Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 09/12/11

Game One Hundred Forty-Seven: Cubs (64-82) vs. Reds (71-75)
Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Rodrigo Lopez (4-6, 4.82/1.53) vs. Dontrelle Willis (0-5, 4.21/1.48)

The Cubs open a four-game series tonight in Cincinnati … the Cubs final trip of the year to the Queen City. The Cubs took two of three from the Reds last week at Wrigley and are 6-8 on the season against the Dusty Baker’s team.

The Cubs offense will face the same three pitchers they saw last week in Chicago to start the series. After Dontrelle Willis tonight, Mike Leake and Johnny Cueto will take the hill on Tuesday and Wednesday with Homer Bailey pitching the finale on Thursday. Mike Quade will send Ryan Dempster to the mound in game two with Casey Coleman and Randy Wells starting the last two games of the series.

With the lefty on the hill tonight, look for Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker in the starting lineup … along with the return of Marlon Byrd, Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto.

16 games remain on the Cubs schedule … and tonight it all starts with Rodrigo Lopez.

Hopefully tonight is one of the final starts for Rodrigo Lopez in a Cubs’ uniform. Lopez hit a wall in his last start and received a no decision in the only game the Cubs lost against the Reds at Wrigley (Bryan LaHair tied the game in the ninth and the Cubs lost the game in 13 innings). Lopez could not complete six innings again and has only completed six innings once since July 18. Lopez gave up two runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

After a miserable August (2-3 in six starts with a 5.68 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP), Lopez is 2-3 in his last seven starts with a 5.30 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP.

Rodrigo Lopez is 2-0 in eight career games, seven starts against the Redlegs with a 4.37 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP … Cincinnati has hit a robust .340 against Lopez in 35 innings.

Reds Career Numbers against Rodrigo Lopez

  • Jay Bruce – 5-for-9 with a home run and a walk
  • Miguel Cairo – 6-for-20 with a double and a triple
  • Juan Francisco – 1-for-3
  • Todd Frazier – 0-for-2
  • Ramon Hernandez – 2-for-15
  • Devin Mesoraco – 1-for-3
  • Brandon Phillips – 2-for-10 with a double and a walk
  • Edgar Renteria – 3-for-18 with 3 walks
  • Dave Sappelt – 2-for-3 with a double
  • Drew Stubbs – 2-for-6
  • Chris Valaika – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Joey Votto – 3-for-8 with 2 doubles

The Cubs will get their second look in seven days at Dontrelle Willis. The Cubs offense was non-existent early against Willis but managed to score a single run in the fourth and three more in the fifth. The Cubs hung on and posted a 4-3 victory. Willis is still looking for his first win of the year and Q’s offense must be patient against the lefty tonight … that was the key to the win on Labor Day. Willis allowed four runs on six hits in seven innings with five walks and eight strikeouts.

Dontrelle Willis has pitched better than his numbers but his command, mainly the walks, has been the difference. If the Cubs come out swinging, Willis will post his first victory of the year against the Cubs.

Willis is 0-3 in six starts at Great American Ball Park this season with a 4.42 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP … and 0-4 in last seven starts with a 4.57 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Dontrelle Willis

  • Jeff Baker – 3-for-6 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Marlon Byrd – 6-for-23 with 2 doubles, a home run and 3 walks
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-3 with a walk
  • Blake DeWitt – 0-for-1
  • Koyie Hill – 0-for-3
  • Reed Johnson – 3-for-6 with a double and a walk
  • Bryan LaHair – 0-for-3
  • Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-19 with 2 doubles and 3 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 9-for-24 with 2 doubles, a home run and 3 walks

Cubs Photography
The CCO recently received an email from 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

Stadium Journey – Wrigley Field 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

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne