Game Three: Cubs (1-1) vs. Pirates (1-1)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Matt Garza (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Ross Ohlendorf (0-0, -.–/-.–)
Weather permitting … Q’s squad has a chance to not only win a series this afternoon against the Pirates but a victory today would mark the first time since the end of the 2009 season that the Chicago Cubs have been a game over .500.
Matt Garza makes his official Cubs debut this afternoon. Garza had a rough spring and started blaming his surroundings for his struggles. Spring Training is over there are no more excuses and the Cubs need him to pitch to his talent level this afternoon.
Mike Quade is expected to go back to his right-handed lineup with the right-hander on the hill … expect Kosuke Fukudome at the top of the order with Darwin Barney back at second base.
The Cubs must change their approach and game plan against the Pirates. What they’ve been doing for the last 19 games simply does not work. Entering play this afternoon, the Cubs are 6-13 versus the Bucs dating back to the final two match-ups of the 2009 season. Matt Garza will make his Cub, Wrigley Field and National League debut this afternoon. Garza is coming off a very good season in Tampa that also included the Rays first ever no-hitter. Garza posted a 15-10 record (with a save) in 33 games, 32 starts, with a 3.91 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. In his third full year in the big leagues, Garza held teams to a .248 batting average and struck out 150 batters in 204 2/3 innings … the second year in a row Garza topped the 200-inning mark.
Today will be Garza’s first career start against the Mighty Pirates …
Lyle Overbay is the only active Pirate that has faced Matt Garza (9-for-36 with three doubles and 2 walks).
Ross Ohlendorf is coming off a rough and injury-plagued 2010 campaign. Ohlendorf made only 21 starts after emerging as a possible number one starter in 2009. Ohlendorf posted a 1-11 record with a 4.07 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP … his peripheral numbers were much better than his win-loss record.
Ohlendorf has dominated the Cubs in his brief career. The Cubs offense struggles mightily against him … 1-0 in three starts with a 1.35 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP, just three runs and five walks in 20 innings. The Cubs overly aggressive offense has struck out 17 times against Ohlendorf in those three starts.
The Cubs must be patient this afternoon … a trait they have not shown in over the last two-plus seasons.
Cubs Career Numbers against Ross Ohlendorf
- Marlon Byrd – 2-for-5 with a double
- Starlin Castro – 0-for-6
- Blake DeWitt – 0-for-1 with 3 walks
- Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-9 with a walk
- Carlos Pena – 0-for-1
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-5 with a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-7 with a double, a triple and a walk
- Geovany Soto – 3-for-8 with a double
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