Game Fifty-Three: Cubs (37-15) vs. Diamondbacks (24-32)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
John Lackey, RHP (5-2, 3.16/0.96/3.37) vs. Archie Bradley, RHP (2-0, 6.11/1.47/4.25)
The Cubs welcome the Diamondbacks to Wrigley for the first of three afternoon games. The Cubs are 6-1 on the current 10-game homestand with three left before the nine-game road trip that begins Monday in Philadelphia.
The Cubs took three of four from the Diamondbacks in the second series of the season (April 7-10). John Lackey made his Cubs’ debut in the opener on the first Thursday of the regular season that will be remembered for the collision between Kyle Schwarber and Dexter Fowler. The Cubs went on to win that game and the last two games of the series following the emotional letdown in game two.
The Diamondbacks have really struggled this season and have not played anywhere near expectations. The D-Backs enter play today fourth in the NL West, 10 games behind the Giants. The results have been better for the D-Backs on the road (15-12) than at home (9-20). Chip Hale’s team is 3-7 in the last 10 games.
After today’s matchup of John Lackey and Archie Bradley, Jason Hammel is scheduled to face lefty Edwin Escobar on Saturday afternoon (1:20pm CDT). The Cubs wrap up the series and season series with the D-Backs and homestand Sunday (1:20pm CDT). Jake Arrieta is expected to take on lefty Patrick Corbin.
It will be interesting to see how Joe Maddon stacks his lineup. Left-handers have managed a .221/.359/.327 line with a .686 OPS in 11 big league games against Bradley while right-handers have a .310/.364/.490 line with a .854 OPS.
Today all starts with John Lackey …
With so many things going right for the Cubs this season John Lackey’s performance has flown under the radar. Lackey has pitched to expectations and given length to the rotation that simply was not there last season. Lackey has completed at least seven innings in five of his last six starts and is coming off a solid outing against the Phillies.
Lackey picked up the win his last time out. Lackey allowed one run on four hits with four walks and six strikeouts in seven innings. The four free passes were rather concerning and represented a season-high. Lackey cannot give the Diamondbacks extra baserunners today.
Lackey is 2-1 in his last six starts with a 2.09 ERA and 0.81 WHIP and he faces the D-Backs for the second time on the season this afternoon.
John Lackey made his Cubs debut on April 7 against the D-Backs in Phoenix. Lackey was roughed up early before settling in and giving Joe Maddon innings. Lackey allowed six runs on eight hits with a walk and four strikeouts in six innings. The Cubs won the game 14-6 on the night Kyle Schwarber was lost for the season.
For his career, Lackey is 3-0 in four starts against the Diamondbacks with a 3.46 ERA and 1.35 WHIP.
Diamondbacks Career Numbers against John Lackey
- Jean Segura: 10-for-22 with two home runs
- Michael Bourn: 3-for-14 with one double, one triple and two walks
- Rickie Weeks: 1-for-7
- Nick Ahmed: 0-for-6
- Welington Castillo: 0-for-6
- Paul Goldschmidt: 3-for-5 with one home run and one walk
- Mike Lamb: 2-for-4 with one walk
- Chris Owings: 0-for-3
- Yasmany Tomas: 0-for-3
The Diamondbacks finally made the call and brought up Archie Bradley and he was very good against a bad Padres team his last time out. Bradley gave up three runs on four hits with a walk and nine strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Bradley makes only his fourth start of the season in the big leagues today.
Bradley started seven games for Triple-A Reno this season and was 5-1 with a 1.99 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Bradley gave up nine runs on 26 hits with 18 walks and 47 strikeouts in 40 2/3 innings. In the big leagues this season, Bradley has allowed 12 runs on 18 hits with eight walks and 15 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings.
The Cubs get their first look at Bradley in a regular season game today. The Cubs torched Bradley in Spring Training during a meaningless Cactus League game at Sloan Park.
Jason Heyward (0-for-2) is the only player on Joe Maddon’s roster that has faced Archie Bradley in a game that counts.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …