Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Phillies – 07/18/11

Game Ninety-Seven: Cubs (38-58) vs. Phillies (59-35)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WCIU – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Rodrigo Lopez (1-2, 4.02/1.44) vs. Roy Halladay (11-3, 2.45/1.02)

The Cubs open a three-game series tonight against the best team in the big leagues … the Philadelphia Phillies. The Cubs and Phillies are on both ends of the baseball spectrum and their win-loss records are almost mirror images of one another.

The Phillies took three of four from the Cubs last month in Philly and the next three days doesn’t figure to get any easier for Quade’s offense. After Roy Halladay, the Cubs face Cliff Lee on Tuesday night then a very talented right-hander in Vance Worley for the first time on Wednesday afternoon … the Cubs will counter with Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster.

The Cubs are just two losses away from losing their 60th game of the season and they will have to win 25 of their remaining 66 games to avoid the 100-loss plateau. Tonight it all starts with Rodrigo Lopez

The Cubs will give Rodrigo Lopez the ball tonight to make his fourth start of the season. Lopez has been serviceable but the Cubs would be better served having a Casey Coleman or a Jay Jackson make these starts. Lopez is 1-1 as a starter with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.

Lopez last start came 10 days ago against the Pirates. Lopez received a no decision after allowed three runs on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts in six innings. Lopez was in line for the win but Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol gave up four runs in the bottom of the eighth and the Cubs lost 7-4.

Lopez faced his former team twice during the four-game series in Philadelphia and did not allow any runs on two hits in three innings of work. Lopez walked one and did not strikeout a batter.

Rodrigo Lopez is 1-1 in six career games, four starts, versus the Phillies with a 5.74 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP.

Phillies Career Numbers against Rodrigo Lopez

  • Domonic Brown – no official at bat, one walk
  • Ben Francisco – 0-for-1
  • Ryan Howard – 6-for-11 with a home run and a walk
  • Raul Ibanez – 9-for-27 with 2 doubles and 4 walks
  • Carlos Ruiz – 3-for-5 with a walk
  • Brian Schneider – 4-for-7 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Chase Utley – 4-for-11 with 2 doubles

The Cubs offense will face one of the best in the game for the second time in less than six weeks. Roy Halladay threw seven innings of six-hit, shutout ball against the Cubs back on June 10 in Philadelphia. Halladay did not walk a batter and struck out nine of the free-swinging Cubs.

Halladay has not pitched in 10 days, other than a two-inning stint in the All-Star game, and will be ready to go a full nine tonight. Halladay received a no-decision in a 3-2 Phillies victory over the Braves. Atlanta scored two runs on eight hits with no walks and seven strikeouts in seven innings.

After posting a 3-0 record in five June starts with a 2.00 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP, Halladay was 1-0 in two starts prior to the break with a 2.81 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP.

If the Cubs do not try to make Halladay work tonight, it could be another ugly loss for Q’s squad.

Roy Halladay is 1-3 in four career starts versus the Cubs with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP … at Wrigley, 0-2 in two starts with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Roy Halladay

  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 5-for-14 with 2 doubles and a triple
  • Starlin Castro – 3-for-6
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-3 with a triple
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-6
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-3 with a home run
  • Carlos Pena – 14-for-61 with 4 doubles, a triple, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-16
  • Alfonso Soriano – 14-for-57 with 3 doubles and 2 home runs
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-3

Boys of Spring – The Movie
Friend of the CCO, Tim Sheridan, is putting the finishing touches on a Cubs documentary about his time with the Chicago Cubs. Tim is the long-time P.A. announcer at HoHoKam Park in Mesa and the film is full of behind the scenes, never-before-see footage shot by Tim as he worked next to Cubs legends like Harry Caray and Ron Santo.

From the official press release: To be a part of Boys of Spring – The Movie, fans can donate as little as $10 using an Amazon.com account. As a thank you, fans will receive a copy of the Boys of Spring documentary before its official release next spring. There are a range of donation levels and rewards available on Kickstarter.com, including Cubs memorabilia and your name in the movie’s credits.

Boys of Spring isn’t about a team winning or losing. It’s about something deeper. An examination of life on its winding path and how, in spite of perceived failures, there is happiness and success. Cub fans will find joy this season and for years to come with the Boys of Spring film by donating and claiming their place in Cubs history. An epic World Series drought can’t stop the faithful Cubs followers, who know better than anyone – “There’s always next spring!”

The CCO will be running reminders during game previews for the next few weeks and I encourage the Faithful to check out ‘Boys of Spring – The Movie

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life." – Arthur Ashe