Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 09/11/12

Game One Hundred Forty-Two: Cubs (55-86) vs. Astros (44-97)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WCIU – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186/914
Location – Minute Maid Park, Houston

Justin Germano (2-6, 6.95/1.45) vs. Jordan Lyles (3-11, 5.55/1.49)

We Will Never Forget.

The Cubs will shoot for their season-high fifth straight win tonight behind Justin Germano. The Cubs are riding their third four-game winning streak of the season (June 29-July 2, July 8-July 15) and have posted four straight victories on the road for the first time since last season (July 31-August 4).

Dale Sveum’s team is focused on not losing 100 games this season. With 21 remaining on the schedule, the Cubs must win eight more times to avoid a three-digit loss season. With games remaining against the Reds (3), Cardinals (3) and Pirates (4) at Wrigley and trips to Arizona (3) and Colorado (3), they must post as many wins as possible in the five games they have remaining with Houston.

David DeJesus, Brett Jackson and Luis Valbuena are expected to be back in the starting lineup with the right-hander on the hill for the Astros. Jackson has missed the last three games after colliding with the wall Friday night in Pittsburgh. The Cubs face lefty Fernando Abad on Wednesday night so look for Dale Sveum to get all of his lefties into the starting lineup.

Tonight it all starts with Justin Germano

Justin Germano is coming off another bad outing. The Nationals lit up Germano last Thursday night. Germano allowed seven runs, six earned, on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in four innings. Germano has gone from serviceable to not-so-serviceable over his last four starts.

After putting together a quality start against the Astros on August 15 (two runs on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings), Germano has allowed seven, five, five and six earned runs in his last four starts.

Justin Germano is 0-4 in his last four outings with a 11.09 ERA and a 1.93 WHIP … 24 runs, 23 earned, on 31 hits with five walks and 11 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings. Outside of Wrigley this season, 0-3 in four games, three starts, with a 8.47 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.

Justin Germano’s best start came against the Astros at Wrigley on August 15 and for his career, Germano is 1-2 in three starts against Houston with a 8.62 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP … at Minute Maid Park, 0-1 in one start with a 27.00 ERA and a 3.90 WHIP. Germano allowed 10 runs on 10 hits with three walks and a strikeout in 3 1/3 innings to the Astros on April 21, 2008.

Astros Career Numbers against Justin Germano

  • Jose Altuve – 2-for-3
  • Brandon Barnes – 1-for-2
  • Brian Bogusevic – 0-for-1
  • Jason Castro – 0-for-2
  • Marwin Gonzalez – 0-for-3
  • Fernando Martinez – 0-for-1
  • Justin Maxwell – 0-for-2
  • Scott Moore – 2-for-3 with a home run
  • Chris Snyder – 2-for-5 with a walk

Jordan Lyles is coming off a rough start and a loss to the Pirates. Lyles allowed five runs, four earned, on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Lyles has figured in the decision in seven of his last 10 starts and one of his better outings of the season came two starts ago against the Mets (one run on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts in six innings).

The 21-year old right hander posted a 1-3 record in six starts in August with a 5.29 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP and since the break Lyles is 1-6 in 10 starts with a 6.07 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. Lyles has pitched better at Minute Maid (2-4 in 10 starts with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP) than on the road (1-7 in 11 starts with a 6.95 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP) this year.

Jordan Lyles made his big league debut against the Cubs last May 31 at Wrigley and will face the Cubs for the third time in his career tonight. Lyles has two no decisions in two starts against the Cubs with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP … tonight will be the Cubs first look of the season at Jordan Lyles.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jordan Lyles

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Tony Campana – 0-for-2
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-6 with a triple
  • Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-3

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Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon