Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 08/26/14

Game One Hundred Thirty-One – Cubs (58-72) vs. Reds (63-68)

  • Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 186, 844
  • Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Travis Wood (7-11, 4.91/1.52/4.21) vs. Johnny Cueto (15-7, 2.20/0.94/3.25)

Weather permitting … The Cubs return to the field tonight after a much needed day off and open a seven-game road trip with the first of three in Cincinnati. The two-city trip ends Sunday in St. Louis after four games in three days that includes a day-night doubleheader Saturday.

Starlin Castro will be back with the team for tonight’s opener. Castro was placed on the bereavement list last week in order to take care of his family in the Dominican Republic.

While the focus will be on when Jorge Soler will be activated and what position will he play when he makes his big league debut, the Cubs will play a Reds team for the next three days that has owned the Cubs for three-plus seasons. The Redlegs have had a very disappointing season and begin play tonight six games back in the NL Wild Card race and 9 1/2 games behind the first place Brewers in the NL Central. The Reds have only five more wins this year than the Cubs … and the Cubs are 4-9 in the first 13 games of the season against the Reds with six left on the schedule.

The Reds have not officially announced the starters for Wednesday and Thursday. Jacob Turner is scheduled to make his first start with the Cubs Wednesday night and could face Mat Latos. Jake Arrieta is expected to pitch the finale of the series and season at Great American Ball Park on Thursday morning and could square off against Dylan Axelrod.

Tonight all starts with Travis Wood

Travis Wood’s season-long struggles continued his last time out. Travis Wood gave up four runs on eight hits with a walk and six strikeouts to the Giants in six innings. Wood issued only one free pass for the first time in a month (July 25) but had trouble putting batters away and with his command.

PrintWood has shown improvement over his last four starts comparted to the way the pitched in the previous 17 starts. Wood is 0-2 in his last four starts with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. Wood is 4-7 in 13 road starts with a 6.03 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP. And he faces his old team for the second time this year.

Travis Wood took the loss on July 8 at Great American after he gave up four runs, three earned, on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. For his career, Wood is 1-5 in eight starts against the organization that drafted him with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.

Reds Career Numbers against Travis Wood

The Reds’ ace had a bad start in St. Louis his last time out. Johnny Cueto gave up five runs, four earned, on seven hits with four walks and four strikeouts in five innings to the Cardinals. Cueto lasted just five innings for the first time since July 20. Cueto was lights out in the five starts leading up to his outing against the Cardinals. Cueto followed up two excellent seven inning starts with a complete game against the Indians and two eight-inning outings. Cueto is 5-1 in seven games since the All-Star break with a 2.39 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP … 50 strikeouts with 18 walks and 36 hits allowed in 49 innings.

Johnny Cueto has owned the Cubs of late and beat them on July 8 at Wrigley Field after allowing two runs on six hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Cueto is 9-6 in 20 career starts against the Cubs with a 2.90 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Johnny Cueto

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"Our pitching staff is a conspiracy of ifs." – Branch Rickey


Share on Fancred
  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

    • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

      Ewwwww Sweeney
      Yuck

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

        Varmit! Sczzur got to start an had 4 at bats I think! Hope you got to watch. And I really hope you got to watch with your daughter.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Addison Russell, CJ Edwards, Zach Cates,Ivan Pineyro, Gerardo Concepcion, Dan Vogelbach, Jacob Hannemann are the Cubs prospects in this year’s AFL

    Daytona Cubs pitching coach, Ron Villone is one of Mesa Solar Sox’s pitching coaches

    • BillyFinT

      Curious; how many coaches can a Fall League team carry?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Field staff, four. Manager, two pitching coaches and a hitting coach

    • Eugene Debs

      A Concepcion sighting!

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        He’s been pitching rather well for the D-Cubs.

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

          I’ve noticed that. He’s only 22 years old too. Interesting how often we write a guy off after a season or less than a season. And in Concepcion’s case throw in some injuries and adapting to a new country as a 19 year old kid. I read some scouting reports on him over the weekend and feel he’s still got a pretty bright future. I’m not predicting he’s the next Arietta or Hendricks, but he could start at the back end of a rotation and be a solid bullpen arm. Could be….

    • Jeffrey Rogers

      Darn. I was hoping to bring the Shawon-O-Meter (Jr) to Mesa.

  • Pingback: Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 08/26/14 - Cubs Chronicles()

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    No. 30 for Anthony Rizzo … solo shot off Cueto

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

      Loved the comment on how only 7 LH Cubs have ever hit 30 HR in a season. I’d be interested to see how many RH have.

      Goes to show how special LH hitters are. At least good one’s and even more so good one’s with power. And to think in a few years we could have Rizzo in his prime, with the prodigious Schwarber also in the lineup.

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

        I’m going to go ahead and do one of these silly projection lineups. Even provide sort of a “depth chart.”

        CF Alcantara; Almora, Hanneman, Charcer Burks
        3rd Russell; J Baez, K Mitchell, Candelario, Martarano
        1st Rizzo; Vogelbach
        RF Soler/Schwarber; McKinney Lake, Martarano
        LF Bryant; Schwarber, Jimenez, Rubi Silva
        2B Baez; Watkins, Villanueva, Chesny Young
        SS Castro; Torres
        C Castillo; Catarini, Zagunis, (Schwarber)

        Obviously this isn’t all of the prospects, but going through the list these are the guys that I believe have the most potential ATM.

        I like the chances of working all these current guys in the lineup The only thing that could logjam is Soler/Schwarber. But obviously that’s solved by keeping Schwarber at C, but I just think his bat is too good and there not going to want to wait on him to learn to catch. As I said last night, we could have a guy in the minors learning how to catch, when he could be in Chicago going to all-star games as an outfielder. We shall see. And sure, it’s likely that a few don’t work out and the logjam clears itself.

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

          But I predict Bryant, Russell, Schwarber and Soler all will make it big. Alcantara and Baez are the two I have the least faith in. However, I still think they’ll make it also. I really believe all these guys I have atop the depth chart will develop into stars.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rain delay …

  • Jeffrey Rogers

    All These rain delays are starting to annoying

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      10 hours last week alone … and nearly 24 hours this season.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Sun-Times: Renteria says he expects Soler to play right field, bat 5th or 6th in his debut Wednesday.

    • AaronOR

      Neil, can you explain why they pulled Soler in last nights game if he couldn’t be in Cincinnati till Wednesday?

      • gary3411

        I thought Kaplan or someone said he is there now. Probably just wanted him to get adjusted with jet lag and what not. Let him start fresh tomorrow on full night’s sleep against someone not named Johnny Cueto.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          He gets Latos tomorrow, but at least he has faced Latos for one at bat.

        • AaronOR

          Thanks for the info!

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Travel time, short answer, but that is the case.

        • AaronOR

          Thanks!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Estimated re-start … 7:05pm CDT

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Game resumes after 50-min delay and Valbuena pops out to left

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Sweeney is hurt, grabbed his hamstring

    • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

      Ahhhh too bad

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Szczur is in RF

    • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

      Good!

  • Varmit_Cnty_BBQ

    Nice k by wood

  • Craig York

    I missed something, is there a reason why Russell didn’t play yesterday or tonight?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Russell jammed his thumb. Mick Gillispie said he should be back in the starting lineup by Thursday

  • SuzyS

    Just got home to see the news….Bryant must be feeling left out with all the promotions around him.
    On a previous thread…folks were talking about Olt….My take is he should eventually have a productive MLB career…But it might not be with the Cubs wheter he is productive or not. Assuming Baez and Bryant stay with the Cubs…Olt’s KO rate might just be too much to fit into the lineup that already has some players that will take a high KO rate with them. I see Olt making the adjustments to be productive…and then be part of the package in a blockbuster trade.

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

      I agree with you Suzy. I think he’ll be a part of a package. I believe a lot of GM’s are foaming at the mouth to get him onto their team.

      I do think once Soler and then Schwarber have made it we’ll be able to handle the K guys elsewhere. We’ll have Soler, Schwarber and Rizzo all with high OBP. 3 is enough, and then 4 guys that swing and miss. I do think Alcantara and Russell at least can learn to cut down on the K’s. And Castro may K, but it’s not like he’s a prodigious K guy. And no reason to think he’s still got 3 years until he peaks.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Alcantara with his second homer in as many games …

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      He clubbed that ball, 2-run shot

      • Bredstik

        Nice easy swing from Mendy too. He’s got some power to go along with that speed.

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

        I loved that high pitch he just pounced on. From a really good pitcher too. Good bat speed.

  • jtrain23

    I continue to be impressed with Alcantara in many different ways. He didn’t have the spotlight for very long because Baez came up. He has struggled to transition after a fairly hot start. He is also playing a position that he is still getting used to.

    He has just kept plugging away though. Even when he struggles, he stays within himself, doesn’t lose his zone, doesn’t seem to be phased by it. I just really like his attitude and approach in addition to the physical potential he possesses.

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

      Agreed JTrain. I think he’s got some moxy and mental toughness.

  • jtrain23

    Fascinating fact by Len Kasper if I understood it correctly. Baez with his 4th four strikeout game so far this year. The rest of the players combined just have three such games.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another excellent inning for Neil Ramirez

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Travis Wood was very good tonight

    • Josh Man

      He really was. Best he’s been all season, really. Too bad he hasn’t been good too often this season.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Don’t forget the start in Philly, was very good that day too.

      • jtrain23

        Perhaps I’m way off, but I still feel like Wod could be a contributor on our staff for a while. I have a lot more optimism abut him than Jackson. This year has been a struggle. He has given up early runs and lost the control that is so essential for him, but last year showed us what he is capable. I really think If Wood can finish strong with 3-4 quality starts that he could carry that momentum over and be much better next season.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo is out of the game.

  • Tom U

    This from the Kane County Cougars:

    @KCCougars

    88 WINS! The Cougars tie a franchise record with 88 victories after defeating the Burlington Bees 6-1!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Sun-Times, update on Rizzo: Rizzo double-switched out of game as a precaution over lower back tightness. Not considered serious.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Reds 3-0 on Tuesday night … Travis Wood: 0R, 2H, 1BB, 5K, 6IP (96 pitches, 66 strikes)

    Rizzo: 1-4, HR; Alcantara: 1-4, HR, 2RBI; Castro: 2-4; Szczur: 1-2, BB, R;
    Wood: 1-3

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

    Larry, don’t know if you’ll see this. But when Rondon came in they started listing his stats for the year, and his stats since the all-star break. Then he started throwing 97 MPH heat. If you’d have heard and then seen what I did, I think you’d feel a lot better about him as the closer. ERA since AS break… .056

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Here ya go … before tonight’s 1-2-3 ninth inning, Rondon had allowed three runs, one earned, on 12 hits with 0 walks and 15 strikeouts in 17 innings (17 games) since the break … 0.53 ERA, 0.71 WHIP

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

        Thanks Neil! Yeah, those are dominant closer numbers. Teams may not think “game over,” when the Cubs have the lead and he comes in. But maybe they should.

        Man, I’ve not seen the Cubs playing such complete baseball in a LONG time. Like, I don’t even remember when. Even in 2003 we seemed more reliant on certain aspects. Right now, we’re getting it done 1-8, in the field, at the plate, starting and relief pitching. Too bad it’s not June…we might be making plans for October.

      • http://www.AstroDecision.com/ Larry Schwimmer

        Neil (and others who want to comment): I love the excitement of BAEZ and his huge HR power. But I’m concerned about him. It doesn’t bode well to see BAEZ have so many “3 and 4 strikeout games.” What do you think the problem is that unlike so many new rookies that he’s striking out at such a high rate (i.e. 50% of the time). I’d love your take?

        • woody34

          We need to take into mind that Baez has struggled when initially promoted at each level to only figure it out and make adjustments to go on tears only to get promoted. That IMO is the main reason the FO brought him up when they did. Let him get acclimated to end this season to hit the ground running next season.

        • triple

          It’s troublesome, but I’m not so worried. He’s shown great potential at the plate and in the field already. Yes, the strikeouts are way high. I’m sure he’s put a good amount of pressure on himself to perform. As he relaxes more and lays off the bad pitches, he will be fine when pitchers are forced to pitch closer to the strikezone and throw more fastballs, which means there will be more mistakes right near his wheelhouse. There was a fangraphs article linked about a week ago in one of the threads that also showed how much respect the rest of the league is already showing by pitching him even more difficult than Bryce Harper got pitched when he was new to the league. Even advanced scouting on rookies these days is way better than the past, especially with a premier talent like Baez, so I’d expect a good full year of playing time in MLB before he really is turning the tables on pitchers.

          Here’s the fangraphs article… http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/how-pitchers-are-pitching-to-javier-baez/

          And another in case you’ve missed this too…
          http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/javier-baez-and-the-anomalous-dinger/

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Larry, I am not concerned about Baez. He has done this every time he has been bumped up a level. The front office knew this would happen and it would be better for him to struggle with the strikeouts now than say in April when there will be expectations for the season.

          With that said, he is going to have big strikeout totals and the Cubs as a team are going to do a lot of swinging and missing.

    • http://www.AstroDecision.com/ Larry Schwimmer

      Thanks BR. Yes…I’m seeing more consistency with Rondon. But the guy who is just “lights out” is Ramirez. If he’s healthy enough, I’d love to see him try being a starter. If not — he’s a strong candidate to be our closer. But the CUBS are looking very exciting!!! I’m so happy to see that.