Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Braves – 04/06/13

Game Five: Cubs (2-2) vs. Braves (3-1)

  • Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 186/844
  • Location – Turner Field, Atlanta

Carlos Villanueva (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Julio Teheran (0-0, -.–/-.–)

The Cubs will try to get back in the win column tonight, and get the offense on track, against one of the top pitching prospects in the game. Even with the problems Carlos Marmol and Scott Feldman have had over the first four games, the Cubs pitching staff has done their job. But the offense, well that’s another story.

With a few exceptions, the Cubs are not hitting. Granted it was very cold in Pittsburgh and they ran into Mike Minor on Friday night, but as a team, they are not hitting … or taking their walks. As a team, the Cubs made A.J. Burnett work on Opening Day but since then, there have been a lot of swings early in at bats.

The Cubs must make Julio Teheran work tonight. Teheran figures to be amped up early on and if they make it easy on him, it will be a quick night and another loss. Tehran has pitched in only seven big league games, and tonight will be the fifth career Major League start for the 22-year old right hander.

For the third time in five games, a starting pitcher will make his Cubs’ debut. Carlos Villanueva must keep the ball down and limit his free passes, something he struggled with in the spring, or his first game in a Cubs’ uniform will have the same result as both Edwin Jackson and Scott Feldman.

A win tonight would ensure a .500 trip for the Cubs to start the season. Can Dale Sveum’s team pull out a win? It all starts with Carlos Villanueva.

Carlos Villanueva makes his Cubs’ debut tonight. Villanueva was expected to start the season in the Cubs’ pen but the injury to Matt Garza forced him into the starting rotation. Villanueva had a decent spring and the Cubs will be looking for him to give them innings tonight.

Last season with the Blue Jays, Villanueva posted a 7-7 record in 38 games, 16 starts, with a 4.16 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. As a starter, Villanueva was 5-7 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP (86 strikeouts and 25 walks in 92 innings).

Carlos Villanueva has had very little success against the Braves in his career. Villanueva is 1-2 in 10 games, one start, with a 7.20 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP … at Turner Field, 1-1 in six games, one start, with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. Villanueva faced the Braves twice a year ago and was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP (no runs, three hits, three walks and two strikeouts in three innings).

Braves Career Numbers against Carlos Villanueva

  • Juan Francisco – 0-for-2
  • Freddie Freeman – 1-for-1 with a double
  • Jason Heyward – 0-for-2
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-5
  • Chris Johnson – 1-for-2 with a double
  • Andrelton Simmons – 0-for-1
  • Dan Uggla – 2-for-8 with a double and three walks
  • Justin Upton – 0-for-5
  • B.J. Upton – 3-for-14 with a double

The Cubs will get their first look at the top pitching prospect in the Braves’ organization. Julio Teheran has pitched in just seven big leagues games over two seasons with the Braves. Teheran has excellent stuff but reportedly does not throw as hard as he once did by design. Teheran now sits in the low 90s with his fastball (90-93) and throws an above-average change up in the 79-81 mph range with excellent depth and fade.

The Cubs offense must make Teheran work early on. And see if they can take advantage of the 22-year old before he gets comfortable on the mound.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

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