Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 04/24/13

Game Twenty: Cubs (6-13) vs. Reds (12-9)

  • Game Time – 11:35am CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 189/844
  • Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Jeff Samardzija (1-3, 3.38/0.98) vs. Mat Latos (0-0, 2.73/1.14)

Weather permitting … The Cubs and Reds square off this afternoon for the rubber match of the three-game series. The Cubs have outplayed the Reds over the first two games. But missed opportunities, three blown leads and 29 strikeouts over the first two games have the Cubs looking for their second series victory of the season.

Dioner Navarro should be behind the plate this afternoon with the early start after a night game. Welington Castillo has also caught all 23 innings and he had his four worst at bats of the season on Tuesday (0-for-4 with four strikeouts).

On paper today’s pitching match-up should be a good one … and there could be a lot of strikeouts this afternoon with Jeff Samardzija and Mat Latos on the hill.

Can the Cubs win back-to-back games for the first time this year?

Jeff Samardzija is coming off his third loss of the season. While his final line against the Brewers does not look that good (five runs, four earned, on six hits, two home runs, one walk and four strikeouts in seven innings), Samardzija settled down after a four-run first inning and allowed just one run over his final six innings of work. Samardzija may have not started off too well, but he finished very strong and showed just how much he has matured as a pitcher.

After striking out 13 Braves back on April 7 in Atlanta, Samardzija has struck out a combined nine batters in his last two starts. While the strikeout numbers might not be as impressive, Samardzija has walked only two batters in his last two starts. For the season, Samardzija has struck out 31 batters in 26 2/3 innings while walking seven and giving up 19 hits.

Samardzija makes his third career start against the Reds this afternoon. Samardzija owns a 1-1 record in 16 appearances, two starts, versus the Reds with a 4.67 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP… at Great American Ball Park, 1-1 in eight games, two starts, with a 5.60 ERA. Last season, Samardzija 1-1 in two starts with a 3.55 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP, 12 strikeouts and two walks in 12 2/3 innings.

Reds Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Jay Bruce – 2-for-8 with two double and a walk
  • Zack Cozart – 1-for-6 with a double
  • Todd Frazier – 2-for-4 with a home run
  • Chris Heisey – 3-for-7
  • Cesar Izturis – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Xavier Paul – 1-for-3 with a home run
  • Brandon Phillips – 2-for-13
  • Joey Votto – 1-for-11 with two walks

Mat Latos is off to a very good start to his season. Latos should have a 4-0 record but the Reds’ bullpen has blown two of his starts and the Reds only scored one run in another one of his outings. Latos struggled out of the gate last year and has been the total opposite this April.

Latos has not issued more than one walk in each of his first four starts and is coming off a 10-strikeout performance against the Marlins. In 26 1/3 innings this season, Latos has struck out 29 batters and walked four while allowing 26 hits.

Latos really likes pitching at Great American Ball Park (8-3 in 19 starts last season with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP) and has had a lot of success in his career against the Cubs.

The Cubs faced Mat Latos only one time last season and managed four runs, two earned, on six hits with three walks and six strikeouts in eight innings. Latos received a no decision. For his career, Latos is 2-2 in five starts against the Cubs with a 3.16 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Mat Latos

  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-7
  • Starlin Castro – 3-for-13
  • David DeJesus – 3-for-4 with a double
  • Dioner Navarro – 1-for-4
  • Cody Ransom – 0-for-2
  • Anthony Rizzo – 0-for-1
  • Nate Schierholtz – 3-for-18
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-11 with a home run
  • Luis Valbuena – 1-for-3 with a walk

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