Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 08/19/12

Game One Hundred Twenty: Cubs (47-72) vs. Reds (73-48)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184/914
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Chris Volstad (0-9, 6.96/1.55) vs. Mat Latos (10-3, 3.63/1.18)

Can the Cubs make it two in a row over the Reds? With splitting Saturday’s day-night doubleheader the Cubs have a chance to leave Cincinnati with two wins in four games. But in order to accomplish that feat, Chris Volstad will have to keep the Reds off the board while the offense tries to figure out Mat Latos.

The Reds acquired Mat Latos from the Padres last December 17 for Yonder Alonso, Brad Boxberger, Yasmani Grandal and Edinson Volquez. The deal has worked out well for both teams and also for the Chicago Cubs. By acquiring Yonder Alonso, the Padres made Anthony Rizzo available and the Cubs acquired him three weeks later (January 6) along with Zach Cates from San Diego for Andrew Cashner and Kyung-Min Na.

With Welington Castillo nursing a sore right foot, Steve Clevenger should be in the starting lineup for this afternoon’s finale. Alfonso Soriano received Saturday night off and will be back in there today. Will Josh Vitters be at third?

The Cubs’ last game of the year in Cincinnati all starts with Chris Volstad ..

After showing improvement in the two starts following his recall from Triple-A Iowa, Chris Volstad returned to form in his last start. Volstad set the tone for the night against the Astros and the Cubs ended up on the wrong end of a 10-1 blowout. Volstad not only allowed four runs on eight hits in five innings but he missed his spots and appeared to lose any confidence he may have had early on.

Chris Volstad’s biggest issue is between his ears and he will continue to lose ballgames until he is able to get past his mental hurdles.

Volstad is 0-2 in his last three starts with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP … and outside of Wrigley, 0-4 in five starts with a 6.44 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.

Chris Volstad had one of his better starts of the season against the Reds two starts ago. Volstad allowed three runs on six hits in six innings. Volstad walked two, struck out two and the Cubs won the game … the first (and only) win for the Cubs in a game started by Chris Volstad this season.

Chris Volstad is 0-1 against the Reds this season with a 6.55 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP, for his career 1-3 in five starts with a 5.16 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.

Reds Career Numbers against Chris Volstad

  • Jay Bruce – 3-for-14 with a double and a walk
  • Miguel Cairo – 0-for-6 with a walk
  • Zack Cozart – 2-for-6 with a home run
  • Todd Frazier – 2-for-3 with a double and a home run
  • Ryan Hanigan – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Chris Heisey – 1-for-3
  • Ryan Ludwick – 2-for-4 with a double and two walks
  • Devin Mesoraco – 1-for-4 with a walk
  • Xavier Paul – 1-for-3 with a home run
  • Brandon Phillips – 5-for-10 with a double and two walk
  • Scott Rolen – 0-for-5 with a walk
  • Drew Stubbs – 2-for-8 with a double and a walk
  • Wilson Valdez – 6-for-14 with two walks

The Cubs will get their first look at Mat Latos in a Reds’ uniform this afternoon. After struggling early in the season (7-2 in 17 starts with a 4.13 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP), Latos has been lights out of late (1-0 in three starts with a 0.42 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP) and has allowed one earned run in his last three outings (21 1/3 innings).

Mat Latos received a no decision in his last outing. The Reds walked off the Mets 3-0 on a three-run shot off the bat of Jay Bruce. Latos tossed seven innings of shutout ball and surrendered just five hits and two walks while striking out four. Latos has been excellent and the Reds are 7-3 in his last 10 starts.

Mat Latos is 6-2 in 13 starts at Great American this season with a 3.23 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

The Cubs have not had much success against Mat Latos. In four career games, Latos is 2-2 with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Mat Latos

  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-9
  • Steve Clevenger – 0-for-3
  • Bryan LaHair – 0-for-3
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-8 with a home run

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did." - Mark Twain

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  • BosephHeyden

    As far as Vitters at third goes, I would take a guess and say “no”.

    • Brp921

      Hopefully Vitters can learn to play a few positions proficiently. I can see him settling in to a Mark DeRosa type role. 400 plus at bats while starting at several positions.

  • SuzyS

    Just read a good article on Baez…paraphrased…”He’s the type of talent the Cubs system hasn’t seen since Castro.” ..The article says they project him to move from ss to third. I hope he’s as good as they say: http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/12793/baez-quietly-emerging-as-top-cubs-prospect?ex_cid=2012_local_ob_chi_ban_lnk

    • Tony_Hall

      Good article on Baez. Thanks for sharing.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Reds sent Redmond to the minors after one start. Getting shellacked by the Cubs wasn’t a good omen….

        • Tony_Hall

          He was the 26th man for the DH…he had to go back to the minors by rule….and getting hit by the Cubs will keep there the rest of the year.

          That was the Reds first start by someone not in their 5 man rotation this year.

          • Ripsnorter1

            That’s very good health by the Reds pitching staff. Excellent.

          • Tony_Hall

            Hard to believe Dusty is the manager…

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Tony, I think it has more to do with Bryan Price.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          As Tony pointed out, that was done by rule. Raley was also sent down to Triple-A after last night’s game.

    • paulcatanese

      I’ll try this again Suzy, lost the response.
      I havent read the article from espn but would agree 100% about Baez being the best talent since Castro.
      But at this stage with Baez, only with the bat. He still has to prove he can handle it with the glove and arm strength to go along with any comparison on that end to Castro.
      I hope they can find a defensive spot for him, as with the bat, he will be on the fast track.

    • Dorasaga

      Good share. It also helps us look back and analyze Vitters. The older third baseman doesn’t have the instinct that scouts prefer. I wonder where he’ll fit the Cubs need. One possibility is leftfield, an easier transition from 3B.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

  • cubtex

    Valbuena batting 3rd? Hahaha! Pencil in loss #73.

    • paulcatanese

      Cubtex, almost as bad, but not quite as LaHair at 1b.
      Small samples must have a big impact with Sveum.

      • cubtex

        At least it saves me from wasting any of my Sunday watching the game. Valbuena,LaHair and Volstad. Wow!

    • Roseyc

      Anytime the Cubs win it’s a shocker these days no matter what the lineup. Anyways it doesn’t matter. Houston will get the 1st draft pick hopefully the Cubs can get the second

    • brent carmona

      Cubtex, what’s the big deal batting him third?

      He’s been performing lately, hard to believe right? funny because I thought switching a guy around in the lineup messes with their head….but anyways, suevm let him bat first yesterday and succeeded, especially with grinding out at bats, which is the model of what the front office/coaches want. Him batting third today is probably due to performance, let him have the opportunity to play and let vitters learn how to take some pitches for once.

      Managers can’t play the hot hand or what?

      He shook up the lineup in game two yesterday and it worked well, why not today? Oh yeah and the team isn’t very good so what does it hurt?

      I know its Luis valbuena, but still.

      • cubtex

        They faced a AAA pitcher yesterday is why it worked. Please! Tell me what good it does to have a guy who batted .193 in 2010 .206 in 2011 and a whopping .226 this year batting in the 3 spot? Hey LaHair got a hit yesterday too….why not bat him leadoff? Hot hand and he takes pitches. lol

        • Tony_Hall

          Maybe it’s so others can stay in their spots in the order and they didn’t want Lahair to bat 3rd.

          Your Lahair comment would have been better if you had said Lahair stole 2 bases yesterday, why not bat him lead-off…

          • cubtex

            Sveum obviously doesn’t care about that. Who has a consistent spot other than DeJesus and Rizzo?

          • Tony_Hall

            He must not want Soriano in the third spot and doesn’t want Castro in front of Soriano. So, he must care about it with certain players more than others, otherwise he would have moved them up a spot to give Rizzo a day off.

          • cubtex

            who knows? I have no idea what Sveum is doing. And with a 100 loss season a real possibility…..he doesn’t either.

          • Tony_Hall

            Sorry dude, but I think they know what they are doing and wins are not the most important thing this year…which you know.

            Does this mean that they never make mistakes…of course not, everybody makes mistakes, which you enjoy pointing out to everyone.

          • paulcatanese

            Tony, I’ll sneak in here and mention in the real world and regular lineup, I would like to see
            Rizzo 3 spot, Castro 4 spot and Soriono hitting number 5. I think that would work very well.
            Castro responded very well in the 4 hole yesterday, and I posted as much and was met with a dislike, it was a compliment to Castro.

          • Tony_Hall

            I think Castro needs to bat 5th/6th until his OBP gets high enough for him to be at the top of the lineup.

            I like Rizzo 3rd, Soriano 4th, Castro 5th for now.

          • Dorasaga

            Castro and ol’Fonzi back to back will mean 100 extra outs the remainder of the season. They are not disciplined hitters. They can hack well, but as far as helping baserunners advance? I prefer to see Lahair and Dejesus back to back after Rizzo, so at least someone can keep the offense going.

        • brent carmona

          I see his stats from previous years are irrelevant, how has he been doing the past week or so? Better than vitters AND while being shuffled throughout the lineup. Lahair only had good game unlike Luis by the way.

          Are we competing? No.
          Is vitters ready? No.

          You want to bring up past years from Luis, look at past AAA numbers from him and he’s been on par with what vitters has been doing in AAA. Pretty funny huh?

          Look, I don’t care for valbuena but all I’m saying is svuem is trying to do what he can with the junk he has currently.

          • cubtex

            Cmon man. This season is lost. What exactly is Sveum trying to do? They are on pace to lose 100 games. Explain to me what he is trying to do……because I have no idea!

      • BosephHeyden

        You can play the hot hand when you’re winning…not so much when you’re well out of any race and supposedly rebuilding.

        • Tony_Hall

          So when you are losing you should sit the hot hand…Valbuena is very likely on the roster next year, as a bench player or at 3B to start the year, while Vitters is at AAA.

    • Tony_Hall

      You would think that even if it was the regular lineup…

      • cubtex

        yes….you are right as long as Volstad is pitching.lol

  • paulcatanese

    Cant recall Castro hitting in the 4 spot before, but he responded well there.
    Dont know if its the relief of a new contract or him believeing thats where he should be in the lineup, in any event, he responded.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs looking at Chris Rusin to start Tuesday night in Milwaukee

    Edit – Having Rusin start would require a 40-man roster move as well. Nothing on a possible move yet.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Big mistake to Bruce, that one should have left the park.

  • Skeldor

    Back to back terrible defensive plas by the cubs. Castro has to dive and keep the ball in front so the runner doesn’t advance to third. Soriano has to throw to the correct base

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    24 straight for Volstad without a win

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good job by Valbuena and Soriano … game tied at four.

  • SuzyS

    One of the tweets says the Cubs are ramping up to find a new farm director. That actually says a ton more than the simple statement. That means Theo was not planning to discharge Fleita…nor was he prepared to replace him.
    So something happened recently along the lines of philosophical differences that caused Theo to fire Fleita.
    It was curious that he kept him in the first place…One can argue that it is a setback…because the new replacement will take some time just to get up to speed with whats in the system.
    This is all speculation on my part. But the whole thing does not seem to be very well thought out on the Cubs part.
    I expected Oneri to be swept out when Theo was first hired. It seems really strange to me that once they decided to keep him…that they fire him at this time…without a replacement in hand.
    Thoughts???

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I hesitated to re-tweet that link because the title was/is misleading. The names are what I wanted to pass on. The article should have stated they were beginning the interview process this week.

      Suzy, this is not a big deal and not a set back at all. It would have been unprofessional to interview Fleita’s replacement while he was still employed. All three candidates are solid, I am intrigued by Kurt Kemp.

      • SuzyS

        Thanks for the explanation, Neil. As always…you’re doing a great job…many thanks.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Agree with Bob, lots of ugly baserunning this series

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Brett Jackson with a double off Chapman, one-hop wall in left.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Jackson will learn

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost to Reds 5-4 Sunday afternoon – Chris Volstad: 4R,7H,BB,4K,6IP;
    David DeJesus: 3-for-4,2B,RBI,2R; Starlin Castro: 1-for-4,RBI; Alfonso Soriano: 1-for-3,2RBI,SF

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs claim LHP Alex Hinshaw off waivers from Padres. To make room on 40-man, RHP Arodys Vizcaino is transferred to 60-day DL