Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 08/04/09

Game One Hundred-Five: Cubs (56-48) vs. Reds (45-60)
Game Time – 6:10pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Tom Gorzelanny (3-1, 5.19/1.15) vs. Johnny Cueto (8-8, 4.06/1.34)

Updated 3:57pm C.T.Andres Blanco placed on 15-day DL with left calf strain – Tom Gorzelanny Recalled from Triple-A Iowa According to the Sun-Times, Aaron Miles will likely be activated on Wednesday with a pitcher going down to Iowa.

Weather premitting … The tied-for-first-place Chicago Cubs will have a new, yet familiar face on the mound tonight in Cincinnati. Tom Gorzelanny will make his Cubs’ debut after being acquired from the Pirates last week along with John Grabow for Kevin Hart, Jose Ascanio and Josh Harrison. Gorzelanny will wear number 22 for the Chicago Cubs.

Gorzelanny will make his first big league start of the year tonight. While he was up with the Pirates he pitched out of the pen. One of his three wins came against the Cubs in relief back on May 25. The Cubs are looking for Gorzelanny to make at least three starts while Ted Lilly is on the DL. Speaking of Lilly, the Cubs are still targeting an August 15 return that will include a rehab start somewhere in the Cubs’ system.

The Cubs will have to make a roster move in order for Gorzelanny to start tonight. Jeff Samardzija should have punched his ticket on Saturday … stay tuned.

Geovany Soto may be back sooner than expected. Lou Piniella mentioned during his pre-game show on Monday that he would like Soto back in time for the finale against the Reds on Wednesday. Jim Hendry was on hand for Soto’s debut with the Tennessee Smokies on Monday night … 1-for-2 with a walk and a RBI. When Soto returns, the Cubs should send Micah Hoffpauir down to get him back on track for September.

Speaking of back on track, Aaron Miles might be returning to the Cubs soon. He is reportedly hitting better in Iowa (.253/.267/.299 in 21 games). The Cubs must figure a way to keep him in Triple-A until the rosters expand in September.

B.J. Ryan made his fourth appearance for the I-Cubs on Monday night in New Orleans. Randy Bush went down to watch Ryan throw. The former Blue Jay walked two batters in an inning of work. In four games for Iowa, Ryan has not allowed a run or a hit in 4 2/3 innings but has walked four and struck out three.

Before Monday’s adventure in the ninth, Lou Piniella said he was going to try to get Kevin Gregg a couple of days off. Apparently Gregg is dealing with a tired arm … no pain, just ‘a little achy‘ according to Piniella. It will be interesting to see which pitcher Piniella trots out in the ninth if the game is on the line …

The following will become a staple in the CCO game previews until it happens … Jake Fox must be in the starting lineup every day. The Cubs offense is not clicking on the road and Fox would give them another slugger in the middle of the lineup. The Cubs have only four off days left on the schedule and regulars will need rest, Piniella must use Fox until his hot bat goes cold … and if it never does this season, the Cubs will win a couple of more games that might have lost without him in the lineup. Fox can hold his own at third, in left and right and at first base.

While the offense must do their job against Johnny Cueto, it all begins with Tom Gorzelanny … and one win at a time.

Tom Gorzelanny reported to the Cubs on Saturday. He reportedly threw a bullpen session for Larry Rothschild on Sunday and will officially be recalled from Triple-A Iowa in time for the game tonight. Gorzelanny has not pitched in a big league game since June 9 against the Braves, a one-inning relief stint … and he has not started a game in the majors since September 10, 2008.

Gorzelanny was 4-3 in 15 starts in Triple-A this season with a 2.48 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP (30 walks, 85 strikeouts, 73 hits and three home runs allowed in 87 innings). Gorzelanny tossed two complete games and opponents hit just .228 against him.

In his last start on July 27, the southpaw gave up two earned runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings with a walk and six strikeouts.

Tom Gorzelanny is 2-2 in five career starts against the Reds with a 7.54 ERA and a 1.90 WHIP.

  • Johnny Cueto – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Jonny Gomes – 0-for-3
  • Alex Gonzalez – 1-for-4
  • Ryan Hanigan – 0-for-2
  • Brandon Phillips – 2-for-11 with a walk
  • Scott Rolen – 2-for-5 with a walk
  • Willy Taveras – 1-for-6 with a walk
  • Joey Votto – 1-for-3

Johnny Cueto is coming off a loss to the Padres and a horrible month. Cueto gave up six runs on nine hits in five innings to San Diego with two walks and three strikeouts. Cueto finished his worst month in the bigs with a 1-4 record in six starts with an 8.16 ERA and a 2.02 WHIP … teams hit .355 against him. Cueto’s last win came on July 1.

Many think Cueto is simply running out of gas. Last year he worked 174 innings in 31 starts and has already thrown 126 1/3 innings in 21 games … along with pitching in Winter Ball and in the World Baseball Classic.

The Reds’ young right hander is 2-3 in nine home starts this season with a 4.20 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP … Cueto has been better on the road this year for Dusty Baker (6-5 in 12 starts with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP).

Johnny Cueto is 1-1 in two starts against the Cubs this season with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Cueto dominated the Cubs on April 22 at Wrigley. He shutout the Cubs 3-0 and allowed just four hits in seven innings without a walk and three strikeouts. In his last outing against the Cubs on July 25, he gave up four runs on nine hits in six innings with three walks and four strikeouts.

  • Milton Bradley – 0-for-3
  • Mike Fontenot – 0-for-6 with a walk
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 4-for-15 with a double and a walk
  • Tom Gorzelanny – 0-for-2
  • Koyie Hill – 0-for-2
  • Micah Hoffpauir – 0-for-4
  • Derrek Lee – 8-for-19 with 2 doubles, a triple and a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-12 with 2 home runs and 2 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 7-for-15 with 3 home runs
  • Ryan Theriot – 8-for-19 with 2 doubles

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt