Game Forty-Nine: Cubs (18-30) vs. Reds (31-18)
- Game Time – 12:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183/844
- Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati
Matt Garza (0-0, 0.00/0.80) vs. Johnny Cueto (2-0, 3.22/1.12)
The Cubs will shoot to put an end to their six-game losing streak this afternoon behind Matt Garza. Dale Sveum’s team has really struggled over the past week since their 8-2 victory over the Mets at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are 0-5 to start the road trip with three very challenging games ahead of them before returning home to wrap up the four game series with the White Sox.
In between all the red and the scattering of blue in the stands at Great American Ball Park today figures to be many of the same scouts that were in attendance for Matt Garza’s first start in Pittsburgh. According to multiple reports, there was a large contingency of scouts on hand to watch Garza last Tuesday and there is expected to be more than a few at Great American this afternoon in case the Cubs decide to move Garza before the deadline.
The Cubs must make Johnny Cueto work, like Garza, Cueto is making just his second start after coming off the DL. The Reds will be keeping a close eye on Cueto and a couple of crooked numbers on the board early in the game might just help relax a team that has gone from playing it’s best ball of the season to its worst in the matter of seven days.
This afternoon all begins with Matt Garza …
Matt Garza makes his second start of the season this afternoon. Garza was better than anyone expected for five innings in his first start in 10 months. Garza tossed five innings of one-hit, shutout ball. Garza struck out five Pirates and walked three. But the walks, strikeouts and deep counts ran up his pitch count. Garza was limited to 85-90 pitches and was lifted after five innings with his team up 3-0 thanks to his two-run double in the second inning. The bullpen could not hold the lead and gave up five runs in the sixth … just the first of the one bad inning on this road trip.
Matt Garza just needs to be Matt Garza once again today … and if the offense can give him any support, he should be able to keep his team in the game.
This afternoon will be Garza’s fifth career start against the Reds. Garza is 1-2 in four starts with a 3.80 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. Garza did not face the Reds last season and in two career starts at Great American Ball Park, Garza is 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP (11 hits, seven walks and six strikeouts in 10 innings).
Reds Career Numbers against Matt Garza
- Jay Bruce – 3-for-11 with a double, a home run and a walk
- Shin-Soo Choo – 1-for-8
- Ryan Hanigan – 1-for-1 with a walk
- Jack Hannahan – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Cesar Izturis – 4-for-15 with a double and two walks
- Brandon Phillips – 4-for-12 with a double and a walk
- Joey Votto – 2-for-10 with two walks
Johnny Cueto spent over a month on the DL with a strained right lat and makes just his second start since coming off the disabled list this afternoon. Cueto was off to a good start before the injury. Cueto posted a 1-0 record in his first three starts with a 2.60 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. Cueto is coming off a five-inning victory against the Reds in which he allowed three runs on three hits with four walks and eight strikeouts. Cueto has said he plans to change his delivery in the off-season to avoid future injury but until then, the Cubs have to make him work today. The Reds will have a close eye on Cueto and a little patience will go a long way this afternoon.
Johnny Cueto makes his first start of the year against the Cubs today. Cueto pitched extremely well against the Cubs during his career. In 18 starts, Cueto is 8-6 with a 3.01 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP … last year, Cueto was a perfect 4-0 in four starts against the Cubs with a 0.95 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP (16 hits, eight walks and 20 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings).
Cubs Career Numbers against Johnny Cueto
- Darwin Barney – 2-for-13
- Welington Castillo – 2-for-5 with a walk
- Starlin Castro – 6-for-27 with a triple and three walks
- David DeJesus – 5-for-19 with a double and a walk
- Scott Hairston – 0-for-3
- Dioner Navarro – 1-for-2
- Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-9 with a double
- Nate Schierholtz – 0-for-6
- Alfonso Soriano – 11-for-40 with a double, four home runs and three walks
- Luis Valbuena – 2-for-9 with two double and a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …