Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 04/15/06

Game Ten: Cubs (6-3) vs. Pirates (3-9)
Game Time – 6:05pm C.T. on WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Jerome Williams (0-0, 3.60) vs. Zach Duke (0-1, 6.55)

Jerome Williams makes his first start of the season against the Pirates today and lefty Zach Duke. Duke had a rough spring but started the season off strong against the Brewers, he had a bad outing against the Dodgers in his second start of the season. Duke was 8-2 last season with the Pirates in 14 starts his ERA was 1.81 and had a dominating performance last July against the Cubs.

Jerome Williams had a terrible spring and lost the fourth spot in the rotation to Sean Marshall. Williams had a bad outing against the Reds in the second game of the season but settled down in his next two appearances out of the pen against the Cardinals and Reds. Since his first outing, Williams has pitched 4 shutout innings and has allowed only 3 hits against two very good offenses.

The Cubs have many questions going into tonight’s game against the Bucs….When will Juan Pierre and Aramis Ramirez start hitting? The Cubs’ offense is ranked 4th in the National League and 7th overall with a .297 average, .351 OBP and .484 SLG, a solid ranking and without the help of Pierre (.237/.275/.316) and Ramirez (.154/.290/.269). The Cubs Faithful have not seen the offense at full strength yet this season and once Pierre and Ramirez start contributing, the Cubs’ offense could put up even better numbers. Also, let’s not forget Jacque Jones (.111/.290/.178) has yet to contribute and although he is available for pinch hitting duties it is likely the Cubs’ right fielder will not play again until the Cubs square off against the Dodgers starting on Monday.

Dusty needs to forget the fact that Zach Duke is a lefty and let Walker and Mabry start the ballgame. A 2-0 start to the 9 game road trip would be very nice.

Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"There are places I remember. All my life though some have changed. Some forever not for better. Some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments ... " John Lennon/Paul McCartney