Game Sixty-Five: Cubs (35-29) vs. Twins (36-30)
- Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN TV Ch. 9 – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 180, 844
- Location – Target Field, Minneapolis
Kyle Hendricks (2-2, 3.80/1.15/3.45) vs. Phil Hughes (4-6, 4.79/1.34/4.59)
Weather permitting … The Cubs road trip continues on a Friday night in Minneapolis with the first of three against the Twins. Paul Molitor has the Twins playing good ball. While the Twins are no longer in first place (3 1/2 back of the Royals, second place in the AL Central), few if any had the Twins with a winning record at this point of the season much less pushing for the top spot in the division.
Another one of the top prospects in the game will be on the field tonight. The Twins called up OF Byron Buxton last Saturday and he is 2-for-16 with a triple in his first five games. Kyle Schwarber and Byron Buxton faced one another in the Southern League less than two weeks ago and now both players are in The Show. Buxton might be glad Schwarber will not be behind the plate tonight. Schwarber is one of only three catchers to throw him out trying to steal a bag this year.
The Cubs are 3-4 in Interleague play this season. And really need to finish the road trip on a positive note (1-1 after two games) with seven games against the Dodgers and Cardinals on the schedule next week (four with the Dodgers at Wrigley Field, three in St. Louis).
The Cubs dropped two of three games in Minneapolis in 2012. And Joe Maddon will send top two starters to the hill on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
After tonight’s matchup of Kyle Hendricks and Phil Hughes, Jon Lester gets the ball on Saturday afternoon. Lester has decent numbers against the Twins and will face righty Trevor May. The series and trip concludes Sunday with Jake Arrieta taking on right-hander Kyle Gibson.
Tonight all starts with Kyle Hendricks …
Kyle Hendricks was on a roll his last time out. Hendricks had allowed one run on four hits with no walks and seven strikeouts to the Reds. Hendricks made only 57 pitches and appeared to be on his way to an excellent outing. But the rains came, the game was delayed and Hendricks was unable to return.
Kyle Hendricks is 1-1 in his last three starts with a 3.94 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. Hendricks has allowed eight runs, seven earned, on 17 hits with two walks and 18 strikeouts in 16 innings. The Cubs defense set the tone early in Hendricks’ last start and must be on their toes early and often tonight.
On the road this season, Hendricks is 2-1 in seven starts with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.
Kyle Hendricks makes his first career start against the Twins and no one on Paul Molitor’s roster has faced him in a big league game.
Phil Hughes got out of the Bronx and has been pretty good over the one-plus seasons he has been with the Twins. Hughes struggled in May and had a rough outing in Boston two starts ago. But he has still recorded four quality starts in his last six games.
Hughes gave up three runs on nine hits in six innings his last time out with a walk and three strikeouts. Hughes is 0-2 in his last three starts with a 5.50 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. And at home this year, Phil Hughes is 3-2 in six starts with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.
Phil Hughes faces the Cubs for the first time in his career.
Cubs Career Numbers against Phil Hughes
- David Ross: 3-for-8 with one home run
- Dexter Fowler: 1-for-3 with one triple
- Miguel Montero: 0-for-3
- Mike Baxter: 0-for-2
- Chris Denorfia: 1-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …