Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 08/21/11

Game One Hundred Twenty-Seven: Cubs (56-70) vs. Cardinals (66-60)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: ESPN Sunday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 89
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Rodrigo Lopez (4-3, 4.66/1.41) vs. Jake Westbrook (9-7, 4.81/1.48)

The Cubs have a chance to put an even bigger dent in the Cardinals’ playoff chances tonight. By taking the first two from Albert Pujols and company, the Cubs have pushed the Cardinals even further back in the NL Central. The Cubs are 13-5 in August and unfortunately they are just playing for pride. The last time a Cubs team swept a three-game series against the Cardinals at Wrigley was April of 2006.

In other newsThe possible candidates to be the Cubs’ next GM have been the hot topic since Jim Hendry’s dismissal on Friday. Matt Garza and Carlos Pena have gone on record singing their praises for their former boss in Tampa, Andrew Friedman. The mainstream media has also mentioned Brian Cashman, Rick Hahn (White Sox) and Ben Cherington (Red Sox) as possible candidates to replace Jim Hendry.

As for Mike Quade’s future with the Cubs, his days are likely numbered and Quade is focused on winning games and preparing his players the best he can on a daily basis.

Andrew Cashner is scheduled to throw another side session today and if all goes as planned he will begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday.

Javier Baez was at Wrigley on Saturday to sign his contract. Baez took batting practice in the cage and is expected to leave for Mesa today.

The Cubs are 5-14 in Sundays in 2011 … and tonight it all starts with Rodrigo Lopez.

Rodrigo Lopez is coming off another serviceable start and picked up the Cubs only win in Houston. For the second outing in a row, Lopez pitched into the sixth inning but could not record all three outs in the inning. Houston managed three runs, two earned, with two walks and three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings against Rodrigo Lopez.

Lopez has pitched better at Wrigley (3-1 in nine games, five starts, with a 3.34 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP) than on the road (1-2 in ten games, four starts, with a 6.31 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP) this season. As a starter, Lopez is 4-2 in nine starts with a 4.84 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.

Tonight will be Rodrigo Lopez’s second start and fourth appearance of the season against the Cardinals … 0-2 in three games, one start, with an 11.81 ERA and a 2.44 WHIP.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Rodrigo Lopez

  • Lance Berkman – 2-for-9 with a double and 2 walks
  • Daniel Descalso – 0-for-2
  • David Freese – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Rafael Furcal – 10-for-26 with 2 doubles, a triple and 2 home runs
  • Matt Holliday – 5-for-12 with 4 doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Jon Jay – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Yadier Molina – 3-for-13
  • Corey Patterson – 0-for-3
  • Albert Pujols – 3-for-15 with 2 home runs and 2 walks
  • Skip Schumaker – 6-for-12 with 2 doubles
  • Ryan Theriot – 4-for-9 with 2 walks

Jake Westbrook has been as inconsistent as the St. Louis Cardinals this season. One start Westbrook is very, very good then the next he is barely serviceable. Westbrook is coming off a poor outing against the Pirates in which he allowed five runs, four earned, on nine hits with a walk and three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Westbrook is 2-3 in seven starts since the break with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP … 0-2 in his last three outings with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. Westbrook has not posted a win since July 26.

The Cubs faced Jake Westbrook back on July 31 in St. Louis. The Cardinals right-hander took a perfect game into the sixth before the offense work up and strung a few hits together. Westbrook is 0-2 in two starts against the Cubs this season with a 9.72 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jake Westbrook

  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-7
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-10
  • Starlin Castro – 3-for-10 with a double
  • Blake DeWitt – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-4 with a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 3-for-10
  • Carlos Pena – 11-for-35 with 6 doubles, 4 home runs and 5 walks
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-6 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-25 with a walk

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Quote of the Day

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