Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 06/17/13

Game Sixty-Eight: Cubs (28-39) vs. Cardinals (44-28)

  • Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: ESPN Monday Night Baseball, WCIU – Radio: 97.9 FM The Loop, XM Radio Channels 187/844
  • Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis

Travis Wood (5-5, 2.65/1.00) vs. Shelby Miller (7-4, 2.21/0.97)

Weather permitting … The Cubs open an extremely difficult series in St. Louis tonight with the first of four against the best team in baseball. No one associated with the team was too thrilled with the way Sunday’s game ended and if the team carries over the final inning in New York to this series against the Cardinals, the next four days could end up being very embarrassing for the Chicago Cubs.

The good news is that one of the Cubs’ eight wins against teams in the central (8-21) came against the Cardinals last month (May 7-May 8) at Wrigley Field. The long-time rivals split the two game series and the Cubs took a 4-3 lead into the seventh before the pen blew the lead. The Cardinals have struggled of late, well at least for them, but the two teams always step up their game when playing each other.

Dale Sveum needs for his starting staff to step up the next four days and not only pitch late into games to keep out of the bullpen but to limit the high-flying Cardinals’ offense. The pen, outside of Kevin Gregg and James Russell, has really struggled and Carlos Marmol’s third blown save of the season on Sunday marked the 14th time in 27 chances the Cubs’ relief corps has blown a lead this season.

After tonight’s match-up of Travis Wood and Shelby Miller, Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face Adam Wainwright on Tuesday night. Edwin Jackson is slated to face his old teammate Jake Westbrook on Wednesday and the series wraps on Thursday night with Scott Feldman taking on Lance Lynn.

Tonight’s game can be heard on 97.9 FM The Loop. Pat Hughes, Keith Moreland and Judd Sirott will call the action from St. Louis on the FM side so the Game Three of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Blackhawks and Bruins can be heard on 720 WGN.

The Cubs will face the team and the organization they hope to become in the near future for the next four games and eight times between tonight and the All-Star break … and tonight it all starts with Travis Wood.

Travis Wood has allowed three runs on eight hits with four walks and 10 strikeouts in his last two starts combined (13 innings) and has two losses to show for his efforts. Not only has Wood posted a 2.08 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP over those two starts but held the Pirates and Reds to a .170 batting average. Wood has posted 12 quality starts in 13 tries this season.

Travis Wood has been very good to this point of the year and is 2-1 in four starts outside of Wrigley this year with a 3.38 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. Wood beat the Cardinals back on May 7 at Wrigley Field after holding St. Louis to one run on six hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. Wood beat Lance Lynn and will have to put together a similar outing tonight with Shelby Miller on the hill.

For his career, Wood is 3-2 in seven starts against the Redbirds with a 4.71 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP … at Busch Stadium, 1-1 in three starts with a 4.19 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Travis Wood

  • Carlos Beltran – 3-for-9 with a double and a home run
  • Matt Carpenter – 2-for-6 with a home run and a walk
  • Allen Craig – 5-for-13 with two home runs
  • Daniel Descalso – 3-for-7 with a triple
  • David Freese – 3-for-8 with three walks
  • Matt Holliday – 6-for-20 with two doubles, two home runs and a walk
  • Jon Jay – 7-for-15 with a double and two walks
  • Pete Kozma – 0-for-3 with two walks
  • Yadier Molina – 5-for-17 with a double and two home runs

The Cubs have the pleasure of facing one of the best young right handers in the game tonight. Shelby Miller has been as advertised so far and has really solidified the Cardinals rotation. Miller has struck out 91 batters with only 17 walks in 81 1/3 innings. And over his last two starts, Miller has notched 19 strikeouts and not a single free pass. While he has pitched in only 19 big league games, from all appearances Miller seems to be the real deal.

Shelby Miller followed up his outstanding April (3-2 in five starts with a 2.05 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP) with a spectacular May (2-1 in five starts with a 1.99 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP). Over his last three starts, Miller is 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP that includes 26 strikeouts and one walk in 19 innings.

Shelby Miller is 4-1 in six home starts this season with a 1.12 ERA and a 0.74 WHIP and tonight will be Miller’s first career start against the Cubs. Miller pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief against the Cubs last September 21 at Wrigley Field. The Cubs managed a couple of hits.

Welington Castillo (1-for-1), Starlin Castro (0-for-1) and Luis Valbuena (1-for-1) are the only players on the Cubs’ active roster that has faced Shelby Miller in a big league game.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Weather isn’t looking very good right now. Tarp is on the
    field, speculation is that the game will be cancelled for tonight

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Flash flood warnings in St. Louis

  • Tom U

    In minor league news: Chris Rusin strikes out 8 and pitches a complete game shut-out. Iowa wins 2-0 on HR’s from Bogusevic and Murphy

    Javier Baez is named the Florida State League Player of the Week for the second time, He is the fifth Daytona Cub to receive that honor this season.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    In Draft news:

    From Rob Zastryzny

    Officially part of the Chicago Cubs organization. Thanks for all the support and I can’t wait to start the journey.

    No word on the bonus yet

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s game will not start on time. I will post updates. Reports from St. Louis is that it does not look good for tonight.

  • Rick Barkan

    I was hoping that Marmol was either traded or sent to Iowa.

    • J Daniel

      Pretty much not tradable.

    • TheWrongGuy

      Marmol has a guaranteed major league contract. And he has a FULL no-trade contract. Another great Jim Hendry signing left over.

      • triple

        At this point, I think Marmol would gladly waive his no-trade clause to get traded to Siberia for a bag of balls.

        • TheWrongGuy

          He’s getting paid 9.8 mil for this season. he won’t get traded. No team in MLB is as STUPID as Hendry to take on a crap contract like that.

          • triple

            You don’t need to tell me what he makes and that he’s untradeable! I know that… but would you want to stay in a city where you get booed at every time? No… We all know he is going nowhere. The fact that you bring up his full no trade clause is completely irrelevant to him on the Cubs at this point.

  • triple

    Well, when it comes to preventing a Cubs loss, I’d rather put my money on the rain, over Marmol and Sveum.

  • Skeldor

    That haren for marmol trade would have been good right about now. Can’t believe they didn’t pull the trigger on tht one bad back and all.

    • Tony_Hall

      Dan Haren 5.70 ERA 1.39 WHIP….not sure either option ended up being good.

      • TheWrongGuy

        We signed Feldman and Baker instead. Feldman good sign. The jury is still out on Baker.
        I am happy we didn’t pick up Haren.

        • calicub

          I’m hoping Baker is able to come back and take a rotation spot post Trade deadline. I think he’d be much better than the Berken’s, Germano’s and Volstad’s they had filling the rotation down the stretch last year

          • RynoTiger

            anyone heard anything on Baker of late? How long was he supposed to be shut down? Or start throwing again?

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Last official news I heard was he was still light tossing. Cubs were hoping to have him on a mound by the end of June and possibly in the rotation by August

      • calicub

        Thank you for bringing tht up!

        People are hrping on the fo for not pulling the trigger, but at the time Marmol was coming off a strong 2nd half. Not to mention this rotation has been stellar thus far. I’d rather have Marmol get blown out in one inning every once in awhile than watch a nearly 6.00 ERA pitcher get shelled for 5-6 innings every five days

        • Ray Ray

          But that would be better in a year like this than paying EJax 19 mil to go 5 to 6 innings with a 1.5 WHIP

          • calicub

            True, but i don’t think you coud have predicted that Jackson, the definition of consistency in his career would be so far off his norms…

            although he has been flashing signs of coming around of late

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Nothing new on a start time at this point (7:02pm CDT)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    ESPN is reporting the rain in St. Louis is expected to be out of the area by 8:00pm CDT. Saying game could begin around 8:45pm CDT

    Nothing official yet.

    • paulcatanese

      That’s good news, turned on the channel for the game and up popped Pete Rose, and the Reds and Pirates, turned back to a movie with Robin Williams.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Comcast SportsNet: Hoyer defends Sveum: “He’s doing his best with the product that we have. And that’s on Theo and on me – the talent.”

    • paulcatanese

      And that explains everything Neil:)

      • Ray Ray

        He is the safest manager in baseball! Not being held accountable for anything. What a country!

        • TheWrongGuy

          I agree to what the FO is saying. I believe they are trying to trade players and Sveum is told to place players in certain situations… Like putting Marmol in the 9th with a 3 run lead so we can lose the game, and another team looks at Marmol and laughs.

          • paulcatanese

            I’m not going there, but, It’s unreal that Sveum continues with a truly, totally lost hitter batting second in the lineup tonight. Completely outclassed be the Card’s pitcher first time up.
            Anyway, why oh why does not Sveum just move him down in the lineup for an extended time
            or, or make Castro bat as a #2 hitter should, bunt with a man on first and no outs. Castro can do no worse at this point.
            I don’t want to hear (not from You, just a statement) about how great a hitter is, and don’t want to waste him bunting, well what is happening right now?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs-Cardinals scheduled to start at 8 pm in St. Louis.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Game on, 1:59 delay

    Play Ball!

  • paulcatanese

    Listening to Sutcliff and the rest of the guys in the booth, great comments on the Cubs and Epstein and the rest of the Cubs, you would think they were in the World Series. Good comments on all.
    I wish though they would ease up a little on Castro, after listening I’m surprised they just don’t take him out and hang him.
    It’s ok for guys on here to talk about Castro, It’s not being listened to Millions. Plus we’re Cub fans and it’s ok.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Sveum ejected.

    Stay Classy Molina … nice kick by the Cardinals’ catcher

    • calicub

      Awful Call! yet another example of how important instant replay would be to checking these amateur Umpires

  • Ray Ray

    That almost looked like the start of the Mets play the other day.

    • Ray Ray

      Nice stop at 3rd, bad throw to 1st. Rizzo airmailed catcher, if Castillo would have thrown it by Wood it would have been groundhogs day

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Schierholtz with a RBI single

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Henry Rodriguez in for his Cubs’ debut

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Barney with his third HR of the season

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 5-2 to Cardinals on Monday night – Travis Wood:
    4R, 3ER, 7H, 0BB, 4K in 7IP (83 pitches, 55 strikes)

    Barney: 1-4, HR; Valbuena:
    1-2, 2BB, R; Castro: 1-4; Schierholtz: 1-3, RBI, BB; Castillo: 1-3, BB

    • paulcatanese

      True Neil, they did lose.
      But, another good outing by Wood, (gotta have run support)
      Valbuena , two walks and a hit.
      Castro, hit(right field, but a hit)
      Schierholtz, continues to look good.
      Castillo, a hit and decent to good defense.
      All positives, but could have used a few more.
      And even though a bad throw, I think Valbuena continues to shine with the glove.
      Didn’t Rizzo get a hit, thought he did.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Wood did his job, you are correct. He had a good outing. Rizzo went hitless. He smoked the last ball he hit to right to end the inning.

        • paulcatanese

          Thank you Neil, was half watching. So that’s another positive, a hard hit ball that was pulled.

  • Dorasaga

    Tom, Neil, and Friends of the Minor League, I had a proposal earlier. I’ll rewrite it here:

    – I would love to see CCO generates a “performance rating list” by position, not divided by minor league levels. You may make a note after the player name where he plays right now, but not necessary. Prospects move up and down all the time; difficult to follow, very confusing who’s where.

    A list can look like this:
    Catcher — Player-x (A Daytona: Estimated Time of Arrival to MLB, 2015)
    — Player-y (low-A, ETA-2018)…

    First base — N/A
    SS — Baez (*see above)…
    SP –, RP, Utility, you know.

    This proposed list will throw in more light than what I know about the Cubs future now.

    • paulcatanese

      Dorasaga, the Cubs will have a future, agree though, hard to follow minor’s and Tom does a great job.
      It won’t be long before the Cubs start to look like the “new big red machine” called the Cardinals, what a Franchise.
      It probably won’t be in my lifetime but I know all on the CCO will like it.

      • Dorasaga

        Sorry about the repeated post. I actually deleted this one; don’t know why still here under a “Guest.” My second post is under the “Farm Report.”

        I just hope a different way (list by positions) to look at things (prospect) will be easier to follow this club. It’s not any of our job to understand who’s what in the Cubs system; it’s a passion for life, because we can dream of a future.

        • paulcatanese

          You’re classified a “Guest” because everyone likes you.
          Scuttlebut has it you are sent
          a complimentary box of chocolates and a bottle of champagne when you post:)

          • Dorasaga

            Thanks.
            :-)