Game Eighty – Cubs (34-45) vs. Nationals (42-38)
- Game Time – 6:15pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jeff Samardzija (2-6, 2.53/1.19/2.89) vs. Blake Treinen (0-3, 2.08/1.45/3.07)
Let’s Play Two as the great Ernie Banks would say …
Weather permitting … The Cubs dropped the first game of the twin bill Saturday afternoon by a final of 3-0. The Cubs were shutout for the 10th time this season and hung a loss on rookie Dallas Beeler. The right hander was rather impressive in his big league debut. But the offense managed only three hits and one was off the bat of Dallas Beeler.
The Cubs wrap up the series with the Nationals and the homestand tonight with the last of four against the Nationals. The Cubs are 4-5 on the homestand and 2-1 in the first three games with the Nationals. If the offense can put some runs on the board and Jeff Samardzija can keep the Nationals off the scoreboard, the Cubs have a shot at a .500 homestand and a series win against a first place team.
The Cubs have their first scheduled day off on a Sunday since 1932 and open a very difficult 11-game, three city road trip Monday with the first of three in Boston. The Cubs go from Boston to Washington for three next weekend and finish the trip with five games in Cincinnati that includes a day-night doubleheader on July 8.
Welington Castillo is in the starting lineup and behind the plate to catch Jeff Samardzija in game two. And for those wondering why Jeff Samardzija is starting the night game, Samardzija is 0-2 in seven starts under the lights this year with a 1.77 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP (39 hits, 14 walks and 44 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings).
The nightcap all starts with Jeff Samardzija …
Jeff Samardzija is coming off a good start against the Reds. Samardzija settled down after a rough three innings in which he ran up his pitch count. But after the third inning, Samardzija was about as good as it gets for him. Samardzija gave up one run on four hits with two walks, two HBP and seven strikeouts in six innings. The Cubs will need a long, efficient outing from Samardzija tonight. Samardzija has not completed more than six innings in a single start since June 7.
Samardzija is 1-2 in his last five games with a 4.82 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. In 28 innings, he’s allowed 18 runs, 15 earned, on 33 hits with 10 walks and 33 strikeouts. Samardzija is 1-3 in eight starts at Wrigley this season with a 1.63 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP and makes his fifth career start against the Nationals.
Jeff Samardzija is 2-2 in 11 games, four starts, in his career against the Nationals with a 2.35 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP … last year, 1-1 in two starts with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.
Nationals Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
The Nationals recalled RHP Blake Treinen to make the start tonight against the Cubs. Treinen has started four games for the Nationals this year and appeared in four other games out of the bullpen. In 30 1/3 innings, Treinen has allowed 34 hits with 10 walks and 17 strikeouts. And while there has been a lot of traffic on the bases, Treinen has found a way to limit the damage. Teams have scored only 10 runs, seven earned, while he’s been on the hill.
Treinen is 4-0 in eight starts with Triple-A Syracuse this season with a 1.80 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. In 35 innings at the Triple-A level, Treinen has given up 28 hits with nine walks and 31 strikeouts.
Baseball America ranked Blake Treinen as the 23rd best prospect in the Nationals system prior to the season. Treinen was acquired from the A’s in the Michael Morse deal and he has very good stuff.
Blake Treinen throws his fastball in the 91-95 mph range that tops out at 97 mph. Treinen features a power sinker and a curveball that flashes as a plus-pitch. Treinen’s slider (81-84 mph) is considered below-average and he also throws a fringy change-up (low-80s).
Blake Treinen is making the fifth start of his big league career tonight and no one on the Cubs’ active roster has faced him in a regular season big league ballgame.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …