Game Fifty-Two: Cubs (30-21) vs. Dodgers (26-24)
Game Time – 6:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: ESPN, Comcast Sports Net – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 174, 185
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Sean Gallagher (1-1, 5.68/1.58) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (2-3, 3.48/1.27)
The Cubs will look for their first back-to-back wins since April 14th and 15th tonight behind Sean Gallagher. The Cubs have an 8-8-1 series record this season, 7-2 at home and Lou Piniella’s crew has won the first game of the last 6 series they’ve played. The win on Monday extended that streak and kept the Cubs, once again, from becoming the only team in baseball to not have lost 3 games in a row this year.
The Cubs will get their first look tonight at Hiroki Kuroda and Sean Gallagher will attempt to earn his second career win under much different weather conditions than Monday. The forecast is calling for cooler temperatures with a high of only 55 expected in Chicago on Tuesday. With the recent struggles of Kevin Hart in Triple-A (1-1 in 5 starts with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP, 24 strikeouts and 6 walks) and with Sean Marshall placed on the 7-day DL over the weekend, Sean Gallagher is penciled into the Cubs’ rotation for at least two more starts. Maybe this will allow Gallagher to relax and just pitch. The talented, young right-hander was very good in his second start at Wrigley. Gallagher allowed 1 run on 4 hits in 6 innings to the Pirates. Last Wednesday in Houston was an entirely different story.
Gallagher was given a lead, gave it up and ended up leaving the game with 2 outs in the 5th inning. The Astros took advantage of Gallagher’s inexperience and lack of a solid out pitch. Gallagher gave up 5 runs on 8 hits in 4 2/3 innings with 4 strikeouts and a walk. Tonight will be a good test to see if Gallagher can show his skipper he can make adjustments necessary from start to start and learn from his mistakes.
Gallagher has faced the Dodgers once his career, a 2-inning outing out of the pen on September 3rd of last season. Gallagher gave up 3 runs on 5 hits in an 11-3 Cubs’ loss.
- Jeff Kent – 1-for-1
- James Loney – 1-for-1
- Juan Pierre – 1-for-2 with a double
Hiroki Kuroda has been inconsistent at best so far this season for Joe Torre. Kuroda is coming off his longest outing of the year, a 5-2 victory over the Reds. He allowed 2 runs on 5 hits in 8 innings….his first win since his Major League debut on April 4th in San Diego.
Kuroda is a solid pitcher and one the Cubs were interested in signing before the 2007 season and rumors suggested they were interested in the former Japanese star once again last winter. ‘Mr. Complete Game’ would have been a good addition to the Cubs’ rotation but he reportedly agreed to a contract with the Dodgers because he wanted to pitch on the west coast. (Click here for more from the CCO on Hiroki Kuroda).
Kuroda is 1-3 in 5 starts outside of Dodger Stadium this season with a 3.09 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He has kept the ball down for the most part and has allowed only 5 home runs in 62 innings….3 on the road.
The Cubs must be patient with him the first time through the lineup, make him work and listen to the scouting report from Kosuke Fukudome. If the offense is impatient at the plate early on, Kuroda will only get stronger and better as the game progresses.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….