Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 06/07/10

Game Fifty-Seven: Cubs (25-31) vs. Pirates (23-33)
Game Time – 11:35am CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Carlos Silva (7-0, 3.12/1.10) vs. Dana Eveland (3-4, 6.45/1.88)

Can the Chicago Cubs win a game in the Steel City this season? After rain and unplayable field conditions postponed the finale in Pittsburgh last Wednesday, the Cubs will try to end their 2010 drought in Pittsburgh this morning.

The Pirates took advantage of the rules and pushed Wednesday’s makeup from Thursday to today. Wednesday ended a string of 20 games in a row for the Bucs so instead of playing last Thursday, a mutual day off for both teams, the Pirates decided to force the Cubs to fly from Houston to complete the series.

The Cubs will play three games in three cities in the matter of 57 hours. Last Wednesday’s rain postponement made a difficult trip even more challenging. The Cubs are 1-4 on their nine-game excursion and must win out to post a winning trip.

Pittsburgh has dominated Lou Piniella’s crew. The Cubs are 1-7 versus the ‘Mighty Pirates‘ and winless in five games at PNC. To add insult to underachievement, the Cubs are 3-11 against the Astros and Pirates this season.

Hopefully the Cubs will have plenty of coffee this morning and come out ready to play. Lou’s lineup should have a different look to it today. Don’t be surprised to see Geovany Soto behind the plate and Xavier Nady in right with the southpaw on the mound. The better moves would be to start Jeff Baker for Aramis Ramirez and Xavier Nady for Derrek Lee. Leave Tyler Colvin in and let him play right. The Cubs need to win and Colvin is a better option in right … plus lefties are hitting .317 against Dana Eveland.

Today will mark Dana Eveland’s debut in a Pirates uniform. Eveland was DFA’d by the Blue Jays last week and acquired by the Pirates. Eveland has a lot of upside and it is a high-reward low risk move for the Pirates. To make room for Eveland, the Pirates optioned Brian Burres to Triple-A. Burres, like so many of the Pirates’ Cy Young candidates, threw seven innings of shutout ball against the Cubs back on May 6.

Following today’s game, the Pirates will depart for a trip to Washington D.C. and will face Stephen Strasburg Tuesday night. Maybe the ‘Mighty Pirates‘ will be thinking about one of the most anticipated big league debuts in the history of the game, as well as the media frenzy they will be walking into, and forget how to embarrass the Cubs again.

If the team continues to play they way they have all year, the Cubs could be in fire sale mode by the end of the first round of the Crosstown series next Sunday. Jim Hendry has little he can move but if he could persuade players like Ted Lilly and Derrek Lee to waive their no-trade clauses … especially if the Cubs slip below 10 games under .500.

In other news … John Grabow is set to begin a minor league rehab in Triple-A. The plan is for Grabow to pitch in three to four games for the I-Cubs before returning to the big league team.

The 2010 MLB First Year Player Draft begins tonight. Coverage begins at 5:00pm CDT on the MLB Network … Tim Wilken and the Cubs have the 16th pick in the first round.

Today is all starts with Carlos Silva … and just winning a ballgame.

Carlos Silva is coming off his best start of the year and due to the weather received a couple of extra days of rest. The Cubs chose to keep Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly on normal rest while shifting Randy Wells and Carlos Silva. The Cubs did not want Wells facing the Pirates again and decided to give Silva a shot a beating the Bucs.

In his last outing, Silva set a new-career high in strikeouts (11) and held the Cardinals to two hits in seven shutout innings. The Cubs will need a repeat performance from Silva today against the ‘Mighty Pirates‘. While the Pirates have struggled against the rest of baseball … Garrett Jones, Andrew McCutchen and company hit the ball like the ’27 Yankees when the Cubs come to town.

Carlos Silva has not faced the ‘Mighty Pirates‘ this season and is 1-0 in five career games, no starts, with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP versus Pittsburgh. The last time Silva opposed the Bucs was April 5, 2003.

Pirates Career Numbers against Carlos Silva

  • Ryan Church – 2-for-2 with a double
  • Bobby Crosby – 5-for-26 with a triple
  • Aki Iwamura – 2-for-7

Dana Eveland has had a horrible start to the year and the Blue Jays gave up on him. The 26-year old lefty has a huge upside, which makes the Pirates’ move at little to no risk.

Eveland’s last start came on May 22 in Arizona. Eveland lasted just 1 1/3 innings and gave up eight runs on eight hits with a pair of walks and a strikeout.

The last time he posted a win was on May 6 against the Sox on the South Side. Eveland dominated Ozzie Guillen’s team with seven innings of shutout ball. The White Sox managed just two hits but walked four times.

Since beating the Sox, Eveland is 0-3 with a 16.40 ERA and a 3.54 WHIP.

The Cubs must be patient and make him work. Eveland will issue more than his fare share of free passes. In 44 2/3 innings this year he has walked 27 batters (21 strikeouts) and has walked 14 in his last four starts.

Today will be Dana Eveland’s fourth career game against the Cubs. In three relief appearances versus Chicago, Eveland has given up two runs on two hits with two walks and three strikeouts (6.75 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP).

Cubs’ Career Numbers against Dana Eveland

  • Marlon Byrd – 1-for-6 with 5 walks
  • Xavier Nady – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-2 with a walk

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