Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 04/07/08

Game Seven: Cubs (3-3) vs. Pirates (3-3)
Game Time – 12:35pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Ted Lilly (0-1, 7.71/1.07) vs. Tom Gorzelanny (0-1, 4.50/1.50)

The Cubs start a big 6-game road trip in Pittsburgh today that will see them finish in Philadelphia next Sunday. Lou Piniella’s crew will face a southpaw for the first time this season after struggling for most of last year against left handed starters. Tom Gorzelanny dropped his first start of the season in Atlanta last Wednesday, but so did Ted Lilly. The Pirates’ All-Star lefty will look to continue his dominance of the Cubs today in his team’s home opener.

The Cubs were just 19-24 against lefties a year ago and must improve on that record this season. The addition of Reed Johnson (.308/.371/.462 versus lefties) and Kosuke Fukudome (.282/.406/.538 in 2007) should help with their past difficulties hitting left handed pitching. Aramis Ramirez has traditionally hit well against his former team (.300/.387/.601 with 19 doubles and 18 home runs in 65 career games) and this series would be a great time for Ramirez to start hitting the ball with a little consistency.

Ted Lilly did not have a good outing in his first start last Wednesday against the Brewers. Lilly gave up 4 runs on 5 hits in 4 2/3 innings…. and it will not get any easier for Lilly today against a Pirates’ team that is playing with a lot of confidence right now. The Pirates have an identical record as the Cubs and if the veteran laden team takes the young Bucs to lightly it could be a long road trip.

Lilly is 1-0 in 3 career starts, 5 games, versus the Pirates with a 4.09 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP…. last season, 1-0 in 3 starts with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP and the win came at PNC Park.

Xavier Nady is one of the hottest hitters in the league right now and loves hitting against the Cubs (.381/.458/.714 with 2 home runs and a double in 5 games this season – .336/.393/.541 with 13 doubles and 4 home runs in 33 career games against the Cubs).

  • Jason Bay – 1-for-9 with a double
  • Ryan Doumit – 2-for-5
  • Adam LaRoche – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Xavier Nady – 2-for-7

The Pirates will be without Jack Wilson; he was put on the 15-day DL over the weekend.

Tom Gorzelanny allowed 3 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings in a loss against the Braves last Wednesday in Atlanta. Gorzelanny struggled with his command and according to several reports the Braves should have plated more runs while Gorzelanny was on the mound. The Pirates young southpaw has dominated the Cubs in his brief big league career.

Gorzelanny is 2-2 in 4 career starts against the Cubs with a 2.60 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Jason Marquis beat Gorzelanny 1-0 last May in one of the losses and the Cubs finally put runs on the board against Gorzelanny the last time they faced him on September 23rd in Chicago….6 runs on 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings.

  • Ronny Cedeno – 4-for-7 with a double
  • Mark DeRosa – 2-for-7 with a double and 3 walks
  • Derrek Lee – 5-for-9 with 2 doubles and a home run
  • Aramis Ramirez – 1-for-11
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-12 with a home run
  • Geovany Soto – 3-for-5 with a double
  • Ryan Theriot – 1-for-8

According to a report on Cubs.com, Kerry Wood will not be available today and Carlos Marmol will be used as the closer….if needed.

Lou Piniella’s Daily Affirmation from Aquafina….

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"The man says 'play ball' not 'work ball,' you know." - Willie Stargell
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