Game Eighty-Nine: Cubs (40-48) vs. Angels (43-46)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 189/844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jeff Samardzija (5-8, 3.54/1.26) vs. C.J. Wilson (8-6, 3.49/1.38)
The Cubs wrap-up the series and season series against the Angels tonight with their final game of the year against the Junior Circuit. The Cubs are 13-6 in Interleague play this season after managing a 10-20 record versus the American League in 2011 and 2012.
Dale Sveum is expected to run out his right handed lineup tonight with the lefty on the hill for the Angels. Look for Cody Ransom and Dave Sappelt at third and in right as well as Welington Castillo back behind the dish. Castillo is expected back in the starting lineup tonight. Castillo has been held out due to dehydration and showed improvement on Tuesday after being a late scratch on Monday.
Dale Sveum said following Tuesday’s game that Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo would remain in the second and third spots of his lineup. Sveum indicated the Cubs are going to “let them figure it out.”
Jeff Samardzija makes his final start of the first half tonight. Samardzija needs a good finish before the break after his last outing. Samardzija has shown flashes of being a number one pitcher this season but has struggled with consistency, and command, from start to start.
Tonight it all starts with Jeff Samardzija …
Jeff Samardzija is coming off a rough outing against the Pirates and arguably one of his worst as a starter in the big leagues. Samardzija had little to no command of his fastball and splitter. Everything was up and the Pirates took advantage of hitter’s counts and poor location. Samardzija walked a season-high five batters while striking out a season-low three batters. Samardzija admitted after the game he just did not have it … and it will be important for him to finish the first half on a positive note, especially with the way his last start went.
Jeff Samardzija has not been as effective this season at Wrigley as he was a year ago. Samardzija was 4-4 in 12 starts at Wrigley last year with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP while holding opponents to a .221 batting average (91 strikeouts, 28 walks in 78 1/3 innings). This season, Samardzija is 2-3 in nine starts with a 4.47 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP and opponents have hit .284 against him (57 strikeouts, 24 walks in 56 1/3 innings). One of the improvements Samardzija must make after the break is being more effective and consistent in his home park.
Jeff Samardzija missed the Angels in Anaheim last month and will make his first career regular season start against the Halos tonight.
Angels Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
- Brad Hawpe – 0-for-3
- Chris Iannetta – 1-for-3 with a home run
- Albert Pujols – 5-for-12 with a double, two home runs and three walks
- J.B. Shuck – 0-for-1
C.J. Wilson has been very, very good of late. Other than a bump in the road in Detroit where he gave up five runs on seven hits in five innings, Wilson has not allowed more than three earned runs in six of his last seven starts. Wilson got off to a slow start but has shown steady improvement. Wilson was 4-2 in six starts in June with a 3.05 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP and allowed three runs, one earned, on 10 hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings to the Red Sox his last time out.
Wilson is 3-4 in nine road starts with a 4.64 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP and will face the Cubs for the third time in his career tonight. Wilson is 0-1 in two appearances, one start, against the Cubs with a 5.87 Era and a 1.30 WHIP (five runs on seven hits with three walks and eight strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings). Wilson makes his first career start and appearance at Wrigley tonight and the Cubs must make him work. If they allow Wilson to get comfortable, there will be a lot of swings and misses from the team in blue pinstripes.
Cubs Career Numbers against C.J. Wilson
- Starlin Castro – 1-for-3
- Dioner Navarro – 0-for-2
- Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-2 with a home run and a walk
- Luis Valbuena – 2-for-2 with a double
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …