Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 08/06/10

Game One Hundred Nine: Cubs (47-61) vs. Reds (61-48)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Tom Gorzelanny (6-5, 3.48/1.45) vs. Bronson Arroyo (11-6, 4.01/1.18)

The Cubs return to the field this afternoon following a much-needed day off for the bullpen (the Cubs next off day is not until August 26) and will face the first place Cincinnati Reds. Dusty Baker’s team is playing good ball and figures to battle it out for the top spot in the Central for the remainder of the season.

While the Reds have their eyes on the post-season, the Cubs can only play the spoiler role … and find useable pieces for the future.

The Cubs and Reds will square off for the first time since the All-Star break and the comments made by Joey Votto about the Cubs’ fans. Votto should be greeted “warmly” when he makes his way to the plate this afternoon … and throughout the series.

It turns out, Votto does not have a problem with Marlon Byrd or the Chicago Cubs but with the Cubs’ fan base. Votto’s issues with the Faithful date back to 2007 when the Cubs won the central after a game at The Great American Ball Park.

Joey Votto has crushed Cubs’ pitching since he entered the league and has not slowed down this season … but this year he has a lot of company, namely Drew Stubbs.

Joey Votto’s line against the Cubs this season: .278/.366/.556/.921 – 10-for-36 with a double, three home runs, five walks and seven RBI in 10 games. Drew Stubbs versus Cubs’ pitching in 2010: .275/.293/.650/.943 – 11-for-40 with a double, a triple, four home runs, one walks and 14 RBI in nine games.

If Lou Piniella’s crew wants to post at least a .500 record during the current six-game homestand (1-2 in first three), they must not give the Reds extra opportunities … or outs.

The Cubs defense, or lack thereof, was on display once again Wednesday. The Cubs committed three more errors and one big one by Jeff Baker led to three more unearned runs. The Cubs lead the Major Leagues with 71 unearned runs this season … next closest team is the Astros with 56.

This afternoon is the first of 17 straight against teams in position to make the post-season. It is time for the Cubs to play the spoiler and make life a little more difficult for teams such as the Reds (Aug. 6-8), Giants (Aug. 9-12), Cardinals (Aug. 13-15), Padres (Aug. 16-19) and Braves (Aug 20 – 22).

Cincinnati has dominated the first 10 head-to-head match ups this season (7-3) and it could be more of the same if Lou’s crew does not play the game the right way.

Today it all begins with Tom Gorzelanny

Tom Gorzelanny struggled in his last start against the Rockies and gave up five runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. Carlos Gonzalez was a one-man wrecking crew and completed the cycle in walk-off fashion.

Gorzelanny took a no-decision and ended up four-game winning streak. Gorzelanny has not lost a game since returning to the rotation at the end of June. Gorzelanny has been keeping his team in the game and eating innings at the same time … sounds like the definition of a fifth starter in a big league rotation.

Gorzelanny posted a 4-0 record in his last five starts with a 4.20 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP.

The Cubs’ lone southpaw starter will make his second start of the season against the Reds. Gorzelanny took the loss back on May 8 in the Queen City after allowing three runs on nine hits in six innings. Gorzelanny struck out nine and issued only one free pass.

Gorzelanny is 3-3 in eight career starts versus Cincinnati with a 4.89 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP.

Reds Career Numbers against Tom Gorzelanny

  • Jay Bruce – 2-for-5 with a home run and a walk
  • Orlando Cabrera – 3-for-11 with a walk
  • Miguel Cairo – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Jonny Gomes – 2-for-12
  • Ryan Hanigan – 1-for-7 with a walk
  • Brandon Phillips – 4-for-20 with a walk
  • Scott Rolen – 4-for-10 with 2 walks
  • Drew Stubbs – 1-for-6 with a double
  • Joey Votto – 2-for-12 with a home run

Bronson Arroyo owns the Chicago Cubs … and has since joining the Reds prior to the 2006 season. Arroyo has only faced the Cubs once this year but he tossed a six-inning gem. The Cubs managed only two hits and a pair of walks against Arroyo back on July 2. The Reds shutout the Cubs that Sunday afternoon by a 12-0 final … and it had more to do with Arroyo that afternoon.

Arroyo is coming off an excellent outing against the Braves (two runs, both unearned, on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts) and is 4-2 in his last six starts with a 2.81 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP

It figures to be a challenging afternoon for the Cubs “offense”. The last time a Cubs’ team beat Arroyo was

Arroyo is 8-6 in 10 games, 18 starts, against the Cubs with a 2.91 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP … at Wrigley, 5-3 in 10 games, nine starts, with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Bronson Arroyo

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-1
  • Marlon Byrd – 4-for-10 with a double and a home run
  • Starlin Castro – 0-for-2
  • Tyler Colvin – 0-for-3
  • Blake DeWitt – 4-for-10 with a double
  • Mike Fontenot – 4-for-9 with a double and a home run
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-13 with a walk
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Derrek Lee – 8-for-34 with a double, 2 home runs and 7 walks
  • Xavier Nady – 6-for-21 with a double and a home run
  • Aramis Ramirez – 8-for-39 with a double, a home run and 4 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 8-for-42 with 5 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-7 with 2 walks

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