Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 08/29/12

Game One Hundred Twenty-Nine: Cubs (49-79) vs. Brewers (61-67)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jeff Samardzija (8-11, 4.09/1.27) vs. Mike Fiers (7-6, 2.98/1.13)

After winning two of three over the weekend, the Cubs have lost the last two against the Brewers and will look to put one in the win column tonight behind Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija is the best starter on the Cubs’ staff right now. Some feel that Samardzija has top of the rotation potential … and those type of starters end losing streaks.

Not only will Jeff Samardzija have to figure out a way to keep the ball in the park and the Brewers off the board, but the offense must start hitting the baseball. The Brewers’ pitching staff has owned the Cubs this season. The Cubs have struck out 63 times in the last five games against Milwaukee and the Brewers have recorded double-digit strikeout games against the Cubs ten times in 15 games.

Will the Cubs make a roster move prior to tonight’s game? The Cubs have made four 40-man roster moves over the last two days and six in the last six days.

In other newsDarwin Barney tied National League single-season record of 113 games for consecutive errorless games at second base on Tuesday night. David Eckstein set the mark while with Padres in 2010. Placido Polanco owns the longest streak by a second baseman in the American League. Polanco did not commit an error in 141 straight for the Tigers during the 2007 season. Ryne Sandberg owns the Cubs all-time mark for consecutive errorless games at second base … 123 games from June 21, 1989 through May 17, 1990.

Tonight it all starts with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija is coming off another solid outing. Samardzija held the Rockies to three runs, two earned, on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Samardzija took a no decision in a game the Cubs won 5-3. Samardzija admitted after the game that he was very proud of his outing. He felt for the first time that he was able to pitch well on a day he did not have his best stuff. Samardzija continues to show improvement … and his last outing could have been a big step in his development.

Samardzija has been serving up the longball of late. Samardzija has given up five homers in his last two starts (12 innings) after allowing a grand total of five in the eight outings leading up to game one of the day-night doubleheader in Cincinnati. Samardzija must keep the ball in the park tonight against the homer-happy Brewers.

Jeff Samardzija is 1-3 in his last five starts with a 3.73 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP (32 strikeouts and seven walks in 31 1/3 innings) … since the break, 2-3 in eight starts with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.

Tonight will be Samardzija’s second and final start of the season against the Brewers. Samardzija took a no decision back on May 13 in Milwaukee after allowing one run on three hits with two walks and six strikeouts in five innings. For his career, Jeff Samardzija is 2-2 in 16 games, two starts, with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP.

Brewers Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Norichika Aoki – 2-for-2 with a triple and a walk
  • Ryan Braun – 4-for-10 with a home run and three walks
  • Corey Hart – 2-for-10 with a double and a walk
  • Jonathan Lucroy – 0-for-4 with two walks
  • Nyjer Morgan – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 1-for-2
  • Rickie Weeks – 1-for-3 with a walk

Despite his recent struggles, Mike Fiers has had a good year for the Brewers. Fiers posted a solid 3-3 record in his first eight games, seven starts, of the season with a 2.31 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. In July, Fiers was 1-2 in four starts with a 1.01 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.

Fiers began the year at the Triple-A level and in 10 starts posted a 1-3 record with a 4.42 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Fiers completed 52 innings and could be running out of gas. Fiers previous career high in innings pitched was 126 last season … he has already tossed 145 2/3 innings this season.

Mike Fiers is 3-2 in his last five starts with a 5.86 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP … but is coming off a win against the Pirates. Fiers held the Bucs to three runs on five hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

Mike Fiers has faced the Cubs one time in his career. Fiers pitched a scoreless inning against the Cubs last September 21 at Wrigley Field.

Tonight will be Mike Fiers first career start against the Cubs. Starlin Castro (one walk), Bryan LaHair (one walk) and Alfonso Soriano (0-for-1) have face Fiers at the big league level.

Chicago Cubs DVD Giveaway
A&E Networks Home Entertainment/MLB Productions have released a new DVD Box set of four of the greatest games in Chicago Cubs history. The DVDs are chock full of historic moments, players and milestones in the club’s history.

The DVD set includes: The Sandberg Game, Game 163 against the Giants on September 28, 1998, the 2008 NL Central Division clinching game against the Cardinals and a game between the Cubs and Phillies from July 12, 1969.

A&E Networks contacted the CCO and asked for us to let our readers know this new DVD set is available on Cubs.com and set aside five copies for us to give to our readers.

Beginning August 27 and running through August 31, the CCO will conduct a daily contest and the winner will receive a copy of the DVD set from A&E.

Here is how the contest works.

There will be only (1) winner per day. All entries must be posted in the comment section with a time stamp prior to first pitch. All entries made after first pitch (7:05pm CDT or 1:20pm CDT) will NOT be valid. If any rules are not followed then those entries will NOT be valid. Winners will NOT be eligible for the remainder of the contest. All entries must include answers for all questions and failure to do so will make that entry invalid. Only (1) entry per day, per person, per IP address.

There will be a daily question based on the day’s starting pitcher followed by (5) tie breaking questions. The person with the correct answer for the first question will be that day’s winner. The tie breaking procedure will follow the order in which the questions are asked, not based on the amount of correct answers. All answers must be exact, close is not good. If more than one entry has all (6) questions answered correctly, the winner will be determined by the first correct answers given.

The winner will be posted in the comment section of that day’s game preview. The winner will have to email the CCO with a correct mailing address. A&E Networks will send out the DVD set to winners within the continental US only.

Contest Three – August 29, 2012

Number of strikeouts for Jeff Samardzija

  • Tie Breaking 1) Amount of earned runs allowed by Jeff Samardzija
  • Tie Breaking 2) Amount of hits allowed by Jeff Samardzija
  • Tie Breaking 3) Amount of walks allowed by Jeff Samardzija
  • Tie Breaking 4) Amount of home runs allowed by Jeff Samardzija
  • Tie Breaking 5) The final score of the game between the Cubs and Brewers

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Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax