Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Rockies – 04/16/11

Game Fourteen: Cubs (6-7) vs. Rockies (11-2)
Game Time – 7:40pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Coors Field, Denver

Casey Coleman (0-0, 7.20/2.00) vs. Jason Hammel (1-0, 4.91/1.45)

Can the Chicago Cubs get back to the break-even point and cool off the red-hot Rockies? The Cubs have played some of their worst ball over the past two-plus seasons at Coors Field and Friday night was more of the same. The Rockies are the hottest team in the majors right now. They have won seven straight and are playing with a swagger the Cubs have not had in more that two years.

Kosuke Fukudome is likely return to the starting lineup tonight. Fukudome took batting practice Friday and worked out on the field, testing his hamstring. With Tyler Colvin in the middle of a huge slump, if Fukudome can play he should be in right field. The other change will likely be Koyie Hill. Prior to Wednesday’s game Quade said Hill would start one of the first two games in Colorado.

Mike Quade is expected to name his starter for Tuesday at some point Saturday. The Cubs are toying with the idea of stacking James Russell and Jeff Samardzija again or they may call up Ramon Ortiz from Triple-A Iowa. Ortiz is not on the Cubs 40-man roster, which current stands at 38 players. Another option that is on the big league roster is Robert Coello.

Tonight it all begins with Casey ColemanCasey Coleman will make his second start of the season tonight … and the first of his career against the Rockies. Coleman put together a decent outing against the Brewers, with the exception of two pitches. Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder hit two run homers off Coleman, which accounted for all four runs that he allowed last Sunday (four runs on nine hits with a walk and two strikeouts in five innings).

Coleman has not faced the high-powered Rockies offense … and the Cubs need a good outing from him tonight.

Jason Hammel has been a solid starter for the Rockies the past two seasons. Hammel has started 30 games the last two years with similar results. The 28-year old right-hander was 10-8 in 30 starts, 34 games, with a 4.33 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in 2009. Last season he posted a 10-9 mark in 30 starts with a 4.81 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.

Hammel is off to a decent start. The Dodgers managed four runs on six hits in five innings in a 7-5 loss to the Rockies. Hammel received a no decision in his last outing against the Mets. Hammel allowed four runs, two earned, on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts in six innings.

Tonight will be Hammel’s third career start against the Cubs. He is 1-0 in the first two with a 5.11 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP (seven runs, all earned, on 17 hits in 12 1/3 innings without a walk and nine strikeouts).

The Cubs must be patient at the plate against Hammel.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jason Hammel

  • Jeff Baker – 2-for-3 with a double and a triple
  • Marlon Byrd – 4-for-7 with a double and a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-3
  • Tyler Colvin – 1-for-4
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-2
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-4
  • Koyie Hill – 3-for-3
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-4
  • Aramis Ramirez – 1-for-3
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-6 with a double
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-2

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