Game Ninety-Four: Cubs (56-37) vs. Giants (39-54)
Game Time – 12:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 189
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Rich Harden (5-1, 2.34/1.14) vs. Kevin Correia (1-5, 4.96/1.49)
Lou Piniella’s crew will try to win their third straight series today behind the newest Cub, Rich Harden. Wrigley Field will be full of energy today when Rich Harden takes the mound and hopefully the very talented right-hander will be able to harness the excitement and notch his first win at the Friendly Confines.
Lou Piniella mentioned before Friday’s game that Geovany Soto would likely receive Saturday off, so look for Henry Blanco behind the plate. Also, the Cubs have decided to stick with a 13-man pitching staff throughout the weekend and will not make a roster move until after the All-Star break.
For a little extra credit today….whether you are watching or listening to today’s game, count the number of times the phrase “when healthy” is used when describing Rich Harden. It appears the Cubs are going to be very cautious with young Mr. Harden. Results have shown he pitches much better with 5 days in between starts (4-0 in 6 starts with a 1.63 ERA) but when Lou Piniella was asked about the possibility on Friday of the Cubs using a 6-man rotation, he said with the upcoming schedule (20 in a row without a day off) that would not be a possibility.
If the Cubs can keep Harden on the mound for the remainder of the season, the trade Jim Hendry made could one day be regarded as one of the best in the history of the team.
Harden was 5-1 in 13 starts for the A’s with a 2.34 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Opponents hit just .206 against him and he struck out 92 batters in 77 innings.
Harden will make his second straight start in Chicago. He last pitched on the South Side on July 6th. Harden lost to the Sox, 4-3, his one and only defeat of the season.
The very talented right-hander has never pitched at Wrigley and should be in for a huge surprise when introduced at the Friendly Confines this afternoon.
Harden beat the Giants earlier this season in Interleague play….6 shutout innings, allowed only 1 hit, struck out 9 and walked 2. For his career, Harden is 2-0 in 4 starts versus the Giants with a 0.84 ERA and a 0.61 WHIP….they have hit just .074 against him.
- Rich Aurilia – 0-for-2
- John Bowker – 0-for-2
- Ray Durham – 1-for-10 with a double
- Bengie Molina – 3-for-19 with a double
- Aaron Rowand – 4-for-11 with 2 doubles
- Omar Vizquel – 2-for-7
- Randy Winn – 5-for-14 with a double
The Cubs will get another shot at Kevin Correia today after facing him last week in San Francisco. Correia received a no decision after Ray Durham launched a 3-run homer into right field off of Carlos Marmol to tie the game at 5….Mike Fontenot won it in the 8th with his solo shot.
Correia pitched well early on but the Cubs offense finally broke through and plated 4 runs on 7 hits in 6 1/3 innings with 5 walks and 4 strikeouts. The Cubs must make him work once again today and not allow him to get comfortable on the mound.
From July 2nd:
- Mark DeRosa – 1-for-3
- Jim Edmonds – 2-for-2 with a home run
- Mike Fontenot – 0-for-2
- Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-4
- Derrek Lee – 1-for-3
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-3 with a double
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….