Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 05/21/08

Game Forty-Seven: Cubs (28-18) vs. Astros (26-21)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Minute Maid Park, Houston

Sean Gallagher (1-0, 4.40/1.47) vs. Shawn Chacon (0-0, 4.14/1.47)

After a less than stellar performance on Tuesday night, Lou Piniella’s crew will look to bounce back in the rubber game of the series behind Sean Gallagher. The Cubs’ rookie pitcher will make his first road start in the big leagues and try to earn his second win in three starts. Gallagher must keep the ball down or the Astros’ high-powered offense could put the game away early.

Piniella’s offense, on the other hand, will likely be without Derrek Lee and they must find the patience that eluded them on Tuesday. The Cubs did not make Chris Sampson work, and granted it’s getaway day, but a road win in Houston would be a good way to spend Thursday’s off day in Pittsburgh.

Micah Hoffpauir reportedly will get his first big league start tonight….and with Derrek Lee’s career numbers against Shawn Chacon, it is probably good timing. Henry Blanco has hit Chacon pretty good as well but if Lee is out, Geovany Soto will likely be behind the dish.

Sean Gallagher is coming off his first big league win and an impressive outing against the Pirates. Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto gave Gallagher an early 6-0 lead and he was able to relax and just pitch. Gallagher allowed only 1 run on 4 hits in 6 innings with 3 strikeouts and 3 walks.

Gallagher has been impressive in his first two Major League starts and Lou Piniella said following his win last Friday, as long as he keeps throwing strikes and getting outs, he would remain in the rotation….and tonight will be a big test for the 22-year old right hander.

Gallagher will make his second career appearance against the Astros….he gave up a walk (Luke Scott) and a hit (a double to Chris Burke) in an inning of work on August 8, 2007 in Houston.

After a solid start to the year (0-0 with a 3.32 ERA in 6 April starts with a 1.32 WHIP), Shawn Chacon has given up a lot of hits and runs of late. Chacon gave up 8 runs, 5 earned, on 6 hits with 4 walks in 3 1/3 against the Rangers in his last start. Chacon surved up two home runs to Josh Hamilton and another to Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Chacon is 0-0 with a 6.06 ERA in last 3 starts with a 1.84 WHIP.

Chacon pitched in 64 games for the Pirates last season, making just 4 starts. Tonight will be Chacon’s 6th career start against the Cubs, his first with the Astros. Chacon is 1-4 with a save in 15 career games against the Cubs with a 6.69 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP….the Cubs have hit a robust .316 against the veteran right hander.

  • Henry Blanco – 3-for-6 with a double
  • Mark DeRosa – 2-for-12 with a double and 3 walks
  • Jim Edmonds – 3-for-7
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-8 with a double
  • Derrek Lee – 1-for-6
  • Carlos Marmol – 1-for-1 with a home run
  • Aramis Ramirez – 10-for-17 with 4 doubles and 5 home runs
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-6
  • Ryan Theriot – 2-for-3

Is tonight a battle of the Seans….or a battle of the Shawns?

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne