Game One Hundred One: Cubs (42-58) vs. Pirates (58-43)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Justin Germano (0-1, 1.04/1.38) vs. Erik Bedard (5-11, 4.32/1.45)
With the trade deadline looming (Tuesday at 3:00pm CDT), the team that takes the field Tuesday night could look much different from the one that suits up for tonight’s opener against the Pirates. The Cubs are coming off back-to-back wins against the Cardinals and look to keep rolling behind Justin Germano.
The Cubs took two of three from the Pirates last week in Pittsburgh and are 18-10 since June 25, winning seven of their last nine series (7-1-1). The Cubs have played much better at Wrigley this season (26-22) than on the road (16-36) and have won 12 of the last 15 at the old ballyard.
Dale Sveum’s team is 2-4 against the Pirates this season and due to the schedule makers the Battlin’ Bucs are making their first trip of the year to Wrigley Field. The Cubs do not match up well against the Pirates and it could be a very difficult series, especially with the changes that are likely coming to the big league roster.
After tonight’s matchup of Justin Germano and Erik Bedard, Ryan Dempster is penciled in as Tuesday’s starter against A.J. Burnett. Most think Dempster will still be wearing another uniform before Tuesday’s night game. Travis Wood is scheduled to face Jeff Karstens in the finale on Wednesday afternoon.
In other news … Dale Sveum described Justin Germano as a crafty righty during Sunday’s pre-game press conference. Sveum also addressed whether or not the Cubs would be calling up Josh Vitters to take over at third for the slumping Luis Valbuena.
Dale Sveum acknowledged the improvement Josh Vitters has made this season offensively. In regards to Vitters’ defense, Sveum told the Daily Herald, “Nothing really seems to have gotten worse or gotten better. We still need to keep an eye on that and see where he is defensively.”
Tonight all starts with Justin Germano … Justin Germano did a fine job in his Cubs’ debut on July 21 in St. Louis. Germano took over for an injured Matt Garza and tossed three innings of five-hit, one-run ball. The only run charged to Germano scored after he left the game in the nightmarish 12-run seventh inning. Germano struck out a batter and did not issue a free pass.
Tonight will be Germano’s first big league start of the season. The soon-to-be 30-year old right hander posted a 9-4 record in 17 games, 16 starts, for the Pawtucket Red Sox this season with a 2.40 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP (72 strikeouts, 13 walks).
Justin Germano has never faced the Pirates and tonight will be his fifth career appearance at Wrigley Field.
Rod Barajas (0-for-1 with a walk) and Clint Barmes (2-for-4) are the only active Pirates that have faced Justin Germano.
Erik Bedard was the hard-luck loser last Monday night in Pittsburgh. Bedard gave up just one run on two hits with two walks in seven innings. Bedard tied a season-high with 11 strikeouts and was just outpitched by Jeff Samardzija. The Cubs really struggled against Bedard for the second time this season and other than a double by Alfonso Soriano, they did not square up Bedard at all.
Erik Bedard is 1-3 in his last four starts with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP … and outside of PNC Park, 3-7 in 10 starts with a 5.90 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP.
Tonight will be Bedard’s third start of the season and of his career against the Cubs. Bedard is 1-1 in the first two with a 0.69 ERA and a 0.77 WHIP … Bedard has never started a game at Wrigley Field.
Cubs Career Numbers against Erik Bedard
- Jeff Baker – 1-for-7 with a walk
- Darwin Barney – 0-for-3 with a walk
- Starlin Castro – 0-for-5 with a walk
- David DeJesus – 1-for-9 with five walks
- Reed Johnson – 7-for-33 with a double and three walks
- Joe Mather – 1-for-6
- Anthony Rizzo – 0-for-3
- Alfonso Soriano – 6-for-11 with three doubles, a home run and three walks
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-3
- Luis Valbuena – 1-for-3
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