Game Fifty-Nine: Cubs (29-29) vs. Twins (31-32)
Game Time – 12:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast Sports Net – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 175
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Rich Harden (4-2, 4.74/1.37) vs. Anthony Swarzak (1-2, 5.23/1.55)
Updated – 11:55am C.T. – Game Under Rain Delay – First Pitch Slated for 12:35pm C.T.
Weather permitting Lou Piniella’s crew will try to avoid dipping below .500 this afternoon behind Rich Harden. Harden will be activated from the 15-day DL and will make his first start since May 17. To make room for Harden on the active roster, the Cubs optioned Bobby Scales to Triple-A Iowa … and a team that cannot score runs will carry 13 pitchers on their active roster. So until Jake Fox is recalled on June 16, the Cubs will have only four pinch hitters, and one will be a backup catcher.
The Cubs must come out this afternoon and play one of their better games of the season … after the embarrassing loss on Friday. Rich Harden last pitched on May 17 against the Astros after spending the large part of the last month on the DL with a lower back strain. Harden struggled in his last outing and gave up four runs on six hits in six innings with three walks and seven strikeouts.
Following his 4 2/3-inning rehab start on Monday with the I-Cubs, Harden said he felt fine and would be ready to go on Saturday. The Cubs need Harden to keep the Twins off the board today and pitch like he has in the past against Minnesota.
For as good as Harden has been this season his worst outings have come during day games … especially at Wrigley. Harden is 1-2 in five starts during the day with a bloated 5.84 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. At night, 2-0 in three starts with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.
Today will be Harden’s sixth start of the season at Wrigley. He is 2-2 in the first five with an extremely high 6.20 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP.
Rich Harden is 1-0 in four career starts against the Twins with a 2.13 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.
- Joe Crede – 2-for-13 with a walk
- Michael Cuddyer – 2-for-7 with a home run and 3 walks
- Carlos Gomez – 0-for-1
- Jason Kubel – 0-for-2
- Joe Mauer – 1-for-8 with a home run
- Justin Morneau – 1-for-10 with a walk
- Nick Punto – 0-for-5 with a walk
Anthony Swarzak will make just his fifth big league start today. Swarzak was the second round pick of the Twins in the 2004 draft and has struggled in his first four big league outings.
Swarzak is coming off a loss to the Oakland A’s in which he did not make it out of the fourth inning. He gave up three runs on four hits in 3 2/3 innings with three walks and three strikeouts.
The Cubs will have their chances once again today and must make him work in the first couple of innings. Swarzak has not pitched into the fifth inning of a game since May 28 and in his last two starts he has been rocked … nine runs, all earned, on 13 hits with six strikeouts and three walks in 7 2/3 innings (10.57 ERA and a 2.09 WHIP).
Today will be Anthony Swarzak’s first career appearance against the Chicago Cubs.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….