Game Twenty-Seven: Cubs (12-14) vs. Diamondbacks (11-15)
Game Time – 3:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Chase Field, Phoenix
Casey Coleman (1-1, 7.43/2.02) vs. Daniel Hudson (1-4, 5.64/1.38)
The Cubs will try to begin the second month of the season with their first win on a Sunday. Q’s squad has put themselves into position in each of the last four Sundays to win the final game and take the series. Each time the Cubs have come up short (0-4) and in three of those losses they had the lead late.
In order for the Cubs to hang around in the Central, they must start closing out series with wins, another shortcoming of the 2011 Cubs (1-7)
Casey Coleman makes his fourth start of the year this afternoon. Coleman was scheduled to start the third game of the Rockies series before it was postponed. Mike Quade pushed Coleman to Sunday to keep his big three on regular rest.
News and Notes
The Cubs announced Saturday that James Russell will make the start Monday night in Los Angeles. The Cubs had discussed bringing up Jay Jackson to make his big league debut or starting Ryan Dempster a day early. But for some reason the Cubs have decided to give Russell the ball to start another ‘Bullpen Day‘.
During Saturday’s pre-game show, Mike Quade said Carlos Pena would be in the starting lineup Sunday. With the injury to Jeff Baker in the eighth inning Saturday night (left shoulder soreness), Pena will be back at first base this afternoon.
After seeing Doug Davis pitch Saturday, Jim Hendry said Davis would make a rehab start in A-ball Thursday. Davis will then pitch for the I-Cubs and if everything goes as planned, Davis could make his Cubs’ debut during the Giants series at Wrigley (May 13-May 15)
Todd Wellemeyer is expected to pitch for the I-Cubs this week as well.
According to a report from the Sun-Times, Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner threw from flat ground again Saturday and will stay will the team for the trip to Los Angeles. The Cubs have not set a date for a possible return for either pitcher.
Angel Guzman threw a simulated game Saturday and remains optimistic he will pitch in the majors this season. Guzman expects to start a minor league rehab by the end of May.
This afternoon is the Cubs final game of the year against the D’Backs. The Cubs have won the season series (4-2) and have a 2-1 advantage in the four-game series with one left to play … today it all begins with Casey Coleman. Following the worst start of his short big league career, Casey Coleman was scheduled to start the finale of the Rockies series at Wrigley. After the game was called due to weather, Mike Quade decided to push Coleman back to Sunday to keep his big three on normal rest. In the case of Zambrano and Garza that worked out well … not too much for Dempster
Casey Coleman lasted just 2 2/3 innings and threw over 90 pitches to the Dodgers on April 22. Matt Kemp and company scored six runs off Coleman on six hits … the Cubs’ young right-hander walked four and struck out five while pitching from behind for a majority of his second outing in a row. Coleman does not have the stuff to pitch from behind and must throw strike one this afternoon … the best pitch in baseball.
Casey did not face the D’Backs in the series at Wrigley and will make his first career appearance against Arizona this afternoon. With Jay Jackson healthy and Doug Davis beginning to throw in minor league games, it is imperative Coleman starts throwing strikes … and recording outs.
Geoff Blum is the only D’Back that has faced Coleman … and he’s on the DL.
The Cubs will get their first look at the former Southsider Daniel Hudson. The D’Backs acquired Hudson in the deal that Edwin Jackson to the White Sox last summer. Hudson was the fifth round pick of the Sox in the 2008 draft.
Hudson had a ton of success after being dealt to the desert last year. Hudson posted a 7-1 record in 11 starts with a 1.69 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP. This season has not been as easy for Hudson and he’s off to a questionable start.
After losing his first four decisions, Hudson is coming off his first win … a solid six-inning performance against the Phillies. Hudson held Ryan Howard and company to three runs on 10 hits with six strikeouts and no walks. Hudson has maintained nearly a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio and Q’s offense must be patient with him this afternoon.
Reed Johnson (0-for-2 with a walk) is the only Cub that has faced Daniel Hudson.
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