Game Six: Cubs (2-3) vs. Braves (4-1)
- Game Time – 12:35pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 188/844
- Location – Turner Field, Atlanta
Jeff Samardzija (1-0, 0.00/0.38) vs. Tim Hudson (0-0, 6.23/2.08)
The Cubs wrap-up their first road trip of the year today in Atlanta. The Cubs are 2-3 over the first five games and with a win they will leave for Chicago with a .500 record. It will be interesting to see how the Cubs back bounce back after Saturday night’s debacle. A win today would go a long way with putting Saturday’s loss in the rearview mirror.
If the Cubs have a lead late in the game, look for Dale Sveum to use a different combination in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Kyuji Fujikawa will likely be unavailable today after throwing 23 high stress pitches on Saturday night. So even if James Russell or Shawn Camp pitches in the ninth this afternoon it does not mean either one of the pitchers will be in the same role on Monday.
Welington Castillo should be behind the plate today, even with the early start after a night game, Castillo and Jeff Samardzija looked very comfortable together on Opening Day.
Jeff Samardzija has a very good opportunity to reinforce his role as a leader and the number one pitcher on the Cubs’ staff this afternoon. A sign of a true number one is being able to step up for his team after a tough loss and put an end to a losing streak.
Can the Cubs leave Atlanta with a .500 record?
Jeff Samardzija is coming off an excellent outing in Pittsburgh. Samardzija settled down after being amped up in the first inning and pitched a gem. Samardzija tossed eight innings of shutout ball while allowing just two hits and a walk. Samardzija struck out nine and dominated the Pirates’ lineup. Samardzija will face a much better team this afternoon … this should be a good test for the Cubs’ number one starter.
Samardzija is 2-0 in eight games, two starts against the Braves with a 2.66 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. Both of his wins came last year in the two starts he made against Atlanta. Samardzija held the Braves to two runs on nine hits with three walks and 18 strikeouts in 14 innings (1.29 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP). Samardzija owns a 1-1 record in five games, one start, at Turner Field with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.
Braves Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
- Freddie Freeman – 0-for-6 with a walk
- Jason Heyward – 1-for-6 with a home run
- Chris Johnson – 1-for-7
- Gerald Laird – 1-for-1
- Andrelton Simmons – 0-for-1
- Dan Uggla – 2-for-14 with a home run and a walk
- Justin Upton – 2-for-6 with a double and a walk
Tim Hudson is coming off a rough start on Opening Day. Hudson allowed three runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings to the Phillies. Hudson walked three and struck out three. The Braves won the game, and that is all that matters. The veteran right-hander has had an excellent career and does not appear to be slowing down. Hudson was 16-7 in 28 starts last season with a 3.62 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.
The Cubs have struggled with Hudson over the years. Hudson owns a 2-1 record in six starts against the Cubs with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP … last season, Hudson lost his only start against the Cubs but allowed just one run on five hits over seven innings.
Cubs Career Numbers against Tim Hudson
- Starlin Castro – 1-for-3 with a triple
- David DeJesus – 1-for-3
- Alberto Gonzalez – 2-for-13
- Scott Hairston – 3-for-8 with a double
- Dioner Navarro – 1-for-5 with a walk
- Anthony Rizzo – 0-for-3
- Nate Schierholtz – 1-for-6 with a home run and two walks
- Alfonso Soriano – 6-for-35 with a double, three home runs and two walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …