Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 06/23/13

Game Seventy-Four: Cubs (30-43) vs. Astros (29-47)

  • Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 182/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jeff Samardzija (4-7, 3.35/1.19) vs. Jordan Lyles (4-1, 3.22/1.28)

The Cubs wrap up the short homestand this afternoon with the series and season finale against the Astros. The Cubs gave another game away on Saturday due to their inability to hit with runners in scoring position. The Cubs have just one hit in their last 17 at bats with runners in scoring position.

It will be interesting to see how the Cubs respond this afternoon with Jeff Samardzija on the hill. The Cubs are coming off a rough loss and today is the last of 17 straight games without a day off. The Cubs begin a very demanding nine-game road trip on Tuesday in Milwaukee that runs through July 4. The Cubs will spend three days at Miller Park then make their way out west for three in Seattle and three in Oakland before returning home for a three-game series with the Pirates that begins on Friday, July 5.

The Cubs are not expected to make a roster move to add position player prior to today’s game. The Cubs will finish the series with a 13-man pitching staff but are expected to add a position player and send out a reliever prior to Tuesday’s opener in Milwaukee.

This afternoon it all begins with Jeff Samardzija

It could be said that Jeff Samardzija is coming off his best start of the season. While his line against the White Sox looks better on paper, what Samardzija did last Tuesday in St. Louis was a much better outing. Samardzija held the high-powered Cardinals’ offense to two runs on seven hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings … his second longest outing of the season.

Samardzija was in the middle of another rough June before his start in St. Louis. Samardzija was 0-4 in five June starts a year ago with a 10.41 ERA and a 2.06 WHIP and for his career, Samardzija is 3-8 in 23 games, nine starts, in June with a 6.51 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP.

Over his last four starts, Samardzija is 1-1 with a 4.73 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. Samardzija is back to a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio (30 strikeouts, 10 walks) and he must not fall in love with his fastball this afternoon against the strikeout-prone Astros.

Jeff Samardzija is 1-2 in seven starts at Wrigley this season with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP and will make his third career start against the Astros this afternoon. Samardzija is 3-2 in 17 career games, two starts, versus Houston with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP … last season, 1-1 in two starts with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

Astros Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Jose Altuve – 0-for-7 with two walks
  • Brandon Barnes – 1-for-1 with a home run
  • Jason Castro – 2-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Ronny Cedeno – 0-for-2
  • Carlos Corporan – 0-for-2
  • Marwin Gonzalez – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • J.D. Martinez – 2-for-3 with a triple
  • Justin Maxwell – 1-for-3

Jordan Lyles made his big league debut against the Cubs at Wrigley on May 31, 2011. Lyles shut the Cubs down for seven innings that night and showed how good he could be. Lyles struggled last year like so many young players do but is starting to put it all together this season.

Jordan Lyles is coming off a dominant seven-inning outing against the Brewers. Lyles allowed only one run on seven hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Lyles has allowed one run in his last two starts (14 innings) on 10 hits with two walks and 15 strikeouts. Lyles is 2-0 in his last four starts with a 1.69 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP.

This afternoon will be Lyles’ fourth career start against the Cubs. The very talented, young right hander is 1-0 in the first three starts with a 2.50 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, no record in two starts with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP (nine strikeouts and one walk in 13 innings).

Cubs Career Numbers against Jordan Lyles

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-8 with a triple
  • Dioner Navarro – 1-for-2 with a home run and a walk
  • Anthony Rizzo – 0-for-2
  • Nate Schierholtz – 1-for-3
  • Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-6
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-3

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way of playing the game." – Babe Ruth

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  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

  • Neil

    Samardzija has to get the ball down, those fly balls will start leaving the park.

  • Neil

    Good at bat by Sweeney. Worked a full count after being down 1-2 then grounded out to second to plate Rizzo

  • Tony_Hall

    Current NL Wild Card Leaders

    Pittsburgh 45-30 – on pace for 97 WINS
    Cincinnati 44-32 – on pace for 94 WINS

    Maybe the AL has an easier path to the Wild Card

    TEXAS 43-32 – on pace for 93 WINS
    Oakland 44-33 – on pace for 93 WINS
    Baltimore 42-33 – on pace for 91 WINS
    Yankees 41-33 – on pace for 90 WINS

    Maybe not

    • Suzy S

      Tony, where do you see the Cubs this year?
      99 losses?

      • Tony_Hall

        Not only in attempt to make Tex cringe a little more, but to help look at this, the Cubs are “on pace” for a 68-94 record. Now last year, their record was helped a lot in June and especially July. I just don’t see that happening this year. I also don’t see the trotting out the same pathetic rotation it ended up with at the end of last year. So August and especially September should be as bad.

        99 losses…..that seems to be in the ballpark. I just hope it doesn’t go to triple digits.

        1 year closer to the young guys being ready.

    • Ray Ray

      again with the on pace :)))) How many of your on pace stats(Anthony Rizzo,Alfonso Soriano etc) are still holding course?

      • Tony_Hall

        Just for you buddy!

        Still don’t get what you don’t like about the term “on pace”. It is just a reference point that helps put into context the numbers that were just stated.

        And it also makes it obvious that no 85 and under win teams, need apply this year for post season Wild Card slots.

        NO on pace stats come to actually happen….and if they do, you should play the lottery with those numbers.

        • Theboardrider

          I appreciate “on pace,”. Regardless what point is bejng made. It gives context.

  • calicub

    Neil, I don’t mean to nit pick, but i thin you may have posted someone elses stats up top for samardjiza. I believe he is 4-7 w/ a 3.35 ERA and 1.188 WHIP prior to todays game as per Baseball-Reference

    • Neil

      That is not nit picking, thank you for catching. I have corrected. I appreciate it, thank you.

      • calicub

        Any time

  • Neil

    Good job by Schierholtz getting a hit with the bags juiced

  • Neil

    Rizzo and Sweeney with good at bats … and Schierholtz tagging on the flyout gets the Cubs a run

  • SomeGuy27

    Gotta say I’m not a big fan of a lot of the TV broadcast crews throughout MLB but I kinda like what I’m hearing from Brown and Ashby. They have the dugout stupidity chatter type of vibe going for them.

    • Tony_Hall

      I think a lot of broadcast crews sound good in short stints. It’s when you have to hear them over and over that makes them seem not as good as others.

  • Neil

    Sweeney with another RBI. Rizzo looks good today.

    • Tony_Hall

      Good, but not graceful. Why Castillo wasn’t telling him to slide towards the field is beyond me.

      • Neil

        I agree, noticed the same. Castillo has to tell him to get down.

        • Tony_Hall

          He looked like he was trying to call him safe….

  • Neil

    Barney has really picked it up of late as well. Nice two-out RBI single.

  • Neil

    Castro can’t catch a break … he smoked that ball. Best one he’s hit a couple of weeks.

  • Neil

    Samardzija with good reflexes

  • Neil

    Have a day Ryan Sweeney … a three-run HR, 6 RBI so far

  • Neil

    Rizzo with a long homer

    • Theboardrider

      Great to hear! I really like Sweeney. I wonder if he could get a contract to stick around?

  • RynoTiger

    OMG!!! Castro made a routine play.
    I see why Rodriguez has had trouble sticking in the majors.

    • Tony_Hall

      Seems to have trouble repeating his delivery. Hopefully that is fixable by someone, as he has a nice live arm.

  • Neil

    Cubs beat the Astros 14-6 on Sunday – Jeff Samardzija: 4R,
    3ER, 9H, 0BB, 5K in 7IP (92 pitches, 67 strikes); 1-3, R

    Sweeney: 3-5, HR, 2
    2B, 2R, 6RBI; Rizzo: 3-3, HR, 2B, 4RBI, HBP, 4R; Soriano: 2-5, 3B, 2B, 2R;
    Barney: 2-5, RBI

  • Suzy S

    Congrats to the Cubs…even over the Astros…every now and then we need a laugher.

    So who would you rather be…the Cubs at 31 – 43 or the Dodgers at 31 – 42 and a huge payroll?

    • Ray Ray

      Sorry Suzy but there is no doubt I would rather be the Dodgers. They have Clayton Kershaw,Zach Greinke,Ryu as a top 3. They have one of the most exciting players to come along in a long time in Puig. They have an owner in Magic Johnson that won’t stop trying to win and money is no object. No brainer……Give me the Dodgers all day long. If they don’t win this year, they still have that pitching staff and I would bet Kemp will bounce back next year and team with Puig to give them one of the most potent offenses in baseball. Why do I care how much they make???? The Cubs ticket prices are just as high and the Dodgers won’t stop spending.

      • Ray Ray

        Do you know the Dodgers are 14th in MLB in average ticket prices with that huge payroll? Cubs have the 3rd highest prices with 1/2 of the payroll.

        • Suzy S

          Regarding prices…I agree…we should have prices reflecting the product on the field…not reflecting the cost of high interest and renovations.

          • Tony_Hall

            I disagree Suzy. Prices should reflect market conditions. If people don’t buy the tickets at the prices listed, then the prices will come down. If the demand is still high for tickets then prices will remain high.

            You don’t like the product and think the prices are too high, then don’t buy the tickets.

            Simple economics will bring the prices down.

          • paulcatanese

            Empty seats does not mean the Cubs are not getting revenue,
            aren’t they among the leaders in season ticket sales? The bite will not come until the season tickets are falling off (next year)
            already purchased for this year.

          • Tony_Hall

            and the market will react

            the secondary market reacted last year and the Cubs made minor moves for this year Going into next year they will react again

            sorry for some reason this morning I cant use some keys and the shift doesn”t work for capitilzing

          • paulcatanese

            Agree, and for you’re information when you get to my age more than a few keys don’t work all the time.

        • gary3411

          The Dodgers make about 5 times what the Cubs do in television contracts. That is where their payroll comes from, not the ticket sales.

          Cubs have one of worst TV deals in all of baseball and they’re probably one of the most watched. It’s completely backwards, so we have to make up for it in high ticket prices.

        • paulcatanese

          You didn’t know they spike the beer? Or maybe its free beer?

      • Suzy S

        Ray Ray…you make valid points…but my point is that the Dodgers threw tons of money into the team…and are basically at the same place as the Cubs.
        The new CBA rules DO NOT favor huge FA Spenders…which was the model of the past for building teams.

        I believe the Cubs are on the right track and will have the talent to compete with anyone in the next few years.

        I still believe Ricketts when he said the goal was the Cubs in the World Series.
        I ‘d rather perform to expectations, (Cubs), rather then fall faqr short of expectations, (Dodgers).

        • Ray Ray

          I agree Suzy. I am not against the rebuild, I am against not trying to win during the rebuild. Honestly…..who wouldn’t rather see Puig,Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez, Clayton Kershaw,Zach Greinke, Ryu vs Nate Schierholtz,David DeJesus, Luis Valbuena, EJax, Scott Feldman. Who is closer to winning? Who has a Zach Lee in AA and other starting pitching close to mlb ready? Who has bigger trade chips(Andre Eithier and others) to bring back better players? To a fan who has been waiting to see a WS his entire life….like I said….Dodgers in a runaway

          • Suzy S

            I too have been waiting to see Cubbie Blue in the World Series my entire life. Born in Boston and raised in Chicago my allegiance is the Cubs # 1 (by far) and the Red Sox #2.

            Big names don’t impress me in baseball…big performance does.

            FOR THE CUBS….I believe we are on the correct…and quickest path to the World Series…(under the current rules).

            BTW the 2 teams I love to hate the most are the Yankees and then the Dodgers.

            The one team I admire the most…for their obvious organizational skills…(but dislike) are the Cardinals.

          • Tony_Hall

            70 some AB’s seems like a small sample size to annoit Puig as one of the most exciting players to come along. Trout had a great season, one of the best of All-Time and you thought that was too short of time to annoit Trout anything.

        • Theboardrider

          Yep, they will favor teams like us that are buding a development machine and deep farm system.

      • Theboardrider

        I’d rather be the Cubs. I love what Theo is building and I’m patient. We’ll be the envy of the league soon. And we have Theo, the brightest mind and beat GM in baseball. Read Francona’s book, totally change the way u think of Theo. He’s the man…

  • paulcatanese

    I guess things will work out for the best in the long run being a Cub fan.

    Honestly, I planted flowers in the back yard, noticed something growing, and today found out it’s corn , not Daisies.

    Guess If I replant and replant, the Daisies will eventually outgrow the corn, and I will have Daisies.

    • Suzy S

      But you can’t eat the Daisies…Paul :-)…Gotta take God’s gifts as we get them:-).

      Actually, Paul…I’m a huge gardener…so I applaud your efforts!

      • paulcatanese

        This is a first attempt for my wife and I. Spice’s turned out great and we are enjoying them.
        I spoke to them (flowers) and if they don’t produce, plenty of artificial flowers at the dollar store,,, so,, they better get going.
        Wife is also an avid gardener, unfortunately unable to get out there and get her hands dirty.
        No real pun as far as the Cubs, just an ironic comparison.:)

        • Suzy S

          Artificial flowers need too much Dustying off. (Spelled correctly if you’re a Cincinnati fan!


  • SuzyS

    A nice read on Fenway vs what Wrigley might become: