Game Sixty-Four – Cubs (26-37) vs. Pirates (31-34)
- Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Jeff Samardzija (2-5, 2.54/1.13/3.03) vs. Edinson Volquez (3-5, 4.27/1.17/4.82)
Weather permitting … The Cubs wrap-up the four-game series in Pittsburgh tonight behind Jeff Samardzija. And the first step in earning a split in the series will be for Samardzija and the Cubs pen to keep Andrew McCutchen from hitting the ball out of the park. McCutchen has gone deep in each of the first three games, to three different fields. McCutchen went oppo on Monday, hit a towering shot over the centerfield wall on Tuesday and pulled one over the wall in left, just out of the reach of Chris Coghlan last night.
Jeff Samardzija has been very good and not-so good in his career against the Bucs and tonight will be a challenge for him.
The offense has been cold, hot and cold again over the first three games. And the Cubs will try to do something tonight no other Cubs team has been able to do, beat Edinson Volquez. The veteran right hander has never lost a game to the Cubs.
Rick Renteria should run out a balanced lineup tonight that includes Mike Olt. Right handers (.225/.289/.337) and lefties (.232/.303/.405) hit basically the same against Edinson Volquez and Olt should match-up rather well against Volquez
Tonight all starts with Jeff Samardzija …
Jeff Samardzija bounced back from his bad outing in Milwaukee and put together a good start against the Marlins his last time out. Samardzija limited the Fish to two runs on five hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in seven innings. Samardzija found a groove, threw strikes and picked up his second win of the season.
Like the rest of his teammates, the road has been rough for Samardzija this season. In six starts outside of Wrigley, Samardzija is 1-2 with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. But Samardzija was pretty good at PNC Park on Opening Day with seven innings of shutout ball while allowing five hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Jeff Samardzija has had success in the past against the Pirates (4-3 in 19 games, eight starts with a 1.90 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP) but will have to stay focused tonight in order to avoid a similar start to last June 8 versus the Pirates when he gave up four runs on eight hits in six innings.
Pirates Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
The Cubs will see a familiar face in Edinson Volquez. Volquez has had his way with the Cubs over the year whether he was wearing a Reds cap, a Padres cap or a Dodgers cap, he always seems to have good starts against the Cubs. Volquez is coming off a Volquez-type start against the Brewers in which he allowed four runs, three earned, on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts in six innings. Over his last two starts, Volquez is 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.
For as inconsistent as Volquez has been this year, he’s been solid at PNC Park. In eight games, seven starts, Volquez is 2-3 with a 3.74 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. Edinson Volquez will face the Cubs for the second time this season, first start, after posting a 5-0 record in nine career games, eight starts, against the Cubs with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.
The Cubs have to make him work and throw as many pitches early in the game, if they don’t Edinson Volquez will beat the Cubs again.
Cubs Career Numbers against Edinson Volquez
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …