Game Forty: Cubs (16-23) vs. Rockies (22-17)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 184/844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jeff Samardzija (1-5, 3.70/1.25) vs. Jon Garland (3-3, 4.83/1.49)
The Cubs will try to get back on track tonight behind Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija is looking for his first win since Opening Day while the Cubs are looking to improve to 12-10 over their last 22 games and spend Thursday’s day off with back-to-back series wins.
The Cubs wrap up the three-game series with the Rockies tonight. The first two games have been blowouts with the Cubs taking game one and Colorado hammering Carlos Villanueva on Tuesday. Samardzija must limit the free passes tonight while keeping Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki in check. The Cubs will not see Colorado again until they visit Denver for the first three games after the All-Star break (July 19 – July 21).
Luis Valbuena is expected back in the starting lineup after missing the last three games. Valbuena really missed only one start with southpaws going in two of the last three games. Kyuji Fujikawa is expected to pitch tonight regardless of the score or situation. The Cubs are trying to see where Fujikawa stands following a day off after pitching in back-to-back games.
Tonight is the 40-game mark of the Cubs season … and it all starts with Jeff Samardzija.
Jeff Samardzija is coming off what was arguably his worst start since becoming a full time starter at the big league level last April. The Nationals smacked around Samardzija to the tune of seven runs, five earned, on eight hits. The runs, earned runs and hits allowed were season highs for Samardzija. The big right hander struck out five and walked two in five innings.
Samardzija has struggled with his command over his last five starts. After issuing seven walks over his first four starts (26 2/3 innings), Samardzija has walked 12 over his last four games (22 innings). Samardzija must cut down on the free passes and start pitching deeper into games. Samardzija has not completed seven innings in a single start since April 19 and is 0-1 in his last two games with a 4.91 ERA and 1.55 WHIP.
The Cubs really need to see him bounce back tonight and pitch the way he did over his first three outings, not his last five. The Cubs are just 2-6 in Samardzija’s eight starts.
Jeff Samardzija is 0-1 in three starts at Wrigley this season with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP and will make his second career start against the Rockies tonight. Samardzija does not have a decision in five games, one start, against the Rockies. In 16 innings, he’s allowed five runs, four earned, on 13 hits with five walks and 13 strikeouts (2.25 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP).
Rockies Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
- Charlie Blackmon – 0-for-4
- Dexter Fowler – 2-for-5 with a triple
- Carlos Gonzalez – 2-for-7 with a home run
- Todd Helton – 0-for-4
- Jonathan Herrera – 0-for-6 with a walk
- Jordan Pacheco – 1-for-3
- Troy Tulowitzki – 1-for-3 with a walk
Jon Garland was cut loose by the Mariners at the end of Spring Training. The Cubs showed interest in signing the veteran right hander before Garland inked a one-year deal with the Rockies. Garland has done his job and kept the Rockies in games. Colorado is 4-3 in Garland’s seven starts.
Garland is coming off a loss to the Cardinals. Garland limited the high-powered Cardinals offense to three runs on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts over five innings, but the Rockies were shut down by Shelby Miller.
Jon Garland has had a lot of success during his career against the organization that selected him in the first round of the 1997 draft. Garland is 4-4 in 12 career games, eight starts, against the Cubs with a 3.61 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 3-2 in six games, four starts, with a 3.96 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Jon Garland
- Starlin Castro – 1-for-5 with a walk
- David DeJesus – 11-for-46 with a double and two walks
- Scott Hairston – 1-for-3
- Dioner Navarro – 0-for-9
- Nate Schierholtz – 1-for-7 with a double
- Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-23 with two doubles and a walk
- Ryan Sweeney – 3-for-10
- Luis Valbuena – 0-for-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …