Game One Hundred Thirty-Four: Cubs (57-76) vs. Brewers (80-54)
Game Time – 1:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee
Casey Coleman (2-6, 7.59/1.98) vs. Zack Greinke (12-5, 4.22/1.16)
After putting together a decent stretch of games, the Cubs have lost six of seven and are on the verge of being swept for the second time this season in a three-game series in Milwaukee. This afternoon is the Cubs final game of the year in Milwaukee … and the Cubs last chance this season to break their seven-game losing streak at Miller Park.
The Cubs are in need of a long, quality start from Casey Coleman this afternoon. With all of the short outings by the starters of late, the Cubs pen is taxed again. The team’s next day off is not until Thursday and reinforcements figure to be on the way with the roster expanding on Friday but the Cubs still have a three-game series in San Francisco before getting a breather. If Coleman struggles this afternoon, he might have to take one for the team.
On paper, today’s pitching match-up is extremely lopsided and it could get very ugly if Coleman falls behind and struggles with his command. Coleman will face the best lineup he’s seen since he last faced the Brewers.
The Cubs offense will have their hands full with Zack Greinke. Greinke has not lost a game at Miller Park yet this season (9-0 in 11 starts) and he shutout the Cubs the last time he faced them. The Cubs’ problem of late has not been putting runners on base … but getting them in. The Cubs are 8-for-58 with runners in scoring position and have stranded 52 baserunners in the last six games.
In other news … Andrew Cashner completed his second rehab outing on Friday night and according to a report from Bruce Levine, Cashner will pitch in the Arizona Fall League in an attempt to build up his arm strength to compete for a spot in the rotation next season.
Starlin Castro and Aramis Ramirez have hit safely in 11 and 16 games respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, Geovany Soto is 0-for-19 in his last six games.
According to a report from the Sun-Times, the Cubs are not planning on calling up Angel Guzman when the roster expands on Friday.
The Cubs are 5-15 on Sundays this season … and this afternoon it all begins with Casey Coleman. During an interview on ESPN 1000, Casey Coleman said despite his struggles he feels he’s close to putting together a string of good starts. Coleman did not make any excuses for his poor outings but did say this has been a challenging year for him. From the lack of preparation in Spring Training (Cubs did not stretch him out) to the planter’s wart on his pitching hand to the ups and downs from the minors to the majors to the minors and back again, he really does not feel like he’s been able to get into a rhythm. Casey knows he’s been given another shot and must make the most of his opportunity this time.
Coleman struggled again in his last outing. The only positive was he somewhat righted the ship well enough to complete five innings of work. If the offense could have done anything against Mike Minor he would have been taken off the hook. Coleman allowed five runs (all in the fourth) on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
Casey Coleman is 0-2 in the two starts since being recalled from Triple-A Iowa with a 9.35 ERA and a 2.19 WHIP.
Today is a big start for Casey Coleman.
Coleman faced the Brewers back on April 10 in Milwaukee, his first start of the year, and actually out pitched Yovani Gallardo. Coleman was in line for the win before Kerry Wood served up a two-run shot to Casey McGehee in the eighth inning. Coleman allowed four runs on nine hits in five innings on that Sunday afternoon with a walk and two strikeouts. Casey is 0-1 in three career games, two starts, against Milwaukee with a 7.43 ERA and a 2.10 WHIP.
Brewers Career Numbers against Casey Coleman
- Yuniesky Betancourt – 1-for-3
- Ryan Braun – 5-for-8 with a double and a home run
- Craig Counsell – 1-for-4
- Prince Fielder – 3-for-5 with a home run and 2 walks
- Jerry Hairston, Jr. – 1-for-2 with a walk
- Corey Hart – 3-for-4 with a walk
- Mark Kotsay – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
- Jonathan Lucroy – 0-for-5
- Casey McGehee – 0-for-3 with a walk
- Nyjer Morgan – 0-for-3
The Cubs will get their third look of the year at Zack Greinke. The Cubs have been both extremely successful against Greinke and shutout by the former Kansas City Royal. The Cubs and Matt Garza had their way with Greinke at Wrigley back on June 16 and handed him one of his worst starts of the season (eight runs, six earned, on eight hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings). Greinke then shutout the Cubs over 6 2/3 innings at Miller Park on July 27 … the Cubs managed three hits and three walks and struck out nine times.
Zack Greinke is 1-1 in two starts against the Cubs this season with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP … with five walks and 19 strikeouts in 12 innings.
Greinke is coming off a rare bad outing that resulted in his fifth loss of the season. The Pirates scored seven runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings against Greinke in the second game of a doubleheader last Monday.
Greinke is one of the big reasons Milwaukee has been so dominant at Miller Park this season. Greinke is a perfect 9-0 in 11 starts with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Zack Greinke
- Jeff Baker – 0-for-3
- Darwin Barney – 0-for-2
- Marlon Byrd – 2-for-18 with a home run and 2 walks
- Tony Campana – 1-for-3
- Starlin Castro – 2-for-4 with a double and 2 walks
- Blake DeWitt – 0-for-5 with a walk
- Reed Johnson – 0-for-2
- Carlos Pena – 5-for-33 with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-6
- Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-13 with a double and a walk
- Geovany Soto – 2-for-5 with a walk
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