Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Rays – 08/08/14

Game One Hundred Fourteen – Cubs (49-64) vs. Rays (55-59)

  • Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Tsuyoshi Wada (1-1, 3.32/1.34/3.23) vs. Chris Archer (7-6, 3.42/1.31/3.25)

The Cubs open a seven-game homestand this afternoon with the first of three against the Tampa Bay Rays that concludes next Thursday with the finale of a four-game series against the Brewers.

Javier Baez makes his Wrigley Field debut today on the anniversary of the first night game at Wrigley Field and Anthony Rizzo’s 25th Birthday. Baez made quite the statement in Denver and will play in front of the Wrigley Faithful for the first time this afternoon.

The Cubs had a good road trip. Not only did the team win four of the six games, but Kyle Hendricks had two excellent starts, one at Dodger Stadium and the other in Coors Field. Javier Baez made his big league debut and Arismendy Alcantara collected six hits (a double and a home run) while spending a lot of time in centerfield. And the Cubs grizzled vets, Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, were also productive at the plate during the trip.

The team will honor the decade of the 1980s during the homestand and the team that created an entire generation of Cubs’ fans, the ’84 Cubs, as well as the rebirth of the Lakeview area … Harry Caray, The Sandberg Game, The Boys of Zimmer, Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, Mark Grace, Shawon Dunston, Greg Maddux, Rick Sutcliffe and the first night game at Wrigley Field. And the Cubs will pay tribute to the ’88 team with throwback uniforms in Sunday’s finale against the Rays.

Interleague play resumes for the Cubs this weekend. The Cubs are 5-6 against the Junior Circuit this season and square off against the Rays for the first time since 2008. Lou’s Crew lost all three games in Tampa that season to the up and coming, newly nicknamed Rays. The last time Tampa played at Wrigley the team was known as the Devil Rays, Lou Piniella was their skipper and Sammy Sosa had an incident that involved a broken bat and a cork. The Cubs won two of three in early June of 2003 at the old ballyard against Tampa.

Tsuyoshi Wada faces Chris Archer in his Wrigley Field debut this afternoon. Edwin Jackson is scheduled to take on Jake Odorizzi in game two Saturday afternoon with Travis Wood and Alex Cobb expected to take the hill in the Sunday afternoon’s finale.

The seven-game homestand all starts with Tsuyoshi Wada

Tsuyoshi Wada makes his fifth start of the season this afternoon. Wada pitched a solid game in Los Angeles last Saturday night and allowed two runs on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Wada looked comfortable on the mound and effectively mixed his pitches for the second straight outing. Wada was far too predictable in his first two big league outings and must keep hitters off balance in order to have success.

Wada is starting his third game at Wrigley today. Wada is 1-1 in the first two with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. Wada was not-so-good against the Padres and very good against the Dodgers.

PrintTsuyoshi Wada faces the Rays for the first time in a regular season game this afternoon.

Chris Archer makes his Wrigley Field debut a little more than three years since being named the top prospect in the Cubs system by Baseball America prior to the 2011 season.  Archer was traded to Tampa in the Matt Garza deal and with David Price now residing in Detroit, the incredibly talented Archer is the top starter in the Rays rotation.

Chris Archer is coming off a quality start in Tampa against the Angels. Archer gave up three runs on six hits with two walks and nine strikeouts. Archer was 2-1 in four starts last month with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP and is 2-1 in his last three outings with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.

On the road, Archer is 3-3 in 11 starts this year with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP … and he makes his first appearance against the Cubs this afternoon. No one on the Cubs active roster has faced Chris Archer in a regular season big league ballgame.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him." - Leo Aikman
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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
    Wada P

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

      Diggin’ on this lineup. Would like to see Alcantara higher, but right now I don’t see how we would do it. Certainly don’t want Coghlan batting below #2. At least until he cools down a bit.

      Baez in the 3 hole would make some sense. With Rizzo behind him, he would get great pitches. Rizzo would be one of the better protectors in the league I think. By himself, he can inspire fear, but in a protecting spot, I think he’s uniquely qualified to have a pitcher thinking “oh hell no.”

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

        Something about Rizzo makes me think that if a pitcher pitched around a guy in front of him to get to him. He would pretty consistently make that pitcher regret said decision.

        I guess as it stands he’s protecting Baez.

        • Tony_H

          Many newer lineup analysis say that your best hitter should bat 2nd. But 2/3/4 should be your best 3 all around hitters.

      • John_CC

        How would it be different, Baez and Rizzo 3 and 4, as opposed to 2 and 3?

        I am not in favor of anointing a rookie with hitting in the 3 hole, it’s not good baseball sense.

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

          No, I know what you’re saying. Look at my post below. I corrected myself.

          Although it would be cool to have Baez up with two men on. I think it’s a good bet he becomes our most prodigious power hitter for the time being. That second HR yesterday, the low away pitch he took oppo. That was a serious power shot. Not too many guys could muscle that pitch out like that.

          • Tony_H

            Baez should settle in somewhere 4/5 or maybe even someday 6th. Can you even imagine if he is batting 6th, they type of power we will have to have in front of him!!

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

            I can agree with that. Long term, I think management will do all the can to keep Rizzo, Bryant and Russell as close to the top of the lineup as possible. Just my hunch…

  • texcubnut

    I like the Earl Weaver quote above but,it was easy for Earl to say, in that, he had the pitching ( 4 twenty game winners ), fundamentals ( Brooks Robinson @ third, Belanger@ ss, and Paul Blair in CF), and 3-run homers. ( Boog Powell & Frank Robinson in middle of order ) Kind os simplifies the game, doesn’t it? You had to love Earl!!

  • Tony_H

    So to make room for Turner do they send Rusin or Grimm back to Iowa or do they DFA/trade someone else? (EJAX, Villanueva, Sweeney)

    • Tony_H

      On the 25 man roster. Sorry to see Kalish gone, but he had his chance and will likely not be claimed and can finish up in Iowa still.

      • calicub

        He had his shot but for his sake I hope he gets claimed..

        I fondly recall Aaron likening getting DFA’d and out-righted to AAA (I believe in reference to Blake Dewitt) to getting fired by your company and then being told by every other company in the industry that they don’t want you. –>Ouch!

        • Tony_H

          Yeah, sort of, but at this time of year, hard for other teams to take a chance on a guy like Kalish and use a 40 man roster spot.

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  • Tony_H

    This guy seems familiar…..

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Baez with a single to left in first Wrigley at bat

  • Tony_H

    Wind blowing in during August, knocks down Rizzo’s fly ball for “just” a double.

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

      At least he got a hit! He had been ice cold. But this year every time he’s had a slump (which relatively for him is like 2 or 3 days without a hit). I’m hoping for like a 3 hit day and maybe an HR.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Baez single … Rizzo double … Castro single, Cubs up 1-0.

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

      We’re going to be hearing a lot of that in the next decade.

      • daverj

        Though eventually it may be heard more in reverse! 2nd, right ahead of Rizzo is a good spot for Baez for now so he’ll see more fastballs, but eventually, we’ll need Baez to be our #4 or #5 hitter.

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

          I agree. And I still hope that someday we consider Rizzo in the 2 hole. I think we could be extremely productive with him in that role.

  • Cub Fan Bud Man

    I would imagine the atmosphere is electric at Wrigley today.

    • Krikas

      Haven’t posted in a while, but long time reader. Definitely a fun atmosphere today at the park. Have to appreciate our knowledgable fan base offering admiration to Javier every chance they get!!

  • John_CC

    I think Starlin likes having Javy around to play with.

  • No Baseball In Indiana

    If you’re not entirely sick of links to Fangraphs, a nice write up on Javy’s opposite field HR yesterday :
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/javier-baez-and-the-anomalous-dinger/#comment-4668986

  • Cub Fan Bud Man

    Very impressed Baez laid off the that outside pitch with two strikes.

  • Tony_H

    How ironic that Archer, traded for Garza, makes a throwing error at Wrigley!

    • No Baseball In Indiana

      It’s like archer that they traded away.
      Makes the throwing error that Garza would make.
      And isn’t it ironic…don’t you think?

      It’s like rain on your wedding day
      It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid
      It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take
      Who would’ve thought… it figures

  • Tony_H

    Does anyone still think it is going to be hard to get people to attend Cubs game in the future? or watch on TV?? or listen on the radio???

    Tommy Cook ‏@TommyECook 2m
    Wrigley is PACKED today, guys. This is great to see. Can’t wait til this game is good

    • No Baseball In Indiana

      No.

  • No Baseball In Indiana

    Grimm grew a beard. Good job WGN.

  • Cub Fan Bud Man

    It is interesting how many times players believe they got the call wrong, but the replay looks like the call is right. I don’t know if it is just the emotions of the game or a bad angle on the replay.

  • Cub Fan Bud Man

    Do you pitch around the hitter here with one out?

  • Cub Fan Bud Man

    This review does not make sense to me

    • No Baseball In Indiana

      Agreed.

  • Cub Fan Bud Man

    Nice job by the bull pen in the 7th

  • Cub Fan Bud Man

    He swung

    • Cub Fan Bud Man

      Oh Rizzo did not cover the bag

      • No Baseball In Indiana

        Yeah Rizzo really struggles in the field.

        • No Baseball In Indiana

          But it was a caught ball that wasn’t tipped. Totally bogus call.

        • Cub Fan Bud Man

          I like Rizzo’s defense. But he spaced it that time. Baker was signaling to him to cover the bag. He must not have seen him.

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            I think he’s last in the NL for 1B fielding

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            Ok 12/16.

          • Tony_H

            Using what metric?

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            Fangraphs total Defensive rating.

          • Tony_H

            Ok, But I don’t see that when I look it up. It looks to me like he is 12th in MLB and last year he was 3rd.

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            I set the filters to NL and the minimum to 400 innings

          • Tony_H

            Rizzo and Freeman have over 1000 innings.

            Using only qualified players, Rizzo is 6th in the NL.

            But with all defensive stats, they don’t always tell the whole truth.

            For all of MLB, Pujols is 1st, ok, but not in 2014. Miguel Cabrera is 3rd. That’s laughable.

            Rizzo’s D has been down this year, but no way he is not a Top 10 defensive 1B in all of MLB.

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            6th out of ten which skips starters from 6 other teams. Even then he has a negative value. He’s only a top ten when you limit innings played.

          • Tony_H

            My point is defensive metrics are not a perfect science. Rizzo was 3rd last year in that same stat, yet this year is 6th, 12th, 10th, 8th, depending on how low you go with the parameters. 400 innings, a full time 1B hits that in 3rd week of May. Has he had a worse year on defense, yes. But would you really rather have Miggy’g glove at 1b over Rizzo’s? Of course not, yet he is 3rd on the all MLB list. Not many guys I would rather have at 1B defensively than Rizzo moving forward.

            Also, how can Rizzo be 6th out of 10 qualified 1B in the NL and it skip 6 starters? There are only 15 teams in the NL.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    I have never seen that one before …

  • Cub Fan Bud Man

    Nice throw by Baker. I am glad someone covered the bag that time.

  • Scott McMeekan

    Just got home from being a the PGA at Valhala the past two days. C’mon Rizzo, ATONE!

  • Scott McMeekan

    DOGGONE IT!

  • BillyFinT

    Rally cap!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Sweeney with a single to center, game tied at three.

  • Scott McMeekan

    SWEENEY! LET’S GO CUBS!!!!

  • Scott McMeekan

    I think Baker bears some responsibility for that screw up with Rizzo. He should’ve run down the line and pointed at Rizzo. GO BAKER!

  • Cub Fan Bud Man

    Well that was a wasted pinch runner

  • Scott McMeekan

    Valaika with a chance to be a hero!

  • Scott McMeekan

    Suicide Squeeze?

  • Scott McMeekan

    Oh sheesh, never mind.

    • Cub Fan Bud Man

      It definitely would have been suicide

      • Scott McMeekan

        Well said!

  • Scott McMeekan

    Beers on the course. :) Sorry Neil.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      No worries …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Free baseball …

    • Tony_H

      Again!

  • BillyFinT

    I don’t think Rondon is a groundball pitcher, but this is when a DP will help…

    • BillyFinT

      O well, c’est la vie.

  • Scott McMeekan

    Argh.

  • BillyFinT

    Wow, he can’t throw stirke.

    • BillyFinT

      and when did, too sweet middle of plate, not good… Rondon is a typical “thrower” reliant of ‘stuf.”

      • BillyFinT

        Somehow, Boxberg doesn’t feel the same… hmm. It’s where he placed his strikes.

  • Scott McMeekan

    Top of the order, the Kids need to figure it out!

  • Scott McMeekan

    Rizzo STILL with a chance to atone.

  • Scott McMeekan

    NUTS.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 4-3 to the Rays in 10 innings on Friday afternoon …
    Tsuyoshi Wada: 2R, 4H, 1BB, 6K, 6+ IP (94 pitches, 63 strikes)

    Castro: 1-4, RBI; Baez: 1-5, R; Rizzo: 1-5, 2B; Sweeney: 1-4, RBI; Alcantara: 1-2, BB, R, SAC; Baker: 1-4, RBI

  • SirGladiator

    So many interesting little items about the game. For all the talk about Baez and his strikeouts, were his outs more enjoyable a couple days ago when he was constantly hitting popups and not striking out at all? Because that really wasn’t any better :) . At least he got a hit today before the out-parade. In regard to Rondon, I never understood why he was the closer, he’s so bad at it. I know his numbers don’t show how bad he truly is because he often manages to get out of the jams he gets himself into, but all too often, like today, he doesn’t. Maybe if he were pitching in a lower stress inning, like 7th, he would do better. When they finally let Ramirez return to the team I hope they make him the closer. Another substitution I’d like to see ASAP is Soler for Sweeney, how can you get picked off 2nd with the pitcher batting? Just unbelievable. On the upside, while Wada was very up and down today, at least his final numbers were halfway decent. Too bad he finished the day so badly in the 7th, if he’d finished strong his day would’ve been a good one despite the rocky start. Hopefully he will improve with experience and will nail down that 5th spot in the rotation. Anyway, here’s hoping that Baez gets back on track tomorrow, certainly everyone’s favorite starter, EJax, will be looking for a LOT of run support :) .