Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 05/26/13

Game Forty-Nine: Cubs (18-30) vs. Reds (31-18)

  • Game Time – 12:10pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183/844
  • Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Matt Garza (0-0, 0.00/0.80) vs. Johnny Cueto (2-0, 3.22/1.12)

The Cubs will shoot to put an end to their six-game losing streak this afternoon behind Matt Garza. Dale Sveum’s team has really struggled over the past week since their 8-2 victory over the Mets at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are 0-5 to start the road trip with three very challenging games ahead of them before returning home to wrap up the four game series with the White Sox.

In between all the red and the scattering of blue in the stands at Great American Ball Park today figures to be many of the same scouts that were in attendance for Matt Garza’s first start in Pittsburgh. According to multiple reports, there was a large contingency of scouts on hand to watch Garza last Tuesday and there is expected to be more than a few at Great American this afternoon in case the Cubs decide to move Garza before the deadline.

The Cubs must make Johnny Cueto work, like Garza, Cueto is making just his second start after coming off the DL. The Reds will be keeping a close eye on Cueto and a couple of crooked numbers on the board early in the game might just help relax a team that has gone from playing it’s best ball of the season to its worst in the matter of seven days.

This afternoon all begins with Matt Garza

Matt Garza makes his second start of the season this afternoon. Garza was better than anyone expected for five innings in his first start in 10 months. Garza tossed five innings of one-hit, shutout ball. Garza struck out five Pirates and walked three. But the walks, strikeouts and deep counts ran up his pitch count. Garza was limited to 85-90 pitches and was lifted after five innings with his team up 3-0 thanks to his two-run double in the second inning. The bullpen could not hold the lead and gave up five runs in the sixth … just the first of the one bad inning on this road trip.

Matt Garza just needs to be Matt Garza once again today … and if the offense can give him any support, he should be able to keep his team in the game.

This afternoon will be Garza’s fifth career start against the Reds. Garza is 1-2 in four starts with a 3.80 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. Garza did not face the Reds last season and in two career starts at Great American Ball Park, Garza is 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP (11 hits, seven walks and six strikeouts in 10 innings).

Reds Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Jay Bruce – 3-for-11 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Shin-Soo Choo – 1-for-8
  • Ryan Hanigan – 1-for-1 with a walk
  • Jack Hannahan – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Cesar Izturis – 4-for-15 with a double and two walks
  • Brandon Phillips – 4-for-12 with a double and a walk
  • Joey Votto – 2-for-10 with two walks

Johnny Cueto spent over a month on the DL with a strained right lat and makes just his second start since coming off the disabled list this afternoon. Cueto was off to a good start before the injury. Cueto posted a 1-0 record in his first three starts with a 2.60 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. Cueto is coming off a five-inning victory against the Reds in which he allowed three runs on three hits with four walks and eight strikeouts. Cueto has said he plans to change his delivery in the off-season to avoid future injury but until then, the Cubs have to make him work today. The Reds will have a close eye on Cueto and a little patience will go a long way this afternoon.

Johnny Cueto makes his first start of the year against the Cubs today. Cueto pitched extremely well against the Cubs during his career. In 18 starts, Cueto is 8-6 with a 3.01 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP … last year, Cueto was a perfect 4-0 in four starts against the Cubs with a 0.95 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP (16 hits, eight walks and 20 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings).

Cubs Career Numbers against Johnny Cueto

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-13
  • Welington Castillo – 2-for-5 with a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 6-for-27 with a triple and three walks
  • David DeJesus – 5-for-19 with a double and a walk
  • Scott Hairston – 0-for-3
  • Dioner Navarro – 1-for-2
  • Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-9 with a double
  • Nate Schierholtz – 0-for-6
  • Alfonso Soriano – 11-for-40 with a double, four home runs and three walks
  • Luis Valbuena – 2-for-9 with two double and a walk

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • Tom U

    Good morning, here are today’s minor league starters:

    Kane Co, – Tayler Scott (2-1, 3,30)
    Daytona – PJ Francescon (3-3, 5.28)
    Tennessee – Eric Jokisch (3-3, 3.47)
    Iowa – Barret Loux (2-2, 7.31)

    Here are some notes from this week:

    With all of the news surrounding Albert Almora, overshadowed is the fact that Rock Shoulders is leading the Midwest League in home runs with 12 while Pierce Johnson’s 53 strikeouts are third.

    Tim Saunders has hit .316 over his last five starts, and may now be starting to heat up. If he continues, he has the same type of “steal at will” ability of former Cub Tony Campana.

    The hottest pitcher in the organization is Kyle Hendricks. He has only allowed three earned runs in his last 20.2 innings, striking out 14 in the process. It demonstrates that knowing how to pitch may be just as important as “stuff”.

    The stars may be aligning right for the Cubs, as Chris Rusin, Nick Struck, and Brooks Raley are now starting to pitch some of their best baseball as the trade rumors are starting to swirl.

    • Ray Ray

      Can’t see how Struck would be an option Tom. His walk numbers are horrendous. I imagine Rusin would be the 1st to get promoted

      • Tom U

        Struck is only 23 years old, and may not be the most ready. The point is that all three are now starting to show improvement.

    • Tom U

      A quick update, Iowa is playing a doubleheader and Yoanner Negrin (0-1, 2.51) is the announced starter.

    • Bredstik

      I had the opportunity to watch Kane County on Friday night when they were in town playing the Peoria Chiefs. They are an exciting team to watch. A few observations:

      Almora was only 1 for 3 with a walk & 2Ks, but he had a real nice approach at the plate & looked very comfortable.

      Vogelbach has baseball swag and is always the first person out of the dugout when they take the field. He had a couple hits & he hits the ball HARD. One of the Cards’ top prospects Patrick Wisdom tried to play one of his smoked ground balls off to the side instead of getting in front of it & “ole’d” it.

      Pierce Johnson has electric stuff. He threw a great game and had double digit strikeouts. He only got in trouble one inning after KC had hit for 20 mins. Other than that he was ahead of hitters most of the game.

      Rock Shoulders was impressive at the plate & Candelario made a couple of nice defensive plays at 3B.

      This looks to be a fun team to watch – sure wish they were still here in Peoria so I could see them more often.

      • triple

        That’s gotta be weird to see the new Cubs affiliate come be the visitors where you’ve watched them play as the home team in the Chiefs jerseys for a while!

        • Bredstik

          Definitely, especially with players like Oliver Zapata, Pin-Chieh Chen, & Marco Hernandez, who we rooted for with the Chiefs last year, now with Kane County.

          Since it was Cubs/Cards rivalry night, we dressed in Cubs gear and sat 3rd row behind the Cougars’ dugout.

          • Tony_Hall

            That has to be the hardest part, having your local team go from a Cubs affiliate to a Cardinals affiliate.

          • Bredstik

            Yes, going on opening night and seeing it as a sea of red like a mini Busch stadium was rough.

            I really enjoyed seeing the Cubs prospects that I read about daily on this site while they were here though. That’s the part I miss the most.

          • triple

            Hey but now you get a good in depth look at our rival’s prospects as they come up. And frankly (I hate to say it), but you get to see how a real organization develops their talent now.

          • Bredstik

            Very true. The Cardinals were here for 8 years previously and we saw more than a few of those players make it to the majors. Many of them are still there. One in particular plays in Anahiem now, and another was almost traded to the Cubs for Carlos Marmol this past offseason.

  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    DeJesus – CF
    Castro – SS
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Schierholtz – RF
    Castillo – C
    Valbuena – 3B
    Barney – 2B
    Garza – P

  • CubbyBlue

    What happened to Loux? So far it looks like Demp was given away! Loux was drafted before Mike Harvey.

    • Tom U

      Ray Ray, I’d like to see how Loux does today, but I’m leaning toward the idea that they may have pushed him up too fast. Loux just turned 24 and only has two years of professional experience. Starting him slowly in Double-A and moving him up with confidence may have been a better route.

      • Tony_Hall

        Tom – Confused on your position.

        You have stated, quite often, that the Cubs didn’t move up enough players to start the year to the next level. That this has been a bad thing for the system. Yet they did exactly what you are now saying they should have done with Loux, let players repeat the same level to start the year, then move them up at some point with confidence that you were against. I get that it is easier to see that Loux has been above his head now, and should have been in AA again to start the year. But here is one example of rushing a guy not ready.

        Now Loux has had 7 outings, with 3 good, 2 not so much, and 2 really bad outings. Do they give him a few more starts, or move up one of Hendricks, Cabrera, Beeler, or Jokisch and sent him to Tennessee?

        • Tom U

          Tony, I’m sorry but a much more eloquent reply just got lost. Here’s the gist of it.

          Franchises good at developing players move their prospects up AND down as their situation dictates. When Loux started getting lit up, Eric Jokisch should have been swapped out for him.

          • Tony_Hall

            It is not like it was a progression of getting lit up.

            4-8 – 1 IP 6 ER – very bad
            4-13 – 5 IP 1 ER – Good
            4-19 – 5 IP 0 ER – Very Good
            4-25 – 4.2 IP 3 ER – not good
            DL Trip
            5-08 – 4 IP 4 ER – not good
            5-14 – 3.1 IP – 7 ER 0 awful
            5-21 – 5.1 IP – 2 ER good

            At what point would you have demoted him as I don’t see a clear cut point where you would do this, unless after the 5-14 outing, his 2nd outing after a DL stint.

          • Tom U

            Tony, his 2.012 WHIP is more telling. Just as a frame of reference, Cory Wade’s WHIP was 2.188 and he was released.

          • Tony_Hall

            In his 3 best outings his WHIP is 1.05

            In his 4 bad outings his WHIP is 3.23

            I have no idea if this guy will ever make it or not, but I would like to see if the guy in those 3 outings can happen more often.

            Let’s see what he does today.

          • Tom U

            Agreed, like I said above, I’m just leaning.

          • Tony_Hall

            Loux is through 6 and has given up only 1 R. They are only playing 7 with the DH again today. Can’t tell how many hits as the Gameday is behind only showing through 4 innings, but the live feed is showing B6 Iowa up 2-1

    • Tony_Hall

      And if only Loux was the return for Dempster….

      Dempster was traded for Villanueva and Hendricks. Who Tom just stated today that, “The hottest pitcher in the organization is Kyle Hendricks. He has only allowed three earned runs in his last 20.2 innings, striking out 14 in the process. It demonstrates that knowing how to pitch may be just as important as “stuff”.” Looking like a better return every day.

      Loux was the return for Soto… a roundabout way.

  • Tom U

    Update: The Cubs have just promoted Catcher Lance Rymel to Tennessee from EXT.

    No announcement on a corresponding move, but I know that C Rafael Lopez took a foul ball off his ankle last night. Catcher Chad Noble is in today’s starting line-up.

  • Tom U

    A quick fact:

    How much do the Tennesse Smokies miss Justin Bour? Bour had a range factor of 11,87 at first base. All others have had a range factor of 8.86 combined. That means that Tennessee is giving up three outs at first base per game.

    • Tony_Hall

      Hard to believe they are giving up 3 outs every game due to the range of the 1B. The average number of plays by the 1B (not counting PO) can’t be much more than that every game.

    • triple

      Tom, does that really translate that way? I’m not questioning your post about that or how well you know the minor system, as I imagine you probably do watch some of these games. And you know way more about these stats and the minor league system than me. But I guess it is plausible that 3 close ones can get by a lesser 1st baseman over the course of a game, but it’s hard to imagine that happening in every game. You know what I mean? I’m not totally one of the new age stats followers (though I do pay attention), but it’s just one of those things where I don’t think all the math adds up and translate to the happenings on the field in that way. For example, looking at that range factor total will tell us who is going to consistently get to more balls, so we can compare that stat and know who should get more assists and maybe turn more hits into outs over the course of the season. Is the range factor really a per game basis, or per season?

  • Tony_Hall

    Back to back clutch hits by our 3-4 hitters to tie the game at 4, with the big 2 run blast by Soriano.

  • Tony_Hall

    Letting Schierholtz face the lefty and he comes through with a single.

    • triple

      I really don’t know why Sveum isn’t playing Schierholtz almost every day. If you look at his career splits, he’s done fairly well against lefty’s, although it’s obvious that he’s been limited against lefties and probably put in the position to succeed when he’s faced some of the lefties he’s seen.

      • Tony_Hall

        With how poorly Hairston has done, I think we will start seeing Schieroltz more.

  • Tony_Hall

    Nice to see a walk by Welington

  • Tony_Hall

    Barret Loux 6 IP 3 H 3 BB 6 SO W

    2-1 Win Today for Iowa

    • Tom U

      I was keeping an eye on that, but had to spend a lot of time outside today. An angry Tony is much easier to deal with than an angry wife! :-)

      • Tony_Hall

        LOL!! Never a truer statement made by a husband.

        But I sure hope you know, I am never angry at anyone, whether I disagree with someone or not. It is just baseball.

  • John_CC

    Has Villanueva been join a game since joining the bullpen? Did he pitch yesterday? Seems like today would have been a great time for him to eat up a couple three innings.

    • Tony_Hall

      He has 2 relief appearances already.

      5/22 – 1 IP
      5/23 – 2 IP

  • John_CC

    Holy crap! The cubs ,manufactured a 2 out run! In extra innings!

    • Tony_Hall

      And they were down 4 and came back to tie and then take the lead.

  • paulcatanese

    There was no “snake bite today”. Good decent win.

  • John_CC

    Gregg is becoming trade bait.

    • paulcatanese

      I know the guy is getting people out and holding leads, but what I cannot figure out is why he is not being hit? His fastball is so straight and level I just don’t understand it. But will take the results.

      • Tony_Hall

        Have you watched him this time around, because I don’t see the straight fastball that he use to have, I see a ball with movement.

        • paulcatanese

          I guess it’s how I see different pitchers or what. But he looks pretty straight to me.
          Along those lines (not comparing the two at all) Camp looks totally easy to hit, but would say Gregg is twice as effective.

  • Neil

    Cubs beat the Reds 5-4 in 10 on Sunday – Matt Garza: 4R, 4H, 4BB, HBP, 7K in 4 IP (92 pitches, 52 strikes)

    Castillo:1-4, 2B, RBI, BB; Soriano: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, BB; Rizzo: 1-5, 2B, RBI, R; Castro: 2-5, 2B, R

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