Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Mets – 08/16/14

Game One Hundred Twenty-Two – Cubs (52-69) vs. Mets (58-65)

  • Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 185, 844
  • Location – Citi Field, Flushing

Dan Straily (1-2, 4.93/1.25/5.66) vs. Jon Niese (6-8, 3.46/1.27/3.84)

The Cubs will look to put one in the win column behind Dan Straily in his Cubs’ debut. The front office decided to call-up Straily to make a spot start while the team is in the middle of a stretch of 21 games in 21 days. Using Straily tonight not only allows the rotation to get an extra day in between starts, but it gives the big league coaching staff their first look at Straily before he is called up in September to finish out the season.

As soon as the final out is recorded tonight, the focus will quickly turn to which position player is being called up for Sunday’s game and for what should be the remainder of the season.

The Cubs lack of contact is the focus right now. The offense has struck out 91 times in the last eight games with 12 walks. The strikeout totals figure to keep mounting and will likely increase as players are called up to either make their big league debuts or for looks in September. The strikeouts are not as alarming as they are being made out to be for a team that is focused on development. It is a lot better to see the strikeouts happening in August of another losing season than it would be at the beginning of next year. And players such as Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara that have struggled with promotions in their pro careers will know what has to be worked on in the off-season.

Luis Valbuena is expected to be held out of the lineup for the second straight game … due to either illness or as a way for him to clear his head due to his “recent tailspin.”

Rick Renteria should run out a balanced lineup tonight. Left handers have hit rather well (.266/.302/.355) against Jon Niese this season, and almost as good as right handers (.262/.324/.360).

Tonight all starts with Dan Straily in his Cubs debut …

Dan Straily makes his Cubs debut tonight and his first start in the big leagues since May 7. Straily lasted six innings in an outing against Seattle and allowed three runs on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Straily was 4-3 in 10 starts for Triple-A Sacramento with a 4.71 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP before the trade that landed him in Des Moines.

Straily posted a 3-3 record in seven starts with Iowa. In 39 innings, Straily allowed 37 runs, 20 earned, on 37 hits with 13 walks and 40 strikeouts.

PrintDon Straily makes his first start against the Mets tonight and no one on New York’s active roster has faced Straily in a regular season ballgame.

Jon Niese has put together another solid season for the Mets. Niese has been inconsistent, the same way he’s been throughout his career, and he has six quality starts in his last 10 games. Niese is coming off a win against the Phillies in which he allowed two runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts in seven innings. Since the break, Niese is 1-4 in five starts with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP.

Jon Niese is 2-3 in nine starts at Citi Field with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Niese missed the Cubs in June and he is 2-4 in seven career starts against the Cubs with a 5.26 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jon Niese

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way of playing the game." – Babe Ruth

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  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Coghlan LF
    Baez 2B
    Rizzo 1B
    Castro SS
    Ruggiano RF
    Alcantara CF
    Castillo C
    Valaika 3B
    Straily P

  • Neil

    Matt Szczur is the position player the Cubs are calling up.Announcement expected after the game.

    • Tony_H

      I was thinking Watkins at first (if it wasn’t Soler) but after looking at the options on the 40 man and the Iowa roster, Szczur makes the most sense. His story made me want to see him make it to the majors.

      • triple

        I don’t fully remember Szczur’s story, but remember he was also a football player in college, and has good speed. I was big on him when he first got drafted by the Cubs. It’s unfortunate that he never really took off, as one time I remember him being rated one of our better prospects. Just goes to show how much improved our farm system is now. Anyway, checking out his stats, at least his K-rate has never been too high, and is even 17.1% in AAA so hopefully he will be making more contact than Lake and Olt have been able to. Unfortunately his walk rates have gone down as he’s been promoted to higher levels. When he gets on base, it will be nice to see if he can steal some bases and take some of the pitcher’s attention away from the batters in the box.

        • Tony_H
          • triple

            WOW! I really hope, not even for the sake of the Cubs fortune, that Matt can make it in the big leagues and have a successful career. That’s really awesome! Thanks for sharing that Tony.

          • Sonate

            An amazing story. Thanks so much for the link Tony.

          • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

            Thank you so much for sharing this. I also shared with my wife. Very cool! I hope he succeeds whoever he ends up in baseball or life.

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  • Tom U

    Boise has announced that RHP Jake Stinnett has been assigned to them:

  • cubtex

    Straily is throwing a ton of hittable pitches. Doesn’t have the stuff to throw pitches at those locations.

    • cubtex

      Lucky to get out of 2nd with only 3. Nice catch by Alcantara

      • Redlarczykg

        Looks like AAA stuff at best! NEXT try out please!

        • Tony_H

          He has another option year so he will almost for sure be in Iowa’s rotation next year as depth for the major league team.

        • Tony_H

          Also keep in mind in 2013 he had a 3.96 ERA with a 1.24 WHIP and in 2014 his WHIP was 1.25 but his ERA rose to 4.93. His K rate went up this year, his BABIP went down and his walk rate was slightly higher. The biggest difference this year is his he gave up 9 HRs in 38 innings versus 16 in 152 innings last year. Was that just bad luck, too many bad pitches or what, he is about as good as you can get for a SP with options and 41 starts in the majors for rotational depth and insurance.

          • cubtex

            Eye test. Look at his stuff and the swings these hitters are getting. There is a reason he gave up 9 bombs. Fly ball pitcher with his stuff at Wrigley = bad things

          • Tony_H

            Not saying he is a stud! But I am positive he would do better than EJAX.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I drafted Straily in our Fantasy league. He “can” strike-out a ton of hitters. He has the same type of problems with his delivery as J. Arrieta had last year. Straily had a long stride delivery(classic drop and drive). He ran into problems repeating with a stiff back and stiff front leg which led to many high pitches in the zone. Now it looks like they have shortened his stride in his delivery which leads to better control but less velocity. I hope he regains his confidence because he can be a real good one.
            Well that’s my opinion and observations.

  • Neil

    Good catch by Alcantara

  • Tony_H

    Chris Volstad is about to face the Iowa Cubs.

    • Tony_H

      And Tony Campana is in CF for the Salt Lake Bees.

  • Neil

    Wely with a solo shot …

  • Cubbiemacg

    This young line up makes it hard to watch. Pitcher throws bricks and the young guys behind him can’t hit anything

  • Tony_H

    That was 12 straight set down by Straily before drilling Wright and now walking Duda.

  • GaryLeeT

    Anybody know why Bryant left tonight’s game?

    • Neil

      Tweets from the park said he left with Iowa’s trainer. Nothing from the team or reporters.

    • SirGladiator

      This really does bring up an important point. For all the talk about how Bryant is ready and should be with Chicago, vs the whole ‘lets keep him down in AAA so we can keep losing’ debate, it really would be such an incredible shame if Bryant suffered some kind of fluke injury because he was playing in AAA instead of in the big leagues where he belongs. Hope we hear REALLY soon that he’s OK. And here’s hoping this is a wakeup call to the FO to send that guy to Chicago!

      • dicepaul

        Because if he was on the major league roster he couldn’t suffer a fluke injury?

      • Tony_H


    • Neil

      From the Sun-Times: Still awaiting official word on Bryant injury. Believed he aggravated minor foot injury from earlier in the week.

      • GaryLeeT

        Doesn’t look too serious. He fouled a pitch off of his foot, and was removed as a precautionary measure.

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 7-3 to the Mets on Saturday night … Dan Straily: 7R, 5ER, 4H, 3BB, HBP, 4K, 5.1 IP (89 pitches, 49 strikes)

    Castillo: 2-4, HR; Ruggiano: 1-4, HR; Alcantara: 1-4, R; Sweeney: 1-1, RBI; Baez: 1-4