Game Seventy-Nine: Cubs (33-45) vs. Mariners (35-45)
- Game Time – 6:15pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 181/844
- Location – Safeco Field, Seattle
Jeff Samardzija (5-7, 3.39/1.19) vs. Aaron Harang (3-7, 5.29/1.31)
It’s turn back the clock night at Safeco Field as the Chicago Cubs take on the Seattle Turks.
Dale Sveum’s team will shoot to get back in the win column tonight behind Jeff Samardzija and put Friday night’s loss behind them. Once again the bullpen blew another lead (15 blown saves in 31 chances) and the Cubs face the challenge of putting a tough defeat behind them.
Alfonso Soriano is expected to serve as the team’s DH once again tonight. Soriano continued to thrive in the designated hitter’s role with a 2-for-4 night at the plate that included just his second homer of the month. Soriano is 29-for-77 over his career as a DH with eight home runs and a 1.148 OPS.
The Cubs and Mariners will wear retro uniforms tonight from 1909 when the Cubs were coming off back-to-back World Series titles and the team in Seattle was known as the Turks … a Class-B team in the Northwestern League.
Tonight it all starts with Jeff Samardzija …
Jeff Samardzija is coming off a quality start and a win against the Astros and will make his second consecutive start against an AL West team. Samardzija pitched better than his final line on a very windy day at Wrigley. Samardzija allowed four runs, three earned, on nine hits with no walks and five strikeouts in seven innings. The key to Samardzija’s success was not issuing any free passes.
After a rough start to the month, Samardzija has really settled down and thrown the ball much better … and the biggest difference is the lack of walks. Over his first three starts of June (18 1/3 innings), Samardzija walked eight while striking out 24 but in his last two outings (15 1/3 innings) he issued one walk and struck out 11 batters.
Jeff Samardzija is 2-1 in his last five starts with a 4.54 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP.
Tonight will be the ninth road start of the season for Samardzija. He is 3-5 in the first eight with a 2.73 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP.
Jeff Samardzija has never faced the Mariners in a regular season ballgame.
Mariners Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
- Jason Bay – 1-for-3 with a double
- Endy Chavez – 0-for-1 with a walk
- Raul Ibanez – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Brendan Ryan – 2-for-4 with a walk
Aaron Harang was in camp with the Dodgers in February before being traded to the Rockies for Ramon Hernandez in April. The Rockies then turned around and traded him to Seattle five days later for minor leaguer Steven Hensley. Harang is in the middle of his best three-game stretch of the season and has been very successful throughout his career against the Cubs.
Harang is coming off a no decision against the A’s after allowing three runs on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts in five innings. Harang has issued only two walks over his last four starts.
Aaron Harang is 1-2 over his last five starts with a 3.62 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP, and in seven starts at Safeco this season, Harang is 3-3 with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.
Tonight marks the 27th time that Aaron Harang has started a game against the Cubs. Harang is 11-8 in 26 starts with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Aaron Harang
- Darwin Barney – 2-for-5 with a walk
- Welington Castillo – 0-for-3
- Starlin Castro – 3-for-9 with a double
- Scott Hairston – 2-for-10 with a double and a walk
- Dioner Navarro – 0-for-2
- Cody Ransom – 0-for-2
- Nate Schierholtz – 2-for-9
- Alfonso Soriano – 11-for-43 with three doubles, a home run and a walk
- Luis Valbuena – 1-for-2 with a double
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …