Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 05/01/12

Game Twenty-Four: Cubs (8-15) vs. Reds (11-11)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184/903
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Jeff Samardzija (2-1, 4.13/1.42) vs. Bronson Arroyo (1-0, 2.70/1.09)

Updated – 8:12pm CDT – Tuesday night’s game between the Cubs and Reds has been Postponed – No Make-Up Date has been announced.

Updated – 5:45pm CDT – The start of tonight’s Cubs-Reds game will be delayed due to rain in the area. The Cubs and Reds are hoping for a first pitch around 7:00pm CDT

Weather permitting … The second month of the baseball season begins tonight for the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs were just 8-15 in April but have played better ball of late. After a 1-5 stretch, the Cubs won four of seven to close out the month.

The Cubs make their first trip to Cincinnati for the first of three against Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and company. The Reds took two of three at Wrigley a couple of weeks back and Dale Sveum’s team will look to return the favor at the Reds’ home park.

Jeff Samardzija makes his return to the hill after receiving an extra day of rest. Samardzija was very sharp in his last outing and will make his first career start against the Reds.

Following tonight’s matchup of Jeff Samardzija and Bronson Arroyo, Paul Maholm will square off against Homer Bailey in game two with Ryan Dempster returning from the DL on Thursday to face Mike Leake. Randy Wells will be available out of the pen for the next two games as the Cubs ponder two roster moves prior to Thursday’s finale. Along with Ryan Dempster, Kerry Wood is expected to be activated prior to the last game of the road trip.

Tonight all starts with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija more than bounced back from his horrible outing in Miami when he faced the Cardinals last Tuesday. Samardzija tossed 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball and allowed just four hits with two walks and nine strikeouts. Samardzija quieted doubts, at least for one start, that his first outing was what could be expected … not a one-start wonder.

Samardzija’s two good outings have come at Wrigley (1-0 with a 0.59 ERA and a 0.65 WHIP) and his two bad starts have come on the road (1-1 with a 10.38 ERA and a 2.77 WHIP) … maybe he can find better than a middle ground tonight.

Jeff Samardzija missed the Reds when they were at Wrigley (April 20 – April 23) and will make his first career start against the Redlegs tonight. In 14 games, all in relief, Samardzija has no record with a 5.65 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP versus Cincinnati … at Great American a 10.80 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP (seven runs, six earned, on six hits with a walk and four strikeouts in five innings) in six appearances.

Reds Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Jay Bruce – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
  • Miguel Cairo – 0-for-1
  • Todd Frazier – 0-for-2
  • Ryan Hanigan – 1-for-2
  • Chris Heisey – 1-for-2
  • Ryan Ludwick – 1-for-4 with a walk
  • Brandon Phillips – 1-for-7
  • Scott Rolen – 0-for-1
  • Drew Stubbs – 0-for-2
  • Wilson Valdez – 0-for-1
  • Joey Votto – 1-for-9 with a walk

The Cubs will get their first look of the season at Bronson Arroyo tonight. Arroyo is off to a very good start to the season after a rough first outing. Miami scored five runs, four earned, on 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings off Arroyo on April 8 but after a bad first outing, Arroyo has allowed a total of four earned runs in his last three starts.

After tossing 7 1/3 innings of shutout ball against the Nationals on April 13, Arroyo gave up three runs on five hits in eight innings to the Cardinals and picked up his first win of the season. Arroyo received a no decision in his last start, a Reds 4-2 win over the Giants, after allowing two runs, one earned, on nine hits with a walk and two strikeouts in five innings.

Bronson Arroyo has two no decision in his first two home starts of the year (3.97 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP).

The Cubs have seemingly done nothing against Bronson Arroyo since Theo Epstein traded him to Cincinnati prior to the 2006 season. Arroyo owns a 9-8 record in 25 career games, 23 starts, against the Cubs with a 2.91 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP … last season, 0-1 in three starts with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP after posting a 2-1 record in three starts in 2010 with a 1.35 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP.

The Cubs must make him work tonight … early swings and misses will led to another loss to the Reds.

Cubs Career Numbers against Bronson Arroyo

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-1
  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-7
  • Tony Campana – 2-for-6
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-11 with a home run
  • David DeJesus – 2-for-8 with two walks
  • Blake DeWitt – 9-for-25 with a double and two home runs
  • Reed Johnson – 3-for-16
  • Alfonso Soriano – 8-for-42 with five doubles, a home run and two walks
  • Geovany Soto – 2-for-14 with four walks
  • Ian Stewart – 2-for-5 with a home run and a walk

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver