Game Fifty-Two: Cubs (23-28) vs. Astros (19-34)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Rodrigo Lopez (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Aneury Rodriguez (0-2, 4.98/1.37)
Updated 11:12am CDT – Cubs Selected the contract of D.J. LeMahieu from Double-A Tennessee and added him to 40-man roster. LeMahieu called up and added to active roster. Jeff Baker placed on 15-day DL with left groin strain. Jeff Stevens was designated for assignment to create a spot on the 40-man roster for D.J. LeMahieu.
Happy Memorial Day from everyone at the CCO! A big tip of the cap to all of the men and women, past and present, that have served in our military.
It is a battle for last place in the NL Central. The Cubs begin play this afternoon five games ahead of the Houston Astros. The Cubs are 3-3 on their current nine-game homestand and the ‘Stros are coming off a three-game sweep in Houston at the hands of the red-hot, first place Arizona Diamondbacks. The Astros have a good team and a solid rotation … the Astros’ problem is their bullpen.
The Cubs took two of three from the Astros in Houston last month.
The Cubs are expected to place Jeff Baker on the 15-day DL prior to game time. Baker has been dealing with a strained left groin since the series in Boston. D.J. LeMahieu will reportedly take Baker’s spot on the active roster. The Cubs will have to make another move to create a spot on the 40-man roster to add LeMahieu.
The Cubs acquired Rodrigo Lopez from the Braves on Thursday and the veteran right-hander will make his Cubs’ debut this afternoon. Lopez will become the ninth different starter used by Mike Quade in 52 games.
The forecast calls for record high temperatures in the Chicago area and the wind is expected to be blowing out this afternoon … not exactly the ideal situation for Rodrigo Lopez to make his first start with a new team.
Len and Bob will call the game from the bleachers … and today it all starts with Rodrigo Lopez. Rodrigo Lopez was 7-16 in 33 starts for the D’Backs a year ago with a 5.00 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. Lopez struck out 116 batters in 200 innings and gave up 227 hits, 37 of those left the ballpark. There is a reason that Lopez was not on a big league roster when the season began. Rodrigo Lopez is not a good fit for the Chicago Cubs … another fly ball pitcher at Wrigley Field. Lopez is 0-2 in two career starts at Wrigley with a 8.44 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP … three home runs allowed in 10 2/3 innings.
Lopez was 6-1 in nine starts for the Gwinnett Braves (International League), the Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, with a 2.59 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.
Lopez is 1-2 in four career starts against the Astros with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.
Astros Career Numbers against Rodrigo Lopez
- Clint Barmes – 1-for-5
- Michael Bourn – 0-for-5 with a walk
- Joe Inglett – 0-for-1 with a walk
- Carlos Lee – 3-for-19 with a double and 3 walks
- Jason Michaels – 1-for-6
- Hunter Pence – 5-for-9 with a double and a home run
- Brett Wallace – 0-for-2
Aneury Rodriguez will make his sixth start of the season. The Astros’ other Rodriguez in the rotation is coming off a very good outing against the Dodgers. Rodriguez held L.A. to one run on four hits in six innings with a walk and five strikeouts. Rodriguez has done his job the last two times out. While he has not posted a win, Houston is 2-0 the last two times Rodriguez has taken the ball.
Rodriguez is 0-2 as a starter (five games) with a 4.44 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. And he’s been very good on the road this year, no record in six games, two starts, with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.
Today will be Rodriguez’s first career start against the Cubs. In two games out of the pen, the Cubs have managed one run on two hits in 1 2/3 innings with a walk and a strikeout … both appearances came early this season in Houston (April 12 and April 13).
Jeff Baker (0-for-2), Starlin Castro (0-for-1), Koyie Hill (a walk) and Geovany Soto (1-for-2) are the only players on the Cubs active roster that has faced Aneury Rodriguez.
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