Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 08/04/11

Game One Hundred Twelve: Cubs (46-65) vs. Pirates (54-55)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Rodrigo Lopez (2-3, 4.40/1.42) vs. James McDonald (7-5, 4.17/1.57)

After dropping the first five games of the trip, the Cubs could actually end the 10-game road trip with a .500 record if they can complete the sweep of the Pirates. The Cubs are riding their first four-game winning streak of the season … could Q’s squad actually win five in a row?

The Pirates on the other hand will be playing to get back to the .500 mark tonight. Clint Hurdle’s team slipped below the mediocre mark for the first time since June 21 on Wednesday night.

Tonight is a rematch of the game back on July 8 in which the Pirates beat the Cubs 7-4. Both Rodrigo Lopez and James McDonald received a no decision after Carlos Marmol blew his sixth save (at the time) of the season.

Tonight it all starts with Rodrigo Lopez

Rodrigo Lopez was on the mound in St. Louis at the beginning of the fifth inning debacle last Saturday. Lopez managed to get only one out in the fifth due to the Cubs’ poor defense … then he turned the game over to Jeff Samardzija, and all (blank) broke loose. Lopez ended up allowing six runs on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.

Rodrigo Lopez has been a serviceable starter and matched up well against the Phillies. With that said and while this will not happen, Lopez should be making his last appearance for the Chicago Cubs. If the Cubs had a plan, it should be about the future not avoiding a 100-loss season.

Lopez posted a 2-1 record in five games, four starts, in July with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP … 0-2 on the road this season (eight games, two starts) with a 5.51 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP.

Tonight will be Lopez’s second start of the season against the Bucs. Lopez received a no decision in Pittsburgh (Pirates won 7-4) before the break. Lopez allowed three runs on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts in six innings. Lopez is 1-0 in two career starts versus the Pirates with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.

Pirates Career Numbers against Rodrigo Lopez

  • Ronny Cedeno – 0-for-2
  • Ryan Doumit – 1-for-3
  • Garrett Jones – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • Derrek Lee – 1-for-9
  • Ryan Ludwick – 5-for-15 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Andrew McCutchen – 1-for-4 with a home run and a walk
  • James McDonald – 0-for-2
  • Michael McKenry – 0-for-3
  • Lyle Overbay – 4-for-7 with a walk
  • Xavier Paul – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Neil Walker – 1-for-3

After tossing two excellent outings against the Reds and Braves in which he did not allow a run (11 2/3 innings), James McDonald is coming off a rough five-inning start against the Phillies. McDonald gave up five run on 10 hits (two home runs) with a pair of walks and five strikeouts. McDonald, like the rest of the Pirates staff, may be running out of gas. It will help that he is facing the Cubs offense tonight on getaway day but all of the innings thrown by McDonald and his other four staff mates is the reason the Pirates are thinking about a six-man rotation once Ross Ohlendorf is activated from the DL.

James McDonald posted a 2-1 record in five July starts with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.

Tonight will be McDonald’s second start of the year against the Cubs … 0-1 in three career games, two starts, with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against James McDonald

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-4 with a walk
  • Marlon Byrd – 3-for-3 with a double
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-6
  • Tyler Colvin – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Blake DeWitt – 0-for-3
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-2 with a double
  • Rodrigo Lopez – 0-for-2
  • Carlos Pena – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-2 with a home run and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-4 with a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-3

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Quote of the Day

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