Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 09/17/12

Game One Hundred Forty-Seven: Cubs (58-88) vs. Pirates (73-72)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Travis Wood (6-11, 4.23/1.18) vs. Kevin Correia (10-9, 4.29/1.33)

Weather permitting … The Cubs and Pirates complete the series and season series tonight with a rare wraparound four-game series at Wrigley Field. The Cubs have been a thorn in the Pirates side over the past six games and will turn to Travis Wood to not only win the series but finish the season against the Bucs with a winning record. The Cubs are 8-7 against the Pirates this year and will not see the Pirates again until Opening Day 2013 … the Cubs and Pirates kickoff the 2013 season in Pittsburgh on April 1.

The Cubs have shown improvement of late and have won seven of their last nine games and are 7-8 in September. The Cubs are 36-35 at Wrigley this season with 10 home games remaining on the schedule.

Dale Sveum will likely run out his left-handed lineup tonight with Brett Jackson back in centerfield and David DeJesus in right. Welington Castillo is expected to receive a bulk of the playing time over the next two weeks and Luis Valbuena should see a majority of time at third base.

The Cubs have a challenging week in front of them. After tonight’s finale with the Pirates, the Cubs begin a three-game series with the Reds on Tuesday night. The Reds could clinch the NL Central during the series if everything falls into place for Cincinnati. The Cubs end the 10-game homestand with a three-game series against the Cardinals next weekend. Chris Carpenter is expected to start Friday’s opener for the Cardinals, who are still in the mix for a spot in the postseason.

Tonight all starts with Travis Wood

Travis Wood is coming off a solid outing against a not-so-good Houston Astros team. Wood held the Astros to one run on four hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. Wood pitched into the eighth inning for the second time this season, the first came on July 1 at Wrigley against the Astros.

Wood faced the Pirates two starts ago and tossed six innings of shutout ball. Wood allowed only one hit while walking three and striking out five. Wood has shown improvement in each of his last three starts. Wood is pounding the strike zone and locating his breaking stuff for strikes. Over his last three starts, Wood is 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP … 13 strikeouts, five walks and 12 hits allowed in 19 1/3 innings.

Travis Wood faces the Bucs tonight for the third time this season … 1-1 in two starts with a 1.64 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. Wood beat the Pirates on September 7 and lost the game on August 1 at Wrigley (two runs on three hits with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings). For his career, Wood is 3-3 in six games, five starts, against the Pirates with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

Pirates Career Numbers against Travis Wood

  • Pedro Alvarez – 1-for-4 with a double
  • Rod Barajas – 1-for-9 with a double and a walk
  • Clint Barmes – 1-for-12 with a walk
  • Jeff Clement – 0-for-1
  • Kevin Correia – 0-for-1
  • Josh Harrison – 2-for-7 with a triple
  • Brock Holt – 0-for-3
  • Garrett Jones – 0-for-5
  • Starling Marte – 1-for-5 with a home run and a walk
  • Andrew McCutchen – 1-for-10 with a double and three walks
  • Michael McKenry – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Alex Presley – 1-for-2
  • Gaby Sanchez – 1-for-4 with two walks
  • Travis Snider – 1-for-2
  • Jose Tabata – 1-for-4 with a double and a walk
  • Neil Walker – 3-for-7 with a double and a walk

The second half of the season has not been kind to Kevin Correia. Correia posted a 5-6 record in 16 starts before the break with a 4.34 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. Correia lost his starting job after the Pirates acquired Wandy Rodriguez from the Astros. Correia asked to be traded, was not and pitched primarily out of the Pirates’ pen early in August. Correia was 1-2 in six games, three starts, in August with a 4.01 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.

Kevin Correia has put together two solid starts and is coming off a loss to the Reds. Correia allowed four runs, three earned, three runs on seven hits with three walks and two strikeouts in six innings. Correia is 1-1 in his last two outings with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.

Kevin Correia is 4-6 in 15 games, 12 starts, on the road this season with a 4.75 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP and will face the Cubs for the third time this year.

Two of Kevin Correia’s best starts of the season have come at the Cubs expense. Correia is 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP (four runs on nine hits with four walks and six strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings). Correia is 4-4 in 14 career games, 10 starts, against in the Cubs with a 5.53 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP … at Wrigley, 3-2 in eight appearances, four starts, with a 4.68 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Kevin Correia

  • Darwin Barney – 7-for-18 with two doubles
  • Tony Campana – 0-for-5
  • Starlin Castro – 7-for-17 with a double and a triple
  • Steve Clevenger – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • David DeJesus – 3-for-8 with two doubles and a walk
  • Bryan LaHair – 1-for-6
  • Joe Mather – 0-for-3
  • Anthony Rizzo – 2-for-2 with a home run and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-19 with two home runs
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-2
  • Travis Wood – 0-for-1

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