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

Game Ninety-Two: Cubs (41-50) vs. Cardinals (53-35)

  • Game Time – 6:15pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 187/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Matt Garza (5-1, 3.22/1.07) vs. Lance Lynn (11-3, 3.67/1.19)

It’s Saturday Night Baseball from Wrigley Field and if the first two games of this series are any indication, it should be a close game once again between the long-time arch rivals.

The Cubs have allowed just three runs to the Cardinals in two games but have split the first two games despite outscoring the best team in baseball 5-3 over the last 18 innings. And it will not get any easier for the Cubs offense tonight with Lance Lynn on the hill.

Matt Garza may or may not be making his final start in a Cubs’ uniform. Garza might be auditioning for one of the teams interested in him while he tries to beat them and earn his fifth straight victory. The scout section should be filled once again tonight as at least seven teams gather more information in order to decide if Garza is worth what the Cubs are asking in return.

Tonight it all starts with Matt Garza

Matt Garza is coming off another excellent outing and his fourth straight victory. Garza held the Sox to two runs, one earned, on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts in seven innings. Garza ran out of gas on a hot, humid night at the Cell but did not show signs of tiring toward the end of his outing.

Matt Garza is 4-0 in his last five starts with a 0.97 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP (34 strikeouts, eight walks and 24 hits in 37 innings).

Matt Garza makes his first start tonight at Wrigley since June 21 when he surrendered one run on four hits to the Astros in eight innings. Matt Garza is 2-1 in three home starts this season with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

Tonight marks the first time that Garza has faced the Cardinals since his final start of the 2012 season. Garza departed that game after striking out Matt Holliday swinging and did not take the hill of a big league mound again for 10 months. For his career, Garza is 2-1 in six starts versus the Redbirds with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP … last year, Garza held the Cardinals to two runs on six hits in 10 innings over two starts.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Carlos Beltran – 0-for-7
  • Matt Carpenter – 0-for-1 with two walks
  • Allen Craig – 0-for-3
  • Daniel Descalso – 0-for-3 with two walks
  • David Freese – 2-for-9 with a double and a home run
  • Matt Holliday – 6-for-18 with two doubles
  • Jon Jay – 4-for-6 with a double and a walk
  • Rob Johnson – 0-for-3
  • Yadier Molina – 2-for-12

The Cubs offense will have the joy of facing Lance Lynn tonight. Lynn is coming off another win after holding the Marlins to two runs on seven hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in seven innings. Lynn lost two games in a row prior to dominating Miami. The Cardinals had won his six previous starts leading up to the starts in Houston and Anaheim.

After posting a 3-1 record in six starts in May with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP, Lynn managed a 3-1 record in five starts in June with a 4.83 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Over his last two outings, Lynn is 1-1 with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP while teams are hitting over .300 against him (.308). Lynn has struggled on the road this season (4-3 in nine starts with a 5.03 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP) but he has owned the Cubs during his career.

Lance Lynn is 5-1 in seven appearances, six starts, against the Cubs with a 2.52 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. Lynn faces the Cubs for the third time this year tonight and is 1-1 in the first two with a 2.08 ERA and a 0.77 WHIP.

The Cubs have shown little to no patience against Lynn in the past … and that must change beginning tonight.

Cubs Career Numbers against Lance Lynn

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-14 with a double and a walk
  • Brian Bogusevic – 1-for-5
  • Welington Castillo – 3-for-4 with a home run
  • Starlin Castro – 5-for-19 with a double and a triple
  • Cody Ransom – 1-for-5 with a double
  • Anthony Rizzo – 3-for-11 with a home run and three walks
  • Nate Schierholtz – 1-for-8 with a home run
  • Alfonso Soriano – 6-for-19 with a double
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-6 with four walks

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"The riches of the game are in the thrills, not in the money." – Ernie Banks

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  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Valbuena – 3B
    Castro – SS
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Navarro – C
    Bogusevic – CF
    Sappelt – RF
    Barney – 2B
    Garza – P

  • Bothevolfan

    Fixing to watch Baez for the first time tonight!!! Can’t wait Neil!!

    • Neil

      Man, have a great time at the park.

      • Bothevolfan

        My son asked him to hit him a double. He told him he would have asked for another homer, but didn’t want to be greedy. Baez said sure, why not

        • Neil

          And he just went deep … very cool. Please let us know your thoughts from the game.

          • Vivid_Reality

            I just can’t help but smile at occurrences like this. I’m very jealous because I missed him while he was playing in Peoria.

        • Dorasaga

          You are a lucky person.

  • J Daniel

    Neil, Tom, and CCO crew –

    Couple of questions. #1 – what players in the farm system have a legitimate shot at being with the Cubs in the next 2-3 years. #2 – what players have a legitimate shot at being impact players or perennial all star type guys?

    • Bothevolfan

      Baez just launched a two run jack on the first pitch he seen!!!

    • Vivid_Reality

      2-3 Years is a very large time frame. Almost everyone in the upper minors is on pace to help out by the ’15 and ’16 seasons.

      From the lower minors we probably have several players fast tracked. Recent signing Kris Bryant should hit AA by next year and if he demolishes the minors he could see a September call-up. Pierce Johnson will probably be moved along at a brisk pace as well. Dan Vogelbach is someone to keep an eye on. He embodies what the front office views as a prototypical hitter. He has cooled a bit from last years numbers but has a chance to crack the LF position if he picks up his hitting.

      As for perennial all star type players, the list is pretty cut and dry. The list might get larger the more bias you have but in my opinion, only three such players exist. Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant, and Javier Baez. Many people would add Albert Almora but I’m not convinced he will ever hit for enough power to crack the all star voting. He absolutely falls into the impact player category though. I would add these players as possessing the potential to be impact talent. Arismendy Alcantara, Pierce Johnson, Paul Blackburn, Kyle Hendricks, Junior Lake, Arodys Vizcaino, and Dan Vogelbach.

      Hope this helps out at all. Its not all inclusive by any means as the minor league outlook can be very fluid at times and I just did a quick overlook based off my opinions.

      • daverj

        Well said. I agree … except I’d be one of those that puts Almora in the potential perennial all star group with Soler, Baez, and Bryant. I also am not ready to add Hendricks or Lake to the impact talent list but that could change (and I suppose it depends on the definition of impact).

    • Neil

      I am not ignoring your questions. I will do my best to answer tonight after my reports are done. The response will take longer than just a couple of sentence.

      • J Daniel

        No problem, THANKS, and CONGRATS on the number of hits!

        • Neil

          Thanks man

    • Tom U

      Sorry for the delay J Daniel. Hope everyone I said hello to at the Taste of Chicago has dropped in tonight.

      The system is starting to develop, but the better prospects are still in the lower minors. Here’s who I like level by level. An (I) will mean impact while (T) will mean possible trade.

      Iowa – IF Junior Lake; IF Logan Watkins; OF Jae-Hoon Ha (T); LHP Chris Rusin (T); LHP Brooks Raley (T); RHP Barret Loux; RHP Brian Schlitter

      Tennessee – 1B Justin Bour (T); IF Arismendy Alcantara (I); IF Javier Baez (I); 3B Christian Villanueva; OF John Andreoli, OF Matt Szczur; C Rafael Lopez; RHP Kyle Hendricks; RHP Alberto Cabrera; LHP Eric Jokisch (T); LHP Zac Rosscup; RHP Tony Zych

      Daytona 1B Dustin Geiger, IF Ben Carhart; C Chadd Krist; OF Jorge Soler (I); OF Bijan Rademacher; RHP Pierce Johnson (I); RHP Ben Wells

      Players beyond that may take longer then 2-3 years

      • J Daniel

        Thanks for the reply and input. There is quite a long list and we know they will not all make it. Although I don’t have the time to follow the lower levels like I would, I know all of the names.

        One of the points in my asking is that I felt the list would be pretty long but I am pleasantly surprised by the number of pitchers. I am also not surprised that you do not have BJax and Vitters on that list. It is also a good indicator of how far the system has come already. I know that some of those guys are from JH and the boys and I am glad to see that as I was a big fan of JH. In the past if the top 2 such as BJax and Vitters didn’t make it there was much else (Pie, Patterson, Hill, and more). Now, there are a lot of guys soon to be knocking in the door.

        Read a comment by Boras today that he basically said the Cubs have done it the right way but at some point soon they will need to add some veteran FA to help bring the young guys along. The article was hinting at Jacolby Elsbury as a prime candidate but also mentioned that TR was probably not going to spend that kind of money yet.

        As much as I don’t like guys like Boras as I think they have helped ruin a part of the game, I think he is right. Just not sure at what point they should jump in.

        Was glad to see the number of pitchers on that list because they are going to need some home grown ones as we know the cost of FA pitching and the crapshoot it can be.

        • Tom U

          Everything is fluid, with Jackson and Vitters being able to hop back on in the future.

          Right now, there aren’t there because they aren’t playing, and it is hard to assess where there game is at right now.

          • J Daniel

            Agree, and they are still young, but at some point you are either good enough or not regardless of the age. We talk about sample size a lot and theirs was not that big last year but I was not very impressed with either. Rizzo, on the other hand, impressed right away.

            THANKS again for your input. You and Neil do a GREAT job!!!

          • Tom U

            No problem, glad Neil gives me the opportunity.

    • Neil

      As you know, the system has really improved over the last 2 plus years but the overall direction of the system has really improved in the last 18 months.

      There are a lot of players I like and the depth is really encouraging. The days of hoping for a handful of prospects needing to succeed in order for the organization to have success is over.

      With that said, the Cubs do have projectable impact talent in the system. Javier Baez, Albert Almora and Jorge Soler are the big three and Kris Bryant should be officially added to that list soon. I really like Dan Vogelbach. The bat is for real, he needs to work on his defense. I am a little higher on Arismendy Alcantara than some. He has been garning a lot of attention of late.

      The system has some solid players as Tom pointed out. Justin Bour, John Andreoli, Dustin Geiger, Bijan Rademacher, Jae-Hoon Ha, Anthony Giansanti, Logan Watkins, Tim Saunders could help down the road and I have not given up on Brett Jackson. Marco Hernandez and Jeimer Candelario should also be mentioned as good players with a chance to contribute down the road. With any prospect, making the leap from A-Ball to Double-A is the real test and there is talent in the lower levels.

      I like what I have seen from Pierce Johnson and Ben Wells. I have been higher on Wells than many for a long time and he is really throwing the ball well, pardon the pun, this season. Alberto Cabrera has really shown improvement this year. I am curious to see how Juan Carlos Paniagua pitches state side. That is a big arm, with a lot of upside.

      Other pitchers would include Eric Jokisch, Austin Kirk, Zac Rosscup and Tony Zych.

      It is really hard to project which players will be with the Cubs in two to three years, there is just too many variables. If you ever want to see how unpredictable it can be, take a look at old Baseball America Prospect Handbook at their projected lineups. I just pulled the one from 2010 and they had Kyler Burke projected as the Cubs’ starting right fielder for this season with Jay Jackson, Chris Carpenter and Randy Wells in the rotation.

      The key is to build depth and have as much inventory as possible (see the St. Louis Cardinals) and the Cubs are doing exactly that.

      • J Daniel

        Thanks! Better days are coming. I am enjoying them much more this year as I believe they are getting better. The next year will see even more turnover but should start to level off as the top prospects arrive. Lets hope a few of them are big impact.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Atlanta lost all 3 starting OF to injuries. What a blessing! The Upton bros. are having awful years, and Heyward is hitting .227 with a mere 21 RBI to go with 7 HR. These guys make too much money to bench them, but they need it.

    So Reed Johnson goes 2 for 3 in CF; Constanza goes 3 for 4 in LF, and RF Terdoslavich goes 2 for 4, and the Braves win over the Reds 5-2.


  • Vivid_Reality

    Chris Heston was just DFA’d by the Giants. Has decent minor league numbers and might be worth a flier from the Cubs.

    • Neil

      I agree, would not be surprised if the Cubs made a move trying to acquire him.

    • daverj

      I think he’s been horrible at AAA this season, but admittedly I don’t know too much about him.

      • Ripsnorter1

        He has had some trouble in AAA, but he’s a great sinkerballer.

  • Neil

    Castro brought his glove with him tonight. He is playing excellent defense.

    • paulcatanese

      Got to watch the last plays by Valbuena and
      Castro, both were made with great confidence, show’s they were in the game all the way.
      Again if it were not for the poor bullpen at the beginning of the year the Cubs would be in the thick of it right now. Even with what they have, they are starting to make some big waves, and are not backing off any more.

  • Neil

    Soriano with another HR

  • cubtex


  • Neil

    Luis! Luis!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Cards do not look like World Champs tonight. That honor goes to the Cubs.

    If July were longer, I’d think the Cubs could make .500 by the end of it. But alas, due to the All-Star game, we have only 14 games left in this month. But we could possibly go 10-4 and make .500 by August 1…..

    • J Daniel

      I can’t believe you are so positive tonight! A little extra wine with dinner? Just kidding!

      • Ripsnorter1

        I’m a teetotaler. I just call ’em as I see ’em.

        Remember: the Cubs players are on a salary drive to see who gets traded to a winning team.

        • triple

          There’s that negative spin that I’ve grown to enjoy!

  • Tom U

    Ivan Pineyro pitches 5 innings for Daytona and combines with Chang-Yong Lim and Dayan Diaz to shut out Jupiter 8-0 in Game 1 of a doubleheader.

  • Neil

    Valbuena with an excellent diving stop to take away a hit from Freese

  • Neil

    A standing ovation for Matt Garza as he walks off the
    mound at Wrigley up 6-2 in T7 (clap, clap, clap)

  • cubtex

    Gutsy effort by Garza. He wasn’t his sharpest but for the most part made good pitched when he needed it. According to Buster Olney, this is probably his last start. The Ranger have 2 scouts at this game. I hope they make a good trade because Garza is the best starter this team has.

    • cubtex

      This is why he was frustrated as he exited the game.

      Garza was vying to become 1st #Cubs pitcher in 61 years to go 6 straight starts of at least 7 IP with 1 or no ER since 1952.

      • J Daniel

        Maybe they have a deal not reported yet or are really close?

    • J Daniel

      AGREE 100%. Better be a really good return that is immediately added to the list of prospects that Tom responded regarding my question of who will be ready in the next 2-3 years.

      I know the sign and trade of FA’s to build the system was probably needed. My question is at what point do you start keeping some guys?

      IMO they signed EJax because they felt they could not extend Garza. Problem is in order to be real contenders they need 2 guys like Garza and 2 better than him. They just don’t fall off of trees and when you have one you don’t give him away.

      Better be a couple of CAN’T MISS guys that will be contributing VERY SOON like next year.

      • cubtex

        Every time I think that maybe Olt and one of the Rangers top pitching prospects would be decent….I look at Olt’s minor league numbers and get sick. He is getting worse each game. More and more K’s. If they make a deal with the Rangers, I hope Olt is not included in the deal.

        • Sonate

          I agree.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Come on, Cubtex. He’d be perfect….in Iowa. Batting next to BJax….

          • J Daniel

            That is the Rip I love to read!

        • J Daniel

          More I think about don’t think Olt would be. With Bryant don’t think it is a fit. I know you want as many as possible but just a hunch.

        • Denver Mike

          I’ve said the same, Olt has little value in my mind. He is a VItters/BJax hybrid with slightly more upside. I really hope a trade with Texas doesn’t happen because none of their prospects really excite me at all. Even Profar, the former #1 prospect in all of baseball has been mediocre at best so far this season. I was the most excited about the idea of a trade for some of the Orioles top guys, then probably Cleveland…no it appears it won’t happen with either.

          • triple

            I wouldn’t mind Olt if its part of swap for either Vitters or Jackson, and not really anything having to do with garza and then who we get in return. I’d be interested in Perez and Jorge Alfaro and maybe a couple other mid-level guys. I wonder if Soriano wouldn’t mind going back to the Rangers again?

    • John_CC

      I’ll believe it when I see it. Buster has made that exact comment after each of his last 3 starts, it is getting stoopid. (And I am not attacking the messenger here, I’m just really sick of hearing “this is Garza’s last start with the Cubs” from Olney and Heyman et al)

  • Neil

    Good job by Russell pitching out of Parker’s jam and Borbon’s error by allowing only one runner to score

  • Neil

    Gregg with back-to-back walks with two outs in the ninth

  • GaryLeeT

    Man, when the Cub’s hold the NL’s highest scoring team (by far) to 7 runs over 3 games, it really brings on the what ifs.

  • Neil

    What a pick by Castro and Rizzo to end the game … wow!

  • J Daniel

    Nice pay by Castro and Rizzo!

  • Neil

    Starlin Castro had the best night of his career in the field.

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