Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Phillies – 04/30/12

Game Twenty-Three: Cubs (8-14) vs. Phillies (10-12)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, ESPN Monday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/902
Location – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

Chris Volstad (0-3, 6.14/1.27) vs. Vance Worley (2-1, 2.16/1.24)

If Dale Sveum’s team can figure out a way to post a victory tonight, the Cubs will do something they have never done … win a series at Citizens Bank Park. The Cubs are 0-7-1 in series at the Phillies’ park since it opened in 2004.

Jeff Samardzija was scheduled to start tonight’s finale but was pushed back a day and will open the three-game series in Cincinnati tomorrow night. Samardzija is not hurt. The Cubs are monitoring his innings and will give him breaks from time to time in order to ensure he is not overworked in his first season as a big league starter. Chris Volstad will get the ball instead pitching on regular rest.

Geovany Soto is expected back in the starting lineup after missing the past two games with tightness in his back. With Steve Clevenger on the DL and Welington Castillo on the active roster, the Cubs’ catching depth is a little banged up. Clevenger is expected to miss at least a month and Soto’s days as the Cubs’ starting catcher could be coming to an end. Soto is not hitting and the other two catchers on the 40-man roster are pushing for playing time.

With two roster moves expected prior to Thursday’s game, Randy Wells will be available out of the pen for the first two games of the Reds’ series (Tuesday and Wednesday).

Tonight all starts with Chris Volstad

Chris Volstad is in need of a good outing … from beginning to end. Volstad is coming off an excellent five innings but a not-so-good six inning start against the Cardinals (four runs on six hits with no walks and two strikeouts in six innings). Volstad was going pitch-for-pitch with Lance Lynn through five then fell apart in the sixth. If not for the horrible outing by Randy Wells on Saturday night, Volstad could be pitching for a spot in the rotation tonight … unfortunately the Cubs do not have a better starting option right now.

In four starts this season, Chris Volstad has one quality start under his belt and has not posted a victory the last 15 times he’s started a game. His last win came on July 10, 2011.

Chris Volstad has struggled when he’s faced the Phillies. In 12 career starts, just 2-5 with a 5.88 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP … at Citizens Bank, 2-1 in six starts with a 6.53 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP. Last season Volstad was a horrendous 0-2 with a 13.97 ERRA and a 2.28 WHIP (15 runs on 19 hits with three walks, six strikeouts and five home runs in 9 2/3 innings).

Phillies Career Numbers against Chris Volstad

  • Laynce Nix – 2-for-7 with a home run
  • Pete Orr – 1-for-1 with a home run and a walk
  • Hunter Pence – 5-for-14 with a walk
  • Juan Pierre – 2-for-8
  • Placido Polanco – 3-for-11
  • Jimmy Rollins – 13-for-29 with two doubles, a home run and two walks
  • Carlos Ruiz – 9-for-20 with four doubles and four walks
  • Shane Victorino – 8-for-28 with a double, a triple, two home runs and a walk

Vance Worley has picked up where he left off last season and has so far quieted his critics. Worley was 11-3 in 25 games, 21 starts, a year ago with a 3.01 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP … and is 2-1 in four starts this season with a 2.16 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP, 27 strikeouts and nine walks with just 22 hits allowed in 25 innings.

Worley is coming off his second win in a row after holding Arizona to one run on five hits in six innings. Worley has allowed one earned run in his last two starts (13 innings) with four walks and 17 strikeouts.

The Cubs offense will not have a good time tonight facing Vance Worley.

Worley faces the Cubs for the second time in his career. The Cubs were shut down by Vance Worley last July 20 at Wrigley … one run on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in eight innings.

Cubs Career Numbers against Vance Worley

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-1
  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Tony Campana – 0-for-1
  • Starlin Castro – 0-for-3 with a walk
  • David DeJesus – 0-for-2
  • Blake DeWitt – 0-for-1
  • Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-3
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-2
  • Ian Stewart – 0-for-1

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Quote of the Day

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