Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Rockies – 05/13/13

Game Thirty-Eight: Cubs (15-22) vs. Rockies (20-17)

  • Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WCIU – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 185/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Travis Wood (3-2, 2.33/0.93) vs. Juan Nicasio (3-0, 4.72/1.40)

The Cubs are coming off an impressive trip to Washington D.C and open a six-game homestand tonight with the first of three against the surprising Colorado Rockies. After winning the last two in the Nation’s Capital, Dale Sveum’s team is 4-6 in the last 10 games and is threatening to move out of the cellar in the central, the Cubs begin play tonight just a game back of the fourth place Milwaukee Brewers

This is a rare homestand for the Cubs. All three games against the Rockies are night games then after Thursday’s off day, the Cubs close out the homestand with three straight day games against the Metropolitans.

The Cubs are 7-11 in the first 18 games of the year at Wrigley Field and will have their hands full with the Colorado Rockies for the next three nights. Walt Weiss and company are also 4-6 in their last 10 after a miserable trip to St. Louis in which they did not score a single run over the first two games. Colorado salvaged the finale on Sunday and enters play tonight two games back of the Giants in the west.

After tonight’s matchup of Travis Wood against Juan Nicasio, the Cubs will face two starters they have not had much success against over the years. Carlos Villanueva takes on lefty Jeff Francis on Tuesday night with Jeff Samardzija facing Jon Garland in the finale on Wednesday.

The Cubs won two of the six games (2-4) with the Rockies a year ago and have not taken a season series from the Rockies since 2008. Lou’s Crew was 5-1 versus Colorado five years ago, but since the Cubs are just 8-15 in the last 23 games with Colorado.

Luis Valbuena is not expected to spend any time on the DL after jamming the pinky on his right hand sliding headfirst into third base during the fifth inning of Saturday’s game. With the injury to his right hand, Valbuena could not throw Sunday so his availability for tonight’s game is in question. With Francis starting on Tuesday, Sveum might give Valbuena a couple of days to rest the injury before testing it later in the week.

Tonight all starts with Travis Wood

It will be interesting to see how Travis Wood pitches in tonight’s game. Wood is coming off an excellent start against the Cardinals in which he held the Redbirds to one run on five hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. The start was so good that it prompted Dale Sveum to declare that Wood is the best starter in baseball. While Wood has been very good, he is not the best starter in baseball. Wood said he has to stay humble and was surprised by his manager’s statement. Wood must bring his A-game tonight or the high-powered Rockies offense will put up a ton of runs.

Wood has credited the work he has put in with pitching coach Chris Bosio as the main reason for his early success this season. Wood has made seven starts this season and has completed at least six innings while not allowing more than three earned runs in each of those starts … for those scoring at home, that is seven quality starts in seven appearances.

Travis Wood 1-1 in his last two starts with a 2.51 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP with 11 strikeouts and three walks in 14 1/3 innings … and 1-2 in four starts at Wrigley this year with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP.

Travis Wood has not beaten the Rockies in two career starts. Wood is 0-1 in three games, two starts, against the Rockies with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Wood did not face the Rockies last season.

Rockies Career Numbers against Travis Wood

  • Dexter Fowler – 1-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Carlos Gonzalez – 0-for-7
  • Jonathan Herrera – 0-for-3
  • Jordan Pacheco – 0-for-1
  • Troy Tulowitzki – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Eric Young Jr. – 1-for-2 with a walk

The Cubs will get their first look at Juan Nicasio tonight. Nicasio has pitched rather well for the Rockies, just not deep in games. Nicasio received his fourth no decision of the season in his last outing against the Yankees. Nicasio allowed two runs on two hits with one walk and five strikeouts in five innings. The Rockies lost the game 3-2. Nicasio has not allowed more than three earned runs in his last four starts while striking out 13 batters and issuing just four walks over that span (14 innings).

The Cubs must be patient, especially early on, against Nicasio. The 26-year old right hander has never pitched at Wrigley Field and they might be able to put a couple of runs on the board if they make him work.

Juan Nicasio is 2-0 in four starts outside of Coors Field this season with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP.

Dioner Navarro (1-for-4 with a walk), Anthony Rizzo (0-for-2 with a walk) and Nate Schierholtz (1-for-3) are the only Cubs on the active roster with limited at bats against Juan Nicasio.

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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  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Daytona – Zach Cates (3-3, 4.73)
    Tennessee – Dallas Beeler (3-2, 3.16)
    Iowa – Nick Struck (0-3, 6.85)

    Kane Co. lost to Clinton this afternoon 4-0. Pierce Johnson 6IP 4R (3ER) 6K, Gioskar Amaya and Dan Vogelbach were each 2-for-4.

    In something that bears monitoring, Dan Vogelbach may not be the happiest of campers concerning Anthony Rizzo’s contract. Shortly before the contract was announced yesterday, Vogelbach tweeted this:

    The tables are going to turn soon.. Just have to keep on keepin on

    twice in about a 15 minute span.

  • bluekoolaidaholic

    I’m wondering, is Vogleboom going to change positions or be traded in reference to the tables turning??

    • paulcatanese

      I understand his concern. Someone that’s in front of you in the system signs a 7 year contract, and don’t quite have the ability to play another position has to make him wonder.
      On one hand that is a concern if that was the only option left to him.
      However as he looks a little deeper he will have the confidence in himself to realize it’s not the end all for him.
      If he continues to hit as he has been he will be in demand whether it’s the Cubs or someone else. His bat is his ticket. Never heard of anyone who can hit for power not having a spot created for him.
      He should not worry, just keep hitting.

      • Tom U

        It didn’t seem to affect him at the plate today.

      • triple

        I agree… the only thing Vogelbach has control of is what he does on the playing field. And it sounds like he’s got 2-3 more years to hone his skills and prove to 30 MLB teams that he can mash in the majors. If he does that, he will have a job at 1st base or DH for some team in the future. Besides, 2016 is so far away that so much can happen before then, that why even bother. Hopefully this just motivates him to be even better!

      • Brp921

        And Rizzo doesn’t have a no trade clause. If Vogey earns the spot he’ll get it.

    • Tom U

      Don’t bet on changing positions. From what I saw when I was at Kane County last week, he’s strictly a first baseman.

    • John_CC

      Hes at single A. He should only be concerned about his own game for now…and always if he wants to be pro baseball player. Twitter… Pfff.

  • Tom U

    The Venezuelan Summer League opened today, and the VSL Cubs lost 22-11 in their opener.

    Shortstop Bryant Flete…3-5 RBI SB
    Centerfielder Arnaldo Calero…3-4 2B 2RBI 2SB

    I’ll have a wrap up for the week in Thursday’s Down on the Farm

  • paulcatanese

    If someone has a moment, would they please explain what this WCIU or whatever that is has the games on when Comcast or WGN does not?

    • Brp921

      I think it’s a local Chicago station. Isn’t it rediculous for them to televise Cub games.

    • BosephHeyden

      Blame the Tribune for making crap TV deals back when they had the team. It’s a local Chicago channel, meaning if you’re not in Chicago (and I mean IN Chicago, because once you leave Chicago proper, it’s gone), you’re not watching the game.

      It is one of those things that, when the TV deal runs out, Ricketts needs to not renew it, history with the channel or not.

    • Tony_Hall

      I agree with that WCIU is a problem. Luckily my cable provider has started showing it on other channels, but yet still doesn’t show the Comcast Sports Plus channel when they have more than 1 game on TV.

      We need a Cubs channel.

      • paulcatanese

        Would be happy to pay for a “Cubs channel”.

      • Bredstik

        Down here in Peoria Comcast shows WCIU games on the local WE channel.

  • Neil

    Soriano … Get out the tape measure, Waveland Ave.

  • Neil

    Another double for Castro to right field

  • Neil

    Castillo with the Cubs’ sixth double of the game

    • Theboardrider

      What is the score? How does Wood look?

      • Neil

        Sorry, Wood looked very good. Cubs won 9-1. Wood allowed just 2 hits and walked 3.

  • Bredstik

    Knew Marmol would blow the shutout…

    • bluekoolaidaholic

      That was the most he could do, unfortunately there wasn’t a save or hold on the line he could blow.

  • John_CC

    Wow, that’s a blow out!

  • Neil

    Cubs beat the Rockies 9-1 on Monday night – Travis Wood: 0R, 2H, 3BB, WP, 2K in 7IP (98 pitches, 58 strikes); 2-3, 2B, RBI, R

    Soriano: 2-4, HR, 2B, 2RBI; DeJesus: 2-4, 2B, BB, 2RBI, 2R; Castro: 2-3, 2B, BB, HBP, 2RBI,
    R; Schierholtz: 2-4, 3B, 2RBI

  • Neil

    Cubs hit 6 doubles on Monday. Cubs have hit 19 doubles in 3 of last 4 games … 7 on Friday, 6 on Saturday

  • RMercer69

    These are the #’s we are getting out of the Valbuena/Ransom combo going into tonight’s game. …who would have thought… .304/.464/.568 w/ 8 hr 18 rbi…AND a 1.032 OPS

  • RMercer69

    I might be late to the party on this, but Was shocked to hear that the Cubs lead the NL in extra base hits (Rockies broadcast) and have over 80 doubles on the year and had 6 more tonight.

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