Game One Hundred Forty-Nine: Cubs (66-81) vs. Marlins (73-74)
Game Time – 12:10pm CDT
Coverage – WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Sun Life Stadium, Miami
Jeff Samardzija (1-1, 7.00/2.33) vs. Andrew Miller (1-2, 6.75/2.17)
Updated 10:10am CDT – Geovany Soto will have arthroscopic surgery on right shoulder Monday. Recovery time three months, expected to be full strength by January 1.
Can the Chicago Cubs win six games in a row for the first time this season? The Cubs are 7-1 on the nine-game road trip that concludes this afternoon. Mike Quade is 16-7 since taking over in the dugout and appears to have his players focused on a daily basis. A sweep of the Fish would be a great way to end the Cubs penultimate road trip of the year.
Several of the young Cubs are expected in the starting lineup. Welington Castillo is slated to catch Jeff Samardzija with Brad Snyder and Sam Fuld getting starts in the outfield … not exactly a good scenario for either player with the lefty on the hill for the Marlins. Darwin Barney should be at second and both Bobby Scales and Micah Hoffpauir are expected in Q’s starting nine as well.
The Cubs are 3-2 versus Florida in 2010. Not only would a win today complete the sweep but it would also give the Cubs a winning record against the Marlins for the year.
In Other News
According to a tweet from Jerry Crasnick, Jim Hendry has another candidate to interview. Crasnick tweeted that Don Wakamatsu, the former manager of the Mariners, is also on the Cubs’ list.
Casey Coleman might not make another start this season. Quade said Coleman has “made a wonderful impression on all of us” and “he’s made the most of his opportunity.” Coleman’s innings are getting “up there” and he could finish the year in the bullpen.
The 2010 Cubs season concludes two weeks from today. This afternoon it all starts with Jeff Samardzija … Jeff Samardzija is coming off his first big league win as a starter, and just the third of his career, but it was anything but a solid start for the Shark.
Samardzija showed promise against the Cardinals (no runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings with a strikeout). However, Samardzija continued to give away too many freebies (four walks and a hit batsman) and must throw more strikes. Samardzija is out of options following this season. He figures to make the team as either a starter or a reliever out of Spring Training, regardless of his performance. With that said, it is pastime for Samardzija to pitch to expectations … not to mention the contract he signed.
Samardzija’s only Major League save came against the Marlins during the 2008 season. Today will be his first start against Florida in his seventh game versus the Fish (no record, a save and a blown save with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP, four runs on five hits with four walks and eight strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings).
Will Jeff Samardzija win a game on a Sunday in September?
Marlins Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
- Emilio Bonifacio – one walk
- Hanley Ramirez – 1-for-3
- Dan Uggla – 0-for-3 with a walk
The Cubs will get their first look at the 6’7″ southpaw Andrew Miller. Miller came over in the Miguel Cabrera–Dontrelle Willis trade with the Tigers back in the winter of 2007. Miller has not pitched the way the Marlins thought he would three years ago … but has shown signs of being the dominant lefty they thought they acquired.
After beating the Braves back on September 3 (one run on seven hits with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings), Miller struggled against the Phillies in back-to-back starts.
Philadelphia scored 14 runs, 12 earned, on 20 hits in nine innings (two games) with six walks and 10 strikeouts. Andrew Miller has to be glad he’s facing a team other than the Phillies this afternoon.
Andrew Miller is 1-2 in his last three starts with an 8.36 ERA and a 2.57 WHIP.
Jeff Baker (1-for-3 with a home run) and Blake DeWitt (1-for-2) are the only two active Cubs that have faced Andrew Miller.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …