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

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"The more reasons you have for achieving your goal, the more determined you will become." - Brian Tracy

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Here’s the first 2 sentences of Accuscore’s analysis of tonight’s game:

    “As the Cincinnati Reds inch closer to wrapping up the NL Central, they realize their offense must get going before the playoffs begin.
    A matchup with the Chicago Cubs’ Justin Germano could help their bats warm up.”

    • John_CC

      We don’t need Accuscore to know that !

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Clevenger with a good throw to nail Phillips

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Germano is all over the place … two wild pitches, a hit batsman and a walk in the first 1 1/3 innings

  • brent carmona

    Bruce Levine of espn mentioned something about Ian Stewart not having the best work ethic, first time I’ve heard of that. Pretty sure he ain’t coming back next year, front office likes people with great makeup.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      For what it’s worth, when Levine mentioned that in his chat today that is not the first time I’d heard/read that. Stewart has mentioned on his twitter account that he does not think he will be back.

      • brent carmona

        I see, I meant first time I heard he didn’t have a good work ethic, but yes first time I also heard he won’t be back. Thanks for heads up Neil.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Unfortunately today was not the first time I heard/read negative info about his work ethic.

          You’re welcome …

  • Sonate

    Unless he’s hurt, I’d like to see Vitters in the lineup. We know he will produce no runs from the bench.

    • gocubs

      We have 2 guys that should get a shot ahead of Vitters. Valbuena and Cardenas. Valbuena – plays the game the way they are trying to preach (long, patient, grinding at bats, strong defense) and Cardenas – who is a superior hitter than Vitters, with defense just as bad.

      • gocubs

        BTW – Valbuena has a history all through the minors of lots of BB (with long at bats), power (which he hasnt shown yet at MLB level), and very strong defense. I see Cubs working hard with Valbuena to realize his potential and him being the starting 3B next year. Valbuena was (is) the better prospect – over Vitters.

      • Brp921

        Valbuena has about 1000 major league at bats in which he’s hit .223 with 17 home runs and a .292 OBP. We know what he brings to the team offensively. He is better defensively than Vitters to this point in their careers. I could see playing him over Vitters if we were in the race, but we’re not. The Cubs have a lot invested in Vitters and this is the perfect time to see if he can cut it. Who knows maybe he will be a bust, but we’ll never know unless he gets a chance to play. It makes absolutely no sense to invest that much time and money in a ball player and then just let him rot on the bench and not find out what he can do.

        • gocubs

          You are right that Valbuena has not really shown much in his MLB time thus far. He has been a disappointment because his minors numbers were so good. BUT…he has shown a lot recently – especially in terms of working very good at bats, working long counts, taking walks. He is only 2 yrs older than Vitters and Vitters has not shown much of anything inspiring – IN HIS minors career! I dont think they see Vitters as a MLB player. Valbuena’s approach is something they believe they can work with and really help him realize his potential.

          Valbuena’s first AB today…another BB.

          • Brp921

            Valbuena is not the answer at third base. He’s a utility infielder at best, in my opinion. Vitters has a history of struggling when he moves up a level. I say play him and let him struggle now while we’re going nowhere and find out if he can figure things out. We’ll never know if he doesn’t get to play.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Barney … 13 game hitting streak, he has the Cubs’ last three hits.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    First pitch from Germano … hits Brandon Phillips

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Hey, LaHair with a pinch-hit RBI double. Cubs scored a run.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Germano just retired the side in order on five pitches

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Barney with another hit … he has four of the Cubs last 5 hits

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Sappelt is facing Marshall

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 3-1 to Reds Tuesday night – Justin Germano:
    3R,3H,5BB,HBP,3K,5+IP; Darwin Barney: 2-for-3,R, Bryan LaHair: 1-for-1,2B,RBI;
    Cubs: 4H,2BB

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    DeJesus – RF
    Valbuena – 3B
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Castro – SS
    Clevenger – C
    Jackson – CF
    Barney – 2B
    Germano – P