Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Marlins – 04/26/13

Game Twenty-Two: Cubs (7-14) vs. Marlins (5-17)

  • Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 186/844
  • Location – Marlins Park, Miami

Scott Feldman (0-3, 4.50/1.79) vs. Wade LeBlanc (0-3, 6.27/1.88)

After dropping the first four on the current 10-game trip, the Cubs have won two of the last three and will look to win games on back-to-back nights for the first time this season.

For the first time since 1950, 18 of the Cubs first 21 games have been decided by three runs or less. And it’s been more than 100 years (1908) since the last time the first 21 games of a Cubs season were decided by four runs or less.

Dale Sveum’s team has really struggled against southpaw starters (1-4) and must start receiving production from Dave Sappelt and Scott Hairston. Both outfielders have good career numbers against lefties and they were expected to fill the void in the offense that was created when Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker were traded last year.

While Carlos Marmol was on the hill in the ninth inning of Thursday’s game, Dale Sveum is not willing to name him the closer. Sveum still plans to play match-ups late in games.

Scott Feldman is still in search of his first victory since August 4 (13 starts). Feldman showed improvement in his last outing before giving the game to the Brewers. Will Feldman be able to put his struggles behind him and post a win tonight?

Scott Feldman has made three starts this season and has really struggled in each of his three outings. Feldman has not only pitched poorly but he has made several mistakes in each game that has cost him runs. Feldman not only needs to put together a good start tonight but he needs to keep his head in the game as well.

Feldman finally completed five innings in his last start. Feldman allowed four runs, one earned, on three hits with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings. Feldman finally struck out more hitters (6) than he walked (3). Feldman has walked (10) batters and struck out (10) in three starts (14 innings) this season.

Scott Feldman makes his first start against the Marlins’ organization tonight.

Marlins Career Numbers against Scott Feldman

  • Greg Dobbs – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Austin Kearns – 0-for-1
  • Juan Pierre – 3-for-12 with a walk
  • Placido Polanco – 2-for-7 with a double and two walks
  • Justin Ruggiano – 0-for-2

The former San Diego Padres’ southpaw is off to a rough start in his second year in Miami. After posting a 2-5 record in 25 games, nine starts, last season with a 3.67 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP, Wade LeBlanc has made just one good start in four tries this year. LeBlanc lasted just four innings in his last outing against the Reds after going only 3 2/3 innings against the Nationals.

The Reds touched up LeBlanc for two runs on seven hits in four innings with three walks and two strikeouts. For as bad as LeBlanc has been to this point, he’s been even worse in his two home starts this season. In 9 2/3 innings, LeBlanc has allowed nine runs on 15 hits with one home run, three walks and nine strikeouts (8.38 ERA and a 1.86 WHIP).

Wade LeBlanc has faced the Cubs twice in his career and is 1-0 in two games, one start, with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Wade LeBlanc

  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-2
  • Starlin Castro – 0-for-2
  • Scott Hairston – 1-for-9 with a double
  • Cody Ransom – 0-for-1
  • Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-1
  • Dave Sappelt – 0-for-3
  • Nate Schierholtz – 2-for-6 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-1
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-1

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Matt Garza just tweeted he had a small setback, but is he all good now. May 1 is his day. The Smokies reported that Garza was on the
    field participating in PFPs this afternoon.

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Kane Co – Pierce Johnson (1-1, 5.11)
    Daytona – Ben Wells (1-1, 4.05)
    Tennessee – Alberto Cabrera (2-1, 4.63)
    Iowa – Chris Rusin (1-2, 5.64)

    Some early minor league info to chew on:

    As part of my routine, I check the transactions for each league daily. On a whim, I decided to look at just the promotions and demotion that happened in the Midwest League this week.

    From Monday to Thursday, there have been 14 promotions and 7 demotions throughout the league. The uneven number of transactions suggest that there were promotions and demotions at other levels.

    So far this season, the Cubs have had only 1+ promotions for the entire year.David Bote was sent up to Daytona and back down to EXT to cover an injury to Tim Saunders. Matt Iannazzo was called up to replace an injured Jose Arias. But that’s it.

    In my preview for this season, I related that good teams usually move their prospects up and down regularly. The teams involved in this weeks transaction belonged to organizations such as St. Louis, Oakland, Minnesota, and the Dodgers to name a few. Organizations that have long as deserved good reputations for developing talent.

    • SuzyS

      Interesting note, Tom. Is it my imagination or have the Cubs suffered from more injuries than normal this year at the minor league level…
      Vitters, Jackson, Bour, Almora, Rohan and Lake to name a few.
      That seems to be hurting us along with all the waiver wire pickups at the AAA level.
      It seems to me that movement might be limited by those factors along with minor league management just getting used to their new roles since Oneri Fleita was fired.
      I’m no expert here, nor do I want to be an apologist for Cubs management..I’m just thinking out loud…What is your take on it…Tom?

      • Tom U

        Suzy you are right with the injuries to Vitter, Rohan, Lake, and now Jackson. However, it does not explain some questionable decisions.

        Bour deserved to be at Iowa, especially after injuries to Vitters and Rohan. Because you increase the chances for injury which each level you go down in the minors, the Cubs bear some responsibility for Bour’s injury.

        The Cubs currently have 72 players in EXT, so there are more than enough players available to cover the injuries that have already occurred. What’s even more curious is that Jacob Rogers, a 1B that played 16 games at Single-A and hit .300 last year is one of them.

        With the injuries, the front office should have moved Dustin Geiger to Tennessee, Rock Shoulders to Daytona, and Rogers to Kane Co.

        • Tony_Hall

          Please explain how the Cubs are responsible for Bour’s injury.

          • Tom U

            Tony as you proceed up the minor league system, the skill level increases. Bour’s wrist was broken after being hit by a pitch.

            While there is a risk of injury in all levels, the risk of one happening as a result of a player’s skill level decreases as you move up the levels.

            There are always differing opinions as to whether something is destined to happen or not. I personally believe that situations have a great influence on such things. We’ve all heard of someone being in the wrong place at the wrong time. That is what I feel happened to Bour.

          • Tony_Hall

            Thanks. I think that makes sense, but really don’t think you can put any blame on the organization.

            Is Bour a legitimate major league prospect? It’s not like he dominated AA last year and even with repeating AA this year, he was at 216/348/373 in 51 AB’s this year. I just don’t think Rizzo is worried about this guy taking his job.

          • SuzyS

            The guy DID have 110 RBI and 17 HR last year while hitting .283.

            Is Rizzo worried? He better not be. But the point was he probably earned a promotion based on last years production.

          • Tom U

            And despite hitting only .216, Bour is tied for 6th in the league with 14 RBI, only 4 off the leader.

          • Tony_Hall

            Yes he did, but AAA is used by most teams to be the players that would take over if the major league team needs a replacement. Sometimes I think we know more about players than the people who watch them everyday. It’s not like in JH’s years, where they were understaffed, didn’t have direct video feeds of the games. This front office, if anything, over analyzes everything and if they believe he needed to go back to AA, then I think I will believe their opinion.

          • SuzyS

            According to Theo last year…AAA is supposed to be our finishing school…unlike most teams.
            I would much rather see guys like Bour get a shot than filling up our AAA roster with guys like Lillibridge.
            Remember…I also buy into the rebuilding plan…But that doesn’t mean I think Theo/Jed et al are infallible.

          • Tony_Hall

            That doesn’t mean every player is there for “finishing”

            Watkins, BJAX, Lake (when off DL) Vitters, Rusin, Raley, Loux, Dolis might be the extent of the players that are on Iowa’s roster for finishing purposes.

            Brad Nelson I believe is getting most of the playing time at 1B, to be the back-up to Rizzo, if needed. Kind of tells you that Bour does not have much of a future, that they felt the need to to bring in Nelson.

        • SuzyS

          So who is responsible for those type of decisions?…and wouldn’t it be cool if the CCO could get an interview with them to find out the thought process?

  • paulcatanese

    With Sveum going with his all righty (ex Rizzo) why since force feeding Rizzo against leftys would he not just start Dejesus as well along with Shierholtz, don’t see the harm it would do. It’s not like his all-righty lineup is tearing it up.

    • Tom U

      With Ransom at 3B, they have no one else who can play 1B.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Robert-Koenig/1295439291 Raymond Robert Koenig

        1B is the easiest defensive position to play.

      • paulcatanese

        OK didn’t wait for a prompt response.
        Right tho, no one to play first.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Paul, what Tom said

  • Tony_Hall

    Nice start tonight. Sappelt single, Castro almost got it over Coghlan and Rizzo clears the fence against a lefty.

    Cubs are 3rd in HR’s this year…who would’ve ever guessed that.

    • brent carmona

      rizzo home run? I thought dale ruined his swing though….

      • Ripsnorter1

        Dale has given him a power upper cut. If he connects, it’s gone. But a lot of pop outs and strike outs, too.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          This is just not meant for you, it is a general statement.

          If Sveum and Rizzo have changed his swing, let’s give him a chance to adjust and put those changes to work. Rizzo has not played a full season at the big league level. Let’s all just try to be patient.

          After all, he just set a club record for the most homers in the month of April by a lefty.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Just to let everyone know, I picked Rizzo to hit 37 taters in 2013 for the Chicago Cubs in the CCO poll.

          • Tony_Hall

            Now whose drinking the kool-aide….

          • Ripsnorter1

            I deal in reality. I’m a tea-teetotaler!

          • Tony_Hall

            That’s a little high for even me. But I love seeing anything optimistic from you.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I just call ‘em as I see ‘em.

            And check my posts out–I haven’t been riding Mr. Rizzo. I did report what Mr. Keith Law wrote. There’s a difference, I think.

          • Tony_Hall

            So why is it when I and others call it like we see it, you have to say we are drinking the kool-aide.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Simple. You are not realistic.

          • SuzyS

            C’mon you guys…from the department of the redundancy department.

          • Tony_Hall

            Sorry Suzy, but Rip drinks the kool-aide from time to time as well, just won’t ever admit it.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Never touch the stuff myself…..

          • triple

            Rip and Tony – I respect both of your opinions and really appreciate your (mostly) thoughtful posts, but the whole “kool-aid” thing is just childish whether you’re the accuser or accusee. And the fact that it fuels your guys banter (while sometimes very entertaining), just blows my mind. Why don’t we settle this like real adults with a battle of wits via some “your momma is so…..” jokes!

          • Tony_Hall

            Can you give me an example of a prediction that I have made that is unrealistic? I am not calling for this team to be even in the upper 70’s for wins. They are going to do pretty close to last year, where they go on a run at some point, but not even close to enough to not sell off anything and everything and try to bring in some more prospects. I have just bought into the rebuilding plan, and you don’t like the plan.

            Plus, I think you are unrealistic saying 37 HR’s for Rizzo. If that was the case I would have wanted him in fantasy baseball, where the only player on the Cubs worth owning is Samardzija. If I was unrealistic, I would load my teams with Cubs players.

            So why is your opinion realistic or reality, when you may have one of the highest predictions on Rizzo’s HR’s, . and Randy Wells wins, need I go on.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Here’s an idea:

            Let’s see just how many HRs Mr. Anthony Rizzo hits in 2013. Of course, I am expecting no DL stints. I assume you are not expecting any DL stints, either.

            Then at the end of the season, we can see who is drinking Kool-Aid, or who is drinking Lemon-Aide.

            How’s that? : )

          • Tony_Hall

            Even with his ruined swing???

            I had thought 30 HR’s with a low of 25 and the highest I could imagine was 35, I know only 2 more wind blown HR’s and it’s 37. But let’s follow it. Of course the last time we did that we were counting Randy Wells wins….I don’t believe he has made it 15 yet, even if we keep counting.

          • Tony_Hall

            Of course, I hope you are right, as I will take 37 or more HR’s from Rizzo in his sophmore slump season.

      • Tony_Hall

        Ruined it so much that he hit it off a lefty. The article that was referenced was Keith Law speculating about his swing.

  • Tony_Hall

    Soriano with an infield hit…very nice.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    A little late, but Rizzo with #7

  • Tony_Hall

    The Bears draft Jonathan Bostic ILB – Florida

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo … wow. A majestic blast

    • Tony_Hall

      I had flipped over to the draft. Are you telling me that Rizzo has hit 2 HR’s off of a lefty tonight?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Yes, I am. Second one was to the upper deck in right

    • GaryLeeT

      420 + for sure, and just missed a fan who wasn’t paying attention. It would be wrong of me to wish it had hit him, right?

      • Tony_Hall

        That would be tough to hit a fan….empty seat no problem.

      • Denver Mike

        You have to give any fan that shows up to a Marlins game credit … for what I’m not sure, but they are definitely the exception.

  • Tony_Hall

    Unbelievable play by Barney. Double play off of a terrible throw by Feldman to second.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Agreed, excellent play by Barney

    • SuzyS

      agreed, Barney just saved Feldman some runs.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo tied for second in NL in HR, three behind Justin Upton. Moves into top five in RBIs (18).

  • Tony_Hall

    That one got out of here in a hurry….long gone.

  • SuzyS

    Feldman is self-destructing. Nice dp to get 2 outs.

    • Ripsnorter1

      He fields like Volstad. And he self-destructs like Volstad. He needs a bullpen job, at best.

      • Tony_Hall

        He will be there as soon as Garza is back in the rotation.

        • Ripsnorter1

          That’s sooooo slow.

    • Tony_Hall

      This is by far the best he has looked this year. His little floating curveball that he throws at the RH batters elbow is floating in for strikes. Seems like everyone is giving up on it, even though it looks like it should be very hitable.

  • Tony_Hall

    Very good inning for Rizzo with the glove.

  • SuzyS

    Nice to see Andre Dawson in the booth. Didn’t know he had prostrate surgery in the winter…but glad he’s been cleared of cancer at this time.
    That ’87 season he gave us was just magical. THAT year…I did spend a lot of time in the bleachers…good memories!!!

  • Tom U

    Entering the sixth inning Daytona Cubs starter Ben Wells has held Lakeland hitless as the D-Cubs lead 5-0

    • Tom U

      Wells gives up a one out single in the sixth, Daytona now leads 5-2.

    • SuzyS

      Hopefully this is the beginning of Wells showing us why we drafted him so high.

  • Tony_Hall

    I think the Cubs need to move an OF to make room for Ryan Sweeney. Another HR tonight.

    He could be a decent trade piece this summer.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Really? Let’s check his career stats….

      Top power year….6 HR.
      2nd most power year….5 HR….

      The PCL has a way of adding HRs to the stats sheet….

      • Tony_Hall

        280/338/378 career numbers. Not a power hitter, but a LH batter who can play all 3 OF spots. Something you can be sure a few teams will be looking for in July.

  • Tony_Hall

    Rizzo is at the mendoza line after going 3-4 tonight.

    • GaryLeeT

      He may have his up, and downs as he matures, but I find it hard to believe he won’t have sustained success with a swing that compact & powerful.

      • Tony_Hall

        I agree. His BABIP is way too low, and once it levels off, his average will be in a more respectable range. He is the least of our worries.

  • Tony_Hall

    Nice win tonight. Good start by Feldman, great game by Rizzo and a well pitched 9th by Gregg.

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

    Nation Represent! Cubs Win_Cubs Win! Recognize.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Marlins 4-2 on Friday night – Scott Feldman: 2R, 7H (HR), 2BB, 2K in 6.2 IP (99 pitches, 60 strikes) … Anthony Rizzo: 3-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, SB; Darwin Barney: 3-3, 2B, HBP; Dave Sappelt: 2-4, 2R