Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Giants – 06/04/12

Game Fifty-Four: Cubs (18-35) vs. Giants (30-24)
Game Time – 2:45pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188/914
Location – AT & T Park, San Francisco

Jeff Samardzija (5-3, 3.09/1.19) vs. Ryan Vogelsong (3-2, 2.36/1.23)

Updated 12:44pm CDT – Cubs signed Hong-Chih Kuo to a minor-league deal. Kuo will report to Mesa

Weather permitting … The Cubs will shoot to salvage the final game of the wrap-around series in San Francisco this afternoon behind Jeff Samardzija. Sveum’s pitching staff has done their job, for the most part, during the series. The Cubs have allowed only eight runs in three games but the offense, as well as the defense, has been the problem. Sveum’s offense has scored only four runs in the last three games with all four coming off two swings of the bat … home runs by Alfonso Soriano (three-run shot Friday night) and David DeJesus (solo homer on Saturday). The Cubs have scored in just nine of the last 81 innings.

Bryan LaHair, David DeJesus and Steve Clevenger should be back in the starting lineup this afternoon. Lefties have hit slightly better (.225/.307/.284) than right handers (.218/.309/.261) this season against Ryan Vogelsong. But with the way Vogelsong has pitched this season, it does not figure to get any easier for the Cubs this afternoon.

The Rule Four First-Year Player Draft begins at 6:00pm CDT … and this afternoon all starts with Jeff Samardzija.

Jeff Samardzija has been one of the few pleasant surprises for the big league club this season. Samardzija is coming off another solid outing against the Padres in which he allowed three runs on eight hits with a walk and eight strikeouts in seven-plus innings. Samardzija is even contributing at the plate and has driven in runs in two of his last three starts.

Samardzija makes his 11th start of the season this afternoon. He has seven quality starts in his first 10 outings of the season and the Cubs are 7-3 in games he’s started.

After posting a 2-1 record in April (four starts) with a 4.13 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP, Samardzija is 3-2 in his last six starts with a 2.48 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. In his last 40 innings, Samardzija has 40 strikeouts and 11 walks (just short of an impressive 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio).

Jeff Samardzija has faced the Giants five times in his career. In 5 2/3 innings he has allowed one run on five hits with four walks and eight strikeouts (1.59 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP). Today will be his first start against the Giants.

Giants Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Gregor Blanco – 0-for-1
  • Emmanuel Burriss – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Brandon Crawford – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Aubrey Huff – a walk in only plate appearance
  • Angel Pagan – 0-for-1
  • Ryan Theriot – 2-for-3 with a double
  • Ryan Vogelsong – 0-for-1

Ryan Vogelsong has been very good in his second season in the Giants rotation. Vogelsong posted a 13-7 record in 30 games, 28 starts, with a 2.71 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP a year ago for Bruce Bochy and he’s picked up where he left off.

Vogelsong did not win a game in his first three starts (0-1) of the season and was hit around pretty good to the tune of a 4.91 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. But in his last six starts, Vogelsong is 3-1 with a 1.51 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. The Giants are 6-3 in his nine starts.

The key to beating Ryan Vogelsong is making him work. Vogelsong struggles with adjustments the second time through a lineup, if he’s thrown enough pitches, and excels as he progresses if he maintains a low-pitch count.

Ryan Vogelsong is 3-5 in 14 career games, eight starts, against the Cubs with a 6.19 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP … last year he was 2-1 in three starts against the Cubs with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP and one of his outings was a complete game shutout in rain shortened win at Wrigley.

Cubs Career Numbers against Ryan Vogelsong

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-5
  • Tony Campana – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 3-for-9 with a triple
  • David DeJesus – 0-for-3
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-7 with a home run
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-1
  • Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-9 with a home run and a walk
  • Ian Stewart – 0-for-3

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon