Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Phillies – 04/04/14

Game Four: Cubs (1-2) vs. Phillies (1-2)

  • Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 184, 844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Travis Wood (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–) vs. Roberto Hernandez (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–)

Weather permittingThe Party of the Century begins this afternoon with the Cubs home opener against the Phillies. The Cubs have a season-long celebration planned for the cherished ballpark turning 100 years old on April 23 and will honor the history of Wrigley Field throughout the year. And one of the best players to ever put on a Cubs’ uniform will spend the next three days in the visitor’s dugout.

The Cubs are coming off their first victory of the season after a hard-fought three-game series in Pittsburgh. The Cubs struggled with runners in scoring position (3-for-30) but received good performances from their starters and solid efforts from a majority of the relief corps. And the Cubs will face a Phillies’ team for the next three games that had a wild start to their season in Texas.

Ryne Sandberg is trying to keep a rather old Phillies’ roster in contention for an entire season. Sandberg has done a good job since taking over for Charlie Manuel last year on an interim basis.

The Cubs split the six games (3-3) with Philly last season and it will not get any easier for the offense over the next three days. After this afternoon’s match-up of Travis Wood and Roberto Hernandez, Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face Cliff Lee on Saturday afternoon. Carlos Villanueva is still penciled in to face A.J. Burnett in the finale on Sunday afternoon.

Photo from first game at Weeghman Park in 1914.

Photo from first game at Weeghman Park in 1914.

Several players and manager Rick Renteria will get their first taste of home clubhouse at Wrigley Field this afternoon. One of the many areas the big league team has to work on moving forward is creating a home field advantage at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are coming off a year in which the team saved their worst performances for the home crowd. The Cubs were 31-50 at Wrigley last year but the win-loss mark does not tell the story of how bad the team played in their own park.

Look for Rick Renteria to run out his left-handed hitting lineup this afternoon, with the exceptions of Starlin Castro and Welington Castillo.

The first game of the year at Wrigley Field all starts with Travis Wood …

Travis Wood makes his first start of the season, but will appear in his second game, and is looking to build on his best year at the Major League level. Wood earned his spot on the NL All-Star team after posting a 6-6 record in 19 starts before the break with a 2.79 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. Wood ended up with a 9-12 record in 32 starts with a 3.11 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. If it wasn’t for his last start against the Cardinals, Wood would have finished with an ERA under 3.00. Wood set career highs in starts (32), innings pitched (200) and strikeouts (144). Wood was 4-8 in 18 starts at Wrigley last season with a 3.39 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.

Travis Wood was in the running for the Opening Day job before he was pushed to the home opener. Wood will stay on a five-day routine and will eventually end up slotted behind Edwin Jackson in the Cubs rotation.

The Cubs’ lone starting southpaw, at least for now, has never beaten or lost to the Phillies. In three career starts, Wood has three no decisions with a 2.11 Era and a 0.80 WHIP. Wood faced Philly one time a year ago and allowed two runs on six hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings (2.84 ERA, 1.11 WHIP).

Phillies Career Numbers against Travis Wood

  • Marlon Byrd: 3-for-14 with one double and one walk
  • Jimmy Rollins: 2-for-11
  • Ryan Howard: 0-for-8
  • Wil Nieves: 1-for-7
  • Carlos Ruiz: 2-for-5 with two doubles and two walks
  • John Mayberry Jr.: 2-for-5 with one double and one walk
  • Tony Gwynn Jr.: 0-for-2 with one walk
  • Ben Revere: 2-for-3
  • Chase Utley: 0-for-2

The Cubs will get their first look at the pitcher formally known as Fausto Carmona. Roberto Hernandez was serviceable for the Tampa Bay Rays last year after putting his injury and identity issues behind him. Hernandez was 6-13 in 32 games, 24 starts, for the Rays with a 4.89 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.

The Cubs were interested in Hernandez in the off-season before he signed with his childhood team, and he has pitched just one-third of an inning in his career against the Cubs.

Cubs Career Numbers against Roberto Hernandez

  • Ryan Sweeney: 2-for-15 with one walk
  • Emilio Bonifacio: 1-for-3
  • Ryan Kalish: 2-for-2 with one double and one walk
  • Justin Ruggiano: 0-for-3
  • Nate Schierholtz: 0-for-3

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course of victory." - Arthur Golden
Share on Fancred
  • BigJonLilJon

    Cubs line up for home opener according to ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers:

    1. Bonifacio, CF
    2. Starlin Castro, SS
    3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
    4. Nate Schierholtz, RF
    5. Valbuena, 3B
    6. Welington Castillo, C
    7. Ryan Sweeney, LF
    8. Darwin Barney, 2B
    9. Travis Wood, P
    As expected… lefty orientated against the right handed pitcher Hernandez

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

      I’d like to see Kalish instead of…somebody.

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

        Kalish has good numbers with small sample size. Only one

      • BigJonLilJon

        Can’t say your wrong

      • Eugene Debs

        Move Bonifacio to 2B, Sweeney to CF, and slide Kalish into LF.

        • Tony_H

          I think they will give Barney a chance to hold onto his starting spot, but that is a very likely move if he hits like last year.

          • Tony_H

            With Valbuena also getting starts at 2B to go along with some at 3B.

          • Eugene Debs

            I think you’re right.

            I’d like to see Barney turn it around but it just seems unlikely.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Agreed, unfortunately. There hoping he performs well enough to become trade bait

  • Pingback: Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Phillies – 04/04/14 - Cubs Chronicles

  • Tony_H

    Classy 1st Pitch!

  • Tony_H

    My son’s game got cancelled for today, but the Cubs play in frigid temps.

    Len and JD ‏@lenandjd 3m

    38 degrees as we get underway @WGNTV. Winds out of the west at 23 mph blowing hard to right. 28 degree wind chill.

  • Eugene Debs

    Nice start for Wood after one.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Not bad although that fly to right by Byrd had me worried with the wind over there

    • Eugene Debs

      Did we steal Travis Wood or what?

      Hard to fault that trade and I was one screaming bloody murder at the time.

      Now…do we lock him up? You wanna talk about serious midseason trade bait….

      • Tony_H

        I would like to keep him. If we can get him to be the real #4 guy, we would have a pretty good rotation.

        • BigJonLilJon

          Agreed. I think they want to see how he does this year to make sure he wasn’t a one year wonder. Don’t we have another year of control on him? Can’t recall

          • Tony_H

            Actually 2 more years. I expect them to extend him before next Opening Day.

          • BigJonLilJon

            I thought 2 more. Thanks

          • Tony_H

            I could see them offering a 4-5 year deal that cover his last 2 arbitration years and 2 FA years.

            4 years $38M and add in a 5th year team option for $14M with a $2M buyout. Guaranteeing him $40. 4 years would cover age 28-31 season’s, option year age 32

          • BigJonLilJon

            That sounds right. As long as they wait till after All Star break or preferably during the off season

  • BillyFinT

    I don’t why, but this season the ump-s are giving pitchers a harder time compared to last season.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Am betting MLB is wanting to speed up games.

      • BillyFinT

        LOL. Slugfest is always faster than a pitching duel !

        • BigJonLilJon

          But getting hitters to swing bat and get ball in play quicker is the thinking I believe.

          • BillyFinT

            BTW, I was being sarcastic.

  • Eugene Debs

    How does the bullpen look for today? Anyone ruled out?

    • Tony_H

      Probably just Villanueva, but haven’t seen anything announced.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      All of the relievers are available today

      • Tony_H

        I guess Villenueva is a starter. Hard to believe our 5th starter was 0-2 after 2 games in the season.

        • BigJonLilJon

          Hopefully not 0-3 after Sunday.

          • Tony_H

            That might set a record for quickest to 3 losses.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Let’s hope we don’t have to look it up Sunday night to find out!!

      • Eugene Debs

        Let’s hope we only need a setup man and closer today.

  • BigJonLilJon

    Puig of Dodgers arrived to stadium late. Was benched for home opener. Seems like a head case or just the difficulty of the Cubans to mature to the MLB??

  • cubtex

    Did Casey Coleman get released? Saw something on twitter. I guess they needed his spot for Cabrera

  • Tony_H

    Nice catch by Ruiz. That ball was blowing around behind home plate.

  • Eugene Debs

    Castillo!

  • Tony_H

    Deep Home Run by Castillo.

    • Eugene Debs

      Rizzo and Shierholtz also hit the ball pretty hard.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Welington Castillo through the wind … HR to left.

    • Tony_H

      Which way is the wind blowing?

      • BillyFinT

        Straight outta the fence.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Out to right

        • Tony_H

          Thanks. I thought Gameday use to show the wind, but I don’t see it.

      • BigJonLilJon

        From the west

  • bpot92

    The one day I don’t have Castillo in my fantasy baseball lineup…

  • Tony_H

    Ricketts is in the TV booth.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Mute goes the remote!!!!

  • Tony_H

    Nice play by Castro up the middle, but Revere is too fast.

    • BigJonLilJon

      And a solid throw off balance

  • BillyFinT

    I just saw Mayor E. of Chitown is sitting behind L. Ricketts. She needs to ask E., politely, that if the City won’t muscle those rooftops, then the Cubs may move to Indiana.

    • Tony_H

      The mayor is on the Cubs side and wants to see a done deal. Maybe some good ole style Chicago politics could be arranged with some city inspections of the rooftops.

      • BillyFinT

        So that just like that hit by Barney, who should be on base after hit-by-pitcher– justice is served!

  • Tony_H

    Not sure if HBP is not reviewable, but Barney got hit in the arm, called a foul ball. Good job by Barney getting a single on the next pitch.

    • Bredstik

      It is reviewable. They got it wrong, but at least it worked out for the best.

      • Tony_H

        We will find out after the game what happened, but there is a lot of scenarios

        • BigJonLilJon

          With the technology we have today, we shouldn’t need to.

          • Tony_H

            I really don’t want umps or managers tweeting during the game :)

          • BigJonLilJon

            No. I was referring to earbud or vibrating text type of thing.

        • Bredstik

          Yeah, Len was saying it’s possible that the ump ruled that he swung at the pitch, which would be a strike regardless of whether he swung. If that’s the case, no point in challenging it.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Didn’t look like he went around from my views

          • Bredstik

            Me neither. It sounds like the count was already 1-2 it so he must have called foul ball or he would have struck out.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Just a bad call no matter what the ump ruled it. A shame when it’s fixable

  • BigJonLilJon

    That’s just one of many reason I do not like the replay system. They need to hire the 9 needed umps for a replay office and take the managers out of it

    • Tony_H

      What part is that? That wasn’t evened reviewed.

      • BigJonLilJon

        Either it wasn’t reviewable or Ricky just didn’t want to waste a challenge that early. Let the office make decisions and radio down to umps on any play they need to look at. Just need to get the calls correct. All of them, not just the 1 a game a manager is allowed to request.

        • Tony_H

          I agree. I have said I think that the headquarters should signal the home plate ump to let them know the play was wrong. It can be done on a hand held smartphone via text if needed. But that is should not be about getting every call fixed, but the obvious ones. No long delays, looking at plays over and over. Just fix the obvious bad calls.

          • BillyFinT

            Like I said, Google Glass is good. :-))

        • Bredstik

          Agreed, I think the NHL does it right. During the time Ricky was out arguing, NY could have reviewed that play multiple times. I’d rather they just buzz down to the umps when a play is being reviewed.

  • Eugene Debs

    Nice hustle for Barney.

  • Tony_H

    Great hustle by Barney. RBI single by Castro.

  • BillyFinT

    YES! Good running by Barney and good hit by Castro!

    • BillyFinT

      Smart slide, too. Utley could have gotten him …

  • Eugene Debs

    Wood needs a quick inning. He’s thrown a lot of pitches already.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Was thinking same thing!!!

    • BigJonLilJon

      There goes that idea!!

    • Eugene Debs

      Might be a short(ish) outing for Mr. Wood.

      • BigJonLilJon

        Yep. But only 3 hits through 4 innings. Just a lot of pitches.

  • Eugene Debs

    Byrd has apparently found a few restaurants he enjoys in the Philly area….

  • Tony_H

    Tough play by Castro, but he should have made it.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Especially since he was shifted over to the hole to begin with

    • Bredstik

      He had one similar to that in the PIT series as well. He should be able to make that play.

