Game Eighteen: Cubs (9-8) vs. Padres (7-10)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
James Russell (1-0, 6.30/1.80) vs. Aaron Harang (3-0, 1.50/0.94)
Final from Game One: Cubs 2 Padres 1 – 11 innings
Cubs beat the Padres in game one 2-1 on walk-off home run by Reed Johnson. Matt Garza’s line: 0 R, 6 H (all 1B), 3 BB, 9 K in 6 IP, 114 pitches, 70 strikes. Carlos Marmol blew his second save of the season, both starts by Matt Garza.
Game two is another ‘Bullpen Day‘ for the Chicago Cubs.
Mike Quade decided to shift James Russell and the pen to the second game of the day-night doubleheader. Russell was originally scheduled to start the middle game of the series last night.
James Russell will make his second big league start in search of better results than his first one. Russell was put on a very low pitch limit and could not complete two innings of work. Reports have suggested Russell’s pitch count for Tuesday could be in the mid 70s.
Jeff Samardzija was expected to follow Russell but he threw two innings in game one and picked up the win. Mike Quade said that Kerry Wood will serve as the team’s closer in game two. Starlin Castro will hit third in game two.
The Cubs have struggled over the years scoring runs off Aaron Harang. The former Reds’ ace has found his ‘Fountain of Youth’ in the form of PETCO Park. Harang has been outstanding over his first three starts. The key to beating Harang has always been to get to him early. If the Cubs walk to the plate swinging it could be a very quick and disappointing game.
Tuesday was Tyler Colvin bobblehead day but with the rainout, the promotion was postponed to Wednesday’s nightcap. Colvin was in Tuesday’s starting lineup, hitting seventh in right field.
The second game of the twin bill begins with James Russell … James Russell will make his second big league start this evening. Russell struggled his last time out in Houston and reached his pitch count limit in the second inning after giving up five runs, four earned, on seven hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Russell needs to give his team a deeper outing … and do his best to retire right-handed hitters. Jeff Samardzija is slated to follow Russell once again.
Russell will face the Padres for the third time in his short career. Russell does not have a record against the Friars and has allowed two runs on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings (13.50 ERA and a 2.25 WHIP).
Chris Denorfia (1-for-1 with a triple), Chase Headley (1-for-2 with a double) and Ryan Ludwick (0-for-2) are the only Padres that have faced James Russell.
The Reds sent Aaron Harang packing over the winter and the Padres are reaping the reward. Aaron Harang has not pitched this well since the 2007 season and might have found himself a home in San Diego … which is rather ironic considering it was an extra inning game in San Diego in May of 2008 that seemed to derail his career.
Harang has not allowed more than one earned run in each of his first three starts. Harang is throwing strikes (16 strikeouts to five walks in 18 innings) and has not served up a longball this season.
Tonight will be Harang’s 25th career start against the Cubs … 10-8 in 24 starts with a 4.51 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP (1-0 in two starts last season with a 3.29 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP). The last time he faced the Cubs was May 8 of last year. Harang dominated the Cubs to the tune of two runs on seven hits with a walk and a season-high nine strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. The Reds embarrassed the Cubs 14-2 at Great American Ballpark.
Aaron Harang is 5-3 in 12 career starts at Wrigley with a 5.01 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Aaron Harang
- Marlon Byrd – 5-for-12 with a home run and a walk
- Starlin Castro – 1-for-3 with a double
- Blake DeWitt – 2-for-7
- Kosuke Fukudome – 8-for-21 with 2 doubles, a home run and 4 walks
- Koyie Hill – 1-for-5 with a walk
- Carlos Pena – 1-for-4
- Aramis Ramirez – 16-for-55 with a double, a triple, 4 home runs and 2 walks
- Alfonso Soriano – 10-for-37 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
- Geovany Soto – 5-for-20 with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
- Carlos Zambrano – 3-for-17 with a double and a home run
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