Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 09/11/12

Game One Hundred Forty-Two: Cubs (55-86) vs. Astros (44-97)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WCIU – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186/914
Location – Minute Maid Park, Houston

Justin Germano (2-6, 6.95/1.45) vs. Jordan Lyles (3-11, 5.55/1.49)

We Will Never Forget.

The Cubs will shoot for their season-high fifth straight win tonight behind Justin Germano. The Cubs are riding their third four-game winning streak of the season (June 29-July 2, July 8-July 15) and have posted four straight victories on the road for the first time since last season (July 31-August 4).

Dale Sveum’s team is focused on not losing 100 games this season. With 21 remaining on the schedule, the Cubs must win eight more times to avoid a three-digit loss season. With games remaining against the Reds (3), Cardinals (3) and Pirates (4) at Wrigley and trips to Arizona (3) and Colorado (3), they must post as many wins as possible in the five games they have remaining with Houston.

David DeJesus, Brett Jackson and Luis Valbuena are expected to be back in the starting lineup with the right-hander on the hill for the Astros. Jackson has missed the last three games after colliding with the wall Friday night in Pittsburgh. The Cubs face lefty Fernando Abad on Wednesday night so look for Dale Sveum to get all of his lefties into the starting lineup.

Tonight it all starts with Justin Germano

Justin Germano is coming off another bad outing. The Nationals lit up Germano last Thursday night. Germano allowed seven runs, six earned, on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in four innings. Germano has gone from serviceable to not-so-serviceable over his last four starts.

After putting together a quality start against the Astros on August 15 (two runs on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings), Germano has allowed seven, five, five and six earned runs in his last four starts.

Justin Germano is 0-4 in his last four outings with a 11.09 ERA and a 1.93 WHIP … 24 runs, 23 earned, on 31 hits with five walks and 11 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings. Outside of Wrigley this season, 0-3 in four games, three starts, with a 8.47 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.

Justin Germano’s best start came against the Astros at Wrigley on August 15 and for his career, Germano is 1-2 in three starts against Houston with a 8.62 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP … at Minute Maid Park, 0-1 in one start with a 27.00 ERA and a 3.90 WHIP. Germano allowed 10 runs on 10 hits with three walks and a strikeout in 3 1/3 innings to the Astros on April 21, 2008.

Astros Career Numbers against Justin Germano

  • Jose Altuve – 2-for-3
  • Brandon Barnes – 1-for-2
  • Brian Bogusevic – 0-for-1
  • Jason Castro – 0-for-2
  • Marwin Gonzalez – 0-for-3
  • Fernando Martinez – 0-for-1
  • Justin Maxwell – 0-for-2
  • Scott Moore – 2-for-3 with a home run
  • Chris Snyder – 2-for-5 with a walk

Jordan Lyles is coming off a rough start and a loss to the Pirates. Lyles allowed five runs, four earned, on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Lyles has figured in the decision in seven of his last 10 starts and one of his better outings of the season came two starts ago against the Mets (one run on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts in six innings).

The 21-year old right hander posted a 1-3 record in six starts in August with a 5.29 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP and since the break Lyles is 1-6 in 10 starts with a 6.07 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. Lyles has pitched better at Minute Maid (2-4 in 10 starts with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP) than on the road (1-7 in 11 starts with a 6.95 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP) this year.

Jordan Lyles made his big league debut against the Cubs last May 31 at Wrigley and will face the Cubs for the third time in his career tonight. Lyles has two no decisions in two starts against the Cubs with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP … tonight will be the Cubs first look of the season at Jordan Lyles.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jordan Lyles

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Tony Campana – 0-for-2
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-6 with a triple
  • Alfonso Soriano – 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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  • SuzyS

    To Tony Hall…regarding this am’s thread. With the choices you listed for next year’s rotation…I still think Theo /Hoyer will pick up at least 2 FA arms for the upcoming season.
    Demp was an innings eater…and Maholm was really picking it up at the end of his stay.
    Most of our pitching is at A level or below…which means that at best…there won’t be that much help from the farm until the end of 2013… to early 2014…just to get their feet wet….AND I’m discounting guys like Germano as truly viable candidates.
    Assuming we might need up to a dozen so-so starters just to get through the season…you listed 11 candidates including Shark/Garza/Viscaino (Sp?). That’s counting on Garza and Viscaino to come in healthy and remain so…which I certainly am not sure of.
    If they DFA anyone…we’re short again. I’m not talking about world beater FA pitchers…just FA’s that might go the distance.
    Given those circumstances…I don’t think it’s unreasonable that they might pick up a pretty solid vet…and another gamble or 2 for short term deals.
    AFTER this off-season, if we don’t see an ace developing…it’s not unreasonable to expect them to go after a front of the rotation guy.
    I don’t see Theo/Hoyer/Ricketts wallowing in the mud forever.

    • Dorasaga

      Your last segment basically summarized what most of us educated fans expect to happen. Let’s not forget that it took Shark more than four Major League seasons to put it all together. I’m guessing the Co. like Vizcaino, a former high Int’l FA with the Yankees, requires less time to develop and deal with Major League lineups consistently. But two or three years IF the rotation is improved and ready to compete as a whole.

      This organization is “stocking” young talents that will strive for better pitching and better fundamentals. We all know that the Cubs is good with middle infielders down the farm (I love when Tom U reported the dilemma of not advancing a 2B or sS). None of them are set in stone to be promoted to near the Big show every year. MOST of them will be trade baits. Some of them will end up as a mid-season return to one or two of these guys:

      We are talking rentals here. Proven veterans who always got stuffs, Capuano and Johan, two left-handed. Teams like Phillies who might retool may part with Halladay, the kind of Hall of Famer, the “Name Player” that Chicago fans want. Pitchers that will be “projects,” Nolasco, Pelfrey, Stauffer, Wada, will be worth the risk since they are in early-30s.

      Veteran presence on winning organization is always a valuable asset. Carpenter, Hammel, Lincecum, and Wada all served very good and competitive ballclubs for a significant amount of years. I also realized there are so many lefties coming off book after 2013.

      My personal choice would be trading away LHP down single A and the surplus of prime positions throughout all levels for Hammel and Halladay. Hammel, a LHP that is valuable to his own right, may be extended if proven healthy. A “second-tier” choice may be Lincecum and Wada, another LHP. The latter overpitched in Japan (hence, TJ-ing right now), but he pitched for the Hawks, that knew nothing but win.

      I can see that next year will be good for trading much-needed pitching. The NEAR future can still be bright.

      • Tony_Hall

        That 2014 free agent list is scary to see all of the 30 somethings listed with a 29 or maybe a 28 year old sprinkled here and there. As teams lock up their young players more and more, the teams that draft, sign, and develop their young talent the best are going to be the teams that are winning more games each year.

        • Dorasaga

          For LHP or power pitchers, I wouldn’t worry. History proves that they need more time to develop, and most power pitchers, who lost the edge not having 95mph, can learn and rely more on fastball movement than just breakers. The Cardinal staff is a good example. Guys like Lohse are still pitching 90mph sinkers and effective throughout his career, but just aged well enough whilst under good coaching.

          BREAKING NEWS: Hammel just went down, pitched 4 IP but a re-inflammed knee. I guess some pitchers are less able to stay healthy, LHP or not.

          Wada will be interesting. He’s a NAME PLAYER in Japan. I saw his signs everywhere in Tokyo, though his parent team is from another island South of south. He’s a breaking ball pitcher well established, and always wanted to pitch at MLB. I reckon he researched and made himself ready 4 years ago, when I first heard him said that.

          BTW, despite misinformation from Cubs PR, Fukudome was NEVER a name player in Japan. He played for a central team that was more small-market for Major League comp.

        • Neil

          Rizzo was helped off the field. Very scary.

          Will post updates as available

        • Neil

          From the Tribune: Rzzo has sore right shoulder after hard landing, but said he’s OK.

    • Tony_Hall

      I can see them adding more in the FA market, but lower end for more AAA depth.

      If the right pitcher who will help short term and has enough years to bridge them to the guys at the lower levels will be ready, then I can see them adding someone else

  • Neil

    Rizzo is hurt

  • Neil

    From Comcast SportsNet: Rizzo escaped a scary collision at first base with only soreness in his right shoulder/upper back.

  • Neil

    Sappelt with another double

    • Aaron

      more Cubbery….only the ump missed 2 calls badly on 1 damn play

  • Neil

    Bad, bad baserunning

    • Aaron

      The thing that gets me about that play too is that Sappelt was already in scoring position with 2 outs…it’s not like it was 0 outs, or 1 out, and he could have scored on a groundout.

      I don’t think I had a single coach that encouraged advancing from 2nd to 3rd on a sac fly that resulted in 2 outs

    • Neil

      Horrible calls by the ump

  • Aaron

    …and Sappelt with more Cubbery….Little League 101. What a dumba$$

    • Neil

      Aaron, that was both of them. Not just Sappelt. Castro has to run all the way to the plate.

      • Aaron

        True, Castro started jogging too soon, but even with less than 2 outs, you don’t push it trying to advance to 3rd on a shallow fly to center….like I said…Little League 101

        • Neil

          Aaron, I agree.

  • Aaron

    I guess when you’re as inept as the Cubs are, you not only don’t get the balls and strikes calls going your way, but the umps won’t give you obvious plays on the basepaths

  • Neil

    Doug Eddings has been just as bad as the Cubs and Astros tonight.

    • Neil

      Cubs lost 1-0 to Astros on Tuesday night – Justin Germano:
      1R, 0ER, 3H, 2BB, 8K, 5IP; Cubs: 6H, 2BB, 0-for-10 with RISP, 11 LOB; Cubs: 2 errors

  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    DeJesus – CF
    Valbuena – 3B
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Castro – SS
    Clevenger – C
    LaHair – RF
    Cardenas – 2B
    Germano – P