Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 09/21/12

Game One Hundred Fifty-One: Cubs (58-92) vs. Cardinals (80-70)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Chris Volstad (3-10, 6.26/1.62) vs. Chris Carpenter (0-0, -.–/-.–)

Weather permitting … The Cubs will spend their last weekend of the season at Wrigley Field hosting the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs and Cardinals open a three-game series this afternoon with one team trying to make the post-season and the other team trying to avoid a 100-loss season.

The Cardinals enter play today 2 1/2 games up on the Brewers for the second NL Wild Card spot and are looking to receive a boost by the return of Chris Carpenter. Carpenter has been out all season and no one expected him to pitch in a game this season, much less start one. Carpenter supposedly had season-ending surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome on July 19.

After this afternoon’s matchup of Chris Volstad and Chris Carpenter, Travis Wood is scheduled to face Adam Wainwright on Saturday with Justin Germano and Kyle Lohse squaring off in the finale on Sunday afternoon. To say the pitching matchups over the next three games look lopsided would be an understatement.

The Cubs have played better at Wrigley than on the road this season but after dropping their last four in a row, the Cubs find themselves three games under .500 at home with six home games remaining on the schedule.

The Cubs are 6-8 in 14 games against the Redbirds this season … and the Cubs have an opportunity to make life a little challenging for their long-time rival over the next three days.

In other newsDarwin Barney has not committed an error in 135 games and is six games short of Placido Polanco’s all-time single-season record for the most consecutive games without an error by a second baseman. Polanco went 141 straight games without a miscue for the Tigers during the 2007 season.

Starlin Castro had a good series against the Reds and is hitting .285/.322/.431/.753 for the season. Castro has set single-season career highs in triples (12), home runs (13), RBI (76) and stolen bases (25). Castro is three short of his career mark in walks (35) and nine doubles away from the 36 he hit last season.

The Cubs have lost 23 straight games when they score three runs or less dating back to their 3-2 victory over the Cardinals on July 28.

This afternoon it all starts with Chris Volstad

After a stretch of three good outings in four starts, the old Chris Volstad returned in his last outing. Volstad received a no decision against the Pirates in a game he allowed six runs on a season-high 10 hits with four walks and three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Volstad has really struggled with his command over his last three starts and it he pitches the way he has of late today, the Cardinals will keep the scoreboard operator very busy.

Chris Volstad put together six solid starts following his recall from Triple-A Iowa. Volstad posted a 2-2 record with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP in six starts in August. Volstad pitched with confidence, most of the time, and avoided the big inning … but more importantly he threw strikes.

Over his last three starts, Volstad has struggled with his command and is 1-1 with a 7.36 ERA and an outlandish 2.45 WHIP. Volstad has walked 23 batters and surrendered 23 hits in his last 14 2/3 innings. Volstad must throw strikes this afternoon … and keep the ball down.

Chris Volstad makes his third start of the season against the Cardinals this afternoon. Volstad is 0-2 with a 5.25 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP (eight runs, seven earned, on 12 hits with no walks and six strikeouts in 12 innings). For his career, Volstad is 2-3 in six starts against the Redbirds with a 5.15 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Chris Volstad

  • Carlos Beltran – 4-for-12 with a double and two walks
  • Matt Carpenter – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Chris Carpenter – 0-for-1
  • Daniel Descalso – 2-for-8 with a triple
  • David Freese – 1-for-3 with a home run
  • Matt Holliday – 6-for-17 with two doubles
  • Jon Jay – 0-for-7
  • Yadier Molina – 6-for-17 with a double
  • Skip Schumaker – 3-for-10 with a double

Chris Carpenter’s last big league start was in the seventh game of the World Series against the Rangers almost a calendar year ago. Chris arpenter has been on the shelf all year and no one thought he would start a game this season. Carpenter posted an 11-9 record in 34 starts a season ago with a 3.45 ERA and 1.26 WHP.

Chris Carpenter was 1-0 in three starts against the Cubs last season with a 2.74 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. For his career, Carpenter is 11-6 in 25 starts against the Cubs with a 3.05 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 8-3 in 14 starts with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Chris Carpenter

  • Darwin Barney – 6-for-14
  • Starlin Castro – 8-for-22 with a double and two walks
  • David DeJesus – 0-for-3
  • Bryan LaHair – 0-for-3
  • Alfonso Soriano – 14-for-48 with a double, two home runs and three walks
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-3
  • Chris Volstad – 0-for-2

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    DeJesus – CF
    Barney – 2B
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Castro – SS
    Valbuena – 3B
    Castillo – C
    Sappelt – RF
    Volstad – P

  • brent carmona

    Found a cool stat from Bruce miles blog post today:

    ” From the game notes: Cubs batters have drawn 213 walks in 65 games (3.3 walks per game) after the all-star break. They had 196 walks in 85 games (2.3 walks per game) before the break. The Cubs’ 213 walks since the break are second most in the NL and fourth most in the majors. Atlanta leads the big leagues with 252 walks in that span.”

    Maybe we retain the same hitting coach for next year? This walk total speaks good of him. I don’t know whose available out there though

    • Ripsnorter1

      How has that affected BA?
      Before the break….248
      After the break…….233

      Which is more important to you?

      • Tony_Hall

        Well actually we should look at OBP, not BA.

        Before the break 300
        After the break 305.

        • Ripsnorter1

          A hit accomplishes more than just a walk.

          I like walks. But that is not the entire story. Brett Jackson adds walks….and K’s….and kills the BA.

          • Tony_Hall

            Absolutely, but when talking about players learning to work the count better, OBP is a good place to start. The average and SLG will go up once they start hitting that 1 pitch per AB that most pitchers make a mistake in a longer AB.

          • christian

            Not always! And that is a fact!

          • Tony_Hall

            What is not always and that is a fact!

          • christian

            Just because a player works the count does not guarantee his slugging and average go up. That is what I am saying. What is DeJesus’ average?

          • Tony_Hall

            What does DeJesus’s average have to do with a player learning to work the count better and get better pitches to hit, then seeing his AVG and SLG go up?

            DeJesus has already been doing this over his career. A young player who has always hacked and not worked the count, should see their other numbers go up, due to swinging at more hittable pitches versus pitchers pitches. But you are right it is not always, as nothing is ever always.

    • christian

      And what is the Cubs record since the All Star break?

      • Tony_Hall

        So are you trying to say that we should not want hitters who work the count and just go up their swinging away at the first pitch they can make contact?

        • christian

          Of course you need some players who work the count, but if you have a player like Cabrera do you want him working the count or mashing the first good pitch he sees? Do you want a team full of Scott Hattebergs?

          • Tony_Hall

            No, you need a good mix. DeJesus is not a middle of the order bat, that is there to drive in runs. His goal is to make the pitchers throw as many pitches as possible and get on base.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    That was a 37-pitch (25 strikes) first inning for Volstad

    • Brp921

      Why was DeJesus not charged with an error?

      • Brp921

        I went back and watched it again and the ball did hit the ground before it hit DeJesus’s glove. Tough break for Volstad. Terrible jump for DeJesus.

      • Tony_Hall

        Probably the same reason Soriano wasn’t charge with an error earlier when he over ran a ball than tried to throw his glove behind him to make the catch…a good route would have caught the ball. But it is so wet out that you just have to give the benefit of the doubt to the defensive player on a day like today.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Hey, the Cubs got a hit

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Soriano with RBI #104 … ties career-high for a single season

  • Aaron

    I realize this is a tough season to endure as a fan….and most might not agree with all decisions…imcluding me..including Sveum’s leaving the inept and overmatched Corpas getting his ass handed to him but the fact is since Ricketts has confidence in Team Theo it gives them a chance to stick to their plan whereas in most other places everyone involved gets fired.
    I look at stats like the walks since Rudy was replaced and uf you average over 85 games like they had before it’d amount to roughly 90 more walks.
    All you need to add yo the lineup is 1 run producer and you’re golden. My pick would be replacing Soriano with Swisher and adding Youkilis at 3B…trading Jackson in a larger deal to get pitching and signing BJ Upton for CF. Then for pitching signing guys like McCarthy, Edwin Jackson or Liriano to 1-2 year bridge deals until our own arms are ready.
    Look around the division….it’s very winnable. Cards are old. Pirates are an enigma. Astros are up and coming but leaving the league. It looks like the only competition might be the Brewers and they already have issues with pitching too. And if you think the Reds are good for years to come, i have a bridge to sell you…..and a pyramid scheme for you. Seriously….all i have to say is Dusty….he’ll find a way to ruin them.
    By continuing to lose, the Cubs improve their draft standing in every round. We have Lake, Watkins, and Bour to bridge the gap from Soler, Almora, Vogelbach, Saunders, etc. All you need is the veterans i listed above and we make the playoffs next year…and anything can happen

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      DeJesus with a triple and Barney with a single … Cubs on the board

    • Ripsnorter1

      I view Soriano as untradeable, even with his 30 HR, 104 RBI season thus far. Keep him and GET RID OF DeJESUS!

      For crying out loud, why pay him $10 million to slug .390 and get caught stealing? Get a bat out there!

      And you can forget about Bret Jackson playing CF on a fulltime basis in MLB. Too many K’s to make it.

      • Tony_Hall

        Whose paying DeJesus $10M?

        2012 – $4.25M
        2013 – $4.25M
        2014 – $6.5M CO – $1.5M BO

        So if they let him go after 2013, that would be $10M for 2 years.

        So he is a $5M player.

        His WAR YTD is 1.2

        Each point of WAR is worth $5M-$5.5M

        Fair value.

        I do agree that I want a better bat in RF long term, like Soler. But DeJesus is not a negative to this team, until he is blocking a real prospect.

        • coachdon

          DeJesus has never played for a winner and is not a winning ball player. He runs like a power hitter and hits like a singles hitter but can’t steal a base to save his life. That’s why I was against signing him in the first place. He doesn’t do anything well enough to win you a game. Campana doesn’t hit as much as I thought he would but at least he has a plus plus skill that can win a game for you and makes the other team do things they don’t want to do.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I agree.

          • christian

            100% agree. This crap about WAR doesn’t mean that he is a serviceable RF. He is a .260 hitter with no power and no speed and doesn’t drive in runs. He does one thing well…..he takes a base on balls. That is it!

          • Tony_Hall

            Plays pretty good D.

            Let’s face it, he will not be our RF when this team goes to the playoffs again, but he is not the reason we are not in the playoffs.

            WAR is a way of showing value.

            In a perfect world he would be in CF, as that fits his skill set on offense better.

          • christian

            His most productive years were in 2008 and 2009 when he swung the bat and not looking to take a walk first and hit later.
            2008 he hit .307 12HR 73RBI with only 46 walks and 2009 .281 13HR 71RBI and 51BB.
            I think his skills have diminished and he – needs to play the way he is now. He is a .250 to .260 hitter now with little to no power and no speed.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree with your overall assessment of Dejesus. He is on the down side of his career. He had his highest average in those years, mainly due to those being his prime years of 28-29 yrs old. He know is older and tries to work the count.

            Who do you think he is blocking?

          • Tony_Hall

            So because he played for the Royals, A’s and Cubs in 2012, makes him a bad player?

            He does many things well, nothing exceptional. For a team like the Cubs rebuilding with the main OF prospects a little ways away, he is just fine.

          • John_CC

            Never played for a winning team = not being a winning ball player????

            That is so dumb I can’t believe I’m even responding to this. The guy

          • RynoTiger

            Scratching my head…”He doesn’t do anything well enough to win you a game.”…I guess you posted this before he had the game winning hit today…so I guess technically yes he does win the Cubs a game

          • coachdon

            So he has had maybe 2 big games out of 150. Wow. And John, I’ll finish your last sentence for you…”The guy(is the very definition of a space filler and that’s it.)

          • Tony_Hall

            You might want to review his game logs. He is not a great player, but he is better than what you give him credit for, that is for sure.

          • Tony_Hall

            Just asking, but you said

            “he doesn’t do anything well enough to win you a game.”

            You might want to watch Friday’s game again!

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

      Aaron: Peavy will be a FA. Interested?

      • Aaron

        3+yrs ago yes….not at his price tag though

    • RynoTiger

      to me BJ Upton is more hype and promise than production. I’d pass.
      Isn’t Swisher just a younger left handed version of Soriano? sure he’s cheaper, but are you saying the Yanks should take Soriano in exchange for Swisher? is Swisher a FA?
      we definitely need something productive at 3B. I thought JJ Hardy was a FA this winter. Sure he’s naturally a shortshop, but I wonder if he could play a decent 3B.

  • Karen

    Why don’t the Cubs have their logo on the 2nd base side of the pitcher’s mound like other teams in the majors?

  • Tony_Hall

    Barney!!!!!!!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Barney with a home run, a 2-run shot.

  • Brp921

    Does anyone still think that Barney isn’t a legitimate starting 2b.

    • Tony_Hall

      I sure wouldn’t think so. He does need to work on improving his overall offensive numbers. I think he is the type of player whose intelligence will keep increasing his numbers over time.

      Another great play by Barney…with a little help from Rizzo’s toe.

      • Brp921

        He sure did save him.

  • brent carmona

    That’s probably the best call of a home run by pat this year, loved it !

  • Tony_Hall

    DeJesus with a game winning HIT!!!!!

    • Brp921

      He must of got that just as I lost reception!

      • Tony_Hall

        Yes sir. Solid single into right.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Cubs beat the Cardinals 5-4 in 11 innings – Chris Volstad:
          3R,6H,3BB,0K,5IP; Darwin Barney: 2-for-5,HR,3RBI,2R; David DeJesus: 4-for-6,3B,RBI,2R; Alfonso Soriano:
          1-for-5,2B,RBI

          David DeJesus with game winning single in the bottom of the 11th.

          • Tony_Hall

            Very nice game by DeJesus

            4-6
            2 R
            and the game winning RBI

          • Brp921

            He sure made up for that bad jump in the 1st inning.

          • Tony_Hall

            He also had a the big 2 out hit in the 9th to give Barney an AB in which he hit the 2 run homer to send it to extras.

          • Tony_Hall

            How can anyone dislike a post about a big 2 out hit and Barney hitting a 2 run homer to send the game into extras so the Cubs could beat the Cardinals.

            Obviously not a Cub fan! Right?

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Alberto Cabrera with his first big league win

    • John_CC

      I didn’t see it but it must have been lucky, since he doesn’t really do anything very well.

  • Brp921

    Bummer! The storm just knocked out my sattelite!

  • Brp921

    I’ll be at Wrigley tomorrow. Hoping for no rain.