4, with Bagwell who played his entire major league career with the Astros, the only one who wouldn’t qualify.

            But, like always, you miss and don’t understand the point.

          • Ripsnorter1

            No sir.

            Bagwell was acquired by the Astros in August 30, 1990. Bagwell Since the minor league season was over, Bagwell was sent home and did not play even 1 game in the Astros system. In 1991 he started the season as the starting 1B for the Houston Astros.

            Want to check it out? Try this link to Baseball Reference:

          • Tony_Hall

            Sorry, I thought I saw it as acquired in 90, first year 92. Either way, it wasn’t the point, that the Astros had everyone homegrown, just that they were a good team for awhile and did a good job of bringing up players…it get’s so old having to type disclaimers on every single post, to keep from having every thing scrutinized.

          • cubtex

            you are right about Berkman. I actually forgot about him. So your point was that the Astros brought up 2 players from their system and aquired 2 others via trade. Sounds like about every other franchise in baseball.

          • Tony_Hall

            Just edited my post, re-read.

          • Tony_Hall

            Actually 3 of 4, and the 4th played his entire major league career as an Astro.

            But the point was they have been a good team…not a team that is a AAA team like now.

          • cubtex

            Chris Burke was not even close to a good mlb player. He was famous for 1 HR……a huge HR but he was a below average player. The original Killer B’s were Bagwell Biggio and Bell and then Berkman.

          • Tony_Hall

            Never said he was a good MLB player, just that he was included in the Killer B’s promotions.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Bagwell was from the Red Sox. Astros traded Larry Andersen, the human slider, to get him.
            Lance Berkman…Astro product.
            Craig Biggio….drafted by Astros and signed in 1987.
            Derek Bell….from Toronto Blue Jays….

          • Tony_Hall

            See below.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Cubtex and Tony,

            Speaking of the Cubs going 19-31 or better…or worse….

            The schedule favors a better record.

            Why? The Cubs have…
            9 with the Astros
            6 with the Rockies

            There’s 15 games with just horrible, horrible teams.

            Then there are…

            3 with the Diamondbacks
            7 with the Reds
            7 with the Brewers
            3 with the Giants
            4 with the Nationals
            7 with the Pirates
            3 with the Cards

            These are your remaining 49 games.

            I figure the Cubs should win 10 of 15 with the horrible teams.
            Then of the 10 series left, we should win one game in 9 of the 10 series. That’s 19 games. So 19-31 is possible…..

          • Tony_Hall

            I’ve known that ever since I predicted my thoughts on the record by 1/3 parts of the season.

            I doubt cubtex even looked at the schedule before making an opinion…

          • cubtex

            Of course looked at the schedule. By the way….you broke down the season in 3 parts. How did that prediction work out???? Unfortunately, the Astros and Rockies will probably finish behind the Cubs even with a 100 losses.Boy today was a fun day! These kids are playing great under the leadership of Sveum. He is a master motivator.

          • Tony_Hall

            It actually has worked out well so far. The third, third isn’t over, even if you keep acting like it is over.

            Plus July being soooo good, as made it hard for Aug/Sept to outpace June/July, that is a positive thing.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Yes, July was super fantastic for this crew. In fact, for about 25 games, the Cubs had the best record in MLB. Hard to beat that.

          • Ken

            Do you believe in Easter Bunny and Santa Claus?

          • Ripsnorter1


          • Dorasaga

            I was so pissed by the Hendry regime, so it seems that Thoyer has a small shoe to fill. But let’s face it, when the whole ballclub is under change, and being subtle, many fans would grudge when they only see the small part they can.

          • triple

            Theo has done much more with his 38 years than others have done with more. Smells like resentment, spite, and unhappiness with one’s accomplishments. Or just a plain bad attitude and inability to focus on the positive instead of the negative.

      • Tony_Hall

        Wouldn’t it be easier to say 19-31 the rest of the way…

        • cubtex

          It is easier to show their records broken down per month to get the idea on how much of a lock it is.

          • Tony_Hall

            Historically, but the rest of the way 19-31 is possible…not that it matters or changes anything.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Impressive performance by Raley thus far. 5 IP…3 H…2 ER due to the HR…