Game Thirty-One: Cubs (15-15) vs. Pirates (14-17)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Marquis (4-1, 2.09/1.03) vs. Tom Gorzelanny (4-1, 2.97/1.14)
After the 15-inning loss on Tuesday night, not only will Lou Piniella be looking for a win but for Jason Marquis to go deep into the game and give his bullpen a much-needed night off. Tom Gorzelanny is one of the fine young pitchers on the Pirates staff and the Cubs must take advantage of all run scoring opportunities and not slip back under the .500 mark. Jason Marquis will face the Pirates for the second time in a week. Marquis allowed just 1 run on 4 hits in the second half of the “double-header” last Wednesday. The most important stat was he did not allow a walk while striking out 5 in 8 innings, his longest outing of the season. Opponents are hitting just .190 against Marquis and have hit two home runs in 38 2/3 innings. Marquis has won his last 4 starts and has allowed just 5 earned runs in his last 27 2/3 innings.
Tom Gorzelanny has pitched extremely well this season. He was 3-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 5 starts in April and he recorded the only win for the Pirates in their recent 4-game series against the Brewers. Gorzelanny held the Brewers to 2 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings. Gorzelanny throws strikes and on the season he has struck out 24 while walking just 11. Matt Murton should see playing time tonight against the lefty and on the season right handers are hitting .256 while lefties a 126 points lower…. .130.
Tonight Gorzelanny will make his second career start against the Cubs….the only other time he faced the Cubs Gorzelanny threw 8 innings of shutout ball and allowed just 2 hits, walked 2 and struck out 7.
Tonight’s game is the first of back-to-back games against southpaws. The Cubs have faced the least amount of lefties of any team in the majors….3 games. The Cubs are 1-2 this season against left-handed starters with a .248 batting average (.309 OBP/.384 SLG).
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….