Game Forty-Seven: Cubs (15-31) vs. Pirates (22-24)
Game Time – 12:35pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186/914
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Matt Garza (2-2, 3.72/1.12) vs. Erik Bedard (2-5, 3.52/1.39)
Matt Garza gets another shot today at putting an end to the Cubs’ losing streak. Garza could not accomplish the task five days ago against the Astros and admitted afterwards he was trying to do too much to lead his team to victory.
The Cubs enter play today just 1-8 against games started by left handers and it does not figure to get any easier against Erik Bedard. The entire offense is trying too hard and is not taking what the pitchers are giving them. Early runs would go a long way for an offense that is just 1-for-the-last-29 with runners in scoring position. While the Cubs did not outhit their opponent for the fifth game in a row Saturday night, the team is getting their hits … just not when they count the most.
Look for Dale Sveum to load his lineup with right handers this afternoon. Right handers are hitting .284/.350/.369 against Bedard while lefties have managed just a .171/.237/.275 line.
Today all begins with Matt Garza … Matt Garza is coming off his second worst start as a Cub and admitted he was trying too hard to end the Cubs losing streak the last time out. Houston pummeled Garza to the tune of seven runs on five hits (a pair of three home runs) in just three innings … and that was after Garza retired the Astros in order in the first inning.
Garza started the season 2-1 in five starts with a 2.67 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. After returning from the flu bug, Garza is 0-1 in three starts with a 6.14 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP. His teammates need for him to step up this afternoon.
Something is going to give today. Garza has struggled on the road (1-2 in four starts with a 6.30 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP) but has been outstanding in day games (2-0 in three starts with a 0.83 ERA and a 0.60 WHIP).
Matt Garza is 1-0 in two career starts against the Pirates with a 1.93 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. Both of those outings came last season and in his only outing at PNC Park, Garza tossed seven innings of shutout ball (four hits, two walks and seven strikeouts on August 3).
Pirates Career Numbers against Matt Garza
- Pedro Alvarez – 4-for-7
- Rod Barajas – 4-for-19
- Clint Barmes – 2-for-9 with two home runs
- Garrett Jones – 2-for-7
- Andrew McCutchen – 1-for-3
- Casey McGehee – 1-for-6 with a double
- Michael McKenry – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Jose Tabata – 3-for-4
- Neil Walker – 0-for-7
Erik Bedard is healthy and pitching quite well for the Pirates this season. The veteran southpaw is coming off a no-decision against the Mets in which he allowed four runs on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts in five innings. Bedard has allowed four runs on six hits in each of his last two outings (6.55 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP) after he made it just one inning in a start against the Nationals on May 9.
Bedard has done his job at home this season despite not posting a win at PNC (0-2) in four tries, Bedard has allowed eight runs, seven earned, on 19 hits with eight walks and 15 strikeouts in 20 innings (3.15 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP).
This afternoon will be Erik Bedard’s first career start against the Chicago Cubs.
Cubs Career Numbers against Erik Bedard
- Jeff Baker – 1-for-2 with a walk
- David DeJesus – 0-for-8 with three walks
- Reed Johnson – 7-for-29 with a double and two walks
- Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-6 with two doubles, a home run and two walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …
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