Game Eighty-Five: Cubs (46-38) vs. White Sox (39-44)
- Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.82/1.15/3.41) vs. Carlos Rodon (3-2, 4.18/1.64/3.68)
It’s the North Side versus the South Side for the first round of the Crosstown series. The Cubs and White Sox will spend the next three days together leading up to the All-Star break. The Sox won the Crosstown Cup last season after winning three of the four games. And the Cubs will look to regain bragging rights this year.
The Cubs and Sox have six games on the schedule against one another this season. The Cubs make the trip to The Cell for round two in August (Aug. 14-16). Joe Maddon’s team is 5-5 in the 10 games this season with the Junior Circuit. And the Cubs are catching the White Sox at the wrong time.
After struggling for a majority of the season, the White Sox have caught fire, winning seven of their last 10 games. The Sox think they are back in the hunt for a spot in the post-season and are six games back of the Twins for the second AL Wild Card. The Tigers, Orioles, Blue Jays, Rays, Rangers, Red Sox and Indians are ahead of the White Sox in the Wild Card standings.
The White Sox will give the Cubs the best they have for the next three days. Winning this series against the Cubs would go a long way in changing the perception of the fan base and media in what has been a disappointing season to this point.
There will be a few familiar faces in the first base dugout this afternoon. The Sox’s active roster includes four former Cubs … Jeff Samardzija, Geovany Soto, Emilio Bonifacio and Zach Putnam.
The Cubs offense has a tough three days ahead of them. After today’s matchup of Kyle Hendricks and Carlos Rodon, Jon Lester squares off against Chris Sale on Saturday. Jake Arrieta and Jose Quintana are scheduled to pitch the finale Sunday afternoon. While the Cubs will see three southpaws and miss Jeff Samardzija, the runs figure to be at a minimum for Joe Maddon’s team throughout the weekend.
The Cubs begin play today three games in front of the Mets and four ahead of the Giants and Diamondbacks for the second NL Wild Card.
Joe Maddon should have his team ready to play and the energy in the crowd should help the Cubs from suffering a letdown after four games with the Cardinals and the day off.
This afternoon all starts with Kyle Hendricks …
Kyle Hendricks has been at the top of his game in each of his last two starts and the Cubs will need more of the same from him this afternoon. Hendricks followed up his shutout performance in New York by pitching into the eighth inning last Sunday at Wrigley Field while keeping the Marlins off the board. Hendricks allowed just five hits over 7 1/3 scoreless innings with a walk and six strikeouts to the Fish.
Kyle Hendricks has allowed no runs on eight hits with two walks and 12 strikeouts over his last two starts, 13 1/3 innings (0.00 ERA, 0.75 WHIP).
At Wrigley Field this year, Kyle Hendricks is 1-2 in seven starts with a 3.29 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Hendricks has allowed 15 runs, all earned, on 33 hits with eight walks and 41 strikeouts in 41 innings. And he faces the White Sox for the first time today.
Kyle Hendricks makes his first start in the Crosstown series. Hendricks has not faced the Sox in a game that counts and no one on Robin Ventura’s roster has an at-bat in a regular season game against Hendricks.
The Cubs get their first look at Carlos Rodon. The White Sox selected the southpaw one pick before the Cubs took Kyle Schwarber in last year’s draft. Reports have indicated, the Cubs would have taken Rodon if he had slipped down any further in the draft.
Carlos Rodon is going through the typical rookie ups and downs but at times he has shown how good he can be. Rodon has an incredibly bright future and today should be the first of many matchups with the Cubs.
The 22-year old lefty is 3-2 in 13 games, 10 starts, with a 4.18 ERA, 1.64 WHIP and 3.68 this year. In 60 1/3 innings, Rodon has allowed 31 runs, 28 earned, on 64 hits with 35 walks and 62 strikeouts.
Rodon is coming off a rough outing against the Orioles. Rodon allowed four runs on four hits with four walks and seven strikeouts in five innings. Rodon has struggled on the road, which is to be expected, and is 0-1 in seven games, five starts, outside of The Cell with a 5.59 ERA and 1.90 WHIP.
The Cubs must be patient with him today. Making Rodon work will benefit the Cubs in many ways. He will issue free passes, run up his pitch count and force Robin Ventura to go to his bullpen early and often.
Carlos Rodon takes the hill at Wrigley for his first start against the Cubs.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …