Game Thirty-Five: Cubs (15-19) vs. Cardinals (21-15)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, ESPN Wednesday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Matt Garza (1-4, 4.43/1.37) vs. Jake Westbrook (2-2, 6.14/1.75)
Weather permitting … the Cubs offense will try to record an extra basehit and put a win on the board behind Matt Garza. Jim Hendry’s off-season addition will get his first taste of the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry after spending Tuesday night rooting on his team from the dugout.
The Cubs will be without Geovany Soto and an offense that cannot hit when it matters just got a little weaker. Mike Quade will use Koyie Hill on a daily basis and sprinkle in Welington Castillo from time to time … when it should be the other way. The Cubs know what they have in Koyie Hill, too bad they will not step out of the box and give Welington Castillo a shot on a daily basis.
The Cubs could be without Soto for quite sometime after he left Tuesday night’s game with a left groin strain.
In other news … Doug Davis pitched 3 2/3 innings for the Iowa Cubs Tuesday night. Davis put together an average outing (two runs on four hits with five strikeouts and no walks on 59 pitches, 41 for strikes. Mike Quade is supposed to announce his starter for Saturday’s game at some point Wednesday. With Davis’ short outing, the former Diamondback and Brewer could make his Cubs’ debut Saturday.
Tonight it all starts with Matt Garza … Matt Garza is coming off a rough outing against the Reds. Garza allowed five runs on six hits in six innings of work with two walks and seven strikeouts. Garza made two huge mistakes … a three-run homer by Jay Bruce and a two-out walk to Edgar Renteria. If the Cubs offense could have hit the ball late in the game, Garza could have picked up a win.
Garza has yet to post a win at Wrigley. He is 0-2 in four starts with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. Mike Quade needs a quality start from Garza … and the seven players behind him to do their job.
Tonight will be Garza’s second career outing against the Redbirds. Garza received a no decision after allowing seven runs, six earned, on 10 hits with two walks and a strikeout on May 17, 2008 in St. Louis. The Rays ended up losing the game 9-8.
Lance Berkman (2-for-13 with 2 walks), Matt Holliday (2-for-9 with a walk), Gerald Laird (2-for-10 with a double and 2 walks), Yadier Molina (1-for-3) and Albert Pujols (1-for-3) are the only active Cardinals that have faced Matt Garza.
Jake Westbrook is off to a rough start but it is two bad outings that have skewed his numbers. Westbrook is coming off a quality start against the Marlins in which he allowed three runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts and no walks in 6 1/3 innings.
In his last three starts, the Cardinals are 3-0 and Westbrook is 1-0 with two no decisions … five runs, all earned, on 15 hits with six walks and 13 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings (2.45 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP).
Westbrook is 2-0 in two career starts versus the Cubs with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. Pitchers like Jake Westbrook have great games against the Chicago Cubs … expect more of the same tonight.
Cubs Career Numbers against Jake Westbrook
- Darwin Barney – 0-for-3
- Marlon Byrd – 1-for-6
- Welington Castillo – 1-for-2 with a double
- Starlin Castro – 1-for-6
- Blake DeWitt – 2-for-6 with a double
- Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-5 with a double and a walk
- Koyie Hill – 1-for-2
- Reed Johnson – 2-for-7
- Carlos Pena – 10-for-32 with 5 doubles, 4 home runs and 3 walks
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-2
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-21 with a walk
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