Game Three – National League Division Series
Cubs (85-77) vs. Diamondbacks (90-72) – Best of Five – D’Backs Lead Series, 2-0
Game Time – 5:00pm C.T. TBS, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 174/184/188
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Rich Hill (11-8, 3.92/1.19) vs. Livan Hernandez (11-11, 4.93/1.60)
It is simple for Lou Piniella’s crew today, win and play on Sunday, lose and….well that’s not really an option is it? Lou Piniella said on Friday, “All we need to do is win one game at a time, not three games tomorrow.” While Piniella’s decisions have been second-guessed throughout the series, he is right and Piniella has the experience, and the resume, to backup his statement. Granted there has not been a National League team to overcome a 0-2 hole in the NLDS, there have been four American League teams to rebound from dropping the first two games….one of those teams, Lou Piniella’s 1995 Seattle Mariners.
The players need to relax today, play the game and most importantly have fun and who knows, maybe win a game. Lou Piniella said on Friday that Jason Kendall would make the start behind the plate today. Kendall hits Livan Hernandez very well and his calm, cool demeanor could be exactly what the young Mr. Hill needs. However, with Kendall behind the plate the Cubs must realize the D’Backs will run, run and run again once they reach base. They have to be willing to allow this to happen and focus on making good pitches and good decisions in the field.
Rich Hill is 6-2 with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP at Wrigley this year in 15 starts. Hill is 3-1 in his last 6 games with a 5.08 ERA and is coming off one of his best starts of the year in Cincinnati against the Reds. He threw a gem, 6 innings of 1-hit shutout ball on just 79 pitches. Hill must not beat himself today and his team needs the “good” Rich Hill to show up today.
Hill received a no-decision the only time he faced the Diamondbacks this year. He gave up 2 runs, 1 earned, on 6 hits in 6 innings with 6 strikeouts and 4 walks. Hill is 1-1 in 4 career starts against the D’Backs with a 4.13 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.
The Cubs will get their first look of the season at Livan Hernandez today. Hernandez is coming off a difficult year and has struggled on the road. Hernandez is 4-8 with a 5.19 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP in 17 starts away from Chase Field. He had a solid August (3-2 with a 3.60 ERA in 6 starts) but struggled in September. Hernandez is 2-2 in his last 5 starts with a 6.67 ERA. He has not given up less than 3 earned runs in his last 5 outings and has given up 20 hits and 7 earned runs in his last 10 innings. Today will be his first start since September 26th.
Hernandez is 10-6 in 19 career starts against the Cubs with a 4.02 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. Last year the Cubs split the 2 games against Hernandez, 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP.
- Mark DeRosa – 5-13, with 2 doubles and 2 RBI’s
- Cliff Floyd – 14-41, with 3 doubles, 2 home runs and 8 RBI’s
- Jacque Jones – 3-9, with a double
- Derrek Lee – 8-33, with 2 doubles, a triple, a home run and 2 RBI’s
- Jason Kendall – 11-31, with a double, a triple and 3 RBI’s
- Aramis Ramirez – 10-26, with 3 doubles, 4 home runs and 9 RBI’s
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-12
- Daryle Ward – 6-13, with a RBI
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….