Game One Hundred Forty-Two: Cubs (72-69) vs. Pirates (62-80)
Game Time – 12:35pm C.T. Comcast SportsNet, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Steve Trachsel (6-9, 4.48/1.33) vs. Matt Morris (8-9, 4.54/1.61)
Lou Piniella announced his possible rotation for the upcoming week on Saturday. Ted Lilly will pitch at Wrigley on Monday against the Cardinals. Jason Marquis and Rich Hill will pitch the first two games in Houston and Piniella mentioned the possibility of using Kevin Hart in the final game of the Astros’ series in order to have Carlos Zambrano pitch the opener in St. Louis on Friday. If Hart is inserted into the starting rotation, Zambrano would get an extra day of rest and pitch on 4 days rest against the Reds on September 19th. Sean Marshall and Steve Trachsel will pitch the double-header on Saturday and Ted Lilly will start the finale against the Cardinals on September 16th.
The Tennessee Smokies beat the Huntsville Stars 11-6 on Saturday, a day after being no-hit in the Southern League Playoffs. The Smokies lead the best of 5 series, 2 games to 1. Jeff Samardzija received a no-decision. He gave up 5 runs, 2 earned, on 9 hits in 6 innings. Matt Avery picked up the win. Eric Patterson was 3-for-4 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 4 RBI’s. Casey McGehee was 3-for-5 with a double, a run scored, a home run and 2 RBI’s. Issmael Salas was 3-for-5 with 2 runs scored, a triple, a home run and 2 RBI’s. The Smokies pounded out 16 hits, 8 for extra bases and 4 were home runs.
The Cubs will try to win the rubber game of the series today against a familiar foe, the ex-Cardinal Matt Morris. Steve Trachsel versus Matt Morris, is this September of 2007 or September of 1998? The Cubs must pick up where they left off on Saturday. The entire team played a solid game and appeared very relaxed and confident. While Steve Trachsel must do his job today, the offense must give him a little breathing room as well. Steve Trachsel had a solid outing in his 2007 Cub debut last Tuesday. Trachsel allowed 3 runs on 7 hits with 3 strikeouts and a walk in 7 innings. He pitched well enough to pick up the win but did not receive any run support.
Today will be Trachsel’s first start of the year against the Pirates. Last year while with the Mets, Trachsel beat the Pirates on July 6th in New York. He held them to 3 runs on 7 hits with 4 walks and 4 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. For his career against the Pirates, Trachsel is 5-8 in 16 career starts with a 3.16 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. Today will be his second career start at PNC, he is 0-0 with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP….2 runs on 7 hits in 6 2/3 innings.
- Adam LaRoche – 5-20 with a home run and 4 RBI’s
- Freddy Sanchez – 2-2 with a double
Matt Morris will make his 8th start of the season for the Pirates today. The Pirates acquired Matt Morris at the trading deadline from the Giants for Rajai Davis and a PTBNL on July 31st. Morris is 1-2 with a 5.18 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP for the Pirates….0-1 at PNC in 3 games with a 6.00 ERA.
The Cubs will face Morris for the second time this season. They beat him while he was with San Francisco at Wrigley on July 19th. Morris gave up 8 runs, 5 earned, on 12 hits without a strikeout in 4 2/3 innings.
Morris will be making the 27th start of his career against the Cubs. He is 11-8 in 29 games with 2 saves, 3 complete games and 2 shutouts….a 4.45 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP.
- Cliff Floyd – 7-28, with 2 doubles, 3 home runs and 6 RBI’s
- Derrek Lee – 10-28, with 3 doubles, 4 home runs and 8 RBI’s
- Aramis Ramirez – 15-43, with 3 doubles, 3 home runs and 8 RBI’s
- Alfonso Soriano – 4-6, with 2 doubles and a RBI
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….