Game Fifty-Eight: Cubs (40-17) vs. Phillies (29-30)
- Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 184, 844
- Location – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
John Lackey, RHP (6-2, 2.88/0.97/3.19) vs. Vince Velasquez, RHP (5-2, 3.67/1.27/3.57)
Weather permitting … The Cubs take on the Phillies for the final time in the 2016 season this afternoon. The Cubs are 4-1 in the first five in the season series with the Phillies and need a ‘W’ today in order to win the series in Philly and have a happy flight, with Meat Loaf, to Atlanta.
John Lackey takes the hill and will oppose Vince Velasquez. Like Jerad Eickhoff, Velasquez has had a lot of success at Citizens Bank Park. The Cubs offense hasn’t exactly clicked on all cylinders of late and it doesn’t figure to get any easier for them today.
Based on the splits, Joe Maddon should run out a balanced lineup against Velasquez. Right-handers have a .707 OPS (.243/.298/.409) against the dynamic right-hander this season while left-handers have a .706 OPS with a .243/.323/.383 slash line.
Today all starts with John Lackey …
John Lackey is coming off another excellent outing. The veteran right-hander has gone about his business pitching behind Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester in the rotation. For Lackey it’s all about the team and winning games. With that said, he’s beginning to receive the recognition he deserves for the way he’s pitched this season.
Lackey shut the door on the Diamondbacks his last time out. Lackey said it was important for him to have a good start against a team that beat him up early in the year. Lackey allowed five hits over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. Lackey struck out nine and issued two free passes in a 6-0 win.
Starts in Phoenix and Cincinnati have skewed his numbers outside of Wrigley Field. Lackey is 2-1 in five road starts with a 4.55 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. And he faces the Phillies for the second and final time this season.
John Lackey allowed one run on four hits (solo homer by Tyler Goeddel) to the Phillies in seven innings on May 29. Lackey walked four and struck out six. For his career, Lackey is 4-4 in eight starts against the Phillies with a 2.89 ERA and 1.26 WHIP … at Citizens Bank Park, Lackey is 1-3 in four starts with a 3.51 ERA and 1.40 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: 3-for-12 with one double
- Peter Bourjos: 3-for-6 with one walk
- Odubel Herrera: 3-for-7
- Cody Asche: 2-for-5 with one home run and one walk
- Maikel Franco: 2-for-5 with one walk
- Andres Blanco: 0-for-3
- Tyler Goeddel: 1-for-2 with one home run and one walk
- Tommy Joseph: 0-for-3
- Cameron Rupp: 1-for-3
- Vince Velasquez: 1-for-2
- Cesar Hernandez: 0-for-1
After a sensational start to the season, Vince Velasquez has struggled over the past four weeks and will look to get back on-track against the Cubs this afternoon. Velasquez was touched up for seven runs on nine hits at Wrigley Field 10 days ago. And he followed up his rough outing in Chicago with a short start against the Brewers. Velasquez allowed two runs on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts to Milwaukee in 4 1/3 innings.
Velasquez has put together excellent numbers at Citizens Bank Park. In five starts, Velasquez is 3-1 with a 1.26 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. Velasquez has allowed seven runs, four earned, on 17 hits with nine walks and 42 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings.
It will be interesting to see what adjustments he makes against a Cubs team that hit him very hard less than two weeks ago.
Cubs Career Numbers against Vince Velasquez
- Kris Bryant: 2-for-3
- Dexter Fowler: 1-for-2 with one walk
- Jason Heyward: 1-for-3
- Miguel Montero: 2-for-3 with one home run
- Anthony Rizzo: 2-for-2 with one walk
- Ben Zobrist: 1-for-3 with one home run
- John Lackey: 0-for-2
- Addison Russell: 0-for-2
- Matt Szczur: 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …