Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 09/12/13

Game One Hundred Forty-Six: Cubs (62-83) vs. Pirates (84-61)

  • Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 184/844
  • Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Chris Rusin (2-3, 2.89/1.38/4.44) vs. Jeff Locke (9-5, 3.23/1.38/3.95)

The Cubs longest road trip in nearly a decade continues tonight with the first of four against the high-flying Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cubs took two of three from the Reds and will have an impact on the NL Central race for the next four days. The Cubs are 5-7 in the first 12 games of the year against the Bucs and will play a very different Pirates’ team than the one they last saw during the first week of July. The Cubs and Pirates square off seven times in the next 14 games.

The Pirates are coming off a three-game sweep over the Rangers in Texas and will play in front of their home crowd for the first time since notching their 82nd victory of the season and guaranteeing the team their first winning record in a generation. Since the Cubs last played the Pirates, Neal Huntington has added Gerrit Cole, Marlon Byrd, Justin Morneau, John Buck and Felix Pie to a very good roster.

After tonight’s southpaw match-up of Chris Rusin and Jeff Locke, Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face Charlie Morton on Friday night. Scott Baker will make his second start of the season against Gerrit Cole on Saturday night and the second all-lefty game of the series will wrap up the series on Sunday when Travis Wood takes on Francisco Liriano.

Look for Dale Sveum to run out his right-handed lineup tonight and it might be a good day to give Anthony Rizzo a mental break. Brian Bogusevic, Welington Castillo or Dioner Navarro could handle first base for a game while Rizzo tries to shake off a .176/.310/.235/.667 September.

Tonight it all starts with Chris Rusin

Chris Rusin is coming off his roughest outing of the season. Rusin had very little command of any of his pitches and could not find a rhythm whatsoever. Rusin did pick up his first two RBI of his career in the victory over the Brewers but he could not stay on the hill long enough due to his pitch count to qualify for the win.

Chris Rusin needs to finish the year on a positive note so he stays in the mix for a big league job next season and does not become an afterthought in the off-season. Rusin has shown a lot of improvement this year and a strong finish is imperative for him.

Like a majority of his teammates, Rusin has played much better on the road this season than at Wrigley Field. Rusin is 2-0 in five starts outside of Wrigley with a 1.63 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.

Chris Rusin makes his first start of the season against the Pirates tonight. Rusin faced the Pirates twice a year ago and posted a 1-0 record with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.

Pirates Career Numbers against Chris Rusin

  • Starling Marte – 1-for-6
  • Garrett Jones – 1-for-5
  • Andrew McCutchen – 1-for-4 with a home run and a walk
  • Pedro Alvarez – 2-for-4
  • Clint Barmes – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Gaby Sanchez – 1-for-3 with a double and a walk
  • Jeff Locke – 1-for-2
  • Jose Tabata – 1-for-1

Jeff Locke has seen both ends of the baseball spectrum this season. After starting the season 8-2 after his first 18 starts with a 2.15 ERA and a 1.13 and being named to the NL All-Star team, Locke struggled so bad in the second half that he was sent down to Triple-A to try to get him right and give him a breather. Locke is 1-3 in his last nine starts with a 5.89 ERA and a 1.98 WHIP.

Jeff Locke has not been very good at PNC Park this year and owns a 4-2 record in 13 starts with a 4.52 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. Teams are hitting more than 100 points better against Locke this season in his home park (.295) than on the road (.190).

The Cubs will see the Pirates’ other southpaw for the second time this season. Locke was more lucky than good at Wrigley Field back on June 9 in a game that the Cubs won 4-1. Locke gave up just one run on one hit in 5 2/3 innings but he walked seven batters with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Locke has three no decisions in three starts against the Cubs with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jeff Locke

  • Darwin Barney (.228) – 2-for-8 with a walk
  • Anthony Rizzo (.251) – 3-for-7 with a double, a home run and two walks
  • Starlin Castro (.284) – 0-for-7
  • Dioner Navarro (.303) – 1-for-1 with two walks
  • Welington Castillo (.353) – 0-for-1
  • Donnie Murphy (.309) – 0-for-1
  • Chris Rusin (.143) – 0-for-2
  • Ryan Sweeney (.309) – 0-for-2
  • Luis Valbuena (.246) – 0-for-2

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome." - Arthur Ashe
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Castro SS
    Barney 2B
    Rizzo 1B
    Murphy 3B
    Lake LF
    Castillo C
    McDonald RF
    Sweeney CF
    Rusin P

  • CubbyDenCritic

    With Rusin on the mound, we should see at least 7 quality innings from Rusin…..unlike from that other so called self proclaim “Ace”.

    • cubtex

      Have you forgotten his last 2 starts? Hopefully he can go 7 but I wouldn’t put the mortgage on it.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Have not forgotten this stat….

        Samardzija….4.44 ERA
        Rusin…………2.89 ERA

        • cubtex

          Rusin needs a lot of atem balls. He doesn’t have swing and miss stuff and doesn’t go deep into games.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Who does on this staff?

  • cubtex

    Got a break on that call. Rusin not fooling anyone. 2 bullets hit off him that inning.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    That was a dropped ball.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Donnie Murphy, clean up hitter………..oh boy.
    We will all be laughing hopefully on October night in 2018 about the past.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      That is One Down Vote from Donnie’s mother.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    That behind the home plate view of downtown Pittsburgh is one of the better views in baseball.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Neil….what are your views of who will be the Cubs starting pitchers in 2014…..
    and who would you like to see Cubs pick up in free agency.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Not ignoring you, but I will likely wait til the off-season to answer these questions.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with a two-out RBI single

  • cubtex

    That a boy Castro. Nice at bat

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Very nice, you are correct sir.

      • cubtex

        Ump has a big strike zone tonight on both sides.

  • cubtex

    That is a good comparison. Locke does pitch a lot like Ted Lilly.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Nine-game hitting streak for Junior Lake

  • CubbyDenCritic

    My thoughts for 2014 Pitching…..We are getting stacked with arms…..which is good……most are #4 & #3 starters….which is bad………if the Cubs go after a pitcher that has low value in free agency, it might be Josh Johnson…..btw, 8 ex-Cubs starters on the F/A list …..Samardzija, Jackson, Wood are set…the last two spots are up for grabs.
    Cubs need re-sign Navarro……if they don’t, expect Soto to return…..I know, but who else can fill the void?
    Maybe the one guy the Cubs might go after is Ellsbury….fill the lead off void.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Lake looks much better in the field tonight.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rusin is throwing the ball much better tonight. The extra day had to help.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    75 pitches through six……..doing good against a playoff team I would say.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      He did, same cannot be said about Blake Parker.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Parker stock has been going down….Ramirez, Cabrera and Vizcaino will fill that late inning spot.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Grimm fighting for a 2014 spot….will get it.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Looking at the DL list, and with free agents and no option players in play, Cubs FO will have to decide who stays and who goes on the 40 man roster when the season ends.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Mr Thumbs Down, you will never get any respect hiding behind your coward negativity……go enjoy the White Sox next season.

  • texcubnut

    Wow!!!! Bad baseball:(:(:(

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    I would like to know if Murphy bunted on his own or if that was called.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Either way….someone has to answer to Theo on that one.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 3-1 to the Pirates
    on Thursday night – Chris Rusin: 2R, 4H, 0BB, 2K, HBP in 7IP (79 pitches, 56 strikes)

    Starlin Castro: 1-4, RBI; Darnell McDonald: 1-3, 2B, R; Junior Lake: 1-4; Anthony Rizzo: 1-4; #Cubs offense: 1R, 4H, 1BB, 6K

  • CubbyDenCritic

    At least Rusin showed he can pitch against the Big Boys.