Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Nationals – 08/19/13

Game One Hundred Twenty-Four: Cubs (53-70) vs. Nationals (60-63)

  • Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 186/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jeff Samardzija (6-11, 4.29/1.36/3.60) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (14-6, 3.02/1.09/3.39)

The Cubs’ ten-game homestand continues tonight with the first of four against the Nationals. The Cubs took two of three from the Nationals in D.C. back in May and will look to finish the homestand on a positive note. The Cubs have really struggled at Wrigley this year (24-38) and are 1-9 at home this month.

The Cubs are not hitting with runners in scoring position, and have not all season. The offensively challenged Cubs are 2-for-26 with RISP over the last six games. And it will not get any easier against the Nationals’ pitching staff.

After tonight’s match-up of Jeff Samardzija and Jordan Zimmermann, Chris Rusin is scheduled to face Dan Haren on Tuesday night. But the Nationals might make a change and could decide to go with Stephen Strasburg on Tuesday. Haren picked up the save in Saturday night’s 15-inning marathon against the Braves. Strasburg started the game but was ejected in the second inning for hitting Justin Upton in retaliation for the Braves hitting Bryce Harper twice on Friday night.

If the Nationals do not change their rotation, Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face Ross Ohlendorf on Wednesday and Travis Wood will take on Stephen Strasburg in the finale on Thursday afternoon.

The Cubs will see a very familiar face in the visitor’s dugout tonight. Not only is Scott Hairston making his return to Wrigley, but the recently traded David DeJesus will be wearing a Nationals’ uniform for the next four days. The Nationals feel they still have a chance at the post-season and are looking to reach .500 during their trip to Chicago. Scott Hairston makes his return to Wrigley for the next four games and will be a factor in the series with Chris Rusin and Travis Wood starting two games. Bryce Harper will play his first games at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs have activated Brian Bogusevic from the 15-day DL to take DeJesus’ spot on the active roster.

FIP and BABIP … Moving forward, the game previews will contain two additional stats, FIP and BABIP. A pitcher’s FIP (fielding independent pitching) will be the third slash line for the day’s starting pitchers. FIP is a measure of all things for which a pitcher is specifically responsible. FIP is a good way to tell how well a pitcher has pitched, regardless of how well the defense played behind him … because as we all know, fielders misplay balls that are not charged as errors.

A player’s BABIP for the season will be added to the player’s career line against the day’s starting pitcher, but only for the Cubs. FanGraphs is an excellent source for the BABIP of every player in the league. BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is a measure of the number of batted balls that safely fall in for a hit, not including home runs. The Major League average is around .300.

Tonight and the four-game series all starts with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija is in need of a good outing tonight. With where the Cubs are right now as a team and an organization, whether he wins or loses today is irrelevant but this start is more about how he pitches. Samardzija is in the middle of his toughest stretch as a starter. He has not been commanding his fastball and appears to have little feel for his secondary stuff. When he has been missing his spots, he is missing by a lot and not a little.

Since July 1, Samardzija has walked 26 batters and surrendered 55 hits with only 43 strikeouts in 46 innings (1.76 WHIP).

Jeff Samardzija is 0-2 in his last three starts with a 9.39 ERA and a 2.15 WHIP and the Dodgers, Phillies and Cardinals have hit .353 against him.

Samardzija faces the Nationals for the second time this season tonight. Samardzija didn’t pitch very well in D.C. and allowed seven runs, five earned, on eight hits with five strikeouts in five innings. For his career, Samardzija is 1-2 against the Nationals in 10 games, three starts, with a 2.76 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.

Nationals Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Roger Bernadina – 2-for-9
  • Ian Desmond – 8-for-13 with three doubles and a home run
  • Scott Hairston – 0-for-2
  • Bryce Harper – 0-for-3
  • Adam LaRoche – 4-for-11 with two home runs
  • Wilson Ramos – 2-for-6
  • Denard Span – 1-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Chad Tracy – 0-for-2
  • Jayson Werth – 3-for-13 with a home run and a walk
  • Ryan Zimmerman – 0-for-13 with a walk
  • Jordan Zimmermann – 0-for-1

Unfortunately for the Cubs, they will have the pleasure of facing the Nationals best starting pitcher to begin the series. Jordan Zimmermann has been very good for Davey Johnson this year and is coming off an excellent outing against the Giants. Zimmermann allowed one run on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts in seven innings. Zimmermann is 2-0 in his last three starts with a 1.59 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP.

Zimmermann has not been as good in the road this year as he’s been at Nationals Park. Zimmermann is 4-4 in nine starts with a 3.39 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.

Without the Cubs, the Nationals might not have Jordan Zimmermann. The Nationals selected Zimmermann with the comp pick they received when the Cubs signed Alfonso Soriano. The Cubs missed Zimmermann in D.C. this season and he is 1-3 in five career starts against the Cubs with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP … at Wrigley, 0-2 in two starts with a 3.29 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jordan Zimmermann

  • Darwin Barney (.233) – 2-for-11 with a double and a walk
  • Welington Castillo (.349) – 0-for-1
  • Starlin Castro (.292) – 3-for-13 with a double and a triple
  • Darnell McDonald (.200) – 0-for-2
  • Cody Ransom (.256) – 1-for-5
  • Anthony Rizzo (.256) – 2-for-5 with a home run and a walk
  • Jeff Samardzija – 0-for-2
  • Nate Schierholtz (.295) – 3-for-10 with two doubles

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anais Nin
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Lake CF
    Barney 2B
    Navarro C
    Schierholtz RF
    Castro SS
    Murphy 3B
    McDonald LF
    Ransom 1B
    Samardzija P

    • 07GreyDigger

      I hear Rizzo is sick. But this lineup is disgusting. What does Rizzo have nomultihitgameslately-itis?

      • Ripsnorter1

        That’s a great Team Theo lineup!

        With this lineup, we have a better shot at the #4 pick in the draft.

        • texcubnut

          We’ve got the #4 pick right now. These kinds of lineups will get us the #2 pick behind the Astros again. That’s right. Right now folks, we have a legitimate shot at moving ahead of the white sox and Marlins. 5/6 games back in the loss column is not insurmountable with these lineups.

      • cubtex

        Rizzo’s last multi hit game was his 2 HR game on August 1st.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      it is borderline embarrassing. Not sure Barney, Murphy, McDonald, or Ransom would start for other MLB teams. Navarro is borderline, but at least a solid backup. Schierholtz is having a good season, but it smacks of lighting-in-a-bottle. And Castro is one of the poorest performing everyday players in mlb right now. I wish we would have traded Castro for Justin Upton when we had a chance.
      I don’t understand why a big-market team can’t grow their farm system while still putting out a major league quality product with FA signings. Even if they are former stars on the downside of their career…at least it would be more interesting to watch Jason Giambi strike out than to watch Ransom strike out. Just my opinion. Cub fan to the core, but this smacks of 2006, but the big difference is 2006 was the result of a lot of injuries.

      • Brp921

        With the new spending rules in the draft I think it has curtailed rebuilding and competing at the same time, at least when your system is as barren as the Cubs was.

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          explain the sustained success of the Cardinals and Braves every year practically. explain the Red Sox bouncing right back in one year.
          I agree it takes years to rebuild a farm system, IF it is depleted. However, that doesn’t mean the team can’t win along the way.

          Sure…you get the 14th pick instead of the #2 pick, but in baseball (of all the sports) the draft is a crapshoot. Signing proven FA’s, in their prime, or entering their prime, works. Granted, that is expensive, but the Cubs are a big-market team.

          • Denver Mike

            All of those teams already have modern day facilities and front office staffs that are up to modern day standards. When Ricketts took over the Cubs had none of those things. On top of that every other team in baseball has the advantage of cities that offer taxpayer dollars to help renovate or build new stadiums, Ricketts gets to spend over $500M of his own money to bring a 100+ year old stadium/team up to par. Thank the city of Chicago for the product you see on the field, rather than blaming ownership. I did a much better job of elaborating on Saturday, but the bottom line is the money has to come from somewhere and I think the coffers are pretty dry right now. Once we have league average advertising and cable dollars coming in things will be very different, it’s just economics.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            So either the Cubs are not profitable, or the Ricketts purposely bought a franchise that doesn’t make money? Ok, now it all makes sense.

          • Denver Mike

            The Cubs were estimated to bring in $274 million in revenue last year, which resulted in $32.1 million in actual income.

            Now, it is has been reported that a condition of Ricketts buying the team was that he take on over $450 million dollars in financing through multiple outlets, with extraordinary restrictions in order for Sam Zell and the Tribune Company to avoid paying capital gains taxes on the sale. Then, because Mayor Emmanuel didn’t like the fact that Ricketts Sr. was contributing money to the Republican Presidential Campaign, he refused to discuss helping the family via taxpayer dollars for the renovation of a public landmark. This leads to Ricketts now having to invest an additional $300-500M dollars into bring the stadium into the modern age. What about all of this doesn’t make sense? Not even considering the insane amount of interest that accrues on these loans it would take Rickets over 23 years to pay down this debt. Add on top of that the money that has been invested in to bring the front office, scouting, and coaching staffs up to league average size, plus the multi-million dollar facility that has been built for player development in the Dominican. Where exactly do you think all of this money comes from? I’ll tell you, it comes out of the player budget. Get upset about it all you want, but a very basic understanding of a capitalist economy will provide your answers.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            Am I supposed to want my Cubs to be a winner, or feel sorry for a family that paid a billion to own the team and, apparently, now have to pinch their pennies?

          • Denver Mike

            You can feel however you want, I choose to think about things logically in order to avoid complaining about things that are out of my control.

          • John_CC

            Or we could have just continued on with a pathetic corporate owner that cared none about an actual baseball team and only the bottom line. How do you think its possible for one owner to do more than Rickertts has with the limited resources that Mike so clearly laid out?

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            I enjoyed 1984, 1989, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, and 2009. I enjoy the winning seasons. Under Ricketts, we have only had little victories, such as drafting 16 yr olds that may be mlb-ready in 2018. If the Wrigley rehab goes well, I will appreciate that, for sure. But mainly I want them to win. Under this regime, Junior Lake is the only farm product to come up and flourish. Castro, Rizzo, BJax, Vitters and others haven’t overwhelmed. So don’t take it as a given that Baez, Olt, Bryant, Almora and the others will all succeed. You have to have some quality proven players to win consistently.
            By the way…I hope Shark hits Dejesus when he bats next.

          • cubtex

            I enjoyed those winning years as well. Anything can happen in the playoffs. I don’t believe in that term “sustained” success. Look at the Nats! Blew there opportunity last year by shutting down Strassburg and won’t even make playoffs this year.

          • Denver Mike

            If you are interested in being educated on the burden that the Cubs are actually under, Gordon Wittenmyer wrote a great piece at the beginning of the year, there are many out there but this one sums it up best.

            http://www.suntimes.com/sports/19200327-419/undercurrent-of-cubs-rebuilding-is-baseballs-heaviest-debt.html

    • 07GreyDigger

      Also love the inclusion of FIP and BABIP. Great job Neil! Drag some of us into the new stat era kicking and screaming! :)

  • Ripsnorter1

    GREAT TRADE by Team Theo today.
    Dealing DeJesus for a PTBNL and letting them pay all of his salary ($2.5 million, which includes the
    buyout) was a great deal for the Cubs.
    It was a smart move by Team Theo. Great Trade. Nice move. Wonderful. Tremendous trade.
    Fantastic trade by Team Theo.

    Sveum said the Cubs may resign him for next year.
    Let’s hope not…..

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

      Agreed on all points. Hopefully they don’t resign him but veteran leadership is invaluable.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      this isn’t directed at just you, but I have seen several posts this year about the Cubs saving money through this move or that…and I don’t get why Cub fans care if the team saves money.
      It is not like we are small-market like Pittsburgh or Kansas City and our woes are due to a restricted payroll.
      Let’s call a spade a spade…the Cubs are purposely putting out a poor team staffed with 4th and 5th OF/IFers and mediocre pitchers, so they can get Kris Bryant and next year’s Kris Bryant.
      There is no other explanation. The Cubs easily could have signed expensive free agents the past 2 years, with no impact to trading away our farm system and letting it grow. It would have impacted draft ORDER, but that’s it.
      So unless the Cubs spend a ton of money on FA’s next year, I will be personally a bit miffed if they become the Midwest Miami Marlins, in terms of payroll.

      • John_CC

        If you haven’t heard, the Cubs made clear their master plan more than two years. They have not waivered nor have they hidden from truth. There is a lot of information about plan you could find on this site and many others if wanted to enlighten yourself.

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          So they specifically said they would greatly reduce payroll, and not sign quality FA’s? I am sure they would point to Edwin Jackson (which I was happy with) but I haven’t seen much else.
          Trying to understand what they are doing with all the payroll saved…assume it must be going to lower ticket and concession prices then, correct? (yes…that was sarcasm to match your response)

      • Ripsnorter1

        Jason,

        I’ve been a Cub fan since 1969. That’s a lot of losing I’ve had to endure.
        I’ve learned that the best way to keep my sanity, and not kick the dog, and
        yell at the kids, is to not expect winning teams.

        So how about this move today? I am rejoicing, not that the Cubs
        saved $2.5 million, but that they got rid of a starting OF with .401 slugging percentage, whom
        I was sure he wasn’t going to finish the year with a .400 slugging percentage.
        I hated this signing to begin with. “Thank God and Greyhound, he’s gone.”

        As for the draft, it’s abundantly clear that we are not competing this year, and we are not
        going to compete in 2015, either. So Team Theo is bent on making this the Chicago Marlins.
        Why not root for their success? People scream at me for saying that Team Theo has put a poor
        product on the field. They say that I always point out the negative. Okay, so today I’m pointing
        out the positive: we have a chance to lose 100 games and draft higher!

        So let’s celebrate Team Theo’s victory!

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          I don’t have a problem with the move, if a young player came up to play and get some seasoning. If it is just the Cody Ransom show, or some other equivalent, then thanks but no thanks.
          My comment was only about payroll savings. Dejesus was fine as a backup, but that is not how the Cubs had been using him, so no problem with them moving him. The Cardinals and Braves seemed to figure out how to win, and win consistently, without just purposely losing to get high draft picks.
          What, exactly, is Team Theo’s plan for sustained success after we are supposedly good in 2017? Will we be good until 2021, and then have to suck for 4-5 years again, to obtain high picks, and return to post-season in 2025?
          Obviously that is a ridiculous plan, but that is basically what many Cubs fans are “accepting” right now…that the only way to be good is to be really really bad. By the way, how did that work out for the Bulls, post-Jordan? Curry, Chandler, Crawford, #2 pick lost to career-ending injury, #1 pick Elton Brand, top ten picks such as Ben Gordon and Luol Deng. It took them years and years to make the playoffs, because when you go ALL YOUNG, it never works. The pressure comes off the young players when they are bookended by quality veterans. Many they pay for quality FA’s next year and start that process. If not, I can’t see how they justify being the Midwest Marlins.

          • Tony_Hall

            The Braves and the Cardinals have had their system in place for a long time and have a huge head start on us, which is why they are doing what they are doing.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            How many years until that excuse no longer flies?
            Side question…how does Shark’s WAR compare to Jason Marquis’ WAR now?

          • Tony_Hall

            More than 2! It took those organizations, YEARS to get their system in place.

            Enough on Marquis, he is a 5th starter, nothing more.

  • Steven Petty

    Why are people upset with the Cubs having the #2 pick next year? I am upset we are not going to have the #1 pick! What if we got another player like Bryant? Another position player that is ready for the show after 1 1/2 yrs in the minors? Or a pitcher that is seasoned like Appel?

    • Tony_Hall

      No benefit to a team finishing in the middle of the pack is there….

    • texcubnut

      I’m not upset about it! I’m hoping for it! I would like tjhe #1 pick. We just can’t catch the Astros!

      • Steven Petty

        Who is the next big thing in college next year? Hitter and pitcher?

    • Ripsnorter1

      Nobody is upset with the Cubs having the #2 pick.
      Just remember: It’s going to take 100 losses. Hey, why not?
      It’s Team Theo’s legacy.

      BTW, I wanted the Almora pick, and I wanted
      the Bryant pick, and I am very, very happy with
      Team Theo’s drafting these two players. They
      hit a home run, in my book.

      So why not let ‘em draft #2 again?
      Let’s start McDonald, Gillespie, and Lake in the OF.
      Barney, Ranson, Murphy and Watkins in the INF.
      And then let Jackson and Casey Coleman get the starts, and
      GO FOR THE GOLD.

    • gary3411

      Still wish we took Gray..

      • Denver Mike

        He has looked better than Appel thus far, obviously in very limited innings

      • cubtex

        They did. Sonny Gray……but he went to Vanderbilt instead of signing out of high school.

  • Tom U

    Iowa Cubs are trying something new and batting Jae-Hoon Ha lead-off tonight.

  • Tom U

    Kris Bryant was just named Florida State League Player of the Week in his first week in the league.

    Bryant went 9-for-25 with 3 HR, 5 RBI, 4 runs,and a SB.

  • Tom U

    RHP James Pugliese just promoted from Boise to Kane Co.

    Pugliese 4-3, 2.32 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 62 IP, 47 K, 12 BB

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Kind of sad of being a Cubs fan when you read these comments from other so-called Cubs fans hoping for the Cubs to lose more games for a higher draft pick………then the same fans are blaming Dale for the bad season we are having once again……..if the “Blame” has to go on someone, then let it be put on the entire Cubs organization………you think Theo is under pressure of watching his former team bouncing back from a bad season to become a playoff team this year…….and now there is talk of people not having Dale back……are we better off now then where we were two years ago with this team?……four players in tonight’s lineup was not on this roster on Opening Day….and maybe only Shark & Lake will be on the team next year……maybe.

  • Ripsnorter1

    The first place Washington put DeJesus was on the bench.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      And what about Kim?

      • paulcatanese

        She refuses to go on the bench:)

    • Tony_Hall

      Harper, Span, Werth

      They traded for him to be the 4th OF. Werth and Harper both have spent time on the DL over the last 2 years.

  • Tony_Hall

    3 Run BOMB by Schierholtz!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Schierholtz with a 3-run homer

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Have any of the Cubs fans ever dealt with rich people?….people not with millions, but with billions?……..I have……their only goal in life is to make more money…….they make private deals, look to expand, add money for improvements, look for investors………I hope you see where I am going with this….the Ricketts Family is all about making money……..the Cubs is a “toy” to them…..they will play with it, and then get rid of it when the time comes………how much do you think the Cubs will be worth when they have their new signs up, have a new tv contract, fix up Wrigley, have their hotel running, etc?……and if the Cubs win a division or two, this team will be double in value then what the Rickett’s bought it for……….right now the Cubs are looking to save on money…..if Theo does spend some of Rickett’s money, it will be on quality Free Agent players when this team is ready to make a move to take over the division.

  • Denver Mike

    Shark is doing a much better job throwing strikes and managing his pitch count so far tonight.

  • Denver Mike

    He may not have gotten on base there, but Lake certainly can lay down a bunt.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Schierholtz with a bloop double scored Barney

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Murphy with a homer to RF … #5

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Every time I leave the room, the Cubs are scoring runs…….I think I will mow the lawn for the next hour or so.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Navarro with a 3-run shot

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Junior Lake is 5-for-his-last-7

  • John_CC

    Glad you’ll be adding the new stats to the daily conversation, Neil.

  • Denver Mike

    Shark didn’t look too upset about that one, haha. That look he gave to Barney after it went out was pretty funny.

  • Denver Mike

    86 pitches, 56 for strikes through 7 innings, I have missed this version of Samardzija for a while now.

  • Tony_Hall

    Have a night MR Schierholtz 6 RBI’s

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Schierholtz with a 2-run shot … all the way to Sheffield

  • Denver Mike

    18HR and 58RBI in 347AB for Schierholtz

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Only the second time all season the Cubs have scored double-digit runs

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Here comes DeJesus

  • Tony_Hall

    Nice ovation for DDJ.

  • Denver Mike

    DeJesus coming to the plate … I don’t have the sound on but I hope those are cheers from the crowd.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Very nice ovation for DeJesus

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Murphy with his second homer of the game

  • CubbyDenCritic

    That’s it…..I am mowing lawns now on when the Cubs are playing……my lawn, neighbor’s lawns, the grass at the park……..if I do this all the time, the Cubs will have at least five 20 game winners……..I will do anything for a Cubs WS title.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Nationals
    11-1 on Monday night – Jeff Samardzija: 1R, 6H, 0BB, 5K in 9IP CG (105 pitches,
    69 strikes)

    Schierholtz: 3-4, 2 HR, 2B, 6RBI; Navarro: 1-2, HR, 3RBI, 2BB,
    2R; Murphy: 2-4, 2 HR; Lake: 2-4, 2 2B, 2R

  • cubtex

    When was the last time the Cubs had 3 RBI and 6 RBI from their 3 and 4 hitters?

    • cubtex

      Nice to see Shark had a great start. 105 pitches for 9 IP. Outstanding! Didn’t watch any of game but 0 walks and 5K’s. Sounds like he was pitching and not trying to strike everyone out.

      • Tony_Hall

        You should try not watching again!

  • texcubnut

    I want the Cubs to get the highest draft selection possible but I will always root for them to win. Solid victory tonight and would like to return the favor of inflicting a 4 game sweep on the Nats just as they did to our Cubs last year.