Game One Hundred Forty-Four: Cubs (62-81) vs. Cardinals (74-67)
Game Time – 7:15pm CDT
Coverage – Comcast Sports Net – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Jeff Samardzija (0-1, 18.90/3.30) vs. Jamie Garcia (13-7, 2.69/1.32)
Throw the records out the window … it is the Cubs versus the Cardinals for the next three days. The Cubs are 5-4 against the Redbirds this season with six left on the schedule. Albert Pujols and company come in to tonight’s game six games back of the Reds. If the Cubs could finish the season with a winning record against St. Louis, the likelihood of the Cardinals winning the division is very slim.
Mike Quade will face the Cardinals for the first time as the Cubs’ manager. Quade is 11-7 since taking over for Lou Piniella and the Cubs have shown improvement over the last three weeks. The players managed only five wins in Piniella’s last 20 games (5-20).
Carlos Silva was scheduled to start tonight’s game but was scratched Sunday afternoon with a strained right elbow. Silva will be checked out by Dr. Stephen Gryzlo on Monday. Silva completed his side session on Saturday with no problems but complained about the pain on Sunday to the Cubs’ training staff
Mike Quade said it is too early to say Silva’s season is over, but the Tribune said it is unlikely he will pitch again this year. The Cubs will send Jeff Samardzija to the hill tonight in his first big league start of the year.
The Cardinals will definitely have the edge on the mound for the next three days. Q’s starting rotation for the next three days consists of Samardzija, Randy Wells and Carlos Zambrano … while Tony LaRussa will use Jamie Garcia, Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter.
In Other News
Tyler Colvin is expected to be in the starting nine tonight with the southpaw on the hill. Colvin has continued taking grounders at first base but Colvin is not expected to receive any playing time in the near future.
Aramis Ramirez pinch-hit for Darwin Barney Sunday afternoon and is expected back in the starting lineup tonight. Following Sunday’s game, Quade said Ramirez should be in the starting lineup tonight
Marlon Byrd and Jeff Baker will return to Mike Quade’s lineup tonight as well. Byrd needed Sunday off due to a few late season injuries … and Baker will leadoff against the southpaw Jamie Garcia.
Tom Gorzelanny’s side session Sunday went well. Gorzelanny indicated he’s ready to get back on the mound again … either as a starter or a reliever, basically in whichever role the Cubs see fit.
Tonight it all starts with Jeff Samardzija …
Samardzija is out of options and will make the Cubs big league team out of Spring Training … or Jim Hendry will have missed badly once again and spent $10 million on a player that never amounted to much on the baseball diamond.
Samardzija posted a good record in Triple-A (11-3 in 35 games, 15 starts), but walked way too many and gave up too many hits to be successful in the majors. Samardzija walked 67 and gave up 86 hits in 111 1/3 innings. A less than 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio and a 1.37 WHIP in the PCL does not translate to a winning pitcher in the Major Leagues.
The Shark figures to get a couple of starts this week and would go a long way to silencing his critics by throwing strikes.
Samardzija has faced the Cardinals five times in his career … 0.00 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in 6 1/3 innings (no runs, four hits, three walks and five strikeouts).
Cardinals Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
- Pedro Feliz – 1-for-2
- Felipe Lopez – 0-for-3 with a walk
- Yadier Molina – 0-for-2
- Albert Pujols – 2-for-4 with a double
- Colby Rasmus – 0-for-1
- Skip Schumaker – 1-for-3
- Randy Winn – 1-for-1
The Cubs will get their second look at Jamie Garcia. The Cardinals spectacular rookie southpaw faced the Cubs for an inning in 2008 … tonight will be his first start against the Cubs.
Garcia is a rookie of the year candidate but is coming off his worst start of the season. Garcia allowed a season-high seven runs on seven hits in four innings to the Brewers. The four innings was his third shortest start and the seven earned runs were by far the most he’s allowed this season (five against the Royals on June 27).
The 24-year old southpaw has been just about unbeatable at Busch Stadium. Garcia is 6-3 in 13 starts at home this year with a 1.65 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.
After posting a 3-2 record in five starts in August with a 2.35 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP, Garcia is 1-1 in his last two outings with a 7.59 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP.
Xavier Nady (0-for-1) and Aramis Ramirez (0-for-1) are the only two active Cubs that have faced Jamie Garcia.
Luna Flooring is giving away two tickets to a Cubs’ game, as well as a chance to throw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field. Luna has asked the CCO to pass along the info to our readers. Those interested should click on this link … Want to Take a Friend to a Cubs Game on Us?
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