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 CDT – Cubs 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
Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …