Game Seventy-Two: Cubs (24-47) vs. Diamondbacks (36-35)
Game Time – 3:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – U.S. Chase Field, Phoenix
Matt Garza (3-5, 4.07/1.11) vs. Wade Miley (8-3, 2.30/1.06)
The Cubs six-game road trip comes to an end this afternoon with the last of three against the Diamondbacks. The Cubs are 2-3 on the trip and with a win today they can still go back to Chicago with a .500 record.
The Diamondbacks have teed off on Cubs’ pitching in the first two games to the tune of 16 runs on 26 hits. After allowing seven runs in the finale at the Cell, the Cubs have allowed 23 runs in their last three games while scoring only six runs. The Cubs are hitting just not with runners in scoring position … 3-for-19 with RISP and have left 21 runners on base in the last two games. And it does not figure to get any easier today with lefty Wade Miley on the hill.
The Cubs are 3-15 in games started by left hander this season and Dale Sveum must resist running out his all right-handed lineup this afternoon. Lefties have put together a .261/.293/.380 line against Miley this year while righties have hit only .211/.261/.289.
With short outings from both Jeff Samardzija and Paul Maholm, Matt Garza will need to put together his longest start in more than seven weeks to give his team a chance to post a win this afternoon. James Russell and Manny Corpas were the only two relievers not summoned from the pen Saturday night.
The Cubs have always struggled at Chase Field. After dropping the first two games of this series, the franchise enters play today 20-33 in the regular season at the D-Backs home park.
In other news … According to the Tribune, Anthony Rizzo’s debut could be as early as Tuesday. With Johan Santana starting the opener on Monday, the Cubs could wait until Tuesday to bring Rizzo up. Right-hander Dillon Gee is scheduled to start Tuesday with lefty Jon Niese expected to start the finale on Wednesday afternoon. Anthony Rizzo has had success against southpaws this season … .338/.395/.716/1.111 with four doubles and eight home runs.
The Cubs are 9-27 since May 15, just 10-28 on the road this season and today it all starts with Matt Garza … It took nearly six weeks but Matt Garza is coming off a win after a good outing against the Sox last Monday night at the Cell. Garza’s outing was cut short thanks to the Cubs’ offense … a sentence that hasn’t been said often during Garza’s time with the Cubs. Garza gave up three runs basically on two home runs over six innings (final line, three runs on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts) and when the Cubs put up a six-spot in the top of the seventh, Sveum did not send him back out.
Matt Garza has shown improvement on the road in his last three starts. For the season, Garza is 2-4 in eight road starts with a 5.44 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP … but in his last three, 1-1 with a 3.50 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP (14 hits, three walks and 18 strikeouts in 18 innings).
Garza has been inconsistent this season. He has notched three straight quality starts but he has not completed seven innings of work since April 29. Garza must start putting hitters away. He has fallen into a habit of jumping ahead in the count then allowing the hitter back into the at bat. Until Garza either puts them away or allows them to put the ball in play, his pitch counts will remain high while his total innings remain average.
Matt Garza has faced the D-Backs only one other time and he beat them last year at Chase Field (April 30). Garza allowed three runs on six hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts in eight innings (3.38 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP).
Diamondbacks Career Numbers against Matt Garza
- Josh Bell – 1-for-2 with a double
- Willie Bloomquist – 0-for-3
- Aaron Hill – 9-for-28 with two doubles and two walks
- Jason Kubel – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Miguel Montero – 1-for-3
- Lyle Overbay – 11-for-40 with three double and two walks
- Gerardo Parra – 1-for-3 with a triple and a walk
- Ryan Roberts – 1-for-3
- Justin Upton – 1-for-4 with a double
- Chris Young – 0-for-3 with a walk
To say Wade Miley has been very good this season would be an understatement. Miley is coming off another dominating performance and in his last three starts Miley has walked one batter while striking out 21.
Miley held the Mariners to one run on nine hits with not walks and eight strikeouts in seven innings in his last start. In his last four starts, Miley is 2-2 with a 2.10 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP … teams have hit just a buck ninety-four against him
Wade Miley is 5-1 in seven games, five starts, at Chase Field this season with a 2.58 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.
Dale Sveum’s team will face Wade Miley for the first time this afternoon. Not one player on the Cubs’ roster has faced Miley at the big league level during a regular season game. The Cubs skipper must mix in his lefties this afternoon. Right handed hitters have managed just a .211/.261/.289 line while lefties have hit .261/.293/.380.
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