Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 09/23/12

Game One Hundred Fifty-Three: Cubs (59-93) vs. Cardinals (81-71)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Justin Germano (2-8, 5.58/1.42) vs. Kyle Lohse (15-3, 2.71/1.08)

The Cubs and Cardinals play for the final time in 2012 this afternoon. The Cubs are 7-9 against the Redbirds this year but 5-3 at Wrigley Field and Dale Sveum’s team has not made anything easy for their longtime rival.

After the Cubs won in 11 innings on Friday afternoon, the Cardinals took game two in extra innings on Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals enter play 2 1/2 games ahead of the Brewers for the second NL Wild Card and will hand the ball to their most consistent starter this season.

The Cubs’ 10-game homestand also concludes this afternoon. After splitting the four-game series with the Pirates and losing all three to the Reds, the Cubs are 3-6 over the last nine games … and 37-40 on the season at Wrigley with four home games remaining on the schedule.

In other newsBrett Jackson is expected back in the starting lineup for today’s finale. Jackson has been battling an illness that has reduced him to a bench role for the last few games.

Josh Vitters will likely make his second straight start. Luis Valbuena hurt his knee sliding awkwardly into third base in Friday’s game. Valbuena reported to the clubhouse with a stiff knee and was unable to start on Saturday. Valbuena could be relegated to pinch-hitting duty for a couple of games.

Darwin Barney enters play this afternoon four games short of Placido Polanco’s all-time single-season record to the most consecutive games without an error by a second baseman. Polanco went 141 straight games without an error for the Tigers in 2007.

On Kerry Wood Day at Wrigley Field, it all starts with Justin Germano

Justin Germano is coming off another rough start. While the Reds did not score any runs against Germano while he was on the mound, five walks (most walks allowed by Germano since his big league debut) caught up to Germano in the sixth inning. Germano walked the bases loaded, turned the game over to Manny Corpas and Ryan Hanigan unclogged the bases with a double. The Cubs lost 3-1 and Germano dropped his sixth straight start.

After posting a 1-3 record in five starts in August with a 6.67 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP, Germano is 0-4 in his last four starts with a 6.63 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. Germano must pitch ahead in the count this afternoon or it will be more of the same.

Justin Germano made his Cubs’ debut against the Cardinals on July 21 in relief of Matt Garza. Germano allowed one run on five hits with no walks and a strikeout in three innings. Germano and Garza did their job but the bullpen allowed 12 runs in the seventh inning with James Russell (six earned on four hits) and Manny Corpas (four runs on three hits) surrendering a majority of the damage.

For his career, Justin Germano is 1-1 in four games, one start, against the Cardinals with a 3.77 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Justin Germano

  • Carlos Beltran – 2-for-4 with a double and a walk
  • David Freese – 1-for-2
  • Matt Holliday – 7-for-14 with four doubles, a home run and two walks
  • Jon Jay – 0-for-1
  • Yadier Molina – 0-for-4
  • Skip Schumaker – 1-for-4 with a double

Kyle Lohse has put together the best season of his big league career in a walk year. Lohse has been very consistent for Mike Matheny. After posting a 9-2 record in 18 starts before the break with a 2.79 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP, Lohse is 6-1 in his last 13 outings with a 2.61 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. Lohse is coming off a win against the Astros and the Cardinals are 6-4 in his last 10 starts.

Kyle Lohse has been just about unbeatable in St. Louis this season (8-1 in 15 starts with a 2.12 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP) but he’s been closer to his career norm on the road (7-2 in 16 starts with a 3.34 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP). Lohse faces the team for the third that selected him in the 29th round of the 1996 draft this season.

Kyle Lohse is 1-0 in two starts against the Cubs this year with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Lohse dominated the Cubs on July 20 in St. Louis (one run on six hits with a walk and four strikeouts in seven innings) but struggled at Wrigley on May 15 (five runs on nine hits with no walks and five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings). For his career, Lohse 3-4 in 15 starts against the Cubs with a 5.22 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP … at Wrigley, 1-1 in four starts with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Kyle Lohse

  • Darwin Barney – 4-for-13 with a double
  • Tony Campana – 3-for-7
  • Welington Castillo – 0-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 4-for-17
  • Steve Clevenger – 1-for-3
  • David DeJesus – 11-for-23 with a triple, a home run and a walk
  • Bryan LaHair – 4-for-8 with a home run and a walk
  • Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-3
  • Alfonso Soriano – 18-for-50 with four doubles, three home runs and two walks
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-3

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

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