Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Phillies – 08/31/13

Game One Hundred Thirty-Five: Cubs (56-78) vs. Phillies (62-73)

  • Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet/MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Chris Rusin (2-3, 2.64/1.29/3.82) vs. Cliff Lee (11-6, 3.07/1.04/3.03)

Weather permitting … The Cubs will try to end August on a positive note with a win over Cliff Lee and the Phillies. The Cubs have not played good ball this month, especially at Wrigley Field. The Cubs enter play on the final day of August with a 7-20 record and have dropped 17 of their last 20 games at Wrigley.

While the pitching staff has been much better than last August (8-21 in 2012), the offense has really struggled since the end of July. And it will not get any easier today with Cliff Lee on the mound.

The Cubs need for Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro to finish their season on a positive note. Both Castro and Rizzo put together good, productive at bats on Friday. And hopefully both players will be able to build on those at bats over the final 28 games of the year.

With Cliff Lee on the hill, look for Dale Sveum to run out his right-handed lineup that will likely include Darnell McDonald in left, Cole Gillespie in right and Welington Castillo behind the plate.

The last day of August all begins with Chris Rusin

Chris Rusin is coming off another good road start. Rusin tossed 6 1/3 innings of shutout ball in San Diego and went pitch for pitch with Andrew Cashner. Rusin received a no decision in a game that went 15 innings after he allowed only three hits with four walks and three strikeouts.

Chris Rusin has shown a lot of improvement this season from a year ago and he will try to do something this afternoon that he has not done this season, post a win at Wrigley Field.

Rusin has been serviceable in three starts at Wrigley this year but has not been as effective in his home park than on the road. Rusin has given up 20 hits with six walks and only nine strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings at Wrigley compared to 21 hits with 10 walks and 17 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings outside of Wrigley Field.

Chris Rusin missed the Phillies earlier in the month and will make his first career start against Philadelphia today … and no one on the Phillies’ active roster has faced Rusin in a regular season ballgame.

Cliff Lee has quietly put together a very good season and he is coming off an excellent outing against the Mets. Lee held the Mets to one run on five hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in eight innings. Lee has not allowed more than three earned runs in each of his last four starts and figures to pose a big challenge for the Cubs this afternoon.

Lee is 1-3 in his last six starts with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP and after a rough July, he is 1-2 in five August starts with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.

The Cubs have never beaten Cliff Lee, and have not been very much competition for the veteran southpaw during his career. Lee is 4-0 in six career starts against the Cubs with a 1.77 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP … and at Wrigley Field, Lee is 1-0 in three starts with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Cliff Lee

  • Dioner Navarro (.297) – 1-for-16 with a double
  • Donnie Murphy (.311) – 1-for-15
  • Starlin Castro (.288) – 2-for-9 with a home run and a walk
  • Darnell McDonald (.188) – 3-for-8 with two doubles and a walk
  • Cody Ransom (.250) – 0-for-7
  • Darwin Barney (.229) – 2-for-4
  • Nate Schierholtz (.291) – 0-for-4

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"Don't wish it were easier. Wish you were better." - Jim Rohn

Share on Fancred
  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

  • cubtex

    Pirates get Justin Mourneau. Very nice pickup for them. Should be a great race the last month of the season.

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

      Love that pick-up. Getting him and Byrd have been two quiet but stout moves for a team challenged to score runs.

      • cubtex

        I would like to see the Pirates finally get there.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another telling stat … this one courtesy of Bruce Miles

    Rizzo (21 HR) and Schierholtz (20) are first #Cubs left-handed-hitting duo w at least 20 HR each since Billy Williams and Rick Monday in ’73

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Very good at bat from Rizzo

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And a poor at bat from Murphy … can’t take that pitch with the runners moving.

    • RynoTiger

      unfortunately Murphy is becoming too much like Ransom at the plate..homer or strikeout

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        No disrespect meant, but there is a reason Murphy was in the minors this season. Not a bad player to have on the bench but not an everyday player, especially at third base hitting in the middle of a lineup.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Kevin Frandsen homers again

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Gillespie delivers a single to center, Castillo scored … game tied at one.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      did you ever think you were going to say in late August “Gillespie drives in a Cubs run”?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        No and with the 40-man roster crunch, this could be his last game with the team.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo is having a rough inning in the field

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Dale should tell Tony to “pack in for the day”

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

        Fats needs at-bats…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo’s two mistakes leads to a run … and more pitches for Rusin.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      And more air time for Len Kasper to sell those Cubs / Marlins game tickets.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Did it surprise anyone the Phillies scored a run?

  • CubbyDenCritic

    So what is this rumor that “frustration” is now setting in the Cubs clubhouse?……..People, it is the stretch run to say bye to your team mates……..this season ended back in May

  • CubbyDenCritic

    OMG, some kid had a hot looking Mom in the stands.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Nice hit by Lake.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    When he was in his “prime”, Clff Lee would have been out of this inning with no runs.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs tie it up thanks to the Phillies’ defense

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Looks like both sides really don’t want to play this game today.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Not a game that will be shown on a fielding clinic video

  • CubbyDenCritic

    The defense in this game is just brutal.

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

      Honestly I hate to hear the Phillies playing bad defense almost more than the Cubs. Reflects poorly on Ryno with decision makers.

      • Tony_Hall

        It sounds like it was a wet and slippery playing surface that led to some of the miscues.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another misplayed ball … Gillespie this time. Played Young’s double into a run scoring triple

  • CubbyDenCritic

    One of the bigger problems with the Cubs this season is lack of winning at home……..need to have a winning home record ……or all is for nothing.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Too many part time players on this Cubs roster……Big Red Machine had 8 players that were in the line up all the time.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Let’s say it the way it is, there are very few Major League players on this roster, much less regular players.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        minor league players at major league ticket prices…….

        • CubbyDenCritic

          okay…Thumbs Down Guy is Tom Ricketts.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Or @NotTomRicketts

  • CubbyDenCritic

    weak swing by Rizzo……

  • CubbyDenCritic

    2014 will be “key” year for Castro, Rizzo, Barney & Samardzija if they are going to be part of this Cubs Dynasty Project. .

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

      I don’t think Barney so much. He’s a late-inning defensive replacement on our dynasty teams at best.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Gillespie did his job with the sac fly … game tied at three

  • Dorasaga

    Lake’s been doing great at CF. Very interesting to watch his development on an incomplete roster.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with a big fly to centerfield … #8

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with his first homer since July 31

  • cubtex

    Castro is doing such a better job of keeping his weight back now and driving the ball. 2 2B’s the other day and now a HR.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro crushed that ball … four extra basehits for Castro in two days

    • cubtex

      He is even taking pitches better now. You can see he is starting to get his confidence back.

      • Bredstik

        Yep, this is about the time of the season where ARam would get locked in too…

        • cubtex

          As tough a year as Castro as had…this would be great for him to finish strong and build some momentum going into next year.

          • Bredstik

            It would definitely be nice to see him end on a positive note.

            Hopefully this is a one year aberration and he doesn’t turn into one of those players that pads his numbers after the pressure is off late in the season.

          • cubtex

            He listened to too many cooks. It is such a mental game. Hopefully he is at the point now that he is taking responsibility for his own career. He is going up to bat not thinking with thoughts like “selectively aggressive” and just reacting at a pitch instead of thinking. I think we will start seeing the old Starlin again.

  • cubtex

    I just looked at Cliff Lee’s contract and I can’t believe the Phils didn’t look to move him this year. 25 mil per year for the next 2 years for a guy who won 6 games last year and 11 this year at the age of 35? That’s almost as bad as Edwin Jackson’s contract

    • Dorasaga

      Wow, you can’t be serious. Lee is pitching like a demi-god for two straight seasons… or just trade him to the Cubs!

      • Cubtex

        25 mil per? I know many don’t think wins are important…..but 6 last year? And 11 this? For 25 mil? He is 35 years old with declining velocity.

        • Dorasaga

          He’s an ace and paid like one. Maybe you need to watch more Phillies game, see how the batting works for him. Or give Sarge a call. He’ll be nice to inform fans.

        • Tony_Hall

          Team wins…..very important

          Pitcher individual wins….not so much

          2012 – 3.16 ERA 1.11 WHIP
          2013 – 3.07 ERA 1.04 WHIP

          That is all he can control, he can’t control what the offense does or the aging defense behind him.

          And no, I wouldn’t want his and his contract, but he is still pitching well.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent catch by Gillespie

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent catch by Murphy

  • Dorasaga

    Somebody needs to “learn” how to coach Castro. Because his mental mistakes were exposed too many now. Sometimes it cost nothing, like what happened now (walking away back to dugout without paying attention to where the infield pop lands). But he’s not playing a good example to other teammates just from the Minor. Just can’t let that happen next season.

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

      I doubt too many look to Castro for example. He’ll likely never be a leader on a winning team.

      • Dorasaga

        But he’s the only veteran on this one. He better start raising the bar, or he’ll be just another guy. One to fill a roster for 7 more years.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Baez just hit another home run

    • Dorasaga

      Good news. Looking at this Phillie lineup (some good knock and plays from the young, but bad plays from the veterans), it’s clear that they’re behind the rebuilding curve. I mean, rotting D. Ruf, one of the best NL sluggers this season, in the farm the past two seasons? while waiting for a platoon player RYAN HOWARD to return from injur-IES??

      I’m glad Hoyer & Co. are onto something new.

  • Dorasaga

    Cubs win with Rizzo’s good diving play!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Very good play by Rizzo

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Phillies
    4-3 on Saturday afternoon – Chris Rusin: 3R, 2ER, 4H, 3BB, 2HBP, 3K in 5IP (84
    pitches, 51 strikes)

    Castro: 2-5, HR, 2B; Barney: 2-4, 2 2B, BB, SB; Lake:
    2-3, BB; Gillespie: 1-3, SF, 2RBI; Murphy: 1-4, 2B, 2R