Game One Hundred Twenty-Nine: Cubs (54-74) vs. Padres (58-70)
- Game Time – 7:40pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 184/844
- Location – PETCO Park, San Diego
Jeff Samardzija (7-11, 4.12/1.32/3.58) vs. Eric Stults (8-10, 3.70/1.25/3.26)
The Cubs will try to bounce back from another tough loss tonight behind Jeff Samardzija. The Cubs built a big lead on Friday night just to see it disappear. And while Edwin Jackson should have been able to cruise to a victory, the Cubs offense was silent after the first inning with runners in scoring position.
The Cubs were 3-for-6 with RISP in the first inning and finished the game 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position while leaving eight men on base. One of the many areas the big league team must improve on is hitting with runners on base and in scoring position. Simply put, unless the Cubs are hitting home runs, they are not putting runs on the board. Over the last 11 games, the Cubs are 12-for-58 with runners in scoring position.
The Cubs will face a southpaw tonight for the first time in 16 games when they took on Cole Hamels in Philadelphia. Dale Sveum is expected to run out the likes of Cole Gillespie and Cody Ransom tonight and it might be a good time to give Anthony Rizzo a breather against Eric Stults. Lefties are hitting .188/.224/.309 against Stults this season while right handers have managed a .295/.333/.379 slash line against him.
Tonight it all starts with Jeff Samardzija …
Jeff Samardzija is coming off his second complete game of the season, and a truly excellent outing. The offense gave Samardzija a bunch of early runs, then he settled in and tossed a gem. Samardzija held the Nationals to a Wilson Ramos home run over nine innings. Samardzija allowed six hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Samardzija had excellent command and really needs to pick up tonight where he left off the last time the Cubs won a game.
Even with the horrible outing in Philly, Samardzija is 2-2 in his last seven starts with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. Samardzija has allowed 43 hits in 44 1/3 innings with 40 strikeouts and 19 walks.
Jeff Samardzija has pitched rather well on the road this season. In 12 starts, Samardzija is 4-6 with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. Samardzija has held teams to a .222 batting average on the road compared to a .288 average at Wrigley Field.
The Padres handled Samardzija pretty well at Wrigley back on April 29. The Cubs won the game 5-3 but Samardzija gave up three runs on four hits with four walks and eight strikeouts in five innings, his shortest outing of the season to that point. For his career, Samardzija owns a 2-1 mark in five games, three starts, against the Friars with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP … and at PETCO, 0-1 in two games, one start, with a 1.23 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.
Padres Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
- Yonder Alonso – 2-for-10
- Alexi Amarista – 0-for-5
- Ronny Cedeno – 0-for-2
- Chris Denorfia – 0-for-5 with a walk
- Jedd Gyorko – 0-for-3
- Chase Headley – 3-for-9 with a double and three walks
- Nick Hundley – 1-for-4
- Mark Kotsay – 0-for-4 with a walk
- Eric Stults – 1-for-2 with a double
- Will Venable – 2-for-7 with a double, a triple and three walks
Eric Stults is coming off a no decision against the Mets after allowed three runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. Stults has been both excellent and not-so-good over his last ten starts. Stults has the ability to shut down any lineup but he has a tendency to struggle mightily just about every other start, especially on the road.
Stults is 0-3 in six starts since the break with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP while teams have hit .310 against him. But at home this season, Stults is 5-2 in 12 games with a 2.50 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP.
Eric Stults received a no decision when he faced the Cubs on May 2. Stults allowed two runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. For his career, Stults is 1-3 in five starts against the Cubs with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Eric Stults
- Darwin Barney (.230) – 3-for-7 with three doubles and two walks
- Welington Castillo (.345) – 3-for-5
- Starlin Castro (.287) – 2-for-8 with a walk
- Cody Ransom (.250) – 0-for-5
- Anthony Rizzo (.251) – 1-for-6
- Jeff Samardzija (.208) – 1-for-2
- Nate Schierholtz (.298) – 3-for-6 with two doubles
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …