Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Diamondbacks – 07/22/13

Game Ninety-Seven: Cubs (43-53) vs. Diamondbacks (51-47)

  • Game Time – 8:40pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 185/844
  • Location – Chase Field, Phoenix

Chris Rusin (0-0, 8.10/1.80)  vs. Tyler Skaggs (2-1, 4.03/1.31)

The Cubs ten-game, three city road trip continues tonight with the first of four in Phoenix. Dale Sveum’s team dropped two of three to the first place D-Backs at Wrigley last month and has a very challenging four days ahead of them. The Cubs have historically struggled at Chase Field and simply do not match up well against this version of the Diamondbacks. Kirk Gibson has his team in first place and looking at the Cubs as a way to pad their lead over the Dodgers in the west.

For the second time this month Chris Rusin was recalled to make a start for a pitcher that had been dealt earlier in the day. With Matt Garza on his way to Texas, the Cubs called-up Chris Rusin and the lefty will make his second start with the Cubs this season.

Cody Ransom, Dave Sappelt and Cole Gillespie figure to see a lot of playing time over the next four days with three lefties expected to take the hill for the Diamondbacks.

The Cubs will face three lefties over the next four games in Phoenix. After tonight’s matchup of Chris Rusin and lefty Tyler Skaggs, Travis Wood is scheduled to face fellow southpaw Patrick Corbin on Tuesday night. Jeff Samardzija and Ian Kennedy will square off in game three and Carlos Villanueva will wrap up the series on Thursday night against lefty Wade Miley.

Tonight it all starts with Chris Rusin …

Chris Rusin got the start back on July 2 in Oakland filling in for Scott Feldman. Rusin completed 3 1/3 innings on short rest and allowed three runs on six hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

Rusin has faced Arizona once in his career. Rusin beat the D-Backs on September 30 of last year after allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings.

Aaron Hill (0-for-1 with a walk), Jason Kubel (0-for-1 with a walk), Wil Nieves (0-for-2) and A.J. Pollock (2-for-3) are the only players on Arizona’s active roster that has faced Chris Rusin in a regular season ballgame.

The Diamondbacks sent Tyler Skaggs down to Class A Visalia during the All-Star break so he did not miss a start. Skaggs is one of the top young arms in the majors and is coming off a short 4 1/3 inning outing against the Dodgers on July 10. Skaggs could not get through five innings after allowing three runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Skaggs was lights out in his start prior to facing the Dodgers and tossed eight innings of shutout ball against the Rockies.

Skaggs is 1-0 in his last two starts with a 2.19 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP and owns a 2-1 record in three starts at Chase Field this year with a 3.09 WHIP.

The Cubs have not faced Tyler Skaggs in a regular season game and no one on the Cubs’ active roster has an at bat against Skaggs in a big league ballgame.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Lake – CF
    Castro – SS
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Ransom – 3B
    Navarro – C
    Gillespie – RF
    Barney – 2B
    Rusin – P

  • CubbyDenCritic

    If Olt takes over at third….where does Baez play….SS or LF?……and if Baez is in LF, where does Soler play?…….Almora is our CF…or is it Jimnez?…….Bryant at RF……..Amaya or Alcantara at 2B ?…..Rizzo at 1B…or is it Vogelbach?…………..seems there will be more trades to come….

    • Ryan

      The only trades there will be are more trades to acquire even more minor league talent. Not all of these guys will work out, plain and simple. If they do and we have 2 big-time 3B’s, RF’s, 1B’s, etc. that is a great problem to have.

    • Tom U

      It’s a nice problem to have, for a change.

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

        Took the words frim my mouth Tom! Don’t look now but our farm system is officially “loaded!” Not to mention guys like Vitters and Jackson still lurking. With all the additiona we can hive these guys time to really develop and enforce the 500 at bat rule at each level.

        It’s an exciting time to be a Cubs fan. I see us being competitive in 2015.

        • CubbyDenCritic

          Need more pitching….that is the “key”

  • texcubnut

    I am sure we got a great haul for Matt Garza and I like this trade. That said, I wish Mr. Garza success and was proud to have him as a Cub. He was a good teammate and you could just tell he was proud to play for the Cubs. You will be missed, sir.

  • texcubnut

    If the Rangers get healthy, they will go into the playoffs with a starting rotation of Yu Darvish, Matt Garza, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison and Derek Holland!!
    All #1, #2 or #3 starters. No need for Martin Perez, Neftali Feliz or Alexi Ogando. WOW! What a pitching staff. And what the hell has gotten into Neil Cotts? What do you think Cubtex? Looks to me like another World Series will be coming to Texas, but can they win it this time?

    • CubbyDenCritic

      If the Rangers end up as a Wild Card team, there is one game playoff…..and Garza might not get a chance to pitch in the playoffs.

    • cubtex

      I still think they need another bat. What happens if Nelson Cruz goes the same way as Ryan Braun? I really thought they could have used Soriano. I don’t think they are done.

      • texcubnut

        Agree. It would help if they get Berkman back and maybe deal for another bat. I’m not a Ranger fan. I’ve been a Cub fan for 61 years. But I guess they are the American league team I root for.

        • cubtex

          I’m right there with you Tex!

          • paulcatanese

            Did I see the highlights correctly from last night, was that Soto with a triple?

          • cubtex

            I thought it was a double? You could be right. I knew he drove it in right center and brought in a couple of runs

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Navarro with No. 9

    • TrevorPetersma

      I would think there would be some interest in Navarro, no?

      • J Daniel

        I guess there is not much interest in Navarro.

  • Sonate

    I am sorry to see Garza leave. But if he had wanted to stay I believe he could have gotten a reasonable contract from the Cubs before his injury last year. I’m pleased that he was in a Cub uniform for almost 3 years and wish him well.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    What a catch by Cole Gillespie

  • texcubnut

    WOW!! What a catch. IT hurts to watch, though!

  • cubtex

    I think Mike Olt will be given an opportunity to win the starting job at 3B in spring training. He will be 25 next month so he is not a kid. What does everyone think?

    • J Daniel

      I would think that opportunity will start in September, if not earlier. Has to, I would think, as they really want these guys from this trade to do well.

      • Tony_Hall

        Ah, great minds think alike….

        • J Daniel

          Hollansworth was talking earlier on Comcast that they are creating a lot of competition within the system which is needed.

          We know they will not all make it but have to keep building this system.

          • Tony_Hall

            Always better when you are not relying on one player to be “the guy”. Keep stock piling talent and we will see competition bring out the best ones.

          • J Daniel

            Correct and they have always been relying on 1 or 2 guys. How many now?

          • Tony_Hall

            At least 2 at every position.

          • Tom U

            Here is third base in the system:

            Olt (AAA)

            Villanueva (AA)

            Carhart – soon to be Bryant (A+)

            Candelario [only 19 yo] (A)

            Hankins (A-)

            Malave [18yo] & Hodges [19yo] (Rookie)

            Paula (DSL)

            Rico (VSL)

          • J Daniel

            Vitters is not even on that list … not a good sign. Two former Rangers have taken over Vitters, Olt and Villanueva.

          • J Daniel

            Yes, which is an unbelievable effort in such a short time. Going to add some more, probably low level guys, with the next few trades.

    • Tony_Hall

      Next spring….I think he will be starting all of September.

      • cubtex

        Yes but I am talking about getting the job next year. I think he will be brought up in September as well

        • J Daniel

          I would imagine it has to be Olt as the frontrunner for next season.

        • Tony_Hall

          Who else would they be planning on having there? They didn’t bring him over to let Valbuena start next year. It is time for him to get regular playing time at the major league level and see what he does.

        • cubtex

          Of course if he doesn’t perform in September that won’t happen in spring. He will start at Iowa again

          • J Daniel

            Maybe. Bryant is probably not far behind so they would want Olt to do well as well.

            Just thinking, if Olt is doing well and so is Bryant, which one moves to the OF?

          • texcubnut

            Nice problems to have:)

          • bpot92

            You would think Bryant since Olt is supposedly above average at 3rd with great agility. According to some reports that is

    • J Daniel

      Won’t be Vitters

      • cubtex

        Olt is the better glove over Bryant so if Olt hits and is a keeper….they will move Bryant to outfield

        • J Daniel

          Regardless, starting to be a nice situation!

  • texcubnut

    Junior!!!

  • TrevorPetersma

    Congrats Junior!!

  • Denver Mike

    That was a no doubter

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Junior Lake with his first big league HR

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

    Tom, you do so much already and I’m very grateful, but I’d love to see a minors pitching specific update. Maybe rank the top 10 prospects from highest ceiling to lowest and how far they are from the show? Love to see where guys like Edwards and Hendricks fit, plus what the prognosis is for guys like Arietta. Is Edwards our top pitching prospect now? And is he 2016 at the earliest? Does he project as a #1? Hendricks as a 2 or 3?

    • Tom U

      I’d like to, but I think my wife will kill me if I spend any more time on this stuff.

      • TrevorPetersma

        My wife thinks I spend too much time reading this stuff…can’t imagine putting in the time to prepare it!

  • Denver Mike

    Just tuning in, but it appears based on the line that Rusin has pitched well thus far, 1H 0BB 4K on only 57 pitches through 5. I have to imagine he has looked the part tonight, and wants to stay with the big club this time around?

  • Tbarker

    For those of you who are wondering where Bryant fits now that Olt has arrived, don’t fear. Bryant is a butcher at 3rd and will never play a lick of infield at the MLB level. If Bryant makes it, LF will be his position. Bryant with 3 errors on his AZL debut.

    • Denver Mike

      I was a bit surprised to see his final line yesterday as well, but I will write that off as nerves, and continue to watch his fielding closely.

      That being said I agree that he will either end up at 1B or in the OF, as the scouting reports on him out of college seemed to hit that his glove wouldn’t keep him at the hot corner.

      • Tom U

        It was also his first live action since May

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

          Exciting to forecast! I forgot about Villanueva as well, who was a top100 prospect a year ago. I like the idea of Bryant in the outfield and maybe Villanueva at 2nd. I’m more predisposed than ever to think that Castro may be dealt once his stock is back up.

        • Tbarker

          The layoff does not account for his stone hands and bad feet. He kind of looks like Braun did, when he played third.

  • Tom U

    Just to let you know, here comes the pitching.

    Draftees Rob Zastryzny, Sam Wilson, Zack Godley, and Scott Frazier have allowed only 2 hits in seven scoreless innings tonight in Boise.

    This is after James Pugliese and draftees Tyler Skulina and Michael Wagner combined for a 3 hit shut out last night.

    • Tbarker

      Agreed, those guys are more advanced, they should be promoted quickly

    • Denver Mike

      Make that 10 scoreless IP to start Zastryzny’s pro career

      • Denver Mike

        …and 9 scoreless for Wilson and Godley. Small sample size but I’m not complaining!

  • Denver Mike

    I was at the game in St Louis for Felix Pie’s 1st HR, it landed about 5 rows in front of me, and I remember thinking that ball would be worth a prize some day. He came up with some pretty high expectations, which obviously didn’t pan out as the league caught up to him.

    I can’t help but draw some parallels to Junior Lake, and fully expect the league to adjust to him as the weeks go by. I just really hope he can make the proper adjustments as well. After watching him in person on Friday and Saturday I just really like the way he plays, He has some fire to his game without showing over-aggressiveness, and really just looks like he is having fun out there, while seeming to keep his focus. No matter what happens the rest of this year, I will definitely be rooting for him to sustain some level of success.

  • Bags8100

    Seems we love infielders that dont hit their weight (olt, Castro, Barney, rizzo)

    • Tom U

      Not sure if I would want an infield full of 320 lbs. players.

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

        All youngsters. There will be ups and downs. Oly has been through a lot in the past year. I’ll be interested to see where he is next spring.

      • Denver Mike

        There goes my dream of Vogelbach at SS

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

          Forgot abiut Vogelbach too! Man we are loaded with position players. Maybe time to trade some prospects for prospects and grt more pitching. But don’t forget our fraftee pitxhers are looking good! All these moves make te draft thinking clearer.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Junior Lake with his second bunt single of the night.
    Lake is 3-4, the other hit a 2R HR that traveled more than 400’

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

    Any chance Strop can start? Man he is electric!

    • daverj

      I think he’d be best in the pen. He was impressive tonight coming back from a 3-0 count to K Montero.

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

        He’s got closer stuff that is for sure. The more I see him and with Arrieta having at least #3 starter potential that trade is looking really good. We gave up a #4 on a contender for a potential closer and #2 or 3 on a contender. I know Arrieta is no sure thing but if he figures out command his potential is sky high.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Angel Hernandez missed another call … shocking

  • TrevorPetersma

    Mr. Lake is having himself a game at the plate.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Have a night Junior Lake

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

    Junior Lake cannot be stopped…yet. If he can be consistent he will be quite a player for years to come. He looks like a phenom right now! I know he’ll come back to earth but some guys just save their best for the show.

    • daverj

      I hope you are right about him being a “phenom”, but low contact rates rarely improve in the majors (as least for a player’s first couple seasons).

      I see Lake as a good super utility guy on a good team or a starter on a bad team.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the DBacks 4-2
    on Monday night – Chris Rusin: 2R, 2H, 2BB, 4K, 5+ IP (78 pitches, 46 strikes);
    1-2, R

    Junior Lake: 4-5, HR, 3RBI; Starlin Castro: 2-5, 2B; Dioner Navarro:
    1-3, HR, HBP; Darwin Barney: 1-4, HR

  • paulcatanese

    The dam has broken, and the Lake is flowing.
    Most impressive throw to home plate with the bases loaded.
    He may come down to earth, then again, he may like it where he’s at. 4 for 5 w/home run, nice night.
    At any rate, enjoy him now.
    An afterthought, does Rizzo know that the bases are
    90 feet apart, and his slide should be at least that far?