Game Five: Cubs (1-3) vs. Brewers (2-2)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185/901
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Paul Maholm (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Chris Narveson (0-0, -.–/-.–)
The Cubs will shoot to get back in the win column tonight by Paul Maholm. The veteran lefty makes his Cubs debut in a park he’s had success in as a visiting pitcher. Dale Sveum used a majority of his middle relievers Monday night and if Maholm cannot turn in the Cubs’ fourth quality start in five games, Sveum might have use Rodrigo Lopez for an extended outing.
The problems with the bullpen have been front and center over the first four games (10.38 ERA, 2.54 WHIP and .395 opponent’s batting average) and the concerns that were there in Arizona have been magnified. The Cubs have been outscored 19-14 and have lost each game by one, three and two runs.
Dale Sveum is expected to run out his right-handed lineup tonight … that likely means Jeff Baker at first, Joe Mather at third and Reed Johnson in left. Sveum might think about giving Alfonso Soriano the night off instead. Soriano is 1-for-13 with a walk in his career against Chris Narveson.
Tonight all starts with Paul Maholm … Paul Maholm makes his Cubs debut tonight after spending his entire career in the Pirates organization. The southpaw was the eighth overall pick in the 2003 draft and is coming off a better season than his 6-14 record. In 26 starts, Maholm posted a 3.66 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP with 97 strikeouts and 50 walks in 162 1/3 innings.
Maholm is very familiar with the lineup he will face tonight. In 19 starts against the Brewers, Maholm is 3-8 with a 4.45 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP … last season, 0-2 in two starts with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.
Tonight will mark the 12th time Maholm has started a game at Wrigley Field … he is 6-2 in the first 11 with a 5.48 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. One of Maholm’s five complete games was at Wrigley and one of his three complete game shutouts came in his new home ballpark.
Paul Maholm’s next win will be his first since July 10, 2011 against the Chicago Cubs.
Brewers Career Numbers against Paul Maholm
- Ryan Braun – 11-for-33 with two doubles, a home run and six walks
- Carlos Gomez – 5-for-12 with a double and a home run
- Alex Gonzalez – 3-for-12 with three walks
- Corey Hart – 14-for-44 with four doubles, a triple, three home runs and five walks
- Cesar Izturis – 2-for-8
- George Kottaras – 1-for-4 with a double and a walk
- Jonathan Lucroy – 2-for-5
- Nyjer Morgan – 1-for-5
- Chris Narveson – 1-for-4
- Aramis Ramirez – 10-for-38 with two doubles, two home runs and two walks
- Rickie Weeks – 8-for-40 with a double and seven walks
The Cubs will face a pitcher that has owned them over the last two seasons. Chris Narveson puzzled the previous roster to the tune of a 2-0 record in five games, one start, with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP in 2010 and 3-1 record in four starts last season with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Narveson has posted 23 wins the past two seasons, five against the Cubs alone.
In his career, Narveson is 6-1 in 13 games, six starts, versus the Cubs with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 3-1 in nine games, three starts, with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP.
Maybe the Cubs’ new skipper can give his team a better scouting report than they’ve had on Chris Narveson.
Cubs Career Numbers against Chris Narveson
- Jeff Baker – 5-for-15 with a home run and two walks
- Darwin Barney – 2-for-4 with a triple and a walk
- Marlon Byrd – 5-for-14 with five doubles
- Starlin Castro – 4-for-14 with a walk
- Blake DeWitt – 3-for-7 with a double
- Reed Johnson – 2-for-11 with a double and a home run
- Paul Maholm – 0-for-4
- Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-13 with a walk
- Geovany Soto – 7-for-18 with a double, a home run and three walks
- Ian Stewart – 1-for-5 with a walk
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