Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 08/17/12

Game One Hundred Seventeen: Cubs (46-70) vs. Reds (71-47)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184/914
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Travis Wood (4-8, 4.52/1.25) vs. Bronson Arroyo (8-7, 3.95/1.23)

The Cubs begin a difficult seven-game road trip tonight in Cincinnati that concludes Wednesday in Milwaukee. The Cubs not only play four games in three days in the Queen City but all four games will be played within 48 hours.

Dale Sveum’s team has struggled against the first place Reds this season. After dropping three of four to the Redlegs last weekend at Wrigley, the Cubs are 3-6 in the first nine games of the season with only three remaining on the schedule after this weekend (September 18 – September 20 at Wrigley) … and it does not figure to get any easier for the slumping Cubs over the next three days.

Following tonight’s matchup of Travis Wood and Bronson Arroyo, Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face Johnny Cueto in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader. Brooks Raley is expected to be activated for game two. The Reds have not announced their starter for the second game of the twin bill. And Chris Volstad will square off against Mat Latos in Sunday’s finale.

With the new rule changes, the Cubs and Reds will be able to add a pitcher for Saturday’s games. Both teams will play with a 26-man active roster as opposed to the usual 25-man roster.

Look for Dale Sveum to load his lineup with as many lefties as possible tonight. Sveum used the lefty formula against Bronson Arroyo and beat him back on May 2 in Cincinnati … but last Saturday was the exact opposite as the offense managed only two runs on hits in eight innings. Lefties are hitting .304/.333/.447 with 17 doubles and 12 homers against Arroyo while right handers have managed a .232/.269/.357 line with 14 doubles and eight homers.

The Cubs must figure out a way to slow down the Reds offense. The Cubs were outscored 20-15 in the four games last weekend with eight of the 15 runs the Cubs scored coming in the 10-8 loss on Friday afternoon. Todd Frazier had a huge four-games and he has killed Cubs’ pitching during his short big league career (.378/.452/.703/.1.155, 14-for-37 with four doubles, a triple and two home runs in 14 games).

The Cubs final trip of the season to Cincinnati all starts with Travis Wood

Travis Wood faced his former team in his last outing now he gets to take the hill in his old home park for the first time as a visitor. Wood was able to keep his emotions in check the last time out … can he do it again tonight?

Travis Wood put together one of his better starts of the season against the Reds and left with a lead. But James Russell imploded and the Cubs’ offense could not mount a comeback against the Reds’ pen. Wood allowed one run on five hits with a walk in seven innings and tied a career-high with eight strikeouts. With Wood’s history at Great American, repeating his previous start seems unlikely … but that is why ‘they‘ play the game.

After a miserable three starts following the break, Wood is 0-2 in his last three starts with a 2.50 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. Wood, unlike many of his teammates, has been better on the road (2-4 in seven starts with a 3.67 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP) than he’s been at Wrigley (2-4 in nine starts with a 5.17 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP) this season.

Travis Wood will face his old team for the second time in a park he owns a 3-6 record in 15 games, 13 starts, with a 5.30 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP.

Reds Career Numbers against Travis Wood

  • Bronson Arroyo – 0-for-2
  • Zack Cozart – 0-for-4
  • Todd Frazier – 2-for-2 with a walk
  • Ryan Hanigan – 2-for-3
  • Chris Heisey – 0-for-3
  • Ryan Ludwick – 2-for-8 with two walks
  • Brandon Phillips – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Drew Stubbs – 0-for-3
  • Wilson Valdez – 0-for-6 with a walk

Bronson Arroyo outlasted Travis Wood in his last start and picked up another win against the Cubs. Arroyo allowed two runs on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts over eight innings … his longest start in over a month.

Arroyo is 2-1 in his last three starts with a 5.12 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP … and since the break he is 4-2 in six starts with a 4.63 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.

Like a majority of his staff mates, Arroyo has been better on the road (6-5 in 13 starts with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP) than at home (2-2 in 10 starts with a 4.45 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP) this season.

Bronson Arroyo is 1-1 in two starts against the Cubs this year with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP … for his career, 10-9 in 27 games, 25 starts, with a 2.94 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Bronson Arroyo

  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-11
  • Starlin Castro – 3-for-17 with a double and a home run
  • Steve Clevenger – 1-for-3
  • David DeJesus – 3-for-15 with two walks
  • Bryan LaHair – 1-for-5 with a home run and a walk
  • Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-4
  • Alfonso Soriano – 10-for-48 with five doubles, a home run and two walks
  • Luis Valbuena – 1-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Travis Wood – 0-for-3

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure." – W.J. Slim

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  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

  • Neil

    Roster move from the Boise Hawks – Matt Iannazzo has been
    promoted to the Daytona Cubs, no corresponding roster move announced

    • Tom U

      Neil, Horacio Ramirez was signed and Ryan Searle brought up to replace Casey Coleman and Jaye Chapman for Iowa, as they both went to the 7-day DL. Iannazzo will replace Searle at Daytona. Matt Spencer also came off the DL for Daytona.

      • Neil

        Thanks Tom

  • Neil

    Jorge Soler is back in the lineup tonight after missing
    a couple of days with a sore thumb

  • Neil

    From ESPN Chicago: Castro says he’s honored the Cubs are talking contract extension w his agent. Adds he wants to be with Cubs for life.
    Castro has instructed agent to not give him negotiation updates. He only wants to know when a deal is just about done.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Dempster has been racked down in Texas. He’s sporting a 8.61 ERA in 3 starts. Well now he’s taking time off for “personal reasons.” He’s going to miss his next start. He’s on the restricted list.

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Boise – Justin Amlung (0-0, 4.50)
    Peoria – Starling Peralta (4-8, 3.27)
    Daytona – Kyle Hendricks (0-0, 2.25)
    Tennessee – Dae-Run Rhee (8-6, 4.98)
    Iowa – Horacio Ramirez (0-0, 0,00)

  • Neil

    From Comcast SportsNet: Theo on Castro extension talks: “It’s something we’d like to get done. I
    think it would be a good thing for Starlin and for the ballclub.”

    Theo: “You got an extremely talented 22-year-old who to us has proven that he can play shortstop at this level.”

    Theo on Starlin: “We project the bat to get better and better as he matures into his prime. ”

  • Neil

    From Ken Rosenthal: Sources: Cubs’ deal with Castro will be for 6 or 7 yrs plus club option for another yr. Will buy out all 4 years arb and 2 or 3 FA years.

    • John_CC

      How much do you think they will land on, ballpark?

      • John_CC

        I really like Brenly. On Barney needing a day off to just be “brain dead.” Brenly: “well this is a great place to be brain dead, not much distraction here,” referring to Cinci.

      • Tony_Hall

        6 years – $60M

        “Earlier this year, Mike Axisa estimated that the Cubs will have to spend roughly $20MM to cover his arbitration years and $12-15MM for each year of free agency. Theo Epstein & Co. have an additional year of arbitration to cover as the shortstop is likely to qualify as a Super Two.”

        From earlier this year –

      • Neil

        John, sorry I missed this yesterday. I have heard/read 6-7 years in the $60 million range with club options as well as opt outs for Castro. Rosenthal’s report yesterday was not the first time I’ve heard/read the days of the Cubs handing out no-trade clauses are gone.

  • Ripsnorter1

    With Melky Cabrera out for 50 games, will the SF Giants be compelled to get Soriano? Soriano doesn’t sound like he cares much for SF.

    • RickinMSP

      And Sabean has said he doesn’t care much for Soriano.

      • Neil

        Nice single by Wood, bad baserunning. Sloppy game so far for both teams

  • Neil

    Over 30 pitches right now for Wood in the fourth

  • cubtex

    Travis Wood has now given up 21 HR’s in 17 starts. Not good!

  • Neil

    Soriano nailed Ludwick … excellent throw.

    • John_CC

      That was a nice play.

      And a beauty by Barney on the glove flip.

      • Neil


  • John_CC

    Nice inning. I haven’t been watching much lately, is Alberto Cabrera a potential for the future bullpen? he looked good there.

    • Neil

      He could be. Cabrera’s issue is throwing strikes. I am curious to see how he fares once he faces the league for a while.

      • Dorasaga

        Neil, did you get my email request (also posted on CCO’s facebook)?

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 7-3 to Reds Friday night – Travis Wood: 7R, 6ER, 9H
    (3HR), 0BB, HBP, 3K, 5IP; Luis Valbuena: 3-for-4, HR, 2B; Anthony Rizzo: 2-for-5; Starlin Castro:
    2-for-4, R