Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 04/15/12

Game Ten: Cubs (3-6) vs. Cardinals (6-3)
Game Time – 1:15pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/906
Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis

Paul Maholm (0-1, 13.50/2.00) vs. Jake Westbrook (1-0, 0.00/1.00)

Dale Sveum’s Cubs are in position to post their first series win of the year this afternoon. After scoring nine runs Friday against Adam Wainwright, the Cubs’ offense managed just a single tally on Saturday afternoon. As has been the case in the first nine games of the season, the Cubs had chances to put runs on the board but could not come up with a clutch hit.

The Cubs are looking for Paul Maholm to bounce back from his rough outing against the Brewers … and a couple of early runs off Jake Westbrook could go a long way towards a bounce back outing for Maholm.

Dale Sveum has not given any indication if he will sit Marlon Byrd and/or Geovany Soto this afternoon. Byrd is 2-for-28 this season (.071/.161/.071) and looks lost at the plate. To Byrd’s credit, he is still playing a solid centerfield. Soto has not fared much better. Soto is just 3-for-25 but has a triple and home run to go along with two walks (.120/.185/.320).

Major League Baseball will honor Jackie Robinson today. All of the players, coaches and on-field personnel throughout the league will wear Robinson’s No. 42 in tribute to the man that not only changed baseball but the World. Robinson bravely broke the color barrier 65 years ago when he made his debut at Ebbets Field on April 15, 1947.

Today begins with Paul Maholm

The Cubs’ lone lefty in the rotation is coming off a poor debut in his first start of the season. Paul Maholm barely made it through the first inning after giving up five runs to the Brewers before he was able to record three outs. Maholm ended up throwing four innings and allowing six runs on six hits (two home runs) with two walks and two strikeouts. Maholm took responsibility for his bad outing and said he would be better in his next start.

Paul Maholm’s next win will be his first since July 10, 2011 against the Chicago Cubs.

Paul Maholm makes his 16th career start against the Cardinals this afternoon … but his first without Albert Pujols on the roster. Maholm owns a 4-6 career mark against St. Louis with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP … at Busch Stadium, 1-1 in three starts with a 2.79 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. In 2011, Maholm was 0-2 in two starts with a 6.55 ERA and a 1.91 WHIP.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Paul Maholm

  • Carlos Beltran – 8-for-20 with two doubles, two home runs and two walks
  • Lance Berkman – 7-for-34 with a double and four walks
  • David Freese – 2-for-8 with a home run and a walk
  • Rafael Furcal – 8-for-19 with three doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Tyler Greene – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Matt Holliday – 3-for-24 with two home runs and three walks
  • Jon Jay – 1-for-8 with a triple
  • Yadier Molina – 9-for-29 with a double and four walks
  • Jake Westbrook – 0-for-1

Jake Westbrook fell out of favor last year with Tony LaRussa but made a statement in his first start of the season. Westbrook tossed a seven-inning gem against the Reds and held Dusty’s Bunch to one run on three hits. Westbrook walked four and struck out two.

The key to beating Jake Westbrook has always been patience. The Cubs must make him work today … swinging early and often at his sinker is a recipe for a loss. Dale Sveum’s offense must make him throw his very hittable strikes.

Jake Westbrook is 3-2 in five career starts against the Cubs with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP … last season, 1-2 in three starts with a 6.46 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jake Westbrook

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-11
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-13
  • Starlin Castro – 4-for-13 with a double and a walk
  • David DeJesus – 7-for-25 with a home run and four walks
  • Blake DeWitt – 2-for-7 with a double
  • Reed Johnson – 4-for-13
  • Paul Maholm – 0-for-1
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-25 with a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-3

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