Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Phillies – 04/27/12

Game Twenty: Cubs (6-13) vs. Phillies (9-10)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/901
Location – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

Paul Maholm (1-2, 8.36/1.57) vs. Roy Halladay (3-1, 1.50/0.90)

The Cubs begin a difficult seven-game road trip with the first of four tonight in Philadelphia. The trip concludes Thursday afternoon in Cincinnati then the Cubs head home to begin a six game homestand against the Dodgers and Braves.

Tonight is the first of a four game wrap around series against the Phillies, the series finale is Monday night. The Cubs have not played well in Philadelphia over the years and were just 2-5 versus Philly last season.

The Cubs will face a much different Phillies team than in recent years. Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Cliff Lee are on the DL and the Cubs will miss Cole Hamels over the next four games … which is good news for Bryan LaHair. Following tonight’s matchup of Paul Maholm and Roy Halladay, Randy Wells will square off against Joe Blanton on Saturday night. The only day game will feature Matt Garza and Kyle Kendrick on Sunday. The series wraps Monday night with Jeff Samardzija facing Vance Worley.

Dale Sveum’s team is 5-8 against the Central this season … just 1-5 versus the NL East.

Tonight all starts with Paul Maholm …

The following statement is sponsored by Captain Obvious: Paul Maholm is coming off his best start in a Cubs’ uniform. After a horrible outing against the Brewers and an equally horrible start versus the Cardinals, Paul Maholm took a big step forward with his performance against the Redlegs. Maholm allowed just one run on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts in six stellar innings his last time out … and picked up the only win of the series with Dusty’s Bunch.

The Cubs need Maholm to build on his last game and finish his first month with his new team on a positive note.

Paul Maholm is 3-2 in seven career starts against the Phillies with one of his five career complete games. Despite the winning record, Philly has hit him very well (4.50 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, .276 batting average). Maholm did not face the Phillies last season and has started only one game against the Phils over the last two seasons. In two career starts at Citizens Bank, Maholm is 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP.

Phillies Career Numbers against Paul Maholm

  • Hunter Pence – 14-for-44 with four doubles, a triple, two home runs and two walks
  • Juan Pierre – 4-for-13 with a triple and two walks
  • Jimmy Rollins – 4-for-18 with a double and two walks
  • Shane Victorino – 4-for-8 with a double, a triple and a walk
  • Ty Wigginton – 4-for-10 with two doubles

The Cubs will face one of the best in the business tonight in Roy Halladay. Halladay is coming off a rare loss in which he gave up two runs on five hits in seven innings to the Padres. Halladay struggled with his command (at least for him) and issued four free passes while striking out just five.

Halladay has not been as sharp as usual in his last two starts … 12 hits, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in his last 15 innings, but only four runs allowed.

Roy Halladay has struggled in his career against the Cubs and is just 1-4 in five starts with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Roy Halladay

  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-5
  • Starlin Castro – 5-for-9
  • David DeJesus – 4-for-19
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-3
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-3 with a home run
  • Alfonso Soriano – 14-for-59 with three doubles and two home runs
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-6 with a home run
  • Ian Stewart – 3-for-9 with a double

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Quote of the Day

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