Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 09/08/13

Game One Hundred Forty-Two: Cubs (60-81) vs. Brewers (61-80)

  • Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 187/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Scott Baker (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–) vs. Yovani Gallardo (10-9, 4.31/1.41/3.96)

The Cubs wrap up the nine-game homestand with the rubber game of the three-game set against the Brewers this afternoon. The Cubs are 4-4 over the first eight games and Dale Sveum will hand the ball to Scott Baker for the first time this season.

Scott Baker is making his Cubs’ debut today and will be making his first start in the big leagues in over two years. Baker last appeared on a Major League mound in September of 2011.

Dale Sveum said on Saturday that Baker will not have a pitch limit but would likely not throw more than 90 pitches. Baker is making his second ever appearance at Wrigley Field today. Baker received a no decision back on June 14, 2009 when he took on Ted Lilly. Baker allowed two runs on five hits with no walks and five strikeouts over seven innings. Lou’s Crew pulled out a 3-2 victory over the Twins on that Sunday afternoon. Carlos Marmol picked up the win over Jesse Crain after Ryan Theriot singled in Derrek Lee with the game winner in the bottom of the ninth.

This afternoon all starts with Scott Baker

Scott Baker makes his Cubs’ debut this afternoon and returns to a big league mound for the first time in nearly two years. Baker last started a game in the majors on August 8, 2011. Baker lost to Theo Epstein’s Boston Red Sox after allowing five runs on nine hits with no walks and five strikeouts in six innings. A lot has changed for Baker and the Cubs since the last time he took the hill at the start of a Major League Baseball game.

Scott Baker tossed two innings of shutout ball against the Indians out of the pen on September 24, 2011. Baker underwent Tommy John surgery in April of 2012 and has put in the work to get to this point today after suffering a setback in his first, and only appearance, in Spring Training.

Scott Baker has been very good on a big league mound throughout his career. The Cubs took the gamble that he would recover from his surgery and be effective on the mound this year so they could flip him for long term pieces. But the $5.5 million gamble for this year did not work out. Neither the Cubs nor Baker have ruled out him re-signing with the team in the off-season

This afternoon marks the ninth time that Baker has started a game against the Brewers. Baker is 4-4 in the first eight starts with a 5.29 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.

Only two players on the Brewers’ active roster have faced Scott Baker in a big league ballgame … Yuniesky Betancourt (9-for-31 with two doubles and a home run) and Jonathan Lucroy (0-for-3).

Yovani Gallardo has pitched much better after the break than he did before the Mid-Summer Classic. Gallardo is coming off a no decision against the Pirates after holding the Bucs to two runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts. This afternoon will be the first time Gallardo has faced a team other than the Pirates since August 23. Over his last two starts, both against Pittsburgh, Gallardo has allowed two runs on 11 hits with four walks and 11 strikeouts in 14 innings.

Since the break, Gallardo is 3-1 in seven starts with a 2.85 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP and is 5-4 in 13 road starts this year with a 4.06 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP.

The Cubs will see Gallardo for the third time this season. Gallardo is 0-1 in the first two with a 6.23 ERA and a 2.42 WHIP. The Cubs made Gallardo work the first two times … let’s see if they can follow the same game plan once again this afternoon.

Cubs Career Numbers against Yovani Gallardo

  • Starlin Castro (.289) – 14-for-34 with three doubles and two walks
  • Darwin Barney (.229) – 3-for-24 with a double and a walk
  • Nate Schierholtz (.279) – 4-for-19 with a double and a walk
  • Luis Valbuena (.245) – 4-for-12 with a double and three walks
  • Anthony Rizzo (.254) – 4-for-9 with a double and three walks
  • Welington Castillo (.359) – 2-for-8
  • Brian Bogusevic (.319) – 0-for-3 with a walk
  • Cody Ransom (.250) – 0-for-3 with a walk
  • Junior Lake (.382) – 0-for-3
  • Ryan Sweeney (.333) – 1-for-2 with a home run and a walk
  • Dioner Navarro (.304) – 0-for-1

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again." – Bob Feller

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  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

  • Tony_Hall

    Stats Sunday – Preview of league awards.

    “Let’s start with the American League MVP, also known as the “if you’re not for Miggy, you are number-cuddling idiot” debate,….”

    • John_CC

      I can’t open the link, bit I would have to agree. Miggy is in league by himself.

      • Tony_Hall

        Actually, the article talks about how Trout is the best all around player, and Miggy is the best hitter. Not exactly, but very few people can argue with that description of the 2 players. I will take the best all around player who is a pretty good hitter as well.

  • Neil

    Good to see Scott Baker on a big league mound

    • Tony_Hall

      I agree. He was always underrated in Minnesota but had some nice seasons.

      • Neil

        Solid first inning, nice command, velocity was okay, good location.

  • Tony_Hall

    Interesting article on lineup construction by Sahadev Sharma. Not sure how he had time to post this, with all of his Bears twitter activity.

    Some highlights.

    “However, the fact is, studies have shown that unless a manager is batting his pitcher first and following with his least productive hitters, the “perfect” lineup construction would only be worth a little more than a win during the season over the lineup that is normally trotted out on a daily basis. ”

    “…the belief that a batter in the two-hole should be playing small ball has been debunked. In fact, many believe that a team’s best overall hitter should reside in that spot in the lineup, following the team’s best on-base man, who should lead-off. ”

    “Unless a team is playing for one run, no quality hitter should be trying to move a runner over or handing the other team an easy out. A hitter’s primary objective, every time in the lineup, should be to get on base. Whether that means taking a walk or hitting a home run, the bottom line is getting on base is the best way to help your team put runs on the board. After all, unless a team is proficient at hitting solo home runs, they’ll need runners on base to score runs. “

    • texcubnut

      Interesting article, Tony. Thanks for sharing. I agree with most of the premise; sometimes, though, it would be nice to not only use sabermetrics but, sprinkle in a little instinct, gut feeling, and good ol’ common sense. For instance, with the current Cubs edition under they’re statement that your best OBP player bats first and your best overall hitter second, that would mean Dionner Navarro leads off and Donnie Murphy ( based on OPS ) would bat second. I suppose you could do this and be no worse off than you are now, but, common sense would tell me otherwise. I wonder what a check of playoff bound teams would show how many team’s best hitters are batting second.

      • Tony_Hall

        I think common sense should always come into play. The main thing about the 2 hole is that that batting spot gets the 2nd most AB’s during a season, and you want a good hitter who has a high OBP in that spot. It is not a spot to put a guy, just because he can bunt and handle the bat.

        • texcubnut

          Totally agree. Often times, I wish that when the pitcher is batting early in the game and a runner is on second with no outs, they ask the pitcher to bunt him over to third. Let the pitcher hit away, don’t just give the opposition a sure out. To ask a position player to bunt, well, it needs to be a rare situation. I really, really dislike giving the opposition easy outs.

  • Neil

    Is it just me, or would it be nice to see Junior Lake use two hands when he catches a ball?

    • texcubnut

      It isn’t just you, Neil. I wish all players would employ this most basic of all fundamentals….Use both hands!!

  • Neil

    Excellent slider from Baker to strikeout Betancourt.

  • texcubnut

    So far so good on Mr. Baker. Here’s hoping we have another ‘plus’ asset moving forward.

  • Neil

    Excellent throw by Castillo, nailed Segura

  • Neil

    Lake with #6

  • Neil

    Very good outing from Scott Baker

    • Tony_Hall

      Been going back and forth with the Bears game but a line of 5 IP 2 H 1 BB and No runs is pretty good after 2 years away.

  • Neil

    Russell gives up a 2-run single to Jeff Bianchi, Cubs down 2-1 in the seventh.

  • Neil

    I would like to see them shut Russell down for the remainder of the season. He has been overworked and has nothing left. Would give them a chance to evaluate Rosscup and Raley as well in later innings.

    • Tony_Hall

      Good idea. He has nothing left. It is extremely difficult to be the only lefty in a bullpen. Teams don’t need to save a RH bat on the bench for the other lefty when you come in, so you won’t get the lefty/lefty matchup very much.

    • Sonate


  • Sonate

    The ump took the bat out of Rizzo’s hands with a bad call!

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 3-1 to Brewers
    on Sunday – Scott Baker: 0R, 2H, 1BB, 1K in 5IP (55 pitches, 39 strikes)

    2-3, HR; Valbuena: 1-4; Grimm: 2R, 2H, 0BB, 1K in 1.1IP; Russell: 1R, 2H, BB,
    0K, 0.2IP

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