Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Diamondbacks – 07/25/13

Game One Hundred: Cubs (45-54) vs. Diamondbacks (52-49)

  • Game Time – 8:40pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 184/844
  • Location – Chase Field, Phoenix

Carlos Villanueva (2-6, 4.16/1.26) vs. Wade Miley (6-8, 4.03/1.38)

The Cubs wrap up the four-game series and season series against the Diamondbacks tonight behind Carlos Villanueva. The Cubs have won two of the first three and not only have a chance to win a series with a victory tonight but take the season series from Kirk Gibson’s team. The Cubs and D-Backs have split the first six games of their season series (3-3) with one left to play.

The Cubs need a long, effective outing from Carlos Villanueva tonight. Kevin Gregg figures to not be available after pitching two innings on Wednesday and Hector Rondon will not be available after completing two frames on Wednesday and picking up the win. Carlos Villanueva could be pitching for a spot in the rotation with starters Jake Arrieta and Justin Grimm now in the system. Dale Sveum was not happy with Villanueva’s pitching sequence against the Rockies that changed the course of a close ballgame. If Villanueva struggles, he might end up wearing one for the team due to the overuse of the pen since the All-Star break. The Cubs do not have a day off until August 5 and that includes a doubleheader on Tuesday against the Brewers.

With the lefty on the hill for Kirk Gibson, look for Cody Ransom, Cole Gillespie and Dioner Navarro in the starting lineup tonight with Junior Lake back in the leadoff spot. Will Dale Sveum give Alfonso Soriano another breather or will he be in the lineup for what could be one of his final games in a Cubs’ uniform?

The 100th game of the Cubs season all begins with Carlos Villanueva

Carlos Villanueva is coming off a bad outing in Colorado in just his third start since returning to the rotation. Villanueva allowed seven runs on nine hits in four-plus innings to the Rockies with four walks and no strikeouts. Villanueva has to be glad he’s done facing the Rockies this year. In two starts against Colorado, Villanueva allowed 14 runs on 21 hits with four walks and one strikeout (14.00 ERA and a 2.78 WHIP).

Carlos Villanueva is 0-2 in his last four games, three starts, with a 6.48 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. As mentioned, Villanueva is in need of a good outing tonight.

Carlos Villanueva makes his third appearance of the year against the D-Backs tonight and his first start. Villanueva allowed one hit and no runs or walks with a strikeout in 1 1/3 innings. For his career, Villanueva is 1-1 in 11 appearances, no starts, with a 1.69 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP. Villanueva makes the first start of his career against Arizona tonight.

Diamondbacks Career Numbers against Carlos Villanueva

  • Eric Chavez – 0-for-3
  • Paul Goldschmidt – 0-for-1
  • Jason Kubel – 3-for-8 with a double
  • Miguel Montero – 0-for-4
  • Wil Nieves – 1-for-3
  • Gerardo Parra – 0-for-1
  • A.J. Pollock – 0-for-1
  • Martin Prado – 3-for-7
  • Cody Ross – 5-for-8 with two doubles, a home run and three walks

Wade Miley is coming off a loss to the Giants in what turned out to be his second shortest outing of the season. Miley allowed two runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts in four innings. Miley had been very good before his last start and is 2-1 in his last four outings with a 2.10 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

Wade Miley is 3-2 in seven starts in his home park this year with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. The Cubs must make him work, just like they did back on May 31 at Wrigley Field. Miley allowed seven runs on seven hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Alfonso Soriano, Scott Hairston and Cody Ransom took him deep in the 7-2 Cubs win.

Wade Miley makes his third career start against the Cubs tonight. Miley is 1-1 in the first two with a 4.80 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Wade Miley

  • Darwin Barney – 3-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Welington Castillo – 0-for-3
  • David DeJesus – 1-for-7
  • Edwin Jackson – 0-for-1
  • Cody Ransom – 3-for-8 with a double and two home runs
  • Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-4 with a double
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-5 with two home runs and a walk
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-1

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us." - Earl Nightingale
Share on Fancred
  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano has been scratched from the lineup. Deal is close.

    • Dorasaga

      Thanks for the update. He’s been a great guy. I own his jersey and will wear it to a U12 game tomorrow, in memory. Godspeed to the Evil Empire, ol’Fonzi. May the Dark Force stays strong with you.

    • triple

      I never was to keen on trading Soriano if we eat a bunch of his contract an only get a mid-level prospect on return, but if that means Junior Lake gets to continue developing with the major league team and play every day, then I am 100% for it! Hopefully we also get a good look at Olt pretty soon too!

      • Denver Mike

        Agreed, up until now I didn’t really think it was worth giving up the offense he provided, even it if was streaky. But now we are finally to a point where he is blocking players that need to see playing time at the MLB level. Best of luck to him, even if it is for the Yanks

  • Tom U

    Thank you to everyone who commented in the last segment. I don’t think I’ve ever had 118 comments.

    And thanks for all the good wishes for my vacation.

    • cubtex

      I think 100 of those were Boardrider asking about Loux. Just kidding Boardrider! I love you man!

  • cubtex

    I will miss Soriano as well. He has had a great career and for his sake…..I hope he can get one more chance to play in the postseason( although I wouldn’t bet on the Yankees)

  • BosephHeyden

    Something else I can’t help but notice: DeJesus isn’t starting. Is he getting a day off or is that something else?

    • Tony_Hall

      Miley is a lefty

  • cloycub13

    Wow folks can it get any more interesting. The Garza trade IMO was a haul, and I think we might be talking about that one for a while. Add in Shierholtz, Navarro, Gregg…who knows now, and the system gets better and better. It is the end of an era in Wrigleyville and the birth of a new era. Best of luck Mr. Soriano! You were never what we dreamed you would be, but in many ways you were always more than we thought you were.
    And one quick little point. Many posters on here wanted Chris Davis before he was dealt to the Orioles…just sayin.
    I am thrilled to be a Cub fan right now! I said 11 months ago, when my son was born, that by the time he is 5, he will not know of goats, or black cats, or curses, and the number One Hundred (whatever it gets to) will just be a big number. This FO has gotten the ship turned around. And I feel more and more confident that my prediction will be right. I hope so, the rest of his family are Brewer fans (Wisconsin and all). They had him in a Brewer onesey, unbeknownst to me, and he proceeded to soil it (stay classy Cub Fans). I was Thrilled!
    As always, a continued great job to Neil, Tom and the rest of you unknown people that make this the best Cubs site in the land. And to my fellow faithful, keep doing what you do, The night has been it’s darkest. We have arrived at dawn!

    • Suzy S

      Cloycub…great post!!! and good to see you on here again.
      I love the “Brewers Soiled” story!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s Updated Lineup:

    Lake – CF
    Castro – SS
    Rizzo – 1B
    Ransom – 3B
    Schierholtz – RF
    Gillespie – LF
    Barney – 2B
    Castillo – C
    Villanueva – P

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Josh Vitters drives Murphy in with an RBI single but comes up lame rounding first. Being helped off the field.

    • Suzy S

      Vitters has had no luck at all this season. I hope it’s not serious.

      • J Daniel

        AMAZING !

  • Denver Mike

    Interesting factoid (that I haven’t verified personally) that I just read on Twitter:

    Soriano with Cubs: 17.8 WAR through 2012. At $/WAR of $5.5M, that’s $97.9M of value. He was paid $97M for those 6 seasons.

    • Tony_Hall

      His war was 7.7
      4.3 – 2007
      2.0 – 2008
      -1.6 – 2009
      0.5 – 2010
      -0.2 – 2011
      2.0 – 2012
      0.7 – 2013

      $42.35M at $5.5M/WAR

      He has been paid around $112M so far as he has about $6M left this year and $18M next year on his $136M contract.

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/soriaal01.shtml

      • cubtex

        Of course fangraphs show a different number. That is why WAR is something I don’t care for.

        • Tony_Hall

          Fangraphs doesn’t count defense very much. That is why I like baseball reference for WAR. They reward good defensive players and penalize poor defensive players

          • Dorasaga

            Fangraphs does. Their version of WAR adopts UZR, which is based on the official scorer’s record. It’s not precise enough, and fluctuates quite a bit season-by-season. Nevertheless, I like it. Fun for Hall of Fame chat. ;-)

          • Tony_Hall

            If you compare, better defensive players will have a higher WAR using BR, and worse defensive players will have a higher WAR using FG. Always leads to fun conversations.

          • Dorasaga

            I don’t think that’s true. Trout is leading Miggy at war at Fangraphs earlier, until today, now tied, while behind him at BR, and by a mile.

    • Tony_Hall

      Keep in mind that is was at 6.3 after just 2 seasons. That means the last 5 years he has had just a 1.4 WAR TOTAL.

      • Denver Mike

        It’s not the first time Twitter was misleading, that’s for sure

        • cubtex

          It’s not misleading Mike. It is WAR. Fangraphs and baseball reference are different. All the WAR Mumbo jumbo formulas are all over the place.

          • Tony_Hall

            Even using fangraphs, the tweet didn’t count his signing bonus or any pay for 2013, or the fact the Cubs are still going to pay a large chunk of what’s left owed ($24M total owed)

          • cubtex

            Look. I am not saying he was worth his contract but there were a hell of alot worse contracts in sports than his.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree, but not all that many. He had 2 very productive years in 07 and 08, then played very poorly from 2009-2011. The last 2 years he was productive, but honestly barely league average at best for a LF. He is a class act that signed a very large contract when it was put in front of him, like anyone else would have done. I am glad that he finished his Cubs career with the fans liking him again (remember I am against booing players and he was booed mercilessly for a long time) and that most have forgotten those 3 bad years and will look back and think of him as one of the best players around when he was on a hot streak….boy those were fun to watch.

    • cubtex

      I saw that tweet as well. Go to love those WAR stats. One thing about stats….. many players have value beyond a box score. That is why I do not like all these saber stats and computer baseball.

      • Tony_Hall

        Not $136M in value…

      • Denver Mike

        I do think that having a player like Soriano, or any other power hitter for that matter, in a lineup protects the hitters in front of them. In turn those batters see better pitches, and have more opportunities to get on base or drive in runs. That is something that I don’t think a stat like WAR could account for.

        I do enjoy looking at some of the advanced sabermetric analysis, but it is important to be realistic about their limitations. In my work, I can best compare it to finite element analysis that we perform to try to predict how a new design will perform before spend the money on prototypes. As valuable a tool as it is, it’s only gets you maybe 30% of the way there. When a particular design is put into real world conditions it never performs exactly how the simulation predicts because there are so many different variables that a formula or computer program can never account for.

        • Tony_Hall

          Tex liked your post about how good hitters help protect other hitters and increase their production. I didn’t think he believed in that at all.

          Keep in mind that stats are historical, and tell you info about a specific timeframe and not simulations.

          • Denver Mike

            I see the validity in the advanced stats, because in most cases they are validated by historical evidence before being used in analysis. In that same regard, we use historical data compiled over the last 40 years of products we built to create the formulas that go into the simulations we use today so it is really the same thing.

  • cubtex

    Now with Sori gone….our big right handed power is Lake, Castro,Gillespie, Castillo,Barney and Ransom. A little advice for bleacher fans going to Wrigley the second half of this year. Don’t sit in left field. You won’t catch any Cub HR balls.

  • cubtex

    You got to believe the team will start to lose many more games now. They will be 20 games under .500 before you know it. Take Garza and Soriano off team and replace them with lesser players that is what is bound to happen.

    • Tony_Hall

      I know you don’t like WAR, but this is where it comes in to play. Garza was 1.4 WAR in his 11 starts. Soriano was 0.7 for the year. That is just 2 wins between the 2 of them. At most, even with Garza making all of his starts you could say they would be worth 2 WAR the rest of the way. And keep in mind replacement level is from AAA and that this doesn’t mean that those 2 would only help them win 2 games the rest of the way. It is estimated that a team full of replacement level players would win 45 games or about 15 games less then they say every MLB team will win or lose every year, that it’s the other 40 games that determine who makes the playoffs.

      • cubtex

        That is more proof how much BS WAR is. You take the best pitcher off your team and the player who bats cleanup and leads the team in HR, stolen bases as well as RBI(you and I both know he would at end of year) and you are telling me it only means a difference in 2 wins??? And you aren’t laughing at that?

        • Tony_Hall

          You just don’t get it, 2 wins over replacement level players.

          You far overstate how much each player effects the overall outcome of games. Do you realize Soriano lost the game the other night when he misjudged that flyball and 2 runs scored after the inning would have been over. It didn’t show up as an error in the box score and EJAX took the negative in his stats, but it was Soriano’s poor tracking of the ball that lost the game. Putting a better defensive player in LF that has just an average offensive numbers will be better overall than Soriano.

    • Vivid_Reality

      Would it really be that bad though? Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see a competitive product on the field but this season is already lost. I would rather have the higher draft pick than see them win a few more games this season.

      • cubtex

        I agree. Who cares.

    • Suzy S

      If the 2014 draft were held today…we’d have the 10th pick…right now, we’re winning too much:-)
      As this season is already lost at the mlb level…I rather see us position ourselves for better draft position next season.

      NEXT YEAR, I want to see us begin plugging in core players for the World Series push…and evaluate Sveum on wins and losses.

  • Tony_Hall

    Villanueva needs to get back into the bullpen. He just doesn’t have the stuff to be a starter.

    37 pitches to get out of the 1st.

    • cubtex

      But Garza would only account for 1 more win.

      • Tony_Hall

        Garza’s record
        2011 – 10-10
        2012 – 5-7
        2013 – 7-1

        Why didn’t he win more games the 1st 2 years, because it is a team game and one player can only do so much. Why did he have such a good record this year, salary drive and trying to get traded to a team that will be in the playoffs.

        • cubtex

          He would have had a better record if the bullpen didn’t cost him about 5 wins that first year. Look it up!

          • Tony_Hall

            I remember, so do you think that should mean he is worth 5 more on his WAR….

            Advanced stats are more subjective, but attempt to account for more than just a pitchers ERA and a batting average to compare players.

          • cubtex

            I will choose to use my eyes and knowledge of the game to judge players. I will look at batting average, K numbers, RISP,etc

          • Tony_Hall

            The eyes are a great way, but using both is the best and average, k’s and RISP are just not the best ways to compare players.

  • cubtex

    Tony. We will not agree on this. The value of Garza and Soriano are worth a hell of alot more than 2 games over replacement. This computer baseball doesn’t take into account the impact of a starter who gives you 7 innings per start like Garza does. Now you replace him with a pitcher who might give you 4 or 5. Question? What does that now do to your bullpen? Now you also take Soriano out of the game…do you not understand what that does to the dynamics of the lineup. Other players who are not as capable will be counted on to drive in runs. Less runs will be scored. Cub pitchers will have to give up less runs and feel more pressure to make a perfect pitch. This stat about only meaning 2 games is absurd

    • Tony_Hall

      You are not getting it, and never will as you don’t like WAR or most of the newer stats. That’s fine, but it is a lot more accurate then you want to give it credit, if you would understand what it is trying to show you.

      Also, are you saying that Rizzo’s stats could go down, without Soriano batting behind him? Because we went round and round about that earlier in the year and you said that was a ridiculous statement, when I said it.

      • cubtex

        Rizzo would struggle no matter who is behind him. He still has alot of holes and weaknesses in his swing

    • Tony_Hall

      You should be an agent, as you really would think your players you represent would be worth a lot more than they really are…are you Scott Boras :)

  • Tony_Hall

    Interesting play, that I can’t say I have seen before. Didn’t know that if you tag the runner that is standing on the base, that needs to advance he is out and then you can tag the base and get the batter.

    • cubtex

      Common sense. He dropped the ball which means he cannot double up running by touching 1st base first and then tag runner. By touching the base means you got the batter and runner has access to the base

      • Tony_Hall

        My first thought was that the batter would be safe standing on the base…like I said, I have never seen that happen in a game. I got the mechanics of how the batter was out.

        • paulcatanese

          Tony, think about a runner on first. Groundball to Rizzo, instead of throwing to second for a force, he steps on the bag and then throws to second. the runner who was only a few feet off first retreats to the bag (first), he is safe at first and entitled to the bag as it is unoccupied after Rizzo’s tag of the bag. Didn’t mean to downplay you’re knowledge of the rule.
          Few hitters later Miley bunted, the ball hit him in fair terr. I immediately said, he’s out. Force of habit I guess, seen it a hundred times over the years.

          • Tony_Hall

            Completely different on a ground ball where the 1B touches 1B then throws to 1B and a line drive at the 1B and runner retreets to 1B, only to have the 1B drop the ball. I don’t ever remember seeing that one before.

    • paulcatanese

      I don’t believe you honestly didn’t know that Tony. That’s what a rule book is for, how many times has it happened with two runners on a base, you tag them not the base. ( not exactly the same, but similar in nature)
      The play was common sense, something that Rizzo is yet to learn under pressure situations.

      • Tony_Hall

        You don’t believe I honestly didn’t know that rule, not sure what you are trying to say.

        Paul, this is not a common play, that I don’t ever remember seeing before. If you are professing to know all of the rules in the rule book and all of their applications, you are a far, far better man than me. Two men on a base is also completely different than this one, as the 2 were not both standing there. EVERYONE knows that 2 players can’t occupy the same base at the same time…that is common sense.

        When I ran the local kids league, we had the honor of having the past president of the state high school umpires association as our umpire instructor. We had many long discussions about plays and how most peoples initial thoughts about the rules are just not right. We would break down plays and break down rules and after that, I realized it is just not that simple and that umpires do a great job of knowing the rules.

        To be common sense, it would need to be something that most people would know immediateley, I really doubt that most people knew this one as the play was happening.

        • paulcatanese

          I don’t know about most people Tony, but I knew it, sorry. Having ended up at first base because of a dead arm and a middle infielder, and Umpiring for a number of years (High school and jr. college, and womans pro softball), I knew the rule. And as a manager, I carried the rule book with me, as well as before that. I always had a rule book , each and every year, especially if their were changes, why is that uncommon? And I am not talking about my playing, just about the rule book. Of course I no longer carry one,
          my wife dictates the rules.

        • paulcatanese

          Don’t know where my reply went Tony, anyway, sorry I knew the play. I always carried a rule book, even before I started actually playing the game.
          Umpired for a number of years.
          I could say to you that understanding you’re love of WAR, UZR and any other things
          you like about those, should be common sense, to me they are not. You know those, I knew the rule, Rizzo made a mistake period, if he knew the rule, he would have had a double play.

  • Tony_Hall

    What a stat.

    Last year it took all 81 road games to win 23.

    23-58

    This year it only took 51 games to win 23.

    23-28 so far.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Major League Baseball still needs to process the paperwork and the exchange of cash in the deal, tweets Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the deal isn’t likely to happen tonight, as it’s still pending Bud Selig’s approval. The Cubs, according to Heyman, will pay more than half of the remaining money on Soriano’s contract

  • Ripsnorter1

    Ed Jackson is starting to get his act together. He might not lose 20 games, and has a chance to…gag…become a .500 pitcher.

    • Tony_Hall

      Not really starting, his xFIP was in line with his career numbers most of the year.

  • cubtex

    So Ransom batting in Soriano’s spot with a man on 2nd and 1 out against a lefty K’s in a 1 run game. Would Soriano have driven in the run to tie up game? What does WAR say? Could he have hit a base hit or even a 2 run shot?

    • cubtex

      And maybe Rizzo would have driven in Castro with Soriano hitting behind him instead of Ransom :)))

      • Ripsnorter1

        Cole Gillespie would have driven that run in, no doubt.

        LOL

    • Denver Mike

      I feel like WAR is simply a retrospective stat, that tells you quite a bit about how a player HAS performed, but tell you very little about how that player WILL perform. There are numerous other stats that are substantially more valuable in predicting future performance.

      • paulcatanese

        Denver Mike, you’re last three posts on the insight of WAR were very understandable and good to be honest about it, and I agree whole heartedly with them.

    • Tony_Hall

      You still overestimate the difference from one player to another. The difference in the best players and the replacement level players is only about 5%.

      ‘Do you know what the difference between hitting .250 and .300 is? That’s 25 hits…25 hits in 500 at bats is 50 points…ok. There’s 6 months in a season. That’s about 25 weeks, that means if you get just one extra flair a week, just one. A gork, you get a ground ball, you get a ground ball with eyes! You get a dying quail, just one more dying quail a week and you’re in Yankee Stadium.’

  • cubtex

    Soriano would have had that

    • Bredstik

      On the hop and holding him to a single?

      • cubtex

        Hahaha

        • J Daniel

          Hey Tex are you from Ill?

  • cubtex

    Yes JDaniel. I couldn’t reply off my phone. Born and raised. Northbrook/ Glenview area.

    • J Daniel

      Cool, thanks for sharing

  • J Daniel

    I could see Cubs signing the Bulldog next year.

  • cubtex

    3 and 4 hitters are laying an egg for Cubs tonight.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Update on Vitters:

    Marty Pevey said that Josh Vitters injured his hamstring. Vitters told him it could be 1-2 weeks.

  • J Daniel

    Neil,
    I remember when the season was over at end of 2011 you stated that you would be taking a break and updating when there was news. JH was gone, Theo rumors were rampant, and I don’t think you have gotten a break. Great work man keep it up! Don’t know how you do it but it is greatly appreciated!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thank you very much.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 3-1 to D-Backs
    on Thursday night – Villanueva: 3R, 6H, 3BB, 5K in 5IP (103 pitches, 66 for
    strikes)

    Castillo: 2-3, 2B, RBI, BB; Lake: 1-4; Castro: 1-3, 2B, BB;
    Schierholtz: 2-4, 2 2B; #Cubs 1-13 RISP, 7 LOB

  • paulcatanese

    Neil, what’s going on? Left two replies to Tony on the play at first base, and both were not put on. My error?