Game One Hundred Sixty: Cubs (82-76) vs. Diamondbacks (68-91)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Tom Gorzelanny (7-2, 4.70/1.23) vs. Billy Buckner (3-6, 6.59/1.59)
Weather permitting … the Chicago Cubs will begin their final series of the season this afternoon against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
When these two teams met in Arizona back at the end of April the Cubs were a game over .500 (9-8) and the D’Backs owned a 7-11 record. Arizona took two of three from the Cubs at Chase Field just nine days before the Cubs would lose Aramis Ramirez for nearly two months. But that was then … and with three games left in the 2009 campaign, both clubs are playing out the schedule.
If they can get the game in, it all starts with Tom Gorzelanny and finishing the season with three wins … Tom Gorzelanny is coming off back-to-back wins against the Brewers and Giants. Gorzelanny has put together two good starts and has shown a lot of improvement with his velocity and command.
In his last two games Gorzelanny has given up three runs on 11 hits in 10 innings with four walks and 14 strikeouts (2.70 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP).
Gorzelanny is reportedly in the Cubs’ plans for next season, possibly as their fifth starter. Gorzelanny has pitched rather well in limited action for the Cubs and has the ability to be a solid piece in next year’s puzzle.
The Cubs’ second southpaw is 2-0 in his last six games, two starts, with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP.
Today will be Gorzelanny’s first appearance against the Diamondbacks. He is 1-0 in three career starts versus Arizona with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Gorzelanny last faced the D’Backs on June 7, 2008. Gorzelanny received a no decision in a 4-3 Pirates’ loss. He gave up three runs on five hits in seven innings with three walks and a strikeout.
- Eric Byrnes – 0-for-4 with a walk
- Stephen Drew – 3-for-10
- Conor Jackson – 1-for-9
- Mark Reynolds – 2-for-8 with a home run
- Chris Snyder – 0-for-9
- Justin Upton – 3-for-6 with a double, a triple and a home run
- Chris Young – 2-for-4 with 2 doubles and 2 walks
Billy Buckner will make his first career start against the Cubs this afternoon. Buckner is one of the D’Backs top pitching prospects (Baseball America ranked Buckner Arizona’s eighth best prospect before the season, sixth best pitcher) and has put together a decent big league season.
Buckner was 1-0 in ten games, all of out the pen, a season ago with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. This season he has made 12 starts, fifteen appearances, and tossed a total of 71 innings for the big league club. Buckner has been awful at home this season (1-4 in seven starts, ten games, with a 9.53 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP) and dominant on the road.
Billy Buckner is 2-2 in five road starts with a 2.87 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP … the Cubs will have their hands full this afternoon.
Buckner is 1-1 in his last five starts with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. To say he’s begun putting it together would be an understatement.
The Cubs faced Buckner for one inning on July 23, 2008 … Buckner gave up a hit and struck out a batter in one inning of work.
- Jeff Baker – 0-for-1
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-1
- Derrek Lee – 1-for-1
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-1
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….