LIVE: Cubs, Padres tied 1-1 in Game 1

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LIVE: Cubs, Padres tied 1-1 in Game 1

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Posted: 10:40 a.m.
Associated Press

The San Diego Padres failed to score a run in their series opener at Wrigley Field.

Maybe they forgot that Dustin Moseley wasn't starting until Wednesday afternoon.

The Padres seek to finally give Moseley some support and end their run of futility against Chicago Cubs pitching when the teams play a doubleheader after Tuesday night's game was postponed because of inclement weather.

Carlos Zambrano and a pair of relievers dominated San Diego (7-9) on Monday. The Padres managed five hits - all singles - while striking out 13 times over 10 scoreless innings.

The Cubs finally broke through in the bottom of the 10th, when Tyler Colvin's pinch-hit double off Chad Qualls scored Geovany Soto and gave Chicago a 1-0 victory in windy, 34-degree conditions.

"The whole game you go out there and you're kind of miserable and it's so cold," Soto said. "We wanted to get out of there so badly. We were like, 'Man, all we need is one.' But it was tough to get that one."

Tuesday night's game was postponed because the forecast called for heavy rain and wind chills in the 20s.

"You don't want to play in weather like this," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "Wind and cold are fine. If we didn't have the rain, it would have just been another cool night."

San Diego has been shut out four times this season and also lost 1-0 to the Cubs (8-8) in the teams' final meeting of 2010. The Padres have failed to score in their last 22 innings versus Chicago.

San Diego's other three scoreless performances have all come with Moseley (0-3, 1.83 ERA) on the mound. The right-hander allowed the game's only run in 6 2-3 strong innings Thursday at Houston.

"It's frustrating, but you go out there and do your job and you leave the rest up to the team, and hopefully guys pull through," Moseley said. "Through the first three it hasn't happened, but it's a long year.

"I mean, these guys can start scoring 10 a game for me. We have a great bunch of guys and a lot of good players, and I look forward to those days when they get their swings and confidence and everything is back to where it can be and it will be."

Moseley will be opposed in the opener by another pitcher that hasn't received much support.

Chicago has been shut out the last two times Matt Garza (0-2, 6.27) has taken the mound, and he's allowed five runs in each of those outings.

"It hasn't been a great start for him and he knows that. But he's still working and I still believe he's going to be a (great) pitcher on this club and in this rotation," Quade said.

The right-hander made his only start against San Diego last season, allowing three runs and six hits over eight innings of a 5-3 win for Tampa Bay.

In the nightcap, Aaron Harang will look to win for the fourth time in as many starts for the Padres. Harang (3-0, 1.50) has allowed one earned run over six innings in each of his first three outings, beating Houston 4-2 on Friday night.

"He's pitching with aggressiveness and he's pitching with some confidence," manager Bud Black said. "It's great to see."

Harang is quite familiar with pitching at Wrigley Field after playing for Cincinnati from 2003-10. The right-hander is 5-3 with a 5.01 ERA in 12 starts there, and he's 10-8 with a 4.51 ERA in 24 appearances against the Cubs.

He will be opposed by James Russell (1-1, 7.20), who makes his second start for the Cubs due to injuries suffered by Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner.

The left-hander, who made 57 relief appearances as a rookie in 2010, surrendered five runs and seven hits in 1 2-3 innings in his first start, an 11-2 defeat at Houston on April 12.

"You can only hope it'll go better," Russell told the Cubs' official website. "I'm looking forward to it. I'm not real sure how we'll go about it, but probably go about it the same way as last time."

Russell faced the Padres twice last August, giving up two runs, two hits and a walk over 1 1-3 innings while striking out three.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Breaking down how Cubs look at the Justin Verlander situation

Breaking down how Cubs look at the Justin Verlander situation

Theo Epstein’s embrace-debate management style means the Cubs are constantly running through different scenarios, trying to balance their win-now urges against what should be a very bright future in Wrigleyville.

The financials, the human intelligence and the analytics are all factored into the equation, which leads to this question for Epstein’s cabinet: Is there a point where the Detroit Tigers kick in enough money and the prospect cost becomes so low that Justin Verlander makes sense for the Cubs?

The Cubs haven’t definitively answered that question yet or completely ruled out the idea, a team source said Tuesday, cautioning that the defending World Series champs are still more likely to add a reliever before the July 31 trade deadline than acquire a frontline starting pitcher.

“Always looking to make the team better,” manager Joe Maddon said before a 7-2 win over the White Sox kept the Cubs in a virtual first-place tie with the Milwaukee Brewers. “Always. That’s what a GM and a president does. But I like our guys.”  

Verlander would obviously benefit from a move to the National League and feel energized in a pennant race. The Cubs could rationalize this as an immediate boost and a long-range solution while preparing for a 2018 rotation without Jake Arrieta and John Lackey.

Imagine the buzz from Kate Upton’s fiancée walking into the clubhouse and making his first start at Wrigley Field in a Cubs uniform. Verlander and Upton have been spotted enough times at Chicago Cut Steakhouse that his no-trade power might be the easiest hurdle to clear in a deal of this magnitude.

Verlander’s overall numbers are ordinary this season (5-7, 4.50 ERA, 1.444 WHIP), but trending in the right direction. The Cubs would go into it knowing that they wouldn’t get the same guy who won 24 games and American League MVP and Cy Young awards in 2011.

The Tigers also can’t just give away a franchise icon who finished second in last year’s AL Cy Young voting and has a 3.39 ERA in 16 career playoff starts

The Cubs are trying to see around corners and anticipate what the team will look like in 2018 and 2019 – when Verlander will make $28 million guaranteed each season – and what might be available in trades and on the free-agent market during those transaction cycles. Verlander is also owed the balance of his $28 million salary this season and has a $22 million vesting option for 2020.

Even if the Tigers pay down some of that commitment, that’s still a ton of exposure with a guy who has roughly 2,500 innings on his odometer and will be 35 years old around the time pitchers and catchers report to spring training next season. That’s also when the Cubs will begin the second half of Jon Lester’s $155 million megadeal – for his age-34, -35 and -36 seasons.

After stunning the baseball world with that blockbuster White Sox trade during the All-Star break, Epstein talked about how Jose Quintana’s reasonable contract – $8.85 million next season plus team options for 2019 and 2020 worth $22 million combined – creates room for another star player.

As great as Verlander has been throughout his career, are the Cubs really ready to pour that money back into a player who was born in 1983? And meet Detroit’s asking price in terms of prospects?

And go against the buy-low philosophy that attracted the Cubs to Arrieta, as well as the ageism that makes them reluctant to reinvest in their own Cy Young Award winner? And potentially close off opportunities to sign free agents from the monster class coming after the 2018 season?

Probably not, but the Cubs haven’t shut down the Verlander discussion yet.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Cubs even up Crosstown Series with White Sox

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Cubs even up Crosstown Series with White Sox

Danny Parkins (670 The Score), Jordan Bernfield (ESPN) and Mark Potash (Chicago Sun-Times) join Kap to talk Game 2 of the Crosstown Series.

Later, the group previews Bears camp and what's going on with the Cavaliers.

Check out the SportsTalk Live Podcast below: