Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Braves – 04/07/13

Game Six: Cubs (2-3) vs. Braves (4-1)

  • Game Time – 12:35pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 188/844
  • Location – Turner Field, Atlanta

Jeff Samardzija (1-0, 0.00/0.38) vs. Tim Hudson (0-0, 6.23/2.08)

The Cubs wrap-up their first road trip of the year today in Atlanta. The Cubs are 2-3 over the first five games and with a win they will leave for Chicago with a .500 record. It will be interesting to see how the Cubs back bounce back after Saturday night’s debacle. A win today would go a long way with putting Saturday’s loss in the rearview mirror.

If the Cubs have a lead late in the game, look for Dale Sveum to use a different combination in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Kyuji Fujikawa will likely be unavailable today after throwing 23 high stress pitches on Saturday night. So even if James Russell or Shawn Camp pitches in the ninth this afternoon it does not mean either one of the pitchers will be in the same role on Monday.

Welington Castillo should be behind the plate today, even with the early start after a night game, Castillo and Jeff Samardzija looked very comfortable together on Opening Day.

Jeff Samardzija has a very good opportunity to reinforce his role as a leader and the number one pitcher on the Cubs’ staff this afternoon. A sign of a true number one is being able to step up for his team after a tough loss and put an end to a losing streak.

Can the Cubs leave Atlanta with a .500 record?

Jeff Samardzija is coming off an excellent outing in Pittsburgh. Samardzija settled down after being amped up in the first inning and pitched a gem. Samardzija tossed eight innings of shutout ball while allowing just two hits and a walk. Samardzija struck out nine and dominated the Pirates’ lineup. Samardzija will face a much better team this afternoon … this should be a good test for the Cubs’ number one starter.

Samardzija is 2-0 in eight games, two starts against the Braves with a 2.66 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. Both of his wins came last year in the two starts he made against Atlanta. Samardzija held the Braves to two runs on nine hits with three walks and 18 strikeouts in 14 innings (1.29 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP). Samardzija owns a 1-1 record in five games, one start, at Turner Field with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.

Braves Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Freddie Freeman – 0-for-6 with a walk
  • Jason Heyward – 1-for-6 with a home run
  • Chris Johnson – 1-for-7
  • Gerald Laird – 1-for-1
  • Andrelton Simmons – 0-for-1
  • Dan Uggla – 2-for-14 with a home run and a walk
  • Justin Upton – 2-for-6 with a double and a walk

Tim Hudson is coming off a rough start on Opening Day. Hudson allowed three runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings to the Phillies. Hudson walked three and struck out three. The Braves won the game, and that is all that matters. The veteran right-hander has had an excellent career and does not appear to be slowing down. Hudson was 16-7 in 28 starts last season with a 3.62 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.

The Cubs have struggled with Hudson over the years. Hudson owns a 2-1 record in six starts against the Cubs with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP … last season, Hudson lost his only start against the Cubs but allowed just one run on five hits over seven innings.

Cubs Career Numbers against Tim Hudson

  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-3 with a triple
  • David DeJesus – 1-for-3
  • Alberto Gonzalez – 2-for-13
  • Scott Hairston – 3-for-8 with a double
  • Dioner Navarro – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • Anthony Rizzo – 0-for-3
  • Nate Schierholtz – 1-for-6 with a home run and two walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 6-for-35 with a double, three home runs and two walks

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs have removed Marmol as closer, Fujikawa has been handed the duties, for now.

    http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2013/04/kyuji-fujikawa-takes-over-cubs-closer-job.php

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    DeJesus – CF
    Castro – SS
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Schierholtz – RF
    Navarro – C
    Valbuena – 3B
    Gonzalez – 2B
    Samardzija – P

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

      I think it may be time to move Schierholtz up to clean-up. The guy is raking. Even his outs are hard hit balls.

      • gary3411

        L-R-L-R-L-R-L-R I think is the idea with him in the 5-hole although Navarro will be batting lefthanded today he switches.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Darwin Barney hopes to get stitches out of his left knee on Monday. Barney could rehab at Kane County this week

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Update on Garza: Garza threw another pen session. Says he feels great. Maybe two more and off to rehab assignment.

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Kane Co. – Michael Heesch (3-1, 2,45 in 2012)
    Daytona – PJ Francescon (8-7, 3.01)
    Tennessee – Kyle Hendricks (6-8, 2.99)
    Iowa – Nick Struck (14-10, 3.18)

    For those of you new to the site, I try to post some impressions from minor league play once per weekend. Her are some impressions:

    The red faces in the front office might not just be for their current bullpen situation. Their hand picked pitching depth that they signed over the winter is off to an equally poor start. Veterans Drew Carpenter, Jensen Lewis, Zach Putnam, and Cory Wade have a combined 15.13 ERA through the first three games.

    However, position players have fared much better at Triple-A. Brian Bogusevic is hitting .385, JC Boscan .429, Brad Nelson has smacked 2 homers while filling in at third base, and Ryan Sweeney was 3-for-3 last night.

    Tennessee pitchers have struck out 38 in the first three games.

    Jae-Hoon Ha looks a lot more comfortable batting in the number three slot than he did last season.

    Daytona has all the makings of a powerhouse, and could dominate the Florida State League in both hitting and pitching this season.

    Kane County’s youth has betrayed them, committing 6 errors and making countless mistakes through the first three games.

    The lack of athleticism of Dan Vogelbach has already been exposed, as Kane Co, is already having second baseman Gioskar Amaya handle all pop-up, even foul ones, on the right had side of the infield.

    • Henry

      Tom, when are you heading out to Kane County for a ballgame. I would love to meet up with you. Maybe we can organize a CCO outing.,

      • Tom U

        No official plans as yet, Henry. i will post when things get worked out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tintin.rex.73 TinTin Rex

    Today, today is a great day to win!

  • Tony_Hall

    Good way to start the game…they needed to do that.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good job by Castro and Rizzo getting the run in

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And not having Barney is felt right away

  • Tony_Hall

    I know that was a hot shot by BJ, but I am not impressed with Gonzalez’s glove…and he is suppose to be a defensive minded player.

    • RynoTiger

      he tried to get fancy to stop the ball when all he needed to do was step in front of it..one step to his right it looked like..am I wrong?

      • Tony_Hall

        I think he had no desire to get in front of it…not that I blame him it was hit hard, but you have to get your glove on it regardless of if try to back hand it or get in front of it.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Castillo … Navarro should have put that one in his pocket.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent job by Samardzija pitching around his defense

    • Tony_Hall

      He took care of the outs all on his own…3 k’s….which helps me on both my fantasy teams!

  • Tony_Hall

    Now up to 6 k’s

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Samardzija six outs … six strikeouts

  • Denver Mike

    The CCO, getting me my Cubs updates faster than MLBtv!

  • Tony_Hall

    An out without a K.

  • Tony_Hall

    8 k’s after 3 innings.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Samardzija was not happy with the calls to B.J. Upton … eight strikeouts in first three innings.

  • Tony_Hall

    Samardzija 10 K’s in 4 innings…62 pitches though

    • Vivid_Reality

      I’d let him go 120 if he is close to the record, 130 even. The season is young and so is his arm.

      • Tony_Hall

        He would have to be all that to get the strikeout record. 120/125 I would think is his limit regardless of the situation.

  • Tony_Hall

    Back to back wild pitches by Sarmardzija, but Navarro needs to block those. He doesn’t move all that well back there.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      As I mentioned above, would have rather seen Castillo back there today.

      • Tony_Hall

        I have to say this is my first chance to see Navarro behind the plate for any length of time. I would prefer a defensive minded back-up catcher to an offensive catcher.

  • Tony_Hall

    Got to get Heyward, can’t let Upton bat with them loaded.

  • Tony_Hall

    Samardzija 12 k’s through 5 innings – 87 pitches.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs Jeff Samardzija sets a new career high in
    strikeouts with his 12th of the day, Jason Heyward swinging in the 5th
    inning

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    That ball did not hit him

    • Tony_Hall

      I agree, it was off the bat. He didn’t react with the hand until he was getting up to try and sell it.

  • Tony_Hall

    Tough way for Samardzija’s day to end. Should of had his 14th k in only 6 innings and still a chance to win the game. Tough call as even watching replays it took a few times to see, but the ump could hear the sounds and should have seen that the batter wasn’t waving his hand.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Samardzija is pitching like I thought he would: dominate!

    He’s becoming the #1 starter we needed.

    • Tony_Hall

      Any doubts that he is going to be a top of the rotation pitcher should be answered. Not saying a legitimate ace, but a solid 1/2.

      • Ripsnorter1

        He’ll be a legit ace if he keeps his control up.

        Garza is a worry.

        • Tony_Hall

          When Garza comes back, I would like to see them see how he looks for 4,5 starts then offer him an extension and if he turns it down tell him to plan to go the Kyle Lohse path and sweat it out all winter. This could turn into a bargain extension, or he could come back and never be the same….life of a pitcher.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Villanueva is a decent starter. The Cubs should stop kidding themselves and let him pitch. He could win 10-13 games for us if anyone on the planet could close a game for us.

            And speaking of kidding themselves, the Cubs were just wrong to bring back Chris Volstad, er, Scott Feldman. Expect NOTHING out of this guy. NOTHING! And you won’t be disappointed. Rusin brings more to the table that this guy.

            Garza: I dunno. I think you ought to face the fact that he pitched well just two months: August and Sept of 2011. He was so very inconsistent the rest of his starts. One good, two bad. One fair, another poor. So he doesn’t have great trade value, and he’s too expensive to resign. But starting pitching is so hard to find, you’ll throw $80 million at a guy you can’t depend on. Gag!

          • Tony_Hall

            $80M….whose throwing $80M at Garza right now. He will be get a 2-3 year offer at most for an extension, that may have vesting or option years for both sides. But $10-$12M per year is all he is looking at right now.

          • Tony_Hall

            Villanueva looked good, but I bet there is a reason he has only 50 starts in 300 appearances. I don’t expect much out of Feldman, but think he will do better than you expect, which should be easy as you expect nothing from him.

          • SuzyS

            I also expect nothing out of Feldman….When all is said and done…Baker will do better than Feldman by a country mile.

        • Tony_Hall

          Samardzija, Garza, EJackson would be a nice base for the rotation for the upcoming years. T Wood could easily fit in as well as the 4th/5th. If Vizcaino or another arm can come up and force Jackson to the #4, or even Samardzija or Garza down a slot as well, that would be great.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Barney is missed again …

  • Tony_Hall

    That was ugly by Uggla.

  • Tony_Hall

    Just to show how difficult this game is, Upton has been on fire, and has now struck out 4 times today.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Rondon has been impressive thus far. I like what I’ve seen.

    • Tony_Hall

      Very nice pick-up. And to think we have him under control for 6 more years, as he has no MLB service time yet.

      • Dorasaga

        Thanks for the comment. I enjoyed reading about Navarro behind the plate. Couldn’t watch the game, so this live chat/comment is good.

  • Tony_Hall

    Jordan Walden was seen as not much in return for a young SP, but Walden is another live arm in that very impressive bullpen of Atlanta’s.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 5-1 to Braves on Sunday afternoon – Jeff
    Samardzija: 4R, 4H, 4BB, HBP, 2 WP, 13K in 5.2 IP (105 pitches, 63 strikes) … Samardzija set career-high with 13 strikeouts (11 swinging) … DeJesus: 1-3, 2B, R; Castro:
    2-4, Rizzo: 1-4, RBI; Cubs offense: 1R on 5H with 2BB and 11K