Game Three: Cubs (2-0) vs. Diamondbacks (1-2)
- Game Time – 8:40pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Chase Field, Phoenix
John Lackey (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–) vs. Rubby De La Rosa (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–)
The Cubs return to the field tonight in Phoenix and begin a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Cubs played good ball in Anaheim and face the challenge that is the D-Backs for the next four games. Even with A.J. Pollock on the 60-day DL, the Diamondbacks have an explosive offense led by Paul Goldschmidt. Chip Hale’s team had an unexpected start to the season. Zack Greinke, Shelby Miller and Patrick Corbin struggled against Trevor Story and the Rockies. The D-Backs should be in the mix for a division title and a spot in the post-season the entire year and will look to get back on track against the Cubs this weekend.
The Cubs were 4-2 in the six games versus the Diamondbacks last season but have historically struggled mightily at Chase Field. Joe Maddon and several of the players have stressed the importance of a strong start to the season. The next four days will be a good test for the Cubs against a very good D-Backs’ team.
John Lackey makes his Cubs’ debut tonight against right-hander Rubby De La Rosa. Jason Hammel is scheduled to for his first start of the year on Friday night versus lefty Robbie Ray. Kyle Hendricks takes on Zack Greinke on Saturday night. And Greinke should be well beyond the flu that impacted his first start by then. Jake Arrieta and Shelby Miller wrap up the series on Sunday afternoon.
Tonight all starts with John Lackey …
John Lackey begins his second full season in the National League today. Lackey was really good for the Cardinals last year, some at the Cubs’ expense, and due to injury he was the Redbirds’ No. 1 starter by the final month of the season.
Lackey was 13-10 in 33 starts with the Cardinals a year ago with a 2.77 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 3.57 FIP. Lackey gave up 71 runs, 67 earned, on 211 hits with 53 walks and 175 strikeouts in 218 innings. Over a year and a half (43) starts, Lackey was 16-13 with a 3.10 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 3.72 FIP with the Cardinals.
Outside of St. Louis last season, Lackey was 4-6 with a 3.82 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 16 starts. And tonight is Lackey’s fourth career start against the D-Backs.
John Lackey is 2-0 in three career starts versus Arizona. Lackey has allowed six runs, four earned, on 20 hits with six walks and 18 strikeouts in 20 innings (1.80 ERA, 1.30 WHIP). In two starts at Chase Field, Lackey is 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA and 1.43 WHIP.
Diamondbacks Career Numbers against John Lackey
- Jean Segura: 8-for-19
- Rickie Weeks: 1-for-7
- Nick Ahmed: 0-for-3
- Welington Castillo: 0-for-3
- Paul Goldschmidt: 2-for-3 with a home run
- Jake Lamb: 0-for-2 with a walk
- David Peralta: 1-for-3
Rubby De La Rosa’s first season with the Diamondbacks did not go the way Tony LaRussa and Dave Stewart hoped it would. Rubby De La Rosa made 32 starts and posted a 14-9 record with a 4.67 ERA. 1.35 WHIP and 4.81 FIP. De La Rosa gave up 103 runs, 98 earned, on 193 hits with 63 walks and 150 strikeouts in 188 2/3 innings. De La Rosa made positive steps forward early in Spring Training before limping to the end of camp.
De La Rosa is very talented but has yet to put it together for any stretch of time.
In 15 home starts last season, De La Rosa was 7-4 with a 5.23 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. De La Rosa allowed 53 runs, 50 earned, on 92 hits with 31 walks and 75 strikeouts in 86 innings.
Rubby De La Rosa faced the Cubs twice last season and was 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. De La Rosa allowed seven runs on nine hits with four walks and 14 strikeouts in 11 innings. The one homer he served up to the Cubs was rather memorable.
Kris Bryant launched a 495 foot homer off De La Rosa on Sept. 6, the longest home run in the big leagues during the 2015 season.
Cubs Career Numbers against Rubby De La Rosa
- Dexter Fowler: 3-for-11 with two walks
- Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-7 with one double and one walk
- Miguel Montero: 1-for-5 with two walks
- Ben Zobrist: 2-for-6 with one double
- Kris Bryant: 2-for-4 with one home run
- Addison Russell: 1-for-3 with one walk
- Jason Heyward: 0-for-3
- Jorge Soler: 1-for-3
- Tommy La Stella: 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …