Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 04/10/14

Game Nine: Cubs (3-5) vs. Pirates (5-3)

  • Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Travis Wood (0-1, 4.26/1.11/3.70) vs. Gerrit Cole (1-0, 2.57/1.14/5.08)

Weather permitting … The Cubs wrap-up the series with the Pirates this afternoon with a shot at a .500 homestand. After dropping two of three to the Phillies, the Cubs have split the first two games with the Pirates. And while the offense has looked better over the last two days, the Cubs face a big challenge today in Gerrit Cole.

MLBAutismAwarenessRick Renteria said Wednesday night that both Mike Olt and Junior Lake would be in the starting lineup this afternoon. Which could shift Luis Valbuena to second and Emilio Bonifacio to center with Olt at third and Lake in left. Right handers have hit better (.255/.306/.323) against Cole during his 20-game big league career than lefties (.250/.296/.292). With Welington Castillo catching the last two games, John Baker should be behind the plate today.

This afternoon all begins with Travis Wood …

Travis Wood is coming off a better outing than his final line indicates. Wood picked up his first quality start of the season against the Phillies his last time out. Wood was charged with four runs, three earned, on six hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Wood kept his team in the game before the Phillies broke it open and pounded the Cubs in the home opener.

For as good as Travis Wood was a year ago, like many of his teammates, he was better on the road than in his home park. Wood was 4-8 in 18 starts at Wrigley last year with a 3.39 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP while teams hit .226 against him. On the road, Wood 5-4 in 14 starts with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP and teams hit .216 against him.

Travis Wood missed the Pirates last week and is 4-5 in 10 games, nine starts, with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP for his career. Wood was 1-1 in three starts versus the Bucs last season with a 1.50 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP.

Pirates Career Numbers against Travis Wood

  • Andrew McCutchen: 2-for-18 with one double and five walks
  • Clint Barmes: 2-for-15 with one double and one walk
  • Gaby Sanchez: 1-for-12 with four walks
  • Pedro Alvarez: 1-for-15 with one double
  • Starling Marte: 2-for-14 with one triple, one home run and one walk
  • Neil Walker: 4-for-13 with one double and one walk
  • Jose Tabata: 3-for-12 with two doubles, one triple and one walk
  • Russell Martin: 3-for-9 with one double
  • Josh Harrison: 2-for-7 with one triple
  • Jordy Mercer: 2-for-5 with two doubles and one walk
  • Travis Snider: 1-for-3 with one walk
  • Tony Sanchez: 1-for-3 with one home run

Gerrit Cole is the best starting pitcher on the Pirates staff. Cole is coming off a very good rookie campaign in which he posted a 10-7 record in 19 starts with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Cole was slotted down in the Pirates rotation to start the season, but he figures to be a big key to their season.

Cole is coming off a dominant start against the Cardinals. Cole held the Redbirds to two runs on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts in seven innings.

Gerrit Cole makes his third career start (2-0 in two starts) against the Cubs this afternoon. Cole held the Cubs to three runs on 12 hits in two starts (13 innings) a year ago with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Cole made one of the two starts at Wrigley and allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings with one walks and six strikeouts.

Cubs Career Numbers against Gerrit Cole

  • Starlin Castro: 3-for-6 with one walk
  • Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-5 with one double
  • Nate Schierholtz: 2-for-5 with one double
  • Ryan Sweeney: 1-for-4
  • Luis Valbuena: 0-for-4
  • Darwin Barney: 1-for-2
  • Junior Lake: 0-for-2 with one walk
  • Justin Ruggiano: 0-for-2

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Bonifacio 2B
    Kalish LF
    Rizzo 1B
    Schierholtz RF
    Lake CF
    Castro SS
    Olt 3B
    Castillo C
    Wood P

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      with the current roster, this is the best offensive lineup, or at least certainly the most interesting to me as a fan, that I think could be put out there.

      Hope to see this more regularly.

      Would like to see Schierholtz unloaded, moving Boni to the OF along with Lake and Kalish. At that point, if Baez or Alcantera are ready for 2B, then you have a nice upgrade there. Otherwise I will take Valbuena at 2B over Barney in that scenario.

      Really really hope Olt, Lake, Kalish, and Bonifacio can cement themselves, and that Rizzo/Castro can maintain their early improvement over last year. Lot’s of “IF’s” but that would lead to such a huge increase in fan entertainment/satisfaction for me when watching a Cubs game!

      • Patrick_Schaefer

        Valbuena doesn’ t have very good range at 2B. I really like Bonifacio but he may find himself more in a backup roll or traded if Baez or Alcantara are brought up

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          valbuena was only mentioned as I view him as a “better than Barney” alternative, regardless of Barney’s glove.

          Until we are truly competitive, Barney’s glove does nothing for me. I would rather take an extra run scored or rbi via Valbuena than a potential single robbed by Barney’s glove. This is a purely fan-entertainment comment.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            I would like a better Offensive second baseman as well but Valbuena doesn’t impress me to start him there Barney’s defense takes away alot of runs he has great range and he a pitchers best friend. I think he is better as a part-time player defensive specialist/utility player in the long run. Also Barney has a better approach at the plate this year.

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  • Roland Bowman

    Nice 123 first for Wood

  • BillyFinT

    Emilio, “Bone Face Hits,” “Bong For 200,” “Bonno Donna,” “Be The Man, Bonifacio,” or maybe, “Boom boom from home to home,” stole again.

    Nobody can stop him. Nobody, but Hoyer & Co.

  • BillyFinT

    Castro ran well. I must say he got so much talent. It’s been mental that bothered him, for a good… 4 years now. Focus, young man, focus, you are a veteran now, and you ought to step up, be an example to the team with Baez and Bryant, a leader…

    • BillyFinT

      Nice effort, sliding catch by Kalish.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Baez just hit a 2-run HR and put the I-Cubs up 2-1.

  • BillyFinT

    Out of all the player moments in Cubbie history that they can replay, WGN decided to broadcast Navarro stealing as a Blue Jay right before this inning. What are.They.THinKing?

    No wonder the Ricketts want a way out of this deal. Losers, no redemption.

  • BillyFinT

    Nice throw by Olt. Not a great throw, because it was three feet off 2nd base. Nevertheless, off balance and only a split of a sec. after he stopped that strong liner…

    • Roland Bowman

      Looked like he had time to set himself and make a good throw. But didn’t.

    • BillyFinT

      And that’s a bad throw from Castro. Never throw into a runner, esp. when you are lying down and out of angles…

  • Roland Bowman

    Big strike out there

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Excellent job by Wood getting out of the jam by striking out McCutchen and Alvarez.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Bonifacio steals a run

  • BillyFinT

    I wouldn’t say I called it. This nick is staying: “Boom boom from home to home.”

  • Roland Bowman

    Strikes out the side. 5 straight strike outs

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      13 more and he ties the other P Wood!

      • Roland Bowman

        Shouldn’t be a problem

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

    Travis Wood is a damn fine pitcher. That trade was huge for us long term.

    • Denver Mike

      Considering Marshall pitched 10 innings last year, and hasn’t pitched at all this year I’d say there is no longer any debate who won that one.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro delivers a RBI single

  • Eugene Debs

    Let’s put together our first win streak….

  • Roland Bowman

    He looked out

    • JasonPen

      I think they are saying that he tagged him with his glove, and the ball was in his bare hand. But you’re right, I thought he was clearly out…

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        From a Pirates reporter: Castro was ruled safe because Pirates C TSanchez didn’t give runner clear lane to the plate. Call is NOT reviewable.

  • BillyFinT

    It’s a tough call, but the new rule did say you need a path for the baserunner, and the catcher clearly didn’t give.

    • JasonPen

      I thought that the catcher was allowed to block the plate with possession of the ball.

      • BillyFinT

        Block, yes, but with a path for the runner. The catcher had his knee and hand (glove on) blocking and gave no path to the foot of Castro.

  • DWalker

    looking like they got into Coles head.

  • TDog

    Is Wood alright?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Yes.

  • JasonPen

    I love this new aggressive style!

  • JasonPen

    That steal was on Bonnifacio for not getting the tag down…

  • TDog

    Is this really the same Cubs team? Both are they taking the extra base… i hardly recognize them out there!

  • TDog

    how was Castro called safe? Did that play get reviewed? Was the catcher’s mitt on top of home plate? At work and don’t have access to a TV, so just following the game online.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I posted this above, but this is what happened.

      Castro was ruled safe because Pirates C TSanchez didn’t give runner clear lane to the plate. Call is NOT reviewable.

      • TDog

        how else is the catcher supposed to make a catch on a ball and apply a tag? The throw was perfect. Does he have to catch…step aside and then apply the tag. Seems like a flaw in the new rule.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          That’s the way I understand it, yes. I will post a link to the new rules.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil
          • DWalker

            after reading that and rewatching the play, I was pretty confused. I am guessing though the situation here was that the umpires rulling was the plate was blocked prior to receiving the throw. Had he been farther off the plate, received the ball then moved to block the plate it would have been legal. in the eyes of the umpire, Castro in this case did not have a clear route to the plate prior to the ball arriving. Since the play is not reviewable, its a total line of site judgement call. I am guessing the Umps are also being pushed to be somewhat aggressive on these calls to get the message accross to the catchers not to block the base withoutt he ball.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      It is a strange call

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Snider with a pinch-hit, 2 run homer.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    why was Wood pulled? Should be able to finish 7 innings…especially when putting up a shutout.

    I feel like we saw this a lot last year…great outings by Wood, but seemed like he never got into 7th and 8th very often before having to goto the bullpen.

    Is it just an endurance thing with him…he is just a guy that gets gassed a bit too quickly?

    • Denver Mike

      That inning where he loaded the bases (3rd/4th?) really ran his pitch count up, plus I’m sure all those Ks drove it up too. They said on the radio he was at 104 pitches after 6 innings.

    • Denver Mike

      …and they let him start the 7th but then Walker doubled to lead off the inning and that’s when he was pulled.

  • TDog

    he was already at 104 pitches… bet you anything they were watching his pitch count. This early in the season it’s not worth risking an injury

  • John_CC

    Here comes Everyday Jimmy.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And there goes the lead … three-run homer by Alvarez

    • Zonk

      Good Lord, did he hang that curveball right there in the wheelhouse…..ouch

      • DWalker

        really didn’t matter, as the announcers said, everyoen has seen him pitch often enough now they know whats hes going to throw. If he had better stuff it might not matter, but he just doesn’t.

  • John_CC

    Hang that meat up over the plate to Alvarez…blaaah!

  • Denver Mike

    I know how you feel Jackie….

  • John_CC

    A 2 run homer and 2 out walk and Russel takes a seat. Icky BAD!

  • Andy Turner

    I should have known better than to wear my “This Team Makes Me Drink” T-shirt today… good night nurse.

  • Denver Mike

    Russell is just all sorts of garbage.

  • BillyFinT

    This Cubs is really an amazing team. If the 69 Mets were the Miracle, then this must be the Debacle. I’ve watched at least three games this season with the Cubs led their opponents 4-0 into the 5th, and still leading 4-2 in the 7th, and somehow, somewhere, someone had the ABILITY to give up runs.

    Think how the fans of the team opposing the Cubs will feel? Elated! No matter how much our guys are behind, the Cubs have a way to give us back! It must be a Blessing from Heaven! The Cubs are a God-sent gift to spread love, make this World a better place. This trend has been on and on since 2011. I must say, the Debacle Cubs are truly in a world of their own.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with a 3-hit game

    • Andy Turner

      Love you helping us find a bright side.

      • Andy Turner

        Maybe a big hit gets us a win with your positive Karma, Neil!

  • Andy Turner

    Whoo boy… that was just two bad at bats… Cmon Darwin… lets not let the Cubs win your namesake award today.

  • BillyFinT

    Mr. Clutch, com’on, bring your wood back to this field…

    • BillyFinT

      and that’s a huge strikezone up the shoulder…

      • Andy Turner

        I know right?

        • BillyFinT

          At least Darwin patiently got 3-2…

          • BillyFinT

            Love the Clutchman!!!

          • BillyFinT

            Tha’ts a team guy. The next bat can do the work.

  • Andy Turner

    Clutch base on balls for Mr. Barney… bases full of Cubs… all the pressure on Grilli. InYourFacio up!

    • BillyFinT

      o well. next time.

      • Andy Turner

        Sigh… Hey Bartender… Jobu needs a refill.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 5-4 to Pirates on Thursday afternoon … Travis Wood:1R, 4H, 3BB, 9K, 6+ IP (106 pitches, 65 strikes); Schlitter/Russell: 4R, 3H, 2BB, 2HR in 0.2IP

    Castro: 3-4, RBI, R; Rizzo: 1-3, R, BB; Castillo: 1-4,
    RBI; Bonifacio: 0-4, BB, R, 2 SB

  • GaryLeeT

    Man. I really thought they were going to win today, and go into the Cards series with a head of steam. Guess which pitcher goes when Vizcaino gets called up?

    • Denver Mike

      I wish it was Russell, but know it won’t be