Game One Hundred Fifty-Five: Cubs (59-95) vs. Rockies (60-94)
Game Time – 7:40pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185/914
Location – Coors Field, Denver
Jason Berken (0-1, 3.27/1.82) vs. Drew Pomeranz (1-9, 5.30/1.52)
Weather permitting … The Cubs will try to end their 0-14 skid on the road versus teams in the National League West this year. The last time the Cubs beat a team from the NL West in their park was September 27 of last season. Matt Garza picked up his tenth win and beat the Padres 6-2. The Cubs are 0-15 in their last 15 regular season games in NL West parks.
The Cubs took a one-game lead in the battle for the second pick in next June’s draft with Tuesday’s rain-shortened loss to the Rockies. Dale Sveum has said the team’s goal is to avoid losing 100 games this season … with eight games remaining, the Cubs must play .500 ball (4-4) to avoid the organization’s first 100-loss season since 1966 (59-103).
In other news … According to multiple reports, Dale Sveum has recommended to Tony Campana and Josh Vitters that they play winter ball. The Cubs do not want Brett Jackson to play ball this off-season but would rather him get his work in at the Cubs’ complex in Mesa.
Brett Jackson is recovering from the flu and was able to pinch-hit on Tuesday night. Jackson is not expected to return to the starting lineup until Thursday afternoon against right-hander Jhoulys Chacin.
According to a report from the Sun-Times, Arodys Vizcaino is with the team on the current road trip. Vizcaino is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and has not thrown off a mound yet. The Cubs expect Vizcaino to be ready in Spring Training and could have an innings limit as low as 100 next season.
Luis Valbuena has been sidelined with a knee injury and he could return to the starting lineup on Thursday. Valbuena has been available off the bench but only for limited action.
Michael Bowden will pitch in the Dominican Republic this off-season.
Darwin Barney begins play tonight two games short of Placido Polanco’s single-season mark of 141 consecutive games by a second baseman without an error.
Tonight it all starts with Jason Berken … Jason Berken is coming off a good start against the Reds but the lineup was closer to a Louisville Bats lineup than the NL Central Champions. Chris Speier rested the Reds’ regulars and Berken was the benefactor of not having to face Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips and company during his outing. Berken tossed six innings of shutout ball and allowed just two hits with a pair of walks and five strikeouts (Berken tied a Major League record by striking out four batters in the second inning). Berken left with no score after six innings. But Manny Corpas imploded in the seventh and the Cubs lost the finale of the three-game series 5-3.
Jason Berken struggled in his first start against the Pirates and was very hittable for four innings (six runs, two earned, on eight hits with a walk and two strikeouts). Berken located his pitches better the last time out but will face a better lineup tonight in Denver.
Tonight will be Jason Berken’s first start against the Rockies. Jason Giambi (1-for-2 with a double) and Ramon Hernandez (walk) are the only two players on Colorado’s active roster that have minimal plate appearances in their career against Jason Berken.
Drew Pomeranz is coming off a rough three-inning start against the Diamondbacks. Pomeranz gave up four runs on four hits with five walks and four strikeouts before he hit his pitch count limit. Pomeranz has given up four earned runs in each of his last two starts and has not pitched past the fourth inning since he faced the Cubs at Wrigley Field on August 24.
Drew Pomeranz is 0-1 in his last four starts with a 6.23 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP (nine runs on seven hits with nine walks and 12 strikeouts in 13 innings) and is 0-6 in his last 13 starts with a 6.84 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP. Pomeranz has not fared too well at Coors Field either. The young, talented lefty is 0-5 in 10 starts in his home park this season with a 5.44 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP.
Tonight will be Pomeranz’s second career start against the Cubs. Pomeranz allowed two runs on two hits (home runs by Alfonso Soriano and Welington Castillo in the fifth innings) with a walks and a strikeout in five innings. The Cubs scored three in the eighth off Matt Belisle and beat Colorado 5-3.
Cubs Career Numbers against Drew Pomeranz
- Darwin Barney – 0-for-2
- Welington Castillo – 1-for-2 with a home run
- Starlin Castro – 0-for-1 with a walk
- Brett Jackson – 0-for-2
- Joe Mather – 0-for-2
- Anthony Rizzo – 0-for-2
- Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-2 with a home run
- Josh Vitters – 0-for-2
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