Game Twenty-Six: Cubs (11-14) vs. Diamondbacks (11-14)
Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Chase Field, Phoenix
Matt Garza (0-3, 4.11/1.47) vs. Ian Kennedy (3-1, 4.02/1.09)
The first month of the Cubs season comes to an end this afternoon. Q’s squad has dealt with one issue after the other throughout the first 25 games of the 2011 campaign. From losing Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner after their first starts to the struggles of Ryan Dempster and the offense … the first month has been anything but boring.
For all that has gone wrong, the Cubs could put a bow on the first month of the season with a win tonight. The Cubs enter play 11-14 on the last day of April … and 12-14 sounds a lot better than 11-15.
With the middle of the lineup struggling to drive in runs, and actually hitting a ball with authority, Mike Quade said Alfonso Soriano could move up in the lineup.
On the last day of April, it all begins with Matt Garza … Matt Garza is coming off his third loss of the year on a night he allowed one earned run in six innings. Starlin Castro and Garza committed four errors in the rain, which led to four unearned runs and a Cubs loss. Garza threw the ball better than the results.
Garza has struck out 41 batters in 30 2/3 innings while walking only nine batters … but he’s given up 36 hits in his first five starts. Garza has notched back-to-back quality starts and the Cubs need more from him tonight. Garza has completed seven innings of work only once (April 3 against the Pirates), it is time for his second seven-inning performance.
Matt Garza did not pitch in the D’Backs series at Wrigley … and has never faced Arizona during the regular season.
Melvin Mora (2-for-21), Xavier Nady (2-for-8 with a home run) and Josh Wilson (1-for-7) are the only active D’Backs that have faced Matt Garza.
Ian Kennedy is coming off a complete game shutout against the Phillies. A day after becoming a father for the first time, the former Yankee shutdown the favorites to win the National League. Kennedy struck out 10, did not walk a batter and allowed just three hits.
Kennedy is coming off two excellent outings and victories against teams much better than the Cubs. Prior to his gem against Philadelphia, Kennedy held the Reds to a run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings. One bad start has skewed Kennedy’s numbers … nine runs on seven hits in three innings against the Cardinals on April 13.
The Cubs offense will have trouble tonight with Ian Kennedy and they must take advantage of every opportunity that Kennedy gives them.
Ian Kennedy is 1-1 in two career starts against the Cubs with a 7.24 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. The Cubs did not see Kennedy during the series at Wrigley.
Cubs Career Numbers against Ian Kennedy
- Marlon Byrd – 1-for-6
- Starlin Castro – 1-for-3 with a triple
- Tyler Colvin – 0-for-4
- Blake DeWitt – no official at bat, two walks
- Kosuke Fukudome – 3-for-7 with 2 home runs
- Reed Johnson – 0-for-3
- Carlos Pena – 1-for-13 with a double and a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-7
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-3
- Geovany Soto – 2-for-5 with 2 doubles and a walk
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