Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 06/09/13

Game Sixty: Cubs (24-35) vs. Pirates (37-25)

  • Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 189/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Edwin Jackson (1-8, 6.29/1.67) vs. Jeff Locke (5-1, 2.45/1.19)

Weather permitting … The Cubs will try to end their five-game losing streak against the Pirates this afternoon behind Edwin Jackson. Not only have the Cubs struggled against the Pirates with only two wins in eight games but Dale Sveum’s team is just 6-18 versus the NL Central this season. Until the Cubs can figure out how to play better ball against teams in their division the losses will continue to mount.

The Cubs avoided the shutout in the ninth inning yesterday and ended a stretch of 17 1/3 innings without scoring a run … and it will not get any easier for the offense today.

Jeff Locke is on a roll and the hits should continue to be scarce this afternoon against the southpaw. Dale Sveum should use a balanced lineup today with the lefty Locke on the hill. Lefties are hitting .263/.328/.308 against Locke this season while right handers have managed only a .212/.300/.300 slash line.

While the Cubs have been taking their walks of late, they still rank last in baseball in free passes (138). But the offense is seeing pitches. The Cubs rank second in the NL and seventh in baseball averaging 3.89 pitches per plate appearance.

This afternoon all starts with Edwin Jackson.

The Cubs really need for Edwin Jackson to relax today and just pitch. According to Chris Bosio, Jackson started pressing at the beginning of the season in an attempt to perform up to his contract. Jackson has not been able to get on track and has continued to struggle mightily for the most part.

Edwin Jackson has never pitched to his ability but has never pitched as poorly as he has for this long of a stretch. Jackson is coming off a miserable outing against the D-Backs, one in which he gave up seven runs, five earned, on a season-high 12 hits with three walks and four strikeouts.

Edwin Jackson has continued his struggles at Wrigley this season. Jackson is 0-5 in six starts in his home park with a 7.83 ERA and an unbelievably high 2.01 WHIP. And a solid outing at his home park this afternoon might just lead to him turning his season around.

This afternoon will be Jackson’s third start of the year against the Pirates. Jackson is winless against the Pirates in the first two starts with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. Jackson completed only three innings in his last start against the Bucs after rain delayed the finale of the three-game series. For his career, Jackson is 4-2 in eight starts versus the Bucs with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

Pirates Career Numbers against Edwin Jackson

  • Pedro Alvarez – 1-for-10
  • Clint Barmes – 3-for-14
  • Brandon Inge – 6-for-23 with three walks
  • Garrett Jones – 3-for-14 with a home run and a walk
  • Starling Marte – 2-for-5
  • Russell Martin – 2-for-12 with a walk
  • Andrew McCutchen – 6-for-15 with a double, two home runs and two walks
  • Michael McKenry – 4-for-7 with two doubles
  • Gaby Sanchez – 0-for-5 with a walk
  • Travis Snider – 1-for-7 with a triple
  • Jose Tabata – 0-for-6
  • Neil Walker – 2-for-10 with a double and three walks

Jeff Locke has thrown the ball extremely well this season. Locke is coming off a no decision against the Braves in which he allowed three runs on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Locke put together four straight quality starts prior to his 5 1/3 innings of shutout ball against the Tigers. Locke has not allowed more than three earned runs in any start since April 18 and has pitched shutout ball in five of his 12 starts, including three of his last four.

Jeff Locke was 2-0 in the six starts leading up to his last outing in Atlanta with a 1.78 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP … and outside of Pittsburgh this season, Locke is 3-1 in six starts with a 1.96 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP.

The Cubs face the very talented southpaw for the third time this afternoon. Jeff Locke does not have a record in two career starts against the Cubs (6.10 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP). Locke has started one of those games at Wrigley and allowed five runs on seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jeff Locke

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-5 with a walk
  • Welington Castillo – 0-for-1
  • Starlin Castro – 0-for-5
  • Scott Hairston – 1-for-2 with a double
  • Anthony Rizzo – 3-for-6 with a double and a home run
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-6
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-2

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Life is a song, sing it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a sacrifice, offer it. Life is love, enjoy it now." - Ernie Banks

Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub (1931-2015)

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  • Tom U

    Good Morning, here are today’s minor league starters

    Kane Co. – Dillon Maples (0-1, 7.06)
    Daytona – Kyler Burke (1-0, 2,40) Game 1, Game 2 TBA
    Tennessee – Yeiper Castillo (0-1, 6.32)
    Iowa – Brooks Raley (4-4, 4,27)

    • Tom U

      Daytona’s Game 2 starter is

      PJ Francescon (4-4, 4.97)

    • calicub

      Tom, what’s the deal with maples? His k numbers are good but everything else are not what you want to see from one of the heralded picks from last years draft

      • Tom U

        Give Maples time until the short seasons open, in about 10 days to 2 weeks, which will be about 3 starts including today.

        If he continues to struggle, the organization may move him down to Boise. They did this last season with Felix Pena and the results were good.

  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Barney – 2B
    Ransom – 3B
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Hairston – RF
    Navarro – C
    Castro – SS
    Sweeney – CF
    Jackson – P

    • paulcatanese

      Neil, I noticed that you stated Sveum “should”
      use a balanced lineup today as leftys hit a little better than usual.
      Obviously Sveum didn’t read you’re post, or the sheets on Locke, or is in different altogether.
      Hope it works out for him, there hasn’t been too much that has.
      I went back up you’re post to make sure I wasn’t reading it wrong, I wasn’t. Good information, too bad we are the only one’s reading them.

  • Tom U

    Some thoughts on the draft and other minor league notes:

    The first shoe dropping from the 2013 draft may have been 2012 10th round pick RHP Chad Martin. He just tweeted, thanking the Cubs for the opportunity. That’s usually code for being released.

    With all of the college pitchers selected, the front office may have served notice to all of the pitchers at Daytona, Tennessee, and Iowa that they may be pitching for their jobs over the next few weeks.

    The player in the system that may feel the most pressure from the draft is Javier Baez. With management saying Kris Bryant will remain at third, that closes an option for Baez. Arismendy Alcantara and Carlos Penalver are putting heat on the shortstop position, as well as a slew of prospects in the lower minors. Baez will have to start getting with the program at the plate, in the field, and in the locker room.

    The rumble you might have felt last night came from Cedar Rapids, where the Kane County offense hit on all cylinders for the first time last night in a 15-1 victory. The top of the line-up in Amaya, Almora, Vogelbach and Candelario all hit home runs. The Cougars also did this without their best hitter Bijan Rademacher, who had the night off.

    • SomeGuy27

      Greed is good. So
      is competition. Like some of the other
      old guys on this board I remember having to compete for a roster spot at every
      level. Hell, I got cut from a little
      league team when I was 8. Never happened
      again and I played at some level for almost 40 years.

      I point this out because I like what seems to be the
      strategy within the Minor Leagues.

      Pitching: To me
      they are drafting future bullpens in which a few guys may break out to be good
      starters but the emphasis is relievers.
      The reason as I see it this way is that most pitchers fail as starters
      due to lack of a 3rd pitch, mentality, command, etc… however, most
      can get a few guys out at any given time.
      Additionally, if your bullpen season after season is homegrown they are cheap,
      controllable, and ultimately expendable.
      The less you spend on the BP the more you have to throw at that
      established FA starter or to extend a homegrown starter.

      Hitters: As a
      hitter you do one of two things; score runs or drive in runs (really good ones
      do both). Most of the hitters drafted
      this weekend get on base, I saw a lot of .410+ OBP’s and most had 1 to 1 K to
      BB ratios or better. Notice I didn’t say
      position players. I used to tell kids I
      coached that you can’t hit if you don’t bring your glove to the yard (to keep
      their mind on the fact defense is important) but the truth is; if you score
      runs or drive in runs, a position will sort itself out.

      My tortured point is this; you will be pushed either up or
      out. Players are learning that they have
      to wear big boy pants and that today’s stud can easily be tomorrow’s trash if
      he doesn’t get the job done. Draft
      position doesn’t matter-an undrafted free agent can supplant you. To me this is the biggest departure from the
      past where the organization hung its hat on the one guy and come hell or high
      water he was going to succeed regardless of performance.

    • Suzy S

      Good insight, Tom….I like to see Baez have a little competition….It might actually help him.

  • Bryan

    Thank goodness hockey is still being played.

    • DWalker

      there always seems to be something fundamentally wrong with hockey still being played in the summer.

      • Suzy S

        As is baseball in November.

  • Suzy S

    Neil, Any idea what’s happened to Aaron? He hasn’t posted since the first week of April…very unlike him.

    • Neil

      Suzy, I saw your post the other day. I am communicating with Aaron, he’s okay.

      • Suzy S

        Thanks Neil, I was starting to get concerned especially when the draft came and went without any of his analysis. Next time you communicate with him…tell him I say hi.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree, Suzy, along with Cubtex, haven’t heard from him either.

      • Neil

        Cubtex is posting under a different name, he’s never really left.

        • paulcatanese

          That wise guy, anyway, I was interested as to what his son was doing in track. I hope Mr. Incognito picks up on it:).

          • Ray Ray

            He did good Paul. Ran cross country,indoor and outdoor. Qualified for Junior Nationals in Des Moines,IA at Drake Univerity at the end of the month but will not compete. He is nursing a minor injury and is taking a couple of weeks off of training before starting up again. It was a big adjustment for a freshman. He never really had a break all year. The universities definately make you earn that scholarship! Thanks for asking and checking up on the “former” cubtex.

          • paulcatanese

            I knew it!!! Good for him. Glad that he is doing well. Yeah those schools never stop all year round.

        • Tony_Hall

          I am just shocked to hear that people burn through one screen name and then come back again with a new one….shocked I say!

          • Ray Ray

            That’s not the first thing that I have burned through in my life :)

  • Suzy S

    There was a long span of my life where I checked the standings every day…and enjoyed going over box scores in the paper with my morning coffee.
    I haven’t done that in a few years now…as it really is irrelevant as to what’s happening with the Cubs these days…so I just checked for the first time in over a month….and was amazed to see Milwaukee still behind us in the standings….WOW…How can that be?

    • RynoTiger

      with Wisconsin being the Dairy State, I think it’s because the players get too much dairy and it leaves them bloated, sluggish and struggling with the effects of an increase in their lactose intolerance.

      • Suzy S

        :-)…careful RynoTiger…I went to college in Milwaukee…with that logic it might really be too much Pabst/Schlitz/Miller or even chocolate from the Ambrosia Chocolate factory just outside Milwaukee.

        • RynoTiger

          or maybe Braun stopped passing out “supplements”…oh! did I just say that?! I’m bad.

          • Brp921

            Not bad, just accurate.

  • RynoTiger

    alright I’m taking bets…what inning will the Cubs get their 1st hit today OR will today be the day the Pirates finally no-hit the Cubs?
    Winner: Receives some of this Arizona heat for the entire summer.

    • paulcatanese

      I don’t know about hits, but the Cubs are practicing the “Cub” way three walks, but notice all the strike three at bats. Someone forgot to tell the hitters it’s ok to make contact with the ball at some point.
      I really don’t care for the approach they are taking, would much rather see aggressive at bats.
      At this rate it will take four walks in a row to score a run.
      Did notice Castro, very laid back at bats, is taking pitches, could it be that he has forgotten how to swing the bat?
      We’ll see, he is due up this inning, got to pick on those “meat pitches” instead of taking them.

    • triple

      Well at this point I’m kinda rooting for the no-no. And my submission is irrelevant as I am already receiving the AZ heat for the summer.

  • matthew8510

    gee i wonder what will happen today with jackson on mound

  • Neil

    Angel strikes again. Gotta get this guy out of the game, he’s just horrible

  • SomeGuy27

    What??! Angel Hernandez blows a call? Never!

  • Brp921

    Ransom one Pirates one!

  • Neil

    Cubs Scott Hairston ties the game at 1-1 with a sac fly in
    the 6th. Half of the no-no is gone, Locke still has no-hitter intact

  • Neil

    Dioner Navarro singles in the sixth and breaks up Jeff
    Locke’s no hitter

  • RynoTiger

    congrats to my alma mater the IU Hoosiers for advancing on to the college world series for the first time in school history!!!!! :)

  • Neil

    How about Cody Ransom making up for the early base gaffe … three-run shot for Ransom in the seventh.

    First lead for the Cubs in the series.

  • Brp921

    Ransom four Pirates one!

  • Tom U

    An update from an earlier discussion:

    Dillon Maples walked 7 and allowed 4 earned runs in 2 innings. He is done for the day as Kane County is tied 4-4 bottom of 5. Dan Vogelbach tied the game with a 2-run HR.

  • RynoTiger

    so in the last 30 days, Castro hit .206.

    In June, he has hit .050.
    Only 9 RBI since May 1 and 0 HRs.

    As Shaggy might say to Scooby Doo..”Gulp..Yikes, Scoob!”

    • Brp921

      Sveums comments the other day were encouraging. It sounds like he might be more ok with Castro’s “free swinging” and just wants him to get back to his mechanics a couple of years ago.

      • RynoTiger

        if Castro’s numbers for the next 30 days (so up till all-star break) are just as bad as the previous 30 days, should the Cubs just let him suffer/work through it or do they consider what the Mets just did to Ike Davis and move Castro to Triple A? I know that’s extreme, but does he need time out of the big city to work on things if he continues to plummet.

        • Brp921

          A couple days off might do him good. I’d think the triple A option would be the last resort. Maybe DL him and let him rehab there. He’s definitely pressing though.

  • Neil

    From players comments and articles on the web, it appears the Cubs have already signed 18 of their 40 draft picks. Nothing is official. It does appear that Skulina and Zastryzny have signed.

  • Neil

    Cubs beat the Pirates 4-1 on Sunday afternoon – Edwin
    Jackson: 1R, 4H, 1BB, 8K in 7IP (91 pitches, 57 strikes)

    Ransom: 1-2, HR,
    3RBI, 2BB; Soriano: 1-3, BB, SB; Barney: 1-4, R; Navarro: 2-2, 2BB

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  • matthew8510

    jackson must of been on the roids today if thats the case keep doing it