Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Rockies – 09/25/12

Game One Hundred Fifty-Four: Cubs (59-94) vs. Rockies (59-94)
Game Time – 7:40pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185/914
Location – Coors Field, Denver

Chris Rusin (1-2, 6.00/1.71) vs. Jorge De La Rosa (0-1, 12.27/2.18)

Weather permitting … The Cubs begin the final nine-game stretch of the season tonight with the first of three against the Colorado Rockies. The Cubs make their second trip of the season to Phoenix for three with the Diamondbacks over the weekend then wrap-up the season next week with three versus the Astros at Wrigley Field.

The next three days will be a battle for position in next June’s draft. The Astros (50-104) will have the first pick but which team picks second could be decided with this series … both teams come into tonight’s game with an identical 59-94 record.

The Cubs won two of the three games against the Rockies at Wrigley Field last month (August 24 – August 26) but the Cubs have not beaten a team from the NL West in their home park this season. The Cubs are a miserable 22-53 on the road this season.

The Cubs are 18-24 in games started by lefties this season and will face two southpaws during this series. After tonight’s matchup of lefties Chris Rusin and Jorge De La Rosa, Jason Berken is scheduled to face southpaw Drew Pomeranz on Wednesday night with Chris Volstad squaring off with Jhoulys Chacin in the finale on Thursday afternoon.

In other newsAccording to a report from the Tribune, Tony Campana will play winter ball in Venezuela. Campana is expected to spend a month picking up at bats he missed this season.

Darwin Barney begins the six-game road trip three games shy of tying Placido Polanco’s single-season mark of 141 consecutive games without an error at second base. Barney is expected to start in each of the Cubs’ last nine games.

The Cubs must win four of their last nine games in order to avoid the organization’s first 100-loss season since 1966 (59-103).

Tonight it all starts with Chris Rusin

Chris Rusin is coming off a no decision against the Reds. Rusin was taken off the hook when the Cubs battled back and tied the game at five in the eighth inning. The Reds ended up winning in 11 and Rusin was long gone by the time the last out was made. Rusin predictably struggled against the Reds and allowed five runs on 10 hits in five innings of work with a pair of walks and two strikeouts. Rusin has not completed more than five innings of work in any of his five starts and tonight could be very challenging for him.

Chris Rusin has shown promise but when he’s been bad, he’s been real bad. Rusin is 0-2 in three road starts with a 5.73 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP and tonight will be his first appearance against the Rockies. It will be interesting to see how Chris Rusin responds to the elevation at Coors Field.

No one on the Rockies active roster has faced Chris Rusin in a regular season big league ballgame.

Jorge De La Rosa is making his second start of the season tonight. De La Rosa had Tommy John surgery last year and is looking to finish this season on a positive note. De La Rosa lasted just 3 2/3 innings in his first start since May 24, 2011. The Giants scored six runs, five earned, on seven hits and a walk. De La Rosa struck out only one batter and threw 70 pitches, 44 for strikes.

The veteran southpaw was 5-2 in 10 starts in 2011 with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP before the left elbow injury ended his season.

The Cubs have not had much success against De La Rosa over the years. De La Rosa owns a perfect 4-0 record in seven appearances, three starts, against the Cubs with a 1.63 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP … and De La Rosa tossed a seven-inning gem last April 26 at Wrigley Field. De La Rosa gave up two runs, one earned, on six hits with no walks and nine strikeouts in seven innings.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jorge De La Rosa

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-4
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-8
  • David DeJesus – 1-for-3
  • Joe Mather – 1-for-4
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-13 with a home run

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt