Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Nationals – 09/03/12

Game One Hundred Thirty-Four: Cubs (51-82) vs. Nationals (81-52)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – Nationals Park, Washington DC

Jeff Samardzija (8-12, 4.03/1.26) vs. Ross Detwiler (8-6, 3.32/1.17)

Happy Labor Day from the CCO!

As summer unofficially comes to an end, the Cubs kick off a 10-game, three-city road trip this afternoon with the first of four against the first place Washington Nationals. The Cubs will spend the weekend in Pittsburgh and wrap up their penultimate road trip of the season with three in Houston … the Cubs last visit to Houston while the Astros are a National League team.

The Cubs will face an excellent team for the next four days that’s entire focus is on when Stephen Strasburg will be shut down for the year instead of the fact the Nationals are 6 1/2 games ahead of the second place Atlanta Braves in the NL East. The Cubs will not face Strasburg during this series but will still see four excellent starting pitchers. The Cubs dropped two of three to the Nationals during the first series of the season (April 5, April 7-April 8).

After this afternoon’s matchup of Jeff Samardzija and Ross Detwiler, Chris Rusin is scheduled to square off against Edwin Jackson on Tuesday night. Chris Volstad against Gio Gonzalez on Wednesday and Justin Germano is expected to take on Jordan Zimmermann in the finale on Thursday night.

Jeff Samardzija could be making one of his final starts of the season. The Cubs have discussed shutting Samardzija down in a couple of weeks. Samardzija has already completed 158 2/3 innings in his first full season as a big league starter. Samardzija threw a combined 130 2/3 innings in 2010 (Iowa and Chicago). The most innings Samardzija has thrown in one season was in 2007. Samardzija pitched 107 1/3 innings for Daytona and another 34 1/3 innings for the Smokies (141 2/3 innings).

While the Cubs have played .500 ball at Wrigley Field this season (34-34), Dale Sveum’s team have struggled mightily on the road (17-48) and have really had problems with left-handed starters. The Cubs are 14-21 in games started by southpaws this season and will face two over the next four games.

In other newsDarwin Barney ran his errorless games streak to 118 on Sunday. Barney enters play this afternoon five games short of the Cubs record for consecutive games by a second baseman without an error held by Ryne Sandberg (123).

This afternoon starts with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija is coming off an excellent outing against the Brewers. Samardzija was hung with a meaningless loss due to zero support from his offense. Samardzija and the defense gave the Brewers extra opportunities in the seventh and it cost them a game in the end. Samardzija struck out 10 in his last outing without allowing a walk. The Brewers high-flying offense managed three runs, two earned, on seven hits in seven innings.

Jeff Samardzija appears to be taking the next step in his development as a big league starter. Samardzija has notched seven quality starts in his last 10 games and has completed at least seven innings in six of his last 10 outings.

Jeff Samardzija is 1-4 in his last six starts with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP … since the break, 2-4 in nine starts with a 2.83 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.

Jeff Samardzija dominated the Nationals in his first start of the season. Samardzija was electric over 8 2/3 innings. Samardzija allowed three runs, one earned, on four hits without a walk and eight strikeouts. For his career, Samardzija is 1-0 in eight appearances, one start, against the Nationals with a 1.56 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP … at Nationals Park, no record in four relief appearances with a 1.35 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.

Nationals Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Roger Bernadina – 1-for-4
  • Mark DeRosa – 1-for-2
  • Ian Desmond – 3-for-7 with two doubles
  • Danny Espinosa – 0-for-4
  • Jesus Flores – 1-for-2 with a double
  • Adam LaRoche – 1-for-5 with a home run
  • Michael Morse – 0-for-1
  • Chad Tracy – 0-for-1
  • Jayson Werth – 2-for-9 with a home run and a walk
  • Ryan Zimmerman – 0-for-8

Ross Detwiler has been very good this season on an excellent Nationals’ staff. Detwiler posted a 4-3 record in 12 starts in the first half with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Since the break, Detwiler is 4-3 in nine starts with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP.

Ross Detwiler is coming off a win against the Marlins. The southpaw allowed three runs on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Detwiler is 3-2 in his last six outings with a 3.53 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP … 16 strikeouts with only eight walks and 26 hits allowed in his last 35 2/3 innings.

For as good as Detwiler has been this season, he’s been even better at home. Detwiler is an average 2-4 in 13 games, 10 starts, on the road with a 4.01 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. But in his home park, Detwiler is 6-2 in 14 games, 11 starts, with a 2.74 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.

Ross Detwiler did not face the Cubs in April and is 1-1 in two career starts against the Cubs with a 4.35 ERA and 1.26 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Ross Detwiler

  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-3
  • Dave Sappelt – 2-for-5 with a double
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-4 with a double

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way of playing the game." – Babe Ruth

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  • SuzyS

    Happy Labor Day back at ya, Neil and all CCO readers!

    Enjoy the cookouts and time with family and friends.

    With Labor Day as a checkpoint…I hope we see continued improvement each and every Labor Day in the near future.
    Baseball has its own timeline…different from almost anything else….sometimes it seems to take forever…We seem further away from a world series then ever in my lifetime…BUT then,
    we are closer to our next world series…then we’ve ever been!!!
    Hold on to that….:) :) :)

  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Mather – CF
    Barney – 2B
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Castro – SS
    Castillo – C
    Vitters – 3B
    Sappelt – RF
    Samardzija – P

  • Tom U

    A Happy Labor Day to everyone at the CCO!

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Peoria – Ben Wells (3-2, 3.43) projected
    Tennessee – Austin Kirk (1-0, 3.67)

    Boise – Pierce Johnson


    Pierce Johnson opens the best of three series for Boise, as they face the Yakima Bears in the Northwest League playoffs.

    Junior Lake ended a 15 inning marathon yesterday with a 3-run homer as Tennessee defeated Pensacola 7-3.

  • texcubnut

    Summers’ end. Some ice cold Guiness, a couple of steaks on the grill, Diane Krall playin’ some sweet jazz…….I’m ready for the Cubs game. Have a great Labor Day Neal, Tom, and all my fellow CCOr’s. I look forward to cooler weather, football, and in future years, Chicago Cubs October baseball.

  • Neil

    Nationals more aggressive in the first inning than the Cubs. Samardzija threw only 6 pitches.

  • Neil

    Two home runs for LaRoche in his last two at bats against Samardzija

  • Zonk

    Now that Castro is locked-up, I advocate trying to do the same with Shark. He is under club control through 2015, so there is time, but if he is amenable, we should lock him up and keep him off the market.

    Not sure if he is an ace, but I think Shark is a legit #2, and figures to improve. He seems to work hard and has the right makeup, and good pitchers don’t grow on trees.

    He’s young enough to be around for awhile, and we lack pitching depth overall right now.

    Not sure what others think, but I think he is now the top target to lock-up long term, now that Castro is under wraps

  • cc002600

    in the “life isn’t fair” dept:
    watching the game today and you will notice that there cannot be more than 15,000 to 20,000 fans there today in Washington to watch the team with the best record in baseball on a beautiful holiday afternoon. Go figure.
    And yet, we have to endure watching a team that is careening towards 100 losses and want to see a winner so bad, that wrigley is still filled up everyday, while they have the best record in basball to which they obviously could care less about.


    • RynoTiger

      actually I would disagree with the part about Wrigley being filled up everyday. I’ve watched a number of games this year on tv where the attendance seems to be average at best with a number of empty seats.

  • Neil

    Excellent throw by Castillo to nail Desmond at first

  • Dorasaga

    Com’on Vitters, here’s your moment. Send Campana home!

    • Dorasaga

      Clippard threw one to the dirt in front of Laroche; Campana to second. 1-0 count to Vitters!

    • Dorasaga

      Another K for Vitters (swung over another 82 mph change). At least they made the Nats earned it.

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 2-1 to Nationals on Monday afternoon – Jeff Samardzija: 1R,7H (HR),BB,8K,7IP;
    Starlin Castro: 2-for-4, 2B; Welington Castillo: 2-for-3, RBI, BB