Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 09/26/10

Game One Hundred Fifty-Five: Cubs (70-84) vs. Cardinals (79-75)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jeff Samardzija (2-1, 6.00/1.80) vs. Jake Westbrook (2-4, 3.77/1.36)

The Cubs will suit up for the final time this season in the cramped clubhouse at Wrigley Field. The Cubs will be looking for just their 36th win of the year at the old ballpark (35-45) with Jeff Samardzija getting the final home start of Twenty-Ten.

The Cubs are 9-5 versus St. Louis this season after the comeback win over Chris Carpenter on Saturday.

Marlon Byrd’s status for the home finale is uncertain. Byrd showed up to the park Saturday with a “nasty-looking bruise and swelling under his right eye.” Byrd has been one of the few positives for the Cubs this season … and a joy to watch on a daily basis. Byrd never stops playing the game the right way.

In Other News
John Grabow’s season might not be over after all. Hendry said Grabow “most likely will not have knee surgery” and could throw an inning before the season ends next Sunday. The Cubs will pay Grabow $4.8 million next season … whether he pitches or not. To activate Grabow (currently on the 60-day DL), they would have to make a roster move. Who is calling the shots for this team again?

During his time with the media Saturday, Hendry said Tyler Colvin will be fine and “could be in the mix at first base next season.”

The Cubs are 19-10 under Mike Quade and the Twenty-Ten season ends one week from today, but this afternoon it all starts with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija will make his third start of the season in the Cubs final home game of the year. Somehow the Shark has won his first two starts … and one came against the Cardinals back on September 13.

Samardzija is coming off a win last Sunday in Miami in the Tyler Colvin Game. Samardzija allowed three runs (all three on two home runs) on three his with three walks and four strikeouts in six innings. Samardzija was not sharp again but was given plenty of run support.

Since being recalled, Samardzija is 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP (three runs allowed on nine hits in 11 2/3 inning with seven walks and five strikeouts).

Today will be Samardzija’s second career start at Wrigley, first of Twenty-Ten.

Samardzija is 1-0 in six career appearances, one start, versus the Cardinals with a 0.00 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP (no runs allowed, 10 hits, seven walks and six strikeouts in 12 innings). The Shark pitched around 11 baserunners when he faced St. Louis in his last start against Pujols and Company.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

Pedro Feliz – 1-for-5
Matt Holliday – 1-for-2 with a walk
Jon Jay – 1-for-3
Albert Pujols – 2-for-5 with a double and a walk
Colby Rasmus – 0-for-4
Brendan Ryan – 0-for-1 with a walk
Skip Schumaker – 2-for-6
Randy Winn – 1-for-1

The Cubs will face Jake Westbrook for only the second time today. Westbrook beat the Cubs on August 13 in St. Louis, 6-3. Westbrook held the Cubs to two runs on six hits in six innings.

Westbrook is coming off his worst start as a Cardinal. The Pirates knocked him out after four innings and scoring five run on five hits with three walks. Westbrook struck out only two Bucs in a 5-2 loss.

Westbrook had been very solid for Tony LaRussa prior to his last outing. He is 1-1 in his last four starts with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.

Today will be the first start of Westbrook’s career at Wrigley Field.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jake Westbrook

Darwin Barney – 0-for-3
Marlon Byrd – 1-for-6
Starlin Castro – 1-for-3
Blake DeWitt – 1-for-3 with a double
Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-2 with a walk
Koyie Hill – 1-for-2
Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-2
Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-18 with a walk

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Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne