Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Rangers – 05/06/13

Game Thirty-Two: Cubs (11-20) vs. Rangers (20-11)

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

Scott Feldman (2-3, 3.34/1.28) vs. Nick Tepesch (2-2, 3.54/1.18)

The Cubs 10-game homestand continues tonight with a make-up game against the Rangers. After winning two of the first three, the Cubs have dropped four straight games and are just 2-5 on the homestand with three games left. Tonight is the make-up from the game on April 17 that was postponed due to rain. Carlos Villanueva was scheduled to face Justin Grimm on that Wednesday night.

These two teams are going in opposite directions. While the Cubs have lost four in a row for the third time this season, the Rangers are coming off a three-game sweep over the Red Sox in Arlington. Texas is making a quick stop in Chicago for tonight’s makeup on their way to Milwaukee for games on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Cubs and Rangers split the two games last month. The Cubs lost the first game 4-2 on a Tuesday night then won the rain delayed game on Thursday afternoon with Carlos Villanueva topping Alexi Ogando.

This is the middle game of three games against three teams at Wrigley Field on consecutive days … the first time that has happened in almost 53 years. The last time the Cubs hosted three different teams in three days was August 21-23, 1960. The Cubs played a doubleheader against the Giants on August 21 then hosted the Reds on August 22 before beginning a series with the Pirates on August 23.

Scott Feldman was on the mound the last time the Cubs won a ballgame. Feldman should be amped up at the beginning of the game with facing his old team for the first time. Dale Sveum needs a long, quality outing from Feldman tonight in order to have a chance to win.

While the Cubs have several issues at the big league level, the team is 44-243 with RISP this season, worst in the majors. Until the Cubs start doing the little things, they will continue to lose close games.

Tonight all starts with Scott Feldman

Scott Feldman is coming off his best start in a Cubs’ uniform, and some even think his best start in several years. Feldman thoroughly dominated the Padres. Not only did he notch the first complete game of his career, he struck out a career high 12 batters. Feldman looked like a different pitcher last Wednesday. Feldman appeared to have a lot more confidence compared to his previous outings.

Feldman has won his last two starts, but more importantly, the Cubs are 2-0 in those games. Feldman has allowed four runs on 10 hits with three walks and 14 strikeouts over his last 15 2/3 innings (2.29 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP). Feldman is 1-1 in two starts at Wrigley with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.

As mentioned, Scott Feldman figures to be very amped for tonight’s start. The first few innings could be key for Feldman. If he is able to settle down, he should be on top of his game.

Scott Feldman is obviously making his first start against the Rangers tonight.

Rangers Career Numbers against Scott Feldman

  • Adrian Beltre – 2-for-16 with a home run and a walk
  • Lance Berkman – 3-for-9 with a double and a walk
  • A.J. Pierzynski – 3-for-18 with a double

The Cubs will get their first regular season look at Nick Tepesch. The rookie right-hander and former 28th round pick of the Red Sox (2007, didn’t sign) is off to a good start … but is coming off a bad outing against the White Sox. The South Side put up five runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings and took Tepesch deep twice.

When Tepesch has been good, he’s been very good. In the Rangers three wins in games that he’s started, Tepesch has allowed only two earned runs. But in the two games the Rangers have lost, Tepesch has allowed nine earned runs on 17 hits in 13 innings with two walks and nine strikeouts.

Nick Tepesch can locate four different pitches for strikes and throws a heavy fastball with sinking action in the low 90s (91-92) but can run it up to 94 mph when he needs it. Tepesch throws a curveball (high 70s), a cutter (high 80s) and a changeup.

No one on the Cubs’ active roster has faced Nick Tepesch in a regular season big league game or in the minors.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"The riches of the game are in the thrills, not in the money." – Ernie Banks

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  • 07GreyDigger

    If no one has ever faced Tepesch before, look for a complete game shutout.

    • Raymond Robert Koenig

      Hopefully Feldman has one in him.

    • DWalker

      top of 5th, we might still see one…..

    • Raymond Robert Koenig

      Looking like a good call on the shutout.

      • Raymond Robert Koenig

        Marmol Jr. had a couple of runs score in the 9th.

      • 07GreyDigger

        I meant for Tepesch. :) Way off there.

        • 07GreyDigger

          Good to see them take advantage of a rookie pitcher for a change.

  • DWalker

    whats going on with Stewart? I saw mention of him being AWOL, and I see him mentioned int he twitter feed now?

    • calicub

      I was wondering about that as well..

      I suspect its got to do with the way the Cubs had to option him back to Iowa because his rehab stint had ended.

    • Neil

      I will have more details in tomorrow’s report. But here is the Cliff Notes version. Stewart did not play in either game of the DH yesterday. A report from Des Moines indicated that Stewart had not reported since technically being optioned down. Hoyer clarified and said they gave him the option to take the 72 hours that players have when optioned down from the majors to report.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Stewart was already with the team! This is what I call “dogging it.”

      • DWalker

        Thank you. After reading this, I really had to stop and think. I’ve been a quasi supporter of stewart, that I understand why he was traded for and even though the results suck, I do think it was a proper move. I was even slightly optimistic that he could come back this year and do something. He said he was healthy and had been taking training from Rod Carew over the winter, so I thought MAYBE he might show some of the stuff that got him picked so early. Reading this though, my first thought was yeah, anyone getting sent down to the minors might wanna take a day or two to get their head in order and what not. In stewarts case though, this was no surprise. Not only did he know it was coming, but hes been building to it since he went on the DL last year. I don’t know if he’s lazy, stupidly arrogant or just his head in the clouds, but that kid has issues. I don’t know if he just doesn’t care that his AAA career may soon be over, let alone his MLB time or if he just thinks people will keep writing him big checks even if he doesn’t do anything.

        • Brp921

          I am echoing what you are thinking. I’m wondering if he just doesn’t want to play the game anymore and is just milking it for all it’s worth and when he’s finally released ride off into the sunset.

        • brent carmona

          I share the same feelings about Stewart, there’s just something about his attitude/want I don’t like.Theo and crew love guys with high makeup, I feel they wiffed big time here not realizing his poor makeup (trusted wrong scouts maybe?)..I’m with you on the trade overall though, take a chance and see if he could’ve reached his ceiling kinda thing.

          • paulcatanese

            I would say the Cubs should cut their loss and trade him, for anyone, anyone who wants to play baseball, good or bad, just wants to play. That trade would be a plus.

  • Brp921

    With Texas coming in and having to play a game on the road on their day off, with hopefully a little jet lag, should give the Cubs the advantage. Here’s hoping they can take advantage of the opportunity.

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starter:

    Daytona – Zach Cates (3-2, 3.18)

    Kane Co. lost 11-8 this afternoon. The Cougars attempted to come back from an 11-1 deficit in the 5th inning. Lendy Castillo and Jeffry Antigua were hammered for 8 (6ER) and 3 runs respectively. Bijan Rademacher remains blistering hot, 3-5, stolen base, RBI, pitched a scoreless inning and broke someone’s bat.

    Iowa beat Oklahoma City 6-1. Matt Garza had 3.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 K’s. Chris Rusin 5 IP, no runs, 2 K’s for the win. Josh Vitters 1-4, HR, 2 RBI. Edwin Maysonet 2-4, double, HR, 3 RBI.

    Some notes from today’s Kane Co. game:

    Consider Lendy Castillo’s status as a prospect done. Castillo has no “out” pitch, and when he tried to use his fastball, he was hammered twice for home runs. An excuse may be made the he hasn’t pitched in 10 days due to cancellations. But as a Rule 5 player, he should have the “stuff” to blow away Single-A players even if he is rusty.

    Ditto that for Jeffry Antigua. He had absolutely nothing on his pitches and batters simply teed off. I saw Antigua in the tunnel as he probably thought he was going out to pitch anther inning, but was replaced. Antigua was visibly upset as he went into the clubhouse.

    I haven’t seen a player as “locked in” as Bijan Rademacher has been lately. It definitely looked like he was at another level than his opponents on Dayton.

    Dan Vogelbach is very “take charge” on defense, reminding everyone the plays being called for by the manager. Vogelbach seems to be very gregarious and well liked.

    Willson Contreras is definitely someone to keep an eye on in the future.

    Pin-Chieh Chen is a slow developing prospect that may be worth the wait.

  • calicub

    Hard to believe its been fifteen years since Woody threw his 20 KO game.

    • paulcatanese


  • Neil

    Soriano was out, Andrus tagged him.

  • GaryLeeT

    Yikes, Rizzo is on pace for about 170 strikeouts for the season. I wonder if he is putting too much pressure on himself to drive in more runs.

    • paulcatanese

      That theory is without a doubt in my mind. I feel he knows he can hit the ball out of the park and is putting the pressure on himself to carry the load.

      • paulcatanese

        He carried it pretty well tonight.

    • DWalker

      read something interesting recently. It was a look at RISP and why the the cubs are doing so poorly. Statistically, there is no reasonable explanation as to why they are doing so poorly. So, the author started to look for something the cubs do differently when they are in a RISP situation. What he found was it seemed like the batters were hitting for singles rather than hitting normally, Unfortunately, it is resulting in more outs rather than more hits. If thats really the case, then it comes back to Sveum.

      • calicub

        souds interesting. can you link that article?

    • John_CC

      He’s also “on pace” to be the most productive hitter the cubs have had since aramis in 2008.

  • Neil

    Very good fourth inning … two-out RBI hits from Feldman, Castro and Rizzo.

    Five runs in the fourth tonight.

    • DWalker

      Barney was probably in shock at being intentionally walked…..

      • DWalker


  • Neil

    I have not checked this stat … WGN Radio is reporting the five runs in the fourth inning tonight equals the amount of runs the Cubs have scored in the previous 31 fourth innings combined

    • SomeGuy27

      Bruce Miles reported that on his blog earlier today

      • Neil

        I’m glad they were right … thanks

  • GaryLeeT

    I hope the Rangers score 4 runs (but no more than that) so the Cubs can get their first win when the opposition scores 4 or more runs. Then they’ll be 1-17

    • calicub

      but once they start the bleeding, no ones there to stop it!

  • Vivid_Reality

    I hope Sveum plays the hot hand in the rotation once Garza comes back. I don’t think they will banish Jackson to the pen but they should. Everyone else is pitching much better. He could have his rotation spot back after someone gets traded.

  • Neil

    It appears Feldman has a cramp in his right hand. Leaving the game, excellent outing.

  • Neil

    Rizzo with a big fly …

  • heeshtheshish

    Dolis…yikes. I could only watch MLBgamecast…what did he look like?

  • Neil

    Cubs beat the Rangers 9-2 on Monday night – Scott Feldman: 0R, 2H, 1BB, 3K in 7+IP (104 pitches, 63 strikes); 1-4, RBI, R

    DeJesus: 1-3, 2BB, 2R; Castro: 2-4, 2RBI, 3R, BB; Rizzo: 3-4, HR, 2B, 4RBI, BB; Valbuena: 3-4, 2B, R

  • paulcatanese

    Too bad the Cub’s couldn’t get the shutout tonight,
    nevertheless a good win. Great staring pitching again.
    Afterthought, who’s leading the Cubs in stolen bases?

    • DWalker

      tied at 4, Rizzo, Soriano, Schierholtz

      • paulcatanese

        Thank you Sir.