Game Two: Cubs (1-0) vs. Angels (0-1)
- Game Time – 9:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 178, 844
- Location – Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Los Angeles
Jon Lester (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–) vs. Andrew Heaney (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–)
The Cubs turn to Jon Lester tonight in search of the two-game series sweep over the Angels and the franchise’s first 2-0 start to a season in over 20 years.
Jon Lester had a very good spring on the mound. Spring Training is over and the Angels will test him tonight. Mike Scioscia plays a National League style of ball. The Angels will try to rattle Lester early, make him field his position and throw the baseball. It’s going to be up to Lester to make all of the work he put in during camp payoff in his first start of the season.
With the lefty Andrew Heaney on the hill, Joe Maddon should debut his right-handed lineup tonight. David Ross will be behind the plate with Lester on the mound, but lefties (.228/.261/.307/.568) had very little success against Andrew Heaney last year compared to right-handers (.255/.321/.402/.723). Maddon may simply substitute Miguel Montero with Ross and let Kyle Schwarber take the at bats versus the southpaw.
The Cubs have Wednesday off back in Arizona and open a four-game series with the Diamondbacks at Chase Field on Thursday night (8:40pm CDT). John Lackey makes his Cubs’ debut on Thursday against Rubby De La Rosa. Friday is Jason Hammel versus lefty Robbie Ray. Kyle Hendricks takes on Zack Greinke on Saturday and the first road trip of the season ends with Jake Arrieta and Shelby Miller on Sunday afternoon.
Tonight all starts with Jon Lester …
Jon Lester had a very good first season with the Cubs. After a slow start to the year, Lester finished with an 11-12 record in 32 starts with a 3.34 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 2.92 FIP. Lester allowed 83 runs, 76 earned, on 183 hits with 47 walks and 207 strikeouts in 205 innings.
After the break while Jake Arrieta was making history, Lester went 7-4 in 14 starts with a 3.04 ERA and 0.96 WHIP (32 runs, 74 hits, 17 walks, 98 strikeouts).
On the road last season, Lester was 4-3 in 12 starts with a 2.93 ERA and 0.97 WHIP.
Lester made five starts against American League teams last year and really struggled, especially against the Tigers. Lester was 0-3 with a 5.59 ERA and 1.41 WHIP.
Jon Lester makes the 12th start of his career against the Angels tonight. Lester is 4-4 in 11 games with a 3.93 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. At Angel Stadium, Lester owns a 2-2 mark in five starts with a 4.76 ERA and 1.62 WHIP.
Angels Career Numbers against Jon Lester
- Yunel Escobar: 10-for-44 with a double and five walks
- Craig Gentry: 2-for-11 with a walk
- Albert Pujols: 5-for-12 with two doubles
- Mike Trout: 2-for-11 with a walk
- Andrelton Simmons: 4-for-10 with a double
- Johnny Giavotella: 2-for-9 with a triple
- Kole Calhoun: 1-for-7
- C.J. Cron: 0-for-3
- Cliff Pennington: 0-for-2 with a walk
- Geovany Soto: 1-for-3
The Cubs face a very tough lefty tonight in Andrew Heaney. In his first season with the Angels a year ago, Heaney was 6-4 with a 3.49 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 3.73 FIP. In 18 starts, Heaney gave up 41 runs, all earned, on 99 hits with 28 walks and 78 strikeouts in 105 2/3 innings.
The Angels acquired Heaney from the Dodgers in the Howie Kendrick deal within a couple of hours on Dec. 11, 2014 of the Dodgers trading Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, Miguel Rojas and cash to the Marlins for Heaney, Austin Barnes, Chris Hatcher and Kike Hernandez.
Andrew Heaney makes his first career start against the Cubs tonight. And no one on the Cubs active roster has faced Heaney in a regular season big league game.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …