Game One Hundred Thirty-Four: Cubs (56-77) vs. Phillies (61-73)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183/844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jeff Samardzija (8-11, 4.03/1.32/3.60) vs. Roy Halladay (3-4, 7.81/1.39/5.81)
The Cubs begin their penultimate homestand of the season with three games against Ryne Sandberg and the Phillies. After spending the weekend battling the Phils, the Cubs will face the Marlins for three games before a day off on Thursday. The homestand wraps up next weekend with three versus the Brewers.
The Cubs must figure out how to play better ball at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are just 25-41 in their home park this season compared to a 31-36 mark on the road. The Cubs are 63-84 at home over the past two seasons.
The Cubs dropped two of three in Philly at the beginning of the month and will face a Phillies team that is playing good baseball. The Phillies are 8-6 under their new interim manager, Ryne Sandberg.
The Cubs offense will not catch a break during this series. After today’s matchup of Jeff Samardzija and Roy Halladay, Chris Rusin is scheduled to face Cliff Lee on Saturday afternoon. Jake Arrieta is expected to wrap up the series on Sunday afternoon against Kyle Kendrick.
Ryne Sandberg makes his return to Wrigley Field this afternoon, a place he called home for 16 years, and where his number flies for every game to honor his Hall of Fame career. Sandberg is one of the greatest players to put on a Cubs’ uniform and is arguably the best second baseman to ever play the game.
A lot will be made over the next three days about Sandberg being back at Wrigley and managing against Dale Sveum and the Cubs. The bottom line is that the Phillies have a much better big league roster than the Cubs right now and on paper, the next three days figure to be very challenging for the Cubs. Sandberg has posted a 8-6 record in his first 14 games as a big league manager and is doing everything he can so the Phillies’ front office will remove the interim tag from his title this winter.
The Sandberg Series all starts with Jeff Samardzija …
The reigning NL Co-Player of the Week should come out with something to prove this afternoon. Jeff Samardzija has been very, very good over his last two starts and has been solid since he hit rock bottom in Philly back on August 8. Samardzija posted back-to-back wins against the Nationals and Padres in what was his second best two-game stretch of the year.
Jeff Samardzija is 2-0 in his last two starts with a 1.59 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. Samardzija has allowed three runs on 13 hits with two walks and 12 strikeouts over his last 17 innings. Samardzija is 2-2 in his last five starts with a 5.29 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.
Like a majority of his teammates, Samardzija has struggled at Wrigley Field and in day games this year. Samardzija is 3-5 in 14 home starts with a 4.55 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP while teams have hit a robust .271 against him … and in day games this season, Samardzija is 2-7 in 12 games with a 4.81 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP.
Jeff Samardzija makes his third career start against the Phillies this afternoon. Samardzija was horrible back on August 8 and allowed nine runs on 11 hits with three walks and six strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings. For his career, Samardzija is 1-3 in eight appearances, two starts, against Philly with a 12.83 ERA and a 1.95 WHIP … and the Phils have hit .361 against him.
To say this afternoon will be a big test for Samardzija would be an understatement.
Phillies Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
- Chase Utley – 3-for-10 with three doubles
- Roger Bernadina – 2-for-9
- Jimmy Rollins – 1-for-7 with a double
- Carlos Ruiz – 2-for-5
- Dominic Brown – 1-for-3
- Kevin Frandsen – 0-for-3
- Cody Asche – 2-for-2 with a double
- John Mayberry Jr. – 1-for-2
- Darin Ruf – 2-for-2 with a home run
Roy Halladay is making just his second start since going on the DL in May and undergoing surgery on his right shoulder. Halladay posted a quality start against the Diamondbacks in his return the mound and gave up two runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts in six innings. Halladay was not too good early in the season before going on the DL, but showed spurts of the dominant pitcher he once was.
Roy Halladay is 2-5 in seven career starts against the Cubs with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 1-3 in four starts with a 4.68 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Roy Halladay
- Dioner Navarro (.297) – 7-for-24 with two doubles and a walk
- Starlin Castro (.288) – 7-for-14 with a home run
- Darwin Barney (.229) – 2-for-11
- Brian Bogusevic (.305) – 1-for-4
- Nate Schierholtz (.291) – 0-for-4
- Welington Castillo (.347) – 1-for-3 with a home run
- Cody Ransom (.250) – 0-for-2 with a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …