Game Thirty-Seven: Cubs (14-22) vs. Nationals (20-16)
- Game Time – 12:35pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 185/844
- Location – Nationals Park, Washington D.C.
Scott Feldman (3-3, 2.70/1.12) vs. Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.97/1.34)
Happy Mother’s Day from the CCO!
The Cubs will try to take two in a row from the Nationals this afternoon behind Scott Feldman and wrap up the three game road trip with a 2-1 record. The Cubs picked up their second win in the last ten games (2-8) at Nationals Park on Saturday. The offense had a good day and followed up the seven doubles on Friday night with six more two base hits on Saturday. The Cubs have yet to win a game on Sunday this season (0-5) and will have to take advantage of every scoring opportunity against Gio Gonzalez.
Look for Starlin Castro hitting at the top of the lineup today and don’t be surprised if Julio Borbon is in the starting lineup as well. Borbon is 4-for-7 in his career against Gonzalez. Outside of Borbon or Ryan Sweeney along with Anthony Rizzo, Dale Sveum should load his lineup with as many right handers as possible. Lefties are hitting .194 off Gonzalez this season while right handers have managed a .225/.336/.351 slash line.
Cody Ransom was scheduled to start today’s game with the lefty on the hill. Luis Valbuena is available to pinch-hit after x-rays came back negative on the pinky on his right hand following Saturday’s game. Valbuena jammed his pinky sliding in headfirst to third base in the fifth inning trying to stretch a double into a triple.
This afternoon all starts with Scott Feldman …
Scott Feldman is coming off his third straight victory and he has been as good as it gets over his last two outings. Feldman tossed his first career complete game against the Padres two starts ago. Feldman made only two mistakes and allowed two runs on three hits with a career high 12 strikeouts and just one walk. Feldman followed up his gem against the Padres with an excellent start against his former team.
Feldman tossed seven innings of shutout ball against the Rangers while allowing two hits, a walk and he struck out three.
After a not-so-good start to the year, Feldman is 2-0 in his last two games with a 1.13 ERA and a 0.44 WHIP. Teams hit .272 against him in April and 0.93 against him over his last 16 innings. Feldman has pitched with a confidence over his last three games that was not there in the spring or in his first three games of the season. The Cubs need Feldman to keep it up today … and pick up a win.
Scott Feldman is 1-2 in three starts outside of Wrigley Field this year with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. This afternoon will be his first start and appearance against the Nationals.
Adam LaRoche (0-for-1), Denard Span (4-for-14), Kurt Suzuki (5-for-17 with two doubles) and Chad Tracy (0-for-1) are the only Nationals on the active roster that have faced Scott Feldman during their career.
Gio Gonzalez is coming off a win against the Pirates. Gonzalez held the Battlin’ Bucs to two runs on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts in six innings. Gonzalez had a tremendous first season with the Nationals (21-8 in 32 starts with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP) and some think his slow start this year is due to his connection with the Biogenesis Clinic in the off-season.
Over his first seven starts, Gonzalez has fallen into a pattern. Gonzalez will be very good, then struggle in his next outing … two starts ago, Gonzalez lasted just four innings and gave up five runs on seven hits with five walks and nine strikeouts.
Gio Gonzalez has been very good at home this year (2-1 in four starts with a 3.38 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP) and faces the Cubs for the fourth time in his career this afternoon. Gonzalez is 1-1 in three starts versus the Cubs with a 5.74 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP … last year, 1-0 in two starts with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Gio Gonzalez
- Darwin Barney – 2-for-4
- Julio Borbon – 4-for-7
- Welington Castillo – 1-for-3 with a double
- Starlin Castro – 4-for-7
- David DeJesus – 2-for-8 with a home run
- Scott Hairston – 4-for-14 with a double and a home run
- Dioner Navarro – 0-for-5 with a walk
- Cody Ransom – 1-for-4 with a walk
- Anthony Rizzo – 0-for-3
- Nate Schierholtz – 2-for-3 with a double
- Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-6 with a double and a walk
- Luis Valbuena – 1-for-3 with a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …