Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 07/21/12

Game Ninety-Three: Cubs (38-54) vs. Cardinals (48-45)
Game Time – 6:15pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186/914
Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis

Matt Garza (5-7, 4.02/1.17) vs. Jake Westbrook (7-8, 3.82/1.33)

Even with Friday’s loss, the Cubs are 14-6 over their last 20 games and Dale Sveum’s team will try to get back in the win column tonight behind Matt Garza.

Matt Garza, like Ryan Dempster, is dealing with countless trade rumors. Several teams are rumored to be interested in trading for Garza … but can Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer find a team willing to pay their asking price? The Cubs need a good outing tonight from Garza for more than one reason.

Tonight might be a good time to get Alfonso Soriano a breather. Dale Sveum talked about Soriano getting more days off in the second half. Soriano is 3-for-27 with a pair of walks in his career against Jake Westbrook and it’s been a while since Tony Campana’s name was in the starting lineup.

Tonight it all starts with Matt Garza

Matt Garza promised that his second half would not be a continuation of the ‘Crapshow‘ and his first start out of the break was anything but one. Garza tossed seven innings of shutout ball against the Diamondbacks, his longest outing since April 29 in Philadelphia. Garza struggled at times but surrendered only five hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. The Cubs need more of the ‘Good Garza‘ over the next 10 days as Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer decided on whether to trade him or not.

Matt Garza is 1-1 in his last two starts with a 4.09 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP … and like many of his teammates he has struggled on the road this season. Garza is just 2-6 in 10 outside of Wrigley with a 5.67 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.

Garza will face the Cardinals for the second time this season. Garza took a no decision back on April 23 against the Redbirds at Wrigley. Garza allowed two runs on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts in seven innings. The Cubs won the game 3-2 on a Joe Mather two-run single in the bottom of the ninth.

Matt Garza is 2-1 in five career starts against the Cardinals with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP … at Busch Stadium, 0-1 in two starts with a 10.80 ERA and a 2.20 WHIP.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Carlos Beltran – 0-for-6
  • Lance Berkman – 3-for-17 with three walks
  • Matt Carpenter – 0-for-1 with two walks
  • Allen Craig – 0-for-3
  • Daniel Descalso – 0-for-3 with two walks
  • David Freese – 1-for-8 with a home run
  • Rafael Furcal – 1-for-3
  • Tyler Greene – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Matt Holliday – 6-for-17 with two doubles and a walk
  • Jon Jay – 4-for-6 with a double
  • Yadier Molina – 2-for-11
  • Skip Schumaker – 6-for-11 with a double and a walk

Jake Westbrook is having a good, but streaky season. Westbrook has seemingly done his job every time out but his teammates have not their part. The Cardinals are 4-6 in his last 10 starts … they lost the first four, won the next four and have dropped the last two. Westbrook gave up four runs on nine hits in his last outing against the Reds. Westbrook took the loss after pitching into the eighth (one walk, five strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings).

After posting a 2-2 record in five starts in June with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP, Westbrook is 1-2 in his last three with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.

Westbrook has not been as good in his home park this season (4-3 in nine starts with a 4.53 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP) as he’s been on the road (3-5 in nine starts with a 3.19 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP).

The Cubs will face Jake Westbrook for the third time this year. Westbrook is 1-0 in the first two with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP (six runs, five earned, on 16 hits with three walks and four strikeouts). The key to beating Jake Westbrook has always been patience and not hitting his pitch … maybe the Cubs’ offense will use the same game plan they did on May 14 (four runs on 12 hits with two walks and two strikeouts in five innings).

Jake Westbrook is 4-2 in seven career starts against the Cubs with a 4.89 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jake Westbrook

  • Jeff Baker – 1-for-3
  • Darwin Barney – 3-for-13 with a double and a walk
  • Tony Campana – 1-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 6-for-19 with a double and a walk
  • David DeJesus – 8-for-29 with a home run and four walks
  • Matt Garza – 0-for-1
  • Reed Johnson – 5-for-16
  • Bryan LaHair – 3-for-3 with a home run
  • Joe Mather – 0-for-3
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-27 with two walks
  • Geovany Soto – 4-for-9 with a double

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein