Game Sixty-Four: Cubs (25-38) vs. Reds (40-26)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 185/844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jeff Samardzija (3-7, 3.18/1.13) vs. Mat Latos (6-0, 2.87/1.17)
The Cubs wrap up their seven-game homestand and four-game series with the Reds this afternoon in search of a win. The Cubs are 1-5 over the last six games and have all but quit hitting the baseball. With the exception of Cody Ransom, just about the entire team is in the middle of a slump.
The Cubs have not managed more than six hits in each of the first six games of the homestand. The Cubs did not have one at bat with a runner in scoring position on Wednesday after going 3-for-29 with RISP in the first five games of the homestand. While most teams are only as good as their starting pitcher, the Cubs have been receiving good pitching performances, for the most part, they have just stopped hitting.
The Cubs have not figured out how to beat the Reds in a long time at Wrigley Field. Dale Sveum’s team is 2-10 in the first 12 games of the season against Dusty Baker’s bunch while they have lost 12 straight games to the Reds at Wrigley and 13 consecutive day games. There is no reason for the Cubs to not be playing better ball against the NL Central than they are. The same group of players is 7-21 within the central division and 18-17 against the rest of baseball.
While the Reds typically step up their game when playing the Cubs, Jeff Samardzija must keep Todd Frazier from going yard today. Frazier was in a big slump and had not hit a home run coming into the series since he took Samardzija deep on April 24 in the game that Mat Latos beat Samardzija 1-0. Well, Frazier has hit home runs in back-to-back games, so his last three longballs have come off Cubs’ pitchers.
Quick note … The Cubs have been active acquiring players that have been designated for assignment this season either via trade or waiver wire claims. The Rockies designated Eric Young Jr. for assignment on Wednesday to make room on their roster for Chris Volstad. Young has struggled this season (.242/.290/.352 in 57 games) but the 28-year old is one-year, and a season ending oblique injury, removed from a .316/.377/.448 line.
To borrow a line from Keith Moreland, Jeff Samardzija’s best bet this afternoon would probably be to throw a shutout and hit a home run. Today it all starts with Jeff Samardzija …
Jeff Samardzija is coming off a loss to the Pirates last Saturday afternoon. Samardzija struggled with his command and gave up eight hits for the second time in 13 starts this season. The Pirates scored four runs off Samardzija, two on one swing of the bat by Pedro Alvarez in the fourth that ended up on Sheffield Avenue. Samardzija has not pitched the way he is capable the last two times out and really must find a way to be more consistent in order to be mentioned as one of the top starters in the league.
After his gem on the South Side on May 27, Samardzija is 0-1 in his last two starts with a 5.11 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. The walks and lack of command are once again a concern. Samardzija seems to be using the bulldog mentality when he is falling behind instead of pitching the way he is capable.
Jeff Samardzija is 1-2 in six starts at Wrigley this season with a 3.62 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP and will face the Reds for the third time in 14 starts.
Mat Latos and the Reds beat Samardzija 1-0 back on April 24 thanks to a solo homer by Todd Frazier. Samardzija has allowed only three runs, two earned, to the Reds this season on 11 hits. In 12 innings against the Reds this season, spread over two starts, Samardzija has struck out 13 batters and walked six (1.50 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP).
Reds Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
- Jay Bruce – 3-for-14 with two doubles and a walk
- Shin-Soo Choo – 2-for-5 with a home run and a walk
- Zack Cozart – 3-for-11 with a double and a walk
- Todd Frazier – 3-for-9 with two home runs and two walks
- Ryan Hanigan – 1-for-7
- Cesar Izturis – 0-for-1 with a walk
- Mat Latos – 1-for-2
- Devin Mesoraco – 1-for-3
- Xavier Paul – 2-for-5 with a double, a home run and three walks
- Brandon Phillips – 2-for-19
- Joey Votto – 3-for-17 with a double and two walks
The Cubs will try to do something that no other team has done this season, beat Mat Latos. Latos has not lost a game this year and the Reds are 10-3 in his 13 starts. Latos is coming off an excellent outing against the Cardinals in which he gave up just two runs on eight hits with no walks and five strikeouts in seven innings. Latos picked up the only win for the Reds in the series and really made it look easy against the best team in baseball.
After a rough stretch in May where he went 3-0 in five starts with a 4.45 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP, Latos is back to being Mat Latos. In his last two starts, he is 1-0 with a 2.08 and a 0.92 WHIP.
Mat Latos has been just as good on the road this season as he’s been in Cincinnati. Latos is 2-0 in seven road starts with a 2.82 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. Latos faces the Cubs for the third time this season.
Latos is 2-0 against the Cubs in two starts this season with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP … but for him, struggled in his outing at Wrigley back on May 5. The Cubs scored three runs on six hits off Latos in five innings with three walks and six strikeouts.
Cubs Career Numbers against Mat Latos
- Darwin Barney – 0-for-9
- Julio Borbon – 1-for-4 with a double
- Starlin Castro – 5-for-19
- David DeJesus – 4-for-10 with two doubles
- Dioner Navarro – 2-for-9 with a walk
- Cody Ransom – 1-for-4
- Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-6 with a walk
- Jeff Samardzija – 0-for-1
- Nate Schierholtz – 4-for-24
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-14 with a double and a home run
- Luis Valbuena – 2-for-6 with three walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …