Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 05/27/11

Game Forty-Nine: Cubs (22-26) vs. Pirates (22-26)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Doug Davis (0-2, 8.31/1.85) vs. Kevin Correia (6-4, 3.84/1.23)

Updated 12:24 pm CDTCubs DFA’d Robert Coello to make room on the 40-man roster for Rodrigo Lopez

The Cubs nine-game homestand continues this afternoon against the Mighty Pittsburgh Pirates. The next three days will feature two teams that come into the series with identical records (22-26) … and two teams that are looking to separate themselves from the bottom of the NL Central.

After years of doing just enough to beat the Pirates, the Cubs have played some of their worst ball against the Bucs over the last two seasons. Q’s squad dropped two of three to Clint Hurdle’s team in the first weekend of the season … and the Cubs are a miserable 6-12 versus the Pirates in the last 18 match-ups and dating back to the end of the 2009 season, the Cubs have beaten the Pirates just six times in 20 games.

The Cubs do not match up well against the Pirates, especially their pitching staff. The Bucs have figured out if they can limit the Cubs early and keep it close they can pull out the win in the late innings.

Jeff Karstens was originally slated to pitch the opener this afternoon but he was pushed to Sunday … so the Cubs will have their second shot at Kevin Correia.

Rodrigo Lopez will join the Cubs this afternoon. Jim Hendry acquired Lopez on Thursday for minor league pitcher Ryan Butcher. The Cubs optioned Justin Berg to Iowa to make room for Lopez on the active roster … but the team has not announced the 40-man roster move required to add Lopez to their big league roster.

Not only are the Cubs battling injuries to Marlon Byrd, Geovany Soto (expected back this weekend), Andrew Cashner, Randy Wells (will be back Saturday) and Matt Garza, but Mike Quade is also dealing with nagging injuries to Aramis Ramirez (hamstring), Reed Johnson (back soreness) and Jeff Baker (left groin strain).

Today it all starts with Doug Davis

Doug Davis will make his third start as a Chicago Cub this afternoon. Davis was pushed back a couple of days to give him a little extra time and to keep both Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano on regular rest. Davis is coming off a horrible outing against the Red Sox. Davis lasted just 3 2/3 innings last Friday night in Boston. The veteran southpaw allowed seven runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Davis could not locate his fastball early in at bats and he pitched from behind in the count throughout his short outing

Tonight will mark Davis’ second start as a Cub at Wrigley … and he will face a very familiar foe.

Doug Davis is 8-6 in 23 career starts versus the Pirates with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. Davis’ final start of 2010 came against the Pirates at Miller Park. Davis received a no-decision in a 5-4 Brewers victory. Davis allowed four runs on seven hits with three walks and two strikeouts. The Pirates hit two out of the park in five innings.

Pirates Career Numbers against Doug Davis

  • Pedro Alvarez – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
  • Ronny Cedeno – 2-for-15 with a double
  • Kevin Correia – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Matt Diaz – 1-for-10 with a double and a walk
  • Ryan Doumit – 2-for-14 with a walk
  • Garrett Jones – 1-for-9
  • Andrew McCutchen – 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Steve Pearce – 2-for-6 with a double and 2 walks
  • Jose Tabata – 2-for-2 with a walk
  • Neil Walker – 0-for-2 with a walk

Kevin Correia is one of the reasons the Pirates are a game over .500 on the road this season (13-12, 9-14 at PNC Park). Five of Correia’s six wins (5-1) have come outside of PNC Park … with the first one coming at Wrigley on Opening Day.

Correia is coming off an impressive start against the Tigers. Correia held Jim Leyland’s team to two runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. Correia did not issue a free pass and struck out four. Correia is one of the feel-good stories of the 2011 season.

After a 4-2 start in his first seven games, six starts, with a 2.90 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP, Correia is 2-2 in his last four starts with a 5.48 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.

The veteran right-hander held the Cubs to three runs, two earned, on seven hits in six innings on Opening Day. Correia walked one and struck out three. The Cubs overly aggressive offense just did not make him work … and must show more patience this afternoon.

Kevin Correia is 2-2 in nine career games, five starts, against the Cubs with a 5.10 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP … but has won his last two meetings versus the Cubs and has allowed only three runs, two earned, on 11 hits in 12 innings of work (1.15 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP).

Cubs Career Numbers against Kevin Correia

  • Jeff Baker – 2-for-5 with a home run
  • Darwin Barney – 3-for-6 with a double
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-3
  • Doug Davis – 0-for-3
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-8 with a double and 2 walks
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 5-for-16
  • Koyie Hill – 0-for-2
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-1
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-4 with 2 walks
  • Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-12 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-9

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein
  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Fukudome – RF
    Barney – 2B
    Castro – SS
    Ramirez – 3B
    Pena – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Campana – CF
    Hill – C
    Davis – P

  • Cheryl

    It will be good to see how Campana does in CF. Hopefully he’ll do well.

    • paulcatanese

      So do I Cheryl,so do I. If nothing else it’s an enjoyment to watch him run.

  • paulcatanese

    Very happy that Campana gets another start. On the other hand Aram with a
    hamsting problem is still in there. He dosent run well when he is healthy. I guess
    the dream is still there with Quade that he will hit, dosent make a lot of sense, but what has lately. Johnson sits,Baker sits because of injuries so why not Aram?
    DeWitt has not done badly there and should be considered. At least he makes
    more consistant contact. I dont like to rap Aram so many times, but the fact is
    he is just not getting it done but continues to play and in the fourth spot as well.
    That is becoming embarassing and just creates additional criticism from many.

  • Neil

    Update on Brett Jackson:

    CF prospect Brett Jackson will resume playing for Class AA Tennessee Monday after rehabbing hand injury in AZ. 

  • GaryLeeT

    Breaking News!  Neil did not lead with “weather permitting”.

  • Neil

    From Carrie Muskat:

    Rodrigo Lopez is in the clubhouse and will be in the ‘pen for Friday’s game

  • Neil

    Cubs DFA’d Robert Coello to make room on the 40-man roster for Rodrigo Lopez

  • GaryLeeT

    So Lopez is available today? I hope so, because I get this feeling that Davis won’t last long.

    • diehardcubfan

      Well after another great start I also hope that the shuttle bus is gassed up and ready between Iowa and Chicago because we are going to need it.

      Oh yeah, I forgot again we do not actually have any good relievers in Iowa.  My mistake again.

  • Roland

    Let’s see a clutch two out hit here

  • Richard Hood

    I would have never guessed that we are now in the top five in total runs the way some people on here say how horrible everyone on the team is. Good stats Len and Bob.

    • GaryLeeT

      Unfortunately, being last in pitching, and last in fielding, makes it hard to see a rise in runs scored, as a silver lining.

  • Roland

    Happy to get out of that inning with just 2 runs scored.

  • Neil

    Pirates with twice as many walks this inning than Cubs have hits in three innings

  • Neil

    Davis gave up 2 runs in the fourth on 3 walks, a hit batsman and an infield single …

  • diehardcubfan

    Again, our lineup makes no sense.  If you are going to play Campana put him at leadoff were he can do the most good and actually use his speed. 

    Also, play Montanez some in right as we really need to see if we have anything. 

    Oh, I forgot, JH actually thinks we are going to contend and since we already spent all the money we better play the veterans. 

    We wouldn’t want Montanez to actually out produce Fuko.  It might make JH look bad.

    My mistake on that.

  • Neil

    Pitcher Alberto Cabrera to be promoted from AA Tennessee to AAA Iowa on Sunday

    • ZT

      I don’t understand this Alberto Cabrera has an ERA of 5.36. I think that they should bring up Rafeal Dolis to AAA, his ERA is 2.64 and he can start or be a reliever. Dolis is doing way better, I just don’t understand why they are bringing up someone to AAA when they aren’t even doing good in AA.

      • Tom U

        Dolis’ numbers are a little better than what he has produced. When starting, Dolis had difficulty with his command of the strike zone. Manager Brian Harper pulled him early at times to limit the damage. 

        Tennessee took advantage of the season ending injury to David Cales and put Dolis in the closer’s spot. Dolis still has some command issues, but his focus has been better since the move.

      • Tom U

        I’m just speculating, but the thought process may have been an more conservative approach with Whitenack and McNutt, pitchers who have shown better.

        Since lefties Chris Rusin and Brooks Raley have been inconsistent, Cabrera may have gotten the promotion by default. Being on the 40 man roster helped.

  • studio179

    Fukudome is swinging late and looks lost at the plate.

  • John_CC

    Two hits?!

    • Neil

      Pena just got number 3 … and Soriano hits into a double play

  • GaryLeeT

    The Cubs look so lifeless without Johnson playing.

  • GaryLeeT

    Those gulls that come in late in the game are more than annoying. I would practice a little animal control if were the on the grounds crew. Some Alkaseltzer would do the trick.

  • Neil

    LHP J.R. Mathes released. I-Cubs career win leader (42). RHP Marco Carrillo to Iowa from AA Tennessee

    • Tom U

      Sorry to see Mathes go, as he was a true professional. 

      Marco Carrillo is one of the most deserving minor leaguers this season. He’s a total team player who’s willing to do anything to help the team (I believe he even got a couple of hits). 

      Carrillo is not overpowering, but he just gets people out. He can become a huge fan favorite at Wrigley if he is successful. 

  • Neil

    To have the 2008 version of Aramis at the plate …

  • Neil

    Aramis is now 1-for-22 with two outs and runners in scoring position … 

    • RynoTiger

      can anyone recall teams that made it into the playoffs but didn’t really have a 4-5-6 middle of the line up that was consistent in offensive production?

      we have nothing there for pitchers to fear.

  • studio179

    At least Soriano kept it from a goose egg with the 2 run shot.

  • Neil

    SO-RI-A-NO (clap, clap, clap, clap, clap)

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 4-2 to Pirates Friday afternoon. Alfonso Soriano: 1-for-4, 2R HR; Doug Davis’ line: 4R, 2ER, 6BB, 3K, HBP,E in 4.2 IP; Cubs 5 hits

  • studio179

    Cubs ‘O’ looked limp. Buccos do it again.

  • Neil

    Mike Quade said he is not considering moving Aramis Ramirez out of the clean-up spot. Quade: “Ramy will figure this out.”

    • GaryLeeT

      Since Quade is in the business of predicting what will happen to Ramy (while the games still matter), he should just tell everybody to start fitting this team for rings. Both have an equal chance of happening.

    • John_CC

      Just like last year…in August…

    • The Maven

      And, just like with Derek Lee, the rest of the team is just pulled down while waiting for Aramis. 

      Totally unprofessional by both the manager and player.

  • GaryLeeT

    If half empty ball parks, and having lost 3 of 4 to the Pirates at home, can’t get Ricketts fired up enough to do something, then I am convinced we will see status quo for a long time to come.

  • Neil

    According to Bruce Miles, Rodrigo Lopez will start on Memorial Day

  • Neil

    Casey Coleman was optioned to Triple-A Iowa following Friday’s game.

    Geovany Soto 0-for-3 with a strikeout in his first rehab game with the Smokies.