Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Angels – 07/09/13

Game Eighty-Eight: Cubs (39-46) vs. Angels (43-45)

  • Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 185/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Travis Wood (5-6, 2.69/0.98) vs. Joe Blanton (2-10, 5.14/1.49)

Weather permitting … The Cubs welcome the red-hot Angels to Wrigley Field for the first of two in their final Interleague series of the season. The Cubs and Angels split the two-game series in Anaheim last month but the Angels are clicking on all cylinders right now and come in winners of eight of their last 10.

The Cubs are 12-6 against the Junior Circuit with two games remaining. The Cubs have won three straight and have won five of the last seven series dating back to June 14. The Cubs have out homered opponents at Wrigley this season 56-35.

Will the Cubs pitch to Albert Pujols over the next two games? While Pujols might not be Pujols right now, he thrives on Cubs pitching. Albert Pujols owns a career line of .302/.402/.617/1.020 in 175 games against the Cubs with 36 doubles, two triples and 54 home runs … at Wrigley, Pujols is 95-for-319 with 17 doubles, one triple and 26 home runs in 86 games (.298/.397/.602/.999).

After tonight’s match-up of Travis Wood and Joe Blanton, Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face lefty C.J. Wilson in the finale on Wednesday night. The Cubs wrap up the first half with a four-game series against the Cardinals that begins on Thursday night.

Tonight it all starts with Travis Wood, the All-Star …

Travis Wood has put his team in position to win 16 of the 17 games he started this season. Wood is coming off a no decision in his last outing. Wood pitched six innings of shutout ball in Oakland and allowed just three hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Wood has not posted a win since May 30 while be the most consistent starter on the Cubs’ staff to this point of the season. Wood is 0-3 in his last six starts with a 2.58 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP (11 earned runs on 26 hits with nine walks and 30 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings).

Travis Wood did not face the Angels in Anaheim last month and is 3-4 in 10 starts at Wrigley this season with a 2.55 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP.

Tonight will be Wood’s first career start against the Angels and he will face the challenge of keeping the ball in the park.


Chris Iannetta (2-for-5 with a home run and a walk) and Albert Pujols (2-for-9 with a home run) are the only two players on the Angels’ active roster that has faced Wood in a regular season game.

Joe Blanton is coming off a Joe Blanton outing against the Cardinals. Blanton allowed five runs, four earned, on nine hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Prior to his last start, Blanton had allowed more than three earned runs in four of his nine starts. Blanton has been inconsistent but has always proved to be a challenge for the Chicago Cubs.

Joe Blanton was 1-2 in five starts in June with a 3.44 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP.

Sometimes home and road splits can tell a little more about what type of season a player may be having. In the case of Joe Blanton, he has been the same pitcher on the road as at home this year. Blanton is 2-6 in eight road starts with a 5.10 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.

The Cubs missed Blanton in Anaheim last month and he will make his seventh career start against the Cubs tonight. Blanton is 1-0 in six career starts against the Cubs with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, Blanton has two no decisions with a 3.55 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Joe Blanton

  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-6
  • Brian Bogusevic – 0-for-3
  • Welington Castillo – 2-for-6 with a home run
  • Starlin Castro – 4-for-12
  • Dioner Navarro – 1-for-9
  • Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-3
  • Nate Schierholtz – 5-for-7 with two home runs
  • Alfonso Soriano – 7-for-24 with two doubles, a triple and three walks
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-5 with a walk

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

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

    Baker could join the team in a month?! That’s great news!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Baker threw his fourth sim game today. Once he starts a rehab, it should be 30 days.

      • Suzy S

        I really liked the Scott Baker of old…we’ll soon see the post TJ Baker…
        I’m rooting for the guy to do well.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

  • Vivid_Reality

    Looks like Bud Selig is getting ready to drop the ban hammer on some prominent players. Might end up playing in our favor as it could make some contending clubs desperate for replacements. Namely the Rangers could look to tack on Fonzi or Schierholtz in a Garza trade.

    • calicub

      MLB is calling the report premature, as they did a month or so ago

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo with a solo shot, #13 on the season

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Back-to-Back Jacks! Soriano with a tape-measure shot

    • calicub

      I have a fuzzy feeling Soriano is gonna get moved next

      • Ripsnorter1

        I agree. This time Alfonso is going to be traded.

        • JasonPen

          His value can’t improve too much more after this hot streak.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with a solo shot … right center

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      our 3 best offensive player all with a HR?
      It’s like they finally read the manual on what their role in the offense is supposed to be…
      Rizzo 2-2…finally out of the slump?
      Go Soriano! I feel I may soon mourn his departure at this rate.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    the “Junior Circuit…”
    (snicker)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Nice play from Castro on the ball hit by Pujols. I know he no longer runs like he did but Castro did not rush the play, knew the runner and made a strong throw from deep in the hole. Rizzo helped with the stretch but that was a nice play.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      agreed!
      I will also take an assist for today’s eventual Cubs win, as I was at the Cubs overtime win earlier in the season in Anaheim. So pretty sure I am a good luck charm against the Angels.
      In fact, all this winning has started since I began posting to the CCO again, and started watching the games. (didn’t see them on tv as much in AZ)
      Not that I am superstitious or anything…

      • calicub

        Hey I was there too!

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          I was up in a suite for work with local clients…basically eating a bunch of hotdogs and trying not to appear too obnoxiously biased towards da Cubs. 3rd base side…beautiful park.

          • calicub

            Lol I’m jealous you were living it up like a fat cat while I was sweating like a pig down the RF line!

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

    One observation… Travis Wood can really pitch. He keeps getting better and better. And at his young age he’s got room to continue. You have to admit the Marshall deal has been splendid for us!

    Related question. Why isn’t Kyle Hendricks breaking into top prospect lists? He’s the starting pitcher in the AA All-Star game? He seems underrated. And what do Tom, Tony, and other minor league gurus see as his ceiling? Is he a potential #1? It seems to me that is not out of the question. The deal for he and Villanueva seems to really be solid for us. I won’t call it a steal because Dempster is a good pitcher, but man, we sure seemto have gottten what we needed. Call it a win-win, but now the Rangers don’t have Dempster. Given what Hendricks is doing, there has to be some second guessing going on. That may be impactimg the Garza deal concerning tr Rangers. They can’t want to be fleeced by Thoyer again.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      reminds me of Buerhle a bit. Not overpowering stuff…keep walks down, throw strikes, get batters to put the ball in play and let your defense go to work.

      That worked for Buehrle for 10 years. Not saying he will be as good as Buehrle, but that is just the type he strikes me as. You would think his arm would hold up…softer-throwing lefty…hopefully he can be a #3-4 starter giving close to 200 innings a year for next 3-4 years or more.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Jason is exactly right. Hendricks will not light up the gun,and it could be said he is a crafty righty. He knows how to pitch but he is not the type of pitcher that excites people therefor he will likely not be mentioned on a top prospects list by a National publication.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        thanks…but I was referring to Travis Wood…lol.
        I always thought of Buehrle as a left-handed Maddux. Not as much movement on the pitches perhaps, but surviving on guile and being crafty. If Maddux came up today, with the size of most current pitchers, I doubt he would have high expectations either.
        Hopefully Hendricks has that competitive fire and yearns to prove the people overlooking him wrong!

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          I misread your comment, my bad.

    • calicub

      And they say the return for rentals is $#!t…

    • Tom U

      Hendricks will be starting in the Southern League All-Star game.

    • triple

      I think his lack of “ranking” is all based on him being a finesse pitcher, and not a power pitcher. I love a good finesse pitcher, especially after a team is trying to lock into a power pitcher the day before.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent defense in the fifth from Rizzo and Borbon

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Barney with a three-run homer

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      Barney doing his best Adam Dunn impression…complete with prerequisite mendozaesque batting average.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Pujols goes deep again

  • GaryLeeT

    Would rather have seen the hard throwing Strop in to get the final out in the 7th.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Hawpe strands 3 and looks like a sap in the process.
    Karma for his line drive off Mark Prior’s elbow many moons ago…
    Cub fans don’t forget, Mr Hawpe…we don’t forget.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano has done it again … another HR, 33rd multi-homer game of his career

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      ridiculous…how many is that for July? If he can keep up the pace, could be a monstrous July.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Eight homers in 11 games for Soriano

        • cubtex

          I just posted that too!

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            My bad man. Further research … he has hit 9 HR in 12 games.

  • cubtex

    Any AL team is foolish if they don’t think Soriano can help them! Wow!

  • triple

    This team is starting to play like they should’ve been playing. It almost makes me wonder if they should just cancel the fire sale and actually sign Garza! I know I’m drinking that kool-aid like it’s going out of style, but man is it fun when this team actually wins game.

  • cubtex

    In his last 11 games Soriano is hitting .400 8 HR’s and 17 RBI. Do you think he is hot?

    • paulcatanese

      Personally I would rather the Cubs just keep Soriono, extend Garza and go from there.
      I would rather lose with those two than stop gap players brought in. something has to be said for people watching the games now, not in 2015.

      • cubtex

        The reason they are winning has mainly to do with Garza and Soriano. When they are traded this team will start losing games again.

      • triple

        I agree, I’d rather those 2 stick around at this point. If the other guys play around them how they are expected to play, this would be a good team!

      • JasonPen

        The goal is long-term. Sorianowon’t be in the league once this team has a chance to win a WS. You have to trade him now and hope you get lucky with the return.

        • triple

          We all know that they won’t get a lot for Soriano (especially with all that contract money involved; and even if the Cubs have to eat alot of it). So i kinda see him as more valuable on the Cubs still. However, next year, when he’s owed less than $9mil by the trading deadline, it may be easier to make a deal where both teams are happy with the players and money involved.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Angels 7-2 on Tuesday night – Travis Wood: 2R,
    4H, 2BB, 5K in 6.2 IP (89 pitches, 55 strikes); 1-3

    Soriano: 2-3, 2 HR, BB;
    Rizzo: 2-4, HR, Barney: 1-4, HR, 3RBI; Castro: 1-3, HR, BB; Navarro: 1-3, R, BB

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

    Okay, gang I need some advice. I hate to admit but in 30 years as a die-hard Cubs fan I’ve never been to Wrigley Field. Well I’m thinking that may change this summer!

    I need suggestions on where to stay, etc. Should I fly into O’Hare? I will probably leave the family here and just come up by myself. I’ve never been to Chicago at all so I’d like to experience as much as possible in my stay. Probably Friday – Sunday.

    I’d prefer to stay on the cheap, near the ballpark. But maybe stay more central so I can go to Navy pier, downtown, etc. I figure there’s more than enough expertise to help me plan a good weekend in Chicago. I’d like to catch at least two games. Probably try and fly in late enough on a Friday that I can catch a night game, or leave late enough Sunday that I can catch a matinee.

    Well guys and gals, what do you suggest?

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

      Also, is there anywhere where people from this site meet up? I have this fantasy that some of you guys all get together at the Cubby Bear before games and sit together or something but that’s probably not the case. If it is I’d love to join.

    • triple

      Great! I’d recommend flying into Midway… just a 30 min(ish) train ride to downtown. O’hare is kind of more out in the Burbs.

      It’s kind of toss-up on whether to stay near Wrigley or more downtown. That’s gonna depend on if you want to experience nightlife. It’s been a while, so I don’t know if Rush St. is still happening, or if Clark/Halsted has good stuff around there? Those are a couple areas I remember where fun could be had.

      I highly recommend doing the Chicago architecture river-boat tour thru the Chicago river. It meets out near where the Hyatt hotel is (which is a great place to stay, but not if you’re on a budget). It’s a great tour, and history/architecture lesson on how the city grew around the river.

      Hope this helps a little. I’ve never lived downtown. Grew up in the north suburbs (Libertyville) and since college have lived in AZ, so I occasionally go back as a visitor now, so I never know what’s the new cool stuff anymore. But Chicago is weird because if you stay in some places, it’s like the city never sleeps, but then in another downtown area, it’s like it’s closed down by 9 or 10pm.

      As far as food, I’d say go eat some Lou Malnati’s pizza (deep dish), but at the same time you gotta find a pizza place the serves a good thin crust pizza, as that is the real deal Chicago pizza. And definitely get an Italian Beef sandwich somewhere too!

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

        Wow! Great stuff Trip! That’s exactly what I was hoping to find out. I definitely want some night kife and am a night owl. Even thiugh I don’t drink I still like to have a good time and party a bit. Love the architecture river cruise idea. That’s the sort of stuff I want to know about.

        Thanks again!

        • Suzy S

          If you like Ribs…try Twin Anchors on Sedgewick and Eugenie…it’s a neighborhood joint that’s specialized in Ribs for close to 50 years…my personal favorite whenever I get up to Wrigley…and I second the architectural tour…it’s fabulous.

      • paulcatanese

        Agree with most of what you have said.
        Thin crust pizza and an Italian beef sandwich, but don’t forget the easiest way to Wrigley is look up the White Castles on the computer and follow them all the way to the ballpark.
        also the raw clams on the half shell and the Italian sausage sandwich with the peppers and onions.
        You may not make the game, but you will eat well.