Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 06/13/13

Game Sixty-Four: Cubs (25-38) vs. Reds (40-26)

  • Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 185/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jeff Samardzija (3-7, 3.18/1.13) vs. Mat Latos (6-0, 2.87/1.17)

The Cubs wrap up their seven-game homestand and four-game series with the Reds this afternoon in search of a win. The Cubs are 1-5 over the last six games and have all but quit hitting the baseball. With the exception of Cody Ransom, just about the entire team is in the middle of a slump.

The Cubs have not managed more than six hits in each of the first six games of the homestand. The Cubs did not have one at bat with a runner in scoring position on Wednesday after going 3-for-29 with RISP in the first five games of the homestand. While most teams are only as good as their starting pitcher, the Cubs have been receiving good pitching performances, for the most part, they have just stopped hitting.

The Cubs have not figured out how to beat the Reds in a long time at Wrigley Field. Dale Sveum’s team is 2-10 in the first 12 games of the season against Dusty Baker’s bunch while they have lost 12 straight games to the Reds at Wrigley and 13 consecutive day games. There is no reason for the Cubs to not be playing better ball against the NL Central than they are. The same group of players is 7-21 within the central division and 18-17 against the rest of baseball.

While the Reds typically step up their game when playing the Cubs, Jeff Samardzija must keep Todd Frazier from going yard today. Frazier was in a big slump and had not hit a home run coming into the series since he took Samardzija deep on April 24 in the game that Mat Latos beat Samardzija 1-0. Well, Frazier has hit home runs in back-to-back games, so his last three longballs have come off Cubs’ pitchers.

Quick note … The Cubs have been active acquiring players that have been designated for assignment this season either via trade or waiver wire claims. The Rockies designated Eric Young Jr. for assignment on Wednesday to make room on their roster for Chris Volstad. Young has struggled this season (.242/.290/.352 in 57 games) but the 28-year old is one-year, and a season ending oblique injury, removed from a .316/.377/.448 line.

To borrow a line from Keith Moreland, Jeff Samardzija’s best bet this afternoon would probably be to throw a shutout and hit a home run. Today it all starts with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija is coming off a loss to the Pirates last Saturday afternoon. Samardzija struggled with his command and gave up eight hits for the second time in 13 starts this season. The Pirates scored four runs off Samardzija, two on one swing of the bat by Pedro Alvarez in the fourth that ended up on Sheffield Avenue. Samardzija has not pitched the way he is capable the last two times out and really must find a way to be more consistent in order to be mentioned as one of the top starters in the league.

After his gem on the South Side on May 27, Samardzija is 0-1 in his last two starts with a 5.11 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. The walks and lack of command are once again a concern. Samardzija seems to be using the bulldog mentality when he is falling behind instead of pitching the way he is capable.

Jeff Samardzija is 1-2 in six starts at Wrigley this season with a 3.62 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP and will face the Reds for the third time in 14 starts.

Mat Latos and the Reds beat Samardzija 1-0 back on April 24 thanks to a solo homer by Todd Frazier. Samardzija has allowed only three runs, two earned, to the Reds this season on 11 hits. In 12 innings against the Reds this season, spread over two starts, Samardzija has struck out 13 batters and walked six (1.50 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP).

Reds Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Jay Bruce – 3-for-14 with two doubles and a walk
  • Shin-Soo Choo – 2-for-5 with a home run and a walk
  • Zack Cozart – 3-for-11 with a double and a walk
  • Todd Frazier – 3-for-9 with two home runs and two walks
  • Ryan Hanigan – 1-for-7
  • Cesar Izturis – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Mat Latos – 1-for-2
  • Devin Mesoraco – 1-for-3
  • Xavier Paul – 2-for-5 with a double, a home run and three walks
  • Brandon Phillips – 2-for-19
  • Joey Votto – 3-for-17 with a double and two walks

The Cubs will try to do something that no other team has done this season, beat Mat Latos. Latos has not lost a game this year and the Reds are 10-3 in his 13 starts. Latos is coming off an excellent outing against the Cardinals in which he gave up just two runs on eight hits with no walks and five strikeouts in seven innings. Latos picked up the only win for the Reds in the series and really made it look easy against the best team in baseball.

After a rough stretch in May where he went 3-0 in five starts with a 4.45 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP, Latos is back to being Mat Latos. In his last two starts, he is 1-0 with a 2.08 and a 0.92 WHIP.

Mat Latos has been just as good on the road this season as he’s been in Cincinnati. Latos is 2-0 in seven road starts with a 2.82 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. Latos faces the Cubs for the third time this season.

Latos is 2-0 against the Cubs in two starts this season with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP … but for him, struggled in his outing at Wrigley back on May 5. The Cubs scored three runs on six hits off Latos in five innings with three walks and six strikeouts.

Cubs Career Numbers against Mat Latos

  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-9
  • Julio Borbon – 1-for-4 with a double
  • Starlin Castro – 5-for-19
  • David DeJesus – 4-for-10 with two doubles
  • Dioner Navarro – 2-for-9 with a walk
  • Cody Ransom – 1-for-4
  • Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-6 with a walk
  • Jeff Samardzija – 0-for-1
  • Nate Schierholtz – 4-for-24
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-14 with a double and a home run
  • Luis Valbuena – 2-for-6 with three walks

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

  • cc002600

    Tom U or Neil,

    What do you think the chances are that we see Bryant land at Wrigley next year ?

    I see no reason why it can’t happen. He’s no 17 year old high school kid. He will be 22 in January. Maybe he comes up in June or something.

    If I have to watch another year of the mighty platoon of Cody Ransom and Luis Valbuena, I’m gonna cry. LOL

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I think there is a very good chance of that happening by July of next season. He is very advanced and there should not be much of an adjustment for him to wood bats at all.

      I like the plan I mentioned in the previous report that I’ve heard the possibility of him playing the AFL this fall. That would give him a good full season, including college, and put him in the position to start next year a little higher in the system.

      I don’t think they are going to rush him but they are not going to slow him down either.

    • SomeGuy27

      Not to nit pick, and I would like to see Bryant solidify 3B but the current platoon isn’t that bad. Combined they are .251/.408/.492 with 13 HR & 30 RBI. The top three comps for full time players with 200+ AB’s are:

      Pablo Sandoval .289/.326/.427 8 HR 37 RBI

      David Wright .278/.327/.475 9 HR 35 RBI
      Todd Frazier .248/.344/.425 8 HR 36 RBI

      The platoon is a little lite on average but better in on base and slugging.

      • DWalker

        While that may be, to me there is still the issue that each time you have a platoon, you have two roster spots for one position. While that isn’t always a problem, especially if you only have one platoon it still hamstrings you a little. when you have multiple platoon situations, you suddenly find you don’t have enough slots for all the options you should have.

        • SomeGuy27

          I agree. I would like to see Bryant, Almora, Baez, Solar, et al become the long term assets that win a World Series. I’m just saying don’t be so fast to knock the guys there because they are performing.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Good point Guy…

  • Ray Ray

    I guess Castro going 1 for his last 20 is enough to put him back in the 2 hole? I don’t get Sveum at all.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I wish they’d move Castro to leadoff and leave him alone. The $5 million bargain, aka David DeJesus, is hitting .262 in his one way role. Supposedly Castro is the future, and DeJesus is ‘trade bait’—hahahahahahahaha! Pardon me….I couldn’t control it.

      The Cubs’ coaching staff has successfully turned Castro, a .300+ hitter, into a .200 hitter. I give them all of the credit….

      And to think that Cubs’ batting coaches will have their hands on our draftees in short order. Just think how good things can be then!

      • Ray Ray

        I mentioned lead off as well for Castro. Totally agree. DeJesus’ average is leveling off to his norm. He is around a .250 hitter

        • Vivid_Reality

          Except that he is a career .280 hitter. He has only hit under .260 once in his career.

          • Ray Ray

            He hit .263 last year and .240 the year before that. Lets talk about current events. That is a .250 average. Players don’t get better in their mid 30’s since steroids are out of the game. He is on the decline.

          • Vivid_Reality

            The year before he hit .240 he hit .318. Players do get worse with age but it is still possible for them to have good seasons. Just look at Fonzi last year, no one expected that. DeJesus is probably how he is performing right now, a .260-.275 hitter. He has not fallen as far as you claim.

          • Ray Ray

            Of course it is possible but he will be 34 in December. He has not fallen off the cliff but he is around a .250 to .260 hitter. He has struggled mightily against lefties the last couple of years and even with the platoon system he is down close to .260. That is where I think he will be around. I don’t think many around the league think he is a .280 hitter anymore.

          • paulcatanese

            Exactly, and it’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks.
            Dejesus has not been that bad a leadoff hitter, until the platoon system became his downfall, not so much the fact that he’s not in against lefthanders but the time off for two-three days, his timing suffers.
            He of course has been brought in to trade, but that hasn’t worked out all that well in the plan for the Cubs. Seems the players they bring in (hopefully to have a good stretch) to trade
            has just not worked out. Cubs are usually ending up with less value than they brought in, or again an injured player hoping to rebound, I will never get that one.
            But back to you’re and Rip’s point, yes, move Castro to leadoff and let him alone to sink or swim, period. Nothing will be lost and everything to gain.

          • CubbyBlue

            he’s hit 3 times under .280 plus this year to date makes 4.

            (and he’s being platooned; which over his career he has only had 4 years over 500 at-bats which means he’s always had to have 2 to 3 games off per week).
            he served a purpose; filling in while they lose on purpose. nothing more. (and he was cheap; which is the norm for the Ricketts era to date).

    • Tony_Hall

      2-5 is not a bad way for this poor struggling under achieving player to react. Should have been a game winning HR, if the wind was just a little less.

      Maybe Sveum decided he had enough time to clear his head, and they needed to show their confidence in him.

      • Ray Ray

        Why are you so condescending all the time? I want Castro to succeed. I am disappointed in how long he is struggling. There is no way a hitter as talented as he should be performing the way he has been. I will again say that Sveum should be held accountable for that.

        • Tony_Hall

          Sorry man, I thought it was bash
          Castro day around here.

  • Eric

    I think its time to look at sitting Castro for a couple days! And we need new hitting coaches!

    • paulcatanese

      Definitely agree on a hitting coach. what they have, or better yet, what they don’t have for a hitting coach is just not getting it done.
      Or is it trying to teach Cub hitters the “Cub Way”? I find that it is proving to be difficult to convey that style to established (years) hitters.
      The averages up and down the lineup should be telling someone something, and if averages don’t mean anything anymore, how about hits with runners in scoring position and hitting behind in the count?

      • BosephHeyden

        Well, here’s the unpopular statement again, but the Cubs hired Sveum because of his success as a hitting coach (which, realistically, was success based on two guys: a man who could hit a homerun in an MLB ballpark at age 7 and a juicer). Firing the hitting coach likely needs to happen. But, in the meantime, what’s Sveum doing? Fielding is pretty awful. Pitching is adequate. And hitting just isn’t there most of the time.

        100 game left, there hasn’t been any significant improvement, and, once we move guys at the dealine we’re likely going to lose a lot more than we’ll win. Maybe it’s time to hand the reigns (temporarily) to Bosio?

        • paulcatanese

          Agree, especially since Sveum has been getting that Pinella look in the dugout (what can I do?) it’s as if he is not worried either way, win or lose. the other comparison, he is getting the players back less and less.

        • Ray Ray

          If Sveum is not being judged on wins and losses, he should be judged on the development of the 2 main core players you have(Rizzo and Castro) The question is…..Are these 2 getting better and better each day under Sveum?

          • BosephHeyden

            Just an aside, I keep seeing the down votes anytime people speak ill of Sveum or Team Theo. Sometimes, I get it when it comes to Team Theo, because for every legitimate concern brought up, there’s three or four way too extreme conspiracy theorist-esque opinions.

            On this particular topic, I’m not so much concerned with my downvoted comment (since, admittedly, there isn’t really much of an argument other than vague pointings) as much as I am with Paul’s and Ray’s being downvoted. Paul’s point is very fair: Sveum occasionally says the “right thing” in front of the media (blame a scapegoat, say “things need to change”), but he’s pretty much lame-ducking it out there, and he just doesn’t seem to care too much, win or lose; like he he just expects to win some and lose a lot and “who cares, my job is secure.”

            And Ray’s is a bit more to the point: if we’re not going by wins and losses, we have to be going on the development of Castro and Rizzo.. Development that, if you look at what Rizzo has done so far this year and in limited time last year, seems to point in the direction of a .250-.260 hitter that will top out at 25-30 home runs a year. And, with Castro, seems to be well on his way to turning into a “what could have been” story if things don’t change quickly (and, judging from the fact Castro excelled with Pinella and kept it up under the same coaching staff the next year, you HAVE to look at his regressions in 2012-2013 and point at coaching).

            I’m not sure what Sveum is doing. I’m not sure what Sveum is being graded on. But whatever it is, it clearly isn’t the same criteria as winning coaches. And I would very much like for a good counterpoint to this.

          • Tony_Hall

            Why do you care if someone down arrows someone? Not everyone likes to back up their disagreement with a post. I on the other hand have no issue giving a reply and do not need a “down” arrow to emphasize my point.

          • Dorasaga

            Yea, I’m giving you a down on this one for being honest. We don’t want that in baseball We only want that in politics.
            >:-D

          • Tony_Hall

            Thanks Buddy! But that down arrow is going to ruin my day and take away my confidence…hope you can live with that :)

          • Dorasaga

            I de-downed and up-ed the Like button… And just like that, I saved your day!

          • paulcatanese

            I don’t pay any attention to down votes, sometimes people post that way because they don’t like the meaning of it, but not what you said, like “an all lefty lineup today, against a lefty pitcher”, and I would post a down vote and really are agreeing with the post.

          • paulcatanese

            Boseph, it wasn’t what you said, I worded that wrong. I meant that a statement could be agreed to with the down arrow and mean the same thing as the up arrow.
            Now I get the down arrow all day from my wife, and I know what that means, time to take the hearing aid out and nod yes for an hour.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castillo ties it up with a RBI single.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Well, so much for the game being tied

    • Tony_Hall

      Pat Hughes was talking about this being a low scoring game today, especially with Latos and Samardzija pitching…sometimes you just can’t pre-judge baseball.

      • Ray Ray

        2 runs by the Cubs is an offensive explosion!

        • Tony_Hall

          So what is 4 runs off a very good pitcher?

          • Ray Ray

            A dream?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    DeJesus with #6 on a 0-2 pitch

  • Ray Ray

    108 pitches and Sveum is letting him start the 6th? Dusty is rubbing off on him.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Two bad defensive plays and only one error. DeJesus’ error was not charged and was difficult but still an error. No stat lines for those type plays.

  • Tony_Hall

    Two triples for Schierholtz, DeJesus dropping a fly ball….crazy things happen at Wrigley when the wind is blowing in or out.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Yes they do … First career two triple game for Schierholtz

      • Tony_Hall

        I bet you didn’t even have to double check that on Schierholtz.

      • paulcatanese

        Wow, bring out the oxygen:)

    • Tony_Hall

      Now a wind-aided, bloop single for Castillo. As Pat Hughes predicted before the game today, we will see many plays that would normally be outs, turn into singles, because the defensive player will either just not be there, or an error doesn’t seem right with the wind blowing the ball around so much.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Barney ties it with a 2-out single

  • Tony_Hall

    That is gone almost any other day of the year.

  • Tony_Hall

    Walking Rizzo to face Soriano.

  • Tony_Hall

    Soriano k’s looking on a borderline inside curveball.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Free baseball …

  • Tony_Hall

    Hairston has been as big a disappointment as Schierholtz has been a nice surprise.

    • Ray Ray

      You actually can be disappointed with the way a player has been performing? Especially a player who has only been here for less than half a year by the current FO? Say it ain’t so

      • Tony_Hall

        Yes, it is possible. I am not blaming the coaching staff. Hairston has not performed in almost any game he has played. He is also a veteran, who has a track record, that you can look at for what he should be doing. And he is not even close to what he should be doing.

    • paulcatanese

      I agree with you on Hairston. He is too close to home plate. When he isn’t pulling pitches foul down the line (that’s when he gets out in front)
      he is hitting the ball from the trademark towards the handle, and anything in on the hands he’s dead in the water.,But no left handed hitters were left, I think, just MLB to watch at times so not able to see the whole game..

      • paulcatanese

        Well I have to take that one back, Borbon was still on the bench, but just as soon later as not at all.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good inning for Marmol

    • paulcatanese

      Yes it was, as well as the last one he had,,Maybe??? Could it be he’s turning it around?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good job by Rondon

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Borbon with the game winner

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Reds 6-5 in 14 innings on Thursday – Jeff
    Samardzija: 5R, 10H, 4BB, 6K, 6IP (116 pitches, 71 for strikes)

    Borbon: GW
    RBI; Schierholtz: 2-5, 2 3B, 2 BB, 3R; Castro: 3-6, 2B, SB, 2 R; DeJesus: 1-7,
    HR; Soriano: 2-7, RBI; Castillo: 3-5, HBP, RBI; Barney: 2-6, RBI

  • paulcatanese

    Congratulations to the Cubs today, way to hang in there.
    Bullpen did an “A+” job today. Finally got one in there.
    Castro, great day with the bat, and Borbon off the bench.
    Red’s with 19 K’s.

    • BosephHeyden

      Giving credit where it’s due, the pitching staff in general seems to have responded fairly well to Bosio, the occasional bullpen issue aside.