Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Rockies – 09/26/12

Game One Hundred Fifty-Five: Cubs (59-95) vs. Rockies (60-94)
Game Time – 7:40pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185/914
Location – Coors Field, Denver

Jason Berken (0-1, 3.27/1.82) vs. Drew Pomeranz (1-9, 5.30/1.52)

Weather permitting … The Cubs will try to end their 0-14 skid on the road versus teams in the National League West this year. The last time the Cubs beat a team from the NL West in their park was September 27 of last season. Matt Garza picked up his tenth win and beat the Padres 6-2. The Cubs are 0-15 in their last 15 regular season games in NL West parks.

The Cubs took a one-game lead in the battle for the second pick in next June’s draft with Tuesday’s rain-shortened loss to the Rockies. Dale Sveum has said the team’s goal is to avoid losing 100 games this season … with eight games remaining, the Cubs must play .500 ball (4-4) to avoid the organization’s first 100-loss season since 1966 (59-103).

In other newsAccording to multiple reports, Dale Sveum has recommended to Tony Campana and Josh Vitters that they play winter ball. The Cubs do not want Brett Jackson to play ball this off-season but would rather him get his work in at the Cubs’ complex in Mesa.

Brett Jackson is recovering from the flu and was able to pinch-hit on Tuesday night. Jackson is not expected to return to the starting lineup until Thursday afternoon against right-hander Jhoulys Chacin.

According to a report from the Sun-Times, Arodys Vizcaino is with the team on the current road trip. Vizcaino is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and has not thrown off a mound yet. The Cubs expect Vizcaino to be ready in Spring Training and could have an innings limit as low as 100 next season.

Luis Valbuena has been sidelined with a knee injury and he could return to the starting lineup on Thursday. Valbuena has been available off the bench but only for limited action.

Michael Bowden will pitch in the Dominican Republic this off-season.

Darwin Barney begins play tonight two games short of Placido Polanco’s single-season mark of 141 consecutive games by a second baseman without an error.

Tonight it all starts with Jason Berken

Jason Berken is coming off a good start against the Reds but the lineup was closer to a Louisville Bats lineup than the NL Central Champions. Chris Speier rested the Reds’ regulars and Berken was the benefactor of not having to face Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips and company during his outing. Berken tossed six innings of shutout ball and allowed just two hits with a pair of walks and five strikeouts (Berken tied a Major League record by striking out four batters in the second inning). Berken left with no score after six innings. But Manny Corpas imploded in the seventh and the Cubs lost the finale of the three-game series 5-3.

Jason Berken struggled in his first start against the Pirates and was very hittable for four innings (six runs, two earned, on eight hits with a walk and two strikeouts). Berken located his pitches better the last time out but will face a better lineup tonight in Denver.

Tonight will be Jason Berken’s first start against the Rockies. Jason Giambi (1-for-2 with a double) and Ramon Hernandez (walk) are the only two players on Colorado’s active roster that have minimal plate appearances in their career against Jason Berken.

Drew Pomeranz is coming off a rough three-inning start against the Diamondbacks. Pomeranz gave up four runs on four hits with five walks and four strikeouts before he hit his pitch count limit. Pomeranz has given up four earned runs in each of his last two starts and has not pitched past the fourth inning since he faced the Cubs at Wrigley Field on August 24.

Drew Pomeranz is 0-1 in his last four starts with a 6.23 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP (nine runs on seven hits with nine walks and 12 strikeouts in 13 innings) and is 0-6 in his last 13 starts with a 6.84 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP. Pomeranz has not fared too well at Coors Field either. The young, talented lefty is 0-5 in 10 starts in his home park this season with a 5.44 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP.

Tonight will be Pomeranz’s second career start against the Cubs. Pomeranz allowed two runs on two hits (home runs by Alfonso Soriano and Welington Castillo in the fifth innings) with a walks and a strikeout in five innings. The Cubs scored three in the eighth off Matt Belisle and beat Colorado 5-3.

