Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Nationals – 08/20/13

Game One Hundred Twenty-Five: Cubs (54-70) vs. Nationals (60-64)

  • Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 187/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Chris Rusin (2-2, 3.06/1.18/3.88) vs. Dan Haren (7-11, 4.82/1.25/4.26)

The Cubs will shoot for two wins in a row over the Nationals tonight behind Chris Rusin. The Cubs scored nearly as many runs on Monday night (11) than they had in their previous eight home games combined (12) and that includes the seven runs the offense put on the board against Jake Westbrook last Friday. The offense will have their hands full tonight with Dan Haren, who has been very good of late for Davey Johnson.

Brian Bogusevic and Anthony Rizzo are expected to be in the starting lineup. Rizzo missed Monday’s game with an undisclosed illness and Bogusevic was called up from Iowa to take David DeJesus’ spot on the active roster. Bogusevic is expected to see a lot of playing time over the next 38 games.

Junior Lake should hit at the top of Dale Sveum’s lineup for the remainder of the season. In eight games as the Cubs’ leadoff hitter, Lake is hitting .424/.457/.667/1.124 with two doubles and two home runs.

Nate Schierholtz is hitting .291/.330/.576 with a .905 OPS in 53 games at Wrigley this season. Schierholtz has received regular playing time and has responded by hitting 10 of his 18 home runs at Wrigley, as well as 15 of his 26 doubles. Schierholtz told Jesse Rogers on Monday that the hitting conditions at Wrigley have been a “little worse” than he expected and he does not like 3:05pm starts. And according to Rogers, none of the players like the 3:05pm start times.

Tonight all starts with Chris Rusin

Chris Rusin is coming off a solid outing against the Reds. Rusin took the loss after allowing two runs on three hits in six innings with a walk and three strikeouts. Rusin made only one mistake, on his fourth pitch of the game, and the offense could not bail him out. Rusin has been more than serviceable since being added to the rotation and will look to post his first home win of the season tonight. Rusin is 0-2 in two starts at Wrigley this year with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP … in his young career at Wrigley, Rusin is 1-2 in four starts with a 5.57 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP.

Chris Rusin is 1-2 in his last three starts with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.

Tonight will be Rusin’s second career start against the Nationals. Rusin was shelled in D.C. last September and was beaten by Edwin Jackson. Rusin lasted a little over one inning and gave up five runs on eight hits with a walk and a strikeout.

Ian Desmond (2-for-2 with a double and a home run), Adam LaRoche (1-for-1), Jayson Werth (2-for-2 with a double) and Ryan Zimmerman (0-for-1) are the only players on the Nationals’ active roster with limited at bats against Chris Rusin.

The Cubs nearly traded for Dan Haren last winter. But there was something in the medicals that the Cubs did not like and the Nationals signed Haren after the Angels’ cut ties with him. Haren has struggled mightily this season but has been much better after the break than in the first half.

Haren picked up the save last Saturday night against the Braves after pitching a scoreless inning. Before the rare relief appearance, Haren gave up one run on three hits to the Giants in six innings with two walks and three strikeouts.

Dan Haren has been more like the old Dan Haren over his last six outings, Haren is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP and is 2-0 in his last four games, three starts, with a 1.29 ERA and a 0.76 WHIP.

Tonight will be Dan Haren’s sixth career start against the Cubs and his first since May 1, 2010 when he pitched for Arizona. Haren is 1-2 in five starts with a 5.58 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 0-2 in four starts with a 7.06 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Dan Haren

  • Darnell McDonald (.200) – 0-for-1
  • Donnie Murphy (.308) – 1-for-2 with a double
  • Dioner Navarro (.287) – 1-for-17
  • Cody Ransom (.256) – 0-for-1
  • Nate Schierholtz (.296) – 0-for-3

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Lake CF
    Barney 2B
    Rizzo 1B
    Schierholtz RF
    Murphy 3B
    Bogusevic LF
    Castillo C
    Castro SS
    Rusin P

  • 07GreyDigger

    Rats. The Darnell McDonald era has ended.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Bench Murphy. Let Lake play there. Murphy is slugging way over his head.
      How can we lose games if he’s hitting HRs?

      Bench Schierholtz. Play Gillespie.
      Watkins needs to start over Castro.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Based on Haren’s history at Wrigley, I am predicting another blow out for the Cubs tonight……maybe 5 HR’s……I will stay away from the tv and cut neighbor’s lawns so the Cubs get into double digit runs.

    • Dorasaga

      Yea, could be a good game. Rusin has been competitive. The Cubs have been hitting. I’ll like to see more running, though.

  • cubtex

    This is a perfect matchup for Rizzo to have a breakout game. Dan Harren is not going to blow a fastball by him. Hopefully he can get a couple of hits tonight.

    • cubtex

      Just checked the box score. Again Rizzo is 0-3 with 4 Runners left on base. Down to .228. I thought this would be a good matchup for him. This is brutal to watch!

  • Tony_Hall

    This is a must read for anyone that wants to here a first hand account of a player going through the PEDS era and having to make choices.

    by Gabe Kapler

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21574

    After reading, tell me if you want the Cubs to overpay for 30 somethings in free agency.

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

      Great read, thanks Tony. And no, all along I’ve been against it. I’ve been on the fence about Ellsbury but now I say no. Let’s keep doing what we hae an sign reclamation projects and guys with potential. And wait for our players to arrive. We are almost there. If the plan is stuck to, by 2015 we will have a very fun to watch product on the field. Then kn 2016-2017 we can really compete.

      And who knows, if a few things go our way with youngsters, and Areieta stays consistent, we may be a lot more fun to watch mext year. Baez, Bryant. Vullanueva, Olt, Alcantra, Ha, Hendricks, Vizcaino are all guys that may help at some point next year. Wither way, as I’ve said before if Arietta and Shark pitch well and Rizzo and Castro get better, we can be better next year. Add jn Sweeney, Schierholtz, Murphy and others and we have a serviable team.

      • gary3411

        Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters, and Trey McNutt along with Castro’s regression really slowed the plan, oh well maybe it’ll be for the better in the long run. Doesn’t mean we try to play catch up.

        sidenote: man-crush on C.J. Edwards’ stat line has officially began. I just love staring at it.

    • Dorasaga

      Just finished reading it while the Nats batted. Very interesting how the fans and the media are applying tribal laws and bush science on GUESSING who’s PED or not (“1950 scouting,” according to the insider author).

  • Ripsnorter1

    Ryan Dempster suspended for hitting Arod.

    Man, I would suspend Dempster for the way he’s been pitching……

    • texcubnut

      LOL! Rip, you’re all right, buddy. You do make me laugh…..out loud. :) :)

  • Dorasaga

    Good choice by Castro not to throw that. Never take the DP as granted. He should complete it, but better not at that point, after he was rushing to the position of covering 2nd.

  • Dorasaga

    Castillo should have completed that play, but Desmond had a nice “kick,” can’t complain. Castro made a good throw to home.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Sloppy first inning for the defense. Didn’t turn two, cost a run, Castillo did not secure the ball and Zimmerman moved up … now a walk

    • Dorasaga

      I actually saw more positive, as shown in my above posts. Castro made the right split-2nd choice of not making an err throw. He later made a good throw to home.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Nice double play to get out of the jam

    • Dorasaga

      Rusin works FAST. I like that in a pitcher.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        I agree

  • Dorasaga

    “Dan Haren is seven-eleven.” That rhymes good.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rusin did an excellent job getting out of the jam in the second.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    I will say this, Donnie Murphy is playing like a guy who would like to have a job on the bench next season.

    • Dorasaga

      And Lake is wheeling himself to start next season, too.

  • Tony_Hall
    • GaryLeeT

      If the Dodgers win the World Series, and I am guessing they will, did they do it the wrong way? Any time a team wins a World Series they did it the right way.

      • Tony_Hall

        Correct!

        But if they don’t, did they do it wrong?

        Not necessarily, just a different way.

        But, already hearing they have no interest in the contract needed to sign Cano.

        • GaryLeeT

          I read that too. If the Cubs were a year further along, and he would sign for 6 years or less, it might have been a match.

          • daverj

            Some team will likely give him 8 years anyway … which I guess makes sense as an overpay if a team is in a short window to win.

  • Dorasaga

    Nice pick-off by Rusin.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Bogusevic with his first homer as a Cub … with a lot of help from the wind.

  • Dorasaga

    Rusin pitched well tonight. He deserved a win. The defense failed him in general. I’m hoping the hitting at least can pick up soon.

    • GaryLeeT

      I am not here to do something bad to your Cheerios, but Rusin was in trouble all game long, and benefited from many atem balls.

      • cubtex

        5.2 IP 10 hits and 2 K’s. He wasn’t exactly fooling many.

      • Dorasaga

        Yea, but he’s not an ace or anything. For what he’s worth, it’s an at-par performance. Wasn’t expecting him to pitch the 6th, either.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Parker has been very effective this year.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Now what’s this????

    From MLBTR:
    “The Nationals acquired David DeJesus from the Cubs yesterday, only to place himpromptly on waivers, leading to speculation about the team’s intentions. Whatever the Nats do, the Cubs are likely only to receive “a nominal amount of cash” back in the deal, reports ESPN Chicago’s Bruce Levine.”

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Levine is reporting that instead of a PTBNL, the Cubs could receive cash instead.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Donnie Murphy with another home run

    • J Daniel

      Wow, he is doing a nice job!

      • daverj

        He’s been a great boost to the team. I just hope this doesn’t lead them to bring him back next year (unless it’s as minor league depth).

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 4-2 to the Nationals
    on Tuesday night – Chris Rusin: 2R, 10H, 2BB, 2K in 5.2 IP (81 pitches, 49 for
    strikes)

    Bogusevic: 1-4, HR, Murphy: 2-4, HR, 2B; Lake: 1-4, 2B, SB; Cubs
    offense: 2R, 6H, 0BB, 8K, 0-8 RISP, 6 LOB