Game Forty-Seven: Cubs (25-21) vs. Royals (28-18)
- Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jake Arrieta (4-4, 2.95/1.09/2.38) vs. Edinson Volquez (4-3, 2.77/1.07/3.43)
Weather permitting … The Cubs return to the field this afternoon for the first game of the season against the Junior Circuit. The Cubs welcome the Kansas City Royals to Wrigley for the first time since 2001 … and welcome back former manager Dale Sveum and former Brewers’ skipper Ned Yost. The Cubs first Interleague series of the year will give the team another chance to see how they stack up against one of the top teams in baseball. The Cubs were 9-11 in Interleague play last year and have the AL Central on the schedule this season.
The Royals are coming off a rough series in the Bronx. After getting swept by the Yankees, the Royals begin play today tied with the Minnesota Twins atop of the AL Central. The Cubs have the Pirates hot on their tail in the NL Central and enter play 5 ½ games back of the Cardinals but just one-half game ahead of Pittsburgh. Maybe the Cubs could get some help this weekend from the over-hyped Padres.
The Cubs and Royals have not played games that count since 2011. The Cubs lost two of three in Kansas City that season with Mike Quade calling the shots for the eventual 71-win team. The Cubs lead the All-Time series with the Royals by only two games, 10-8.
After today’s matchup of Jake Arrieta and Edinson Volquez, if the weather stays away Tsuyoshi Wada is scheduled to face Yordano Ventura on Saturday night. Jason Hammel and Jeremy Guthrie are expected to pitch the series finale on Sunday afternoon.
The Cubs hit the road following Sunday’s finale for a nine-game, three-city trip through Miami, Washington and Detroit. When the Cubs get back for the start of a six-game homestand with the Reds and Indians, the right field bleachers should be open and ready to go. Unless there is a delay, Sunday will be the last game the Cubs do not play in front of a packed house at Wrigley Field.
This afternoon all starts with Jake Arrieta …
Jake Arrieta has been consistently inconsistent all season. One start he looks like a top of the rotation starter the Cubs believe he is and the next he struggles with mechanics, elevates and becomes very hittable. The Cubs need the good Arrieta to show up to the park this afternoon, not the one that started last Saturday at Chase Field.
The Diamondbacks scored six runs, three earned, off Arrieta in six innings. Arrieta surrendered seven hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Arrieta received a no decision thanks to Jorge Soler and Anthony Rizzo.
Jake Arrieta is 1-3 in his last five starts with a 3.73 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Teams have hit .267 against him and he has given up 31 hits with seven walks and 37 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings.
At Wrigley this season, Arrieta is 2-3 in five starts with a 2.41 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP.
Today is Jake Arrieta’s fourth career start against the Royals. Arrieta is 2-0 in the first three with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. Arrieta last faced Kansas City during the 2011 season. Arrieta was 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP against a much different Royals team.
Royals Career Numbers against Jake Arrieta
- Alex Gordon: 2-for-8 with one double
- Kendrys Morales: 2-for-5
- Drew Butera: 1-for-4 with one triple
- Alcides Escobar: 0-for-3 with one walk
- Eric Hosmer: 0-for-3
- Omar Infante: 2-for-2
The Cubs face an old nemesis today in Edinson Volquez. The veteran right hander has pretty much owned the Cubs throughout his career. And he’s been at his best when he has started games against the Cubs in three different uniforms … the Reds, Padres and Pirates.
The fountain of youth that Volquez rediscovered in Pittsburgh has found its way to Kansas City. Volquez has been very good in nine starts for Kansas City and he’s coming off a win against the Cardinals. Volquez held St. Louis to two runs on four hits with three walks and a strikeout in six innings.
Over his last five starts, Volquez is 2-1 with a 3.67 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. And on the road this year, Volquez is 0-2 in three starts with a 3.93 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.
Edinson Volquez makes his 12th career appearance and 11th start against the Cubs today. Volquez is a perfect 7-0 with a 2.90 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP … and at Wrigley, 3-0 in four starts with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Edinson Volquez
- Dexter Fowler: 8-for-25 with one double, one triple, one home run and four walks
- Miguel Montero: 5-for-24 with two double and four walks
- Starlin Castro: 5-for-21 with one double and one home run
- Chris Coghlan: 1-for-5 with one double and three walks
- Jonathan Herrera: 3-for-5 with two walks
- Anthony Rizzo: 3-for-7 with two double and one walk
- Mike Baxter: 2-for-6 with one double, one home run and one walk
- Junior Lake: 2-for-5
- David Ross: 0-for-1 with one walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …