Game Eight: Cubs (6-1) vs. Reds (5-2)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 184, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
John Lackey (1-0, 9.00/1.50/6.71) vs. Alfredo Simon (0-0, 1.80/1.40/2.81)
The Cubs get back to work tonight and will look to take the second game of the series from the Reds behind John Lackey.
With both Opening Day and the home opener now in the rearview mirror, the players will be able to settle into the routine of the season. The Cubs do not have another day off until April 25, as long as the weather cooperates.
The Cubs have two games against the Reds before the Rockies make their way to Wrigley for a three-game series this weekend. Joe Maddon’s team hits the road following Sunday’s finale with the Rockies and will spend next week in St. Louis and Cincinnati.
The last time John Lackey was on the mound at Wrigley Field it did not go very well for the veteran right hander. Javier Baez hit a three-run homer off Lackey and the Cubs sent his now former team home for the winter. Lackey will receive a warmer welcome today in his first start with the Cubs at Wrigley than he did last October.
Joe Maddon should load his lineup with lefties tonight. Alfredo Simon struggled against left-handed hitters a year ago (.289/.353/.509 with a .862 OPS) while right-handers managed a .257.327/.407 line with a .734 OPS.
Tonight all starts with John Lackey …
John Lackey’s first start of the season did not go the way he would have liked. John Lackey was roughed up early and gave up six runs in the first three innings to the Diamondbacks. Lackey settled in after his new teammates picked him up and took the lead with a five-run fourth inning. Lackey completed six innings and allowed six runs on eight hits (two home runs) with a walk and four strikeouts.
Lackey makes his Cubs debut at Wrigley Field tonight in what will be his tenth career start against the Reds.
John Lackey is 3-2 with a 2.75 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in nine starts versus the Reds … and five of those nine starts came last season. Lackey posted a 1-2 record last year against the Reds with a 2.91 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.
Reds Career Numbers against John Lackey
- Brandon Phillips: 5-for-27 with one double
- Jay Bruce: 5-for-23 with one double and two home runs
- Billy Hamilton: 6-for-18 with one double and one walk
- Joey Votto: 3-for-12 with two home runs and four walks
- Eugenio Suarez: 4-for-14
- Devin Mesoraco: 1-for-10
- Zack Cozart: 2-for-8
- Adam Duvall: 2-for-6
- Alfredo Simon: 1-for-3 with one double
- Jordan Pacheco: 0-for-1
- Keyvius Sampson: 0-for-2
- Tucker Barnhart: 0-for-1
Alfredo Simon returned to the Reds late in Spring Training as Cincinnati looked to add pitching to the roster. Simon had a good run with the Reds before he was dealt to the Tigers. Simon was 15-10 with a 3.44 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 32 starts for the Reds in 2014. And a lot of his success was against the Cubs that season (3-0, 1.10 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, five starts).
Simon lasted five innings against the Pirates in his first outing of the season. Simon was charged with two runs, one earned, on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
In 15 appearances, five starts, Alfredo Simon is 4-0 with a 1.66 ERA and 1.04 WHIP against the Cubs … and at Wrigley Field, Simon owns a 1-0 record in eight games, three starts, with a 1.04 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Alfredo Simon
- Ben Zobrist: 4-for-16 with one double, one triple and three walks
- Anthony Rizzo: 5-for-17 with two home runs
- Jason Heyward: 1-for-8
- Miguel Montero: 2-for-4 with one double
- Tommy La Stella: 1-for-3 with one double
- John Lackey: 2-for-3
- Jorge Soler: 1-for-3
- Dexter Fowler: 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …