Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Rockies – 09/25/12

Game One Hundred Fifty-Four: Cubs (59-94) vs. Rockies (59-94)
Game Time – 7:40pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185/914
Location – Coors Field, Denver

Chris Rusin (1-2, 6.00/1.71) vs. Jorge De La Rosa (0-1, 12.27/2.18)

Weather permitting … The Cubs begin the final nine-game stretch of the season tonight with the first of three against the Colorado Rockies. The Cubs make their second trip of the season to Phoenix for three with the Diamondbacks over the weekend then wrap-up the season next week with three versus the Astros at Wrigley Field.

The next three days will be a battle for position in next June’s draft. The Astros (50-104) will have the first pick but which team picks second could be decided with this series … both teams come into tonight’s game with an identical 59-94 record.

The Cubs won two of the three games against the Rockies at Wrigley Field last month (August 24 – August 26) but the Cubs have not beaten a team from the NL West in their home park this season. The Cubs are a miserable 22-53 on the road this season.

The Cubs are 18-24 in games started by lefties this season and will face two southpaws during this series. After tonight’s matchup of lefties Chris Rusin and Jorge De La Rosa, Jason Berken is scheduled to face southpaw Drew Pomeranz on Wednesday night with Chris Volstad squaring off with Jhoulys Chacin in the finale on Thursday afternoon.

In other newsAccording to a report from the Tribune, Tony Campana will play winter ball in Venezuela. Campana is expected to spend a month picking up at bats he missed this season.

Darwin Barney begins the six-game road trip three games shy of tying Placido Polanco’s single-season mark of 141 consecutive games without an error at second base. Barney is expected to start in each of the Cubs’ last nine games.

The Cubs must win four of their last nine games in order to avoid the organization’s first 100-loss season since 1966 (59-103).

Tonight it all starts with Chris Rusin

Chris Rusin is coming off a no decision against the Reds. Rusin was taken off the hook when the Cubs battled back and tied the game at five in the eighth inning. The Reds ended up winning in 11 and Rusin was long gone by the time the last out was made. Rusin predictably struggled against the Reds and allowed five runs on 10 hits in five innings of work with a pair of walks and two strikeouts. Rusin has not completed more than five innings of work in any of his five starts and tonight could be very challenging for him.

Chris Rusin has shown promise but when he’s been bad, he’s been real bad. Rusin is 0-2 in three road starts with a 5.73 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP and tonight will be his first appearance against the Rockies. It will be interesting to see how Chris Rusin responds to the elevation at Coors Field.

No one on the Rockies active roster has faced Chris Rusin in a regular season big league ballgame.

Jorge De La Rosa is making his second start of the season tonight. De La Rosa had Tommy John surgery last year and is looking to finish this season on a positive note. De La Rosa lasted just 3 2/3 innings in his first start since May 24, 2011. The Giants scored six runs, five earned, on seven hits and a walk. De La Rosa struck out only one batter and threw 70 pitches, 44 for strikes.

The veteran southpaw was 5-2 in 10 starts in 2011 with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP before the left elbow injury ended his season.

The Cubs have not had much success against De La Rosa over the years. De La Rosa owns a perfect 4-0 record in seven appearances, three starts, against the Cubs with a 1.63 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP … and De La Rosa tossed a seven-inning gem last April 26 at Wrigley Field. De La Rosa gave up two runs, one earned, on six hits with no walks and nine strikeouts in seven innings.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jorge De La Rosa

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-4
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-8
  • David DeJesus – 1-for-3
  • Joe Mather – 1-for-4
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-13 with a home run

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Baseball is all I ever wanted. I could eat, sleep, and dream baseball." - Smoky Joe Wood

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

    • Tony_Hall

      Not sure if anyone has posted this yet, but I think it is interesting to hear Soriano talk about being coached this year, for the 1st time on how to play the outfield.

      http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/13719/sorianos-numbers-up-in-cubs-down-year

      “Soriano admitted that this year was the first time he’s ever gotten instruction on how to play the outfield. First base coach Dave McKay routinely coaches all the outfielders on how to play defense.”

      • paulcatanese

        Tony, not only interesting, but amazing, would leave me to believe the “high dollar players” are left alone.
        The likes of Pujols and Hamilton would be in the same position, no-one would approach them with their problems
        either.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Dusty Baker revealed he suffered a “mini-stroke”
    on Friday and released a statement

    bit.ly/VEf4Aj

    • John_CC

      Scary. I hope he’s well and recovers fully.

      • paulcatanese

        As I John.It’s going to be touchy for him when he comes back, if his Doctor lets him. Not the best part of a season for him to keep stress down.
        Unfortunatly strokes have a way of hanging around,
        and with A-Fib it’s double.
        I have had three of them and still have A-Fib.
        Wish him well.

  • Denver Mike

    Headed to tonight’s game at Coors Field, and looking forward to finally getting to see my Cubs play tonight. However, I am just as disappointed in Selig and the schedule makers for scheduling meaningless games between two 100 loss teams (we all knew they would be long before the season started) in the final week as I am in Goodell for the ref debacle and Bettman for for the NHL lockout. How these guys get their jobs I will never know!

    P.S. I am being a bit sarcastic here, but I can’t remember the last time I made a point to go to a more meaningless game.

    P.S. Pt2: Tickets are available online for $0.75 to tonight’s game if any local fans want to come out!

  • paulcatanese

    Wow Neil, pre-game for this one tonight had to be tough, it would take a lot of imagination. Identical records, that’s interesting though.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I tried. The game previews have been challenging for a while now.

  • Aaron

    Wow….Cardenas still in witness protection

    • paulcatanese

      Aaron, they still have Mather,to fill all those spots:)

      • calicub

        is it just me or is there no audio commentary for the wgn america broadcast

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          That throw was no where close … that was 10-15 feet above the first baseman

        • paulcatanese

          Were we lucky or what? No sound is better than the meaningless chatter that goes on and on.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Sappelt with his first homer

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      That’s three misplayed by Mather in center tonight

      • paulcatanese

        And badly, Neil, looked like he didn’t have a clue.

  • RynoTiger

    Are Len and Bob experiencing technical difficulties? I don’t hear them at all but hear everything else in the ballpark

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent pick by Rizzo on another bad throw from Vitters

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with a homer to left center … #14

  • Aaron

    anyone else still want to argue with me about LeMahieu’s ceiling?

    • Aaron

      Also…anyone else think it’d be awesome to really stick it to Team Theo for their dreadful decision to trade LeMahieu for Stewart and Weathers….along with Colvin too if LeMahieu hit for the cycle tonight?!? I’m betting it happens….just sayin’

      I said that trade would come back to bite this organization hard, and it sure as hell looks like I’m accurate. I didn’t care much about Colvin, and said at the time that a fair trade would’ve been Colvin straight up for Stewart…..the decision to go after Weathers, and include LeMahieu was perplexing to say the least, and folks might be writing about this trade for years to come.

      Weathers has already been DFA’d, and had one of the worst pitching lines I think this game has ever seen:
      4-2, 6.62 ERA, 34 IP, 25 hits, 26 runs, 25 earned, 53 walks, 29 K’s, 2.294 WHIP….yes, you read correctly….FIFTY THREE walks vs TWENTY NINE K’s.

      I realize that Team Theo might be deflecting some blame by firing Fleita and others, but to think they didn’t have anything to do with that trade would be unbelievably ignorant. Weathers already couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. DeWitt was rumored to have been off limits in that trade for some inexplicable reason, and tendered a contract (ultimately the decision of the GM), then DFA’d twice.

      Also, Stewart is highly unlikely to play another MLB game ever again.

      This trade will continue to piss me off…

      • Tony_Hall

        Lemahieu 277/308/366/675

        202 AB’s
        1 HR
        1 3B
        11 2B
        10 BB

        Not exactly great numbers. As a singles hitter he needs a much, much higher OBP to offset the fact that he doesn’t get many extra base hits.
        It is easy to say that anything we gave up was too much for Stewart, but you make it sound like DJ is going to be an All-Star on his way to a HOF career. I would have liked to see him given a chance here, but his scouting report most likely called him a singles hitter with no power…hard to believe that Theo and Co. wouldn’t have said he’s untradeable..

        They made a bad trade, they have made good trades, but unless DJ or Colvin become regular, productive starters it just doesn’t matter as much as you keep making it sound.

        • coachdon

          They are pretty much regular productive starters right now, I’d say. Most of DJ’s bad numbers came in his first short callup. He’s been doing very well since being recalled and getting some solid playing time. And those balls bouncing off the centerfield fence were not singles. I would also trade DeJesus straight up for Colvin any day.

          • cubtex

            I like what the Rockies coaches have done with Colvin. They have changed his batting stance to lean more back with bend(which helps shorten your swing) as opposed to standing straight up the way he was with the Cubs. I never figured out why that wasn’t done before.

          • Tony_Hall

            Check out his home and road splits and tell me he is a major league starting OF.

            Lemahieu will not be a starter for the Rockied next year when Tulowitzski is healthy and Rutledge is moved to 2B.

    • paulcatanese

      Not me, 5 hits between him and Colvin. Never understood that trade either Aaron.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Game put into delay prior to the bottom of the seventh.

  • paulcatanese

    I would think this one is called pretty quickly, no point in going on,
    someone could get hurt.
    I’m sitting here and trying to figure out if the Rockies are that good or the Cubs are that bad, tough choice, both need to get this season out of their system and behind them.
    Talk about an empty ballpark, even with the tweet that tickets could be had for $.75 cents (don’t know how true that one is)
    but that would have been appropriate.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 10-5 to Rockies in 7 innings – Chris Rusin: 6R,7H,BB,0K,3.2IP;
    Starlin Castro: 1-for-3,HR,2R; Dave Sappelt: 2-for-4,HR,2B; Welington Castillo: 2-for-3,2B,RBI