Game One Hundred Fourteen: Cubs (50-63) vs. Phillies (51-62)
- Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183/844
- Location – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
Jeff Samardzija (6-10, 3.78/1.31) vs. Ethan Martin (0-1, 12.46/2.54)
Weather permitting … The Cubs wrap up the three game series with the Phillies this afternoon behind Jeff Samardzija with a chance to win the series.
The Cubs will make at least one roster move prior to today’s game. Thomas Neal will be placed on the DL with a dislocated right shoulder. Dave Sappelt is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Iowa to take his spot on the active roster. The Cubs are not expected to place Dioner Navarro on the DL. Navarro reportedly was moving around much better than to be expected after being carted off the field on Wednesday night following a collision with Chase Utley. X-rays on Navarro’s right ankle came back negative and was said to have a bone contusion. Navarro should not play today so Dale Sveum will once again have a short bench. If the Cubs had another catcher on the 40-man roster it would be safe to say that Navarro would be on his way to the DL.
The Cubs will face rookie right-hander Ethan Martin for the first time. Martin is making his second big league start today. The Cubs must make him work. It will help having David DeJesus and Anthony Rizzo back in the lineup as both hitters figure to take more than their share of pitches.
The finale in Philly all starts with Jeff Samardzija …
Jeff Samardzija really struggled in his last start. Samardzija allowed only three runs but he gave up seven hits and walked five batters for the second time in three starts. Samardzija will not be able to take his game to the next level until he starts limiting his free passes. Samardzija wants to be a number one and true number one pitcher go deeper in each start than 6 1/3 innings he is averaging per outing this season.
Jeff Samardzija is 1-1 in his last four starts with a 2.42 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP … 15 walks, 27 strikeouts and 20 hits allowed in his last 26 innings.
This afternoon will be Jeff Samardzija’s second career start against the Phillies. Samardzija is 1-2 in seven games, one start, against the Phillies with a 9.00 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Samardzija did not face Philly last year and is 0-1 in three relief appearances at Citizens Bank Park with a 7.36 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP.
Phillies Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
- Jimmy Rollins – 1-for-7 with a double
- Carlos Ruiz – 1-for-2
- Chase Utley – 1-for-7 with a double
The Cubs will get their first look at right-handed rookie Ethan Martin. The former first round pick of the Dodgers (2008) made his big league debut against the Braves on August 2 … and was hit very hard. Martin allowed six runs on eight hits with three walks and six strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
Baseball America ranked Martin as the sixth best prospect in the Phillies system prior to this season. The Phillies acquired Martin from the Dodgers in the Shane Victorino deal last summer. Martin throws his fastball anywhere from 91-97 mph, and sits mostly in the 93-95 mph range with his two-seamer. Martin’s best secondary pitch is a slider that he throws in the 85-88 mph range that has movement similar to a cutter. Martin throws a curveball and an excellent changeup (82-84 mph).
Martin was 11-5 in 21 starts for Lehigh Valley with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP … 107 strikeouts, 67 walks and 94 hits allowed in 115 2/3 innings.
The Cubs must make Ethan Martin work this afternoon. Martin struggles with his command and will issue more than his share of walks … if the Cubs are willing to take a pitch.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …