Game Nine: Cubs (5-3) vs. Pirates (3-5)
Game Time – 6:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Rich Hill (0-0, 3.00/1.17) vs. Matt Morris (0-0, 5.40/2.00)
Lou Piniella’s crew will go for the 3-game sweep tonight at PNC Park, but hopefully this time in just 9 innings. The Cubs and Pirates have already totaled enough innings for a 3-game series and there is still one left to play. Piniella needs a solid outing from his starter, whether it is Rich Hill or Jason Marquis. The two extra inning games have caused Piniella to empty his pen in back-to-back games….and there is still 3 games remaining on the road trip after tonight before a scheduled day off on Monday. Rich Hill is 2-1 in 5 career starts against the Pirates with a 3.62 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Hill’s loss came in a blowout last September in Pittsburgh. The Cubs lost 6-1 and Hill surrendered all 6 runs on 9 hits in 6 innings with only 2 strikeouts….his second lowest strikeout total of the year.
- Jose Bautista – 0-for-13
- Jason Bay – 0-for-11
- Nyjer Morgan – 3-for-6 with a double
- Xavier Nady – 1-for-5
- Ronny Paulino – 6-for-13 with a double and a home run
The Cubs will square off tonight against another old nemesis with a new team. Former Cardinal, Matt Morris, will face the Cubs for the 31st time in his career. He received a no decision in Florida in his first start of the season and gave up 4 runs, 3 earned, on 8 hits in 5 innings….the Pirates lost the game 5-4.
Morris has been a thorn in the side of Cubs’ teams for years and beat them as a member of the Pirates last season. On September 10th, Morris held the Cubs to 4 runs on 7 hits in 6 innings and the Pirates won the game 10-5.
Morris is 12-8 with 2 saves, 3 complete games and 2 complete game shutouts in 30 career games, 27 starts, against the Cubs with 4.50 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. In 2 starts versus the Cubs last year, Morris was 1-1 with a 7.59 ERA and a 2.06 WHIP.
- Mark DeRosa – 2-for-20
- Mike Fontenot – 1-for-3
- Derrek Lee – 11-for-31 with 3 doubles, 4 home runs and 4 walks
- Aramis Ramirez – 15-for-46 with 3 doubles and 3 home runs
- Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-9 with 2 doubles and a home run
- Daryle Ward – 9-for-24 with 2 doubles and a home run
- Ryan Theriot – 0-for-5
Felix Pie reportedly will get the start in center tonight and do not be surprised to see Henry Blanco in the starting lineup as well. Also, with Daryle Ward’s career numbers against Morris it might be a good time to give either Kosuke Fukudome or Alfonso Soriano a day off.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….