Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 05/03/14

Game Twenty-Eight – Cubs (10-17) vs. Cardinals (15-15)

  • Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, Fox Sports 1 – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jake Arrieta (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–) vs. Michael Wacha (2-2, 2.48/1.13/2.57)

The Cubs have played better ball over the last week and will shoot to keep it going against Michael Wacha this afternoon. The Cubs did not win a series over the first month of the season and have two chances to post their first series victory since last September (Sept. 9-11). And the last time the Cubs won a series at Wrigley was last August when they took two of three against the Phillies (Aug. 30-Sept. 1).

The starting rotation will get a boost with the return of Jake Arrieta and his ability to record early outs will set the tone for his first start of the season. If Arrieta can throw strikes early, it could be a long afternoon for the Cardinals offense. If he struggles, the long afternoon will be pinned on the Cubs’ bullpen.

The offense will have the pleasure of facing one of the top young arms in the league. Michael Wacha has followed up his rookie season (4-1 in 14 games, nine starts, with a 2.78 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP) with a very good start to what should be his first full season in a Major League rotation.

Rick Renteria should load his lineup with as many lefties as possible this afternoon. And depending on which way the Cubs go with filling Ryan Sweeney’s roster spot, the only right handers that should be in the starting nine are Starlin Castro, Welington Castillo and Jake Arrieta. Right handers have hits .188/.291/213 against Wacha this season while lefties have managed a .265/.306/.361 slash line.

And for the first time this season, today all starts with Jake Arrieta …

Jake Arrieta reported to Spring Training with a sore right shoulder. The Cubs were very cautious with Arrieta despite his willingness to speed up the process and get on the mound. Arrieta did not throw a single pitch in the Cactus League before he went out on a rehab assignment just after the start of the season (April 5). Arrieta made five starts in the minors, four with Double-A Tennessee and one with the High-A Daytona Cubs. Arrieta limited the minor leaguers to nine runs, five earned, on 13 hits with 18 strikeouts and seven walks in 20 innings.

The Cubs acquired Jake Arrieta, along with Pedro Strop, from the Orioles last July. Arrieta spent time with Triple-A Iowa before finishing the year with the Cubs. In nine starts with the Cubs, Arrieta posted a 4-2 record with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.

Jake Arrieta was 3-1 in six starts at Wrigley last season after the trade. Arrieta gave up 13 runs on 19 hits with three walks and 17 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings (3.38 ERA, 1.04 WHIP).

This afternoon will be Arrieta’s second career start against St. Louis. Arrieta faced the Cardinals last August 16 and tossed seven innings of shutout ball. Arrieta issued two walks and struck out seven batters. Arrieta picked up his first victory in a Cubs’ uniform in a 7-0 victory at Wrigley Field.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Jake Arrieta

  • Mark Ellis: 1-for-5 with three walks
  • Jhonny Peralta: 3-for-6 with two double
  • Peter Bourjos: 0-for-3 with two walks
  • Matt Carpenter: 0-for-2 with one walk
  • Allen Craig: 0-for-2
  • Matt Holliday: 0-for-3
  • Jon Jay: 0-for-3
  • Daniel Descalso: 0-for-2

The Cubs get another shot at Michael Wacha this afternoon. Wacha beat the Cubs on April 13 after he allowed three runs on five hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Wacha has struggled since he faced the Cubs and is 0-2 in his last three games (Cardinals 0-3 in Wacha’s last three starts).

The Brewers beat the Cardinals in Wacha’s last outing on April 28 after the young right hander allowed three runs on eight hits with two walks and nine strikeouts.

Like Adam Wainwright, Wacha pounds the strike zone. In six games (36 1/3 innings), Wacha has issued 10 free passes while striking out 44 batters.

The Cubs will face Michael Wacha for the fourth time in his brief big league career. Wacha is 1-0 in three games, two starts, against the Cubs. Wacha has thrown just one scoreless in against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Cubs Career Numbers against Michael Wacha

  • Welington Castillo: 2-for-5 with one home run and one walk
  • Junior Lake: 2-for-5 with one walk
  • Anthony Rizzo: 2-for-6 with one home run
  • Nate Schierholtz: 0-for-6
  • Starlin Castro: 1-for-5
  • Emilio Bonifacio: 0-for-3
  • Mike Olt: 1-for-2 with one double
  • Darwin Barney: 0-for-2

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

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  • Eugene Debs

    When we win this one today, you can officially call it a “good stretch” for the Cubs. Let’s do this.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Lake misplayed that ball, should have been caught. Arrieta strikes out Molina to end the inning.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Agreed. Can’t give away outs. Will come back to haunt eventually.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo with a walk. Didn’t get anything to really hit but the second pitch of the at bat.

    • BigJonLilJon

      He’s so hot they are going to pitch around him. Hopefully Castro keeps up his streak and makes them pay

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Agreed.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      With that said, someone needs to talk to Rizzo about going so far down the line. Strong throw by Olt on the play as well.

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

    Wrigley looks really beautiful today.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo with a solid play on the bunt, nailed Peralta at third.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Olt made a nice throw to 1st. Made Wacha run full out

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

    I’m watching in OKC on the Fox Cardinals broadcast. In the pregame they were showing highlights of great Cubs/Cards games that went back and forth and were high scoring. Amazing how good those 80′s Cards teams were without really power bats other than Tommy Herr, Will Clark or Jack Clark at times. Pendleton and McGee had a little pop but basically they would just single you to death and steal bases. Some great moments with Ryno going deep.

    Made me think back to the old “I’m a Cubs fan, and I’m a Bud man,” commercials. I remember a kid in the bleachers with a sign that said “I”m a Cubs fan, and I’m a milk man, I’m too young for Bud.” Funny the random things you remember.

  • Brp921

    Nice play by Castro!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with an excellent, over the shoulder catch. Picked up Arrieta and saved at least one run.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    ARRIETA WITH THE SHUTOUT THRU 3!!! BAM! SHARK SUPPLANTED BY NEW CUBS ACE!!

    • Roland Bowman

      Don’t jinx him man. He is looking good. The hit by Adams was just a seeing eye grounder. But man he works slow. I am falling asleep here.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        I am flooding the universe with positivity…need Jake to effort my fantasy team to a win this week, and if he can prove legit it also greatly improves Cubs rotations.

        But, yeah, I probably just jinxed him.

        • Roland Bowman

          Quick say something bad about him to unjinx.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            not a fan of the beard.

          • Roland Bowman

            That should do it.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Better third inning for Arrieta, hit his spots for the most part, weak contact and no walks.

  • Roland Bowman

    Wacha is looking good.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    is it clear which way wind is blowing at Wrigley? Seemed fairly windy at the park in the burbs just now…

  • Eugene Debs

    Arrieta already looks better than what we were getting from Villanueva. Lets hope Carlos improves in the pen.

    • Roland Bowman

      Carlos said in an interview he had something mechanical going on. Hopefully he has got it worked out.

  • GaryLeeT

    You wouldn’t think one player would make that much of a difference, but not having Beltran in the middle of that lineup makes the Cards look a lot more toothless.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      I don’t recognize them as much this year…they have let a lot of bats go last few years. But as much as I hate them, they seem to retool better than any other club.

      • GaryLeeT

        Pitching wise, for sure.

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

          Their lineup certainly isn’t the daunting one it has been in years past. Taveras may help that mightily.

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

      He wasn’t a masher but I for one am glad Freese isn’t there anymore. He was certainly clutch.

  • Roland Bowman

    Strong accurate throw by Olt in the 4th.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    A shutout is in the Arrieta…

    • BigJonLilJon

      Not sure about that. I figure they’ll pull him after a couple more innings. Don’t want to run his count to high in his first start

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        I was just providing Neil with a column heading he could steal as needed…

        • BigJonLilJon

          Too funny

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        but I think you pull him after 7 either way…both for pitch count reasons, but also to allow him to leave after a good outing, and build his confidence.

        • Roland Bowman

          They may be lucky to get 6 out of him. His pitch count is up. A couple 3 up, 3 down innings will help.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Agreed

  • Roland Bowman

    Starlin crushed that ball. I thought it was gone off the bat. Almost got thrown out at second.

  • Roland Bowman

    A nice weak grounder that finds it’s way through the infield would be nice.

  • Roland Bowman

    3 straight strikeouts looking

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      that over-the-top curveball reminded me of Scott Sanderson…

      • Roland Bowman

        1984 Scott Sanderson. He was kind of an underated pitcher. Long career. Decent numbers. Definitely not dominating though.

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          And my mom liked him cause he was a good-looking guy. Arrieta has some curves that are a bit more 12-6 types that you don’t see as much as the sideways leaning curves.

          If Arrieta can keep the ball down, I think he will have a decent career inducing groundballs and getting K’s. I can see him being a guy that gets punished for mistake pitches a lot though…we will see.

          • Roland Bowman

            If he just mixes in that curve it could be really effective. The curve ball pitchers like Ted Lilly always make me nervous. It is so easy to spin one up there that gets crushed out of the park. I think Arrieta has other pitchers he can rely on. His pitches are really moving.

  • Roland Bowman

    He looked out to me

  • Brp921

    I don’t know how he missed that call.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Angel Hernandez is the first base ump

      • Roland Bowman

        I can’t stand Angel. I know how hard it is to umpire. But man that guy seems to take pride in making bad calls.

  • Brp921

    I’m thinking homerun

    • Brp921

      Dang almost!

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Very close …

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    ok…time for some runs. Arrieta needs run support!!

    • Brp921

      Here’s a chance to help his own cause.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        damn…they should have let him swing away again.

    • Roland Bowman

      Arrieta can help his casue here

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        this is why I wish NL had the DH. the P spot in any lineup is just a momentum killer.

        • Roland Bowman

          Yeah I have come full circle on the DH. I used to hate it. Now I wish the NL would have it as well.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      cmon Boni!!!

  • Brp921

    Bafd call

    • Brp921

      Bad call

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    cmon Luis…use your magical OBP powers to elicit a walk, and load the bases for Rizzo.

    • Brp921

      Good call

    • Roland Bowman

      Those magical OBP powers may be against the rules. He may get tossed from a game one of these days if they catch him.

  • Eugene Debs

    Bases juiced. Rizzo up.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Rizzo’s extra good eye lately will make him, hopefully, wait for his pitch or walk in a run.

  • Brp921

    Bull ony

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      yeah…this ump is on the lower end of the bell curve of accuracy. Cost us runs I think.

      • Roland Bowman

        I don’t like how Rizzo lets it known he is taking all the way with the bat on the shoulder. To me that would help the pitcher relax. It shouldn’t affect the umpires call but it might.

  • GaryLeeT

    At least they got Wacha’s pitch count way up there.

  • Brp921

    We just can’t seem to put pitchers away when we have them on the ropes. We were a couple inches away from a big inning. If we could get just a little more offense we could make some noise and then who knows what could happen?

  • cubtex

    Just got in for a short time and thought of you John CC. Rizzo up with bases loaded 2-0 and he took it all the way. The announcer was all over him. He was like….2-0 bases loaded and he is not even looking to swing??? Wind blowing out to right? That is my issue with Rizzo. He needs to want to be THE guy up in that situation. Not look for a walk.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Too bad, it was a ball that should have been called one.

      • cubtex

        It looked a little low but the point was he wasn’t looking to swing no matter where the pitch was. He wasn’t going to swing if it was put on a tee. He didn’t load or even follow the pitch.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          I know the point you made and understand your point of view as well. His approach has improved ten fold from last year. Let’s hope it keeps improving.

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

            He was definitely taking all the way. But hey that’s his approach. I don’t see how there is much to be critical of in what he’s doing .

          • Brp921

            The pitch was out of the strike zone too. I think the next step in his developement is to know when to lay off of those types of pitches or to swing after seeing how the umpire is calling the close ones.

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

            He is a step by step guy. I think he’ll make adjustments as he has shown the tendency to in the past. I’m just terribly impressed with the guy. I think currently he’s our best hitter and long term he will certainly be. I’ve said before and I still think he’s got all-star starts in his future.

        • John_CC

          Typical of you to chose one pitch in one at bat to make a point. The kid is hitting .295/420/500! He has homered 3 days in a row.

          My point the other day was about Rizzos incredibly discipled hitting approach and how much success he is having. Complaining that he should change this approach to be more aggressive is the same thing that drove you nuts about Sveum trying to change Castro’s successful aggressive approach so he could walk more.

          Why can’t you see this and be psyched that Rizzo is turning into a seriously good hitter?

          • cubtex

            Again. I was quoting an announcers view on the telecast. It is not typical me. I was echoing the guy analyzing the game.

          • John_CC

            Of course. It had nothing to do with your opinion. You just needed to share some nameless analyst’s opinion. Thanks!

  • BigJonLilJon

    Outstanding outing for Arrieta!!

  • Roland Bowman

    Maybe Arietta was on a strict pitch count limit. I would have liked to seen him stay in longer. He seemed to be getting stronger as the game went on.

    • Brp921

      I agree, but then there’s no sense taking a chance when his problem was in his shoulder.

      • Roland Bowman

        Yeah it probably was the right call when I think about it. He probably could only face a couple more batters before his pitch count got into the 90s. This way he comes out of the game with confidence. If he had given up a couple more hits it may have affected his confidence.

        • Brp921

          He really pitched well. He can take away a lot of confidence from this outing for sure.

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

            I thought he seemed to be getting better as the day went on as well.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Solid outing for Arrieta

  • Roland Bowman

    Wacha seems to be losing a little on his fastball. Hopefully this is his last inning.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Junior Lake with a 2-run shot

  • Roland Bowman

    Good bye!

  • Eugene Debs

    Nice job, Junior!

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      yeah…only took 2 DL stints for him to get a start…3 hits to show for it.
      Hope Ricky pays attention.
      Just wish it happened earlier for Jake the Snake’s benefit.

      • BigJonLilJon

        And for your fantasy team!!!

        • Roland Bowman

          Yeah but Schilter might get the win instead of Arieta. Just another reason for Jason to not like Schilter.

          • BigJonLilJon

            I believe that’s correct

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            yep…that is a Schlitty outcome for me.

  • Roland Bowman

    When Lake hits them, you know it.

  • Brp921

    I almost called it again but I didn’t want to jinx him.. WAY TO GO JUNIOR!!!

  • Roland Bowman

    Glad to see Russel just used to get the LH hitter out.

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

    I hate to say it, but I think management may have to consider sending Olt down to AAA. Villanueva isn’t hitting much either so AA may be good for him. Olt is struggling mightily and needs to get in a groove and get some confidence. I don’t know if this is the right thing for sure, or if letting him work on things in Chicago is the way to go. And I’ll be the first to say I wanted him up badly out of spring training and have advocated for him to play and play often. So perhaps I was wrong and some time at AAA out of the gate would have been the way to go.

    • BigJonLilJon

      I don’t know. I was just as loud regarding Olt. I still think Ricky needs to support him by playing him every day first.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      Ricky has mismanaged him…no consistent ABs.

    • Eugene Debs

      I’d say give it a few more weeks.

  • BigJonLilJon

    I do like Ramirez though. I think I prefer him as the 8th inning guy though.

    • Roland Bowman

      I really like what I have seen from Ramirez as well. I am fine with giving him innings before using him as the setup man.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        right now I am a fan of the Rondon/Grimm/Ramirez trio.

        I am a bit down on Strop…he just seems like Marmol-lite with the lack of control.

        • BigJonLilJon

          Agreed

        • Roland Bowman

          Yeah I think the Marmol comparison is pretty good. The younger Marmol had better stuff and was wilder. For a few years Marmol’s slider was practically unhittable.

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

      I like him a lot. Would like to see him get a chance to start though, along with Grimm.

      • BigJonLilJon

        You’ll most liky get your wish in July!!

      • Roland Bowman

        I had forgotten he could be a starter. I would like to see him given a chance to start.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another good showing for Ramirez, liked the pitch calling.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      I think he is your new Sean Marshall…maybe a bit of a RP man crush there?

      • Brp921

        I’d like to see him stretched back out into a starter.

  • BigJonLilJon

    0-4 for Bonifacio!!! What’s his problem!! Lol

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      the clock struck midnight? Helluva April though…

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

        He’s had some really good years in the past and is still young. I wouldn’t put it past him to hold up over the course of the season. Everyone has a rough day at the plate now and then.

        • BigJonLilJon

          He’s had some great Aprils in the past also. He’s always come back to earth. But that was in the AL. Hoping change in leagues helps him.

    • Brp921

      There’s a reason the Cubs were able to get him cheap. He’s just coming back down to earth. He is what he is.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Was being sarcastic guys.

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

        I know you were :). Saw the LOL

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

    I could see Castillo developing into a Molina type catcher at some point. He’s a very good hitter and seems to improve regularly. Also he’s improving at working with the pitching staff and someday may be a steady veteran influence in the middle of our lineup. It’s a lofty aspiration to be like Molina but I really like Castillo. Although I hope we bring up enough solid hitters that we can afford to play him down in the lineup. I’m traditional in the sense I want my catcher batting 8 hole to help them hold up over the course of a season.

  • Brp921

    I’ve got to hand it to Theo and company, they’ve brought a lot of live arms to the Cubs. We haven’t seen that for a long time.

  • Roland Bowman

    Strop looked good in the 8th.

  • Roland Bowman

    Line shot out of the park for Rizzo. He is hot.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Especially against lefty’s

      • Roland Bowman

        I thought it was a double off the bat. I didn’t think he elevated it enough. Man he crushed that.

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

      He’s a stud…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo with #6 … three games in a row with a homer for Rizzo

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

      And off Choate, one of the tougher lefty’s in the league…

      • BigJonLilJon

        And yesterday was off Marshall I believe.

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

          Two days ago, yesterday was Wainwright. But you were mostly right :).

          • BigJonLilJon

            They say the memory goes first….

          • Roland Bowman

            I can’t remember who said that though.

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

    I really like how Rizzo pulls inside pitches and hits for power when that’s how he’s being pitched. When guys are going away from him he goes with it and hits singles and doubles opposite field. To me it’s just a great sign of a guy making adjustments and taking what he’s given. Starting the season with all those outside pitches and not getting impatient and trying to hit for more power. Showing the league that if that’s how they want to play him he’ll deal with that and go with it. Then the league adjusts and Rizzo adjusts right back and starts hitting for power. For a guy with about 2 full years of playing time it’s very impressive.

  • BigJonLilJon

    Well needed double play!!

  • Roland Bowman

    Two tough luck at bats for Cubs. First pitch runs in on Molina, a good pitch but he is able to power it into RF. Then a broken bat bloop hit. Nice DP though.

  • Roland Bowman

    Yes! I am loving Rondon.

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

    We’re going streaking!

  • BigJonLilJon

    And we finally win a series and have a 3 game winning streak!!

  • Brp921

    Who’s pitching tomorrow night?

    • Roland Bowman

      I think it is Chuck Rainey.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        nope…Ruthven’s turn.

        • Roland Bowman

          Then Steve Trout

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

            I think you mean Steve Trachsel…

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    I think it is safe to say the Cubs are now playoff-bound, thanks to the emergence of new staff Ace Jake the snake Arrieta!

    Once we trade the whiny Shark and bring up SP’s from the farm or convert Grimm/Ramirez to SP, we will be on the right path.

    Hopefully Olt & Lake start producing consistently, rounding out the offense too. Cubs win…Cubs win!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Cardinals 3-0 on Saturday afternoon … Jake Arrieta: 0R, 4H, 2BB, 7K in 5.1 IP (82 pitches, 58 strikes)

    Junior Lake: 3-3, HR, 2B, 2 RBI; Anthony Rizzo: 1-3, HR, BB; Starlin
    Castro: 2-4, 2B, R

    Brian Schlitter earned first big league win and Cubs posted first series victory of the season with Saturday’s 3-0 win over the Cardinals

  • Eugene Debs

    How about that bullpen?

  • GaryLeeT

    I don’t mean to take anything away from what the Cubs did the last 2 games, but the Cards kind of looked disinterested, and bored.

    • Richard Hood

      Well right now they are not even a .500 club. They had better get interested soon or Milwaukee is going to run away and hide.

  • BosephHeyden

    Whoo hoo! We’re better than the Pirates by virtue of a rain out!