Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Mets – 08/17/14

Game One Hundred Twenty-Three – Cubs (52-70) vs. Mets (59-65)

  • Game Time – 12:10pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
  • Location – Citi Field, Flushing

Jake Arrieta (6-4, 2.77/1.05/2.37) vs. Rafael Montero (0-3, 6.12/1.64/7.17)

Rick Renteria will hand the ball to his number one starter this afternoon and look for Jake Arrieta to end the Cubs’ three-game losing streak.

Renteria will have a full bench with the addition of Matt Szczur from Triple-A Iowa. Szczur will become the seventh different player to make his big league debut this season for the Cubs if he crosses the lines this afternoon and the 109th different player to suit up for the Cubs in the Theo Epstein-Jed Hoyer administration.

Luis Valbuena is expected back at third today after two days of just pinch-hitting duty. Again, the reports varied as to why Valbuena was held out of the starting lineup the first two games of the series.

The offense did a good job of cutting down on the strikeouts early in Saturday’s game before getting swing happy again in the last two innings. The Cubs struck out 10 times Saturday with two walks. Over the last nine games, the Cubs have struck out 101 times with 17 walks. And if the offense allows Rafael Montero to get comfortable, the strikeout total will rise significantly this afternoon.

Today all starts with Jake Arrieta

Jake Arrieta bounced back nicely from his outing at Coors Field against the Brewers. Arrieta limited Milwaukee to two runs on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Arrieta was hung with the loss after receiving one run off support from his teammates. Arrieta has been very good, with a couple of exceptions this season.

PrintJake Arrieta makes his 11th start of the year outside of Wrigley Field today. Arrieta is 4-3 in the first 10 with a 3.49 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP … and in day games, Arrieta is 2-1 in eight starts this season with a 1.94 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP.

Jake Arrieta is 0-1 in two career starts against the Mets with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP (13 hits, four walks, six strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings) … at Citi Field, Arrieta is 0-1 in one start with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.

Mets Career Numbers against Jake Arrieta

The Cubs get their first look at the second best pitching prospect in the Mets system this afternoon, Rafael Montero. Montero’s numbers do not look very good, but he’s made only five starts in the majors and he’s got a big arm. Montero’s fastball sits in the low 90s, but he can rush it up to the 95 mph range when he needs a little extra. Montero throws a changeup and slider and has the ability to locate his fastball on both side of the plate.

Montero has not shown it at the big league level, with the exception of one start. But the Cubs could be in for another frustrating day at the plate.

The Nationals knocked Montero out of the game in the fifth inning in his last start. Montero was charged with five runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Montero has walked 13 batters in 25 innings with 21 strikes. If the Cubs are too aggressive, he will become more and more difficult to hit as his confidence grows.

The 23-year old right hander started the season in Rookie ball, moved to High-A ball and then to Triple-A. In 80 innings, Montero allowed 63 hits with 33 walks and 82 strikeouts.

Rafael Montero makes his fifth start at Citi Field this season. Montero is 0-3 in the first four with a 5.91 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. And no one on the active roster has faced Montero in a regular season ballgame.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Coghlan LF
    Baez 2B
    Rizzo 1B
    Castro SS
    Valbuena 3B
    Alcantara CF
    Sweeney RF
    Baker C
    Arrieta P

    • woody34

      No Mr. Caesar to start. The prospects that have been coming up the past couple of years have been having some decent debuts. Always ride the energy.

      • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

        That is Very disappointing. The main reason I was looking forward to watching the game. So tired of seeing Sweeney at any point especially starting. Looks like the nascar race is still in play for myself today..

        • Tony_H

          Don’t expect to see Szczur starting all that much. Just not going to be his role. 4th/5th OF type getting a much deserved cup of coffee. He actually could have a hard time staying on the 40 man roster this winter.

          • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

            Yep realize that
            Sill disappointed he did not get the start today. My daughters favorite player since seeing him in Tennessee a couple years ago. She is back today from moving into ISU last week. Selfishly, it would have been cool…

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

            Then I’m with you Varmit. I hope that with your daughter home from school, you guys get to see him get an at bat at least.

        • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

          Spring training someone call him swingles Sweeney
          Doesn’t even do that well
          Tied of seeing him on my team

          • Tony_H

            He had his 1st child this off-season and I thought he would start out slow. But in the 2nd half he is playing well.

            333/400/481/881 (small sample size obviously)

            and has really turned in on the last 2 weeks

            348/423/522/945

          • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

            You can have him
            I don’t like watching him at all.
            Hope is is not on the 40 man next year

          • Tony_H

            I can almost guarantee you he will be. He is signed for only $1.5M with a $2.5M option for 2016. I think he is going to be around awhile as a 4th/5th OF and filler starter as needed. He could be the platoon starter in RF with Ruggiano next year until one or both of Bryant/Soler come up.

          • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

            Can he go down to aaa? Hopefully, barring trades, Soler, Coglin, Rugiano, Atcantrara, Olt / Bryant Szczur,(I want this guy way more than Sweeney) for the OF next spring

          • Tony_H

            He is not going to go to Iowa.

            Don’t expect either Bryant or Soler to start the year.

            Coghlan, Alcantara, Ruggiano, Sweeney

            Olt isn’t going to be an OF and Szczur is not a very likely guy for the 25 man next year, but he could impress in this call up and be the 5th OF to start the year. The best comp I have heard on Szczur is Reed Johnson, but not likely as much offense.

          • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

            I have also heard the comparison to Reed. Be good with that. I do think Soler starts with the big league club next year since he is under A MLB contract and seems to have checked off items on his development list. Thought I read somewhere Olt has played some OF since going to Iowa??? 1.5mil for Sweeny? Over a million dollars just doesn’t get you what it used too…

          • Tony_H

            He did it a little with the Rangers, but I think he has been at 1B or DH in Iowa. Pretty crowded OF and short on infielders.

            I wouldn’t expect Szczur to be as a good of a hitter as Reed.

            I think they will want Soler to get some more AB’s in AAA first and keep him out of spotlight of Wrigley to start the year. Plus they can actually gain an extra year of control with him by waiting just like with Bryant.

            Sweeney is pretty cheap for a vet. He is nothing special, but once Soler and Bryant are in the OF, they will want LH veteran bats for their 4th/5th OF and Coghlan and Sweeney should be the guys.

          • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

            Figures the doody would get a hit! the Soler start time makes some sense. hopefully we get off to a decent start to year year and can actually look at the standings at some point in 2015. Haven’t done that in a few years. Really rooting for Sczur especially after seeing a post on him last night. He has a very cool story that makes it easy to root for him especially after seeing him a few times in the minors. Still can’t believe… 1.5mil for freaking Sweeney??????

          • Tony_H

            I agree on Szczur, I would love for him to have a nice career even nice and long career like Reed Johnson. I will be rooting for him even if he ends up elsewhere.

            276/333/381 who can play all 3 OF positions, 9th season vet with over 6 years of service time (FA) for just $1.5M seems pretty good to me.

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

            He has been good lately man. And before injury last season he was on an absolute tear.

            I understand he’s not sexy, but he’s pretty good. He’s helped us win some games lately. As much as anyone not named Arietta, Coghlan, Castro or Hendricks.

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  • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

    Wassssuppp
    Nice DP!!!!!!!!

  • Tony_H

    Rizzo with an awful throw deep down the 1B line back to Arrieta.

    Castro cleans it up by starting a nice double play on the very next batter.

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

      Castro has become a steaying, calming force on the team. Didn’t see that coming. I’m so thoroughly impressed with his maturity and leadership lately. He’s really surprised and impressed me. Very key role for him in coming years.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent DP … Castro to Baez to Rizzo

  • Tony_H

    Hey Hey!! Baez walked.

    • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

      Play of the day

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Baez with his first big league walk

    • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

      Any update on the MRI for Bryant..

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Nothing yet

        • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

          Thanks

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Bryant has a bruised foot

          • SirGladiator

            That’s awesome news! Glad to hear it’s nothing serious. Hopefully he will be back in the lineup soon, hitting more homers! Of course he should take all the time he needs to be absolutely 100%, but once he is it’ll be great to see him back out there!

  • Tony_H

    The way pitchers are already pitching Baez (very carefully), if he learns how lay off the pitcher’s pitches, he should be walking a lot more, which should lead to him getting more pitches he can drive.

    But it all starts by being willing to take a walk when they don’t throw you anything to hit.

    • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

      I think that is why he got to come up early, for the adjustments. Reminds me of Soriano on the sliders…

      • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

        Soriano. Nice career
        Lol

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

      He needs to have that conversation with Manny again. Baez’s retelling of that conversation was probably the single best piece of advice I’ve heard him given.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Valbuena with a hit! He’s 2 for his last 31!

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

      So you’re saying he’s hot? :)

      He needed those days off. I think his biggest issue is between the ears. His inconsistency is as extreme as I’ve seen in a while. He can look like an all-star for 10 days, then follow it with 3 weeks of looking like a rookie league bumbler.

      • calicub

        Rip’s just mad LV isn’t contributing more to his fantasy team!

    • cubtex

      Are you surprised?

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

    Billy and I were talking about world baseball so I went looking for info about next WBC. Some thought it was a waste and a joke, but I enjoyed it. Was surprised at how competitive it became. The Cuba/Japan final was a great game.

    Interesting roster predictions. But being a year old, you can already see obvious omissions and guys that don’t belong. Rizzo for one belongs, unless he plays for Italy?

    Sonny Gray
    Kyle Hendricks….I know, I know, not there yet, but could easily be
    Mike Trout
    Matt Harvey
    Gerrit Cole
    Patrick Corbin
    Archie Bradley
    Will Myers
    Taijuan Walker
    Jason Heyward

    What you guys think? Who else is in and out in your opinions?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I hope the front office limits the players they allow to participate, especially the pitchers. No thank you whatsoever. I do not think organizations will allow their starters to participate either.

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

        Mixed feelings…I don’t want an injury obviously. But I really enjoyed the last one. It was so unique. Rarely have we seen a collection of MLB talent like that playing together against another team outside an all-star game. Which obviously is limited in it’s actual competitiveness. Was cool to see all these national teams going at each other.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Sorry man, I do not care for the timing of the WBC. Just too much too soon. If they would move it, I might agree with it.

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

            Have they given a reason why they don’t? Could play in Southern Hemisphere in our Winter.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            A good reason, no. Maybe the new commissioner will handle it better. Players do not want to play a tournament at the end of the year either. Best case that I’ve heard is to use the All-Star break as the time to hold the WBC. It could be done in four days, if scheduled properly, plus the participation would be better because players would be in mid-season form. There would not be any competition from the other leagues and baseball could be front and center throughout the world for a week.

    • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

      Matt Harvey…
      Never mind
      Should have read better

    • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

      Rondon from the s.side

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Arrieta’s strikeout of Murphy is the sixth was the first strikeout for him today not on a curveball

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Szczur making his big league debut running for Sweeney in the 8th

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another excellent outing for Arrieta

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

    Wish I could watch…seems like Arietta is throwing BB’s. 9 K’s, 2 hits through 7….

    Man, we needed long starts, and Hendricks/Arietta are as dependable as anyone in baseball right now as it relates to going deep into starts.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent catch by Alcantara

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with a solo shot to RF … #13

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Well, Castro’s homer will at least give the NY media a little more to chew on …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Mets 2-1 on Sunday afternoon … Jake Arrieta: 0R, 2H, 2BB, WP, 9K, 7IP (98 pitches, 61 strikes)

    Castro: 2-4, HR; Valbuena: 1-4, RBI; Baez: 0-2, 2 BB, R; Sweeney: 2-3; Szczur: 0-1

    • SirGladiator

      They really need to change the rules on Wins, Arrieta should’ve gotten the win, not the guy who lost it for him. That should be the rule, if you blow the win for somebody else you aren’t eligible for the win, if you get the win it goes to the guy whose win you gave away. That said, awesome game, Arrieta dominant once again, we really need to lock him up long term this off-season. Baez taking walks! Rizzo actually looking like the strikeout king today, that was brutal, especially the at-bat with the bases loaded, two bad cuts on decent pitches to hit, then swinging at one in the dirt for the strikeout, just terrible. But Castro picked him, and Strop, up with the sweet homer in the 9th! That’s the way to do it! I was thinking, maybe Castro will have a spot in Center Field next year, if he doesn’t get traded. Center Field is the one OF spot where his offensive numbers would still look really good, and he’s clearly got the speed to play it. Great game, not enough offense for my liking but that was a problem all series long I suppose. Let’s really get those bats going next game!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Kris Bryant has a bruised foot

    • SirGladiator

      Thanks for the update, fast and accurate as usual! So glad it’s nothing bad.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        You’re welcome … and he’s now on the bench with the I-Cubs, that speaks volumes.

        • Cubbiemacg

          Just saw Castro is 5th in the NL in his at 140. Only 11 behind the lead. Someone yesterday said Castro had to go?

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            It wasn’t me. Castro is having a good year.

          • Cubbiemacg

            I know it wasn’t you or anyone else pro rebuild. Just wanted to point that it to the haters. Hey hey the cubs on on their way.

          • cubtex

            He is average and Addison Russell is guaranteed to have a better mlb career. You didn’t get that memo? :)

          • Cubbiemacg

            Lol, oh must have went to my spam folder. I mean as much as I’d love for reed to be better, I have been on bored with Castro since day one

          • cubtex

            Agreed. He is the last player this team should trade.

          • Cubbiemacg

            And his defense has really improved this year and at 24 he’s not even to his ceiling yet

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

    Just another 7+ inning, 3 hit, 1 run start for Hendricks.

    I’m sure I’ll have a few accuse me of smoking the fatties for saying this. But when was the last time a MLB rookie pitcher came in and dominated this thoroughly for this long? Or at least last Cub.

    I can’t think of anyone off hand. I’m sure there are at least a few between Kyle and Fernando Valenzuela. But not popping into my mind. What he’s accomplishing is unique.