Cubs Career Numbers against Drew Pomeranz

  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-2
  • Welington Castillo – 1-for-2 with a home run
  • Starlin Castro – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Brett Jackson – 0-for-2
  • Joe Mather – 0-for-2
  • Anthony Rizzo – 0-for-2
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-2 with a home run
  • Josh Vitters – 0-for-2

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

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  • sonate

    Sorry to say I have mixed emotions about tonight’s game. I want the Cubs to get that high draft choice and a loss will help ensure this.

    • cc002600

      I’m not sorry,
      Go Rockies
      LOL

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    According to a tweet from Michael Brenly, Logan Watkins has been named the Cubs Minor League Player of the Year

    • Tom U

      Now, maybe he’ll make the 40 man roster

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Only positive … should not have to see Berken but one more time in a Cubs’ uniform.

    • John_CC

      he’s brutal! I haven’t watched a game in a long time. eeee

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Good play by Castillo to cut down LeMahieu

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Cubs lost 6-0 to Rockies on Wednesday night – Jason Berken:
      6R,9H,2BB,2K,4IP; Dave Sappelt: 2-for-4,2B; Cubs: 5 hits, 5BB, 0-for-9 RISP, 8 LOB

  • Ripken Boy

    Vitters going to play winter ball and split time at 3B with Kevin Orie, Garry Scott and Brian Dayett

  • GaryLeeT

    It’s not raining tonight so the game has to go 9. I predict Mather makes his 2nd relief appearance.

    • Tony_Hall

      Actually it is raining…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    That was a good play by Vitters … nice diving stop and throw to first.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent play by Castro

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Here comes the tarp … rain delay.

    Another bad baserunning blunder by the Cubs. Mather thrown out at third before Vitters can score.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tarp is being removed, no word on when game will resume

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Game scheduled to resume at 11:25pm CDT

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And the game resumes …

  • Aaron

    If I’m making evaluations for the Cubs for 2013, here are my impressions:

    FRONTLINE MLB QUALITY:
    Garza
    Samardzija
    Marmol
    Russell
    Chapman
    W. Castillo
    Rizzo
    Barney
    Castro
    Soriano
    DeJesus

    BUBBLE MLB QUALITY:
    T. Wood
    Camp (only because he’s been hit very hard…just been lucky this year)
    Beliveau
    Bowden
    Cabrera (glimpses)
    Asencio (see above)
    Clevenger
    Recker
    Valbuena
    Campana (only for pinch running)
    LaHair
    Sappelt

    GONE (via DFA/trade/or option for more seasoning):
    Volstad
    Berken
    Rusin
    Raley
    Socolovich
    Dolis
    Coleman
    Wells
    Germano
    L. Castillo
    Parker (because he can’t stay healthy)
    Stewart
    Cardenas
    B. Jackson
    Vitters
    Mather

    In case you lost count, that’s only 11 MLB quality guys you could count on for next year. You simply cannot be a competitive team with that few of guys you can count on.

    It also looks like their favorite player (Rizzo) is slumping very similar to what LaHair went through after the league figured him out, so you might drop that number to 10 guys…and when you factor in Castillo, whom we’ve barely even seen play, that drops it to 9.

    Is it any wonder Hoyer came out and said the Cubs will be “very active” in free agency next year?

    What he sees is probably exactly what I’ve said all along….that the Cubs are 3 years or more away from truly competing with the likes of Baez, Soler, Almora, Vogelbach, etc. all in the lower minors.

    If the Cubs can sign a guy like Swisher, sign a stopgap 3B like Youkilis or Rolen, and get at least 2 starters from a group of E Jackson/A Sanchez/Haren (rumored to be bought out)/Liriano/etc., then they’ll be well on their way to competing.

    They also better hope Szczur, Lake, Watkins, Bour, and others take a leap forward this winter, or they’re in deep trouble with depth.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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