Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 04/29/14

Game Twenty-Five – Cubs (8-16) vs. Reds (11-14)

  • Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 185, 844
  • Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Jeff Samardzija (0-2, 1.53/1.10/2.78) vs. Alfredo Simon (3-1, 1.30/0.94/3.88)

Weather permitting … Monday’s rainout has turned the Cubs three-game series in Cincinnati to a two-game set if weather permits it. The Cubs decided to keep the rotation in order and will send Jeff Samardzija to the hill against Alfredo Simon. Edwin Jackson will now face lefty Tony Cingrani in the finale on Wednesday night.

The Cubs make their first trip of the season to the Queen City in their second series of the year with the Redlegs. The Cubs lost two of three to Bryan Price’s team last week at Wrigley Field. As has been the case over the last two years with all of the teams in the NL Central, the Cubs have really had problems with the Reds. The Cubs managed five wins against the Reds last season (5-14) but four of the five victories came in the nine games at Great American Ball Park (4-5).

The Cubs are 3-8 on the road this season and will face a Reds team that begins play tonight one game under .500 at home. The Reds are starting to get healthy and will have to start playing better ball if they want to keep up with the Brewers and Cardinals.

Right handers have had more success this season than left handers against Alfredo Simon. Right handers are hitting .208/.240/.314 while lefties have managed a .137/.254/.203 slash line. Over the course of Simon’s career, right handers have hit .262/.322/.405 while left handed hitters have managed a .254/.331/.367 line. Rick Renteria will likely use the same starting lineup tonight that was announced for Monday’s contest. Renteria had a starting nine of: Emilio Bonifacio (CF), Ryan Kalish (RF), Anthony Rizzo (1B), Starlin Castro (SS), Luis Valbuena (3B), Welington Castillo (C), Ryan Sweeney (LF), Darwin Barney (2B) and Jeff Samardzija (P).

The Cubs have scored 21 runs while Samardzija has been in the game over his last 10 starts. If the offense is able to give him any support tonight, and if he has a late lead late, it will be interesting to see how much he campaigns to stay in and try to wrap it up himself.

Tonight all starts with Jeff Samardzija …

Jeff Samardzija was very good last Wednesday and could benefit from the extra day of rest. Samardzija should have picked up his first win since Aug. 30 (11 starts) but the bullpen, and defense, imploded on the 100th Anniversary of the first game at Wrigley Field. A frustrated Samardzija received a no decision after allowing two runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts in a season-high 7 1/3 innings. Samardzija was not as good against the Diamondbacks as he had been in his previous four starts, but he still put his team in position to win the game … and was even in line to pick-up a game winning RBI.

Samardzija has completed at least seven innings in each of his five starts and is coming off a season-high 7 1/3 innings against the Diamondbacks the last time out. Samardzija is throwing strikes and has maintained a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio (27 strikeouts, nine walks in 35 1/3 innings) which is key to any starting pitcher having success. And while the strikeout totals may be down, he is pitching deeper into games and is still giving up less hits (30) than innings pitched (35 1/3).

Jeff Samardzija had a good outing against the Reds back on April 18 at Wrigley Field. Samardzija was hung with the loss after allowing three runs, one earned, on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in seven innings.

For his career, Samardzija is 1-4 in 22 games, eight starts, against the Reds with a 4.52 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP … at Great American Ball Park, Samardzija is 1-3 in 10 games, four starts, with a 5.52 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.

Reds Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Joey Votto: 6-for-28 with two doubles and five walks
  • Brandon Phillips: 7-for-31
  • Jay Bruce: 7-for-25 with four doubles and three walks
  • Zack Cozart: 6-for-24 with one double and one walk
  • Todd Frazier: 6-for-19 with one double, two home runs and four walks
  • Roger Bernadina: 2-for-12
  • Chris Heisey: 3-for-7
  • Ryan Ludwick: 2-for-6
  • Billy Hamilton: 1-for-4 with one double
  • Alfredo Simon: 0-for-3
  • Ramon Santiago: 0-for-2

Alfredo Simon followed up his stellar outing against the Cubs with an even better start in Pittsburgh. Simon held the Pirates to two runs on four hits but he issued five walks while striking out only four batters. Simon and the Reds still picked up the win against the struggling Pirates and he will look to keep his strong start to his season going tonight against the Cubs.

Simon beat Samardzija and the Cubs on April 18 after allowing one unearned run on four hits. Simon issued two walks and struck out four batters in six innings.

Alfredo Simon makes his second start of the year in his home park tonight. Simon lost his other outing after he allowed one run on five hits in eight innings to the Rays.

Tonight is Simon’s second career start against the Cubs. Alfredo Simon is 2-0 in 11 appearances, one start, with a 2.16 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Alfredo Simon

  • Ryan Sweeney: 1-for-9 with one walk
  • Starlin Castro: 2-for-9 with one double
  • Darwin Barney: 3-for-6
  • Nate Schierholtz: 0-for-5
  • Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-5
  • Emilio Bonifacio: 1-for-3 with one walk
  • Luis Valbuena: 2-for-3 with one double, one home run and one walk
  • Welington Castillo: 1-for-3 with one double
  • Junior Lake: 0-for-3
  • John Baker: 1-for-2
  • Jeff Samardzija: 0-for-2

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Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver