Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 07/12/13

Game Ninety-One: Cubs (41-49) vs. Cardinals (52-35)

  • Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 187/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Carlos Villanueva (2-4, 3.39/1.17) vs. Joe Kelly (0-3, 4.15/1.41)

The Cubs will try to make it two in a row over the best team in baseball this afternoon behind Carlos Villanueva. The Cubs have won five of their last six games and outside of the blowout on Wednesday night, the Cubs have played good ball of late.

Carlos Villanueva makes second start since returning to the rotation. Villanueva figures to be limited to 75-85 pitches as the Cubs work to stretch him back out. Villanueva had a good first half in a Cubs’ uniform and figures to finish the season in the Cubs’ rotation … that is, if he is not moved.

Today is the second of four 3:05pm start times that the Cubs were able to add this season after the night game ordinance passed.

With Carlos Villanueva and Joe Kelly both working their way back to an unlimited pitch count as a starter, today’s game figures to be decided by the bullpens.

This afternoon all starts with Carlos Villanueva

Carlos Villanueva is making his second start since returning to the rotation in the wake of Scott Feldman being traded to the Orioles. Villanueva gave up one run on three hits with a walk and five strikeouts to the Pirates in four innings before hitting his pitch limit and turning the game over to the bullpen. Villanueva put his team into position to win the game … and they did, 4-3.

Villanueva is 1-3 in nine starts this season with a 3.81 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.

Carlos Villanueva makes his third appearance against the Cardinals this season. Villanueva has both started a game against the Redbirds and pitched in relief. In 7 1/3 innings versus St. Louis this year, Villanueva has allowed three runs on nine hits with three walks and two strikeouts (3.68 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP). Villanueva was effective in his first start and the Cubs will need a similar outing this afternoon … on the limited pitch count (three runs on seven hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings).

Cardinals Career Numbers against Carlos Villanueva

  • Carlos Beltran – 2-for-6 with a walk
  • Matt Carpenter – 1-for-3 with a walk
  • Allen Craig – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Daniel Descalso – 1-for-4
  • David Freese – 1-for-4
  • Matt Holliday – 4-for-13 with two home runs and two walks
  • Jon Jay – 3-for-6 with a walk
  • Rob Johnson – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Pete Kozma – 2-for-3 with a walk
  • Yadier Molina – 4-for-21

Joe Kelly is making his third start of the season today after throwing 20 times out of the pen to start the season. Kelly is coming off a no-decision, but a Cardinals victory, in which he allowed four runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts in six innings.

Joe Kelly has pitched only one inning against the Cubs this year and allowed a hit and struck out a batter. For his career, Kelly is 0-2 in three games, one start, against the Cubs with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, Kelly is 0-2 in two games, one start, with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Joe Kelly

  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-1
  • Welington Castillo – 2-for-2
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-4 with a double
  • Dioner Navarro – 0-for-1
  • Cody Ransom – 1-for-3 with a walk
  • Anthony Rizzo – 0-for-3
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-4 with a triple
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-3

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"And if I have my choice between a pennant and a triple crown, I'll take the pennant every time." - Carl Yastrzemski
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

    • triple

      This by no means is a great lineup, but I think it may be my favorite that I’ve seen this year…doesn’t really mean much obviously.

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

        I like Borbon playing…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    A couple of notes from earlier:

    Kris Bryant confirmed he will be starting at Mesa to “knock off the rust” then report to Boise. Bryant has been hitting with wood bats and does not see a problem using them full time.When asked about his position, Bryant said he will play anywhere. Bryant: “Any ballplayer should listen to his coach.”

    And according to Levine, Bryant hit at least 8 homers during his BP at Wrigley on Friday.

    • paulcatanese

      All good news for the Cubs. And a little further down the line, by the time Bryant joins the Cubs, the outfield signs will be up, making the ballpark seem even smaller to the naked eye at bat. also may change wind currents and hold down the wind blowing in, all good things for the hitters.
      Right now, Bryant projects as the real thing, I hope that holds true, the Cubs deserve it, and he will help to make the game more interesting.

      • triple

        I was gonna say something similar about the wind too, Paul! It would probably be in the Cubs best interest to get a some good line drive gap hitters, as if they hit it hard enough to right-center, I imagine that scoreboard will protect from the wind blowing in a little bit.

      • Dorasaga

        Ah, the wind. Good observation, Paul. I’ve been wondering for a while if Theo and Hoyer Team will find a solution to predict and take advantage of this knowledge. Might never work, but hey, at least some baseball employees smarter than I am should give it a try!

  • paulcatanese

    Have to throw this one out here. How can anyone think that the All Star game is legitimate when it’s based on the multiple times a player can receive votes from the same person?
    Freeman received 75,000 votes from the same person, does that make sense? It’s not about Freeman not being worthy at all. But think about it, Marmol could have had some idiot out there voting a million times and he would be there. Or Ian Stewart the same way.
    Poor examples I know, but it’s the thought that counts.
    There has to be a better way. This has been one reason I don’t even watch the game, It’s a joke.

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

      Totally agree with you. It’s a joke. And what’s worse is that with home field advantage on the line it actually matters! I don’t mind having the game matter but they should make it legitimate. One vote (or maybe like 5 or so) per person, and every team doesn’t have to be represented. Take the most deserving players, that’s it…

    • Rick Barkan

      The Allstar game is a joke if a person can vote as many times as they want. Maybe Baseball writers should vote? There has to be a better way to get voted to play in an ALLSTAR GAME

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

        I’d take the writers all day long. Maybe the writers and a veterans committee similar to the HOF. I know people prefer insiders that have “played the game,” but nobody has a better pulse on a player year in and year out than the writers. It’s their job!!! People involved in the game are obviously knowledgeable but it’s not their job 24/7 to follow a players performance like it is for the writers.

      • J Daniel

        NO to the writers … more controversy just like HOF. Agree that maybe the system needs to be changed.

    • Tony_Hall

      I hear ya Paul, but year after year new players are voted in as starters that are deserving of it.
      I agree there has to be a better way, but it is not a simple thing to come up with a fair way to do this.

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

    I see the talk about D-Backs interest in Shark. I’d make a deal in a second. What about getting Delgado?

    • paulcatanese

      No question the D-Backs would be interested in him.

      The question I would have is why him over Garza?

      When the Shark takes the mound know one knows who shows up, the good one or the bad one. That is a good point to trade him, the unknown quality of the start.

      Garza has been consistent over his return.

      I am looking at this from the D-Backs point of view, and would pick Garza over the Shark.
      So from you’re comment, I would agree,
      Shark before Garza.

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

        You are right Paul, if i’m the D-Backs I’d want Garza. But Gibson likes Shark and they do seem to really develop players well over there. Maybe they think they can do something we couldn’t? It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Shark could use a change of scenery. I believe that the Notre Dame connection of being in Chicago hurts Shark. The expectations and media scrutiny would be less intense playing in the desert. He could just relax and be Jeff Samardzija, professional baseball player.

        • cubtex

          It is because Shark is under control for a couple of more years. The Diamondbacks don’t like to go for rentals.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          According to the mill, when Towers asked about Samardzija, the Cubs asked for Archie Bradley and Tyler Skaggs. Those talks ended quickly.

          http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2013/06/50-50-chance-the-cubs-make-a-deal-before-the-all-star-break.php#.UeBW60Ep9EM

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

            I remember that! I like it, but honestly I’d take less. One of those guys and a throw in would get my interest. Maybe one of them and Delgado?

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            I’m not sold on Delgado. If Atlanta is willing to trade a pitcher, I question why right away.

          • daverj

            Supposedly, Arizona will not deal Bradley or Skaggs, but is open to dealing Delgado. I think the Cubs would do Shark for Skaggs and Delgado, but I do not the DBacks would make that deal. I think the DBacks would give the Cubs Delgado and another prospect (not Bradley or Skaggs), but I don’t think that is enough for Shark. Probably won’t be a deal here. I think it’s more likely that the DBacks acquire Peavy or Gallardo (or nothing).

    • cubtex

      I would think you could get more than Delgado for Shark.

      • J Daniel

        Absolutely should. Shark is young as far as wear and tear on the shoulder and his controllable for a few years.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs sign 19th-rder Will Remillard for $150k. Coastal Carolina C helped his cause with a strong Cape Cod Lg performance.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs sign 11th-rder Trevor Clifton (148 on BA 500) for $375k. Tenn. HS RHP, sits 92-93, up to 97, promising curve & change too.

    • Tony_Hall

      The icing on the 2013 draft cake!

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

        What an awesome draft. You have to really tip your cap to the FO. They aced this thing.

    • gary3411

      WOW

  • Tony_Hall

    Out of the Cubs Top 24 draft picks they have signed 22 of them.

    Didn’t sign
    14 Daniel Poncedeleon
    22 Josh McCauley

    The FO had a game plan for the draft and executed it very well.

    • Brp921

      I agree. I think it was an excellent draft and to sign almost all of their picks shows they did their homework on them. Kudos to the front office on this one.

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

        What about the catcher that was going to USC that it was going to be very hard to sign?

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          The Cubs did not sign Jeremy Martinez

    • Tom U

      Here’s a Tweet that may explain why McCauley didn’t sign:

      Joshuaah Mccauley ‏@Mccauley_444h

      1 month till surgery so guess ill try to get some what fit #GymFlow

  • paulcatanese

    If Bryant is just one/half the ballplayer as his personality, he will be a tremendous hit for years to come.
    What a pleasant young man, after listening to him on the air, I was really impressed with his comments, totally humble and sincere. He is one Cub I welcome.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good outing from Villanueva

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

    Pete Strop’s pitches have some nasty movement. And I don’t remember too many guys that make throwing a 95 MPH heater look so effortless. What’s the deal with him, command? He looks like he has all the potential in the world…

    • Dorasaga

      Yup, “potential,” that’s what he got the past two seasons at the Big. I dunno when he’ll fully realize that potential by finding his command, because he sucks at it.

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

        I see it now, man he is all over the place! But he can throw. Every pitch he has moves. Sorta reminds me of Marmol in some ways. Could he start? Maybe if he took a little bit off and had 6 innings to work he could locate better.

        • Dorasaga

          Trust me, Marmol had command. I watched him in person 2007, and followed that great Cubs team in 2008 with my MLB.tv (replayed every game available since Spring Training). Carlos might not had that easy 95 mph as Pedro when the Senior was dominant those two seasons, but at least his sliders were comparable, if not better. Later last season, Strop gave up too many tie games and one-run games. He never had that “clutch” and big heart that Marmol had.

          What Pedro needs now is really to find a different weapon, I dunno, something that he can ACTUALLY command it, or at least place the ball in the zone, for the love of God, this is worse than Marmol.

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

          Great battle with Adams! I like what I see from Strop. His stuff is FILTHY!

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

    Just read where Jurrjens was DFA’d. Why not take a flier on him? He had Cy Young stuff a few years back and is still fairly young.

    • cubtex

      He doesn’t miss many bats these days. In AAA this year he threw 94.2 IP and only had 52K’s. In 2012 72.1 IP and 39 K’s. They don’t really need someone like that.

    • Tony_Hall

      Just say no…smoke and mirrors is all that is there.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with a solo shot in the basket … #6

    • cubtex

      His hands are much more quiet. I think we will see that average climb.

      • paulcatanese

        Correct, and has looked very good at pitch selection the last couple of games,
        played a good game on defense today also.

        • cubtex

          With that way open stance that he had…his hands moved quite a bit with his stride. Since he has closed it slightly…he is quieter. If you DVR’d the game. Replay that HR he hit. His hands were real quiet. That was a really good swing.

          • paulcatanese

            I did, and reviewed the swing, looks like the old swing, long and smooth, I could tell it was gone right away. Good extension.

      • gary3411

        Can’t get much worse.

      • J Daniel

        Agreed! I have stated that IMO they will deal him. But, let’s remember, he is still really young and we know he can hit. I think the thing that hurts him and it may not change is his concentration. Reminds me a little of ARam.

  • Dorasaga

    That was a close play. Seeing ol-Fonzi running full like that reminds me of good old time…

  • SomeGuy27

    Quick note on Bowden’s quick outing. It looks like he tweaked his delivery while in Iowa and is not as deliberate to the plate. He has a really long and straight backside on his arm rotation and because of that he really shows the ball. If I’m correct and he is quicker to the plate it should give hitters less time to recognize the pitch.

  • Dorasaga

    Time for rally cap, fella. ONe out and Barney for the honor…

  • Dorasaga

    That was a big one run game. I wonder if these descend of Orphans actually gave up alright…

    • paulcatanese

      Yes it was, I just hope they can find a right fielder that knows when to play a ball on the bounce and gives up trying to make the miracle catch. I know that is the most difficult of the outfield positions to play at Wrigley and that’s even more reason not to take those chances and play balls into triples. That one run cost the Cubs today, and may not have scored if he was held to a single.

      • Dorasaga

        I enjoy your insights, Paul. Oufielders at Wrigley are underrated. They battled with too many external factors, due to the environment–wind, old and moist soil that trip fielder hard, the bricks, the vines, the falling concrete that enraged bleacher fans so they started yelling racial language on psycho outfielders–alright, I slipped that historical comic in here, ha.

        Now, seriously, Wrigley is out of date, and the North Side is not the best place to play baseball except perhaps June and when fans are less drunk because they were actually real supporters of this team and expect a winner. There’s nothing the players can do but pray they won’t exhaust themselves in front of all these distractions, if not got hurt.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 3-2 to Cardinals on Friday afternoon – Carlos
    Villanueva: 2R, 4H, 2BB, 4K in 6IP (90 pitches, 60 strikes)

    Starlin Castro:
    2-3, HR, HBP; Alfonso Soriano: 1-3, RBI, BB; Anthony Rizzo: 1-4, 2B; Cubs: 1-6
    RISP, 6 LOB

  • cubtex

    Watching Justin Grimm from the Rangers getting lit up by the Tigers. I think the Rangers really need Garza and have the prospects to make a deal. He’s given up 7 runs in 2 IP. Hopefully this game will help the Cubs cause.

    • cubtex

      A Garza/Soriano deal really makes a lot of sense for them. I think Soriano would be willing to go there since he played there before and had 2 decent seasons. He also loves the heat and I can tell you firsthand…it will be hot.

      • paulcatanese

        You may be right regarding Soriono, watching him this year, it appears that he may want to finish his career in a blaze of glory this year and next. I think he will retire after next year anyway, but wants it to be on a high note.
        The icing on the cake for him would be if the Cubs were to finish first (I really believe that) and if he thinks they cannot, go to a team that will give him a shot at a playoff spot. He is a proud player and hope he gets his wish.
        I think he is almost convinced of the Cubs not finishing very high and will ok a move, in fact encourage it.

        • cubtex

          Agreed.He has been quoted as saying that already. He is ready to go. If the Rangers or another team with playoff aspirations want him in a deal….he is gone.

      • Tony_Hall

        Do the Rangers need another DH/OF?

        I thought they were already having a hard time getting everyone in the lineup?

        • cubtex

          Murphy has been playing a lot of LF and DH. He is struggling this year hitting only .219. They could use another bat as well. Another question is Nelson Cruz? Biogenesis?

        • J Daniel

          They are trying to win now so they might be interested. Won’t cost them any money.

          Let’s not forget that they had a series won twice and lost it to the Cards. Last year ended well. I know everyone talks about the window but I am positive they want to win this year.

  • J Daniel

    Villanueva has had a couple of really good outings. If he keeps it up will he be moved as well? Interesting times.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree, but you know I don’t know how he gets by, don’t mis-understand I like him, but why he doesn’t get lit up, I’ll never know, he looks easy to hit, yet no one does.

      • J Daniel

        Not putting him remotely close to Maddux, but brains, location, and change of speed gets it done. You don’t have to throw hard although we all know it helps. But if you can consistently hit spots with different speeds … well I think most hitters have a harder time with that.

        Just look at all of the soft tossing lefties that have had great careers.