Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Nationals – 08/20/13

Game One Hundred Twenty-Five: Cubs (54-70) vs. Nationals (60-64)

  • Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 187/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Chris Rusin (2-2, 3.06/1.18/3.88) vs. Dan Haren (7-11, 4.82/1.25/4.26)

The Cubs will shoot for two wins in a row over the Nationals tonight behind Chris Rusin. The Cubs scored nearly as many runs on Monday night (11) than they had in their previous eight home games combined (12) and that includes the seven runs the offense put on the board against Jake Westbrook last Friday. The offense will have their hands full tonight with Dan Haren, who has been very good of late for Davey Johnson.

Brian Bogusevic and Anthony Rizzo are expected to be in the starting lineup. Rizzo missed Monday’s game with an undisclosed illness and Bogusevic was called up from Iowa to take David DeJesus’ spot on the active roster. Bogusevic is expected to see a lot of playing time over the next 38 games.

Junior Lake should hit at the top of Dale Sveum’s lineup for the remainder of the season. In eight games as the Cubs’ leadoff hitter, Lake is hitting .424/.457/.667/1.124 with two doubles and two home runs.

Nate Schierholtz is hitting .291/.330/.576 with a .905 OPS in 53 games at Wrigley this season. Schierholtz has received regular playing time and has responded by hitting 10 of his 18 home runs at Wrigley, as well as 15 of his 26 doubles. Schierholtz told Jesse Rogers on Monday that the hitting conditions at Wrigley have been a “little worse” than he expected and he does not like 3:05pm starts. And according to Rogers, none of the players like the 3:05pm start times.

Tonight all starts with Chris Rusin

Chris Rusin is coming off a solid outing against the Reds. Rusin took the loss after allowing two runs on three hits in six innings with a walk and three strikeouts. Rusin made only one mistake, on his fourth pitch of the game, and the offense could not bail him out. Rusin has been more than serviceable since being added to the rotation and will look to post his first home win of the season tonight. Rusin is 0-2 in two starts at Wrigley this year with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP … in his young career at Wrigley, Rusin is 1-2 in four starts with a 5.57 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP.

Chris Rusin is 1-2 in his last three starts with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.

Tonight will be Rusin’s second career start against the Nationals. Rusin was shelled in D.C. last September and was beaten by Edwin Jackson. Rusin lasted a little over one inning and gave up five runs on eight hits with a walk and a strikeout.

Ian Desmond (2-for-2 with a double and a home run), Adam LaRoche (1-for-1), Jayson Werth (2-for-2 with a double) and Ryan Zimmerman (0-for-1) are the only players on the Nationals’ active roster with limited at bats against Chris Rusin.

The Cubs nearly traded for Dan Haren last winter. But there was something in the medicals that the Cubs did not like and the Nationals signed Haren after the Angels’ cut ties with him. Haren has struggled mightily this season but has been much better after the break than in the first half.

Haren picked up the save last Saturday night against the Braves after pitching a scoreless inning. Before the rare relief appearance, Haren gave up one run on three hits to the Giants in six innings with two walks and three strikeouts.

Dan Haren has been more like the old Dan Haren over his last six outings, Haren is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP and is 2-0 in his last four games, three starts, with a 1.29 ERA and a 0.76 WHIP.

Tonight will be Dan Haren’s sixth career start against the Cubs and his first since May 1, 2010 when he pitched for Arizona. Haren is 1-2 in five starts with a 5.58 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 0-2 in four starts with a 7.06 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Dan Haren

  • Darnell McDonald (.200) – 0-for-1
  • Donnie Murphy (.308) – 1-for-2 with a double
  • Dioner Navarro (.287) – 1-for-17
  • Cody Ransom (.256) – 0-for-1
  • Nate Schierholtz (.296) – 0-for-3

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