Game Eight: Cubs (4-3) vs. Reds (5-3)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WPWR My50 – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 185, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Travis Wood (0-1, 5.79/1.93/2.11) vs. Jason Marquis (0-0, 4.50/1.17/3.80)
Jackie Robinson Day
The Cubs join all of Major League Baseball by hosting Jackie Robinson Day at Wrigley Field. Jackie Robinson’s legacy is memorialized each year on April 15 to recognize the anniversary of the Hall of Famer breaking baseball’s color barrier. Uniformed players and personnel at each ballpark will wear Jackie Robinson’s retired No. 42 on their jerseys that day. Each base used at Wrigley Field will feature a commemorative Jackie Robinson Day base jewel. A pregame ceremony will include video highlighting Jackie Robinson’s career and legacy. The team will present the 9th annual Jackie Robinson Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner Award, which recognizes diverse business partners who exhibit and continue the legacy of Jackie Robinson. Finally, several Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars will be recognized on the field, and these students will have the honor of leading the evening’s 7th inning stretch.
Today is one of, if not the most important day on the baseball calendar because of what Jackie Robinson meant beyond baseball.
Joe Maddon should run out another balanced lineup tonight. Over the course of his career, right handers (.271/.329/.430) have hit pretty much the same as lefties (.273/.360/.440) against Marquis. The Cubs must get off to a quick start, make Marquis work and not allow him to gain any confidence. If the offense swings early and often, it’s going to be another frustrating night for the Cubs.
What should be a different looking Cubs’ team makes the trip to Cincinnati next weekend to take on the Reds and a winning series at Wrigley would go a long way toward gaining the advantage back in the head-to-head matchups with the Redlegs.
Tonight all starts with Travis Wood …
Travis Wood is coming off a serviceable, but short start against the Rockies in his first outing of the season. Wood was not as bad as his line looks (three runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings) but not as good as one would like to see from a Major League starter. Wood turned the game over to the pen with the Cubs down 3-1 and very much in the game.
Travis Wood should benefit from having Miguel Montero behind the plate. Welington Castillo appeared to do a better job catching Wood last Friday. It would seem Montero could at least get a couple of those close pitches to go in Wood’s favor.
Travis Wood was nearly a run better at Wrigley last year than on the road. Wood was 3-6 in 16 home starts last season with a 4.63 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. The biggest difference was in the strikeout to walk ratio. While it was nearly 1:1 on the road (52 strikeouts, 40 walks), Wood was close to posting a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio (94 strikeouts, 36 walks) at Wrigley.
Tonight marks the 11th time Wood takes the hill against the organization that drafted him. Wood is 2-5 in 10 career starts against the Reds with a 2.98 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. Last year, Wood was 1-1 in three games versus the Redlegs with a 1.56 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP.
Reds Career Numbers against Travis Wood
- Todd Frazier: 8-for-26 with two home runs and three walks
- Brandon Phillips: 6-for-26 with one double, one home run and one walk
- Jay Bruce: 5-for-21 with three home runs and one walk
- Zack Cozart: 3-for-23 with two doubles
- Marlon Byrd: 3-for-20 with one double and one walk
- Joey Votto: 3-for-13 with two walks
- Billy Hamilton: 2-for-8 with one double and one walk
- Kris Negron: 0-for-5
- Brennan Boesch: 1-for-3
- Brayan Pena: 0-for-2
Jason Marquis is back in a big league rotation and notched a quality start in his last outing. Marquis did not pitch in the majors last year after posting a 9-5 record in 20 starts for the Padres in 2013 with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP.
Marquis was one of several former Cubs that signed minor league contracts with the Reds in the off-season. Marquis earned a spot in the Reds rotation in the spring, now he has the tough task of keeping it. Marquis passed the first test when he allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts over six innings to the Cardinals.
Jason Marquis pitched for the National League Central Division Champs of 2007 and 2008. Marquis was 23-18 in 63 games, 61 starts, for the Cubs over two seasons with a 4.57 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and 4.81 FIP. Jim Hendry dealt Marquis to Colorado during the 2008-09 off-season for Luis Vizcaino.
Over the course of his career, Marquis is 4-7 in 14 games, 13 starts, against the Cubs with a 4.13 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. At Wrigley Field, Marquis is 14-12 in 37 starts with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Jason Marquis
- Miguel Montero: 7-for-20 with two doubles, four home runs and four walks
- Dexter Fowler: 2-for-8 with one home run and one walk
- Chris Coghlan: 2-for-8 with one double
- David Ross: 1-for-2 with one double and two walks
- Starlin Castro: 0-for-3
- Anthony Rizzo: 0-for-1 with one walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …