Game One Hundred Fifty-Seven: Cubs (91-65) vs. Reds (63-93)
- Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 186, 844
- Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati
Dan Haren (9-9, 3.83/1.18/4.83) vs. Josh Smith (0-2, 7.23/1.90/6.27)
Weather permitting … The Cubs begin the final road trip of the regular season tonight with the first of three in Cincinnati against Joey Votto and the last place Reds. The Cubs are 10-6 versus the Redlegs this year in what has been a very close season series between the division rivals. The Cubs and Reds have scored the same amount of runs (73) over the first 16 games.
The Reds appear to be mailing in the end of the season with just one win in the last 10 games (1-9) but the Reds always seem to step-up and play good ball against the Cubs. Reports have suggested the Reds might retain Bryan Price while questions mount about the direction of the franchise.
The Cubs will face two pitchers over the next three days they have zero history with and Anthony DeSclafani. After tonight’s matchup of Dan Haren and Josh Smith, Jon Lester makes his final start of the regular season on Wednesday against DeSclafani. The series wraps up Thursday morning with Jason Hammel opposing lefty John Lamb.
If the Cubs are able to play tonight, Joe Maddon’s lineup should be left-handed heavy. With a short-sample size in mind, left-handers have hit .359/.500/.540 against Josh Smith in the majors while right handers have batted .273/.369/.338 against the right-handed rookie.
Tonight all starts with Dan Haren …
The Cubs skipped Dan Haren the last time through the rotation, tonight will be Haren’s first start in 11 days. Haren faced the Cardinals back on Sept. 18 and received a no decision. Haren was charged with three runs, one earned, on three hits with no walks and two strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. The Cubs won the game 8-3. Over Haren’s last nine starts, the Cubs are 5-4.
Haren is 2-2 in nine starts with a 5.00 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. Haren makes his second appearance against the Reds tonight. Haren received a no-decision on Sept. 1 in a game the Cubs won 5-4. Haren allowed two runs on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts in five innings.
For his career, Haren is 5-4 in 12 games, 11 starts, against the Reds with a 4.21 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. At Great American, Haren is 2-3 in seven games, six starts, with a 5.09 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. Dan Haren has served up nine home runs at the Great American Launching Pad.
Reds Career Numbers against Dan Haren
- Brandon Phillips: 9-for-29 with one double, two home runs and one walk
- Jay Bruce: 3-for-19 with one double and two walks
- Joey Votto: 5-for-16 with one double, one home run and four walks
- Skip Schumaker: 4-for-18 with one walk
- Todd Frazier: 4-for-13 with two doubles and one home run
- Brayan Pena: 3-for-10 with one double and one walk
- Jason Bourgeois: 2-for-9
- Eugenio Suarez: 0-for-8
- Brennan Boesch: 0-for-6
- Tucker Barnhart: 3-for-5 with two doubles
- Ivan DeJesus: 0-for-2
Josh Smith makes the sixth start of his big league career tonight. Smith had a decent outing his last time out. Smith gave up all three runs to the Mets in the first inning before he settled in. Smith allowed three runs on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts in five innings.
The 28-year old right hander was 8-9 in the Reds system this season in 25 games, 22 starts, with a 3.77 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. At the Triple-A level, Smith allowed 84 hits with 24 walks and 69 strikeouts in 86 1/3 innings.
No one on Joe Maddon’s active roster has faced Josh Smith in a regular season big league ball game.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …