Game Ninety-Seven: Cubs (43-53) vs. Diamondbacks (51-47)
- Game Time – 8:40pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 185/844
- Location – Chase Field, Phoenix
Chris Rusin (0-0, 8.10/1.80) vs. Tyler Skaggs (2-1, 4.03/1.31)
The Cubs ten-game, three city road trip continues tonight with the first of four in Phoenix. Dale Sveum’s team dropped two of three to the first place D-Backs at Wrigley last month and has a very challenging four days ahead of them. The Cubs have historically struggled at Chase Field and simply do not match up well against this version of the Diamondbacks. Kirk Gibson has his team in first place and looking at the Cubs as a way to pad their lead over the Dodgers in the west.
For the second time this month Chris Rusin was recalled to make a start for a pitcher that had been dealt earlier in the day. With Matt Garza on his way to Texas, the Cubs called-up Chris Rusin and the lefty will make his second start with the Cubs this season.
Cody Ransom, Dave Sappelt and Cole Gillespie figure to see a lot of playing time over the next four days with three lefties expected to take the hill for the Diamondbacks.
The Cubs will face three lefties over the next four games in Phoenix. After tonight’s matchup of Chris Rusin and lefty Tyler Skaggs, Travis Wood is scheduled to face fellow southpaw Patrick Corbin on Tuesday night. Jeff Samardzija and Ian Kennedy will square off in game three and Carlos Villanueva will wrap up the series on Thursday night against lefty Wade Miley.
Tonight it all starts with Chris Rusin …
Chris Rusin got the start back on July 2 in Oakland filling in for Scott Feldman. Rusin completed 3 1/3 innings on short rest and allowed three runs on six hits with no walks and two strikeouts.
Rusin has faced Arizona once in his career. Rusin beat the D-Backs on September 30 of last year after allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings.
Aaron Hill (0-for-1 with a walk), Jason Kubel (0-for-1 with a walk), Wil Nieves (0-for-2) and A.J. Pollock (2-for-3) are the only players on Arizona’s active roster that has faced Chris Rusin in a regular season ballgame.
The Diamondbacks sent Tyler Skaggs down to Class A Visalia during the All-Star break so he did not miss a start. Skaggs is one of the top young arms in the majors and is coming off a short 4 1/3 inning outing against the Dodgers on July 10. Skaggs could not get through five innings after allowing three runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Skaggs was lights out in his start prior to facing the Dodgers and tossed eight innings of shutout ball against the Rockies.
Skaggs is 1-0 in his last two starts with a 2.19 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP and owns a 2-1 record in three starts at Chase Field this year with a 3.09 WHIP.
The Cubs have not faced Tyler Skaggs in a regular season game and no one on the Cubs’ active roster has an at bat against Skaggs in a big league ballgame.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …