Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 09/06/11

Game One Hundred Forty-Two: Cubs (61-80) vs. Reds (69-72)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Rodrigo Lopez (4-6, 4.94/1.51) vs. Mike Leake (11-9, 4.12/1.23)

Updated 5:03pm CDT – Cubs Recalled D.J. LeMahieu, John Gaub and Luis Montanez from Triple-A Iowa

The Cubs are coming off back-to-back wins against the Pirates and Reds and will shoot for their third victory in a row tonight behind Rodrigo Lopez. Lopez has struggled of late and with the extra arms that Quade is expected to have in the pen beginning tonight expect a quick hook if he struggles early.

Will Tyler Colvin and Tony Campana be in the starting lineup tonight against Mike Leake? Tyler Colvin is 4-for-11 with a walk against Leake with all four hits being home runs. Colvin went deep against Leake when the Cubs finally beat him back on August 5. As for Tony Campana his inside the park homer came against Leake on the same day … with a little help from Yonder Alonso.

Regardless of the lineup, the Cubs must improve on hitting with RISP. Over the last 14 games, the Cubs are 20-for-124 with runners in scoring position and have left 118 runners on base. The Cubs are 5-9 during that span and have been outscored 54-46.

In other newsAndrew Cashner was activated from the 60-day DL on Monday and is eager to return to a big league mound. Cashner is not expected to be available until Wednesday after pitching a perfect inning on Sunday night in Iowa.

As for the other September call-ups … John Gaub, D.J. LeMahieu and Luis Montanez will reportedly join the team today and spend the remainder of the season with the big league team. It appears that Scott Maine’s season is over after dealing with injuries late in the Triple-A campaign. As for Chris Carpenter, he tweeted Monday night that he is going home for the off-season. Carpenter is slated to pitch for the Mesa Solar Sox during the upcoming AFL season. Welington Castillo finished the year on the DL after dealing with a nagging hamstring all season. Like Maine and Carpenter, Castillo is not expected to receive a call-up this September.

Bruce Levine reported that both Rafael Dolis and catcher Steve Clevenger could join the Cubs after the Smokies’ playoff run is completed. Dolis is on the Cubs 40-man roster but Clevenger is not. The Cubs will have to make a roster move to call-up Clevenger for the last couple of weeks of the season.

The Cubs 40-man roster currently stands at 39 players but that will change on September 12. While Carlos Zambrano will not re-join the Cubs this year, he will take a spot on the 40-man roster once he is removed from the disqualified list. Zambrano is eligible to come of the list on September 12.

Tonight it all starts with Rodrigo Lopez …

Rodrigo Lopez is coming off another poor outing and his days in the Cubs rotation should be coming to an end. Rumors have suggested that due to the lack of pitching depth Lopez could be in the Cubs plans for next season … maybe the mainstream media should wait for Tom Ricketts to name the new GM before speculating.

Lopez has not won a game, or pitch well enough to do so, since August 15. The Giants anemic offense put up four runs on nine hits (two home runs) in 5 1/3 innings. Lopez was left in an inning too long but it would not have made a difference against Madison Bumgarner.

Rodrigo Lopez posted a 2-3 mark in six starts last month with a 5.68 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP … 0-2 in his last two starts with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.77 WHIP (eight runs, six earned, on 14 hits with six walks and seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings).

Tonight will be Lopez’s first start of the year against the Reds. Lopez pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief against the Redlegs back on June 7 … and did not allow a run, hit or walk. Lopez is 2-0 in seven career games, six starts, against the Reds with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.

Reds Career Numbers against Rodrigo Lopez

  • Jay Bruce – 3-for-7 with a home run
  • Miguel Cairo – 5-for-17 with a double and a triple
  • Juan Francisco – 1-for-3
  • Ramon Hernandez – 2-for-15
  • Paul Janish – 2-for-6
  • Brandon Phillips – 1-for-7 with a double and a walk
  • Edgar Renteria – 3-for-18
  • Drew Stubbs – 2-for-6
  • Joey Votto – 2-for-5 with a double

Mike Leake is coming off a rough outing against the Phillies in which he allowed four runs on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts in six innings. Leake has not completed more than six innings of work in a start since August 10 and has already surpassed his innings at the big league level from his rookie season (138 1/3 in 2010, 150 2/3 this season).

Leake has shown a lot of improvement since the break and is 3-5 in nine starts with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

The last time the Cubs faced Mike Leake, they finally figured out a way to beat him. The Cubs scored three runs on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts in six innings. Tyler Colvin hit another homer off Leake … and Tony Campana hit a two-run inside the park home run.

Leake is 3-1 in five career starts against the Cubs with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Mike Leake

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-9 with a double
  • Tony Campana – 1-for-4 with a home run
  • Starlin Castro – 5-for-12 with a double
  • Tyler Colvin – 4-for-11 with 4 home runs and a walk
  • Blake DeWitt – 5-for-11 with 2 doubles and 2 walks
  • Koyie Hill – 0-for-4 with a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-2
  • D.J. LeMahieu – 0-for-1
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-4 with 2 walks
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-13 with a double and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-9
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-7 with 3 walks

Cubs Photography
The CCO recently received an email from FishEyeVertigo.com about passing on info about some pretty cool Chicago photographs … created in a unique way.

For more info, including how the final photographs are assembled, please visit FishEyeVertigo.com

Stadium Journey – Wrigley Field
StadiumJourney.com publishes reviews of pro and college stadiums and recently posted their review of Wrigley Field. Paul Swaney emailed the CCO and thought our readers would be interested in reading their review of the Friendly Confines.

Take a minute and read Stadium Journey’s review of ‘Wonderful Wrigley Field

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Quote of the Day

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