Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 08/18/12

Game One Hundred Nineteen: Cubs (46-72) vs. Reds (73-46)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184/914
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Brooks Raley (0-2, 9.00/1.70) vs. Todd Redmond (0-0, -.–/-.–)

The Reds hit three more home runs in game one and beat the Cubs for the fifth straight game. The Reds have just pounded Cubs’ pitching over the last seven games. Not only are the Reds hitting longballs but seemingly every hit is for extra bases. The Cubs have been outscored by the Reds 32-21 over the last six games (1-5 record).

The Cubs recalled Brooks Raley from Triple-A Iowa to make tonight’s start. The new CBA allows teams to expand their roster by one player for scheduled doubleheaders and the 10-day rule does not apply to players recently optioned to the minor leagues. Raley will be optioned back to Iowa following tonight’s game and will be eligible to be recalled to make his next scheduled start on Friday against the Rockies.

Prior to game one, Dale Sveum said he would be emptying his bench for game two. Bryan LaHair, Adrian Cardenas, Luis Valbuena, Steve Clevenger and Joe Mather are all expected to start the night game.

In other news … Reports following game one indicated that Welington Castillo is dealing with a sore right foot that almost kept him out of the lineup. Castillo’s injury was revealed when Dale Sveum was asked about Castillo not running to second on his bloop single in the ninth inning.

Wherever he is, Ernie Banks has to be smiling … game two all starts with Brooks Raley.

Brooks Raley put together his first quality start five days ago against the Reds and it will be interesting to see how the rookie southpaw responds tonight. Raley threw the ball rather well and made only two mistakes, and both cost him runs. Raley allowed three runs on five hits in six innings to the Reds last Sunday at Wrigley. All three runs scored on home runs by Jay Bruce (two-run homer in the fifth) and Ryan Ludwick (solo home run in the sixth). Being successful at the big league level is all about adjustments and Raley will get his first big test tonight.

Brooks Raley has been solid and not-so-solid in his first two starts and will face a big challenge tonight against a team that has faced him in a park that is not too friendly to pitchers like Brooks Raley.

Jay Bruce (1-for-3 with a home run), Miguel Cairo (1-for-2 with a double), Zack Cozart (0-for-3), Todd Frazier (2-for-3), Ryan Hanigan (0-for-1 with a walk), Ryan Ludwick (1-for-3), Brandon Phillips (0-for-3) and Drew Stubbs (0-for-3) faced Brooks Raley last week.

The Cubs will get their first look at right hander Todd Redmond. The Reds acquired the 27-year old right hander from the Braves for Paul Janish on July 14. Redmond was 6-6 in 18 starts for Triple-A Gwinnett with a 3.58 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP before the trade and is 2-3 in five games, four starts, for Triple-A Louisville with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. In 134 2/3 innings, Redmond has notched 125 strikeouts with just 34 walks.

In eight minor league seasons, Todd Redmond is 71-59 with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP … 966 strikeouts with 294 walks in 1171 1/3 innings.

The Cubs have not fared too well in the past when facing a pitcher for the first time … especially one that is making his big league debut.

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