Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Giants – 08/31/12

Game One Hundred Thirty-One: Cubs (50-80) vs. Giants (74-57)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Chris Volstad (1-9, 6.28/1.47) vs. Madison Bumgarner (14-8, 2.93/1.02)

Updated 10:10am CDTJeff Beliveau Recalled from Triple-A Iowa – Brooks Raley Optioned to Triple-A Iowa

The Cubs open a three-game series against the first place San Francisco Giants this afternoon. The Giants swept the four-game series in San Francisco in June (June 1 – June 4) and it figures to be a very tough weekend for the Cubs offense.

The Cubs are coming off an impressive win over the Brewers in a game they walked a season-high 11 times … but they struck out 77 times over the seven games of the season against Brewers’ pitching and will face a much better pitching staff for the next three days. It could get very ugly this weekend if the Cubs cannot make more contact than they have of late.

After today’s match-up of Chris Volstad and Madison Bumgarner, Justin Germano is scheduled to face Tim Lincecum on Saturday with Travis Wood squaring off against Matt Cain in Sunday’s finale.

The Cubs are 3-4 over the first seven games of the 10-game homestand and must win this afternoon to avoid their worst month (record wise) since May of 2006. The Cubs posted a 7-22 record in the second month of the 2006 season and enter play today 7-21 in August (7-23 since the deadline).

Dale Sveum is expected to fill his lineup with as many right-handed bats as he can this afternoon. The Cubs are 13-21 in games started by southpaws this season.

In other news … The Cubs are expected to add players to their active roster when rosters expand Saturday. The I-Cubs completed their season Thursday night and players such as Jeff Beliveau, Adrian Cardenas, Tony Campana, Dave Sappelt, Miguel Socolovich, Rafael Dolis and Anthony Recker are on the 40-man roster. Chris Rusin is expected to be added as well to take Brooks Raley’s spot in the rotation.

This afternoon all starts with Chris Volstad

Chris Volstad is coming off his first win of the season and one of his best starts of the year. Volstad tossed 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball while allowing only three hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Volstad found a rhythm early, worked quickly and threw quality strikes. Volstad has shown improvement since being recalled at the beginning of the month.

Chris Volstad is 1-2 in his last five starts with a 3.82 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP … a marked improvement from the 0-7 record in nine starts with a 7.94 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP that he posted prior to being demoted to the minors. At Wrigley this season, Volstad is 1-5 in eight starts with a 6.20 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.

Volstad did not face the Giants in San Francisco earlier this season and is 1-2 in four career starts against the Giants with a 2.67 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

Giants Career Numbers against Chris Volstad

  • Brandon Belt – 1-for-3 with a home run
  • Gregor Blanco – 0-for-3
  • Madison Bumgarner – 0-for-1
  • Angel Pagan – 1-for-13 with a double
  • Hunter Pence – 7-for-19
  • Buster Posey – 0-for-3
  • Pablo Sandoval – 4-for-10 with a home run
  • Ryan Theriot – 4-for-14

Madison Bumgarner is arguably the best young southpaw in the game. Bumgarner has been excellent once again this season and has notched eight quality starts in his last 10 outings. Bumgarner is coming off a loss to the Braves in which he allowed four runs on seven hits with four walks and five strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings … the first non-quality start for Bumgarner since July 4.

Bumgarner is 4-3 in his last nine starts with a 2.31 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP and 3-2 in his last five starts with a 2.29 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. Since the break, Bumgarner has struck out 66 while walking 13 in 62 1/3 innings. The 23-year old southpaw is 6-6 in 14 road starts this season with a 3.70 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.

Madison Bumgarner has already beaten the Cubs once this season. Bumgarner held the Cubs to two runs on eight hits with no walks in eight innings back on June 1 … and he struck out 11 batters. Bumgarner owns a 3-1 record in five career starts against the Cubs with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP (40 strikeouts and seven walks in 34 2/3 innings) … at Wrigley Field, 1-1 in two starts with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Madison Bumgarner

  • Darwin Barney – 4-for-12 with a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 7-for-16 with a double
  • Steve Clevenger – 0-for-3
  • Joe Mather – 1-for-4
  • Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-11 with three doubles and three walks

Chicago Cubs DVD Giveaway
A&E Networks Home Entertainment/MLB Productions have released a new DVD Box set of four of the greatest games in Chicago Cubs history. The DVDs are chock full of historic moments, players and milestones in the club’s history.

The DVD set includes: The Sandberg Game, Game 163 against the Giants on September 28, 1998, the 2008 NL Central Division clinching game against the Cardinals and a game between the Cubs and Phillies from July 12, 1969.

A&E Networks contacted the CCO and asked for us to let our readers know this new DVD set is available on and set aside five copies for us to give to our readers.

Beginning August 27 and running through August 31, the CCO will conduct a daily contest and the winner will receive a copy of the DVD set from A&E.

Here is how the contest works.

There will be only (1) winner per day. All entries must be posted in the comment section with a time stamp prior to first pitch. All entries made after first pitch (7:05pm CDT or 1:20pm CDT) will NOT be valid. If any rules are not followed then those entries will NOT be valid. Winners will NOT be eligible for the remainder of the contest. All entries must include answers for all questions and failure to do so will make that entry invalid. Only (1) entry per day, per person, per IP address.

There will be a daily question based on the day’s starting pitcher followed by (5) tie breaking questions. The person with the correct answer for the first question will be that day’s winner. The tie breaking procedure will follow the order in which the questions are asked, not based on the amount of correct answers. All answers must be exact, close is not good. If more than one entry has all (6) questions answered correctly, the winner will be determined by the first correct answers given.

The winner will be posted in the comment section of that day’s game preview. The winner will have to email the CCO with a correct mailing address. A&E Networks will send out the DVD set to winners within the continental US only.

Contest Five – August 31, 2012

Number of strikeouts for Chris Volstad

  • Tie Breaking 1) Amount of earned runs allowed by Chris Volstad
  • Tie Breaking 2) Amount of hits allowed by Chris Volstad
  • Tie Breaking 3) Amount of walks allowed by Chris Volstad
  • Tie Breaking 4) Amount of home runs allowed by Chris Volstad
  • Tie Breaking 5) The final score of the game between the Cubs and Giants

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

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:

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

  • Guest

    1. 3 runs
    2. 9 hits
    3. 4 walks
    4. 0 home runs
    5. 6-5 cubs

    0932 central time

  • Brp921

    7 strikeouts
    2 earned runs
    6 hits
    3 walks
    1 home run
    Giants 3 Cubs 1

    • Brp921

      11:14 est

  • Neil

    From Bruce Miles: Cubs also to recall Socolovich, Rusin, Recker and Dolis over coming days

    • Zonk

      I think with Sappelt, Socolovich, and Recker making their Cub debuts, we will break a dubious record this year, of most players making their ML debuts, or most players on the roster, or something…..

      Certainly, it’s been a revolving door in the bullpen

  • Zonk

    Strikeouts: 4
    Hits: 7
    Walks: 2
    HRs: 1
    Final Score: 5-1 Giants over Cubs

    10:14 CST

    • Cloycub13

      Strikeouts: 6
      ER: 4
      Walks: 2
      HR: 2
      Score: 7-2 Giants
      10:18am CDT 8/31/2012

    • Aaron


      What I don’t understand, is we heard 5-6 would be recalled, but this is an awful lot more than that:
      Beliveau (though technically before September)

      That’s 8….not that it’s a big deal, but I wonder if Muskat has it wrong.

      Personally, I think all should be up, because they must find out what they have with those guys.

      • Neil

        Aaron, I think we were given bad info. These are the names I’ve been hearing. I agree with you, see what they’ve got

      • Neil

        Soriano with a RBI single

  • brent carmona

    5 k’s
    5 hits
    1 BB

    Final score: cubs 6-3

    • brent carmona

      Aw man I forgot the time…it was probably around 10:30 am cst sorry

  • Aaron

    4 K’s

    5 ER
    9 hits
    2 walks
    1 hr
    6-2 Giants win

    Oops…sorry 11:17 CST 8/31/12

    • Scott

      1) Earned runs = 3
      2) Hits = 9
      3) Walks = 4
      4) Home runs = 0
      5)Final score =Cubs 5 Giants 8

    • Neil

      Friday’s game has begun. Thanks to everyone who participated
      today. I will post the winner later tonight.

  • cubs1967

    went to game yesterday for a fundraiser in the Batter’s eye restaurant. Great View! Very friendly service! Horrid food menu; popcorn-chix nuggets-hot dogs-cookies-all for $165………(not including fundraiser markup). Really!!
    For that kind of money that’s all the Ricketts family can produce…..the menu is better at the stands. Very disappointed. Told the group to not do that again……….if the product on the field is gonna be subpar; then the other amenities should be well above par.
    Shameful tommyboy………..really shameful.

  • Denver Mike

    8/31 @ 10:30 MST

    5-3 Brewers

  • CCHForever

    5 K’s
    3 ER
    7 Hits
    2 BB
    1 HR
    6-4 Cubs

    9:30 AM PST

  • cubs1967

    can’t wait to see saffellt………….yippee!!

  • texcubnut

    2 K’s
    6 ER
    3 BB
    3 HR
    9 HITS
    Giants 6 Cubs 1

    • texcubnut

      12:40 P.M. CST

    • redlarczykg

      Sveum said at the being to the season, that Volstad was learning to pitch, after being thrown into the Majors too soon.
      Maybe he’s right! I was giving up on Volstad, but wouldn’t it be great if he did turn into a good middle of the rotation guy!

      The Cubs are in desperate need to quality starting pitching.
      This could be start of an interesting Cub relationship. (fog and rain needed for last line)

      • Neil

        The Tigers DFA’d Jeff Baker

        • Dorasaga

          Please refresh my memory. Who were the PTBNL Baker traded for?

          • Zonk

            We have not received them yet. Odds are, they won’t be worth too much, given that he’s DFA’ed…..

            I’m surprised he was DFA’ed, given the Tigers problems at 2B. Baker isn’t that great, but he can at least mash LHP, so that’s something.

          • Dorasaga

            Thanks to both of your replies. I guess we’ll know October 31. Baker filled a role the Cubs needed before calling up Rizzo and Vitters, and the Tigers were probably looking for a similar role out of him.

          • Neil
    • calicub

      looks ike this competition is between you and I…

  • Neil

    Soriano with #24 … 2-run shot onto Waveland

  • RobMor

    Somebody pick up Soriano!!!

  • Dorasaga

    Top of the 4, that pitch of run given to Posey looked like a hanging slider. Pitch f/x says sinker. At almost 91 mph, fx is right, consistent match with his career pitches.

    Now, upon further review of wins contributed or detributed (WAR value of each pitch type) throughout his career, his sinker has been his second worst. In fact, his sinker has been the worst only SECOND TO HIS FOUR-SEAMER. He’s been throwing 2-seam more than 47% for three seasons now.

    Most pitchers who don’t pitch 95 mph and have as little command as Volstad probably got hacked a lot by throwing 4-seam, so he needs that movement. But here’s the other side of the story, his changeup and curve are surprisingly OK (mediocrely below average, but not bad). Volstad’s sliders actually worked really well, the only pitch that garnered him positive value.

    My sabermetric instinct yells at him: Drop the sinker when all hitters expect you to pitch this. Don’t use it when count comes to full or behind.

    Here’s another brain ticker; I don’t know what were the Marlins pitching coaches been thinking. He needs success by mixing in breakers, not throwing sinkers 50% of the time (which he did in 2010 and had success as he just introduced the pitch; perhaps a surprise to the league). My guess is they got too many coaches and failed to have a uniform message to guide this first round pick, in 2005, back to the right track.

    • Zonk

      Question for you guys: Should the Cubs tender Chris Volstad?

      We would need to offer $2.8 mil-ish to keep him. A month ago, he was an obvious non-tender candidate, now I am not so sure.

      He still is pretty average, but the FA starting pitching available is thin, and $3 mil or so for one year isn’t a big risk.

      I personally think we should tender him, and consider him 5th starter. (and have Struck/Rusin/Raley at Iowa in case he implodes again)

      What do you think?

      • BosephHeyden

        Here’s the thing: Volstad’s good when it doesn’t matter. He was average in Spring Training and won a roster spot, everyone figured he’d turn a corner, and then he proceeded to get destroyed every single outing until only recently. This recent turn around? It isn’t new. He’s had turnarounds in the minors the last two years that have lead to him getting called up, showing some sort of form, and then proceeding to go back to getting knocked around. And I’m sure once we get to Spring Training next year, whether he be with the Cubs or elsewhere, he’s going to do an average job again, and then will wind up getting knocked around with whatever team he goes to before going down to the minors, showing improvement, and, well, the cycle continues.

        Volstad is a project, plain and simple. And the Cubs are not the team to try and fix Chris Volstad. Japan is a good place for him. Or semi-pro baseball, like Roger Clemens is doing. But this is something that has happened in the past multiple times and will continue to happen. He’s just not a good MLB pitcher, and it’s best to cut ties with him while we’re ahead.

        • triple

          Is he 25? Still young, and probably immature. Maybe he starts coming to his senses and starts doing what it takes to be a big leaguer. I’m all for tendering him a contract. Hell, it’s not my $$$! What does it hurt? Next year isn’t the year anyway. Just wait until the year after next year! Or the one after that.

      • Tony_Hall

        They will keep him for next year. He will go back to Iowa, if he doesn’t earn a rotation spot.

        • Neil

          The Tigers traded Jeff Baker to the Braves

  • Dorasaga

    That’s a HR. And please hire that 5th umpire to speed up extended video reviews. Maybe with more positions at each game, we’ll even see the first woman’s umpire during a MLB game!

  • Aaron

    Throwing 60-80 mph meatballs can only get you so far. I pray the Cubs don’t make the mistake of bringing Camp back next year. His slider moves a lot…true…but it’s also 75 mph. If he had a low 90’s fastball or could touch 88-89 mph with regularity, then it’d be a VERY effective pitch. But when your fastball sits low-to-mid 80’s as a righty…. you’re playing with fire at the big leagues.

  • Aaron

    Affeldt just balked…umps totally missed it. If anyone has DVR, rewind

  • Dorasaga

    That’s the wrong call. The inning should be alive.

  • Neil

    Cubs beat the Giants 6-4 Friday afternoon – Chris Volstad: 2R,5H,3BB,2K,5.2IP;
    Alfonso Soriano: 2-for-4,HR,3RBI; Anthony Rizzo: 2-for-4,HR,2R; Welington Castillo: 2-for-4,2B,RBI,R

    • calicub

      I don’t want to be presumptive…. but did i win?

      • Neil

        Sorry man, been working on the recap. Yes you did.

        • calicub

          Awesome i never win anything!

          THanks Neil, i sent you a message with my info

  • Dorasaga

    Good game. Whatever clicked for him, Volstad is on a roll. Maybe some more faith of the new pitching coach?

  • Neil

    Thanks to everyone that participated in this week’s contest. I hope everyone had fun with it. Just a reminder, if you won one of the daily contests please email your contact info as soon as possible.

  • Guest

    1. 3 runs
    2. 5 hits
    3. 3 walks
    4. 0 home runs
    5. 6-5 cubs

    0935 central

  • Guest

    Oops…. 6 strike outs.

  • Neil

    According to Carrie Muskat, Tony Campana, Dave Sappelt and Adrian Cardenas to join Cubs on Saturday. Chris Rusin will start Tuesday.

  • Neil

    Jeff Beliveau was recalled from Iowa, Brooks Raley was optioned prior to today’s game.