Game One Hundred-Twelve: Cubs (58-53) vs. Phillies (62-48)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN TV/ESPN Wednesday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jeff Samardzija (1-1, 6.29/1.77) vs. Pedro Martinez (0-0, -.–/-.–)
There are no two ways to cut it … The Chicago Cubs need to win tonight’s game. With Cliff Lee going on Thursday afternoon a loss tonight would put them in a very difficult spot in the finale of the series against the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner.
Tonight is a game of firsts for both teams. Jeff Samardzija will make his first Major League start filling in for Carlos Zambrano while Pedro Martinez will make his Phillies’ debut. Charlie Manuel decided to send Jamie Moyer to the pen in favor of Martinez … but if Pedro struggles look for Moyer to once again face the team that drafted in back in 1984.
The Cubs were one of the teams rumored to be interested Pedro before he signed with the Phillies. Martinez will make his first big league start since he faced the Cubs in New York back on September 25, 2008. Pedro received a no decision in the 7-6 Cubs win. Martinez gave up five runs on seven hits with four walks and nine strikeouts in six innings. Micah Hoffpauir doubled and homered off of the Future Hall of Famer.
In other news … Ted Lilly is scheduled to make a rehab start tonight for the Peoria Chiefs. If all goes well, ‘The Bulldog‘ will return from the DL on Monday and start the opener in San Diego.
Aramis Ramirez received a cortisone shot in his sore left shoulder on Tuesday. Ramirez admitted that he would be playing in pain for the remainder of the season. The earliest Ramirez is expected back in the lineup is Thursday.
Tonight is the first of back-to-back games for the Cubs against former Cy Young Award winners.
While the offense must do their job against Pedro Martinez, it all begins with Jeff Samardzija … and one win at a time. Jeff Samardzija will make his first big league start tonight filling in for Carlos Zambrano. Samardzija last pitched in relief of Sean Marshall Friday night in Colorado and put together a decent outing. The Shark allowed two runs on five hits in four innings with a walk and a strikeout. Lou Piniella really liked the way he threw the ball and decided to let him make tonight’s start.
Most figures Samardzija’s future in the big leagues will be in a starting rotation. In Iowa’s rotation, Samardzija posted a 5-3 record in 13 games, 12 starts, with a 3.72 ERA. He walked 20 and struck out 53 in 67 2/3 innings.
With the Cubs, Samardzija has struggled out of the pen with consistency. In his first inning of work Samardzija has pitched a lot better than in the following inning … until his last outing.
Samardzija took the loss the last time he faced the Phillies. He served up a 3-run homer to Jayson Werth in the bottom of the 13th in the Cubs 4-1 loss.
For his career, Jeff Samardzija is 1-1 in three games versus the Phillies with a 7.36 ERA and a 1.91 WHIP.
- Paul Bako – 1-for-2 with a double
- Eric Bruntlett – 0-for-1
- Gregg Dobbs – 0-for-1
- Ryan Howard – 0-for-1 with a walk
- Raul Ibanez – no official at bat, one walk
- Jimmy Rollins – 0-for-2
- Chase Utley – 0-for-3
- Shane Victorino – 0-for-1 with a walk
- Jayson Werth – 1-for-1 with a home run and a walk
The future Hall of Famer will make his first start of the year and his Phillies’ debut tonight. Pedro Martinez was 5-6 in 20 starts last season for the New York Mets with a 5.61 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP. Martinez is not the same pitcher he used to be and relies on location and changing speeds at this point of his remarkable career.
Pedro Martinez broke in with the Dodgers in 1992 and will turn 38 on October 25.
It is hard to know how Pedro will pitch tonight. He will be fired up and the Cubs must be patient with the very smart veteran pitcher.
Tonight will be Pedro Martinez’s ninth career start against the Cubs. He is 4-3 in eight lifetime starts, 13 games, with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP … at Wrigley, Pedro is 2-2 in six games, three starts, with a 5.24 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.
- Jeff Baker – 2-for-4 with a double
- Milton Bradley – 3-for-9 with a double and 3 walks
- Mike Fontenot – 1-for-2 with a walk
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-3
- Koyie Hill – 0-for-3
- Derrek Lee – 0-for-3
- Aaron Miles – 1-for-6
- Ryne Sandberg – 4-for-17 with 2 doubles and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 7-for-43 with 3 doubles
- Ryan Theriot – 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball…