Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 04/22/13

Game Eighteen: Cubs (5-12) vs. Reds (11-8)

  • Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 186/844
  • Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Travis Wood (1-1, 1.83/1.07) vs. Mike Leake (1-0, 4.26/1.32)

The Cubs are reeling and not only do they need a win tonight to put an end to a three-game losing streak and a six-game road skid, but Dale Sveum’s team is in need of a well-played game. While the pitching staff has shown improvement of late, the defense and offense have continued to struggle.

The Cubs committed six errors over the three games in Milwaukee, and have been charged with 17 errors over the first 17 games of the season. The entire team seems to be rushing plays in the field. If they continue to give extra opportunities to the Reds, it will be an ugly series.

While the defense tries to figure out how to catch the baseball, the offense needs to hit the ball with runners in scoring position. The offense is just 5-for-the-last-58 with RISP. And it will not get any easier for the offense over the next three games.

After tonight’s matchup of Travis Wood and Mike Leake, Carlos Villanueva takes on southpaw rookie Tony Cingrani on Tuesday with Jeff Samardzija squaring off against Mat Latos in the finale on Wednesday morning.

The Cubs managed just four wins in the 16 games (4-12) with the Reds last season.

After starting the season out 2-1, the Cubs are 3-11 in the last 14 game. The Cubs have been in every game they have played this season but they must start doing the little things that add up to wins.


Travis Wood is off to a good start to his season. Wood pitched into the eighth inning of his last outing against the Rangers and was the victim of no run support. Wood held a very good offensive team to two runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.

Wood has shown a lot of improvement over his time with the Cubs. Wood will still lose his concentration against the bottom of the lineup and that must stop, especially walking the opposing pitcher. It is one thing to get beaten by the top of a lineup and the big guys in the middle, but walking the eighth and ninth spots in a National League lineup is unacceptable.

Travis Wood faced his former team twice last season and did not fare too well in his start in Cincinnati. Wood was 0-1 in two starts with a 5.25 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP while the Reds hit .286 against him. Wood pitched seven excellent innings against the Reds at Wrigley on August 11 (one run on five hits with a walk and eight strikeouts) but stumbled in his very next start in the Queen City. The Reds scored seven runs, six earned, on nine hits with non walks and four strikeouts. Wood served up three home runs … one to Ryan Ludwick, one to Todd Frazier and one to Jay Bruce.

Reds Career Numbers against Travis Wood

  • Jay Bruce – 1-for-2 with a home run
  • Shin-Soo Choo – 0-for-2
  • Zack Cozart – 1-for-7 with a double
  • Todd Frazier – 4-for-5 with a home run and a walk
  • Jack Hannahan – 1-for-2
  • Chris Heisey – 0-for-3
  • Brandon Phillips – 1-for-6 with a double

After struggling in his first two starts, Mike Leake is coming off an excellent out against the aging Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals and Pirates had their way with Leake before the Phillies could only manage three hits over seven shutout innings.

Leake put it all together in his last outing but the Phillies are not the most patient team at the plate. If the Cubs can make him work, Leake will help them out. Prior to striking out seven and issuing no walks to the free-swinging Phillies, Leake had as many walks (6) as strikeouts (6) in his first two starts (12 innings).

Mike Leake had his way with the Cubs early in his career. Leake owns a 4-2 mark in 10 starts against the Cubs with a 3.56 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP … but last year, Leake was 0-1 in three starts with a 6.11 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Mike Leake

  • Darwin Barney – 7-for-18 with two doubles
  • Welington Castillo – 0-for-2
  • Starlin Castro – 11-for-28 with three double, a triple and a walk
  • David DeJesus – 3-for-9 with a double
  • Anthony Rizzo – 4-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Nate Schierholtz – 3-for-7 with a double and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-18 with a home run and two walks
  • Luis Valbuena – 2-for-5 with a double and a walk

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time." – Lou Brock

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  • BosephHeyden

    Okay, you’re probably the best person to ask. Vogelbach is a pretty good power guy. I think we’ve seen and heard enough about him to know this. But he’s also a first baseman. And a big first baseman to the point where moving him anywhere else will likely be a project that also includes having him lose a considerable amount of weight, that, in the process, could also cause him to lose a bit of power.

    So, question: should they bother consider moving Vogelbach from first to third or right, or just keep him at first?

    My thinking has been to keep him at first for the sole reason that, if, down the road, Rizzo ever does get hurt or otherwise unable to compete for a considerable amount of time, the Cubs are basically screwed at first if they don’t have an established backup ready (which likely means spending a fair sum of money on a utility guy of the quality of Mark DeRosa circa 2007-2008). And, if the Cubs do wind up getting that prospect, a great power hitting prospect at a position we’ve got settled is a much better trading chip to get a quality player in return than a guy that has been moved all over the place.

    • Tom U

      Boseph, we are already learning some of the limitations of Vogelbach.

      First off, if he had the ability to be anywhere else on the field, they would be moving him around like they are with Rock Shoulders. The weight isn’t the sole issue, its the overall athleticism.

      The team learned quickly that they were giving up free pitches when Vogelbach showed he wasn’t rangy enough to get foul balls. Kane Co, has switched up their defense, and now Second basemen Gioskar Amaya and Wes Darvill are handling pop-ups. They have also asked their catchers to be a little more aggressive on pop fouls.

      • 07GreyDigger

        Would it be safe to assume that Vogelbachs’ situation is similar to the one Yonder Alonso had with Joey Votto? Clearly blocked, but good enough to net a starting pitcher? Like when the Reds traded him for Matt Latos?

        • Brp921

          I sure would hate to see him hitting 40 to 50 bombs for someone else if he keeps progressing the way I think he’s capable. Thats why I’m leaning to the pro NL-DH opinion.

        • Tom U

          Patience. Vogelbach is only at Single-A, and sometime these things have a way of working out.

          Then again, it is the Cubs!

          • SomeGuy27

            I doubt he’s ever been exposed to a real good conditioning/agility program. I’ve seen guys look like completely different ballplayers after a real dedicated winter agility regimen. (I’m not talking about the half-assed stuff guys do in ST. I’m talking about NBA/NHL agility training)

            He’s young enough where he could completely transform his body. It will all be about whether the organization works him in the off season and if he wants it enough

      • John_CC

        Nice insights, Tom. So basically Vogelbach is a DH. I for one had hoped that he could be more Prince Fielder-ish but it doesn’t sound like he doesn’t have that ability.

    • Jason Penrod

      I wonder if Rizzo could ever play a corner OF spot?

  • Neil

    Sveum addressed the comments he made yesterday:

    Sveum says “I’d be lying” if he said he doesn’t think about how these losses will affect his future. But has support of Theo and Jed

    Sveum: “I’m not pointing fingers at (Castro, Rizzo).Nobody’s exempt. I’m (not) exempt to being fired…we’re all in this together”

    • Brp921

      Is he backing off because he was called to the carpet for his remarks? The names I saw mentioned in a tweet (is that the proper term) were Rizzo and Castro.

  • Tom U

    If you have a chance, watch Eric Jokisch and the Smokies on As of right now, he may be the best pitcher in the organization.

  • Tony_Hall

    DDJ leadoff HR!

    I just don’t get why people don’t like this guy. I get that he is not a superstar, but he is normally the style of player that is overly liked by Cub fans.

    • Vivid_Reality

      I love DDJ, just not on this team. He is everything you want on a contending club. I really hope he keeps up his hot start so we can net something decent for him closer to the trading deadline.

      • Tony_Hall

        See I think just the opposite. On a contending team I just don’t think he is good enough defensively in CF and doesn’t hit for enough power in RF. I think he is better suited for a rebuilding team to fill an OF spot and show professionalism to the young guys.

        • Vivid_Reality

          Depending on where you think he should play I can see both sides. I look more at his OBP and how much he could help in the two hole in a lot of lineups.

    • GaryLeeT

      That’s the problem with DeJesus. On the Cubs, he is a superstar .

      • Tony_Hall

        No not really…you must be thinking of Kim.

  • Neil

    Castro with a hit with a runner in scoring position … extended streak to 14 games

  • Tony_Hall

    Great play by Castro…that offsets one error.

    • Brp921

      I must be watching a delayed broadcast or you had this typed and ready to go before the play.

      • Tony_Hall

        I have always thought that my feed of the game is a little less delayed than others, I think you just confirmed it for me.

        • Brp921

          I’m a believer :)

  • Tom U

    A day after grabbing some bench, Javier Baez 3-5, double RBI. Dustin Geiger 3-5 three RBI (now leading the FSL). Austin Kirk 5 IP, 4ER, 8K as Daytona wins 7-4.

  • Tony_Hall

    Nice start by Wood…again. He is sure looking like he is developing into a solid SP.

  • Tony_Hall

    Another nice play by Castro, that just came up a 1/4 step late.

  • Tony_Hall

    I think Camp’s pick-off attempts are this years Garza throwing to 1st…..frustrating.

  • Neil

    Another balk on Camp … speechless

  • matthew8510

    well i trying to watch game but they have the bulls on comcast sports net again on dish 2 days in a row

    • matthew8510

      why cant i get cubs game it says its on csn but bulls are on?

      • DWalker

        I am watching it on 445 on Dish now.

      • Tony_Hall

        My guide on cable says the Bulls game, but we are always blacked out on the Bulls game, so we are getting the Cubs game. I don’t get why they don’t have all the games available to be watched on all cable and dishes.

    • Brp921

      Have you checked your grid for alternate channels? I’m watching them on dish as well. They are on at least two alternate channels. I’m watching them on channel 445.

      • matthew8510

        ok i got it it was on alternate 412-33 thanx ive been lookin for game past 2 days

  • John_CC

    I don’t see any errors in the box score…can it be?

    What is this injury delay?

    • Tony_Hall

      Broxton took one off his arm.

    • Tony_Hall

      And on the errors, the night is not over.

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  • Tony_Hall

    That is just not fair for a lefty to have to hit off Chapman. Not only a blazing fastball but a nasty slider.

  • John_CC


  • Neil

    Good job by Marmol … time to start a hastag #MarmolTradeValue

  • Neil

    Solid at bat by Borbon, worked a walk

  • Ricky

    Lets trade Castro for some prospects. He’s ruined.

  • Aaron

    Castro’s arm is hurt…. He looks hurt with every throw

  • Aaron

    Gregg will serve up a meatball

    • Aaron

      he lives another day….err….inning

  • Neil

    LUIS LUIS!!!

    • Bredstik


  • Neil

    Bad decision by Sappelt. Never leave your feet in that situation.

  • Neil

    Can make those type of mistakes, Bruce’s double likely ties it anyway but still

  • Trevor Petersma

    I’ve seen this movie before. Ugh.

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 5-4 to Reds in 13 innings on Monday night – Travis Wood: 2R, 4H (1 HR), 5K, HBP in 6.1 IP (88 pitches, 63 strikes) … DeJesus: 2-5, HR, 2 BB, SB; Castro: 1-6, RBI; Valbuena: 2-6, HR, 2 RBI; Schierholtz: 3-6; Cubs offense: 2-8 RISP, 12 LOB, 16 K, 2 BB

  • Rational Logic

    This team is the best. There is honestly no better team in the league in finding ways to lose games. I’m beginning to become impressed with how awful this team is playing right now.

  • paulcatanese

    Not a good game to lose. Excellent pitching though. Poorly managed by Sveum. And even though Castro had a run batted in, he blows it late, chasing the low outside pitch.
    Complete mental lapse by Sappelt. He never had a prayer to reach that ball. Game, set, match. Another giveaway.

  • cc002600

    it’s pretty comical at this point. You just watch these games and you just know they will find a way to lose. I didn’t think it was possible, but they may indeed be worse than last year. Wow.