Game Seventy-One: Cubs (24-46) vs. Diamondbacks (35-35)
Game Time – 9:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 179/914
Location – U.S. Chase Field, Phoenix
Paul Maholm (4-5, 4.88/1.32) vs. Ian Kennedy (5-7, 4.13/1.29)
After taking the first two on the current six-game road trip, the Cubs will try to end their two-game skid tonight behind Paul Maholm. The Cubs’ offense has been non-existent over the past three games after putting a 12-spot on the board Monday night at the Cell. While the offense has struggled, the pitching has not been much better … the Cubs have been outscored 13-1 in their last two games.
Unfortunately for the Cubs it does not figure to get any easier tonight with Ian Kennedy on the hill but at least a more productive lineup will be on the field.
In other news … Prior to Friday’s game, Dale Sveum said Anthony Rizzo would not be called up this weekend while the team is in Arizona. Sveum would not rule out Rizzo making his Cubs’ debut next week at Wrigley Field. The Cubs open a six-game homestand on Monday with the first of three against the Mets. The final homestand before the break ends next weekend with three against the Houston Astros. Johan Santana is scheduled to pitch the opener on Monday which could push Rizzo’s debut, at the earliest, to Tuesday.
Dale Sveum also announced that Randy Wells will get at least one more start. After a horrible outing Wednesday night on the South Side, Sveum mentioned the Cubs might have to call-up Chris Volstad or Chris Rusin the next time Dempster’s spot in the rotation came around. Sveum squashed those ideas Friday afternoon and the man that has had multiple chances will get another one.
From the rumor mill … Bruce Levine confirmed the Tigers interest in Darwin Barney during Saturday morning’s Talkin’ Baseball (ESPN 1000). Levine reported that the Cubs and Tigers have discussed Barney but the extent of the discussions is unknown. The Cubs would not just give Barney away and would have to receive the right offer, according to Levine, to trade Barney.
On the 28th Anniversary of The Sandberg Game, it all begins with Paul Maholm … After struggling for the most part of a month, Paul Maholm is coming off his second consecutive quality start. Maholm held the Red Sox to three runs on six hits with a walk and six strikeouts in six innings. Maholm had better command and left with the game tied at three.
Paul Maholm is 0-2 in his last four starts with a 5.48 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP … but in his last two, no record (Cubs, 1-1) with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP (12 hits, two walks and 13 strikeouts in last 12 innings). Maholm, like so many of his teammates, has struggled on the road this season. Maholm is 1-3 in six starts outside of Wrigley with a 6.16 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP.
Paul Maholm has never beaten Arizona. In five career starts, Maholm is 0-2 with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP … at Chase Field, 0-1 in one start with a 7.20 ERA and a 2.20 WHIP (six runs, four earned, on seven hits with four walks and three strikeouts in five innings).
Diamondbacks Career Numbers against Paul Maholm
- Henry Blanco – 3-for-15 with two walks
- Willie Bloomquist – 2-for-6 with a triple
- Aaron Hill – 0-for-3
- Jason Kubel – 2-for-6 with a home run
- Lyle Overbay – 1-for-8
- Ryan Roberts – 0-for-2
- Justin Upton – 0-for-4 with two walks
- Chris Young – 2-for-4 with two walks
Ian Kennedy was one of the reasons the D-Backs won the West last season. Kennedy posted a 21-4 record in 33 starts with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. Kennedy has been good, for the most part, again this year but not as consistent or as dominating.
Kennedy has lost his last two games but surrendered only two runs on six hits with no walks and six strikeouts in eight innings to the Angels. Kennedy is 1-2 in his last three starts with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. The former Yankee is 3-2 in six starts at home this year with a 4.70 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP.
Ian Kennedy is 1-1 in three career starts against the Cubs with a 5.91 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Ian Kennedy
- Jeff Baker – 0-for-4
- Darwin Barney – 1-for-4
- Starlin Castro – 2-for-7 with a double and a triple
- David DeJesus – 1-for-5 with a double and a walk
- Reed Johnson – 0-for-3
- Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-6 with a home run
- Geovany Soto – 2-for-7 with two double and two walks
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