Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Braves – 05/10/14

Game Thirty-Five – Cubs (12-22) vs. Braves (19-15)

  • Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 187, 844
  • Location – Turner Field, Atlanta

Jeff Samardzija (0-3, 1.62/1.12/3.05) vs. Ervin Santana (3-0, 2.41/1.04/2.43)

Weather permitting … The Cubs will shoot to end a bad week of baseball on a positive note tonight behind Jeff Samardzija. The Cubs are not hitting and it will not get any easier for the offense with Ervin Santana on the hill.

It will be interesting to see how Rick Renteria handles Jeff Samardzija and if the Cubs shorten him up tonight after he threw 126 pitches in his last outing. The Braves were interested in trading for Samardzija during the off-season and Frank Wren will get a firsthand look at Samardzija tonight. All eyes will be on Samardzija once again.

The last time Samardzija pitched at Turner Field (April 7, 2013) he posted a career-high 13 strikeouts and dominated the Braves’ lineup over the first four innings of the game. Samardzija could not control his emotions and he was gone from the game before he could complete six innings.

With Starlin Castro and Welington Castillo everyday starters from the right side and Mike Olt showing a lot of improvement at the plate, and in the field, in recent days, tonight’s starting eight should feature five lefties and three right handed hitters. Lefties (.233/.303/.373) have hit slightly better that right handed hitters (.210/.234/.277) against Ervin Santana this year.

Tonight all starts with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija is coming off one of his best starts in the big leagues. Samardzija dominated the White Sox for nine innings and gave up one unearned run on three hits. Samardzija issued two free passes and struck out seven batters on a career-high 126 pitches. Samardzija appeared to get stronger as the night went on and he did everything he could to beat the Sox. Samardzija even broke up Jose Quintana’s no-hit bid with the Cubs only extra basehit of the night and scored the Cubs lone run.

Jeff Samardzija has been almost as good on the road this year (0-1 in three starts with a 1.83 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP) as he’s been at Wrigley (0-2 in four starts with a 1.48 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP). And Samardzija will shoot to pick up his seventh quality start tonight in eight tries.

Tonight will be Samardzija’s fourth career start versus the Braves. Samardzija is 2-1 in nine games, three starts, with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. Samardzija faced the Braves only one time a year ago (0-1 with a 6.35 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, four runs on four hits with four walks and 13 strikeouts) and after an excellent start to his afternoon, he could not complete six innings. For his career, Samardzija is 1-1 in six appearances, two starts, at Turner Field with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.

Braves Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Dan Uggla: 2-for-17 with one home run and one walk
  • Chris Johnson: 1-for-9
  • Jason Heyward: 1-for-9 with one home run
  • Justin Upton: 2-for-9 with one double and one walk
  • Freddie Freeman: 0-for-6 with one walk
  • Ryan Doumit: 1-for-3 with one double
  • Evan Gattis: 0-for-2 with one walk
  • Tyler Pastornicky: 2-for-3
  • Ramiro Pena: 2-for-3 with one double
  • B.J. Upton: 1-for-3 with two walks
  • Andrelton Simmons: 0-for-1 with one walk
  • Gerald Laird: 1-for-1 with one double

Ervin Santana signed in Spring Training with the Braves after Tommy John surgery removed two pitchers from their starting rotation (Kris Medlen, Brandon Beechy). Santana has thrown the ball extremely well but is coming off his first no decision of the season. Santana struggled for the first time in a Braves’ uniform on April 25 against the Reds (four runs on nine hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings) and lasted six innings in Miami the last time out. Santana gave up three runs on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts to the Fish.

Ervin Santana is 2-0 in two starts at The Ted this season with a 2.45 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. Santana is making his first career start against the Cubs tonight.

Emilio Bonifacio (0-for-6 with one walk), Luis Valbuena (2-for-6) and Ryan Kalish (0-for-3) are the only players on the Cubs’ active roster that have faced Ervin Santana in a big league ballgame.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"You try to get that game out of your mind, but it never leaves you." - Cool Papa Bell
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  • John_CC

    You know Jeff will try to raise the Braves interest on him. I’d love to see a shutout… Which unfortunately doesn’t necessarily mean a W! Another 9 inning SHO without a win to show for it might send him over the edge.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      We’ve been producing more runs as of late. But Shark hasn’t been the beneficiary of much run support. Maybe it’s karma.

      • John_CC

        It would be fitting – all the way around- if Jeff was winless with the Cubs this year.

    • Eugene Debs

      According to Atlanta radio, the Braves have no interest in Jeff Samardzija.

      • GaryLeeT

        I was kind of wondering why the #1 pitching staff in the Majors would even need him.

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

    • tony

      Great no barney!!!

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      ding ding ding….we have a winner!
      This is the best, and most entertaining, lineup the Cubs can currently put out there…nice to see!

    • John_CC

      Probably the best lineup they can field right now. I like it.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        I know it, you know it, most of the world knows it…not sure why Ricky has been so hesitant to do it. I had enough of Schierholtz and Barney…time to see the kids play!

      • Ripsnorter1

        best lineup possible with Valbuena hitting #5….that says a lot.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Glad to see Valbuena playing 2B!

          • John_CC

            Yes! But I would be fine with Luis hitting in the 2 hole also. Doesn’t matter though.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Was thinking the same thing. Like this lineup a lot.

        Valbuena has actually been pretty good. He’s driven in some runs and has a solid OBP. The Cubs have already lost quite a few extra inning games. They are better than their record.

  • Eugene Debs

    Since Jeff threw 126 pitches last time (which immediately ruined his career), his arm should fall off somewhere in the 3rd inning.

    • John_CC

      Yeah trade him soon he’s cooked. Ever hear of Mark Prior?

      • Eugene Debs

        May have heard that name somewhere.

        I think Jeff’s arm may have been saved by the rain delay. Recuperative droplets of rain have reenergized his shot arm.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs and Braves in a rain delay before the top of the third inning got underway

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs and Braves looking to resume play at 7:40pm CDT

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Samardzija will return after the delay

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Of course Ricky pencils in the best possible lineup and the universe rains all over it…blah.

  • Roland Bowman

    Shark needs to hustle to first a little more

  • Roland Bowman

    A good example of what can happen when you hit the cut off man

  • Roland Bowman

    Nice job by Rizzo making sure everyone knew he was going to catch that pop up.

  • Tom U

    ‏A Tweet from Tommy Birch:

    Baez, upset with a first-pitch strikes, goes down swinging, slams his bat down, and tosses it in the dugout. Frustration really setting in.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      please don’t be felix pie…please dont be felix pie…please don’t be felix pie…

    • paulcatanese

      And he gets further and further away from the North Side of Chicago.

  • Roland Bowman

    Really nit picking here, but Lake didn’t position himself well before making the catch so that he could quickly make a throw to third if needed. I realize it was highly unlikely the runner would tag, but still should be good practice if there is a chance.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Lake with an excellent running catch to end the sixth

  • Roland Bowman

    Then Lake make a nice running catch to end the inning.

  • Tom U

    Kris Bryant has just hit his 10th homer of the season. Smokies lead 8-6 in the top of the 8th. Stephen Bruno is a triple away from the cycle.

    • Roland Bowman

      I screwed up on Wednesday. I was in Knoxville and I didn’t think to check if the Smokies had a home game that evening. I was driving back home and heard them on the radio, I almost turned around but decided I will just plan my next trip there when they have a home game again. The way Bryant is hitting he may not be there when I get a chance to see them.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Bruno hit a two-run homer a short time ago, two longballs on the night.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    the Jerk done after 69 pitches…
    I assume this was a uniformed personnel decision.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 2-0 to Braves
    on Saturday night … Jeff Samardzija: 0R, 2H, 1BB, HBP, 7K, 6IP (69 pitches, 48
    strikes); Brian Schlitter: 2R, 3H, 0BB, 0K, 0.2 IP

    Kalish: 2-4; Rizzo: 1-4;
    Castro: 1-3, 2B, BB; Cubs: 0R, 6H, 2BB, 12 K; Cubs shutout 5th time
    this season

  • Brp921

    I think the situation with Samardziga is getting blown way out of proportion. He is really pitching well and maybe becoming the ace he wants to be. I’m going to reserve judgement on him and wait and see how it plays out. I am sure a fan of the way he is pitching right now.