Game Forty-Eight: Cubs (33-14) vs. Phillies (26-23)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN-TV – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 185, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
John Lackey, RHP (4-2, 3.38/0.94/3.15) vs. Vince Velasquez, RHP (5-1, 2.75/1.14/3.28)
The Cubs look to complete the sweep of the Phillies today behind John Lackey. After taking the first two games, the Cubs have a chance to not only sweep the series this afternoon but a win today would be the fifth in a row and put the team 20 games over .500 before Memorial Day.
The Cubs will see one of the better young arms in the league this afternoon in Vince Velasquez.
The Phillies acquired Vince Velasquez in the ridiculous haul they received for Ken Giles. The Astros overpaid considerably for Giles, who struggled mightily pitching with pressure but has been better of late. The Phillies sent Giles, a late inning reliever or closer, to the Astros along with Jonathan Arauz for Velasquez, Mark Appel, Harold Arauz, Thomas Eshelman and Brett Oberholtzer.
The Phillies put together a solid rotation with the two trades with the Rangers and Astros and by drafting Aaron Nola.
As was the case on Saturday with Jerad Eickhoff, if the Cubs allow Vince Velasquez to get comfortable and settle in it could be a long afternoon for the offense.
Today all starts with John Lackey …
John Lackey was really good the last time out with the exception of one pitch that cost him two runs and the lead. Lackey held his former team to one run in the first six innings and took a 3-1 lead into the seventh. Lackey hung a breaking ball to Matt Adams with Yadier Molina on base and the big first baseman tied the game at three. The Cubs lost the game 4-3.
John Lackey is 1-1 in his last five starts with a 2.25 ERA and 0.75 WHIP. Lackey has put the Cubs in position to win the game but they are only 2-3 his last five times out. Lackey takes the hill at Wrigley today for his fifth start of the season. Lackey is 2-1 in the first four with a 2.12 ERA and 0.84 WHIP.
John Lackey faces the Phillies for the eighth time in his career today. Lackey is 3-4 in seven starts with a 3.13 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. Last season, Lackey was 1-1 in two starts against the Phillies with a 2.57 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.
Phillies Career Numbers against John Lackey
- Ryan Howard: 3-for-16 with two home runs and one walk
- Carlos Ruiz: 3-for-13
- Freddy Galvis: 2-for-9
- David Laugh: 1-for-6 with one walk
- Peter Bourjos: 3-for-4
- Odubel Herrera: 3-for-4
- Emmanuel Burriss: 0-for-3
- Maikel Franco: 2-for-3
- Cesar Hernandez: 0-for-1
The Cubs get their first look at Vince Velasquez this afternoon. The dynamic right-hander is coming off a short outing against the Tigers in Detroit. Velasquez gave up three runs on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts in four innings. In his previous outing against the Marlins, Velasquez tossed five innings of scoreless ball and struck out 10 while allowing only three hits.
Vince Velasquez broke onto the scene in April with 33 strikeouts in his first 25 1/3 innings. Velasquez dominated the Padres on April 14 and punched out 16 in a complete game gem. Over his last five starts, Velasquez is 2-0 with a 3.67 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. Velasquez has allowed 11 runs, all earned, on 27 hits with 11 walks and 28 strikeouts in 27 innings.
If the Cubs are patient and make him work early they will be able to rattle him. Velasquez is not the same pitcher on the road than he’s been at home this season. Velasquez is 2-0 in five road starts with a 4.50 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. But if he’s allowed to settle in, his strikeout total at the end of the game could be rather high.
No one on Joe Maddon’s active roster has faced Vince Velasquez in a regular season big league ballgame.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …