Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Braves – 08/25/11

Game One Hundred Thirty-One: Cubs (57-73) vs. Braves (78-53)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Matt Garza (6-9, 3.62/1.29) vs. Brandon Beachy (6-2, 3.32/1.16)

The Cubs seven-game homestand comes to an end today with the series and season finale against the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs are 3-3 in the first six game of the homestand. With a win today, the Cubs would not only post a winning homestand but they would take the season series against the Braves (3-3 in the first six games).

In order for the Cubs to earn a split in the four game series, the offense will have to start hitting with runners in scoring position. The Cubs have only one hit with runners in scoring position in the first three games that plated a run (Aramis Ramirez’s double on Tuesday night). The Cubs are 4-for-35 in the first three games of the series with runners in scoring position … and have left 32 runners on base.

In other news … The Yankees claimed Carlos Pena on waivers on Wednesday afternoon but reportedly the Cubs have pulled him back and will not try to work out a trade with New York. The Cubs told Pena he would be staying with the team.

Following Wednesday’s game, Alfonso Soriano said he was okay after being hit in the right arm for the second time in the series. Soriano expects to play this afternoon.

Today features a pitching rematch from the game back on August 14 in Atlanta. Matt Garza and Brandon Beachy both received no decisions in a 6-5 Cubs win … and this afternoon it all starts with Matt Garza.

Matt Garza has made a nice adjustment, so far, to the National League. Garza has recorded more strikeouts (151 in 146 2/3 innings, 24 starts) already this season than he did a year ago (150 in 204 2/3 innings, 32 starts) … and has allowed 12 less walks (51 this season, 63 a year ago).

Matt Garza is coming off another excellent outing and in the process he posted his first win at Wrigley since June 27. Garza tossed seven innings of shutout ball against the Cardinals and allowed just five hits with a pair of walks and eight strikeouts.

Garza is 2-1 in his last four starts with a 1.80 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP … since the break, 2-2 in eight starts with a 2.44 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.

Today will be Garza’s 14th start of the season at Wrigley. He is 4-4 in the first 13 with a 2.61 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.

Matt Garza faced the Braves in Atlanta for the first time in his career back on August 14. The Cubs won the game but Garza received a no decision after being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the fifth. Garza allowed four runs, two earned, on six hits with a walk and five strikeouts.

Braves Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Brandon Beachy – 0-for-2
  • Michael Bourn – 7-for-14
  • Freddie Freeman – 0-for-3
  • Alex Gonzalez – 3-for-11 with a double and a walk
  • Jason Heyward – 0-for-2
  • Eric Hinske – 2-for-7 with a walk
  • Julio Lugo – 1-for-11 with a walk
  • Brian McCann – 0-for-3
  • Martin Prado – 1-for-3
  • Dan Uggla – 3-for-11 with a walk

Brandon Beachy is coming off another solid outing that resulted in a win over the D’Backs. Beachy held Arizona to one run on four hits in six innings with a walk and seven strikeouts. Beachy has been very good during his short time in the big leagues and is 2-0 in his last four starts with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.

The Cubs faced Brandon Beachy for the first (and only time) 11 days ago. The Cubs did just enough against Beachy to stay in the game. Q’s offense scored two runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings with no walks and struck out eight times.

Beachy will make his first career appearance and start at Wrigley this afternoon … and the young right-hander is 3-1 in nine road starts this season with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

Cubs Numbers against Brandon Beachy

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-2
  • Starlin Castro – 0-for-3
  • Tyler Colvin – 0-for-2
  • Carlos Pena – 0-for-2
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-3
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-2

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon