The Cubs try to get back on the winning track tonight in Milwaukee behind Edwin Jackson. Jackson and the Cubs will be taking on Hiram Burgos who is making is Major League debut, the Cubs usually struggle against pitchers that are making their debut, I have nothing to back that up just seems that way. Here’s how the teams will lineup tonight at 6:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago.
Once again the Cubs put up a fight, and once again the Cubs lose a close game. The damage was done early as Samardzija and the Cubs gave up four runs, I said “and the Cubs” because they contributed to the runs just as much as Shark did. The game started with a Rizzo error, a soft single, a home run, a bloop double, a triple, and just like that it was 4-0. The Cubs came right back using the long ball to make it 4-3 in the third inning, but could never even the score despite many opportunities. The Cubs put the lead-off man on in almost every inning tonight and couldn’t do anything with it, this one was as frustrating as they come. Full credit to Samardzija for battling in this one, he could have folded in the first but didn’t and saved the pen. Dale Sveum was ejected in this one, and I was 110% happy with it, after a non strike three call with Braun at the plate (the same pitch Shark was called out on with the bases loaded) Samardzija was visibly upset, said something and got back on the mound, the umpire showed him up by taking his mask off and stared down Samardzija, first Castillo got in his face then Sveum did, well done Dale.
At The Plate – The Cubs issues with runners in scoring position reared its ugly head again in this one as the Cubs pounded out ten hits, but went 0-for-7 when it mattered with runners in scoring position. David DeJesus had a good night from the lead-off spot going 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI’s and a run scored. Anthony Rizzo continues to make his hits count, he was 1-for-4 with a home run, his 5th of the season, an RBI, and a run scored. Luis Valbuena was 1-for-3 with his 2nd home run of the season. Unfortunately only one of those blasts came with a guy on base, and not getting guys in from second with less than two outs continues to drag this team down. Newcomer Julio Borbon made a perfect Cubs debut by getting thrown out stealing second to end the game, he slid to soon, it was reminiscent of Willie Mays Hayes from “Major League.” Ah, Cubs baseball, never a dull moment.
On The Mound – I mentioned it above, but Jeff Samardzija really showed a lot tonight as he could have very easily packed it in tonight after a rough first inning that really wasn’t all his fault. After giving up four runs in the first he settled down and gave the Cubs all he could going 7+ innings giving up five runs, four earned, on six hits while walking one and striking out four. The two pitches he probably wants back is the 0-2 pitch to Braun that ended up being a three run shot, and the first pitch to Gomez in the eighth that left the park. Kevin Gregg made his 2013 Cubs debut, it looked a lot like 2009 efforts, he gave up a hit and walked a batter, then he was removed. Camp came in and got out of a jam thanks to the base running exploits by the Brewers, specifically Jean Segura who stole second and got caught stealing second in the same inning, I really don’t want to explain it, I will post the video if it’s available.
Jean Segura ladies and gentlemen
Up Next – Another thrilling Cubs game for sure, as this team doesn’t know any other way to play, no matter what it’s going to be close. Edwin Jackson gets the start for the Cubs and he will take on Hiram Burgos who will be making his MLB debut, game starts at 6:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago.
Thanks for reading,
No rain outs this weekend! It seems as though the Brewers have found a groove since playing the Cubs as they are playing better of late. Yesterday’s Cubs game was very encouraging as far as the offense goes, it was some of the best contact of the year, and they will see the best weather they have all year in Milwaukee, thanks roof. I really think the bats want to take off, Anthony Rizzo hit the ball hard in almost every at bat yesterday, Soriano hit his first home run yesterday, and Castro walked twice yesterday, all good things. Always a fun series in Milwaukee as a lot of Cubs fans usually make the trip up there, and it is rather important that the Cubs get off to a good start to this trip in Milwaukee or this ten game trip might not turn out so great.
The Cubs split a rain shortened two game set with the Rangers at home.
The Brewers swept a three game series against the Giants in Milwaukee.
Game Times and Broadcast Information:
- Friday, April 19, 2013 – 7:10 PM CST on WCIU
- Saturday, April 20, 2013 – 6:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago
- Sunday, April 21, 2013 – 1:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago
Starting Pitchers Scheduled:
Game One – Jeff Samardzija (1-2, 2.75)
– Career vs. Brewers (17 appearances, 3 GS) (2-3, 3.93)
Game Two – Edwin Jackson (0-2, 6.06)
– Career vs. Brewers (8 GS) (3-3, 3.57)
Game Three – Scott Feldman (0-2, 6.00)
– Career vs. Brewers (1 GS) (1-0, 0.00)
Game One – Marco Estrada (1-0, 4.50)
– Career vs. Cubs (9 appearances, 4 GS) (3-0, 3.56)
Game Two – Hiram Burgos (0-1, 4.50)
– Career vs. Cubs (First appearance, Major League Debut)
Game Three – Wily Peralta (0-1, 6.19)
– Career vs. Cubs (1 GS) (0-0, 2.70)
Who’s Hot / Who’s Not:
The Cubs hitting seems to be picking things up, sure it’s really only one game, but at this point I’ll take it. The Cubs could be considered to be falling on some back luck recently, especially in the Giants series. The Cubs went 3-6 on the rain shortened home stand and the record could have been the exact opposite if they could just close games out. Welington Castillo has been red-hot really all season long, as he is hitting .425 on the season with three double, a home run, and four RBI’s. Starlin Castro is also gaining traction at the plate as he has his average up to .311 with four doubles, a triple, two home runs, and six RBI’s. Anthony Rizzo has been struggling a bit, but found some bad luck recently with line outs, I think he has a big series in Milwaukee, he looks better at the plate of late. The Cubs starting pitching has been outstanding this year, the cumulative ERA is 3.15 which is sixth best in the Majors, conversely the bullpen ERA is 5.73 which is 29th in the Majors. Obviously, if that number is just a little bit lower the Cubs could have four or five more wins.
The Brewers are coming off an impressive showing against the defending champion Giants sweeping the three game set and outscoring them 21 to 13. Carlos Gomez is scorching hot for the Brewers, over the last five games he’s hitting .556 (10-for18) with a triple, home run, and two RBI’s. Jonathan Lucroy seems to have snapped out of his early season slump as well, he is hitting .350 (7-for-20) in his last five games with two home runs and five RBI’s. Ryan Braun has gone ice-cold, some are blaming a neck injury that he is coming off of because you just don’t see these types of numbers from him, he’s hitting .091 (2-for-22) in his last six games, those two hits were home runs. Milwaukee’s pitching is what is holding them back right now, and it’s been a mix of starters not getting the job done, and the bullpen being very unpredictable. Their team ERA is 4.75 which is good for 26th in the Majors.
I like the way the Cubs swung the bats against the Rangers yesterday and I think the warm weather (inside) in Milwaukee will continue that trend. I think the Cubs win two out of three this weekend, and might have an opportunity to sweep on Sunday.
Thanks for reading,