Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 08/13/12

Game One Hundred Fourteen: Cubs (44-69) vs. Astros (38-78)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jeff Samardzija (7-10, 4.21/1.30) vs. Armando Galarraga (0-2, 4.70/1.89)

Updated 3:33pm CDTThe Cubs made three roster moves Monday afternoon. Brooks Raley was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs selected the contract of RHP Michael Bowden from the Iowa Cubs, added Bowden to the 40-man roster and recalled him from Triple-A Iowa. Ian Stewart was transferred from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Michael Bowden. The Cubs 40-man roster stands at 40 players.

Weather permitting … Dale Sveum’s team opens a three-game series tonight against the last place Houston Astros. The Cubs have split the first six games with Houston this season (3-3) with the home team sweeping each series.

After putting together their best stretch of the season, the Cubs are not hitting and have yet to play a complete game this month. Entering play on July 31 the Cubs had won 19 of their previous 29 games, since they have lost 11 of 12 and in six of the 11 losses the offense has scored one run or less while being shut out four times. Sveum’s rotation has a much different look than it did on July 30 but the bottom line is that the offense has not done its job.

Josh Vitters is expected to start at least two if not all three games of this series. Dale Sveum made the announcement to the media prior to Sunday’s finale against the Reds. The Cubs will face three right handers during this series. After tonight’s matchup of Jeff Samardzija against Armando Galarraga, Chris Volstad is scheduled to face Lucas Harrell on Tuesday night with Justin Germano and Bud Norris squaring off on Wednesday afternoon.

Even with their struggles against the Reds, the Cubs are a game over .500 at home this season (28-27) but unless they can string together hits it will be a rough three games against Houston. The Astros may be 11-46 on the road this year but they are playing hard and have a better record over the last ten games than the Cubs.

In other newsCasey Coleman left his start Saturday night in the second inning with pain in his right shoulder. Coleman has been shut down for a couple of days and will be re-evaluated at that time to determine when he will return to the mound. The Cubs signed Seth McClung to a minor league contract Sunday. McClung will report to Triple-A Iowa and will likely take Coleman’s spot in the I-Cubs rotation.

Tonight all starts with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija bounced back from his poor outing against the Dodgers with an excellent start in San Diego. A frustrated Samardzija held the Padres to one run on four hits with a pair of walks and six strikeouts over seven innings. Samardzija made only two mistakes … he allowed a pair of doubles to Chase Headley and Will Venable in the second inning.

Samardzija has followed up a 2-1 mark in five starts last month (1.91 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP) with two losses in his first two starts of August (4.38 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP). Samardzija promised to be better after the break and so far he has delivered. In his last five starts Samardzija is 1-2 with a 2.59 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.

Like many of his teammates Samardzija has performed much better at Wrigley than on the road this season. In nine starts, Samardzija is 3-3 with a 3.61 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.

Tonight will be Samardzija’s second start of the year against the Astros. Samardzija lost in Houston on May 23 but did not pitch badly and posted a quality start. Samardzija allowed two run on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts in six innings.

Jeff Samardzija is 2-2 in 16 career appearances, one start, against Houston with a 4.30 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP.

Astros Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Jose Altuve – 0-for-5 with a walk
  • Brian Bogusevic – 0-for-4
  • J.D. Martinez – 2-for-3 with a triple
  • Steve Pearce – 1-for-2
  • Chris Snyder – 1-for-2 with a walk

Armando Galarraga signed with the Orioles last winter but was released on April 6 and signed a minor league contract with Houston on May 21. Galarraga posted a 3-2 record in nine starts with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP before joining the Astros rotation at the end of July.

Tonight will be Galarraga’s fourth start of the season for Houston. Galarraga is winless in his first three and has struggled with his command. Galarraga allowed three runs on six hits in five innings to the Nationals but he walked six batters and struck out five. In 15 1/3 innings this season, Galarraga has walked as many batters (14) as he’s struck out (14). The Cubs must make him work tonight … early swings will give Galarraga his first win of the season.

Armando Galarraga is 2-1 in three career starts against the Cubs with a 4.95 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 1-0 in one start with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP (four runs on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts in seven innings). Galarraga and the Diamondbacks beat Ryan Dempster and Quade’s Cubs 6-4 on April 6, 2011.

Cubs Career Numbers against Armando Galarraga

  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-4
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-6
  • David DeJesus – 2-for-12 with a triple and four walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-9 with a double and three home runs
  • Luis Valbuena – 3-for-10 with two doubles

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Updated 3:33pm CDT – Under the new CBA, teams can add a pitcher to their active roster for a doubleheader. The Cubs and Reds play a day-night doubleheader Saturday in Cincinnati and Brooks Raley is expected to start one of those games. The 10-day rule does not apply on the days a team has a doubleheader. Raley will be sent back down to Iowa after Saturday’s doubleheader. Raley can then be recalled to make his next scheduled start which would not be until August 24 against the Rockies.

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Updated 3:33pm CDT – The Cubs made three roster moves Monday afternoon. Brooks Raley was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs selected the contract of RHP Michael Bowden from the Iowa Cubs, added Bowden to the 40-man
    roster and recalled him from Triple-A Iowa. Ian Stewart was transferred from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Michael Bowden. The Cubs 40-man roster stands at 40 players.

    Under the new CBA, teams can add a pitcher to their active
    roster for a doubleheader. The Cubs and Reds play a day-night doubleheader Saturday in Cincinnati and Brooks Raley is expected to start one of those games. The
    10-day rule does not apply on the days a team has a doubleheader. Raley will be sent back down to Iowa after Saturday’s doubleheader. Raley can then be recalled to make his next scheduled start which would not be until August 24 against the Rockies.

    • calicub

      So with Raley down, and coleman out, who takes the spot in the rotation?

      Samardj
      Wood
      Germano
      Volstad
      ??

      • calicub

        Or am I just missing something?

        Was he just sent down so the team could carry an extra reliever in bowden?

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          There is not really a spot, they have manipulated the system and added a reliever.

          With Thursday’s off day, Raley is not scheduled to pitch until Saturday. Raley can be called up under the new rules and pitch one of the two games. Raley then has to be sent back down following Saturday’s games. Raley’s spot in the rotation would not come back around until Friday, the 24th due to the off day on the 23rd. They can recall Raley, by rule, at that point to make the start on the 24th against the Rockies.

          • calicub

            Righto thanks for clarifying

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            You’re welcome.

          • Tony_Hall

            In other words, pretty smart roster management…

          • paulcatanese

            Tony, I’m glad they know what the’re doing, I sure didn’t

    • paulcatanese

      Wow Neil.these new rules are something, do they let the guys at least change their socks?
      I got confused reading you’re post.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        I’m sorry, not my intention to confuse any one. See below, maybe I did a better job.

        • paulcatanese

          No Neil, I should have said “mind boggeling”,
          just a lot of new rules to digest.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

    • gary3411

      Looks like they want Vitters to get some good pitches to hit even though he’s probably a 5-8 hitter in the long run. Not a bad idea and probably why Jackson was hitting 2 when he first came up as well.

      • paulcatanese

        That sounds about right Gary, and is a good idea, never thought about it with Jackson, Sveum did a
        goodie. I know he is getting flack, but I do like to ackowledge him when he does something that is a
        good move.

        • calicub

          Sweum has made a few gaffes but no one could be worse than Qball. As long as Quade is a part of recent memory, Sweum will be walking on water in comparison

          • paulcatanese

            Agree, Quade made posting a lot of fun, as he never failed to create a subject.

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Boise – Jose Arias (3-2, 3.62)
    Peoria – Yao-Lin Wang (3-3, 2.98)
    Iowa – Ryan Rowland-Smith (2-3, 3.84)

    Daytona and Tennessee have the night off.

    To answer John CC’s question from the previous thread about Jeimer Candelario’s defense: I’ve seen many of Boise’s games this year. My impression is that he is someone who can develop into a competent third baseman, but he won’t be any Ron Santo defensively. In some respects, Candelario is at a similar pace to Starlin Castro when he was this age (18 years old).

    Tennessee has posted back-to-back shut outs, mainly due to a reshuffled defense and revamped batting order. You could only imagine the numbers Nick Struck, Dae-Eun Rhee, and Dallas Beeler would have had if it had been like this all year.

    Another player to keep your eye on in the low minors is Boise’s Willson Contreras. The 20 year old is mainly a catcher, but has experience at both corner infield and corner outfield positions. He’s a clutch hitter, who despite hitting only .263 is second on the team with 27 RBI.

    • Tony_Hall

      Wang just gave up back-to-back jacks to the Snappers in Beloit.

      • Tony_Hall

        Wang 6 innings only those 2 mistakes.

        • Tom U

          Hope your having a great time at the game.

          • Tony_Hall

            Never a bad night at a ballgame.

            A Reed just walked in the go ahead run though.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Comcast SportsNet: Sveum on Starlin fitting into lineup:
    “In a real world and a prolific offense, he’d probably be more towards
    the sixth and seventh spots.”

    • paulcatanese

      Totally agree Neil.

    • Ripsnorter1

      There you have it folks: Sveum admits the Cubs are not the real world.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent catch by Jackson

  • Ripsnorter1

    Dempster just got slammed by Nick Swisher……5-2 NY Yanks….
    Soto is now the starting catcher due to injury to Napoli….

  • Ripsnorter1

    Might as well look at Seth McClung’s 2012 stats down in AAA Nashville. That’s the Brewers affiliate.

    2-13 record with 6.36 ERA in 20 starts.
    1.752 WHIP. 103 IP with 121 H…
    16 HR allowed….60 BB with 80 K….6 HBP….
    Don’t expect too much……

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

    I wonder if Castro is trade bait?

    • paulcatanese

      Jim, I wouldn’t doubt it, or think its not possible.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Jim, I really don’t think so.

  • John_CC

    Barney!! On the board in the 1st. wow.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Darwin Barney with a 2-run homer … all eight of Barney’s big league homers have been hit at Wrigley.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Vitters with his first stolen base

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Serious heat from Samardzija on the called third to Maxwell … 99 mph

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Five k’s in a row for Samardzija

    • John_CC

      Shark is looking good tonight, Neil!

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        He’s looked very good … and not-so-good tonight. That first inning was bad, the end of the fifth not that swift either, in between very good.

        • John_CC

          Yeah, I missed the 1st, and then as soon as I said that he kinda lost it. Still, to me, Samardz is the brightest spot of the season. I think his future looks bright.

          • John_CC

            Alright, I guess I’ll just stop commenting about Shark now!

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            I agree, his future looks bright.

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

        Very good.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano with #21

  • John_CC

    Fonzi! … down and over the plate … opps!

  • Tony_Hall

    Jorge Soler with a double and a single tonight in Beloit.

  • John_CC

    Jackson looks pretty lost at the plate. How long do you think they’ll let him stay up if he doesn’t start reading pitches and making contact?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      With the roster expanding in 18 days, it would not make any sense to waste an option by sending him down. He would be better off staying with the team and if he misses too much time he could make it up in the AFL.

      Sorry, forgot to answer … I think he will be up for the remainder of the season.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Very good outing from Samardzija to start “his” week.

    • RMercer69

      Clever!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Nice play by Vitters

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Astros 7-1 Monday night – Jeff Samardzija: 1R,4H (HR),3BB,11K,7IP;
    Darwin Barney: 2-for-2,HR,2RBI,2BB,2R; Alfonso Soriano: 1-for-4,HR,2RBI,BB,2R; Anthony Rizzo: 4-for-5,RBI,R

    Tonight was the 100th straight game without an error by Darwin Barney

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

    Nice to get back in the W column. Lets keep beating up on the Stros.