Game Forty-Two: Cubs (25-16) vs. Pirates (20-21)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Sean Gallagher (0-0, 6.48/1.68) vs. Tom Gorzelanny (3-3, 5.97/1.76)
While the rest of baseball starts interleague play today, the Cubs open a 3-game series against the very hot Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates have won 8 of the last 10 and just finished taking 2 of 3 from the Cardinals in St. Louis. The Cubs enter play today a game and a half ahead of the Astros in the Central with the Pirates just a game under .500 and 5 games back. While the Cubs won the first 6 games of the year against the Pirates, the ‘Battling Bucs‘ are a good team playing solid baseball this season. As pointed out during Thursday’s game, the Pirates are 20-15 against the rest of the National League.
The first 6 games of the year against the Pirates had a big impact on the Cubs start. Lou Piniella’s crew could have lost at least 4 of those games and must not take this team lightly. The Cubs will see these same Bucs again next weekend in Pittsburgh….6 of the next 9 games on the Cubs schedule will be against the Pirates. Sean Gallagher will make his second career start today after a solid outing last Sunday against the Diamondbacks. Gallagher pitched much better than his line indicates (4 runs on 5 hits in 4 1/3 innings with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks). Gallagher left with the bases loaded in the 5th after intentionally walking Chris Young. Chad Fox came in and walked the first two hitters he faced to close the book on Gallagher.
Gallagher showed very good command, until the 5th inning, with a fastball that hit 97 MPH on the gun with movement. Gallagher must not fall behind a very dangerous Pirates offense that feasts on fastballs.
Gallagher will make his second career appearance against the Pirates. He pitched an inning and a third at PNC last July in an 8-4 Cubs loss. Gallagher gave up a run on a hit with 2 walks and a strikeout.
Xavier Nady recorded the only Pirates hit, a double.
The Cubs will face Tom Gorzelanny for the third time this season. The Evergreen Park native grew up a fan of the South Side and likes beating the Cubs….especially at Wrigley. Gorzelanny dominated the Cubs a year ago but has struggled in his first two starts of the year against Lou Piniella’s offense. Remove Gorzelanny’s starts against the Cubs and his is 2-0 with a sub 3 ERA.
Gorzelanny is coming off back-to-back impressive wins against the Mets and Braves. Gorzelanny has allowed only 2 earned runs on 8 hits in his last 2 starts, 13 innings.
Gorzelanny has allowed 14 earned runs on 12 hits with 5 strikeouts and 8 walks in his two starts against the Cubs this season (5 innings).
- Ronny Cedeno – 4-for-9 with a double
- Mark DeRosa – 4-9 with 2 doubles and 5 walks
- Jim Edmonds – 0-for-3
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-4
- Reed Johnson – 0-for-1 with 3 walks
- Derrek Lee – 7-for-12 with 2 doubles and 2 home runs
- Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-14
- Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-14 with a home run
- Geovany Soto – 6-for-9 with 2 doubles
- Ryan Theriot – 2-for-10
Today might be a good opportunity for Lou Piniella to give Aramis Ramirez a day off. Ronny Cedeno should be in the starting lineup along with Mark DeRosa….based on their career numbers against Gorzelanny.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….