Game Twenty-Nine: Cubs (11-17) vs. Braves (18-11)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WCIU – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184/906
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jeff Samardzija (3-1, 3.41/1.23) vs. Tommy Hanson (3-2, 3.74/1.43)
Weather permitting … The Chicago Cubs will try to cool down one of the hottest teams in baseball tonight behind Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija has put together two excellent outings but will face the high-powered Atlanta Braves’ offense tonight … and arguably his toughest test of the season. While the offense tries to figure out Tommy Hanson, it will be up to Samardzija to put his team in a position to win.
The Cubs have historically struggled with the Braves, except for in 2008, and were 3-4 in the seven games against Atlanta a year ago.
With James Russell (26 pitches) and Rafael Dolis (30 pitches) both completing two innings of work in Sunday’s win, their status for tonight is unknown. If the Cubs have a lead late, it might be up to Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol to close it out.
The Cubs are expected to make a roster move prior to tonight’s game. Adrian Cardenas is expected to receive the call with Travis Wood likely headed back to Iowa.
Tonight all starts with Jeff Samardzija … Jeff Samardzija is coming off another excellent start. Samardzija held the Reds to one run on three hits in 7 2/3 innings. Samardzija walked two, struck out seven and Dusty Baker said afterwards that Samardzija’s performance was the best the Reds had seen all season.
For as good as Samardzija has been for the most part this season, he’s been even better at Wrigley Field. Samardzija is 1-0 in two starts at home this year with a 0.59 ERA and a 0.65 WHIP (three runs, one earned, on eight hits with two walks and 17 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings).
Jeff Samardzija makes his seventh career appearance, first start, against the Braves tonight. Samardzija allowed six runs, four earned, on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings to the Braves over the first six appearances.
Braves Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
- Michael Bourn – 3-for-5 with a double
- Matt Diaz – 1-for-2 with a double
- Freddie Freeman – 0-for-1
- Jason Heyward – 0-for-1
- Eric Hinske – 1-for-1 with a triple
- Chipper Jones – 1-for-2 with a walk
- Brian McCann – 0-for-1 with a walk
- Martin Prado – 0-for-2
- David Ross – 0-for-1
- Dan Uggla – 1-for-8 with a home run and a walk
The Cubs get the pleasure of facing one of the best young right handers in the game. Tommy Hanson last pitched in the 15-13 marathon game between the Braves and Phillies. Hanson allowed four runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings before being yanked with his team down by a bunch to Roy Halladay. Atlanta ended up battling back and won the game in 11 innings.
Tommy Hanson dominated in four of his five outings leading up to his start against the Phillies and figures to be back to form tonight against the Cubs.
Hanson is 2-1 in three road starts this season with a 2.65 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.
Tonight will be the third time in Tommy Hanson’s short career that he has made a start against the Cubs. Hanson is 0-2 in the first two with a 5.23 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP … at Wrigley, 0-1 in one start with a 7.20 ERA and a 2.20 WHIP (five runs, four earned, on seven hits with four walks and four strikeouts in five innings).
Jeff Baker (0-for-2), Starlin Castro (0-for-2) and Ian Stewart (2-for-4 with a home run and a walk) are the only position players on the Cubs’ active roster that have faced Tommy Hanson.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …
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