Game Sixteen: Cubs (9-6) vs. Pirates (7-8)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Rich Hill (0-0, 5.00/1.56) vs. Ian Snell (2-0, 3.93/1.31)
The Cubs open a 3-game series today against those troublesome Pittsburgh Pirates. Lou Piniella’s crew spoiled the first series of the year at PNC Park with a hard fought 3-game sweep of the Bucs….with the first two games totaling 27 innings. The Pirates will look to return the favor this weekend at Wrigley. After being swept by the Cubs, Pittsburgh took 3 from the Reds and then lost 2 of 3 to the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
Today is a big start for Rich Hill. Lou Piniella must find a way to get one of his southpaws on track. Look for ‘Lou’s Lineup Tinkering‘ to continue today as well after the less than spectacular offensive output on Thursday. Rich Hill will make his third start of the year today and his second against the Pirates. Hill could not find the strike zone in his last outing on April 10th. He surrendered 3 runs on 3 hits with 4 walks and 3 strikeouts in just 3 innings. Jon Lieber and the Cubs offense bailed him out and the Cubs completed the sweep.
Hill must throw strikes today, but most importantly a little run support and early runs from the offense might allow Hill just to pitch….instead of think too much.
Today will be Hill’s 7th career start against the Pirates, he is 2-1 in his first 6 with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.
- Jose Bautista – 0-for-14 with 3 walks
- Jason Bay – 0-for-12 with 2 walks
- Ryan Doumit – 1-for-4 with a double
- Adam LaRoche – 2-for-7 with a double
- Nate McLouth – 1-for-2 with a double
- Nyjer Morgan – 3-for-6 with a double
- Ronny Paulino – 7-for-14 with a double and a home run
On a side note, Nate McLouth has hit safely in the Pirates first 15 games of the season. He is 3 games short of tying an All-Time Pirates’ Record for the longest hitting streak to start a season….Al Oliver recorded a hit in the first 18 games of the 1972 season.
The Cubs will get their first look of the season at Ian Snell today. The Pirates very talented right-hander is undefeated and has been very good in his first three starts. Snell received a no-decision on Opening Day but has been lights out since. He beat the Marlins in Florida on April 6th and gave up just 2 runs, 1 earned, on 4 hits in 6 innings with 10 strikeouts and no walks. In 18 1/3 innings this year, Snell has allowed 9 runs, 8 earned on 20 hits with 15 strikeouts and just 4 walks….almost a very impressive 4:1 ratio.
Snell is 1-4 in 8 career games, 6 starts, against the Cubs with a 5.36 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP…. last season, 0-2 in 3 starts with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP.
- Ronny Cedeno – 2-for-5 with a home run
- Mark DeRosa – 1-for-3
- Derrek Lee – 6-for-18 with 3 doubles
- Aramis Ramirez – 7-for-20 with 4 doubles
- Ryan Theriot – 4-for-11 with a double, a triple and a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….