Game Twenty-Three: Cubs (10-12) vs. Rockies (15-7)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
James Russell (1-2, 8.00/1.89) vs. Jorge De La Rosa (3-0, 3.00/1.00)
Weather permitting … How will the Cubs respond to Monday’s ugly performance and losing two games in a row for the second time this season? The Cubs played one of their worst games Monday night in horrible conditions. But the bottom line is they did not get the job done while the other team did.
In order for the Cubs to avoid dropping three games below .500 they will need James Russell and the bullpen to step up and beat Jorge De La Rosa. The Cubs have never beaten De La Rosa and the ‘Bullpen Day‘ has been a very bad idea. The Cubs will have to play mistake free ball tonight and capitalize on every scoring opportunity in order to put one in the win column.
Aramis Ramirez is expected back in the lineup after Monday’s scheduled day off. Reed Johnson should get the start in right with Jeff Baker at either first or second base. With Starlin Castro committing four errors in two games, Quade could decide to give his shortstop the night off.
Tonight it all starts with James Russell … James Russell will make the third start of his big league career tonight. Russell has obviously struggled as a starter and is being misused by the team. After Russell’s last start, Mike Quade acknowledged that Russell is probably better suited as a situational lefty out of the pen, yet someone within the organization has decided Russell is the best option for the fifth starter’s spot with Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner on the DL.
However, for the first time Russell took part in a side session prior to tonight’s start and was supposed to work on his change-up with Mark Riggins. Maybe the Cubs treating him as a starter will payoff with at least a five-inning outing.
Russell is coming off his second loss of the season. The weak-hitting Padres offense took batting practice off the lefty for four-plus innings. The Padres scored four runs on seven hits with three of the hits leaving the park.
At this point, the Cubs need innings out of Russell and to try to keep the game close.
Tonight will be Russell’s sixth career appearance against the Rockies. Russell pitches 1 1/3 scoreless innings (two games) in the series in Colorado. In his last appearance, Russell faced one batter and retired Todd Helton to end the sixth inning.
Rockies Career Numbers against James Russell
- Jorge De La Rosa – 1-for-1
- Dexter Fowler – 0-for-1
- Jason Giambi – 0-for-1
- Carlos Gonzalez – 0-for-2
- Todd Helton – 0-for-2
- Jonathan Herrera – 1-for-1
- Seth Smith – 0-for-4
- Ryan Spilborghs – 0-for-1
- Ian Stewart – 1-for-4
- Troy Tulowitzki – 0-for-3
The Cubs have the tough task of trying to hand Jorge De La Rosa his first loss of the season. The talented lefty has found a home in Denver after unsuccessful stints in Milwaukee and Kansas City.
De La Rosa is coming off a win against in the Giants in which he held the defending Champs to two runs on four hits in seven innings. De La Rosa struck out six and walked just two. In 24 innings this season, De La Rosa has walked 10 and struck out 20.
The Cubs must be patient with De La Rosa tonight. If they start swinging early and often, De La Rosa’s domination of the Cubs will continue.
Tonight will be Jorge De La Rosa’s third career start against the Cubs. He is 3-0 in six career appearances, two starts, with a 1.74 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. De La Rosa’s has never started a game at Wrigley … or allowed an earned run (1-0 in four games, 6 1/3 innings, with a 0.00 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP).
Cubs Career Numbers against Jorge De La Rosa
- Jeff Baker – 3-for-9 with a double and a triple
- Marlon Byrd – 2-for-3
- Starlin Castro – 1-for-4
- Tyler Colvin – 0-for-3 with a walk
- Blake DeWitt – 2-for-4 with a double and 2 walks
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-1
- Reed Johnson – 2-for-7 with a double, a home run and a walk
- Carlos Pena – 0-for-5
- Aramis Ramirez – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
- James Russell – 0-for-1
- Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-10 with a home run
- Geovany Soto – 2-for-6 with a double, a home run and a walk
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