Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 04/09/14

Game Eight: Cubs (2-5) vs. Pirates (5-2)

  • Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 184, 844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jason Hammel (1-0, 1.35/0.45/2.07) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (0-1, 4.50/1.00/4.12)

The Cubs and Pirates square off for the fifth time this season. And with each of the first four games have been decided by one run, tonight figures to be more of the same with a rematch of game three between Jason Hammel and Wandy Rodriguez.

MLBAutismAwarenessRick Renteria will run out his right handed lineup tonight. Mike Olt should be at third with Junior Lake in left, Justin Ruggiano in right, Darwin Barney at second and Emilio Bonifacio in center. It will be interesting to see if Renteria has John Baker catch Hammel again or if he goes with Welington Castillo tonight with Baker starting in the finale on Thursday afternoon.

Jason Hammel makes his Wrigley Field debut tonight. Hammel has not started a game at Wrigley in his career. Hammel was very good in his Cubs debut last week and he should have a slightly different game plan going in considering he will be facing the same lineup he did last Thursday.

And tonight it all starts with Jason Hammel …

Jason Hammel was very good last Thursday in Pittsburgh. Hammel limited the Pirates to one run on two hits with one walk and five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. The run charged to Hammel scored after he left the game and it was by the only batter he walked all afternoon. Hammel found a rhythm early and that will be a key for his success tonight.

Jason Hammel makes his fifth career start against the Pirates tonight. Hammel is 3-1 in five appearances, four starts, versus the Bucs with a 3.62 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP.

Pirates Career Numbers against Jason Hammel

  • Travis Ishikawa: 2-for-16
  • Russell Martin: 1-for-13 with one walk
  • Andrew McCutchen: 3-for-12 with one home run
  • Pedro Alvarez: 1-for-8 with one home run and one walk
  • Neil Walker: 2-for-7 with one walk
  • Wandy Rodriguez: 2-for-6
  • Gaby Sanchez: 1-for-7 with one home run
  • Jose Tabata: 1-for-4
  • Starling Marte: 0-for-3
  • Travis Snider: 1-for-3
  • Clint Barmes: 0-for-2
  • Jordy Mercer: 0-for-2
  • Tony Sanchez: 0-for-2

The Cubs jumped on Wandy Rodriguez early in the game last Thursday and scored three runs on five hits with one walk. Rodriguez struck out five batters in six innings. The Cubs took advantage of a rusty Rodriguez, but he figures to be much better tonight.

Wandy Rodriguez is 9-8 in 25 career starts against the Cubs with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, Rodriguez is 3-5 in 13 career starts with a 4.70 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Wandy Rodriguez

  • Starlin Castro: 5-for-28 with three walks
  • Darwin Barney: 7-for-22 with two walks
  • Emilio Bonifacio: 5-for-17 with one double and two walks
  • Anthony Rizzo: 4-for-13 with one walk
  • Welington Castillo: 3-for-9
  • Jason Hammel: 0-for-9
  • Justin Ruggiano: 1-for-8 with one home run
  • John Baker: 0-for-4
  • Junior Lake: 0-for-3
  • Nate Schierholtz: 0-for-3
  • Luis Valbuena: 1-for-3
  • Mike Olt: 1-for-2 with one home run

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did." - Mark Twain

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Bonifacio CF
    Castro SS
    Ruggiano RF
    Rizzo 1B
    Olt 3B
    Lake LF
    Castillo C
    Barney 2B
    Hammel P

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      I didn’t know if you saw this article by Forbes on Warren Buffett and other interested parties regarding Cubs minority shares.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Thank you for posting this.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    I would rather have anyone else in today’s lineup batting 3rd than Ruggiano has he even got a hit yet?

    • Eugene Debs

      Still hitless. He’s due, right?

      • Patrick_Schaefer

        Hopefully but He only hit. 232 last year he had 18 HR though. He’ s 32 not in the clubs longterm plans but they play him and bat him 3rd I tthought it was about earning playing time and Kalish has earned it more than Ruggsy.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      I just looked he’s 0-11 3k and 0 walks. Sounds brilliant batting him 3rd.

    • CerranoReadyNow

      RBI double!

  • Eugene Debs

    C’mon dudes, lets get a win tonight.

    Can’t some of these close losses turn into wins?

    • JasonPen

      What’s our record in 1-run games? It can’t be good.

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

        2-5 or something. Haven’t even played 10 games yet.

  • Tom U

    Good evening! Here are tonight’s minor league starters:

    Daytona: Jose Rosario (0-1, 6.75)
    Tennessee: CJ Edwards (0-0, 0.00)

    This afternoon, Iowa got 16 strikeouts from Carlos Pimentel, Zac Rosscup, and Marcus Hatley as well as home runs from Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters to defeat Nashville 6-1

    Daytona lost Game 1 of a doubleheader as Felix Peba allowed only one ER and struck out 5 in 6IP. Albert Almora was 2-3 with 2 doubles.

    Jose Arias blew a save and Jacob Hannemann’s error led to 3 unearned runs as Kane Co. lost 7-4 in 10 innings. Jacob Rogers had a solo home run.

    • cubtex

      Vitters is crushing it!

      • Patrick_Schaefer

        It would be nice if he got an opportunity over Ruggsy. Ruggiano but it won’t happen. Very frustrated with the FO.

        • GaryLeeT

          And why not BJax over Sweeny?

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      Thanks for the update Tom you and Neil are doing a great Job as always.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        You’re too kind. Thank you.

      • Tom U

        Sorry, just came back from a run. Thank you Patrick.

  • paulcatanese

    Don’t like Castro hitting third. At sixth, he was free and easy and
    started to come untracked. He may start thinking too much up there. Not a slur, but leave him alone a little longer to get his feet set.

    • JasonPen

      It looks like he is hitting second tonight.

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

      I like him at 5 or below. But if he’s gonna hit near the top 2nd is the spot.

  • GaryLeeT

    I am expecting the Cubs to take the Wandy to the wood shed tonight. Ruggiano hitting 3rd is a bit of a head scratcher. Maybe he thinks he’ll get better pitches to hit with the now heating up Rizzo behind him?

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  • Tony_H

    Nice start, Bonifacio single, Ruggiano RBI Double!

  • Denver Mike

    I know it’s been said a million times, but you just can’t coach speed.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Ruggiano with his first hit, a double that plates Bonifacio

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Ruggiano gets a TOOTBLAN

    • Denver Mike

      LOL, I had to Google it. Not sure how I’ve never heard that before.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        It’s a great stat … started by a former Cubs’ blogger years ago. And you can thank Ryan Theriot for it.

        • Richard Hood

          And TheRiot is still the king of bone headed base running.

      • John_CC

        So great, did you see the tootblan.tumblr ? TOOTBLAN is a only a part of the larger stat RTAOBP (ryan theriot adjusted on base percentage.

        Brilliant!
        http://tootblan.tumblr.com/About

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

    Castro appears really dialed in. Gonna be hard to throw pitches by him.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Really like Rizzo’s approach against lefties.

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

    Does a fielders choice factor into OBP?

    • JasonPen

      It’s the same as an out or an error. So yes, it’ll bring it down.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    What a play by Starlin Castro

  • cubtex

    Castro! Wow!

  • Roland Bowman

    Great play by Starlin!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Hammel gets the bunt down, very good bunt

  • GaryLeeT

    The Cubs should be ashamed for have given Hammel so little run support against a VERY ordinary opposing pitcher.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Olt put it in the basket

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      Olt uppercut + wind = yay.

      Lake was pissed…just showed Olt how to really do it.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Hello Waveland … Junior Lake with a shot

  • Tony_H

    Lake didn’t need the wind, like Olt

    Back to back jacks!

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    good thing we platoon these two guys…

  • cubtex

    Lake and Olt need to play everyday. Forget Ruggiano and Sweeney

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    walking Barney, eh?
    I would face him, get the out, and have an almost automatic out all set for the following inning with the P due up.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Lost in the homers .. Rizzo another hit to left off a southpaw

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

    Ol’ Woodshed Wandy! Way to go Olt and Junior. And Rizzo getting on base again against the lefty.

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

      Shout out to Gary for queuing the woodshed reference…

      • John_CC

        Absolutely. That was a great one Gary.

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

    Hammel is a big ol’ boy…

  • Roland Bowman

    Some great defense today

  • Eugene Debs

    Wow, Jason Hammel, huh? What a great start to the season.

  • cubtex

    Olt 2 hits on the year. Both HR’s against Wandy

  • EqDoc

    How was Bonifacio not picked up by someone else before the cubs got him?

    • Richard Hood

      he was a free agent after he went through waivers. He CHOSE the Cubs not the other way around.

      • Eugene Debs

        He rightfully saw an opportunity.

        It appears that Renteria is going to have the sort of plan that plays a lot of players, which really benefits Bonifacio who can play so many positions. With this roster, I like him in center field.

  • Roland Bowman

    Nice base running by Bonifacio

  • Roland Bowman

    Rizzo going opposite field again. I love it.

    • JasonPen

      I wish they would have called the hit and run there, ruggiano could have scored

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Olt goes with the pitch from the righty and shoots it the other way for a single

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Players I find interesting/exciting to watch bat: Bonifacio, Castro, Rizzo, Olt, and Lake.

    Up to 5 batters! Compared to 1-3 max last year…nice!

    Add Kalish to the lineup and it would be 6.
    Add Baez, Bryant, etc… then you finally have an entertaining 1-8 for the long-suffering Cubs Faithful.

    • JasonPen

      It’s finally getting fun again! I can’t wait until we have a consistent winner!

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

        It is fun. I said all along I expected a lot to cheer for this season and it’s shaping up to be true. Rizzo, Castro, Bonifacio, Olt, Kalish and Lake are all exciting players.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs should win their first challenge … Lake was safe.

    • Tony_H

      It really wasn’t close.

    • JasonPen

      Run scores too!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And the call was changed … run scores.

    • JasonPen

      His initial out signal worried me lol, then I realized it was for Olt going into 2nd…

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

      So glad for replay in this instance. So sick of all those close plays going to the fielder at 1st base.

  • John_CC

    One thing I really want to believe about Renteria is that we will give the guys that are hitting and having good at bats the most PT. Olt certainly and Junior to a lesser degree is being given an audition for the fulltime jobs.

    I don’t mind the cautious approach to start the season. Don’t forget that quite a few fans were saying he should get reps in AAA to knock the rust off. Let him gain his confidence. Last year we all complained about Sveum not putting the younger guys in positions to succeed and quite often putting them in position to fail. Finally Olt did struggle with injury most of the spring so regular rest in the early season is good.

    I’m confident that if Olt continues the good ABs that hell be playing everyday. It would the payday that they gambled on when acquiring him.

    • Tony_H

      They already said that Olt and Lake will start tomorrow against Cole.

      • John_CC

        Theo and Jed wanted the guy with the dream that he’d put it together and be a fulltime 3Bman. It’s looking like he might be the guy they hoped. It would be a huge coup and big block in the building.

        • cubtex

          Easy there John. Olt is 3 for 17 with 2 of those hits off Wandy.

          • John_CC

            Might. I’m not hanging big hopes on him, but like is said if he did develop it would be a huge coup. And even you would have to admit it.☺

          • cubtex

            I think he should play everyday. Don’t pull the Josh Vitters plan on him.

          • John_CC

            Different managers, GM, player … Whole different situation. Have some faith man!

          • cubtex

            It sounds like they will start working him in more. Got to see if he can handle righties. He might be a platoon guy but now is the time to find out

          • Tony_H

            This season is the time, not necessarily the beginning of April.

          • cubtex

            That is what I am saying

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

            Lots to be enthusiastic about though. Just let us enjoy it :))))

          • John_CC

            Don’t forget that a couple days ago Castro was hitting 2something and Rizzo as well. Its early, like Ricky is looking for good ABs right now and not BAs.

        • Tony_H

          Absolutely. But it is still early and his shoulder led to cautious start to the season.

  • cubtex

    Renteria looks like a manager you want to play for. He is into the game. Encourages players. Stands up for the players and the #1 reason is the players look relaxed instead of playing tight like they did all last year.

  • JasonPen

    Come on Hammel, let’s not give it all back now!

    • Tony_H

      He’s done. Nice QS for Hammel.

  • John_CC

    I’ve been holding off ponying up the $125 for mlb.TV to determine if it would be worth it this year or just paying money to be frustrated and annoyed. I think I want to watch these kids, I don’t care if they win 70 games, but I like the things I’m hearing (and reading).

    • JasonPen

      There have been alot of good games so far, and these young guys are fun to watch. I haven’t regretted it yet. Check and see if the Cubs are blacked out for your area though. I have family in Indianapolis and MLB.TV blocks the Cubs/Sox/Reds/and Cards… even though he can only get Reds games where he is at.

      • Tony_H

        He’s a little farther away than that.

      • John_CC

        I live in an MLB desert, 400 to the closest franchise, in Seattle. I get NO blackouts! The way it should be for anyone paying good money for a service.

        • Tony_H

          I agree, there should be no blackouts on MLB.TV. I would even pay a little extra for that. Not sure why they can’t just show the actual feed for the channel you are watching, commercials and all.

          • John_CC

            Tony, don’t get me going…it makes absolutely zero sense. None. I’ve said the same thing when the playoffs and WS are blacked out! As if we have the option to go the games. Why would aFOX not want another 5000 people watching online that they could sell to their advertisers? I’m sure they would, its the MLB and I think it sucks.

          • Tony_H
          • John_CC

            Thanks for that, good to know that MLB is waking up. Maybe we should all email a complaint everyday.

          • JasonPen

            Because the cable companies have rigged the system for themselves. When they buy the rights from MLB they want you to have to pay them an arm and a leg for hundreds of useless/unwatchable channels just so you can watch your baseball a few times a week.. It sucks.

          • Tony_H

            The cable companies don’t own the rights, FOX, ESPN, and TBS do for MLB and each local TV deal has the rights to the games. The cable provider just shows the channels.

          • JasonPen

            Well, then explain why if you don’t have access to Chicago SportsNet, like in Indianapolis, that Cubs games are still blacked out? I believe you, but it’s ridiculous.

          • Tony_H

            The Cubs and Cardinals have huge blackout areas. There is a map on here that tries to show it by each team.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_League_Baseball_blackout_policy

            I have seen one for just the Cubs and am trying to find it.

          • JasonPen

            Yeah, but it’s garbage if you can’t get those channels even if you want them. When I lived in that area I tried to pay extra for CSN… You have zero options. That’s why I figured it was the cable companies.

          • Tony_H

            I agree. I can’t watch the WCIU games and it drives me crazy.

        • JasonPen

          Yeah, it’s kind of ridiculous that you have to have cable to watch baseball. If you choose to pay money to MLB.TV you shouldn’t have any blackouts. I don’t ever want to have to pay for cable again. For those that are blacked out, you can get a service that changes your IP address that’ll tell MLB.com that you are in Europe or somewhere, and you can get all the games no problem.

      • GaryLeeT

        Or, if you can have a satellite dish where you live, you can watch all the games on the big screen for $150.

        • JasonPen

          Yeah, I get them on the big screen through my Roku. Best purchase I’ve made in awhile. Look into it if you haven’t heard of it, it’s awesome.

    • Eugene Debs

      I’ll take 70 wins….

      80 would be better.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Looks like the kind of night Barney might get a HR…

  • Tom U

    Smokies win 3-1. Edwards 5.2 IP, 5 H, ER, 5K. Rivero 1.1 IP, 3K, Save. Rivero was clocked at 97 MPH. Rafael Lopez 2-3, Double, 2 RBI.

    Daytona lost Game 2 6-4. Vogelbach with a 3-run HR, his first of the year.

  • Tony_H

    Castro has looked really good in the field tonight.

  • cubtex

    Don’t think Ruggiano will last half the year

    • Tony_H

      Did you expect to see him still around in August?

      He will either be traded or cut, to make room for a younger player.

      • cubtex

        Cut

    • John_CC

      Just like Hairiston last year. No loss in giving him a shot.

      • Tony_H

        Nothing lost at all, as Bogusevic would not have made the team, or even Iowa’s team.

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

          There is a chance he can be traded. No reason to assume the worst.

          • Tony_H

            I think he will be traded. Being cut is the last option.

      • cubtex

        And bring up Vitters

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo with a double to left off a lefty on a 0-2 pitch

    • JasonPen

      I think he is finally turning into the player that was advertised.

  • cubtex

    Never ever ever seen Rizzo do this before

    • Tony_H

      That is what happens with experience. Whether it is listening to things you have been told many times before, finally getting it, or just plain and simple more time and AB’s in the majors.

      • cubtex

        Tony. This is the 1st time he has consistently tried going the other way. It’s not AB’s in the majors..,it is finally deciding to change his approach

        • Tony_H

          And that happens from experience. Not very often do you see rookies and guys in their sophmore slump year doing it.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    my preferred lineup, with current roster, regardless of righty/lefty on mound, which is given too much weight:

    CF Bonafacio
    RF Kalish
    1B Rizzo
    3B Olt
    LF Lake
    SS Castro
    2B Valbuena
    C Castillo
    P

    Much more entertaining…though I eventually want Baez or Alcantera in place of Valbuena, and Bryant eventually in place of Kalish or Lake and/or then Kalish in place of Bonafacio if he comes back to Earth.

    CF Kalish
    SS Castro?? (not sure who else to put in #2 hole then)
    2B Baez
    RF Bryant
    1B Rizzo
    3B Olt
    LF Lake
    C Castillo

    If Castro had great 1st half, perhaps he is traded for pitching, and then you have Alcantara and Baez both up for SS/2B.

  • JasonPen

    UH OH… Are we going to be in another close game?! Come on guys!

  • cubtex

    5 solo jacks for the Bucs

    • JasonPen

      Bring in Grimm

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        or have Rondon put on Veras’ jersey and come back out and pitch.

        • JasonPen

          I somehow don’t get a good feeling with Veras in the pen warming up…

  • cubtex

    Strop has such bad mechanics and that is why he is so inconsistent

    • JasonPen

      Can you say Marmol?

      • cubtex

        Similar

      • GaryLeeT

        Speaking of which, he just blew a huge lead for the Marlins.

  • Tony_H

    Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    that was an embarrassing strikeout to end game…is that like getting posterized with a dunk?

    • JasonPen

      I’m sure he doesn’t want that bat back anyway lol

  • JasonPen

    Go Cubs Go!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Pirates 7-5 on Wednesday … Jason Hammel: 3R, 3H (3HR), 1BB, 6K, 7IP (96 pitches, 60 strikes)

    Olt: 2-5, HR, 3RBI; Lake: 1-4, HR, 2RBI; Rizzo: 4-5, 2 2B, RBI, 2R; Bonifacio: 2-5, 2B, 2R; Castro: 1-5;
    Castillo: 2-3, 2B, BB

  • paulcatanese

    Very entertaining game, good hitting, defense, and Hammel pitched a gem, just got a little tired at the end.