Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Phillies – 04/05/14

Game Five: Cubs (1-3) vs. Phillies (2-2)

  • Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 184, 844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jeff Samardzija (0-0, 0.00/1.00/3.12) vs. Cliff Lee (1-0, 14.40/2.40/5.92)

The Cubs will try to put a win on the board this afternoon behind Jeff Samardzija and do something a Cubs’ team has never done, beat Cliff Lee.

The Cubs had a rough game on Friday. After a good start, the bats went quiet and the team did not manage a hit over the last six innings. And it will not get any easier today with one of the best southpaws in the game on the hill for the Phillies.

Rick Renteria will run out his right-handed lineup this afternoon with Cliff Lee on the hill. Lee held right handed batters to a .239/.261/.383 line a year ago while lefties hit .210/.270/.244 against him in a third of the at bats. Mike Olt should make his first start at Wrigley Field with Junior Lake in left and Justin Ruggiano in right field.

So while the Cubs’ offense has struggled in four games, the other teams aren’t exactly tearing the cover off the ball. According to High Heat Stats, entering play on Friday the 8.08 hits per team game average is the lowest since 1968.

This afternoon all starts with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija makes his second start of the season this afternoon. Samardzija was excellent in Pittsburgh on Opening Day during his seven-inning shutout performance. Samardzija gave up five hits with two walks and only three strikeouts. Samardzija was extremely efficient (89 pitches, 54 strikes), plus the Cubs defense stepped up behind him and made plays.

Samardzija was not very good at Wrigley last year after posting a 4-4 record in 12 home starts with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP at home during the 2012 season. Samardzija went 3-5 in 17 starts at Wrigley last season with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Samardzija has shown he can be successful at Wrigley and still has time to show he can pitch at the old ballyard.

The Phillies had Samardzija’s number last year. Samardzija’s worst outing of the season came in Philly on August 8 when he allowed nine runs on 11 hits with no walks and three strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings. The Phillies then scored five runs on eight hits with a walk against Samardzija at Wrigley on August 8. Samardzija was 0-1 in two starts against the Phillies last year with a 12.60 ERA and a 2.10 WHIP. The Phillies hit .396 against him as a team so there should be a line at the bat rack for today’s game.

For his career, Jeff Samardzija is 1-3 in nine games, three starts, against Philly with a 10.80 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP.

Phillies Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Chase Utley: 4-for-13 with three doubles and one triple
  • Jimmy Rollins: 2-for-10 with one double and one walk
  • Carlos Ruiz: 2-for-7 with one walk
  • Domonic Brown: 1-for-6
  • John Mayberry Jr.: 1-for-5
  • Ryan Howard: 1-for-3 with one triple and one walk
  • Wil Nieves: 1-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd: 0-for-3
  • Ben Revere: 1-for-3
  • Cody Asche: 2-for-2 with one double

It’s not too often a Major League starting pitcher gives up eight runs on 11 hits in five innings and picks up a win, but that is exactly what Cliff Lee did on Opening Day. Lee was the beneficiary of a huge day from the Phillies offense. The Phillies won the game 14-10 in a start that Cliff Lee has forgotten by now.

Cliff Lee remains one of the best pitchers in the game. Lee was 14-8 in 31 starts for the Phillies a year ago with a 2.87 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP … and he’s owned the Cubs during his career.

Cliff Lee is 4-0 in seven career starts against the Cubs with a 1.95 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP (48 hits with 14 walks and 42 strikeouts in 50 2/3 innings). And Lee is 1-0 in four starts at Wrigley with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.

The Cubs offense will not get any breaks … they’ll have to learn how to make them.

Cubs Numbers against Cliff Lee

  • Starlin Castro: 3-for-12 with one double, one home run and one walk
  • Emilio Bonifacio: 1-for-10 with one walk
  • Justin Ruggiano: 4-for-10 with three doubles and one walk
  • Darwin Barney: 3-for-6 with one double and one walk
  • Nate Schierholtz: 0-for-4
  • Welington Castillo: 2-for-3
  • Junior Lake: 2-for-3
  • Anthony Rizzo: 0-for-2 with one walk
  • Ryan Sweeney: 1-for-2

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again." – Bob Feller

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  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Bonifacio CF
    Castro SS
    Ruggiano RF
    Rizzo 1B
    Lake LF
    Olt 3B
    Castillo C
    Barney 2B
    Samardzija P

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    I really wish Lake and Olt were playing everyday. Sweeney? why? Lake has all the tools to be a star why not let him play everyday? Olt I can understand if they are being cautious with his shoulder. Valbuena is fine sitting on the bench pinch hitting. Not as a starter.

    • No Baseball In Indiana

      I’m sorry but what tools does lake have? He doesn’t walk, has average contact skills, below average power, and K’s alot. He’s a fourth outfielder.

      • cubtex

        If he can stick at CF..he has some upside as a starter but as a corner outfielder….you are right.

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  • Neil

    And Utley takes Samardzija deep to right and through the wind

  • Neil

    Castro with a solid single to center. Good at bat from Castro

  • cubtex

    Phils will more than likely clean house by the trading deadline. If Utley continues to hit he will be a good pickup for a contender. Cliff Lee I am sure will be dealt as well.

  • Neil

    Nice 3-6-1 dp and hit by Samardzija

  • cubtex

    Ugggh! 0-5 with RISP again so far. Painful!

    • cubtex

      Young guys not getting off to the start that we had hoped.

      Castro .158
      Rizzo .158
      Olt .100
      Castillo .133

      • cubtex

        2 hits apiece now for Castro and Rizzo

    • JasonPen

      It would be interesting to see what the worst avg w/risp is for a team in the first week… This has to be close to the worst ever.

  • Neil

    Here comes Renteria … but Barney was out.

  • cubtex

    Ike Davis walk off pinch hit Granny!

  • Neil

    Castro with his third hit of the day.

    • cubtex


  • cubtex

    10 hits so far with zero runs.

    • BigJonLilJon


  • Baron_S

    8 runs scored in 51 innings… Offense is putrid

    • BigJonLilJon

      I understand all the splits and platoon reasoning, but I’m starting to wonder if in the colder weather these guys just need to play consistently.

      • cubtex

        Ruggiano platooning and batting 3rd against LHP early in the season is not a formula for success IMO.

        • JasonPen

          True fact.

    • BigJonLilJon


  • JasonPen

    Can someone explain the benefit if the intentional walk to Byrd? I know a leftie is next to bat, but why not just pitch around Byrd and let him get himself out? I can just see this backfiring.. As in another walk to load the bases or even a 3run homer…

    • BigJonLilJon

      Create the force out at any base but home

      • BigJonLilJon

        Now a walk. Force at any base. Lol

        • JasonPen

          The ‘force’ was telling me that was going to happen lol

      • JasonPen

        And… A walk to load the bases…

        We all know about the force, but only on rare occasions is that needed. The force at first is usually routine.

      • JasonPen

        I’m never in favor of intentionally walking a weak hitter just because 1B is open… I can see walking Pujols or Cabrera… But Byrd?

        It worked here, but I can just see it backfiring

  • BigJonLilJon

    Time for Olt to get a 2 run jack !!!

  • BigJonLilJon

    Did any one notice that for opening day yesterday, it wasn’t sold out? Scary isn’t it?

  • GaryLeeT

    Why not bring in Veras for the 9th to knock some rust off? Oh yeah, they will need him after the Cubs score 3 in the bottom of the inning.

    • BigJonLilJon

      The way he’s been pitching , I think it was more to keep the lead at only 2

  • Neil

    Good outing for Grimm

    • BigJonLilJon

      Yes it was. He’ll be the 5 starter after Theo flips pitching I think.

      • cubtex

        would like to see him get a shot

      • Eugene Debs

        Jed may decide to flip some pitching too.

    • GaryLeeT

      I have a feeling you will be the best silver lining finder ever known to man.

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 2-0 to Phillies on Saturday afternoon … Jeff
    Samardzija: 2R, 6H (HR), 3BB (IBB), 8K in 7IP (113 pitches, 75 strikes)

    Castro: 3-4; Bonifacio: 2-5; Rizzo: 2-4; Lake: 1-3, 2B, BB; Cubs: 0R, 10H, 1BB, 0-7 RISP, 10 LOB

    • Theboardrider

      I’d think Shark’s value would be just about as high as its going to get right now. Two very solid starts to begin the season. If he keeps this up they’ll get a haul for him but maybe it can happen sooner thanks to how he has looked.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    good day: Shark pitched well, upped his value. Starlin with 3 hits, Rizzo with 2. Loss ensures another high pick. Bullpen was fine.

    Even BONIFACIO (he gets all caps until his average goes below .400) had another good day.

    Only downside for me was Olt not getting a hit. Want to see him succeed!