    • JasonPen

      Castro has really been struggling. Maybe they should have given him more time instead of rushing him right into the season. We already see that Bonnifacio could have handled a middle infield spot in the meantime. I hope this doesnt domino months into the season…

      • DWalker

        Castro is a very competitive individual and he wil resist like mad any notion he should sit. Not watching the game today, but so far my thoughts are he and Rizzo are both stuck in last year and thats not good.

  • Tony_H

    Utley’s 2 run HR makes it 3-2 in the 5th.

  • BigJonLilJon

    Ouch by Utley with a 2 run shot. Wasn’t hit as hard as a few others to right field but he got it up into the wind.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soler has been placed on the 7-day DL with right hamstring soreness

    • BigJonLilJon

      At least he wasn’t late to ball park!!!

      • Eugene Debs

        and he refrained from going after someone with a baseball bat. That is good.

  • Tony_H

    Good conversation with Len and JD about pitchers win’s and how they are not the best way to evaluate pitchers.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Yea but I don’t think the suggestion of eliminating the wins stat is going to happen.

      • Tony_H

        Never going to eliminate a pitchers win, but more and more people understand it is not one of the better ways to judge pitchers.

        • BigJonLilJon

          Especially in this day of saber metrics

    • Bredstik

      Yep, good stuff. JD made some good points earlier also about the versatility of the Cubs’ offense and how this will allow them to take advantage of matchups and get everyone involved.

      • BigJonLilJon

        They are actually good to listen to. But I’ll always miss Steve Stone!!!

        • Bredstik

          Definitely. I still enjoy listening to Stoney but having to suffer through Hawk isn’t worth it.

          • jtrain23

            No joke. I don’t even think I would hate the Sox if I didn’t have to listen to Hawk. Not only is he the very most biased announcer on televised baseball, he also provides zero insight into the game.

          • jtrain23

            By the way, I am choosing to comment on this because I refuse to comment on today’s game.

  • BigJonLilJon

    I like how Wood is starting to mix in the off speed breaking ball the past couple innings.

  • BigJonLilJon

    I wonder whether Ricky had hoped Wood could get through 7, then use Walker and Russell for the last 2 and get the righty relievers some rest today?

  • No Baseball In Indiana

    Who’s behind the plate?

    • BigJonLilJon

      Castillo and the ump.

    • BillyFinT

      Like I said, the ump-s this season ain’t nice to pitchers…

  • Eugene Debs

    Let’s turn 2.

    • Eugene Debs

      It stinks when the wind is blowing out yet four runs seems like an insurmountable score.

      • BigJonLilJon

        Only blowing out in right. Left and center blowing to right

  • Rational Logic

    I miss Bob Howry, Scott Eyre, and Kerry Wood. That was the best bullpen we’ve had in a long time.

  • BigJonLilJon

    The 2nd nice catch going back to the wall by Bonaficio today. Impressive

    • Tony_H

      He has played better defense, so far, than I expected.

      • BigJonLilJon

        Yes. Especially when you figure he hasn’t played much center on a windy day at wrigley.

  • BigJonLilJon

    2 run insurance HR by Mayberry Jr. 6-2 Phillies in top of the 8th

  • Tony_H

    Pretty level headed look at possibility of minority shares of the Cubs being sold.

    http://www.csnchicago.com/cubs/cubs-ricketts-looking-all-options-wrigley-deal

    • BigJonLilJon

      Thanks for the link, Tony. I think it would be kind if special if the Cubs would sell the shares individually to the fans, similar to what the Packers have done in the past. Raises the cash and the fans would love to have a share of there beloved Cubbies!!

  • cc002600

    gosh, what an embarrassing, lifeless team.
    I can’t believe we have to watch another year of this. its unreal.

    • Denver Mike

      My optimism didn’t last the week either.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 7-2 to Phillies on Friday (4/4) afternoon … Travis Wood: 4R, 3ER, 6H, 1BB, HBP, 8K in 6.1IP (102 pitches, 68 strikes)

    Welington Castillo: 1-4, HR; Starlin Castro: 1-4, RBI; Cubs: 2R, 3H, 3BB, 1-3 RISP, 3LOB

    • BigJonLilJon

      Just ugly. Starting to look like last year. No runs, no relief pitching. With a difficult schedule early, I’m worried we can’t hold out until the weather warms up