Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Braves – 04/05/13

Game Four: Cubs (2-1) vs. Braves (2-1)

  • Game Time – 6:30pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 89/844
  • Location – Turner Field, Atlanta

Scott Feldman (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Mike Minor (0-0, -.–/-.–)

The Cubs open a three-game series tonight in Atlanta. The Cubs played good ball over the three games in Pittsburgh but will face a much tougher team over this weekend. Most feel the Braves will make it to the post-season, either as a division champ or a wild card. The Braves have a much different team from a year ago. Chipper Jones retired. Martin Prado is now wearing a D-Backs uniform while there are not one, but two Uptons in the Braves’ outfield. With Jason Heyward, B.J. Upton and Justin Upton (right-to-left) in the Braves outfield, some think Atlanta might have the best trio in the game patrolling their outfield.

After tonight’s match-up of Scott Feldman and Mike Minor, Carlos Villanueva faces Julio Teheran on Saturday night while Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to take on Tim Hudson in the finale on Sunday afternoon. The Cubs better be ready to put some runs on the board. This Braves team can hit and score runs in bunches … but there are a lot of swings and misses as well.

Dale Sveum should run out a lineup tonight similar to the one that faced Wandy Rodriguez. Look for Dave Sappelt in center, Scott Hairston in right, Brent Lillibridge at third and Alberto Gonzalez at second. While Alfonso Soriano’s numbers against Mike Minor are rather pedestrian, Soriano loves hitting at Turner Field (.293/.341/.586/.927 with eight doubles and eight home runs in 28 games). Maybe the combination of warmer weather and Braves pitching will get Alfonso Soriano going.

The Cubs have traditionally struggled against the Braves but were 4-3 in the seven games with Atlanta last season.

The Cubs begin a stretch tonight of playing 19 straight games against teams that had a .500 or better record last season … and 13 of those games will be against teams that made the playoffs last year. Over the next month, the Cubs play the Braves, Brewers, Giants, Rangers and Reds.

Can the Cubs post a win for the third time in four games?

Scott Feldman makes his Cubs and National League debut tonight. Feldman is coming off a horrible spring (0-3 in six starts with a 11.25 ERA and a 2.20 WHIP) and while spring numbers do not matter, one has to wonder if Feldman has hit the proverbial reset button.

Feldman is coming off a 6-11 season with the Rangers in which he posted a 5.09 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP in 29 games, 21 starts. Feldman was looking to sign a one-year contract in the off-season so he could prove to the league that he could still be an effective starter. Feldman is hoping to turn this one-year contract with the Cubs into a long-term commitment from either the Cubs or one of the other 29 big league clubs. Feldman is three full seasons removed from the only year in his Major League career in which he posted a winning record (17-8 in 34 games, 31 starts) and a career high in strikeouts (113).

Scott Feldman has faced the Braves once in his career. Feldman received a no decision against Atlanta back on June 19, 2008. Feldman allowed two runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts in seven innings. Feldman will make his first appearance at Turner Field tonight.

Braves Career Numbers against Scott Feldman

  • Gerald Laird – 0-for-4
  • B.J. Upton – 1-for-10 with three walks
  • Justin Upton – 2-for-5 with a double and a walk

The Cubs will face a very good young southpaw in Mike Minor tonight. Minor is coming off a solid first full season in the Braves’ rotation. The Vanderbilt product posted an 11-10 record in 30 starts with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP last year. Minor showed a lot of improvement over the course of the season. In his last 14 starts, Minor was 6-4 with a 2.16 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP.

Mike Minor likes pitching against the Cubs and in his home ballpark. Minor was 7-4 in 16 starts at Turner Field last season with a 3.25 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP … and he has never lost to the Cubs.

Minor makes his fifth career start against the Cubs tonight. Minor is a perfect 4-0 in the first four with a 4.30 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP … last season, 1-0 in one start with a 2.84 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Mike Minor

  • Starlin Castro – 3-for-12 with a double
  • David DeJesus – 1-for-3
  • Alberto Gonzalez – 0-for-4 with a walk
  • Scott Hairston – 2-for-9
  • Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-3
  • Nate Schierholtz – 3-for-6
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-10 with a home run and a walk
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-2

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • Tom U

    Tonight’s Minor League starters:

    Kane Co. – Tayler Scott (5-1, 2.52)

    Daytona – Starling Peralta (5-8, 3.44)

    Tennessee – Alberto Cabrera (4-1, 3.11)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Sappelt – CF
    Castro – SS
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Hairston – RF
    Castillo – C
    Lillibridge – 3B
    Gonzalez – 2B
    Feldman – P

  • ryan7

    I’m just wondering couldn’t the Ricketts family buy the rooftop buildings and maybe build a tunnel all over the roads connecting the rooftops to Wrigley Field making the rooftops part of Wrigley Field

    • WidespreadHisPanic

      Me likey!

    • Dnuge

      Cubs must consider a move to Rosemont as te Rooftop people will be a pain in there backside for many years !

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      The family has already purchased one of the buildings that I am aware of.

      • paulcatanese

        Like that Neil.

  • Tom U

    Javier Baez 2-run homer in the first, Zeke DeVoss 2-run triple in the second. Daytona up 4-0.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Upton with a line drive home run. Feldman did not make a mistake. was a good 0-2 pitch … just not good enough.

  • Ray Ray

    That got out in a hurry! Feldman will not be around too long against this lineup.

  • http://twitter.com/MattWeaverSBN Matt Weaver

    Hey guys.

    I’m in Birmingham this weekend so I have to watch the Braves broadcast. On that note, I really miss Chip Caray. I first started watching ballgames in the mid-to-late 90s and Chip and Steve Stone are really my definitive voice of the Cubs.

    I wondering what you guys, not blinded by nostalgia, think of Chip.

    • paulcatanese

      Liked them both, hated to see them go. Then again if you tell the truth on the air, you won’t be around long.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      I liked them both as well. I still say Stone is the best analyst in baseball.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I miss Steve Stone.

      • Bredstik

        I still enjoy listening to Stone. Can’t stand to listen to a Sox broadcast though, so I try to catch him on the Score…

    • Bredstik

      I grew up on Harry & Steve. I tried, but could never get on board with Chip.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I never liked Harry. Bad diction. Slobber dripping off of the mike. Lots of alcohol. He and Hawk Harrelson…yuk.

        Steve Stone is great. And I loved Randy Hundley, too.

      • triple

        I had the same experience. As a kid I thought Harry was cool because he was really goofy, then as I got older, I realized he was just drunk! Man I think back to some of the games I watched on TV when I was a kid and they went extra innings and Harry was just lit up.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Matt, I always like Chip. My only “issue” was his home run call. Steve Stone will always be one of my favorites. If you have not read the book Barry Rozner helped him write about his time with Harry, I highly recommend it.

      On a side note, I saw your Facebook post … Thank you.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Gonzalez fails to tag out another runner …

    • Ray Ray

      Yea. He was too far in front of the bag and had to try and reach back and tag him.

  • Ray Ray

    Great throw by Castillo! Teams are going to learn not to run on him.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    This note from Captain Obvious … Feldman is having a very bad inning.

  • Ray Ray

    50 plus pitches thru 3 for Feldman. It will be a bullpen night tonight. Could be a good game to get Rondon some action.

  • paulcatanese

    The Brave’s are probably the class of their division, and,,,,
    could,,,,go,,,all,,,,the way!!! If the Cubs can squeeze a win in Atlanta it would be a plus.

    • Roland Bowman

      One win in Alanta and they had a 500 road trip

  • Dorasaga

    Feldman has been doing his job tonight. Isn’t this what we expect out of a #5? Five innings, 4 runs. But Feldman exceeded our expectation. He didn’t make many mistakes. Even his sweeter pitches were mixed in well, and he avoided real damages. The Braves have a potent lineup. If this is what Feldman can do, compound his solidness with the southpaw Woody maturing, then I’m feeling real good about this season.

    • Dorasaga

      All those while Gonzalez misplayed two infield tasks…

      • http://twitter.com/MattWeaverSBN Matt Weaver

        Beat me to it. The inning shouldn’t have lasted as long as it did. I’ve been impressed thus far.

        • Dorasaga

          He’s a #5, expected to lose half of his starts. 5 IP, 4 ER. Nothing more, good, for a #5. A little less, well, as long as he labored 5 IP, then I’ll call it a job done.

          • Ray Ray

            100 plus pitches in 5. Walking lead off men. Wild pitches. Not holding runners on(gave up 3 steals) That is not acceptable even for a #5

          • Ripsnorter1

            He went 4.2 IP, not 5 IP. He’s a bullpen killer.

    • Ray Ray

      Feldman is brutal. He has made countless mistakes. He will get lit up when the weather gets warmer.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Hairston with a nice homer

    • Dorasaga

      RALLY CAP!

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    So far I’ve been impressed with Hairston, Schierholtz, Feldman and other Cubs signees.

    But Lillibridge stinks…

    • Dorasaga

      Yea; he couldn’t even run out of the box in full speed…

  • Dorasaga

    Interesting sidenote; division rival Cincy had Bailey pitched 98 this early the season, 6 innings, no run allowed. Baker must be thinking another batter to stretch him out.
    >:-)

  • http://twitter.com/MattWeaverSBN Matt Weaver

    Well damn. It’s hard to get upset. These Braves are the real deal but there’s no reason for the inning to have escalated to this point in the first place.

  • Dorasaga

    Make a note here for Swammi. First start of the season: Always limit the guy on mound to less than 100 pitches…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good inning for Bowden … Rizzo looks lost tonight

  • Ray Ray

    I hope we see some improvement this year with Rizzo vs LHP. He only hit .208 vs LH last year and .198 in his brief career. It is a small sample size but before everyone pencils him in for the next 10 years at 1B….he needs to prove he can hit lefties consistently. Vogelbach could turn out to be the better long term 1st baseman.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Very good outing for Bowden

  • http://twitter.com/MattWeaverSBN Matt Weaver

    “I can’t believe Reed Johnson got hit by a pitch,” said no one ever.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 4-1 to the Braves on Friday night – Scott Feldman: 4R, 5H, 4BB, HBP, 2WP, E, 1K in 4.2 IP (102 pitches, 53 strikes) … Michael Bowden:0R, 0H, 0BB, 3K in 2.1 IP; Scott Hairston: 1-3, HR; Alberto Gonzalez: 1-3, 2B

  • Ripsnorter1

    Feldman doing his Chris Volstad imitation. 7.71 ERA if we get more of this.

  • brent carmona

    at least rondon hit 93mph on the gun tonight

    and nice to see hairston go yard, dude definitely has pop in his bat, need to consistantly see that from him

  • Bryan

    Was at tonights game. At 1-0 in the first you could sense that it was “game over”. Feldman is indeed another Volstad, and I just find it amazing that we have no-one in our system better than this. And at 90+ pictures Sveum had no business leaving him for the final two runs. As for the offense, this is a team that couldn’t scare competition at Thillens. Two years of tanking in a major market city while Theo works on building the farm system, hoping to strike gold….someday.

  • Billy Buck

    Feldman; your Chris Volstad jersey is ready. Horrid in the spring; not good today. Not sure the ” assets” of Feldman & Baker will return much this year.

  • paulcatanese

    Whatever anyone thinks, the Braves are a major league team, the Cubs are not.
    Cubs have had decent pitching since the start of the season, but the offense and replacement players are totally inept, If it weren’t for the pitching these would be four shutout games for the Cubs.
    How anyone thinks that the players that were brought in to play are of any value is beyond me. If they were any good at all, the teams they were with would not have let them go.

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