Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 06/23/14

Game Seventy-Four – Cubs (31-42) vs. Reds (37-37)

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

Jeff Samardzija (2-6, 2.60/1.21/2.89) vs. Alfredo Simon (10-3, 3.05/1.11/4.44)

Weather permitting … The Cubs 10-game homestand continues with the first of three night games against the Reds. Even with dropping the last two games and losing the series to the Pirates, the Cubs have a .500 record at Wrigley Field (16-16) this season. But the Cubs have to deal with another NL Central team for the next three days and one that has made Wrigley its new home park.

The Cubs are 14-22 versus the NL Central and enter play tonight 11 games under .500. Until the Cubs start beating teams within their own division, the losing will continue.

The Reds have owned the Cubs over the last several years. The Cubs are 2-3 versus the Redlegs this season but have lost 17 times in their last 19 games (2-17) against the Reds at Wrigley Field. And it will not get any easier for the Cubs over the next three games.

After tonight’s match-up of Jeff Samardzija and Alfredo Simon, the offense will have to deal with Homer Bailey while Jake Arrieta tries to keep the Reds off the board on Tuesday night. Edwin Jackson is scheduled to face Mat Latos in the finale of the three-game set Wednesday night.

The Cubs bats went cold Sunday afternoon and the offense is looking at three more challenging days in front of them.

Tonight all starts with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija was not sharp in his last outing in Miami and a scoring change Wednesday removed two earned runs off Samardzija’s stats for the season. Samardzija ended up being charged with three runs, zero earned runs, on seven hits with three walks and eight strikeouts in seven innings. Samardzija received a no-decision after the Cubs’ pen blew the lead.

Jeff Samardzija is 1-2 in his last four starts with a 5.73 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP. Samardzija has allowed 17 runs, 14 earned, on 29 hits with eight walks and 26 strikeouts over his last 22 innings. Samardzija has pitched rather well at Wrigley this season (1-3 in seven starts with a 1.64 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP) and faces the Reds for the third time in 2014 tonight.

Samardzija is 0-2 in two starts versus the Redlegs this year with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. Jeff Samardzija has allowed six runs, four earned, on 14 hits with six walks and 11 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings. For his career, Samardzija is 1-5 in 23 games against the Reds, nine starts, with a 4.54 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP.

Reds Numbers against Jeff Samardzija in 2014

Alfredo Simon is in the middle of a career year. Simon is getting a chance to start and is making the most of it. Simon has been terrific this season and is coming off another quality start. Simon held the Pirates to three runs on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Simon has not lost a game since May 27 and the Reds are 11-3 in his 14 starts this year. And Simon is 4-0 in his last four starts with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.

Alfredo Simon has been better on the road this season than at home. Simon is 7-1 in eight starts outside of Great American Ball Park with a 2.66 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. Simon makes his third start of the season against the Cubs tonight. Simon is 2-0 in the first two games against the Cubs with a 1.50 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.

Cubs Numbers against Alfredo Simon in 2014

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Coghlan LF
    Ruggiano CF
    Rizzo 1B
    Castro SS
    Valbuena 3B
    Castillo C
    Sweeney RF
    Barney 2B
    Samardzija P

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Kris Bryant (1-for-2, HR,
    2 BB), Arismendy Alcantara (2-4, RBI), Ryan Kalish (1-4, RBI) drove in three runs in
    Iowa’s 4-3 victory on Monday afternoon

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Kris Bryant hit is fourth Triple-A HR, third in two days, in the 5th inning that
    ended up being the difference in Iowa’s 4-3 win

    • GaryLeeT

      Can he still qualify for the AAA All-Star game?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Gary, I am not sure. The voting for the Triple-A All Star game ends Friday.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Javier Baez went 2-for-4 with a run scored and his 14th stolen base of the year in Monday’s game

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Well, that didn’t take long … already down 1-0 six minutes after Samardzija’s first pitch

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Samardzija limited the damage …

  • Sonate

    My screen showed that Valbuena did not swing. (It was closer than I thought.)

  • RynoTiger

    I’ve renamed Ruggiano. His new name is Busty McBusterson.

    • Tony_H

      Definitely haven’t seen the power or the big numbers against LH’s.

  • BigJonLilJon

    Shark doesn’t seem to have his normal stuff. Long counts, seems like a lot of hard hit balls and defense bailing him out

  • RynoTiger

    After that failed bunt attempt, the camera showed Shark sitting on the bench shaking his head and talking to himself. I can read lips and I know he said, “Man, I keep rejecting extensions because I want to be paid like an ace, but I couldn’t get that bunt down and I can’t consistently dominate like an ace on the mound. I sure hope other teams don’t find out. This is going to ruin my huge payday..err..wait, I mean the payday of future players…wow I sure hope no one heard me on that one…”

  • BigJonLilJon

    So sick of these lineups. I don’t care if it’s lefty against a righty pitcher. If he’s batting 200, what advantage does he really have.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo and Castro did their jobs …

    • BigJonLilJon

      As usual

  • Sonate

    A poor at-bat by Castillo.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      And Valbuena …

      • BigJonLilJon

        And Sweeney

  • BigJonLilJon

    Coughlin another 200 hitter that keeps getting marched out cause he’s a lefty. Disgusting

    • Tony_H

      He’s actually played well the last week in limited play. (15 PA’s)

      • BigJonLilJon

        Yes I read that earlier. But still … 15 PA’s such a small sample size. For the season he’s hitting 200. Like Sweeney, Ruggiano I believe around 225. Barney at 200(even though he’s a righty)

        • Tony_H

          I think we will have little different looking OF by next year, if not late summer. I see Alcantara in CF and Bryant in RF with Lake in LF, if he can show enough to keep starting or a FA/trade player in LF.

          • BigJonLilJon

            I’m not sure the FO will allow Bryant up before next September. Or Alcantara even. Seems to me the longer we suck, the longer Theo is going to keep these guys down to control there clock

          • Ripsnorter1

            I’m not expecting Bryant up here in 2014, not with this FO.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Maybe not in 2015. Or at least the end of it. He’s gonna really have to force the issue

          • Ripsnorter1

            I think the FO leaves Bryant in AAA for 2014. He starts 2015 in AAA, and if he struggles a la Baez, then no 2015 call up either. Otherwise he’ll be here in 2015 I think.

          • BigJonLilJon

            And in the FO’s mind they hope he struggles a la Baez. Keeps the explanations easy

          • Ripsnorter1

            Checking the stats on Javier Baez….

            236 AB….90 K…
            Still has some work to do down there.

          • BigJonLilJon

            I agree. Just saying that his performance(or lack there of) is taking the heat off of team Theo regarding answering questions of promoting him. I think they are happy about it cued they want to keep him down in minors longer to control the clock

          • Tony_H

            I haven’t seen it split out, but April was really, really bad. But has been better since. Far too many K’s that’s for sure.

          • Ripsnorter1

            June for Baez…
            77 AB….28 K…..
            .234 BA,…..278 OBP…442 slug.

            April
            58 AB…22 K
            About the same rate for K’s.

          • Tony_H

            Since May 1st
            238/286/437/723

            About the only thing good is the ISO of 199

            His approach needs to get better and I think seeing Bryant everyday and I really hope having Manny around everyday soon, will help him have a better approach and more of a game plan than see ball, hit ball really, really hard.

          • Tony_H

            I’m not expecting it either, but there is talk that if he hits like he did in AA at AAA, he could get a Sept call-up with and a trip to the AZ Fall League to play OF for a real chance to make the team out of ST. They could do all that, then still send him to AAA to start next year to buy the extra year before FA, but if they do plan for him to start next year on the team, then the Sept call up doesn’t cost them anything.

            Alcantara will be here this year and I think sooner than later.

          • BigJonLilJon

            True on Bryant. Keeping him AAA next year holds the clock. Am curious on Alcantara. Hope he can stick but we will just have to wait to see

          • Tony_H

            The move to CF is to get him to the majors sooner.

          • BigJonLilJon

            And possibly to allow Baez 2nd base when he is ready I wonder

          • Ripsnorter1

            I think that’s the smart move for Baez.

          • Tony_H

            I really think Baez will settle into 3B. Maybe not to start, but shortly after. Valbuena will keep 2B as long as his numbers at or near this level.

            I see an infield of Rizzo, Valbuena, Castro, Baez and an OF of Lake?, Alcantara, Bryant for next year. I don’t see Lake making it and would prefer they go out and get an OF either in FA or through trade.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Valbuena is already cooling off. I know the FO loves him, but I would be shocked if next year he is more than the .218 hitter that his lifetime stats say he is.

          • Tony_H

            Then he will be gone. But his approach is good enough that if he keeps his SLG and OBP up, you can live with a 240ish avg, but not 218.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Been saying that for weeks. He’s been hot but he is what he is. A 230 hitter at best

          • Tony_H

            Last 7 days is bad, but last 14 is still decent.

            Last 14 – 286/314/449/763
            Last 28 – 278/321/418/739

          • BigJonLilJon

            And with that streak he is still hitting 267 for the year

          • Tony_H

            Valbuena for the year.

            271/365/433/798 (before today)

            Those are good numbers.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Yes. I can live with all that accept Lake. I also don’t see him making it. And hopefully Baez can field 3B

          • John_CC

            This is assuming that Baez gets consistent AND learns 3B along the way, maybe in the AZL as well? Otherwise it is pointless moving Bryant to the OF so that they start 2015 with another weak platoon.

          • Tony_H

            I agree, if Baez isn’t ready, Bryant will get his chance at 3B first. I’m thinking along the lines of how Miggy and Pujols were handled defensively by getting their bat in the lineup and letting defense sort itself out over their early years and in Miggy’s case even later in his career.

        • BigJonLilJon

          So tonight we marching out a lineup of which 5 of 9 batters are hitting 225 or less. Then we wonder why we don’t score runs or win the 1 and 1 run ball games.

  • Tony_H

    Opposite field for #16 for Rizzo!

    • BigJonLilJon

      Like that he went opposite field!!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo with a solo HR to left … #16

  • Tony_H

    Wow did he reach for that one!

  • Tony_H

    That wasn’t even a good bunt by Hamilton, but he is so fast, that he made Schlitter rush the throw and Rizzo not feel like he could go get the ball.

    Can’t teach speed.

    Got to love the CS!

    • BigJonLilJon

      I think he was safe at 2nd but won’t complain. Tag missed the hand and hand got bag before tag touched body

      • Tony_H

        Yeah, but the throw beat him and was in front of the bag with the hands sliding by. Even replay would have a hard time overturning it.

        • BigJonLilJon

          Glad they didn’t challenge to find out!!!

  • BigJonLilJon

    Not pinch running for Sweeney??

  • BigJonLilJon

    Pinch hitter that joins the 200 avg club. And he’s 0 for 3 against Simon life time. We don’t have a better option on bench to pinch hit? Oops I forgot.. Lefty batter righty pitcher makes all the differance. Lmao

    • Tony_H

      Travis Wood

      • BigJonLilJon

        Clark The Cub??? Anything better than marching out these lefty 200 hitters just because there lefty batters. Ridiculous and an insult to the fans intelligence!!!

        • Tony_H

          Olt and Lake against a RH is not better than Schierholz against a RH. But Wood is the best PH option on the team. I really wonder how good he would have been as a position player.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Good question on Wood!!! In a tie game I take my chances with Olt. Same numbers over all and better 1 swing ability to put Cubs in lead.

          • John_CC

            Gammons wrote a good article about pitchers being athletes and they should be treated as such. It was on his blog just the other day, its worth a read.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And the wild pitch costs the Cubs a run … and likely the game.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Sad. Our lack of offense just leaves no room for mistakes

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        None whatsoever, and Rondon is getting blooped again. Nothing hit hard off Rondon, yet, this inning and he’s given up a run on three hits

        • BigJonLilJon

          Doesn’t seem to have his normal stuff. Seems like he’s laboring a bit out there

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            He’s a 20 pitch max guy, that was a 32-pitch inning. Can’t leave him out that long. More confusing bullpen management.

          • Scott McMeekan

            You know Russell was warmed up, he’d been up twice before, right?

          • BigJonLilJon

            Agreed. I wasn’t sure I agreed with him being out in a tie game but I could understand the logic. Don’t agree with it but I understand the thought process

        • BigJonLilJon

          Hit him hard there

    • Scott McMeekan

      Fricking Rondon. I’ve been watching and loving this 1-1 affair, and now it’s just a joke.

  • BigJonLilJon

    Ouch. Grand slam just into the basket in center

    • Scott McMeekan

      Ouch is right.

  • BigJonLilJon

    Cubs lose, Cubs lose. Game was much better/closer than the 6-1 score reflects. 1-1 into the ninth.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 6-1 to the Reds on Monday night … Jeff Samardzija: 1R, 4H, 2BB, 2HBP, 7K, 6IP (107 pitches, 66 strikes)

    Rizzo: 2-4, HR; Castro: 1-4; Castillo: 1-4; #Cubs: 1R, 5H, 1BB, 0-6
    RISP, 5 LOB