Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 05/02/12

Game Twenty-Four: Cubs (8-15) vs. Reds (11-11)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/903
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

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

Weather permitting … The Cubs and Reds look to open their now two-game series with the same scheduled pitching match-up as the opener. Jeff Samardzija will face Bronson Arroyo tonight with Ryan Dempster taking on Homer Bailey in the finale on Thursday afternoon. Paul Maholm has been moved to the opener against Matt Kemp and the Dodgers on Friday afternoon at Wrigley.

Not only did Jeff Samardzija get an extra day off when the Cubs pushed him back a day from the final game in Philly, but with Tuesday’s postponement Samardzija received two full days.

With Bronson Arroyo on the hill, Dale Sveum should run out the same starting lineup as he had Tuesday before the rain washed out the opener. Sveum loaded his starting nine with as many lefties as he could … David DeJesus (RF), Tony Campana (CF), Starlin Castro (SS), Bryan LaHair (1B), Alfonso Soriano (LF), Ian Stewart (3B), Blake DeWitt (2B), Geovany Soto (C) and Jeff Samardzija (P).

Randy Wells threw his bullpen Monday in Philly and will be available to pitch out of the bullpen tonight.

The second month of the baseball season begins today 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.

Tonight it all begins 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.

With Tuesday’s postponement, Jeff Samardzija will pitch for the first time in eight days.

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 decisions 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 …

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