Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 09/18/12

Game One Hundred Forty-Eight: Cubs (58-89) vs. Reds (88-59)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Justin Germano (2-7, 6.24/1.41) vs. Homer Bailey (11-9, 3.93/1.33)

After a late night-early morning finish to the Pirates series, the Cubs begin the final series of the season tonight against the soon-to-be National League Central Division Champions. The Reds enter play tonight 11 games ahead of the second place Cardinals, their magic number is down to five. If the Cubs do not play good ball and beat the Reds, they could watch Cincinnati celebrate a division championship at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs have struggled against the Reds this season and have won just four of the 13 games (4-9). Justin Germano was pushed back a day and will open the three-game series. The Cubs have not said if they were looking to get Germano an extra day or if they did not want Travis Wood facing his former team for the third time this season.

After tonight’s match-up of Justin Germano and Homer Bailey, Chris Rusin is scheduled to face Mike Leake on Wednesday night with Jason Berken squaring off against Johnny Cueto in Thursday’s finale.

In other news … The Cubs announced a venue change for the 28th Annual Cubs Convention (January 18 – January 20, 2013). The Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers will host the annual convention … and not the Hilton Chicago.

Tonight all starts with Justin Germano

Justin Germano put together a serviceable five-inning outing against the Astros his last time out. Germano lost his fifth straight game after allowing one unearned run on three this with two walks. Germano tied a career-high with eight strikeouts but the offense could not manage any runs and the Cubs lost 1-0.

Germano has really struggled over his last five starts and has not pitched well in six of his last seven outings. After putting together a quality start against the Astros on August 15, teams have really taken it to Germano.

Over his last eight starts, Justin Germano is 1-6 with a 6.80 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP (31 earned runs allowed on 49 hits with 10 walks and 30 strikeouts in 41 innings).

Justin Germano faces the Reds for the second time this year. Dusty Baker’s team scored six runs, four earned, on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings against Germano at Wrigley on August 10. Germano is 0-1 in two career starts against the Reds with a 4.09 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP.

Reds Career Numbers against Justin Germano

  • Zack Cozart – 0-for-4
  • Todd Frazier – 1-for-2 with a double
  • Ryan Ludwick – 5-for-6 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Devin Mesoraco – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Xavier Paul – 1-for-3
  • Brandon Phillips – 0-for-6
  • Scott Rolen – 1-for-3
  • Drew Stubbs – 1-for-4
  • Wilson Valdez – 1-for-3

The Reds have a very good rotation and pitching staff and the emergence of Homer Bailey has helped solidify the Reds’ staff this season. Bailey has always had promise but until this season had not pitched consistently enough to be effective at the big league level.

Homer Bailey has set career highs in starts (29) innings pitched (181) and strikeouts (142) while walking just seven more batters (47) than his previous high (40) in nearly 80 more innings. Bailey has been very good and is coming off an excellent starts against the Pirates. Bailey allowed one run on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts in seven innings. Bailey is 1-0 in his last three starts with a 1.66 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP and his last 12 starts, 4-3 with a 3.64 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP.

Tonight will be Homer Bailey’s fourth start of the year against the Cubs. Bailey is 2-0 in the first three with a 3.86 and a 1.39 WHIP. For his career, Bailey is 4-2 in nine starts against the Cubs with a 5.68 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 2-1 in three starts with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Homer Bailey

  • Darwin Barney – 5-for-14 with a walk
  • Welington Castillo – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Starlin Castro – 5-for-15 with two home runs and two walks
  • David DeJesus – 3-for-10
  • Brett Jackson – 0-for-3
  • Bryan LaHair – 5-for-8 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Joe Mather – 0-for-1
  • Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-19 with two doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-5
  • Josh Vitters – 1-for-3

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Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne