Game Four: Cubs (1-2) vs. Reds (1-2)
Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati
Carlos Silva (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Homer Bailey (0-0, -.–/-.–)
Lou Piniella’s crew first game of the season against division foes … After starting the year against the NL East, the Cubs play nine straight and 12 of the next 16 against teams in the Central Division.
The Cincinnati Reds are the popular pick to be a “surprise team” this season. The Cubs won 10 of the 15 match-ups against Dusty Baker’s club a year ago. The Reds have a young, talented roster led by the newest Cub Killer, Joey Votto … not to mention a solid starting rotation that features Mike Leake.
Mike Leake is expected to make his big league debut on Sunday against Tom Gorzelanny. Leake was the Reds’ first round pick (eighth overall) in last year’s draft. Leake will be the first pitcher since Jim Abbott in 1998 to go from college into the Major Leagues without throwing a single pitch in the minor leagues.
Carlos Zambrano was in line to start against Leake on Sunday but will face Aaron Harang on Saturday instead. Ryan Dempster will make the start the opener at Wrigley on Monday against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Ted Lilly’s rehab start with the I-Cubs scheduled for Friday was pushed to Sunday. Lilly has a stiff back … the Cubs stressed on Thursday that this is not a setback for Ted Lilly. Lilly could still be back in the Cubs rotation by April 21 … the Cubs third of a four-game series against the Mets at Citi Field.
Xavier Nady is expected to start in right field tonight in the first game of the season on WGN TV.
Not many will forget Carlos Silva’s debut with the Cubs. The White Sox hammered Silva in Mesa but he showed improvement in every outing after throwing batting practice to the Sox.
As Silva pointed out in March, he has to carry over his spring into the regular season … and tonight will be his first chance.
The Reds love hitting against the Cubs, especially Joey Votto. Tonight will be a good test for Carlos Silva.
Carlos Silva has faced the Reds five times in his career, but has never started a game against Cincinnati. The Reds, like many big league teams, have hit Silva pretty hard in his career … Six runs, all earned, on 12 hits in 6 2/3 innings with four walks and five strikeouts (8.10 ERA and a 2.40 WHIP). Silva has allowed five runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings (two games) in his career at Great American Ball Park (13.50 ERA and a 3.00 WHIP).
The last time Silva faced the Reds was June 13, 2003.
Reds’ Career Numbers against Carlos Silva
- Orlando Cabrera – 13-for-31 with 4 doubles and a home run
- Miguel Cairo – 1-for-2
- Ramon Hernandez – 3-for-18 with a double
- Laynce Nix – 2-for-6
- Brandon Phillips – 1-for-3
- Scott Rolen – 2-for-6 with a double
Many feel Homer Bailey finally turned the corner on his career last season. After being the Reds’ top pitching prospects for many years, the hard-throwing Texan notched eight wins in 20 starts for Dusty Baker in 2009 (8-5) with a 4.53 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. Bailey recorded 86 strikeouts in 113 1/3 innings … with 52 walks.
The Cubs must make him work tonight and not allow him to find a rhythm.
Bailey is 1-1 in two career starts against the Cubs (September 13, 2009 in Chicago and September 30, 2007) with a 5.73 ERA and a 2.09 WHIP … the Cubs have hit a robust .354 against him.
Cubs’ Career Numbers against Homer Bailey
- Jeff Baker – 0-for-3
- Mike Fontenot – 1-for-3 with a double and a walk
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-3
- Koyie Hill – 1-for-3
- Derrek Lee – 3-for-5 with a double
- Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-5
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-3 with a double and a home run
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-1
- Chad Tracy – 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …