Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. White Sox – 05/18/12

Game Thirty-Nine: Cubs (15-23) vs. White Sox (18-21)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV (Cubs) – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jeff Samardzija (4-1, 2.89/1.17) vs. Philip Humber (1-2, 5.77/1.40)

Even with all of the changes on both sides of Chicago, the next three days should be anything but boring in the first round of the City Series. The Cubs are just 4-8 over the last two years against the Southsiders (2-4 in both 2010 and 2011) but have only been outscored by a total of 10 runs over the last 12 games against the Sox. The Cubs are 39-45 (22-20 at Wrigley Field) against the White Sox.

Dale Sveum will send Jeff Samardzija, Ryan Dempster and Paul Maholm to the hill and Robin Ventura will counter with Philip Humber, John Danks and Jake Peavy. Adam Dunn is expected to play left field for the Sox throughout the weekend so he can hit at one of his favorite parks.

Jeff Samardzija fired the first shot off the weekend prior to Thursday’s game against the Phillies. Samardzija now has the tough task of putting his money where his mouth is.

Geovany Soto was scratched from Thursday’s game because of inflammation in his left knee. Soto had an MRI scheduled for Friday morning and is not expected to be in the starting lineup. Soto will be available but look for Welington Castillo to be behind the plate. Steve Clevenger was expected to start a minor league rehab assignment on Monday and could be activated from the DL a week from today (May 25).

Updated 10:23am CDTGeovany Soto has a small tear in his meniscus and will be placed on the DL following Friday’s game. Darwin Barney is the Cubs’ emergency catcher for Friday. Soto will have his knee scoped and is expected to miss three to four weeks. Blake Lalli is expected to be added to the 40-man roster and called up to serve as Welington Castillo’s backup until Steve Clevenger returns.

The Cubs begin their Interleague schedule this afternoon after going 5-10 versus the Junior Circuit a year ago. Along with the six games against the Sox, the Cubs have three against the Twins (June 8 – June 10), three against Prince Fielder and the Tigers (June 12 – June 14) and three at Wrigley against the Red Sox (June 15 – June 17). Sveum’s Cubs play only six games in AL parks (Minnesota, White Sox)

The Cubs are in need of a win. After dropping three in a row, Sveum’s Cubs enter play this afternoon a season-high eight games under .500.

Today it all starts with Jeff Samardzija in what could be Kerry Wood’s last game.

Jeff Samardzija is coming off another solid outing. It was short outing due to an elevated pitch count and a gamble by Dale Sveum that momentarily paid off. Samardzija was lifted for Reed Johnson to start the top of the sixth. Johnson hit a solo shot and broke up the 1-1 tie but the Cubs’ pen could not hold the lead. Samardzija gave up a run on three hits with two walks and six strikeouts in five innings.

Like Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija has been very good at Wrigley this season. In three home starts, Samardzija has allowed four runs, two earned, on 13 hits with 24 strikeouts and four walks in 22 1/3 innings. Samardzija is 2-0 with a 0.81 ERA and a 0.76 WHIP.

After starting the season 2-1 in four starts with a 4.13 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP, Samardzija is 2-0 in his last three starts with a 1.37 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP.

Jeff Samardzija will make the first start of his career against the White Sox this afternoon. Samardzija is 0-1 in three career appearances against the Sox with a 2.45 ERA and a 0.55 WHIP.

White Sox Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Adam Dunn – 1-for-2 with a home run
  • Paul Konerko – 0-for-2
  • Brent Morel – 0-for-1
  • A.J. Pierzynski – 1-for-1
  • Alexei Ramirez – 1-for-2 with a double
  • Alex Rios – 0-for-2

After three miserable starts following his perfect game on April 21 in Seattle, Phil Humber is coming off a solid outing against the Royals. Humber received a no decision after allowing one run on four hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. The Sox ended up losing pretty badly to the Royals (9-1) but only the single tally was on Humber’s record.

Phil Humber is 1-1 in two starts outside of the Cell this season with a 6.35 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP.

Today will be the second time that Phil Humber has started a game against the Cubs. Humber tossed a seven-inning gem last July at Wrigley. The Sox won the game 1-0 and Humber allowed only five hits and three walks while striking out four … Matt Garza took the loss after allowing the one run on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in nine innings.

Cubs Career Numbers against Philip Humber

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-2 with a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-3
  • David DeJesus – 2-for-5 with a triple
  • Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-3
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-2 with a walk

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Limited Edition Ron Santo Hall of Fame Lithograph


(Click on Image to Enlarge)

John Hanley, in conjunction with the Santo Family and JDRF, has produced a Ron Santo HOF Limited Edition Print with a portion of the proceeds going to JDRF. Those interested in purchasing the print honoring Ron Santo can visit www.johnhanleyartist.com.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." - Albert Einstein