Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Diamondbacks – 09/30/12

Game One Hundred Fifty-Nine: Cubs (59-99) vs. Diamondbacks (80-78)
Game Time – 3:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188/914
Location – Chase Field, Phoenix

Chris Rusin (1-3, 7.30/1.78) vs. Josh Collmenter (12-12, 3.86/1.27)

It is the last Sunday of the season for the Chicago Cubs. After dropping the first two games of the series, the Cubs must win this afternoon to avoid a 100-loss season. The Cubs are 0-18 on the road against teams in the NL West and will try to avoid being the first team in the history of the game to go winless against an entire division on the road during a single-season. The Cubs took all three from Arizona at Wrigley in July (July 13-July 15) but have loss all five at Chase Field and are 3-5 on the season versus the Diamondbacks.

The Cubs will turn to Chris Rusin to end the current seven-game losing streak. Cubs’ pitching has given up a ton of runs over the last seven games (50) and it will be up to Rusin, in his last start of the season, to keep the Diamondbacks off the board and give the offense a chance. The Cubs have been outscored 50-22 over the last seven games and have not had a lead in a game since last Tuesday in Denver.

In other newsSeveral of the Cubs’ top prospects participating in the Instructional League were on hand Saturday night at Chase Field. Shawon Dunston Jr., Dan Vogelbach, Albert Almora, Stephen Bruno, Duane Underwood, Paul Blackburn, Corbin Hoffner, Ben Carhart, Carlos Escobar and Dillon Maples hung out with the big league club during batting practice and stayed for the game.

Chris Bosio discussed at the convention last January that the Cubs would reclaim in the inside part of the plate. While the Cubs have struggled with their command all season, the pitching staff has pitched inside all year. The Cubs have hit 64 batters this season, second in the majors to the White Sox (66).

This afternoon all starts with Chris Rusin

After picking up his first big league win against the Pirates on September 14, Chris Rusin has struggled mightily in each of his last two outings. Rusin allowed two runs on four hits without a walk and six strikeouts in five innings to the Pirates but since he has allowed 11 runs on 17 hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings (11.43 ERA and 2.31 WHIP). To say Rusin struggled against the Reds and Rockies would be an understatement.

Chris Rusin has shown the ability to get Major League hitters out but he must pitch ahead in counts and throw quality strikes, two things he has not done in each of his last two outings.

This afternoon is Rusin’s seventh start of the season, four of the first six were on the road, where he has not been very good (0-3 in four road starts with a 7.98 ERA and a 1.91 WHIP).

Regardless of what happens today, Chris Rusin has to be proud of the season he’s put together. The southpaw started the season in the minors (8-9 in 26 games, 25 starts, with a 4.46 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP) and finished it in the Major Leagues.

Chris Rusin faces the Diamondbacks for the first time in a regular season game and no one on Arizona’s roster has faced Rusin in a big league ballgame.

Josh Collmenter has come full circle this season. Collmenter struggled mightily as a starter in April (0-2 in four starts with a 9.82 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP) and was sent to the bullpen. Collmenter was used as the team’s long man and spot starter for all of May and June. Collmenter made four starts in July and put up decent numbers. In five games, four starts, Collmenter was 3-0 in July with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. Injuries slowed the right-hander in August but he’s back in the rotation and will make his second consecutive start this afternoon.

Collmenter is coming off a win against the Giants in which he held San Francisco to one run on two hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings. Collmenter is 2-0 in his last five games, one start, with a 0.82 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP.

One of Josh Collmenter’s spot starts came against the Cubs on June 22. Joe Saunders was a last minute scratch, Collmenter took the hill and tossed four very good innings (one run on three hits with three walks and six strikeouts) in a 6-1 D-Backs win. For his career, Collmenter has no record in two appearances, one start, against the Cubs (1.42 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP).

Cubs Career Numbers against Josh Collmenter

  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 0-for-3
  • David DeJesus – 1-for-1 with a walk
  • Joe Mather – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Anthony Rizzo – 0-for-4 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-2

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

  • Ripsnorter1

    It’s good to see Vitters, Campana, Sappelt and Cardenas in the starting lineup again today. I like watching our up and coming stars.

    • RynoTiger

      but 4 other rookies are: Rizzo, Jackson, Recker and Rusin.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    DeJesus and Rizzo with first inning doubles

    • paulcatanese

      If I wanted to really be critical, Rusin got lit up the first inning and the second ( second being hit right at someone), Castro dogged it to first base on his single, the error was almost to the wrong guy
      again( should not have been on Barney, but Rizzo) And Rizzo lost count on second, and robbed Soriono a chance for an RBI
      And thats just the first two innings.(1st three innings).

      • paulcatanese

        On the other side of the line, the sixth was very productive, good hustle by all. Thats how it should be, all of the time. Sveum worked it out with Sappelt pinch hitting.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      DeJesus with #9

      • paulcatanese

        He was squaring it up all day, roof open, he would have had two.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Garza in ’11: “I hated every day of my life coming
    in here.” In ’12: “Awesome the way this thing turned out.” bit.ly/QQpJVg

  • Tony_Hall

    A win versus the NL West finally!!

    100 will have to wait another day.

    • Ripsnorter1

      They could dodge the bullett. Last 3 games are against Houston.

      • Tony_Hall

        Very unlikely for this team to run off 4 straight, but you are right, today’s game was the most difficult victory of the 4. Perfect scenario is the Cubs sweep the Astros and the Rockies win 2 of their final 3 to keep the Cubs picking 2nd.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat D-Backs 7-2 on Sunday afternoon – Chris Rusin: 2R,1ER,3H,2BB,4K,5IP; Anthony Rizzo:
    3-for-5,2 2B,RBI,R; Starlin Castro: 2-for-4,R; David DeJesus: 2-for-5,HR,2B,2R; Dave Sappelt:
    1-for-1,RBI,BB,R

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Comcast SportsNet: Garza gives props to Sveum: “Last year we were close to .500 and I hated
    every day of my life coming in here. It was miserable. This year, I’m not even performing and I look forward to coming in. (I told Dale): You brought that back. Thank you.”

  • paulcatanese

    That was a nice compliment from Garza. A tremdous team booster of the Cubs. Hope he is behind his injuries and can
    perform next year.

  • GaryLeeT

    Your attention please. There has been a very rare, substantial Cub lead sighting.