Game One Hundred Thirty-Four: Cubs (56-77) vs. Pirates (44-88)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Tom Gorzelanny (7-8, 3.98/1.46) vs. James McDonald (2-4, 5.65/1.47)
Weather permitting … The Cubs will begin the final full month of the baseball calendar with the series and season finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Battlin’ Bucs have owned the Cubs this year to the tune of a 4-10 record. Surely Q’s crew will not allow the Mighty Pirates to beat them for the 11th time this season …
Marlon Byrd was limping at the end of Tuesday night’s game and Mike Quade said Byrd would receive today off. Byrd is expected back in the lineup for the opener against the Mets on Friday.
In Other News
According to a report from Cubs.com, the Cubs will add six or seven players from the minors once Iowa’s season is over. Welington Castillo is in Chicago just in case the Cubs need to put Geovany Soto on the DL. Castillo can be activated on Thursday.
Justin Berg, Jeff Stevens, Mitch Atkins, Jeff Samardzija, Sam Fuld and Brad Snyder are among the players expected to be called up. In order to call-up Brad Snyder, the Cubs will have to create a spot on their 40-man roster.
Starlin Castro will likely play in the Dominican Winter League for former Cub, Moises Alou.
Carlos Silva will suit up for the Peoria Chiefs once again tonight. Silva is expected to throw around 70 pitches in Kane County and if all goes well will rejoin the Cubs’ rotation at some point next week.
Harry Carry’s statue will be rededicated before this afternoon’s game. Tom Ricketts and Dutchie Caray will be on hand. Caray’s statue was moved to the corner of Waveland and Sheffield last week. Dutchie Caray will throw out the first pitch this afternoon as well.
The Cubs will unveil Billy Williams’ statue on September 7. Williams’ statue will be placed in the spot once occupied by Harry’s statue.
Today it all begins with Tom Gorzelanny … Tom Gorzelanny will face the team that drafted him for the third time this season. Gorzelanny is coming off his worst start since replacing Carlos Zambrano in the rotation. The Reds scored six runs on seven hits in five innings. Gorzelanny walked two with only one strikeout and for the first time this season, Gorzelanny served up multiple homers in the same game.
It was obvious that Gorzelanny did not have his good stuff after two long outings against the Padres and Braves. The Cubs’ lone southpaw in the rotation is 1-3 in his last five starts with a 5.46 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.
Gorzelanny is 4-5 in 13 games, 11 starts, at Wrigley this season with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP.
Gorzelanny has two no decisions against the Pirates this year with a 4.50 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP.
Pirates Career Numbers against Tom Gorzelanny
- Pedro Alvarez – 1-for-2
- Ronny Cedeno – 4-for-18 with a double and 2 walks
- Ryan Doumit – 1-for-6 with a walk
- Garrett Jones – 2-for-7 with a walk
- Andy LaRoche – 1-for-5 with a double and a walk
- Andrew McCutchen – 4-for-7
- Lastings Milledge – 3-for-10 with a double and 3 walks
- Chris Snyder – 0-for-9
- Jose Tabata – 1-for-2 with a walk
The Cubs will get their first look at James McDonald in a Pirates uniform. The former 11th round pick by the Dodgers back in 2002 has faced the Cubs just once in his career.
McDonald has struggled mightily in his last two starts and has struggled since being dealt to the Pirates. The Brewers scored six runs on seven hits off McDonald in his last start in 6 1/3 innings. McDonald has a very big upside and has never pitched to expectations.
McDonald is 2-3 in his five starts with the Pirates. He has allowed 16 runs, all earned, on 27 hits with 11 walks and 31 strikeouts in 29 innings (4.97 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP).
Kosuke Fukudome (0-for-1) and Aramis Ramirez (walk) are the only two active Cubs, outside of Ryan Dempster, that has faced James McDonald.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …