Game Eighty-Six: Cubs (33-52) vs. Diamondbacks (42-43)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Paul Maholm (6-6, 4.57/1.36) vs. Ian Kennedy (6-7, 4.26/1.33)
Updated 4:18pm CDT – First Pitch of Cubs-Diamondbacks game is Scheduled for 5:00pm CDT
Weather permitting … The second half of the baseball season begins at Wrigley Field this afternoon. The Cubs and Diamondbacks is the first game back from the four day All-Star break. Dale Sveum’s team opens a six game homestand with the first of three against Arizona that ends Wednesday with the finale against the Marlins.
The Cubs were playing their best ball of the year prior to the break. The Cubs won nine of 13, were 3-0-1 in the four series leading up to the break and finished the first half out of the cellar in the division.
Dale Sveum altered his rotation slightly prior to the team leaving New York. Paul Maholm, Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza will face the Diamondbacks this weekend with Travis Wood and Jeff Samardzija starting the first two games of the Marlins’ series. The Cubs moved Samardzija back in order to monitor his innings in the second half.
The Cubs are scheduled to face only one left-hander over the next three games. After Ian Kennedy this afternoon, Joe Saunders is expected to come off the DL to face Dempster on Saturday and Kirk Gibson has Trevor Cahill penciled in for Sunday’s finale against Garza.
The Cubs were embarrassed by the Diamondbacks in Arizona three weeks ago. The D-Backs took all three games and outscored the Cubs 21-7 in the process. Sveum’s team has played much better at Wrigley (19-20) than on the road (14-32) and will look to begin the second half the way they finished the first.
This afternoon all starts with Paul Maholm …
After just a horrible outing against the Diamondbacks in Arizona, Paul Maholm put together two very good starts prior to making his first relief appearance at the big league level.
The Diamondbacks spanked Maholm on June 23 over the 3 1/3 innings he pitched. Maholm allowed seven runs, six earned, on nine hits with three walks and no strikeouts. Maholm more than bounced back in his next outing against the Astros. Maholm came within two outs of a complete game shutout and surrendered just four hits, one walk and struck out six. Maholm followed up his stellar outing against Houston with a solid start against the Braves.
In his last outing, Maholm allowed one run on eight hits with a walk and five strikeouts in six innings in Atlanta.
Paul Maholm is 2-0 in his last two starts with a 0.62 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP.
In his first season with the Cubs, Maholm has pitched rather well at Wrigley. Maholm is 4-2 in eight starts with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.
There are no two ways about it … Paul Maholm has struggled throughout his career against the Diamondbacks. Maholm has never beaten Arizona and owns a 0-3 mark in six starts with a 5.34 ERA and a 1.81 WHIP.
Diamondbacks Career Numbers against Paul Maholm
- Henry Blanco – 3-for-15 with two walks
- Willie Bloomquist – 3-for-9 with a triple
- Geoff Blum – 0-for-1 with a walk
- Stephen Drew – 0-for-2
- Paul Goldschmidt – 1-for-3 with a triple
- Aaron Hill – 0-for-6
- Ian Kennedy – two walks
- Jason Kubel – 4-for-9 with a double and a home run
- Miguel Montero – 1-for-2
- Lyle Overbay – 1-for-8
- Ryan Roberts – 1-for-4
- Justin Upton – 2-for-6 with a home run and three walks
- Chris Young – 3-for-6 with a double and two walks
Ian Kennedy put together two solid seven-inning outings after his dud against the Cubs on June 23. Kennedy allowed five runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings to the Cubs and after his team gave him a big lead he was not able to hang around long enough to qualify for the win.
After his bad start against the Cubs, Kennedy allowed three runs, one earned, to Milwaukee on six hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in seven innings. Kennedy followed up his first win in over three weeks with a decent seven-inning outing against the Padres. San Diego ended up winning the game (8-6) but Kennedy allowed four runs on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts.
Ian Kennedy has been solid on the road this year … 3-5 in nine starts with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.
Ian Kennedy is 1-1 in four career games against the Cubs with a 6.66 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 1-0 in one start with a 4.50 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP (five runs, four earned, on six hits with a walk and six strikeouts in eight innings).
Cubs Career Numbers against Ian Kennedy
- Jeff Baker – 0-for-4
- Darwin Barney – 1-for-4
- Starlin Castro – 4-for-10 with a double and a triple
- Steve Clevenger – 1-for-3 with a double
- David DeJesus – 4-for-8 with two doubles and a walk
- Reed Johnson – 0-for-3
- Bryan LaHair – 0-for-3
- Paul Maholm – 1-for-2 with a home run
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-8 with a home run and three walks
- Luis Valbuena – 0-for-3
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