Game Fifty-Seven: Cubs (19-37) vs. Brewers (25-31)
Game Time – 1:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/914
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee
Matt Garza (2-4, 4.10/1.15) vs. Randy Wolf (2-5, 6.05/1.70)
The Cubs have a chance to leave Milwaukee with a series win. It has been all or nothing for both teams over the first two games and what has been close contests between the Cubs and Brewers in recent years have been blowouts so far in this series.
In order for the Cubs to leave Milwaukee with a victory, they will have to do something they’ve only done twice this season … win a game started by a southpaw. The Cubs are a miserable 2-11 in games started by left-handed pitchers this season. Expect Dale Sveum to load his lineup again today with as many right-handed bats as possible, including Koyie Hill, against Randy Wolf. Lefties are hitting .216/.333/.300 while righties are hitting .338/.393/.477 against Wolf this season. Today is a rematch of the game back on May 11 that the Brewers won 8-7 in 13 innings.
Matt Garza will have to deal with a better Brewers’ lineup this afternoon than either Ryan Dempster or Paul Maholm had to face in the first two games. Aramis Ramirez is expected back in Ron Roenicke’s starting nine.
In other news and rumors… The Cubs were one of many teams that were on hand to watch Jorge Soler’s workout Wednesday. The Cubs are expected to be very aggressive in the bidding for the 20-year old outfielder and Jed Hoyer confirmed Wednesday the Cubs would be bidding on Soler. Barry Praver, Soler’s agent, has asked all of the teams interested in Jorge Soler to submit bids today. Jed Hoyer acknowledged that the Cubs have heavily scouted Soler and have done their work on him.
The rumors of the Cubs’ interest in Soler surfaced not long after the new regime took over baseball operations. According to the Sun-Times, the Cubs were more interested in Jorge Soler from the beginning than Yoenis Cespedes. The Cubs offered Cespedes a six-year, $36 million deal and he signed a four-year contract for $36 million.
Jed Hoyer told the Tribune that he is predicting the team would be very active before the July 31 trade deadline. Ryan Dempster said Wednesday that if the Cubs “want to trade me to better the ballclub, I have to listen to what they have to say.” Dempster has not spoken to Theo Epstein or submitted a list of teams he would be willing to waive his no-trade rights. The Dodgers are rumored to be interested in Dempster with Ted Lilly on the shelf.
Today it all begins with Matt Garza … Matt Garza more than bounced back from his poor outings against the Astros and Pirates in his last start against the Giants. After struggling with himself for two outings, Matt Garza was very good in San Francisco. The only problem was … he did not receive any run support from his offense. Garza was simply outpitched by Matt Cain and lost his third straight start after allowing two runs on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts in six innings.
Due to the scheduling, Matt Garza will make his fourth straight start on the road this afternoon. Garza is 1-4 in six starts outside of Wrigley this season with a 6.10 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP.
Matt Garza makes his third start of the year against the Brewers this afternoon. Garza tossed a gem against the Brewers at Wrigley back on April 12 and came within his own throwing error of a complete game shutout. Garza took the loss on May 11 at Miller Park in his first start back after missing time with the flu.
Matt Garza is 1-0 against the Brewers in two starts this season with 0.66 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. For his career, Garza is 3-1 in five starts with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP … at Miller Park, 0-1 in two starts with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP.
Brewers Career Numbers against Matt Garza
- Norichika Aoki – 0-for-1
- Ryan Braun – 3-for-13 with a double, a home run and four walks
- Carlos Gomez – 1-for-3
- Taylor Green – 0-for-3
- Corey Hart – 2-for-9 with a double and three walks
- Travis Ishikawa – 0-for-1
- George Kottaras – 2-for-9 with a home run and a walk
- Nyjer Morgan – 7-for-15 with a triple and a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-3
- Cody Ransom – 1-for-2
- Rickie Weeks – 2-for-14 with two walks
- Randy Wolf – 0-for-2
Randy Wolf has struggled against just about every team his faced this season with the exception of the Chicago Cubs. Wolf has won only two games this year and the Brewers are 3-8 in his 11 starts but one of those team wins came at the expense of the Cubs.
Wolf is coming off another bad outing. The Pirates torched Wolf for six runs on eight hits with four walks and five strikeouts in six innings. After posting a 2-2 record in his first five starts with a 6.84 ERA and a 1.90 WHIP, Wolf is 0-3 in his last six outings with a 5.97 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP.
The veteran southpaw tossed six innings of shutout ball against the Cubs back on May 11. The Cubs managed just four hits and three walks and really made it easy on him. The Cubs must be patient today against Randy Wolf … swinging early is the recipe for another loss.
Cubs Career Numbers against Randy Wolf
- Jeff Baker – 10-for-26 with two doubles, a home run and two walks
- Darwin Barney – 1-for-8
- Tony Campana – 0-for-3
- Starlin Castro – 8-for-21 with two doubles, a home run and a walk
- Reed Johnson – 3-for-18 with a double
- Bryan LaHair – 1-for-6 with a double
- Joe Mather – 0-for-6 with two walks
- Alfonso Soriano – 9-for-37 with a double, two home runs and five walks
- Ian Stewart – 2-for-5 with a double, a home run and a walk
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