Game Fifty-Three: Cubs (22-30) vs. Diamondbacks (30-23)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183/844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Matt Garza (0-0, 4.00/1.33) vs. Wade Miley (3-4, 4.53/1.39)
Weather permitting … The Cubs open a three-game series this afternoon against Paul Goldschmidt and the first place Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cubs are riding a season-high four-game winning streak and have played their best ball of the season since the sixth inning of last Sunday’s game in Cincinnati. After completing the improbable comeback against the Reds, the Cubs won all three against the White Sox while outscoring the South Side 24-6. But that was then and Dale Sveum’s team faces a big challenge over the next three days in the gritty Diamondbacks. The Cubs were 4-5 in the nine games against the D-Backs last season and are 8-8 in their last 16 games with Arizona. But Kirk Gibson has the D-Backs clicking on all cylinders and they enter play this afternoon a game and a half ahead of the Giants in the west. The Diamondbacks are 14-11 on the road this season, tied for the second best road mark in the Senor Circuit.
The Cubs will face two very good southpaws over the next three games. After today’s match-up of Matt Garza and lefty Wade Miley, Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face Ian Kennedy on Saturday night. Edwin Jackson wraps up the series on Sunday afternoon against the undefeated lefty, Patrick Corbin.
Matt Garza figures to be very amped at the beginning of the game and keeping his pitch count low in the first inning will be key for him pitching past the fifth inning. Garza makes his first start at Wrigley since returning from the DL and has not pitched at Wrigley since he tossed seven innings of shutout ball against the Diamondbacks last July 15.
While the numbers show that Dale Sveum should run out a balanced lineup this afternoon (lefties hitting .314/.327/.442 off Miley this season while righties have managed a .253/.337/.354 slash line) both Cody Ransom and Scott Hairston have good career numbers against Wade Miley and should be in the starting lineup.
Bob Brenly is back at Wrigley this weekend and will call Saturday night’s game on FOX.
This afternoon all starts with Matt Garza …
Matt Garza makes his third start of the season this afternoon. Garza has dominated the Pirates for five innings and could not get to the fifth inning in Cincinnati last Sunday. Garza allowed four runs on four hits with four walks and seven strikeouts in four innings to the Reds before his teammates took him off the hook with the late comeback and win in extra innings. Even with his poor outing, Garza has thrown the ball extremely well since coming off the DL.
Matt Garza makes his first start of the season at Wrigley today. Garza was 3-1 in seven home starts a year ago with a 2.12 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.
Today marks the fourth time that Matt Garza has started a game against Arizona. Garza is 2-1 in three career starts versus the Snakes with a 2.45 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. Garza was 1-1 in two starts against the D-Backs last season with a 1.93 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP. Garza allowed three runs on 10 hits with two walks and 14 strikeouts in 14 innings.
Diamondbacks Career Numbers against Matt Garza
- Paul Goldschmidt – 0-for-3
- Eric Hinske – 2-for-7 with a walk
- Jason Kubel – 1-for-5 with a home run and a walk
- Wade Miley – 0-for-2
- Miguel Montero – 3-for-9
- Wil Nieves – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Gerardo Parra – 2-for-8 with two triples and two walks
- Cliff Pennington – 0-for-3
- Martin Prado – 3-for-8 with a double
- Cody Ross – 1-for-9 with two walks
- Josh Wilson – 1-for-7
Wade Miley is coming off his worst outing of the season and has lost his last three starts. Miley lasted just 3 2/3 innings against the Padres and allowed seven runs on seven hits with a walk and a strikeout. Miley has really struggled of late after a tremendous start to his season.
Miley was 2-0 in his first five starts with a 2.37 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP, but in his last five starts the talented southpaw is 1-4 with a 6.91 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Miley has surrendered 34 hits and walked seven batters while striking out only 16 in his last 27 1/3 innings. Most of Miley’s struggles have been in his home park at not on the road. Miley is 2-2 in six road starts with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.
Wade Miley makes just his second career start against the Cubs in his first appearance at Wrigley Field this afternoon. Miley shut down the Cubs last season in Arizona with a dominating eight-inning performance. Miley allowed only one run on three hits with a walk and seven strikeouts.
Cubs Career Numbers against Wade Miley
- Darwin Barney – 2-for-3 with a double
- Starlin Castro – 0-for-3
- David DeJesus – 0-for-4
- Matt Garza – 0-for-2
- Scott Hairston – 4-for-6 with three double
- Cody Ransom – 2-for-5 with a double and a home run
- Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-3 with a home run
- Luis Valbuena – 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …