Game Sixty-Three: Cubs (25-37) vs. Phillies (38-26)
Game Time – 3:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
Matt Garza (2-5, 4.07/1.42) vs. Cliff Lee (5-5, 3.62/1.25)
Updated – 12:01pm CDT - Cubs Designated Brad Snyder for Assignment
In order for the Cubs to get back in the winning column they will have to do something no other Cubs’ team has done … beat Cliff Lee. The Cubs will send Matt Garza to the mound and Garza will face the Phillies for the first time at Citizens Bank Park since game three of the 2008 World Series,
Today might be a good day to give Darwin Barney a day off. Barney is hitless in the series and looks like he could use a breathier. With Cliff Lee on the hill, Mike Quade could give D.J. LeMahieu his first big league start at second base.
The Cubs difficult road trip is nearly over and unless they can beat Cliff Lee and/or Roy Oswalt they will limp back to Chicago with a 2-8 record.
Counting this afternoon’s contest, the Cubs have 100 games remaining on their 2011 schedule … and today it all starts with Matt Garza. Matt Garza will make his second start this afternoon since returning from the DL. The best thing about Garza’s last outing was he felt fine afterwards. Garza lasted just four innings against the Reds on Monday. Garza allowed four runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts. The Reds hit their second home run of the season off Garza … the only two longballs he’s allowed so far this season.
Garza is 1-3 in five road starts this season with a 5.16 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. Garza has averaged just under six innings per road start this year (5.84) but he needs to go at least seven tonight in order to give the pen a breathier … and his team a chance to win.
Garza has faced the Phillies just once during the regular season, back on June 24, 2009 at Tropicana Field. Garza shut down the defending World Series champs with an impressive eight-inning performance (one run on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts, run scored on a solo homer by Jayson Werth)
The last, and only, time Matt Garza has started a game at Citizens Bank Park was the third game of the 2008 World Series. Garza allowed four runs on six hits in six innings and received a no decision. Garza walked two and struck out seven.
Phillies Career Numbers against Matt Garza
- Ben Francisco – 3-for-7 with a double and a walk
- Ross Gload – 5-for-11 with a double and a walk
- Ryan Howard – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Raul Ibanez – 4-for-9 with a double, 2 home runs and a walk
- Placido Polanco – 1-for-11
- Jimmy Rollins – 0-for-4
- Carlos Ruiz – 0-for-3
- Chase Utley – 0-for-1 with a walk
- Shane Victorino – 0-for-3 with a walk
Cliff Lee has been extremely inconsistent in his return to Philly. Lee will dominate in one start then struggle in the next. Lee is coming off a seven-inning shut out performance against the Dodgers. Lee allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out 10 … the sixth time this season Lee recorded double digit strikeouts.
Lee posted a 2-3 record in seven starts last month with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.
The veteran southpaw has dominated at Citizens Bank Park this year. In seven starts, Lee is 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.
Cliff Lee is a perfect 3-0 in four career starts against the Cubs with a 1.71 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP (seven runs, six earned, on 27 hits in 31 2/3 innings with nine walks and 25 strikeouts). Lee’s no decision against the Cubs came on the day Kerry Wood faced his former team for the first time at Wrigley Field.
Cubs Career Numbers against Cliff Lee
- Starlin Castro – 0-for-3
- Tyler Colvin – 1-for-4 with a home run
- Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-3 with a walk
- Carlos Pena – 6-for-29 with three home runs and a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-8 with a double and two walks
This is one game the Cubs will miss the likes of Byrd, Johnson, Soriano and Baker. Marlon Byrd (6-for-15 with 3 doubles and a walk), Jeff Baker (3-for-6 with a double and a walk), Reed Johnson (3-for-8 with a home run and 2 walks) and Alfonso Soriano (6-for-18 with a double, a home run and a walk) all have solid numbers against the former Cy Young award winner.
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