Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 04/23/13

Game Nineteen: Cubs (5-13) vs. Reds (12-8)

  • Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 185/844
  • Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Carlos Villanueva (1-0, 1.29/0.81) vs. Tony Cingrani (1-0, 1.80/1.60)

Weather permitting … The Cubs will look to bounce back after another rough loss on Monday night. 15 of the Cubs 18 games this season have been decided by three runs or less and all 18 have been by four runs or less. The Cubs continue to shoot themselves in the foot and until those mistakes are cleaned up, the losses will continue to mount.

The Cubs have really struggled against left handed starters this season (0-4) and it will be interesting to see if Dale Sveum runs out his right handed lineup or mixes a few lefties in with Anthony Rizzo. Tony Cingrani has a very good change-up he uses against right handed batters, plus Dave Sappelt and Scott Hairston have not exactly gotten the job done this season.

Dale Sveum needs a long outing tonight from Carlos Villanueva. If Villanueva struggles, he might end up taking one for the team. Carlos Marmol, James Russell and Michael Bowden each pitched multiple innings on Monday which should make all three relievers unavailable tonight.

The Cubs are reeling after losing four straight and seven of eight and simply need to remember what it is like to win a ballgame.

Carlos Villanueva is off to an excellent start to his season and for the third time in four starts he will face a very difficult lineup tonight. Villanueva is coming off his first win of the year after making only two mistakes over seven innings against the Rangers. Villanueva put together his third quality start of the season after allowing two runs on four hits with a walk and six strikeouts in seven innings. The only two blemishes were a pair of solo home runs … all three runs Villanueva has allowed this season has been via solo home runs. Justin Upton took Villanueva deep in Atlanta, and Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz went yard against Villanueva at Wrigley.

Carlos Villanueva has pitched to his game plan over his first three starts and must keep that up tonight. While he has close to a 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio this season (15 strikeouts, four walks), Villanueva must not help out the Reds’ offense in what will be his sixth career start against the Reds.

Villanueva owns a 2-2 record in 20 games, five starts, with a 3.99 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Villanueva has not faced Cincinnati since 2011 (two runs on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts in seven innings) and is 0-1 in 10 appearances, two starts, at the Great American Ball Park with a 1.21 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP.

Reds Career Numbers against Carlos Villanueva

  • Jay Bruce – 1-for-4
  • Shin-Soo Choo – 1-for-6
  • Jack Hannahan – 2-for-5 with a triple and two walks
  • Chris Heisey – 1-for-2
  • Cesar Izturis – 1-for-7
  • Corky Miller – 0-for-1
  • Brandon Phillips – 3-for-18 with a home run and a walk
  • Joey Votto – 4-for-11 with a home run and a walk

The Cubs will get their first look in the regular season at lefty Tony Cingrani tonight. The Cubs faced Cingrani in the Cactus League this past spring, but that was just Spring Training. Cingrani is one of the top left-handed prospects in all of baseball, and if he stays healthy, he figures to be a thorn in the Cubs’ side for years to come.

The 23-year old southpaw is making just his second big league start tonight. Cingrani is taking the spot in the rotation of the injured Johnny Cueto. Cingrani put together a good outing in his big league debut. Cingrani held the Marlins to one run on five hits over five innings with three walks and eight strikeouts.

Tony Cingrani is a hard throwing lefty that has the ability to add and subtract from his fastball. Cingrani can locate his 88-95 mph fastball on both sides of the plate. Cingrani throws a plus-change with a good fade against right handers and a slider, that needs work. The Cubs must make him work, he can get himself in trouble if batters are patient enough.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"A day without laughter is a day wasted." - Charlie Chaplin

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  • 07GreyDigger

    Uh oh. Rookie pitcher = no hitter/shutout.

    • Tony_Hall

      Add to that, this is a good rookie pitcher.

    • triple

      It’s like the downward spiral is already in full spin, and it’s not even May. And you’re right, rookie pitcher does mean little hitting for the Cubs tonight. Especially when you couple that with the “Cubs free agent pitcher has gotten off to a great start, but gets no run support” syndrome that we seem to have.

  • paulcatanese

    Some good input from Hoyer, he has the fortitude to take the blame or praise for the roster as he and Theo have put together.
    Makes sense to say its not on Sveum as he bought into the plan from the beginning.
    As far as a better team than last year, they are losing games closer than they did previously, pitching has been better, in fact very good, exception of course Marmol, but that’s in a small sample with the amount of games played.
    They (Cubs) just do not have the horse’s to pull it off.
    I have to say it’s very tough to pull this off waiting for prospects to come through, and what they have are not exactly going to have other teams break the door down to trade with them.
    Some of the decisions Sveum has made are not up to the caliber with what the Cubs have on the field, its as though Sveum is managing with a higher caliber of talent to pull his choices off.
    They still have to deal with Stewart, they brought him in, thought he had talent and hope against hope Stewart will prove them right. That’s a tough call for them, either way they are going to be wrong, unless Stewart comes in and tears the cover off the ball. I just don’t think he will.

  • SomeGuy27

    CODY RANSOME!!!!! #1 on your scorecard #1 in our hearts! :)

  • Tony_Hall

    The hole at 3B has produced back to back games with Home Runs.

    • DWalker

      I think I was more surprised to see soriano swipe two bags like that. He must be feeling pretty good tonight.

      • Tony_Hall

        The odds of Ransom hitting a HR and Soriano stealing 2 bases in one inning, means we should all play the lottery…as we would have better odds of winning than this happening.

    • paulcatanese

      Stewart who???

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro put together a good at bat to get Sappelt to third. Rizzo not so much … and he just got picked off.

  • Tony_Hall

    Why can’t our pitchers find the line and run parallel to it to the bag, versus running on an angle to the back corner where they can’t make a play, and risk injury crossing the basepath?

    • Ray Ray

      Tough to do that when you don’t get off the mound right away. He was late getting over there.

  • Ray Ray

    Villanueva knows how to pitch. Doesn’t walk anybody, changes speeds and hits his spots. Hopefully he continues this for another couple of months and have several contending teams interested.

  • Ray Ray

    Tough night for Wellington

    • Ray Ray

      Golden Sombrero

      • Tony_Hall

        Ok, that’s scary, see my reply to Neil.

  • Tony_Hall

    This game is flying by. Bottom of 7 already.

  • Tony_Hall

    One errant throw, but Ransom has had a good start for the Cubs.

  • SuzyS

    Wow…just turned the game on…2 to 1 lead…top of the eigth…Has it been well played?

    • Tony_Hall

      Except for Ransom’s diving play to his right that he threw the ball away. But he then turned a double play on a grounder to the bag 5-3.

      Pitchers have both been good and efficient.

      • SuzyS

        Thanks !! Here’s hoping for the best.

  • Tony_Hall

    Great play by Ransom! Down the line, he fields it in foul territory and still throws out the runner.

  • Tony_Hall

    8 solid innings for Villanueva, 92 pitches.

    Send him back out there!!

    • SuzyS

      Better that then the bullpen…Let’s get him some breathing room first.

      • Tony_Hall

        Russell better be up. If anyone gets on, I would rather have Russell pitch to Votto.

  • Tony_Hall

    With DeJesus coming in to pinch run for Soriano and Schierholtz in RF already for Hairston, will DeJesus go to LF or will Sappelt go to LF?

    • Tony_Hall

      And Sappelt goes to LF and DeJesus stays in CF.

      I don’t know Bourbon all that well, but is he not better in CF than either DeJesus or Sappelt?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    That’s four strikeouts for Castillo tonight

    • Tony_Hall

      Isn’t that affectionately called a Golden Sombrero!

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Yes it is … five strikeouts is a platinum sombrero

        • Tony_Hall

          I don’t believe that has ever been done, but if it has or ever does, they should really give the player a platinum sombrero.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Didn’t Prince accomplish the feat a couple of days ago?

          • Tony_Hall

            Yes he did in 6 AB’s. And he had 4 k’s the day before that.

            Not enough platinum in the world to build a sombrero for Prince.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Well done Tony

        • SuzyS

          sounds like the Mexican leagues to me!!! :)

        • triple

          I seem to remember Joe Carter talking about Hawaii Five-0 for the five strikeouts, and guys would leave canned pineapples in the victims locker!

  • SuzyS

    And the pitcher with the 8.44 ERA gets three KO’s in the ninth….Sad. He did get a first strike on em all though.

    • Tony_Hall

      That’s like saying he is on pace to have an 8.44 ERA for the year….outings like this is how it gets back to his more normal 5.16 :)

      • SuzyS

        Still…even with a 5.16 ERA…to get 3 KO’s in the inning doesn’t bode well for the Cubs.

        • Tony_Hall

          That’s what the :) was for….

  • Ray Ray

    Never easy!

  • SuzyS

    The second to last pitch that Villy through was the in the same spot that KO’d Castillo. Umpire is inconsistant.

  • Tony_Hall

    Nice outing by Villanueva. Let’s get our SP a W!

  • Tony_Hall

    Villanueva’s ERA is 1.23 with a WHIP of 0.75.

    I would say this was a good acquisition.

    • SuzyS

      Yep…our ACE!

      • Tony_Hall

        An ACE is not made in 30 innings.

        • SuzyS

          Yes, I know…I said it tongue in cheek.

        • paulcatanese

          It is with the present staff of the Cubs:)

  • Tony_Hall

    Marmol to face Votto and not Russell……

  • matthew8510

    ive seen this story over and over

  • matthew8510

    what a disgrace

  • SuzyS

    Villanueva looks pissed.

    • Ray Ray

      Did you notice when Sveum pulled him? Never looked at him.

      • SuzyS

        Yes, I saw that. It is protocol to change pitchers in the ninth if someone gets on….BUT…

  • Tony_Hall

    I think I just saw Carlo’s moustache curl a little more in disgust.

  • Tony_Hall

    Len is right if Carlos gets the strike call on Choo like he called on Welington, this innings looks different with 2 outs and Votto coming to the plate.

    • Ray Ray

      The guy after Choo sacrificed

      • Tony_Hall

        I have confidence Villanueva would have gotten him out.

  • matthew8510

    lets get bases loaded before we pull him

    • Tony_Hall

      Not even then….

  • SuzyS

    Marmol and his stupid walks….I can’t wait for next year when we don’t have to watch him anymore.

    • Tony_Hall

      I doubt he is around by the end of July, one way or another

      • SuzyS

        I sure hope not but the contract runs throught the end of the season…someone has to watch him somewhere…I just don’t understand how he last this long without learning how to throw strikes consistently.

        • triple

          I’m with Tony on this one… If Marmol isn’t traded away for a bag of balls and some rosin, he should be cut after the trade deadline. No reason to keep him around when we’ll need to evaluate further talent with that roster spot in August and September, unless of course the Cubs are in the wildcard race… Hahahahahaha!

          • Ray Ray

            Who is this talent that they need to evaluate :))

          • triple

            touche.

  • Tony_Hall

    So much for a short game and getting done early.

    Maybe we should let the starters pitch the 8th and 9th innings as their bullpen sessions, that way they may get a chance to get a win every once in awhile.

    • triple

      That is a novel idea!

  • Ripsnorter1

    WHAT IN THE SAM EUGENE IS SVEUM DOING??!!!

    Marmol pitched two innings last night, and now he brings him in again?

    DUH!!!

    • SuzyS

      I’d like to meet that Sam Eugene you’re always talking about someday! :)

    • paulcatanese

      That’s so Marmol could get the win, Sveum wants to instill confidence in his bullpen!!! Not.
      He should have allowed Villanueva to finish, period.

  • Tony_Hall

    Power from Barney and we are not at Wrigley.

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

    This is getting old.

  • Tony_Hall

    Swinging bunt by Bourbon and a flash back to when D Lee hurt his hand on that throw to Votto that crossed the line into Bourbon.

  • SuzyS

    That’s the Parra I know….Now with a 4-2 lead…who does Sveum bring in to close out the game???

  • Ray Ray

    Speed accounted for 2 runs tonight. Soriano stealing 2nd and 3rd. Borbon with swinging bunt and stealing 3rd. Who said speed is not important?

    • triple

      Yet Cody Ransom did more for the Cubs in one game that Campana ever did. They both wear #1, see the correlation! All kidding aside, I agree that speed can help, but the player providing the speed has to have the ability to do more than just steal bases.

      • Ray Ray

        Did you see how they manufactured 2 runs? Soriano got to 3rd with one out where a sac fly drove him in. Borbon stole 3rd and was able to score on that bloop hit. If you can get to 3rd with less than 2 outs the chance to score improves significantly(especially on this team)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    That was a very good at bat by Castro. He has to know his 14-game hitting streak was on the line. He did not expand his strike zone and took the walk.

  • Ray Ray

    Rizzo is totally off balanced

    • SuzyS

      He did not look good the AB before ….either…He looked hesitant.

  • Ray Ray

    Choo is a stud. Would love to have that guy in the outfield and leading off for the Cubs next year! Spend some money please!

    • SuzyS

      But Gregg fed him a tater ball and Choo only got a single out of it.

  • matthew8510

    gregg for closer role any seconds?

    • SuzyS

      Not yet…we’ve seen it before.

  • SuzyS

    Halleluiah !!! A rare thing!!! Cubs Win!!! Cubs Win!!!
    Over Dusty we Trusty !!!!

    • Ray Ray

      Lol. how about this battle cry for our cuurent manager…..In Sveum we blame.

      • SuzyS

        :-)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Reds 4-2 in 10 innings on Tuesday night – Carlos Villanueva: 2R, 3H, 2BB, 6K in 8.1 IP (99 pitches, 63 for strikes) … Barney: 1-4, HR; Ransom: 2-4, HR, 2B; Soriano: 3-4, R, 2 SB; Sappelt: 2-4, 2B, RBI, SB, BB, Borbon: 1-1, R, SB

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

    Looks like Gregg’s the answer.

    • John_CC

      That can’t end well.

    • coachdon

      If Gregg’s the answer I don’t want to know the question..

  • paulcatanese

    True Neil, and in his favor, I believe he had only one throw to first base and that was a short one, didn’t have to make one that would have been hard on the arm. Hopefully there is nothing wrong.

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