Game Thirty-Four: Cubs (13-20) vs. Brewers (15-18)
Game Time – 1:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/914
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee
Jeff Samardzija (4-1, 3.03/1.19) vs. Marco Estrada (0-2, 4.50/1.12)
Happy Mother’s Day from the CCO!
Dale Sveum’s Cubs will try to end their weekend in Milwaukee on a positive note today behind Jeff Samardzija. After basically losing two games Saturday, the Cubs have lost their last 10 games at Miller Park dating back to April 8, 2011. Carlos Zambrano beat Randy Wolf 7-3 on the second Friday in April with Carlos Marmol picking up the save.
The Cubs are 1-5 against the Brewers this season and simply have not found a way to hold down the defending NL Central Division Champs.
The Cubs pen should be back at full strength for today’s finale after Chris Volstad and Casey Coleman pitched the eight innings in Saturday’s loss.
Alfonso Soriano continued to struggle Saturday and appeared to be favoring his left knee in the seventh inning when he could not get to an eventual single off the bat of Aramis Ramirez. Soriano missed a couple of games last week and the Cubs’ lineup might benefit from him being held out of today’s game. The Cubs are trying to get Soriano going but in 28 games he has yet to hit one out of the park … his longest drought to start a season.
In other news … The MRI on Carlos Marmol’s right hamstring showed very minimal damage according to multiple reports. Carlos Marmol might have to go on a minor league rehab before returning to the Cubs’ pen. Reports indicated that Marmol could end up not missing much more than his required 15 days.
Today all starts with Jeff Samardzija … Jeff Samardzija is coming off another excellent outing and his manager will need another similar outing this afternoon. Samardzija held the Braves to one run on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in seven innings. Samardzija has garnered a lot of compliments after his last two starts and hopefully he can stay focused and continue to get the job done.
After his dud in Miami, Samardzija has allowed a total of two earned runs in his last three starts and is 2-0 in his last two outings with a 1.23 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP.
Jeff Samardzija makes his fourth start outside of Wrigley this afternoon. He is 2-1 in the first three with a 6.06 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP.
Samardzija missed the Brewers in the first series of the year at Wrigley. For his career, Samardzija owns a 2-2 record against the Brewers in 15 games, one start, with a 4.84 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP … at Miller Park, 0-1 in eight games, one start, with a 5.25 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.
Brewers Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
- Ryan Braun – 4-for-9 with a home run and two walks
- Brooks Conrad – 0-for-1
- Corey Hart – 2-for-9 with a double and a walk
- Cesar Izturis – 0-for-1 with a walk
- George Kottaras – 0-for-1
- Jonathan Lucroy – 0-for-2 with two walk
- Nyjer Morgan – 1-for-5 with a walk
- Rickie Weeks – 1-for-3 with a walk
Marco Estrada has taken the spot in the Brewers’ rotation vacated by the injured Chris Narveson. Estrada started the year in Milwaukee’s pen and has struggled in his last two outings.
The Reds smacked Marco Estrada around in the fourth inning and scored all five runs Estrada allowed that day. Estrada lasted seven innings and gave up five runs on eight hits with no walks and five strikeouts. The Reds launched two dingers … a solo shot by Zack Cozart and a two-run shot by Joey Votto.
Today will be the first time Marco Estrada has started a game against the Chicago Cubs. Estrada has no record in five career relief appearances with a 11.37 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP (eight runs on six hits with four walks and nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings).
Cubs Career Numbers against Marco Estrada
- Jeff Baker – 0-for-2
- Darwin Barney – 0-for-1
- Tony Campana – 0-for-1
- Starlin Castro – 1-for-1 with a double
- Reed Johnson – 0-for-1
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk
- Ian Stewart – 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …
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