Game One Hundred Fifty-Nine: Cubs (82-76) vs. Pirates (61-97)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jeff Samardzija (1-3, 7.53/1.76) vs. Paul Maholm (8-9, 4.44/1.44)
Updated – 10:29pm C.T. – The Cubs-Pirates Game was cancelled due to rain after a 2 1/2 hour delay.
Weather permitting … After being swept in the day-night doubleheader on Wednesday, the Cubs return to the field tonight in need of a win to earn a split of the four-game series against the Pirates. The Cubs are 10-4 this season against the Bucs after two embarrassing performances on Wednesday. Since the fourth inning on Tuesday night, the Cubs’ offense has scored only two runs and has been outplayed by the last place Pirates.
While the Cubs may be ‘just playing out the string‘, they showed a lot of effort and pride on the recently completed road trip and seemed to carry that into the opener on Tuesday. Anything but a winning homestand to finish the season would be a bad way to finish a disappointing year.
Tom Gorzelanny was scheduled to start tonight against the Pirates but was pushed to Friday for the opener against the Diamondbacks. Jeff Samardzija will make his last start and appearance of the season … and could get a lift with the return of Aramis Ramirez to the lineup.
Lou Piniella indicated Wednesday night that Ramirez would be back in the lineup on Thursday … reports earlier in the day indicated Ramirez’s season could be over.
Tonight it all starts with Jeff Samardzija and winning a ballgame … Jeff Samardzija will make his third start of the season, and of his big league career, after showing a lot of improvement in his last outing. Samardzija took the loss to the Brewers but threw the ball a lot better than he did in his only other big league start. Samardzija made two huge mistakes against the Brewers … and both went for home runs. The Cubs lost the game 3-2 as Samardzija gave up three runs on five hits in five innings with a walk and three strikeouts.
‘The Shark‘ will be in the mix next spring for the Cubs’ fifth starter spot so tonight is an important outing.
Samardzija is 0-1 in his last three games, one start, with a 6.43 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP.
Tonight will be Jeff Samardzija’s fifth career appearance against the Pirates. In 4 2/3 innings he has not allowed a run and given up three hits and two walks.
- Ryan Doumit – 0-for-1
- Andy LaRoche – 0-for-3
- Lastings Milledge – 1-for-1
- Brandon Moss – 1-for-3
- Steve Pearce – 1-for-1
The Cubs will get their second look of the year at Paul Maholm. The Cubs had not beaten Paul Maholm before this season despite the fact they put up ridiculous numbers against the Pirates’ southpaw in the past.
Maholm has struggled this season and has not posted a win since September 13. Maholm put together a good outing against the Dodgers in his last start. The southpaw allowed three runs on seven hits in seven innings with three walks and a strikeout.
Paul Maholm is 4-6 on the road this season in 15 starts with a 5.54 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP. Maholm is 1-1 in his last four starts with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP.
Tonight will be Maholm’s tenth career start against the Cubs. He is 4-1 in the first nine with a 7.06 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP.
- Jeff Baker – 2-for-3 with 2 doubles
- Mike Fontenot – 1-for-4
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-4
- Micah Hoffpauir – 0-for-2
- Reed Johnson – 5-for-9 with a double and a walk
- Derrek Lee – 7-for-21 with 3 doubles and 2 walks
- Aaron Miles – 1-for-7 with a double and a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 8-for-20 with a double, 2 home runs and a walk
- Bobby Scales – 0-for-1
- Geovany Soto – 3-for-7 with a walk
- So Taguchi – 7-for-17 with 3 doubles
- Ryan Theriot – 6-for-18 with 4 doubles and 4 walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….