Game Twenty-One: Cubs (10-10) vs. Nationals (10-10)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WCIU – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Tom Gorzelanny (0-2, 2.40/1.07) vs. Livan Hernandez (2-1, 0.75/0.83)
Can the Cubs get over the hump tonight against Livan Hernandez and the Nationals?
Lou Piniella mentioned on Monday he would like to get Xavier Nady a few at bats against right-handed pitching. Tonight might be a good time to do so.
Derrek Lee could probably use a break and his career numbers against Livan Hernandez are not that good (8-for-36 with 2 doubles, a triple, a home run and 3 walks). While Lee struggles, Xavier Nady (5-for-12 with a double and a home run) has had success against the veteran right-hander …
Marlon Byrd put the Cubs’ fourth win in a row in proper perspective. Byrd said, “We can’t get excited just about four. We need to rattle off a couple more, get above .500 and keep going.”
First things first and that means beating Livan Hernandez … Tom Gorzelanny has pitched better than his 0-2 record indicates. The Cubs defense has been, let’s say questionable, behind Gorzelanny in his first three starts. While only three of the seven runs Gorzelanny has allowed this season are “unearned” the Cubs defense has not made the plays behind him.
Gorzelanny is coming off a loss to the Mets and the Cubs are 0-3 in his three starts this season. The Mets scored four runs, two earned, on four hits in 5 2/3 innings. Gorzelanny walked two and struck out seven. He showed good command and velocity for a majority of the night.
The Cubs “other lefty in the rotation” is 3-1 in six career games, two starts, against the Washington Nationals with a 5.29 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.
Nationals’ Career Numbers against Tom Gorzelanny
- Adam Dunn – 2-for-5 with 2 walks
- Cristian Guzman – 2-for-5
- Willie Harris – 0-for-3
- Wil Nieves – 1-for-3 with a double and a walk
- Ivan Rodriguez – 0-for-4
- Willy Taveras – 3-for-10 with a walk
- Josh Willingham – 2-for-7 with a home run
- Ryan Zimmerman – 3-for-4 with a double and a walk
Livan Hernandez is off to a great start to the year. The veteran right-hander has shutdown the Mets, Brewers and Rockies … and tossed a complete game shutout against the Brewers on April 17. Milwaukee managed four hits and two walks in Hernandez’s nine-inning gem.
To say Hernandez has found the fountain of youth would be an understatement.
Hernandez has been a thorn in the Cubs’ side for many years. He is 10-6 in 20 career starts versus the Cubs with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP … at Wrigley, 4-3 in 10 career starts with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.
Cubs’ Career Numbers against Livan Hernandez
- Jeff Baker – 3-for-7 with 2 doubles
- Marlon Byrd – 9-for-23 with a double and 2 walks
- Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
- Koyie Hill – 1-for-1 with a walk
- Derrek Lee – 8-for-36 with 2 doubles, a triple, a home run and 3 walks
- Xavier Nady – 5-for-12 with a double and a home run
- Aramis Ramirez – 11-for-29 with 3 doubles and 4 home runs
- Ryne Sandberg – 1-for-3
- Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-15
- Ryan Theriot – 0-for-3
- Chad Tracy – 4-for-17 with 2 home runs and 3 walks
- Carlos Zambrano – 1-for-4 with a double
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …