Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Rangers – 04/18/13

Game Fourteen: Cubs (4-9) vs. Rangers (9-5)

  • Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 184/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Carlos Villanueva (0-0, 0.64/0.86) vs. Alexi Ogando (2-0, 1.88/1.02)

Weather permitting … The Cubs wrap up their first homestand of the season, a homestand that will be remembered for poor play, blown saves, countless mistakes, two rainouts and with the exception of the home opener, frigid weather. If the Cubs and Rangers are able to get this one in, the 10-game homestand has been reduced to eight games … and the Cubs are 2-5 in the first seven.

An official announcement has not been made as to when Wednesday’s rainout will be made up. The Cubs and Rangers have a mutual day off on May 9 and other one on June 3 … and it is very likely that one of the dates will feature a day-night doubleheader.

Dale Sveum decided not to skip any of his starters and will give the ball to Carlos Villanueva this afternoon. Jeff Samardzija will start the three-game series in Milwaukee followed by Edwin Jackson on Saturday and Scott Feldman on Sunday in the finale.

Cody Ransom reported to his new team on Wednesday. The Cubs played back-to-back games with a 24-man roster but Sveum will have a full bench this afternoon.

The Cubs need for Carlos Villanueva to continue where he left off against the Giants. Villanueva has been very, very good over his first two outings.

Carlos Villanueva makes his third start of the season this afternoon and he has put together two excellent starts. Villanueva held the Braves to one run on six hits with a pair of walks and six strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings in his first outing … then tossed 7 1/3 innings of three-hit, shutout ball to the Giants last Friday. Villanueva could easily be 2-0 on the season if it was not for the Cubs bullpen issues.

Villanueva has mixed his pitches and followed the game plan in both of his first two starts. Villanueva has walked three batters while striking out nine over 14 innings. Maintaining the 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio is critical for Villanueva, like it is for most pitchers.

Carlos Villanueva is scheduled to make his third career start against Texas. Villanueva is 1-1 in eight appearances, two starts, with a 3.16 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.

Rangers Career Numbers against Carlos Villanueva

  • Elvis Andrus – 1-for-7 with a walk
  • Jeff Baker – 3-for-5
  • Adrian Beltre – 3-for-6 with a double
  • Lance Berkman – 5-for-21 with two doubles, two home runs and a walk
  • Nelson Cruz – 3-for-10 with a double and a home run
  • Ian Kinsler – 2-for-11 with a double and a walk
  • Mitch Moreland – 3-for-8
  • David Murphy – 1-for-10
  • A.J. Pierzynski – 2-for-7 with a double
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-4

Instead of facing rookie Justin Grimm in the second game of the series, the Cubs’ struggling offense will see Alexi Ogando instead. It has seemingly been that kind of start to the season, the Cubs just are not getting many breaks.

Alexi Ogando is off to a good start to his season. Ogando is coming off a no decision against the Mariners after allowing one run on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts in five innings. Ogando has thrown the ball extremely well and the Rangers are 3-0 in his three starts.

Ogando has not allowed more than one run in each of his first three starts but he has a bad habit of pitching his way out of ballgames. If the Cubs can make him work, they should have plenty of opportunities to put runs on the board. Whether they can drive in those runners or not is another question.

Alexi Ogando makes his first regular season start against the Cubs this afternoon. Ogando has faced the Cubs numerous times in the Cactus League.

David DeJesus (1-for-2) and Nate Schierholtz (0-for-1) are the only Cubs on the active roster that has faced Alexi Ogando in a regular season big league ballgame.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time." - Betsy Smith

Share on Fancred
  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Takahashi cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Class AAA Iowa.

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

    Sounds like runs.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Game will start on time

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Five-pitch first for Villanueva

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with his first walk of the season

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Valbuena with a hit with runners in scoring position

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with his second walk in as many at bats

    • Tony_Hall

      Amazing, that on a day that most would think that guys would swing early and often to try and get the game in, Castro would walk twice.

      • paulcatanese

        Didn’t work third time up, first pitch swinging, he was going to make sure he wouldn’t walk again.:)

        • Tony_Hall

          I imagine after walking twice in a row, he was just looking for anything he could put his bat on.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo with #4

    • GaryLeeT

      475 ft. !

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano with his first of the year … Cubs with back-to-back jacks

    • Tony_Hall

      Wasn’t this his 1st RBI as well.

  • John_CC

    Just watched the replays of the HRs…that place is empty!

    • Tony_Hall

      John – Besides for a weekday game on a rainy day, the team not winning, the City is flooded and travel is very difficult.

      The other day a friend of mine said he almost had 2 tickets to one of the night games this week for $30 total. He was going to call and see if I wanted them and someone else took them. I told him I wouldn’t pay $30 for 2 tickets in April.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    It’s an official game now

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with a 10-game hit streak

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

    Man Castillo is raking!

    • John_CC

      Yeppers!

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

    I read an article today saying Jurickson Profar is firmly on the trading block. If Garza comes back healthy would we want to swing a deal? Can he play 3rd?

    • Denver Mike

      I have to believe it would take far more than Garza to bring back Profar. Most experts have him as the #1 overall prospect in the game. Personally I would love to see him at 2nd, 3rd, or SS but have a feeling it would take Garza + Baez or Soler (possibly both). I read an article the other day where the Cards GM was asked if he would consider a Tavares for Profar swap considering it Tex has a need in the OF, and the Cards need a SS, but he didn’t seem to think that was enough to get it done. Considering Tex plays with the DH what about Garza, Vogelbach, and a throw-in for Profar?

    • John_CC

      I would take way more than Garza. Definitely Soler and/or Almora. I don’t think it’s realistic, but if we are fantasizing, he would replace Castro at SS I imagine.

      Anyway, I’d rather the Cubs wait and use what they have to go after Price. Or Stanton. Here is an interesting look at potential trade targets for the Cubulas: http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2013/04/potential-cubs-offseason-targets/

    • Tony_Hall

      Honestly the best trade scenario for Profar is the Cardinals and Taveras. It fits both teams needs and are about as equal as prospects get.

  • Pingback: Awesome Articles For Cubs Fans For April 18, 2013 | Chicago Cubs Dugout Online | Chicago Cubs Blog()

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Rangers 6-2 on Thursday afternoon – Carlos Villanueva: 2R, 4H (2HR), 1BB, 6K in 7IP (87 pitches, 55 strikes) … Rizzo: 1-4,HR, 2RBI, HBP; Soriano: 1-5, HR; DeJesus: 2-4, 2B, 3B, R, BB; Castro: 1-3, 2B, R,
    2BB, SB; Castillo: 4-4, 2B, R; Valbuena: 2-4, 2B, 2RBI, SB

  • jw

    It’s always a great day when the Cubs win…Villanueva looks like a great acquisition
    When things swing our way it’s going to be fun. Still wondering what I would do to celebrate a Cubs world championship…still a bit of time to plan!

    • Tony_Hall

      Villanueva looks like a great signing along with Schierholtz.

      • GaryLeeT

        Were the Cubs going for both Sanchez, and Jackson? Or was it either or? If they had gotten both, the Cubs would have have had one of the best SP staffs in the League, because Anibal Sanchez has absolutely dominated. Now if Jed could just pick relievers like he does SPs.

        • Tony_Hall

          They were going after both, but I really doubt they would have ever signed both. Even if they did sign both it would not make them one of the best rotations, as the best is dependent on the top couple of pitchers being true aces. Samardzija is not an ace (yet), and Sanchez is just not a top of the rotation pitcher, regardless of his good start.

          Now, it would make the rotation much stronger, but really, the rotation has not been our problem.

          Our main problem has been a very tough schedule, that has 7 of the 9 losses on the year against, the Braves, Giants and Rangers all teams that are Top 10 teams in the league, yet the Cubs have played many close games against these teams.

          • GaryLeeT

            The Giants were just swept by the Brewers.

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

        Indeed, Jackson has been solid as well. Maybe all 3 can bring us core prospects back at the deadline. Once again I see the plan working well…

        • Tony_Hall

          Jackson has been ok, but not solid. He will be much better when he becomes the #4 or even better, the #5 guy in the rotation.

  • jw

    Kudos to CCO and the posters for a fantastic site