Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 05/04/14

Game Twenty-Nine – Cubs (11-17) vs. Cardinals (15-16)

  • Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: ESPN Sunday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 89, 844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jason Hammel (4-1, 2.08/0.69/4.05) vs. Lance Lynn (4-1, 3.60/1.26/3.44)

The Cubs have won three games in a row for the first time this season and have posted victories in four of the last five games dating back to a seven days in Milwaukee. The Cubs will shoot for the series sweep over the Cardinals in front of a national audience in the ‘Game of the World.’

Tonight is the first of nine Sunday throwback days at Wrigley Field and is the second time the current Cubs team will honor a team that played at Wrigley by donning a replica jersey from that season. Both the Cubs and Cardinals will wear jerseys from 1929 tonight. The ’29 team was the first Cubs’ team to win a National League pennant at Wrigley Field and bring the Fall Classic to Wrigley Field.

The Cubs are playing good ball right now and will face a big challenge in Lance Lynn tonight. The Cubs have posted surprising wins in back-to-back days over Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha, and while Lynn is not considered to be as good as the top two pitchers in the Cardinals’ rotation, he’s had a lot of success against the Cubs during his career.

Lefties have hit rather well against Lance Lynn this year, which would seem to signal John Baker being in the starting lineup, plus he has worked extremely well with Jason Hammel this season. Left handers have managed a .785 OPS against Lynn (.291/.371/.452) while right handers have not fared nearly as well (.213/.264/.315/.554).

Keep an eye on the bullpen tonight. If there is a save opportunity for the Cubs, will Hector Rondon be available and pitch a third day in a row for the first time in his career? Or will Rick Renteria use Pedro Strop or Justin Grimm if the Cubs have a lead in the ninth inning?

ESPN will be calling tonight’s game from the bleachers.

And tonight it all starts with Jason Hammel …

Jason Hammel had a very good first month with his new team. Hammel is coming off a gem in Milwaukee in which he took a no hitter into the sixth inning. Hammel ended up tossing seven innings of shutout ball while allowing three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Hammel picked up his fourth win and fifth quality start in five chances.

Hammel is making his third start at Wrigley Field tonight. Hammel is 2-0 in the first two with a 2.57 ERA and a 0.57 WHIP. Hammel limited the Pirates to three runs on three solo home runs in his Wrigley debut on April 9 and shut down the Diamondbacks on April 22 (one run on four hits with no walks and seven strikeouts).

Replica Jersey from '29 Cubs team 1929 NL Champions 98-54 record

Replica Jersey from ’29 Cubs team
1929 NL Champions 98-54 record

Based on the numbers, it is very likely Hammel serves up a home run or two tonight (five home runs off Hammel in five starts), the key as always is to limit them to solo shots. Hammel has done a very good job, to this point, of limiting his free passes (seven walks in 34 2/3 innings) and he must not help out the Cardinals tonight.

Jason Hammel has started two games against the Cardinals in his career, and has both a win and a loss on his resume against the Redbirds with a 5.79 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Jason Hammel

  • Jhonny Peralta: 7-for-15 with one double, two home runs and one walk
  • Matt Holliday: 3-for-6 with two doubles and one walk
  • Mark Ellis: 3-for-5 with one double
  • Jon Jay: 1-for-3
  • Yadier Molina: 1-for-3
  • Allen Craig: 0-for-2

Lance Lynn has gotten off to a very good start this year. Lynn is coming off a short outing in Milwaukee but he still put his team into position to win the game. Lynn gave up three runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings. The five-inning outing was his shortest time on the mound since April 3 in Cincinnati. Lynn is throwing strikes, and has been very good outside of Busch Stadium (3-1 in four starts with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP) and if the Cubs walk to the plate swinging the bat, it is going to be a frustrating day for the offense.

Lance Lynn has had a lot of success against the Cubs. Lynn is 6-3 in 10 games, nine starts, with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Lynn usually figures into the outcome when he pitches against the Cubs. Lynn was 2-3 in five starts last year versus the Cubs with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP and he owns a 2-2 career mark in five starts at Wrigley with a 5.55 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Lance Lynn

  • Starlin Castro: 10-for-27 with three doubles and one triple
  • Darwin Barney: 5-for-19 with one double
  • Anthony Rizzo: 4-for-19 with one home run and two walks
  • Luis Valbuena: 1-for-9 with one home run and four walks
  • Nate Schierholtz: 1-for-11 with one home run
  • Welington Castillo: 4-for-6 with one home run and one walk
  • Junior Lake: 1-for-3 with one walk
  • Emilio Bonifacio: 0-for-1

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him." - David Brinkley
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Bonifacio CF
    Valbuena 3B
    Rizzo 1B
    Castro SS
    Schierholtz RF
    Kalish LF
    Baker C
    Barney 2B
    Hammel P

    • John_CC

      Well theres the leftie lineup. If Bonafacio were at 2B they could have given Coghlan his first start, I can’t remember a lineup with 7 of 8 offensive players hitting from the left side.

      • Tony_H

        I honestly don’t like an all lefty or all right lineup, even if the numbers tell you it give an advantage. I like at least one, if not 2 from the same side of the pitcher, just to make the pitcher not be able to get too comfortable. Of course, not sure Barney would be my RH bat choice. I honestly I would play Barney when Wood is pitching, then try DHing for Barney! If only we could.

      • Skeldor

        Way to reward Lake’s 3-3 performance with a seat on the bench.

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    The throwbacks look great, both the Cubs and the Cardinals

    • BigJonLilJon

      Any uniform they wear looks good as long as we win

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

      Was getting on just to say the same thing Neil! I love the socks on all players. Looks like two baseball teams should look IMO.

  • CerranoReadyNow

    Hope the Sunday night baseball crew enjoy the bleachers tonight.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent catch by Schierholtz and they doubled off Carpenter

    • CerranoReadyNow

      Where was carpenter going?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Just a bad misread, the wind helped

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

          He was headed toward 3rd thinking Molina hit it over Schierholtz head.

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

    Great play in right on Molina’s smash by Schierholtz! That’s a play only a guy that knows RF in Wrigley makes. Doubled up Carpenter at first.

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

    3 very hard hit balls in the 1st, but only 2 hits. Hammel needs to adjust though.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Agreed. Lucky wind is blowing in or it’d be 3-0 already

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

      Sorry, 1 hit…

  • CerranoReadyNow

    Hammel looks a little off tonight. Hopefully he settles in.

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

      All 3 batters pounded the ball…

    • BigJonLilJon

      He has no control right now.

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

    Like Bonifacio’s idea to bunt for a hit to start the game, but he hit it way too hard toward 3rd.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Was typing same thing!!!

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

        Trying to comment but also be descriptive for anybody that can’t watch. Although with it being ESPN it’s pretty much on everywhere I suppose.

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

    Never heard much of Felix Pena. What’s up with him? His ERA looks really good.

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

    Love Rizzo’s approach. He doesn’t help the pitcher at all. You either throw him a pitch he likes or he’ll take his base.

    And he rips a pitch past the shift for a single in 1st!

    • BigJonLilJon

      Well placed ball by Rizzo. Still want to see him go the other way in order to stop those shifts

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

        He’s gone the other way a lot but that pitch was something he could elevate and pull. But you’re right, that shift is going to force him to adjust on inside pitches, which he’s seeing a lot of lately.

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

    Castro protecting Rizzo seems to really be working. Rizzo is getting better pitches and he gets on base so much it’s helping Castro get better pitches too. May have found something there at least under the current roster construction.

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

      And to me, I know some will disagree, but Rizzo is our best hitter. He should be the guy we put in position to be protected and with his eye, force pitchers to throw him what he’s looking for.

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

    Hammel seems to be overthrowing a bit. Lots of pitches bouncing in front of the pitcher. Maybe aiming a bit too but hasn’t hurt him so far though. If he makes it to the 3rd without giving up runs I imagine he’ll settle in.

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

    Don’t know if anybody saw my post on the Bryant thread but Red Sox Insider is reporting that they are pursuing Hammel. Webster, Britton were mentioned as possible guys in return.

    • Tony_H

      Sooner rather than later, Hammel just had his best month he is going to have this year.

  • CerranoReadyNow

    Hammel is getting pounded tonight.

  • GaryLeeT

    So there isn’t a better catcher than John Baker, in this entire world, other than what’s already on a current MLB team’s roster?

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      Dioner Navarro hit .301 last year…hitting .300 now for Toronto. I think he took 8m/2 years. I would have given him 10m/2 years.

      A measly, by mlb standards, $5m/yr, and we had insurance against Castillo being bad or getting injured and also have a better bat off bench and a DH bat for interleague games.

      • John_CC

        It was a good bargain for sure.

      • Tony_H

        He wanted to start and that wasn’t going to happen with Castillo here.

  • CerranoReadyNow

    Espn with the classy touch of showing the cubs various staff members before going to commercial. Those guys definitely deserve the recognition.

  • BigJonLilJon

    Evidently Kruk has never had a Chicago style hot dog. Think he asks for ketchup ?

  • BigJonLilJon

    Looked like Adams slid through the bag on that RBI triple. RR should have challenged that and got inning over

  • GaryLeeT

    Giving up 2 out runs…… my favorite.

    • BigJonLilJon

      All 3 Cards runs have came with 2 outs I think. Not good.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        You are correct. All three have scored after two out walks.

      • GaryLeeT

        What even makes me happier is they all started with a walk. Hammel’s WHIP is taking a whopping.

        • BigJonLilJon

          Or a WHIPping

  • Tony_H

    Jason Hammel with a 2 out 2 RBI single to right.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Hammel with a two-RBI single

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight further proves the point Angel Hernandez should not be a Major League umpire

    • BigJonLilJon

      He’s expanded the strike zone since the first inning for sure. Must be getting cold and wants to move game along so he can get home to warm bed.

    • BigJonLilJon

      He’s expanded the strike zone since the first inning for sure. Must be getting cold and wants to move game along so he can get home to warm bed.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight further proves the point Angel Hernandez should not be a Major League umpire

  • BillyFinT

    Villanueba warmed up. This will be his second relief appearance for this season. I don’t know how to take that…

    • Tony_H

      Actually 3rd, both previous relief appearances were losses.

  • Tony_H

    Hammel is over a 100 pitches, so that could be it for him and if this is one of his bad outings that’s not too bad.

    6 IP
    7 H
    2 BB
    5 K’s
    3 ER

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    The Schierholtz/Barney/Baker offensive juggernaut is a surprising 0-7 tonight…for those keeping score at home.

    • BigJonLilJon

      And you expected …….

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        0-12…but there is still time.

        • BigJonLilJon

          If the over under was .5… I’d still take the under.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            after Barney’s deep fly to the 2nd baseman, they are now 0-9.

          • BigJonLilJon

            But in all fairness … The wind was blowing in otherwise it would have gone for a routine fly ball

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            ok…if Kalish can manage to get on base next inning, we will find out shortly if SBB can go 0-12 or not. The drama is excruciating!

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            0-10…Baker had a walk, so that AB didn’t count. His weak K prohibited Barney from showcasing his power that inning. Will have to wait…but I have faith that 0-12 is still in the cards. (pun intended)

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            0-11. Not sure we will get a chance to see an outcome either way, unless we get a big 2-out rally.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Kalish reached on the overturned call.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Another hustle play

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent diving catch by Bonifacio

  • BigJonLilJon

    Execelant catch on the run on the short fly in center by Bonificio. Could be Theo’s best FA signing so far!!

  • BillyFinT

    Shouldn’t Castro had at least attempt a catch? I don’t know. I don’t think so, but a big bounce like what Jay just hit is a challenge to all infielder. I think Castro was shifted as well.

  • GaryLeeT

    Ahhhh Villanueva has an ERA around 10.00, because he stinks. Why is he pitching in a winnable ball game?

  • BillyFinT

    I thought Matt C was save. But the replay shows a bang-bang. I must say most of the replays I saw so far are arbitrary. May go either way.

    • BillyFinT

      And the ruling is safe.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Was the right call

        • BillyFinT

          Yea, doesn’t matter now when the ball hit right towards the fielder for another double play!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent play by Luis, Luis

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      that was crazy cool…highlight reel.

  • CerranoReadyNow

    Wow. What a play by Valbuena!

    • BigJonLilJon

      More reason to dump Barney!!!

    • BillyFinT

      Flashy. Took off his own helmet before reaching 2nd. It must be the drag that bothered him LOL

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    I blinked and missed a Coghlan sighting…how did he do?

    • BigJonLilJon

      Lol. Go back to sleep

  • CerranoReadyNow

    Valbuena is having one heck of an inning

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      yeah…he hit a triple on purpose cause he owns that base this inning.

  • BigJonLilJon

    It’s the Valbuena show!!!

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Walking to get to Castro!

    Don’t make Starlin Castro angry…you won’t like him when he’s angry.

  • CerranoReadyNow

    Make them pay Castro!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Luis, Luis scored on a wild pitch right through Molina’s five-hole

  • CerranoReadyNow

    This strike zone is getting ridiculous.

    Wild pitch and we have a tied game!

  • BillyFinT

    Did that espn guy just say “New pitcher, Justin Verlander”??

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      I wish…
      Cause that would mean he didn’t already pitch earlier today, contributing to my soul-crushing 4-point defeat in CCO Fantasy. Blah.

      • BigJonLilJon

        But Will Myers has heated up. Price is going up!!! Lol

  • GaryLeeT

    On behalf of the unluckiest team in sports, I accept that gift.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    I don’t care for Rondon being used here.

    • BigJonLilJon

      I agree 100%. What is Ricky thinking?

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        not sure, but from camera shots, I think he is doing sudoku.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      that didn’t work out so hot.

      • BigJonLilJon

        Not sure if 3 days in a row was to much on his arm or was he trying to over throw the ball??

  • BillyFinT

    The reincarnation of Carlos Marmol, in Rondon… Whatever the Cubs coaching staff are teaching young pitchers down at the Minor, it’s not working. No command, easy lapse of concentration… Compare any Cubs player who graduated from the Farm to say, Siegrist, a late round pick behind at least a thousand amateurs drafted above him. The Cardinals taught the latter to own command, hid his pitch well, and pitched 94 miles per hour as a Leftie! Why can’t the Cubs? Why?

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      I don’t know that you can teach command. You can teach mechanics and the ability to repeat a delivery and be consistent, but there is still basic natural talent to throw a ball at a specific target.

      I think the bigger issue is that we love guys that throw 94+…I wish we just loved guys that threw strikes with movement. Look at Maddux and Buerhle.

      • BillyFinT

        You can teach command, to a certain extent. I haven’t read the scouting report on Siegrist, but if he’s that LAte a draft pick, I doubt he had as good a command as he has now.

        A lot has to do with the right teaching. In the book Long Season, Bosnanski the author-pitcher was transferred (traded, which meant very different back in the days…) from Cubs to the Card in the 60s. He was a longman with the Cubs, but became an effective starter with the Card.

        All the Card pitching coach taught him was to not pitch all those lousy pitches, but concentrate on placing command on one breaking pitch. It worked. It will still work. It works with the Card to this day.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Very poor decision by the coaching staff. Rondon threw 28 pitches and will not be available tomorrow. A combo of Neil Ramirez and Wesley Wright would have been a better choice.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Agreed!!!!!!

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    poor Barney…even I think that pitch was outside.

  • BillyFinT

    It’s a V night!

  • John_CC

    The sooner they can get Barney in a trade package the better. Luis should be the starting 2B.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 5-4 to the Cardinals on Sunday night … Jason Hammel: 3R, 7H, 2BB, WP, 5K, 6IP (101 pitches, 62 strikes)

    Hammel: 1-1, 2RBI, BB; Valbuena: 2-4, 3B, 2B, RBI, BB, R; Rizzo: 1-4,
    BB; Kalish: 1-3, R

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    We scored 4 runs, in spite of the ineptness of Schierholtz, Barney, and Baker.
    I blame Thoyer for not providing better roster options, and Ricky for not playing the other options he did have out of some irrational adherence to the righty/lefty matchups. We gave away 11 outs…hard to win when you do that.

    • John_CC

      Saying they gave away 11 outs is a bit extreme. The combined .200 BA says there should have been 2 hits in there.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        the .200 is an average, and since it is the Cardinals, who I consider an above-average team, it weighs down the already abysmal average to .049, which I had to round down to 0.