Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Marlins – 04/19/12

Game Thirteen: Cubs (3-9) vs. Marlins (6-6)
Game Time – 11:35am CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/900
Location – Marlins Park, Miami

Jeff Samardzija (2-0, 3.95/1.10) vs. Ricky Nolasco (1-0, 3.46/1.00)

The Cubs will try to salvage the final game of the series in Miami behind Jeff Samardzija this afternoon.

After beating the Cardinals to start the road trip, the Cubs have dropped four in a row … and each loss has been a little more frustrating than the last. The Cubs are 1-4 over their last five but a win today would make the flight back to Chicago a little more enjoyable.

The Cubs have not been able to string together any hits during the first two games of the series. Dale Sveum’s team has put runners on base but they have grounded into six double plays in the last two games.

The Cubs must figure out ways to put runs on the board. Since scoring a combined 17 runs in back-to-back wins against the Brewers and Cardinals, the Cubs have been outscored 29-7. Dale Sveum hinted he could switch up the lineup for today’s game but he is not expected to sit Marlon Byrd any time soon.

Hopefully the coffee is strong in the Cubs’ clubhouse and all of the players stayed away from South Beach last night.

This afternoon all begins with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija has been brilliant and so-so in his first two starts of the season. Samardzija needs a good outing today in order to silence his doubters. Unfortunately for Samardzija, his last start was very similar to his performances in Iowa as a starter in 2010. Samardzija would be very good for four innings or a couple of times through the lineup then become very pedestrian.

Samardzija does not have to be as dominant as he was against the Nationals (three runs, one earned, on four hits without a walk and eight strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings) but he must be better than his long, five-inning performance against the Cardinals (five runs on 10 hits with a walk and five strikeouts in five innings).

For the year, Samardzija has allowed eight runs, six earned, on 14 hits with one walk and 13 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.

Today marks the second time Jeff Samardzija will take the hill to start a game versus the Fish. Samardzija is 2-0 in 10 career appearances, one start, against the Marlins with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.

Marlins Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Emilio Bonifacio – 0-for-3 with a walk
  • John Buck – 0-for-1
  • Chris Coghlan – 1-for-2
  • Greg Dobbs – 0-for-2
  • Omar Infante – 1-for-1 with a walk
  • Austin Kearns – 1-for-1
  • Logan Morrison – 0-for-2 with two walks
  • Jose Reyes – 0-for-4
  • Gaby Sanchez – 1-for-6
  • Giancarlo (Mike) Stanton – 0-for-4 with a walk

The Cubs’ offense will have the tough task of dealing with Ricky Nolasco this afternoon. No matter how Nolasco is pitching coming into a series against the Cubs, he always steps up his game against the organization that selected him in the fourth round of the 2001 draft.

Nolasco put together an excellent outing against the Reds in his first start of the season (three runs on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts in eight innings) but lasted just five innings in his last game. Houston put two runs on the board on four hits with three walks and struck out five times.

Ricky Nolasco owns a 3-2 record in seven career games, six starts, against the Cubs with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP … last season, 0-1 in two starts with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Ricky Nolasco

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-3
  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-5
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-9 with a double
  • Starlin Castro – 4-for-9
  • David DeJesus – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-2
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-1 with a home run
  • Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-22 with two home runs
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-9 with a double
  • Ian Stewart – 2-for-12 with a double

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