Game Ninety-Nine: Cubs (44-54) vs. Diamondbacks (52-48)
- Game Time – 8:40pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 185/844
- Location – Chase Field, Phoenix
Jeff Samardzija (6-9, 3.91/1.28) vs. Ian Kennedy (3-7, 5.29/1.39)
The Cubs will shoot to get back in the win column tonight behind Jeff Samardzija as the trade rumors continue to surround the team.
Luis Valbuena and Nate Schierholtz are expected back in the starting lineup tonight with Ian Kennedy on the hill. The Cubs face lefty Wade Miley on Thursday. The Cubs have not hit with runners in scoring position on the trip and until they do it does not matter how many home runs they hit because the losses will continue to mount.
Tonight is a rematch of the game at Wrigley back on June 1. Ian Kennedy beat Jeff Samardzija on that Saturday night and Samardzija ran his mouth too much according to Kirk Gibson and Matt Williams. Samardzija can silence the D-Backs’ coaching staff tonight with a long, effective outing and a victory.
David DeJesus could return to the starting lineup tonight. The Cubs are expected to evaluate DeJesus early in the day to see if he is ready to come back from the DL. Unless a trade is made, look for Dave Sappelt to be sent out to make room on the active roster for DeJesus. Junior Lake should remain in the starting lineup. Could he give Alfonso Soriano a breather and make his first career start in left field?
Tonight it all starts with Jeff Samardzija …
After a rocky start in Colorado, Jeff Samardzija settled down and put together a good outing his last time out. Samardzija seemed to be struggling with this mechanics over the first four innings but once he found a consistent release point he threw strikes. Samardzija ended up with his best performance in three starts. Samardzija allowed one run on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.
The Cubs need for Samardzija to finish the season strong, his first start following the break was a positive step in that direction. Samardzija is 1-2 in his last three starts with a 7.50 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP.
Jeff Samardzija is 4-5 in 10 road starts this season with a 2.56 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP and will get his second look of the season tonight at the Diamondbacks.
Jeff Samardzija rubbed Kirk Gibson and the Diamondbacks the wrong way when he faced them at Wrigley back on June 1. Samardzija ran his mouth according to Gibson and left in the seventh after allowing three runs on seven hits with four walks and 11 strikeouts. The Cubs were embarrassed on that Saturday night after the Carlos Marmol and the pen imploded and surrendered 11 runs in the last three innings.
Samardzija is 0-1 in seven games, two starts, against Arizona with a 5.63 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP … and at Chase Field, 0-1 in five games, one start, with a 5.19 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP.
Diamondbacks Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
- Paul Goldschmidt – 0-for-5 with two walks
- Didi Gregorius – 1-for-4 with a double
- Aaron Hill – 1-for-3
- Ian Kennedy – 1-for-2
- Jason Kubel – 1-for-5 with a home run and a walk
- Miguel Montero – 3-for-6 with a triple and two walks
- Wil Nieves – one walk
- Gerardo Parra – 1-for-3 with a home run and two walks
- A.J. Pollock – 1-for-3
- Martin Prado – 1-for-11
- Cody Ross – 0-for-5 with two walks
Ian Kennedy has had a bad season and many are now wondering if his 2011 season was the exception and not the rule. Kennedy has dropped his last three games but put together a quality start his last time out. Kennedy allowed two runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts to the Giants. The D-Backs gave him zero run support and he was hung with the loss.
Ian Kennedy is 0-3 in his last four starts with a 5.04 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP and will face the Cubs for the second time this season.
One of Kennedy’s better starts and one of his three wins came at the Cubs expense at Wrigley back on June 1. Kennedy allowed four runs on three hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in seven innings. For his career, Kennedy is 3-2 against the Cubs in seven starts with a 6.65 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Ian Kennedy
- Darwin Barney – 3-for-12 with a walk
- Welington Castillo – 0-for-6
- Starlin Castro – 6-for-18 with two doubles and a triple
- Dioner Navarro – 1-for-9
- Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-8 with a walk
- Dave Sappelt – 1-for-3 with a home run
- Nate Schierholtz – 4-for-16 with a double, a home run and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 6-for-13 with a double, three home runs and three walks
- Luis Valbuena – 1-for-10 with a double and a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …