Game Eighty-Seven – Cubs (38-48) vs. Reds (45-42)
- Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 184, 844
- Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati
Edwin Jackson (5-8, 4.99/1.53/3.94) vs. Mike Leake (6-7, 3.47/1.18/3.67)
Weather permitting … The Cubs difficult 11-game, three-city road trip continues tonight with the first of five games in four days with the Reds. The Cubs and Reds will face weather challenges for the next two days. The forecast is calling for rain tonight and all day Tuesday when the two teams have a day-night doubleheader scheduled to make a rainout from April 28.
The Cubs enter play tonight 10 games under .500 and nine games under .500 against teams in the NL Central. Until the Cubs figure out how to beat teams in their division, the losing will continue. The Reds have owned the Cubs over the past two-plus seasons, especially at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are 3-5 in the first eight games of this season with the Reds and have only been outscored (36-31) by a total of five runs in the first eight games.
As of this writing, the Cubs and Reds had not announced their pitching rotations for the next five games. Edwin Jackson faces Mike Leake tonight in the opener and both Travis Wood and Tsuyoshi Wada are expected to pitch Tuesday’s doubleheader. Wada will be recalled as the Cubs’ 26th man. Reports have indicated LHP David Holmberg will start one of Tuesday’s two games for the Reds. Alfredo Simon is on the Reds schedule for Wednesday and Homer Bailey is expected to start Thursday’s finale.
The Cubs have not announced a starter for Wednesday or Thursday. Kyle Hendricks has been promoted from Triple-A Iowa, he will be added to the 40-man roster and he is expected to make his big league debut on either Wednesday or Thursday.
With all of the questions around the Cubs’ rotation right now, it would be a good time for Edwin Jackson to step up and finally pitch the way teams have always thought he could, and for more than an inning at a time.
The first of four in five days in the Queen City all starts with Edwin Jackson …
Edwin Jackson is coming off a start that looks good on paper but his final line does not tell the story of how he actually pitched. Jackson gave up one run on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts in six innings. Jackson benefited from several excellent defensive plays behind him and two Red Sox baserunning blunders. Edwin Jackson continued to struggle with Edwin Jackson, but he at least completed six innings for the first time since June 9 and posted his first quality start since May 17.
Edwin Jackson has really struggled outside of Wrigley Field this year. Jackson is 1-6 in nine starts with a 6.06 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. In only 49 innings, Jackson has given up 55 hits with 23 walks and 41 strikeouts.
Edwin Jackson faces the Reds for the fourth time this season. Jackson is 2-1 in the first three with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. In 16 2/3 innings, Jackson has allowed 10 runs on 19 hits with eight walks and 10 strikeouts.
Reds Numbers against Edwin Jackson in 2014
Mike Leake is yet another reason as to why a pitcher’s win-loss record is not the best way to judge if he’s having a good year or not. Leake is having a very good season for the Reds with the exception of a few starts. Leake is coming off a loss in San Diego in which he gave up three runs on 11 hits with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. In his two starts leading up to the dud in San Diego, Leake allowed two runs on eight hits in 16 innings (eight innings per start)
Mike Leake finished June with a 3-2 record in five starts with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP after going 1-2 in six May starts with a 2.16 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. Leake is 2-4 in seven starts at Great American this season with a 3.64 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP … and he’s always had the Cubs number.
In 14 career starts against the Cubs, Mike Leake is 7-2 with a 3.04 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Leake faces the Cubs for the first time in 2014 tonight.
Cubs Career Numbers against Mike Leake
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …