Game Fifteen: Cubs (5-9) vs. Brewers (6-8)
- Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WCIU – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 188/844
- Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee
Jeff Samardzija (1-2, 2.75/0.97) vs. Marco Estrada (1-0, 4.50/1.28)
The Cubs begin a ten-game, three-city road trip tonight with the first of three games in Milwaukee. After three against the Brewers, the Cubs travel to Cincinnati for three then finish the trip with a four-game series in Miami.
While the Cubs were dealing with the weather and the Rangers, the Brewers swept the Giants in Miller Park and should be quite the challenge this weekend. The Cubs have really struggled with Milwaukee over the last two-plus seasons. The two division rivals split the rain-shortened series at Wrigley ten days ago.
One of the many reasons the Cubs have not fared well against the Brewers is their inability to hit pitchers like Marco Estrada while allowing Ryan Braun and Norichika Aoki to hit the ball all over the park.
After tonight’s match-up of Jeff Samardzija and Marco Estrada, Edwin Jackson will square off against Hiram Burgos. Burgos is the Brewers’ reigning Minor League Pitcher of the Year and will be making his big league debut. Scott Feldman faces Wily Peralta in the finale on Sunday afternoon.
The Cubs difficult road trip all starts with Jeff Samardzija …
Jeff Samardzija makes his fourth start of the season tonight and his first against the Brewers. Samardzija is coming off a so-so outing against the Giants last Saturday in which he struggled with his command. Samardzija did not have his best stuff and managed to allow only two runs on seven hits in six innings on a very cold day at Wrigley. Samardzija walked one and struck out five.
Over his last two starts, Samardzija has been just about as dominant as a pitcher can be, very sloppy and average while keeping his team in both games. Samardzija appears on the verge of taking his game to the next level. Tonight will be a good test for him.
Samardzija has allowed less than a runner per inning pitched this season while posting better than a 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio. In 19 2/3 innings, Samardzija has allowed 13 hits and six walks while striking out 27 batters.
The Cubs’ number one starter makes his fourth career start against the Brewers tonight. Samardzija is 2-3 in 17 career appearances, three starts, with a 3.93 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. Samardzija was 0-1 in two starts versus Milwaukee last year with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP (10 hits, two walks and 16 strikeouts in 12 innings) … at Miller Park for his career, 0-1 in nine games, two starts, with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.
Brewers Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
- Norichika Aoki – 4-for-6 with a double, a triple and a walk
- Yuniesky Betancourt – 0-for-2
- Ryan Braun – 6-for-13 with a double, a home run and three walks
- Marco Estrada – 0-for-2
- Alex Gonzalez – 0-for-2
- Jonathan Lucroy – 0-for-7 with two walks
- Jean Segura – 1-for-3
- Rickie Weeks – 1-for-6 with a walk
The Cubs will get another shot at Marco Estrada tonight. Estrada is coming off a quality start against the Cardinals in which he allowed three runs on seven hits with a walk and seven strikeouts over six innings. Estrada received a no decision in a 4-3 Brewers victory.
Teams are not being patient with the Brewers’ right hander. Estrada has walked only two batters over his first 18 innings of the season. Estrada will continue to eat innings until teams layoff his pitches. In his first three starts, Estrada has allowed 21 hits while striking out 21 batters.
Marco Estrada has dominated the Cubs over the last two seasons. Estrada beat the Cubs on April 8 and was a perfect 2-0 in four games, three starts, against the Cubs last year with a 1.00 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. For his career, Estrada owns a 3-0 mark in nine games, four starts, versus the Cubs with a 3.56 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Marco Estrada
- Darwin Barney – 0-for-7
- Welington Castillo – 1-for-5 with a home run
- Starlin Castro – 5-for-12 with two doubles and a triple
- David DeJesus – 2-for-12
- Dioner Navarro – 0-for-1
- Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-9
- Jeff Samardzija – 0-for-1
- Nate Schierholtz – 1-for-3 with a double
- Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-12 with three doubles and a walk
- Luis Valbuena – 0-for-2 with a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …