Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 06/23/13

Game Seventy-Four: Cubs (30-43) vs. Astros (29-47)

  • Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 182/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jeff Samardzija (4-7, 3.35/1.19) vs. Jordan Lyles (4-1, 3.22/1.28)

The Cubs wrap up the short homestand this afternoon with the series and season finale against the Astros. The Cubs gave another game away on Saturday due to their inability to hit with runners in scoring position. The Cubs have just one hit in their last 17 at bats with runners in scoring position.

It will be interesting to see how the Cubs respond this afternoon with Jeff Samardzija on the hill. The Cubs are coming off a rough loss and today is the last of 17 straight games without a day off. The Cubs begin a very demanding nine-game road trip on Tuesday in Milwaukee that runs through July 4. The Cubs will spend three days at Miller Park then make their way out west for three in Seattle and three in Oakland before returning home for a three-game series with the Pirates that begins on Friday, July 5.

The Cubs are not expected to make a roster move to add position player prior to today’s game. The Cubs will finish the series with a 13-man pitching staff but are expected to add a position player and send out a reliever prior to Tuesday’s opener in Milwaukee.

This afternoon it all begins with Jeff Samardzija

It could be said that Jeff Samardzija is coming off his best start of the season. While his line against the White Sox looks better on paper, what Samardzija did last Tuesday in St. Louis was a much better outing. Samardzija held the high-powered Cardinals’ offense to two runs on seven hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings … his second longest outing of the season.

Samardzija was in the middle of another rough June before his start in St. Louis. Samardzija was 0-4 in five June starts a year ago with a 10.41 ERA and a 2.06 WHIP and for his career, Samardzija is 3-8 in 23 games, nine starts, in June with a 6.51 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP.

Over his last four starts, Samardzija is 1-1 with a 4.73 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. Samardzija is back to a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio (30 strikeouts, 10 walks) and he must not fall in love with his fastball this afternoon against the strikeout-prone Astros.

Jeff Samardzija is 1-2 in seven starts at Wrigley this season with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP and will make his third career start against the Astros this afternoon. Samardzija is 3-2 in 17 career games, two starts, versus Houston with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP … last season, 1-1 in two starts with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

Astros Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Jose Altuve – 0-for-7 with two walks
  • Brandon Barnes – 1-for-1 with a home run
  • Jason Castro – 2-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Ronny Cedeno – 0-for-2
  • Carlos Corporan – 0-for-2
  • Marwin Gonzalez – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • J.D. Martinez – 2-for-3 with a triple
  • Justin Maxwell – 1-for-3

Jordan Lyles made his big league debut against the Cubs at Wrigley on May 31, 2011. Lyles shut the Cubs down for seven innings that night and showed how good he could be. Lyles struggled last year like so many young players do but is starting to put it all together this season.

Jordan Lyles is coming off a dominant seven-inning outing against the Brewers. Lyles allowed only one run on seven hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Lyles has allowed one run in his last two starts (14 innings) on 10 hits with two walks and 15 strikeouts. Lyles is 2-0 in his last four starts with a 1.69 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP.

This afternoon will be Lyles’ fourth career start against the Cubs. The very talented, young right hander is 1-0 in the first three starts with a 2.50 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, no record in two starts with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP (nine strikeouts and one walk in 13 innings).

Cubs Career Numbers against Jordan Lyles

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-8 with a triple
  • Dioner Navarro – 1-for-2 with a home run and a walk
  • Anthony Rizzo – 0-for-2
  • Nate Schierholtz – 1-for-3
  • Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-6
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-3

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver