Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 04/12/12

Game Seven: Cubs (1-5) vs. Brewers (4-2)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185/904
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Matt Garza (0-0, 3.00/1.00) vs. Zack Greinke (1-0, 0.00/0.57)

The Cubs first homestand of the season comes to an end this afternoon with the last of four against the Brewers. To say the first stretch of games at Wrigley has not gone the way the Cubs hoped would be an understatement. The Cubs have been in every game (had a lead in the seventh inning or later in four of the six) but due to a variety of different reasons, they have only one win after six games.

As expected, the Cubs offense has been more miss than hit over the first week of the season. They have had countless opportunities but continue to struggle with runners in scoring position, especially late in games.

The Brewers have a chance to complete a four-game sweep at Wrigley this afternoon and it will be up to Matt Garza to hold the Brewers in check while the offense attempts to figure out Zack Greinke. Dale Sveum hinted that Marlon Byrd could receive a couple of days off in order to regroup. Byrd is 1-for-21 on the season and 0-for-his-last-19 with only two balls leaving the infield during that stretch.

The Cubs depart for a weekend series in St. Louis after today’s game. Their first road trip of the year ends next Thursday with the last of three against Ozzie Guillen, Carlos Zambrano and the new-look Miami Marlins.

Today all begins with Matt Garza

Matt Garza is coming off a solid six-inning start against the Nationals in the second game of the season. Garza limited the Nationals to two runs on five hits in six innings (one walk and five strikeouts) and left with a lead … again. After leaving his starts seven times last season with the lead and ending up with nothing to show for his effort, Garza received another no decision after he more than did his job.

The Cubs’ offense must find a way to put runs on the board early and give Garza a little breathing room this afternoon. Garza took responsibility for his last outing by saying he has to finish what he starts. Dale Sveum does not need his best starting pitcher to feel like he has to go nine every time out.

Garza posted a 2-1 record in three games with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP against the Brewers last season. One of his two complete games came against Milwaukee.

Garza and Zack Greinke faced off last June at Wrigley and it was a slugfest. On a day with the wind howling out, Garza outlasted Greinke in a 12-7 Cubs win.

Brewers Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Ryan Braun – 3-for-9 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Carlos Gomez – 1-for-3
  • Alex Gonzalez – 3-for-14 with a double and a walk
  • Zack Greinke – 0-for-2
  • Corey Hart – 1-for-4 with three walks
  • Cesar Izturis – 3-for-10 with a double and two walks
  • George Kottaras – 2-for-8 with a home run
  • Nyjer Morgan – 4-for-9 with a triple
  • Rickie Weeks – 2-for-9 with a walk

Zack Greinke held down the high-flying Cardinals offense in his first start of the year … and prior to Wednesday he was the only pitcher to beat the defending champions. Greinke tossed seven innings of shutout ball and held St. Louis to just four hits. Greinke did not walk a batter and struck out seven.

Greinke was two different pitchers in his first season with Brewers. In Miller Park, Greinke was a perfect 11-0 in 15 starts with a 3.13 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP a year ago while posting a 5-6 record in 13 starts on the road with a 4.70 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

Today marks Greinke’s four career start against the Cubs. In the first three, Greinke is 2-1 with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 0-1 in one start with a 10.13 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Zack Greinke

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-3
  • Darwin Barney 0 1-for-5 with a double
  • Marlon Byrd – 3-for-20 with a home run and three walks
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-7 with a double and three walks
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-6 with a double and a walk
  • Matt Garza – 0-for-2
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-2
  • Bryan LaHair – 0-for-2
  • Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-16 with a double and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 2-for-5 with a walk
  • Ian Stewart – 3-for-5 with a double and a triple

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax