Game One Hundred Thirty-Six: Cubs (57-78) vs. Phillies (62-74)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183/844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jake Arrieta (1-1, 4.50/1.32/4.71) vs. Kyle Kendrick (10-11, 4.40/1.38/3.97)
The Cubs wrap up the series and season series with the Phillies this afternoon behind Jake Arrieta. The Cubs can finish the season series against the Phillies at 3-3 with a win today. And if they Cubs can post a win this afternoon it would be their first series victory at Wrigley since they took two of three from Pirates in the first week of July (July 5 – July 7). The Cubs have really struggled at Wrigley this season and are 4-17 in their last 21 home games. The last time the Cubs won back-to-back games at Wrigley was the series against the Pirates in early July (July 6 and July 7).
Dale Sveum and his coaching staff is not looking for a repeat of last September (9-19) and are looking to finish the year strong while using the final month of the season to evaluate players, both in terms of what they are made of as well as their production on the field.
The Cubs finished another tough August with only eight wins (8-20) and have managed a total of 16 wins in the last two Augusts combined (16-41). While last year the main problem was the pitching staff, this season the Cubs have struggled to score runs.
The Cubs should receive a little boost offensively with the return of Ryan Sweeney. The Cubs are expected to activate Sweeney before today’s game against the Phillies. The Cubs will have to make a 40-man roster move to add Sweeney to the active roster from the 60-day DL.
Other September call-ups are expected to include J.C. Boscan, Dave Sappelt and Brooks Raley once the Iowa Cubs’ season ends on Monday. It is unclear if the Cubs will call-up Alberto Cabrera right away or if they will send him to Double-A Tennessee to help with their post-season run. Luis Valbuena is expected to be activated from the DL on Sunday as well. Rafael Dolis is rehabbing with Kane County and should also be activated from the disabled list soon. Like Sweeney, the Cubs will have to open a spot on the 40-man roster before they can add Dolis to the active roster from the 60-day DL.
This afternoon all starts with Jake Arrieta …
When Jake Arrieta has thrown strikes, more importantly first pitch strikes, he has been very, very good with the Cubs. Unfortunately, he has pitched from behind in the count and has shown too many times over his last two outings why inconsistency and lack of command has derailed his career to this point.
Jake Arrieta has an excellent arm with great stuff but he must learn how to command it on a regular basis, something he just simply has not done. If Chris Bosio, Derek Johnson and the Cubs’ pitching brass can get to him, Arrieta could be a nice piece of the puzzle for the next several years.
After just a tremendous start against the Cardinals in which he tossed seven innings of shutout ball, Arrieta has really struggled with himself over his last two starts. In nine-plus innings, Arrieta has walked more batters (9) than the number of strikeouts he’s recorded (8) and nearly has many hits (11) allowed. Arrieta is 0-1 in his last two games with a 9.00 ERA and a 2.22 WHIP.
Jake Arrieta makes his fourth start of the season at Wrigley Field this afternoon (1-0 in three starts with a 3.71 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP) and will face the Phillies for just the second time in his career.
Arrieta last started a game against Philly on June 8 of last season. The Phillies pounded him to the tune of nine runs on 11 hits with no walks and five strikeouts in four innings.
Phillies Career Numbers against Jake Arrieta
- Michael Young – 0-for-10 with two walks
- Roger Bernadina – 1-for-6
- Jimmy Rollins – 0-for-3
- Carlos Ruiz – 1-for-3
- John Mayberry Jr. – 0-for-2
- John McDonald – 0-for-1
Kyle Kendrick is coming off a decent outing against the Mets but was hung with a loss after allowed four unearned runs to score. Kendrick has been serviceable for the Phillies this season and his last win came at the Cubs’ expense on August 6 in Philadelphia.
Kendrick is 1-3 in his last five starts with a 4.94 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP. Over his last 27 1/3 innings, Kendrick has given up 38 hits with seven walks and only 13 strikeouts. The Cubs will have plenty of chances to score runs, once again, it will be up to them to cash in the baserunners.
Kendrick has been slightly better on the road this season (4-6 in 13 starts with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP) than at home (6-5 in 14 starts with a 4.48 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP) and will make his fifth career starts against the Cubs this afternoon.
Kyle Kendrick owns a 1-1 mark in five games, four starts, against the Cubs with a 2.86 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP. The Cubs have always made life very easy for Kendrick. It is time to change their game plan. For his career, Kendrick has two no decisions in two games, one start, at Wrigley with a 1.29 ERA and a 0.57 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Kyle Kendrick
- Starlin Castro (.290) – 0-for-9
- Darwin Barney (.227) – 1-for-8
- Nate Schierholtz (.288) – 3-for-5 with a double and three walks
- Donnie Murphy (.313) – 3-for-6 with a home run
- Cody Ransom (.250) – 1-for-6 with a double
- Welington Castillo (.347) – 2-for-5
- Junior Lake (.369) – 0-for-3
- Anthony Rizzo (.256) – 1-for-3 with a home run
- Darnell McDonald (.235) – 1-for-1
- Dioner Navarro (.301) – 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …