Game Twenty-Eight: Cubs (13-14) vs. Nationals (9-20)
Game Time – 12:05pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Rich Hill (3-1, 1.77/0.87) vs. John Patterson (1-4, 6.44/1.74)
Lou Piniella’s club find themselves one game short of .500 entering play today, good enough for 2nd place in the NL Central. The Cubs have shown improvement in the past week having won 5 of their last 6 games. Rich Hill will face the Nationals for the first time in his career today and with Angel Guzman slated to start the series finale on Sunday, a win today will guarantee the Cubs their first series win at Wrigley this season. Rich Hill received a no decision his last time out against the Pirates on Monday. He gave up 2 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings of work but the only walk he allowed scored the tying run and he left with the game tied. Hill threw strikes and the one walk was the fewest since his first start of the season against the Brewers on April 6th. In the five starts Hill has made this season just once has he allowed more than 2 runs with two of his starts being shutout performances in 7 and 8 inning outings.
Hill is 1-1 this season at Wrigley with a 2.63 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP while holding his opponents to a .196 average. Hill pitched extremely well in his first April in the big leagues, now the question is….what does Hill do for an encore?
John Patterson had a horrible April for the Nationals. After recording just 2 outs in the 4th inning on Opening Day against the Marlins (6 runs on 7 hits in 3 2/3 innings, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts) he has pitched into the 6th inning on two other occasions but has only completed the 6th inning once. Patterson has struggled with throwing strikes and in 29 1/3 innings he has walked 19 and given up 32 hits while striking out 14….51 base runners. Unfortunately for the Cubs he is coming off is best start of the season, a 6 inning outing against the Padres in which he allowed 1 run on 4 hits (a home run by Terrmel Sledge) and recorded his first win of the year. Patterson has faced the Cubs once in his career back in 2005. He received a no decision but the Cubs were able to score 4 runs on 7 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….