Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 04/09/13

Game Eight: Cubs (2-5) vs. Brewers (2-5)

  • Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 187/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Travis Wood (1-0, 0.00/0.50) vs. Wily Peralta (0-1, 6.75/1.69)

Weather permitting … The Cubs will look to end their four-game losing skid tonight behind Travis Wood. While the pitching staff has been inconsistent, the offense has been consistently bad with runners in scoring position. The Cubs are 6-for-44 with runners in scoring position over the first seven games of the season and must start receiving run production from the likes of Alfonso Soriano and Anthony Rizzo.

The Cubs’ three and four hitters in the lineup are not producing. Dale Sveum pointed out the lack of hitting from Soriano and Rizzo during his post-game press conference on Monday. While the Cubs figure to struggle in the run scoring department this season, the inability to plate runners from third base with less than one out is one of the many fundamentals this organization, from top to bottom, must improve on moving forward.

While Ryan Braun is and will always be a thorn in the Cubs’ side, the coaching staff must put together a new game plan for Norichika Aoki. The Brewers’ right fielder continues to feast on Cubs’ pitching. Aoki was hitting .400/.475/.660/1.135 with five doubles, a triple and two home runs against the Cubs in 16 games before he went 3-for-4 with a double and two walks on Monday. The Brewers will have another familiar face in the dugout tonight. Milwaukee transferred Corey Hart to the 60-day DL on Monday and purchased the contract of Blake Lalli from Triple-A Nashville.

The Cubs play their first night game of the season at Wrigley Field, something the ownership would like to see more of in the near future.

Can the Cubs post a win in their first night game of the year at the old ballyard?

Travis Wood is coming off an excellent outing against the Pirates. Wood allowed just one hit over six shutout innings with a pair of walks and four strikeouts and picked up the win when the Cubs survived the ninth inning. Wood mixed his pitches well with very good command against the Pirates … can he keep it up again tonight against the Brewers?

Wood was inconsistent in his home park last season. Wood seemingly put together a very good outing then would follow it up with a dud, pretty much following the theme of his first season in the Cubs’ organization. Wood was 2-6 in 14 starts at Wrigley last season with a 4.52 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP while teams hit virtually the same off of him at home (.235) as on the road (.228). The difference in his home-road splits was the amount of home runs he allowed … 14 at Wrigley, 11 on the road.

Tonight marks the eighth time in Wood’s young career he will start a game against the Brewers. Wood is 3-2 in seven career appearances, six starts, with a 3.40 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP … last season, 0-2 in two starts with a 3.86 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP.

Brewers Career Numbers against Travis Wood

  • Norichika Aoki – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Yuniesky Betancourt – 0-for-5
  • Ryan Braun – 6-for-17 with four doubles and a home run
  • Carlos Gomez – 2-for-12 with a home run and a walk
  • Jonathan Lucroy – 1-for-8
  • Martin Maldonado – 0-for-7
  • Rickie Weeks – 1-for-16 with a home run

The Cubs get their first look at Wily Peralta tonight. Peralta is coming off a bad first outing against a very good Rockies’ offense. Peralta allowed four runs on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Peralta is making just his seventh start at the big league level after posting a 2-1 mark in six games, five starts, a year ago with a 2.48 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.

Baseball America considers Wily Peralta the top prospect in the Brewers’ system. Peralta does not turn 24 for another month and can run his fastball up into the high 90s when he needs to. Peralta sits in the mid-90s while throwing both a two and four-seam fastball. Last September the scouts really liked his slider. Peralta features a changeup with splitter action.

The biggest knock on Peralta has always been his control and command. He can get quite wild (14 walks in 34 1/3 big league innings) if teams are patient with him. Once he begins to struggle, reports indicate he has a history of losing confidence. If the Cubs allow him to get comfortable early they could be in for a long-short night.

Outside of possible plate appearances by Anthony Rizzo, Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger in the minors the past few seasons, the only players that have faced Peralta at the big league level are Scott Hairston (0-for-1) and Dioner Navarro (0-for-2).

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"What scares me is what scares you. We're all afraid of the same things." - John Carpenter

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    DeJesus – CF
    Castro – SS
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Schierholtz – RF
    Castillo – C
    Valbuena – 3B
    Lillibridge – 2B
    Wood – P

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    The Indians DFA’d Robert Whitenack. Cleveland claimed him off waivers from the Cubs last week

    • RynoTiger

      terrible roster management by the Indians! what were they thinking?! Terrible FO!

      • Tony_Hall

        Almost as bad as the Rangers DFAing Belivaeu….maybe he wasn’t there long enough for them to know he was a left handed reliever.

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Daytona – Zach Cates (0-9, 7.16 in 2012)
    Tennessee – Dallas Beeler (0-1, 6.75)
    Iowa – Chris Rusin (0-0, 3,60)

    Kane Co, defeated Clinton this afternoon 6-5. Jeimer Candelario got the game winning hit in the ninth inning. Bijan Rademacher was 2-3 with 2 RBI, Rock Shoulders hit his second HR and was 3-for-3, while Ban Vogelbach went 3-for-5. After a rough first start, Pierce Johnson went 5 innings, giving up 2 earned runs and striking out 4.

  • Tom U

    Update: Logan Watkins to get his first start at shortstop for Iowa.

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

    All those empty seats for night-home opener! Crazy…

    • cc002600

      I will never understand why they want to play night games in April. You couldn’t pay me a million dollars to sit out there in 30 degree weather getting frost bite to watch a game. its so stupid.

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

        With the limitations on night games I agree, why not save them for Summer?

      • Tony_Hall

        I love it when we agree on something. Night games in April are bound to be bad.

        I wouldn’t go with free tickets, but for a million dollars I would and I would even let people boo me.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Aoki starts off with a double … time to pitch him inside

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

    I’ll state my position here before the game gets going. I believe in Travis Wood…I think he can be a #4 and maybe even a #3 pitcher on a winning team if he keeps putting it all together.

    • Tony_Hall

      I like Wood as well. If Wood and Jackson can end up as our 4/5 at some point we will have a competitive rotation.

      Samardzija and resigning Garza gives us 2, so we need one more to make that happen. That could be Vizaino, but unfortunately there is not a lot in the upper ranks that will make this happen in the short term. But drafting Appel may make it happen very quick.

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

        I like Vizcaino, the recovery from TJ surgery is pretty good these days. It seems like 90% of guys get their form back, 60% as starters. How about you draft Appel and Vizcaino comes back and everyone moves down a peg? You think Appel would be in the show by 2014?

        • Tony_Hall

          Yes. I don’t believe he will take long to get into the rotation.

      • Ray Ray

        If Wood and Jackson are your 4,5… You better have a Strassburg, Matt Cain and Shark as your 1,2,3 if you are talking about a championship team.

        • Tony_Hall

          We will eventually have better 4’s and 5’s but the pitching is mostly in A ball right now. But Wood and Jackson getting moved down to 4/5 means we have 3 pitchers in the Samardzija, Garza range. Which is what we need 1 more above average starter, ideally an ACE to put 1st.

          • Ray Ray

            Playoffs don’t matter unless you win a WS. Isn’t that what you and many say? You won’t win a WS with Shark Garza and Vizcaino as your top 3 in playoff series.

          • Tony_Hall

            2-3 years we will have some young arms that will make a difference. Until then this is what we have. We won’t be winning any WS in the next 2-3 years. Now that you understand that, you should back the long term plan.

          • Tony_Hall

            If Appel ends up an ACE, what about this then.

            1) Appel
            2) Samardzija
            3) Vizcaino
            4) Garza
            5) Wood or Jackson

          • Ray Ray

            I thought you didn’t want Appel?

          • Tony_Hall

            Really?? He is the best player in the draft. Most ready to contribute, floor of a good MLB pitcher and a ceiling of an ACE. To me he is the safest bet.

          • Ray Ray

            I agree. This team needs a fast track college pitcher. Appel or Jonathan Gray

          • Tony_Hall

            I liked your post on Gray, just not sure he is as fast to the rotation or as much of a sure thing. If I am the Cubs I offer Appel, a little over slot contract and a wink/wink that they will give him an extension as soon as he gets to the majors and they can do it and let them know that getting games in this year helps him fast track to the majors in 2014 versus 2015 and that is how he will maximize his earnings.

          • Ray Ray

            Gray has really impressed scouts this year. Some even like him more than Appel. I have heard 1 or 2 for Gray.

          • John_CC

            Hard to imagine at the moment, I agree. Try putting someone like Price at top, then how does it look?

            Price, Shark, Garza, Vizcaino, Jackson

            I except something similar to that by ’14

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good job by Wood getting out of the jam

  • Tony_Hall

    I like the aggressiveness of Castillo, but that ball slipped and sailed on him. End result was just like a successful sacrifice.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Third bad throw of the inning

    • Tony_Hall

      I missed it what happen.

      • Denver Mike

        Castro threw home on a dribbler, way outside and Castillo couldn’t come up with it. Right play, terrible throw.

        • Bredstik

          Castro looks terrible. Doesn’t look ready to play at all.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Sorry Tony, stepped away.

        Castro rushed his throw on a grounder up the middle that pulled Rizzo off first. Betancourt was given a single. Castillo tried to throw behind Segura on a missed bunt attempt. The throw sailed into center then Castro rushed his throw on a play at the plate.

  • Tony_Hall

    For those that think I agree with everything this FO does. I didn’t like Lillibridge when we was given a minor league contract and invited to camp, I didn’t like him in ST and I would rather see Gonzalez play 2B until Barney gets back.

    • Ray Ray

      Negative Negative! He was added by the current FO who has a plan in place and they are sticking to it. Lillibridge is part of the mastermind plan! Lol

      • Tony_Hall

        LOL….can’t you even agree with me on this one….

        Lillibridge is short term roster filler, nothing more. I just wish it was real short. I might even cut him and keep Gonzalez when Barney comes back. He has had 1 AB that has impressed me.

        • Ray Ray

          Haha

        • Bredstik

          And didn’t he strike out in that AB?

          • Tony_Hall

            Yes he did. It was a very good AB though.

          • Bredstik

            Agreed. Would be nice if one of his other 15ABs was better. Or contained a hit.

  • Ray Ray

    Hey DeJesus got a hit.

  • Tony_Hall

    I love watching MLB players who throw off the wrong foot….little league basics….

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Wood pitched better than his line

  • Ray Ray

    Peralta throwing 95-96 on a night like this is all he needs. Up and in on the batters hands. No need to even throw off speed.

  • gary3411

    STARLIN CASTRO WILL TAKE A BALL!!

    34 plate appearances and counting…

    • gary3411

      WILL YOU*

    • gary3411

      35…

  • Tony_Hall

    Nice execution by Castro and Rizzo just putting the ball in play and not trying to hit it out of the park tonight.

    And yes, Castro should have taken a few pitches.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Anthony Rizzo ended a 0-for-6 skid against lefties this
    season with a RBI double off Mike Gonzalez in the seventh that tied the game at 3

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent catch by Rizzo on that bullet from Marmol. Marmol was moving off that mound.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with an excellent diving stop and throw to first to save a run

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castillo with a sac bunt … just liked they practiced

    • Ray Ray

      Lol

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Glad you caught the sarcasm … it was ugly but at least he got the job done

        • Bredstik

          He almost fell backwards out of the batters box.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Style and fundamental points were zero … as JD pointed out, kinda defensive, that ball was running in.

  • Ray Ray

    Not how you draw it up Wellington but got the job done. Lol

  • Bredstik

    Interesting that both teams’ opening day closers both pitching the 8th.

  • Ray Ray

    Axford is Milwaukee’s Marmol. His career really hit the skids

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    DeJesus with a good night

  • Bredstik

    It’s Fuji Time…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Brewers 6-3 on Tuesday night – Travis Wood: 3R, 2ER, 7H, 3BB, 6K in 6.1 IP (102 pitches, 64 strikes) … DeJesus: 3-5, 2B, 2RBI, 2R; Rizzo: 1-2, 2B, 2RBI, 2BB; Schierholtz: 1-4, 2B, R; Castro: 1-5,
    RBI; Hairston: PH SF RBI

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.canavan.14 Jim Canavan

    The fire rises.

    Nation Represent! Cubs Win-Cubs Win!