Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 09/24/13

Game One Hundred Fifty-Eight: Cubs (65-92) vs. Pirates (90-67)

  • Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 186/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Chris Rusin (2-5, 3.52/1.30/4.60) vs. Gerrit Cole (9-7, 3.23/1.16/2.99)

The Cubs have only two home games remaining on the schedule and Chris Rusin will make his final start of the season in the Cubs’ last night game of the year at Wrigley. The end of the season is quickly approaching as several players look to make good impressions going into the off-season.

The Cubs enter play tonight a season-low 27 games under .500 and one loss away from another franchise record. The Cubs are 30-49 at Wrigley Field this year, the fourth time in the team’s history they have lost 49 games at home in a single season. The Cubs have never lost 50 games at Wrigley in a single season.

The offense will not get a break tonight with Gerrit Cole on the hill for Pittsburgh. The Cubs are not hitting, much putting crooked numbers on the scoreboard. The Cubs are catching very hot Gerrit Cole and it will be up to Chris Rusin to keep the Pirates off the board in order to have a chance to pick up his second career win in his home park.

Tonight all starts with Chris Rusin

Chris Rusin is coming off his worst start of the season at the big league level and is looking to bounce back tonight against the Pirates. Rusin lasted just four innings in Milwaukee and gave up six runs on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Rusin served up a pair of home runs, a solo shot to Khris Davis in the fourth but the big blast was a grand slam in the first inning that put the game out of reach.

The Cubs need to see Chris Rusin finish his season on a positive note. Rusin is 0-2 in his last three starts with a 6.14 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP and will try to post his first win of the season at Wrigley tonight.

Chris Rusin, like so many of his teammates, has really struggled at Wrigley. Rusin is 0-3 in five home starts this year with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP. Rusin has just one career victory in seven tries at Wrigley over the last two years (1-3 in seven starts with a 4.84 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP).

One of Chris Rusin’s better starts of the season came against the Pirates 12 days ago. Rusin limited a very good Pirates team to two runs on four hits in seven innings. For his career, Rusin is 1-1 in three starts against Pittsburgh with a 2.65 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP.

Pirates Career Numbers against Chris Rusin

  • Andrew McCutchen – 2-for-7 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Pedro Alvarez – 3-for-7
  • Starling Marte – 1-for-6
  • Garrett Jones – 1-for-5
  • Clint Barmes – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Gaby Sanchez – 1-for-3 with a double and a walk
  • Marlon Byrd – 1-for-3
  • Josh Harrison – 0-for-2
  • Russell Martin – 0-for-3
  • Jordy Mercer – 1-for-3
  • Justin Morneau – 0-for-3
  • Jose Tabata – 1-for-3

The Cubs will get their second look at Gerrit Cole tonight. After Cole handled the Cubs to the tune of one run on five hits in seven innings, he shut down the Padres for six innings and set a career high for strikeouts (12) in the process. Cole appears to be getting stronger as the regular season comes to an end. Cole is 3-0 in his last four starts with a 1.38 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. The Pirates are 4-0 over that span and he has struck out 33 batters in his last 26 innings (33 strikeouts, nine walks, 17 hits).

Gerrit Cole has been very, very good on the road this year (3-2 in six starts with a 2.29 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP) and will make his first start, of what figures to be many, at Wrigley Field tonight.

Darwin Barney (1-for-2), Brian Bogusevic (0-for-2 with a walk), Starlin Castro (1-for-3), Dioner Navarro (0-for-1), Anthony Rizzo (1-for-2 with a double and a walk), Nate Schierholtz (1-for-3 with a double), Ryan Sweeney (0-for-3) and Luis Valbuena (0-for-3) faced Gerrit Cole back on September 14.

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