Game Twenty-Six: Cubs (12-13) vs. Diamondbacks (11-13)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Tom Gorzelanny (0-3, 2.45/1.05) vs. Edwin Jackson (1-2, 6.67/1.59)
The Cubs are within a game of .500 again. Not only would a win today put the Cubs back at even for the season but would also give them a winning homestand. The Cubs are 3-3 and are looking for their second three-game winning streak of the year.
Today is the last day of a stretch of 19 games in a row without a day off. The Cubs last break came on April 13 … with Saturday’s win the Cubs are 9-9 over their last 18 games. Monday will be spent traveling to Pittsburgh.
Lou Piniella’s crew begins a six-game road trip on Tuesday against the Pirates that concludes next Sunday in Cincinnati.
Lou Piniella has been talking about getting Xavier Nady a start against a right handed pitching since the beginning of the homestand. Nady has been used sparingly as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. But if Piniella wants to get Nady a start, today would be a good time. Nady has the most career at bats of all his teammates against Edwin Jackson … plus he is 4-for-7 with two doubles and a walk versus the right-hander.
Carlos Zambrano could be used as the closer this afternoon. Carlos Marmol labored through a 35-pitch ninth inning on Saturday after getting his work in on Friday. If the Cubs have a lead and do not use Big Z … John Grabow and Sean Marshall are the other possibilities.
In other pen news … if all goes as planned Esmailin Caridad could rejoin the Cubs next weekend in Cincinnati. If Caridad returns, James Russell, Jeff Gray or Justin Berg could be headed to Iowa.
It is getaway day and the end of a long stretch of games without a day off for the Chicago Cubs. The offense must be patient against Jackson, especially after his last start, but today it all starts with Tom Gorzelanny … Is Tom Gorzelanny the best 0-3 starting pitcher in the big leagues? Gorzelanny has pitched better than his record indicates … and as put together only one not-so-good outing. The Cubs defense and offense have not shown up on the days Gorzelanny has taken the mound this year. The Cubs’ other southpaw in the rotation has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his four starts.
A bad stat that many do not pay enough attention to … the Cubs are 0-4 in Gorzelanny’s four starts.
Gorzelanny is coming off his longest outing of the season. After a horrible beginning (two runs on three hits, two triples to first three hitters) Gorzelanny settled down and pitched six scoreless and allowed just two other hits. The Cubs lost 3-1 to the Nationals on a cold night at Wrigley.
This afternoon will be Gorzelanny’s fifth career start against Arizona. He is 1-1 with a 5.09 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. The D’Backs hammered Gorzelanny when he faced them on October 2 at Wrigley. Arizona knocked Gorzelanny out of the game after just three innings and seven runs, six earned, on seven hits.
Diamondbacks’ Career Numbers against Tom Gorzelanny
- Tony Abreu – 1-for-3 with a double
- Stephen Drew – 5-for-12
- Mark Reynolds – 2-for-9 with a home run
- Rusty Ryal – 1-for-2 with a double
- Chris Snyder – 0-for-9
- Justin Upton – 4-for-8 with a double, a triple and a home run
- Chris Young – 3-for-5 with 2 doubles, a home run and 3 walks
Until his last start Edwin Jackson was putting together a decent start to his career in Arizona. Jackson was coming off a good outing against a very good team. While the D’Backs lost to the Cardinals 9-4 on April 21, Jackson left with the game tied after a pitching a season-high eight innings. He held St. Louis to four runs on seven hits in eight innings but Arizona’s bullpen gave up five runs in the top of the ninth (homers by Colby Rasmus and Skip Schumaker and a run scoring double by Yadier Molina).
Jackson took several steps back in his last start against the Rockies. The very talented right-hander gave up 10 runs, all earned, on 11 hits (no home runs) in 2 1/3 innings. His last start skewed his numbers … Jackson has not pitched as badly as his line indicates.
The Cubs struggled against Edwin Jackson in his only career start against Chicago. As a member of the Tigers rotation, Jackson stifled the Cubs’ offense in the Motor City last summer to the tune of two runs on four hits in seven innings. Jackson walked four and struck out seven. Jackson left the game up 3-2 and was inline for the win. The Cubs took the lead in the eighth but ended up losing the game 5-4 … Pinch-hitter Ryan Raburn hit a two-run shot over the wall in left off of Kevin Gregg.
Cubs’ Career Numbers against Edwin Jackson
- Marlon Byrd – 1-for-7
- Mike Fontenot – 0-for-3
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-3
- Derrek Lee – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
- Xavier Nady – 4-for-7 with 2 doubles and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-5
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-2
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-3
- Chad Tracy – 1-for-1 with a double and 2 walks
Lefties are hitting .364 against Jackson this season and seven of his nine walks have come against left handers … righties just .276 with two walks and 12 of his 17 strikeouts.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …