Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 06/18/13

Game Sixty-Nine: Cubs (28-40) vs. Cardinals (45-25)

  • Game Time – 7:15pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 187/844
  • Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis

Jeff Samardzija (3-7, 3.46/1.21) vs. Adam Wainwright (10-3, 2.18/1.01)

The Cubs will look to put their two-game losing skid in the rearview mirror tonight behind Jeff Samardzija. And while the Cubs could use a good outing from Jeff Samardzija, the offense will face a huge challenge in trying to put runs on the board against Adam Wainwright.

The Cubs have seemingly faced good starting pitching day in and day out this season, but Wainwright is back at the top of his game and is having a great year to this point.

Dale Sveum’s team must start playing better ball against the other teams in the NL Central. While the Cubs are a miserable 8-22 versus their division rivals this season, the poor play is much deeper than the win-loss record. Until the Cubs start doing the little things and making the routine plays, the losses against the central division will continue to mount.

Tonight it all starts with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija is in the middle of a rough stretch. Samardzija is coming off a no decision in the 14-inning marathon against the Reds and while the Cubs won the game, Samardzija struggled for the third consecutive start. Samardzija gave up a season-high 10 hits to the Big Red Machine while allowing a season-high five runs for the second time this season. Samardzija struck out six and walked four over six innings of work.

Since his gem on the South Side back on May 27, Samardzija is 0-1 in three starts with a 5.89 ERA and a 1.85 WHIP. While wins and losses as well as ERA are not the best indicators of how a pitcher is performing, the 1.85 WHIP gives a good indication that Samardzija is struggling. In his last 18 1/3 innings, Samardzija has walked nine batters with 24 strikeouts and 25 hits allowed.

Unlike last season, Jeff Samardzija has been much better on the road this year than at Wrigley. Samardzija is 2-5 in seven games outside of Wrigley with a 2.83 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP compared to a 1-2 mark at Wrigley in seven starts with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.

Samardzija did not face the Cardinals back in May and he owns a 3-2 record in 16 career appearances, five starts, versus the Redbirds with a 4.95 ERA and a 1.85 WHIP. Last year Samardzija was 1-0 in three starts against St. Louis with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP … at Busch Stadium, 1-0 in one start with a 9.00 ERA and a 2.20 WHIP.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Carlos Beltran – 3-for-9 with a walk
  • Matt Carpenter – 2-for-6 with a triple and three walks
  • Allen Craig – 2-for-4 with a double
  • Daniel Descalso – 1-for-8 with two walks
  • David Freese – 2-for-8
  • Matt Holliday – 3-for-13 with four walks
  • Jon Jay – 5-for-12 with a walk
  • Yadier Molina – 7-for-15 with a double and a walk
  • Shane Robinson – 1-for-2
  • Adam Wainwright – 0-for-3
  • Ty Wigginton – 0-for-3

The Cubs are facing arguable the best starting pitcher they have seen all season tonight in Adam Wainwright. Wainwright has been just about unbeatable this season and the Cardinals are 11-3 in his 14 starts. Wainwright will not help a team out and refuses to walk hitters. In 103 innings this season, Wainwright has struck out 97 batters and walked only nine while allowing 95 hits. Wainwright is coming off a four-hit performance against the Mets in which he walked two batters and struck out six over seven shutout innings.

Wainwright is 3-0 in his last three starts with a 1.17 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP while holding teams to a .224 average. Wainwright has 23 strikeouts and three walks in his last 23 innings. For as good as he has been this season, Wainwright has been even better at home. The Cardinals’ ace is 7-1 in nine starts at Busch Stadium with a 1.35 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP … 25 hits, four walks and 43 strikeouts in 40 innings.

The Cubs have had success over the years against Wainwright (6-5 in 27 games, 18 starts, with a 4.46 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP) and beat him in four tries last season (0-1 in four starts with a 6.14 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP). Wainwright is all the way back to his previous Cy Young form this year and figures to offer a big challenge to the Cubs tonight.

Cubs Career Numbers against Adam Wainwright

  • Darwin Barney – 5-for-15 with two doubles
  • Welington Castillo – 0-for-2
  • Starlin Castro – 5-for-14 with a double and two walks
  • Dioner Navarro – 1-for-3
  • Cody Ransom – 2-for-3
  • Anthony Rizzo – 3-for-6
  • Jeff Samardzija – 0-for-4
  • Nate Schierholtz – 1-for-8 with a double
  • Alfonso Soriano – 10-for-39 with five doubles, a triple and five walks
  • Ryan Sweeney – 0-for-3
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-1 with a walk

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course of victory." - Arthur Golden
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

  • raymondrobertkoenig

    Rizzo gets his first breather. Castro could use one, too.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Agreed. Reports are this was a scheduled day off for Rizzo

      • Ray Ray

        Sounds like Sveum just decided after he went 0-4 last night. That’s from the article I just read with the Rizzo quotes.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Rizzo and Castro have this in common:

      they both signed big contracts, and then they both fell off of the face of the earth.

      • GaryLeeT

        It looks more like “why bother” syndrome to me. I know they are professionals, but they are still human. There is nothing to play for, which makes me worry that in their early developmental stage, they are learning how to lose. Then, 2 years from now they are supposed to flip a switch, and forget all the bad habits they’ve learned during these pathetic years?

        • paulcatanese

          You know, you and Rip make good points. I would think if it were me receiving that money and at that age, and being thought of the savior of the future of the Cubs, I would press, trying to prove that I was worth the confidence that the Cubs have given me with the contract.
          I agree that they are young and that may be part of the problem.
          Someone has told me that I was a super player and that the future was being built around me, wow, I probably would freak out, and that may be the case.
          Everyone will know by the end of the season whether or not they can overcome what has been installed in their minds.

  • edward t hansen

    Castro and Rizzo are going back words.The Cubs do not know how to adjust players to the major leagues or when to bring them up from minors.DISGUSTED

    • 07GreyDigger

      Really? So Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood and James Russell are doing just awful so far?

      • paulcatanese

        No they are not, and if fact they are having super seasons for themselves.
        I agree totally with you.

      • Tony_Hall

        Haven’t you figured out that we base how well the FO is doing on the players doing the worst at the time, never the success stories….

        • Ray Ray

          Isn’t that what you used to do before Theo took over? :)

          • Tony_Hall

            Not exactly. I thought JH did a great job, all the way until he couldn’t see that the team needed to be rebuilt. And at that time rebuilding would not have looked like this, but would have been trading some of the aging vets for younger players that were already in or close to the majors. JH kept making moves to make that years team more competitive (one could argue whether the moves actually made the team more competitive) and never cared about the long term consequences of these moves. He didn’t use the draft to bring in talent and didn’t allocate dollars to the draft. Once this was obvious that he wasn’t going to change, then it was time for him to go and I was all over showing why he should go.

            It is not time for Theo and Jed to go. Not even close.

            They are here for the long haul, to rebuild this franchise to have a farm system that will produce major league players, while not relying on a few top prospects to “make it”.

            The talent is getting to AA, by next year, AA will be very good it will start to take over at AAA. By 2015, the farm system will be set-up and have talent at all levels, and will produce major league quality talent every year. This will allow the FO to change how they do things and start to focus on winning now. 2015 is the 1st year I see that happening, but they have been making moves at the major league level to prepare for that year. They will do more over the next year, starting with the coming sell off off short term players. That doesn’t mean they sell them all off. Some will stay to be a part of the 2014 team.

  • Ray Ray

    Did you see Rizzo’s quotes about getting a day off??? He wants it and this was way past due. He said it is good that he is getting a day off. How frustrated he has been lately and the game is beating him up. Why does Sveum continue to throw Castro and Rizzo out there each and every game? Most young players need a mental break from time to time and to see the game from the dugout. They can learn by observing and asking questions. I hope Castro gets the same soon!

    • 07GreyDigger

      He might. But can you imagine the lineup if he took them both out at the same time? Yeesh.

      • Ray Ray

        But does it really matter?

    • GaryLeeT

      Castro has a pretty long consecutive games streak going on, so I don’t see a complete day off in his future. But just 1 plate appearance counts as a game played in.

      • Ray Ray

        I didn’t know he was chasing Cal Ripken :)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Schierholtz with a double

    • paulcatanese

      Keeper.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano with a two-out RBI double

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Sweeney with a two-run HR

    • paulcatanese

      Another keeper.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Ransom with a HR … Cubs with back-to-back jacks!

    • paulcatanese

      And another keeper. Somewhere along the line these guys can turn out to be valuable, even off the bench, very impressed what they have brought to the Cubs.
      Not trying to cry over spilled milk, but any kind of bullpen success, and it’s a different season.

  • Tony_Hall

    First game I have been able to watch (live) in awhile….nice start off Wainwright 4-0!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Everyone please ignore the double comments above, I’m trying to figure out what is going on

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Very good play by Valbuena

    • paulcatanese

      Right, and even though it’s an extra player to fill the third base slot, I think what has been overlooked is they both can play other positions as well, that dispels two players for one position.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Here a very telling little tidbit …

    Chris Rusin’s complete game shutout for Iowa yesterday was the first complete game shutout by a I-Cubs’ pitcher since Sergio Mitre in 2004.

    • RynoTiger

      it tells me that Neil giggles nervously when he types the word “tidbit”

    • calicub

      If thats not an indictment of the Past regimes inability to develop quality depth in the high minors, IDK what is!

    • 07GreyDigger

      Ugh. Sergio Mitre!

      • Bredstik

        So you don’t have fond memories of The Meat Tray?!?!

  • Tom U

    Daytona has gotten Grand Slams from Tim Saunders and Javier Baez, as they lead 14-7 in the ninth

  • RynoTiger

    with the Astros series next, it’s a perfect time to not only give Castro 1 game off, but an entire series

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Take a look at how the Astros have been playing of late and see if you feel the same way.

      • RynoTiger

        oh I know they’ve been doing well, but I still feel the same way. plus I’m hungry.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Cardinals 4-2 on Tuesday night – Jeff
    Samardzija: 2R, 7H, 1BB, HBP, 6K in 8.1IP (115 pitches, 76 strikes)

    Sweeney:
    2-4, HR, 2B, 2RBI; Ransom: 1-4, HR; Schierholtz: 1-3, 2B, R, BB; Soriano: 1-4,
    2B, RBI

  • RynoTiger

    that Yadier Molina is good. I’d love to have him as our catcher. I was looking at when he was drafted. 4th round of the 2000 draft. in that round the Cubs selected Todd Wellemeyer with the 3rd pick in that round. The Cardinals selected Molina with the 13th pick in that round. In between Wellemeyer and Molina, the following notable players were selected: David Dejesus, Cliff Lee, Zach Miner

    • Tony_Hall

      The hope is that Castillo can turn into Molina…..that would be extremely nice if he only came close. Remember he wasn’t always a positive on offense, his has has developed over time due to good coaching and development plans that continued at the major league level. The Cardinals could have just left Molina as a good defensive catcher that doesn’t hurt you to much on offense, yet they chose to work with him over the years to make him an offensive force.

      • 07GreyDigger

        I hope Castillo can turn into Molina, but I’m not holding my breath. I’d be happy if he turned into Miguel Montero or Jonathan LuCroy.

      • paulcatanese

        I know you’re buddy from work will like this one. But going back (again) in the years, the Cardinals have always had one of the best minor league system around, including the Yankees at that time (50′s , 60′s) and so on.
        It does point out that a good system should provide a constant winning program. But it takes time and there is always down years here and there.