Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Nationals – 08/21/13

Game One Hundred Twenty-Six: Cubs (54-71) vs. Nationals (61-65)

  • Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 185/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jake Arrieta (1-0, 0.69/0.69/4.04, 2-2, 4.91/1.39) vs. Ross Ohlendorf (2-0, 1.85/1.03/2.90)

The Cubs will try to get back on the winning track tonight behind Jake Arrieta. While the Nationals pounded out 14 hits on Tuesday night, the Cubs were still in position to win the game. But the offense has not figured out how to score runs without hitting the ball out of the park.

The Cubs have scored 12 of their 13 runs over the first two games of this series on seven home runs. The Cubs have hit 136 home runs this season, which ranks them second in the National League, just one longball short of the 137 they hit all of last season. The problem has been all season that if they are not hitting the ball out of the park, then they are not scoring. The team has scored 25 runs over their last 10 home games, and 18 of those 25 runs were scored in two games.

The Cubs have really struggled at home this season. The Cubs are 3-14 in their last 17 games at Wrigley and the biggest problem is the lack of hitting with runners in scoring position. The Cubs are 4-for-37 (.108) with RISP over the first eight games of the current 10-game homestand.

While Junior Lake has been one of the bright spots of late for the team, Lake’s 40 hits since July 19 lead all rookies, Anthony Rizzo looks totally lost at the plate. Rizzo is hitting only .174 with RISP this season, last in the big leagues for players with a minimum of 100 at bats with runners in scoring position.

While the Cubs try to figure out how to plate runners that are on base and in scoring position, tonight it all starts with Jake Arrieta

Jake Arrieta is coming off an excellent outing against the Cardinals in just his second start in a Cubs’ uniform. Arrieta threw strikes and shut down a very good Cardinals’ lineup for seven innings. Arrieta allowed just two hits, two walks and struck out seven.

Arrieta has struggled with his consistency in his career and tonight will be a good test for him against a team that is familiar with him.

Jake Arrieta has not faced the Nationals this season but is 0-1 in four career starts with a 5.57 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP … last year Arrieta had two no decisions in two starts versus the Nationals with a 1.38 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP (11 hits, two walks and 14 strikeouts in 13 innings).

Nationals Career Numbers against Jake Arrieta

  • Ian Desmond – 2-for-10 with a home run and a walk
  • Scott Hairston – 1-for-4 with a walk
  • Bryce Harper – 4-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Adam LaRoche – 0-for-6 with two walks
  • Steve Lombardozzi – 0-for-2
  • Wilson Ramos – 2-for-5 with two walks
  • Denard Span – 2-for-5 with a walk
  • Kurt Suzuki – 1-for-4 with a double and a walk
  • Jayson Werth – 1-for-2
  • Ryan Zimmerman – 3-for-9

Ross Ohlendorf has been on the DL since August 1 with right shoulder inflammation. Prior to his stint on the disabled list, the former Pirates’ starter gave up one run on six hits to the Mets over seven innings with two walks and eight strikeouts. Ohlendorf pitched rather well for the Nationals in his 10 appearances this year.

Ohlendorf makes his third start of the season tonight and his first since July 26. The Cubs must make Ohlendorf work, the exact opposite game plan that was previously used against Ohlendorf.

Ross Ohlendorf is a perfect 2-0 in six career starts against the Cubs with a 2.75 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Ohlendorf dominated the Cubs last year as a member of the Padres staff and has three no decisions to show for this three career starts at Wrigley Field (5.06 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP).

Cubs Career Numbers against Ross Ohlendorf

  • Darwin Barney (.233) – 3-for-8 with a double
  • Brian Bogusevic (.324) – 1-for-6 with a double and two walks
  • Starlin Castro (.291) – 3-for-15 with two triples and a walk
  • Dioner Navarro (.285) – 1-for-1
  • Cody Ransom (.250) – two walks
  • Anthony Rizzo (.254) – 0-for-3

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