Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 07/31/12

Game One Hundred Two: Cubs (43-58) vs. Pirates (58-44)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Casey Coleman (0-1, 7.32/1.93) vs. A.J. Burnett (12-3, 3.52/1.25)

The Cubs are playing their best ball of the season (19-10 since June 25) and it will be interesting to see how the team responds tonight will all of the changes. Casey Coleman will make his first start of the year tonight in the place of the recently traded Ryan Dempster. Coleman, along with Welington Castillo and Adrian Cardenas were recalled from Triple-A Iowa following Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline. Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger will split time behind the plate and Coleman will join Justin Germano in the rotation. Matt Garza’s next start was pushed from Friday in Los Angeles to Tuesday in San Diego.

More roster changes could be on the horizon for the Cubs over the final two months of the season.

Tonight it all starts with Casey Coleman

Casey Coleman will make his first start at the big league level this season. Coleman has shown he can get Major League hitters out but has been inconsistent, mainly due to his inability to throw enough strikes. Coleman does not have the “stuff” to pitch from behind in the count and if he does tonight, the Cubs could end up on the wrong end of a blowout.

Casey Coleman does not have a record in three appearances, one start, against the Pirates (1.23 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP).

Pirates Career Numbers against Casey Coleman

  • Clint Barmes – 1-for-3
  • Josh Harrison – 0-for-3
  • Andrew McCutchen – 0-for-2
  • Alex Presley – 3-for-3 with a double
  • Neil Walker – 0-for-3

A.J. Burnett is one of the main reasons the Pirates enter play tonight behind the Reds in second place in the central. Burnett is coming off back-to-back wins against the Marlins and Astros and is 3-1 in his last five starts with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP … but in his three starts since the break, 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.

For as good as Burnett has been, he has struggled on the road. Burnett is 5-3 in eight starts outside of PNC Park with a 5.70 ERA and 1.54 WHIP.

A.J. Burnett shutdown the Cubs and Ryan Dempster back on May 25. Burnett tossed 5 1/3 innings of shutout ball and allowed six hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Burnett has never lost to the Cubs and is a perfect 5-0 in six starts with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 3-0 in four starts with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against A.J. Burnett

  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-2
  • Starlin Castro – 4-for-6
  • David DeJesus – 4-for-19 with a double and three walks
  • Ryan Dempster – 0-for-4
  • Bryan LaHair – 0-for-3
  • Joe Mather – 1-for-3
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-15
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-2

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