Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Rockies – 08/24/12

Game One Hundred Twenty-Four: Cubs (47-76) vs. Rockies (50-73)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jeff Samardzija (8-11, 4.17/1.28) vs. Drew Pomeranz (1-7, 4.87/1.50)

The Cubs return to the field this afternoon after a much needed day off. Thursday was the Cubs last scheduled day off for nearly three weeks … the Cubs play 20 games in 20 days beginning this afternoon.

The Cubs kick off their longest homestand of the season this afternoon with the first of three against the Rockies. The Cubs will welcome the Brewers in for four games beginning Monday and the homestand concludes next weekend with three against the Giants.

Dale Sveum’s team struggled mightily during the seven-game road trip in every aspect of the game … but that has been the case on the road just about all season. The Cubs have been a different team at Wrigley this season and own a 30-28 record at the old ballyard compared to a 17-48 mark on the road. 23 of the Cubs final 39 games are at home and the Cubs have only two more road trips … a 10-day, three-city trip through Washington, Pittsburgh and Houston that begins on Labor Day then a six-game, two city trip that begins in Colorado on September 25 and ends with their second trip to Phoenix for three against the Diamondbacks.

The Cubs will face Tyler Colvin, D.J. LeMahieu and the rest of the Rockies for the next three games. Due to the schedule makers, the Cubs have not played Colorado this year and will not travel to Colorado until the final full week of the season. The Cubs were 2-4 in the six games against the Rockies last year.

After today’s matchup of Jeff Samardzija and lefty Drew Pomeranz (Cubs 12-21 in games started by southpaws this season), Brooks Raley will be recalled from Iowa to square off against Alex White on Saturday. Chris Volstad is scheduled to take the hill in the finale on Sunday afternoon against Jhoulys Chacin.

The Rockies are playing their best ball of the season right now. Colorado has won five in a row and 12 of the last 17.

The Cubs are 15-24 in their last 39 games and with 39 left on the schedule … this afternoon all starts with Jeff Samardzija.

Jeff Samardzija is coming off a rough outing against the Reds. Samardzija lasted just five innings in game one of Saturday’s day-night doubleheader and surrendered four runs on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Samardzija was bitten by the longball. All four runs the Reds plated were via three home runs.

Samardzija has been solid in his first full year as a big league starter. Samardzija must work on his consistency and not just from start to start but from inning to inning and pitch to pitch. With his subpar outing the last time out, Samardzija is 1-3 in his last four starts with a 4.07 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP … since the break, 2-3 in seven starts with a 2.91 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.

Jeff Samardzija has pitched rather well at Wrigley this season (4-3 in 10 starts with a 3.36 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP) and should welcome a return to his home park. Samardzija has not allowed more than two runs in his last three starts at the old ballyard.

This afternoon will be Samardzija’s first start against the Rockies. Samardzija has faced Colorado four times in his career and does not have a record with a 2.00 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP (two runs on seven hits with three walks and six strikeouts in nine innings).

Rockies Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Dexter Fowler – 2-for-5 with a triple
  • Carlos Gonzalez – 1-for-4
  • Ramon Hernandez – 1-for-1
  • Jonathan Herrera – 0-for-3

The 23-year old lefty has struggled for the Rockies this season. Drew Pomeranz was part of the Ubaldo Jimenez deal with the Indians last year and has not pitched well in limited time at the big league level.

Pomeranz is coming off a no-decision (like many of the Rockies’ starters due to the team’s pitch count restrictions) against the Marlins. Pomeranz allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts in four innings. Pomeranz has not posted a win since July 6 and is 1-3 in six road starts this season with a 5.68 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.

In seven starts since the break, Drew Pomeranz is 0-4 with a 7.06 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP.

Drew Pomeranz has never faced the Cubs in a regular season big league ballgame … and no one on the Cubs active roster has faced Pomeranz at the Major League level.

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Quote of the Day

"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth