Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 09/08/12

Game One Hundred Thirty-Nine: Cubs (52-86) vs. Pirates (72-65)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185/914
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Jeff Samardzija (8-13, 3.91/1.26) vs. James McDonald (12-7, 3.90/1.21)

The Cubs will try to make it back-to-back wins over the Pirates tonight behind Jeff Samardzija. The last time the Cubs won consecutive games on the road was July 23 and July 24 in Pittsburgh. The Cubs are just 4-20 outside of Wrigley Field since the break and three of those wins have come at PNC Park.

Jeff Samardzija will make his final start of the season tonight. The Cubs announced Friday that they will shut Samardzija down for the remainder of the year due to the amount of innings he has accumulated during his first full year as a starter at the big league level.

Jeff Samardzija has the stuff to be a top of the rotation starter and could prove to be a big part of the organization moving forward. The upper levels of the Cubs’ system is void of impact pitching prospects but Samardzija, along with Matt Garza and a healthy Arodys Vizcaino, could be a solid top three going into next season. Samardzija has clearly been one of the few bright spots for the Cubs in an otherwise dismal year at the big league level.

The Cubs announced Friday that recently acquired Jason Berken will take Samardzija’s spot in the rotation … at least for now.

Brett Jackson will miss tonight’s game after bruising his right knee during his collision with the wall in the sixth inning of Friday night’s game. Jackson turned in the catch of the year for the Cubs and it will likely cost him a couple of games.

In other newsDarwin Barney ran his errorless games streak to 123 games on Friday night and tied Ryne Sandberg for the franchise record for consecutive games played by a second baseman without an error. Darwin Barney would own the record with one more mistake free ballgame.

For the last time this season, tonight all starts with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija is coming off another excellent outing. Samardzija allowed one run on seven hits with a walk and eight strikeouts in seven innings to the Nationals. Samardzija took the loss due to an Adam LaRoche homer and no support from the Cubs’ offense.

Samardzija has not posted a win since August 13 and has only two victories in his last 10 starts despite notching seven quality starts in his last 10 outings. Samardzija has completed at least seven innings in six of those 10 starts while allowing two or fewer earned runs in eight of his last 10 games.

Since August 13 (five starts), Samardzija has struck out 41 batters while walking only six in 33 innings.

After posting a 6-8 record in his first 17 starts with a 4.71 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP, Samardzija is 2-5 in his last 10 starts with a 2.66 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP (71 strikeouts and 18 walks in 64 1/3 innings)

Tonight will be Samardzija’s second start of the season against the Bucs. Samardzija shut down the Pirates back on July 23 at PNC Park. Samardzija allowed one hit over eight shutout innings while walking one and striking out five. For his career, Samardzija is 2-0 in 12 games, one start, against the Pirates with a 0.82 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP.

Pirates Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Pedro Alvarez – 0-for-3
  • Rod Barajas – 0-for-3
  • Clint Barmes – 0-for-4
  • Josh Harrison – 0-for-1
  • Garrett Jones – 1-for-5 with a double
  • Andrew McCutchen – 3-for-7 with two walks
  • Michael McKenry – 0-for-3
  • Alex Presley – 0-for-4 with a walk
  • Gaby Sanchez – 1-for-6
  • Jose Tabata – 1-for-2
  • Neil Walker – 1-for-7 with a home run and two walks

After a very good first half, James McDonald has been very inconsistent in the second half and is coming off one of his worst starts of the season. McDonald allowed eight runs, seven earned, on six hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings to the Brewers. Milwaukee hit four home runs off McDonald in his shortest outing of the year.

McDonald has been very good in his home park this year (6-2 in 13 starts with a 2.60 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP). In order for the Pirates to stay in the mix for one of the two Wild Cards, McDonald will have to finish the season the way he started it.

James McDonald is 3-4 in his last 10 starts with a 7.14 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP and will make his second start of the year against the Cubs.

Dale Sveum’s team scored five runs on five hits in six innings against McDonald back on July 24 at PNC Park. McDonald walked three and struck out six while serving up home runs to Starlin Castro and Alfonso Soriano.

James McDonald is 0-2 in five career games, four starts, against the Cubs with a 5.33 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against James McDonald

  • Darwin Barney – 3-for-10 with a walk
  • Tony Campana – 0-for-1
  • Starlin Castro – 3-for-12 with a home run
  • David DeJesus – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Bryan LaHair – 0-for-3
  • Joe Mather – 0-for-2
  • Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-3
  • Dave Sappelt – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-7 with a home run and a walk
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-2 with a walk

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him." - David Brinkley
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Steve Clevenger was suspended for one game for his part in Thursday’s brawl with the Nationals. Clevenger will not appeal and will serve the suspension tonight.

    No suspension for bench coach Jamie Quirk or Manny Corpas, who also were ejected in Thursday’s game.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    DeJesus – RF
    Valbuena – 3B
    Rizzo – 1B
    soriano – LF
    Castro – SS
    Castillo – C
    Barney – 2B
    Samardzija – P
    Campana – CF

    The lineup is correct. Samardzija is hitting eighth, Campana ninth

  • Bryan

    So today’s the last start for Samardzjia. Since we’re now truly fielding a AA-AAA team I think Ricketts should charge admissions to reflect the field product for the rest of the season. What a shame for the fans and season ticket holders paying top dollar for a minor league event. While I know there will always be blue kool-aid drinkers out there, I don’t believe the fan base is going to tolerate another season like this for 2013. Let’s see what the braintrust actually does now that they will have a ton of $$$’s off the payroll.

    • Tony_Hall

      And if he was fielding an all veteran team like they have done in the past September’s when they have been out of it, you and many others would complain about how they are not giving the young guys a chance.

      • Bryan

        I figured you’d be the first to respond to my post, and my goodness, you did that within 2 hours. Well done Tony!

        • Tony_Hall

          You posted it on Talkin Live, when did you think someone would reply to it…tomorrow. The game just started.

          What I note more is that you can’t contest what I said, as you know it is true.

          • Bryan

            Of course it’s true, because you said so. But I do believe that Theo and staff should start scouting the Thillens league. It should beat the retreads signed off the waiver wire.

          • brent carmona

            Would you rather they trade pieces of the future to get players during this meaningless year?

            Getting retreads has been the plan all year, why do we keep beating a dead horse around here. Like zonk said (i think) this is a tear down year to begin rebuilding. Get used to it and have faith.

          • BosephHeyden

            Contestable or not, that really didn’t seem like the topic at hand. The ticket prices for Cubs games are higher priced than the product they put on the field; whether that product consists of younger guys, washed up guys, or a combination of the two, the one thing for certain is that they’re not winning this year, and they’ve pretty much made it known they’ll only be shooting for slightly better results next season (not a hard goal to accomplish).

            Still, I really wish that the Cubs fans would inherit more of a spirit that Bryan hinted at: if they’re not winning, don’t buy tickets.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree with you on that. If you think the price is too high, don’t buy the ticket.

            Supply and Demand

            If people just say no, then the demand will go down and the supply will increase. When that happens, you will see ticket prices go down in the areas where there is still a supply and more deals and packages to try and sell those tickets.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Bryan, Levine reported during his show this morning that he is hearing that the Cubs could discount their tickets next year. He has heard from his reliable sources and we should find out in the coming weeks when season ticket holders receive their letters.

      The Cubs are aware of the lack of talent at the big league level and according to Levine there have been discussions about reducing the prices.

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

        First time since I was 4, were I did not go to a game during the year.

      • Ripsnorter1

        It would surprise me if they lowered prices. How many did they draw this year? Another 3 million? As Tony said, “Supply and Demand.” If the lemmings want to buy tickets, let ‘em.

        • Tony_Hall

          They also watch the secondary market, and tickets prices plummeted there as the supply far outpaced the demand. So, to stay ahead of it, they should look to strategically lower prices in the areas where tickets had a lower demand, taking the secondary market into consideration.

      • John_CC

        Who is voting this down? You need to get a clue. The entire “voting” on blog posts is silly enough a game in vanity and narcissism, but for crying out loud! Neil runs this site and he was giving pertinent info to a posters complaining! Sheesh.

        • Tony_Hall

          Isn’t it amazing what some people mark as dislike!

          • John_CC

            Tony, I find this comment highly offensive and I really don’t like it!!

        • paulcatanese

          Not entirely the whole story John. I have voted dis-likes several times on the line-up that is posted. It’s not that I dis-like Neil, but the concept of the lineup. I try and let him know thats the reason and not directed at him.
          I get some dis-likes as well, but don’t really worry about them too much, unless there’s a comment after,and generaly its a good comment on another opinion from someone else. Although I agree, dis-likes should be used sparingly, but dont think they are meant to be nasty.

          • John_CC

            Paul, I don’t even see how a “conceptual” dislike is appropriate here. Unless of course the disliker does not like the idea of ownership lower ticket prices and believes they should go up.

          • paulcatanese

            Sorry John,being late in answering you. I agree with you, ticket prices should be lowered with what is being put on the field.
            As one who paid $3.50 for a box(and on the day of the game) I know for sure if I still were in Chicago I would not buy a ticket at the prices that are there now. Let alone a cold hot dog.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs dismiss six from Minor League staffs: Dave Bialas, Casey Kopitske, Barbaro Garbey, Frank Castillo, Marty Mason and Jason DuBois

    • Tony_Hall

      Kind of surprised on Barbaro, as I figured he would follow Soler up through the minors.

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

      Did Theo hire these guys or inherit them?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Inherited and retained

  • Tony_Hall

    I really don’t know what the home plate ump was looking at on that AB to Jones. Three strikes all called balls.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano with #27

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo gets plunked for retaliation … benches warned

  • Tony_Hall

    Who didn’t see that coming? It will be interesting if Samardzija drills someone when he is nearing the end of his night…protecting Rizzo. He could then say he didn’t hit McCutchen on purpose and that he couldn’t let them drill Rizzo like that. Plus, if he gets suspended, he can easily sit the games out.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Nice play by Samardzija on the run down

  • Ripsnorter1

    Admit it folks: Campana is more of an offensive force than Brett Jackson at this time. And more of an offensive force than DeJesus is at this time.

    • Tony_Hall

      Right now, yes over BJAX but not as much potential.

      DeJesus, I don’t think so. Campana is an exciting player who needs to use his legs to his advantage. His 298 career OBP says he can’t steal 1st.

      • Ripsnorter1

        When he has someone batting after him who can drive in runs, he is almost an automatic run scored if he gets on.

        • John_CC

          IF IF he gets on…unfortunately his OBP says that less than 3 outta 10 times he won’t get on. And as we all know, that is pretty bad in this game.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Cubs beat Pirates 4-3 on Saturday night – Jeff Samardzija: 3R, 2ER, 4H, BB, 9K, 9IP; David DeJesus: 2-for-4, RBI, BB; Tony Campana: 2-for-3, 2B, BB, 2R, SB; Alfonso Soriano: 1-for-4, HR; Welington Castillo: 2-for-4, 2B, R

            Jeff Samardzija with his first complete game. Cubs first complete game of the season.

    • Tony_Hall

      Now his career minor league OBP is 356, so it wouldn’t bother me if played everyday the rest of the way and see what he does. He could easily be the starting CF next year if they send BJAX back down to start the year, which is very likely.

  • Ripsnorter1

    And that AB demonstrates the real weakness of Campana: he is no good with Men On Base. He’s a liability then. If only he could bulk up a little more so he could drive the ball better. Maybe an offseason with Marlon Byrd and Manny Rameriz might help……

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Campana with an excellent at bat … and DeJesus with a RBI single.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent slide by Castillo

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Samardzija with a 97 mph heater to strikeout McCutchen in the eighth inning.

  • Tony_Hall

    Good job by the home plate umpire using common sense…something we don’t see everyday. Both benches were warned earlier and yet he didn’t throw out the Pirates pitcher.

    Hopefully Castro is ok.

  • Tony_Hall

    Excellent outing by Samardzija. Good way to finish the year.

    Good start for the Cubs on this stretch of games (Pirates/Astros then home versus Pirates, Reds and Cardinals).

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Darwin Barney did not commit an error in
    Saturday’s game and set a new NL mark of
    124 straight games without an error at second base. Darwin Barney broke Ryne
    Sandberg’s team and National League record of 123 straight games without an
    error at second base.

    • paulcatanese

      Congratulations to Barney on his record, and hope its a gold glove in the making.

      • paulcatanese

        Also to the Shark going nine, a good win for him.

        • brent carmona

          Agree on both posts. Really exciting stuff.

          Thanks for researching that one song. I will give it a go soon..

  • Aaron

    great start by Samardzija….

    anyone see Archer’s start though?

    • Tony_Hall

      Didn’t see it.

      7 IP
      4 H
      2 ER
      2 BB
      11 K’s

      Oh yeah, against the Rangers lineup.

      • brent carmona

        I just watched highlights of his start tonight….holy crap!

        Fastball 94-97, slider 86-88, and almost every swinging strikeout he had the hitters looked AWFUL doing it…ruh roh

        • Tony_Hall

          But we did get Matt Garza for years when we had no chance.

          That was always my point with that trade. Garza is the type of pitcher you trade the farm to add when it puts you over the top.

          I would much prefer to still have Archer, Lee in Tennessee, and roster fillers Fuld, Chirinos and Guyer. But since we have Garza, I would prefer that they extend him.