Game Twenty-One – Cubs (7-13) vs. Diamondbacks (6-18)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 185, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Edwin Jackson (1-1, 5.40/1.85/3.35) vs. Mike Bolsinger (0-1, 10.29/2.29/3.89)
Weather permitting … The Cubs will try to put Wednesday’s loss behind them and end the seven-game homestand on a positive note. The Cubs can still win their first series since last September (Sept. 9-11) and finish the homestand with a winning record (3-3 after six games).
Rick Renteria needs a long outing from Edwin Jackson this afternoon. And for him to step up and provide some stability to the pitching staff in the wake of Wednesday’s meltdown by the bullpen. If Pedro Strop is available, he would only be used for a batter or two and to put it simply, Jose Veras should not see the mound unless the Cubs are getting blown out today.
The Cubs placed Justin Ruggiano on the 15-day DL with a left hamstring tear. Ruggiano will be out at least three to four weeks. The Cubs have decided to go with a 13-man pitching staff for now. The Cubs recalled RHP Neil Ramirez and LHP Zac Rosscup and optioned RHP Blake Parker to Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs will have eight relievers in the pen, three from the left side.
While the sample size is extremely small, lefties have hit .588/.611/.722 against Mike Bolsinger and right handers have hit .167/.250/.150 against him. Rick Renteria should run out a left handed heavy lineup today with the exceptions of Starlin Castro, Welington Castillo and Mike Olt.
And this afternoon it all starts with Edwin Jackson …
Edwin Jackson is coming off his best start of the season and one of his better outings in a Cubs’ uniform. Jackson held the Reds to two runs on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Jackson ran up his pitch count late in his outing and that kept him from completing six innings. Jackson had excellent command of his slider with good life on his fastball … and he will need the combination this afternoon in order to beat one of his former teams.
Edwin Jackson makes his third start of the season at Wrigley today. Jackson is 1-0 in the first two with a 6.97 ERA and a 2.23 WHIP.
Edwin Jackson owns a 2-3 mark over the course of his career in eight games, seven starts, against the Diamondbacks with a 4.95 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP. Arizona beat up Jackson the only time they faced him a year ago. Jackson took the loss after allowing seven runs, five earned, on 12 hits with three walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
Diamondbacks Career Numbers against Edwin Jackson
- Aaron Hill: 8-for-39 with one double and two home runs
- Gerardo Parra: 3-for-11 with two walks
- Martin Prado: 3-for-12 with one walk
- Miguel Montero: 4-for-9 with one double, one triple and two walks
- Cliff Pennington: 3-for-9 with one double
- Paul Goldschmidt: 4-for-9 with one double and one walk
- Cody Ross: 3-for-8 with one double
- Eric Chavez: 1-for-4 with one double and one walk
- Mark Trumbo: 0-for-3
- Tony Campana: 0-for-1
Injuries and poor performances by the starting staff have forced the Diamondbacks to insert Mike Bolsinger into the rotation. Bolsinger is making his second big league start this afternoon. The Chicago native has struggled in his first two outings and allowed seven runs, six earned, on seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts to the Dodgers in four innings his last time out.
Bolsinger was a perfect 2-0 in two starts for Triple-A Reno before his call-up with 10 strikeouts and four walks in 12 2/3 innings. The 26-year old was a combined 11-7 in 26 games, 23 starts, over two levels (Double-A, Triple-A) of Arizona’s system last season with a 4.06 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.
The Cubs must be patient early on and make Bolsinger work. No one on the Cubs’ current roster has faced Mike Bolsinger in a regular season big league game.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …