Game Sixteen: Cubs (6-9) vs. Mets (6-9)
Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WCIU – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Citi Field, Flushing Meadows
Tom Gorzelanny (0-1, 1.93/1.07) vs. Johan Santana (1-1, 3.00/1.06)
After a less than stellar start to the seven game road trip the Cubs put together a solid win on Wednesday night behind Carlos Silva. But runs figure to be at a premium tonight facing Johan Santana. The Cubs will have to take advantage of every opportunity they have to score runs if they want to leave New York with a split in the four-game series.
Xavier Nady is expected back in the starting lineup tonight. Nady was unavailable to play in the field after back-to-back games on Sunday and Monday. While Nady should return, Aramis Ramirez will get the night off.
Lou Piniella said Ramirez would not play in the finale of the four-game series in order to give him a break. Will Piniella start Chad Tracy at third or will Jeff Baker get the call with Mike Fontenot at second?
All eyes will be on Tom Gorzelanny at the start of the game. Gorzelanny said he’s fine after leaving his last outing in the third inning. Pedro Feliz hit a vicious liner up the middle that hit Gorzelanny in the left shoulder. He finished the inning but was lifted for Chad Tracy in the bottom of third. The Cubs said his early exit was for precautionary reasons.
The Cubs defense let Gorzelanny down again in his last start. Gorzelanny lasted just three innings after Pedro Feliz’s line drive hit him on the shoulder. The Astros scored two runs, both earned on the scorecard, on three hits with a walk and no strikeouts. Gorzelanny seemed to be finding his groove just before the line drive knocked him out of the game.
With Johan Santana on the mound, Gorzelanny will have little room for error tonight.
Tom Gorzelanny is 2-2 in eight career games, four starts, with a 5.68 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP. Last season he posted a 1-0 record in four games versus New York. Gorzelanny did not allow a run or a hit in 3 2/3 innings (one walk, one strikeout).
Mets’ Career Numbers against Tom Gorzelanny
- Luis Castillo – 0-for-3
- Jeff Francoeur – 1-for-9 with a walk
- Daniel Murphy – 0-for-1
- Angel Pagan – 0-for-1 with a walk
- Jose Reyes – 2-for-8 with 2 walks
- Fernando Tatis – 0-for-1
- David Wright – 2-for-7 with 2 doubles and 2 walks
After a “disappointing” 2009 campaign (13-9 with a 3.13 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP in 25 starts), Johan Santana is back to his old ways … and is coming off seven innings of shutout ball against the Cardinals.
Santana held the Marlins to one run on four hits in six innings on Opening Day. The Nationals’ very good offense put up a five-spot on Santana on five hits in five innings in his second start. But Santana bounced back in a dominating fashion against the Cardinals.
The Cubs will have their hands full this evening.
Johan Santana is 2-0 in two career starts against the Cubs (five career games) with a 1.71 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP. The Cubs have hit a miserable .171 against the southpaw.
Cubs’ Career Numbers against Johan Santana
- Marlon Byrd – 0-for-3
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-3 with a double
- Derrek Lee – 2-for-6 with a double and a home run
- Xavier Nady – 1-for-6 with a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-4
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-10 with 2 walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …