Game Forty-Five: Cubs (24-20) vs. Nationals (27-18)
- Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, ESPN – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 4.14/1.18/3.46) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (4-2, 3.52/1.27/3.02)
Weather permitting … The Cubs look to put an end to the two-game losing skid behind Kyle Hendricks tonight. The Cubs need a similar outing to the one turned in by The Professor, or El Profesor, the last time out. Hendricks is coming off the best outing of his big league career now he has the tough task of slowing down the Nationals while his teammates try to scratch out runs against Jordan Zimmermann.
The front office talked to the Nationals about Jordan Zimmermann in the off-season. The Cubs really like Jordan Zimmermann and will make a big play on him when he hits free agency this fall. Zimmermann and David Price are expected to be at the top of the Cubs’ off-season priority list.
It will be interesting to see the lineup Joe Maddon runs out tonight. Lefties have hit .324/.369/.369 against Zimmermann this year while right handers have been limited to .224/.259/.239. A balanced lineup will give the Cubs the best shot at winning the game and at the same time, maybe give a player or two a little break against a very difficult pitcher.
Tonight all starts with Kyle Hendricks …
Kyle Hendricks is clearly coming off his best start in the majors. Hendricks has been working very hard with Chris Bosio on his fastball command, and it all clicked for him in San Diego. Hendricks commanding the zone and throwing quality strikes are keys to his success. If the Cubs could receive a Kyle Hendricks similar to the way he pitched last season for 13 games, the Cubs will stay in the running for a spot in the post-season all summer.
Hendricks is 1-0 in his last four starts with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. Hendricks has given up 24 hits with five walks and 18 strikeouts in his last 25 innings. At home this year, Hendricks is a troubling 0-1 in three starts with a 4.86 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.
Kyle Hendricks faces another challenge today with keeping the Nationals off the board while his teammates deal with Jordan Zimmermann.
Tonight is Kyle Hendricks’ first start against the Nationals. And not a single player on Matt Williams’ active roster has faced him in a regular season big league ballgame.
Jordan Zimmermann has been, well, Jordan Zimmermann this season. His numbers have been skewed by one really bad outing in Boston. Outside of the eight runs, seven earned, on nine hits he gave up in 2 1/3 innings to the Sox, Zimmermann has been very, very good this year. He has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his other starts … and in six of his starts he has held the opponent to two runs or less.
Zimmermann held the Yankees in check for seven innings his last time out. Zimmermann allowed two runs on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Zimmermann is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Those that do not look at each one of his starts will think Zimmermann has lost something this season. That is simply not the case.
For his career, Jordan Zimmermann is 1-4 in seven starts against the Cubs with a 4.81 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. Last year, Zimmermann faced the Cubs one time and received a no decision after tossing six innings of shutout ball with a walk and five strikeouts. At Wrigley, Zimmermann owns a 0-3 mark in three career starts with a 6.27 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Jordan Zimmermann
- Starlin Castro: 3-for-19 with one double and one triple
- Miguel Montero: 6-for-17 with three doubles and one walk
- Chris Coghlan: 4-for-16
- Dexter Fowler: 2-for-13 with three walks
- Anthony Rizzo: 3-for-8 with one home run and one walk
- Jonathan Herrera: 0-for-6
- Mike Baxter: 0-for-4
- Junior Lake: 2-for-3 with two double
- David Ross: 1-for-1 with one walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …