Game Nineteen: Cubs (9-9) vs. Dodgers (10-10)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Casey Coleman (1-0, 4.22/1.59) vs. Chad Billingsley (1-1, 4.91/1.32)
Updated 12:36pm CDT – Cubs announce start of game will be delayed. No time set for a possible first pitch. Forecast calls for break in the weather this afternoon. The Cubs and Dodgers are going to try to get this one in.
Updated 1:22pm CDT – According to Pat Hughes, the start of the game will be delayed until at least 2:30pm.
Updated 1:52pm CDT – According to multiple reports, first pitch is expected to be around 2:30pm.
Weather permitting … The 9-9 Chicago Cubs return to the field this afternoon after a much-needed day off. Q’s squad played 20 innings of ball Wednesday and split the day-night doubleheader with the Padres. The Cubs showed signs of improvement in the field during the Padres series … but offensively the Cubs are stuck in neutral.
Casey Coleman will make his third start of the season and don’t be surprised if Koyie Hill gets the start behind the plate. Hill caught Casey’s last game and has had a couple of hits, including a home run, against Chad Billingsley.
The Cubs will face a Dodgers team led by Don Mattingly for the first time but will also face an organization in turmoil.
The Dodgers have pretty much owned the Cubs in recent years (Cubs won three of seven in 2010, three of eight in 2009) and Q’s squad will play six of the next 13 games against the Los Angeles Dodgers. If Q would like to get above .500 and stay there, he must figure out a way to win the season series against the Dodgers.
The Cubs will not see Rafael Furcal this weekend but will face an old teammate Saturday. Ted Lilly makes his first start at Wrigley since being traded to the Dodgers last July. Ryan Dempster is scheduled to face Lilly in game two Saturday afternoon.
Today it all begins with Casey Coleman …
Casey will make his first start of the season at Wrigley. Coleman posted a 1-1 record in five games, three starts, at home last season with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.90 WHIP. To say Coleman struggled at Wrigley in limited appearances last year would be an understatement.
Coleman gave up twice as many runs at home than on the road (18, 17 earned at Wrigley compared to nine earned runs on the road) plus he walked more batters (14) than he struck out (8). With the Cubs questionable defense, Coleman must limit his free passes in order to be successful.
Today will mark the first time Casey Coleman has faced the Los Angeles Dodgers … and Tony Gwynn, Jr. (0-for-2) is the only player on the Dodgers roster that has faced him.
Chad Billingsley has had a lot of success against the Cubs in his big league career … both in the regular season and in the post season.
Billingsley is coming off an excellent eight-inning performance against the Cardinals. Billingsley tossed eight innings of shutout ball and allowed just three his with two walks and a season-high 11 strikeouts. Billingsley received a no decision in a 2-1 Dodgers victory over St. Louis.
For as good as Billingsley has been, his success this season has been limited to Dodger Stadium. In eight innings (two starts) on the road, Billingsley has allowed nine runs on 13 hits with five walks and nine strikeouts (10.13 ERA and a 2.25 WHIP).
The Cubs must be patient early on against Billingsley and not allow the talented right-hander to settle in and get into a groove.
Billingsley is 3-3 in eight career games, six starts, versus the Cubs with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 1-2 in three starts with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. Billingsley was a perfect 2-0 versus the Cubs a year ago (4.38 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP in two games with 15 strikeouts and five walks).
Cubs Career Numbers against Chad Billingsley
- Jeff Baker – 2-for-3 with a double
- Marlon Byrd – 3-for-7
- Starlin Castro – 0-for-3
- Tyler Colvin – 0-for-3 with 3 walks
- Kosuke Fukudome – 4-for-19 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
- Koyie Hill – 2-for-10 with a home run and two walks
- Aramis Ramirez – 4-for-13 with a double, a triple and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-15 with a walk
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-4 with a walk
Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …