Some games just lack interest, this was one of them, unless you are a huge fan of lake enhanced fog, and who isn’t?? The only thing that would have been better is if Cheryl Scott was there to tell us about it. It was a foggy mess at Wrigley and the Cubs followed suit as they lost to Brandon Phillips 6-2, that’s right, Brandon Phillips drove in all six runs, the guys a jerk. One bad inning did Scott Feldman in, and the Cubs probably couldn’t see the ball, home field fog is supposed to help the home team!
Picture courtesy of my buddy Ben — @BenS12
I think I mentioned that it was imperative for the Cubs to get off to a good start on this road trip to avoid a disaster, well that didn’t happen. The Cubs limp into this weekend series against the Reds after getting swept by the Pirates and losing five out of their last six. That’s why I said that the Mets series would have either been a step forward or a big step back, they lost that series and spiraled since, that would be a step back as they sit ten games under .500 now which is a low water mark. Things aren’t going to get any easier as the Cubs start a three game series in Cincinnati tonight, a place where the Reds are 16-6 on the season, and have won eight of their last ten overall. If there is any good news heading into this series it’s that the Cubs have played the Reds tough all year-long, that doesn’t necessarily mean wins, guess we’ll have to rely on moral victories at this point. The Reds are back to scoring runs in bunches again and have scored 225 on the season, that’s good for sixth in the majors. They hold a huge edge in the department over the Cubs and the 179 runs they have scored this season. Scoring runs isn’t the only thing the Reds do well, they are pretty good at preventing the other team from doing so. They have a 3.31 team ERA which is third best in the Majors, you add up that kind of offense, and pitching and you get a team that is 29-18 on the season. The Cubs will need a perfect series in order to take two out of three this weekend.
The Cubs were swept in Pittsburgh, three games that we should all just forget about.
The Reds are rolling as they have won three straight, and eight out of their last ten. They are coming off a three game sweep of the Mets in New York.
Game Times and Broadcast Information:
- Friday, May 24, 2013 – 6:10 PM CST on WGN
- Saturday, May 25, 2013 – 3:10 PM CST on WGN
- Sunday, May 26, 2013 – 12:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago
Starting Pitchers Scheduled:
Game One – Scott Feldman (4-3, 2.19)
– Career vs. Reds (first appearance)
Game Two – Travis Wood (4-2, 2.24)
– Career vs. Reds (3 GS) (0-1, 4.42)
Game Three – Matt Garza (0-0, 0.00)
– Career vs. Reds (4 GS) (1-2, 3.80)
Game One – Bronson Arroyo (4-2, 3.25)
– Career vs. Cubs (28 appearances, 26 GS) (11-9, 2.99)
Game Two – Homer Bailey (2-3, 3.09)
– Career vs. Cubs (10 GS) (5-2, 5.12)
Game Three – Johnny Cueto (2-0, 3.22)
– Career vs. Cubs (18 GS) (8-6, 3.01)
The Cubs send their number four, five, and one starters to the mound in this series, and oddly enough that might be their best chance to win. Travis Wood, and Scott Feldman have been as good as any pitcher this year, not just on the Cubs either. With that said, the Reds are finding their groove and the Cubs look disinterested so I think they lose two out of three this weekend. HOWEVER, of course there is a however, I think if they can steal the first game tonight they could win two out of three, fingers crossed.
Cub to Watch:
Time for Anthony Rizzo to get back on track as he has struggled since signing his big contract extension. Could that be a product of Rizzo trying to justify his contract, I don’t think so, I think he is just pressing at the moment knowing he is a big part of this offense and is struggling. Rizzo has had success against Arroyo in the past (3-for-8), if he has a big night tonight then expect a big series as Rizzo usually parlays one big game into a torrid week or so.
The Reds come to Chicago for a three game series starting Tuesday, September 18. The Reds have all but locked up the division, but are just 5-5 in their last ten, including losing series’ to both the Marlins and the Astros. The Reds have gotten Joey Votto back since we last saw them, but Aroldis Chapman has been shut down for a little bit and the Cubs will not face him this weekend. The Cubs on the other hand have been playing good baseball as of late going 7-3 in their last ten and splitting their most recent series against the Pirates. The Cubs can’t really play spoiler against the Reds, but they can postpone the Reds clinching the division for a few days and hopefully against somebody else. Alfonso Soriano went over the 100 RBI plateau last week and he will look to hit his 30th home run this series against the Reds.
Record: 88-59 (road, 41-31) 1st in Central
Runs Scored: 627 – 8th in NL
Team ERA: 3.44 – 2nd in NL
Last 10: 5-5
Last Series: Lost two of three to the Marlins
Record: 58-89 (home, 36-36) 5th in Central
Runs Scored: 565 – 15 in NL
Team ERA: 4.46 – 14th in NL
Last 10: 7-3
Last Series: Split with the Pirates
Here are the pitching matchups for the series.
Season Series: Reds lead series 9-4
Prediction: Cubs lose series 2-1
Thanks for Reading,
This might have been the worst game of the season, sure the Cubs lost 10-8, only a two run defeat, but the game was played at a high school quality level. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure I want to disrespect any high school team with that comparison. This is the kind of stuff that needs to stop, sure, physical errors are going to happen, but the mental stuff can and should be avoided. Dale Sveum was probably the most upset that we have seen him after the game today, a lot had to do with Starlin Castro’s continued mental mistakes. Enough about that for now, Justin Germano got the start for the Cubs today and came back down to Earth a bit. Germano suffered his second loss of the season after going 5.2 innings giving up six runs, four earned, while walking two and striking out two. Germano got no help at all as the Cubs committed five errors behind him, FIVE. The Cubs did their best with the bats to try to make it a game and they did as the lead was cut to one in the 8th. The showdown of the game was in the 8th with the tying run on third Aroldis Chapman blew a 102 MPH fastball by Anthony Rizzo to get out of it, and basically end the Cubs day. Darwin Barney had a solid day at the plate going 3-for-5 with two runs scored in a day filled with missed opportunities as the Cubs were 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position. This had to be the most frustrating game of the season, luckily for all of us there is a new game tomorrow.
Sveum not happy, hints at sitting Castro
Thanks for reading,
Talk about a weird schedule, the Cubs and Reds will play each other a total of 17 times during the 2012 season. They have played each other only five times this year (one rain out) so far, and haven’t seen each other since May 3rd, a full three months ago. Since then the Reds have taken off and the Cubs have sunk to the bottom of the Central division, which was somewhat expected. The Reds have been rolling as they sit atop the Central division with a 2.5 game lead over the Pirates. July was rather spectacular for the Reds as they had 19 wins, a Major League best (tied with Oakland). They have leveled off here in August going 4-4 so far as they have lost their last four games, but they are doing this without their best player Joey Votto, quite the void to fill. To be fair the Reds have beat up on lesser opponents while Votto has been out, and it continues in Chicago this weekend. I hate saying that but it’s true, the Cubs are 0-for August, no wins in seven games and have lost eight straight. The Cubs offensive woes might get even worse as they face a Reds team that is third in the National League in ERA at 3.38.
Mike Leake has been beat up a little bit over his last three starts, but has turned in a decent season for the Reds up to this point. Leake has started against the Cubs 8 times in his career and he has been good. In those 8 starts Leake is 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.189 WHIP. Volstad on the other hand has been very bad, for a while. His numbers against the Reds in his career don’t exactly give me a lot of confidence that Volstad will record his first win in over a year. In four career starts against the Reds, Volstad is 1-3 with a 5.32 ERA, and a 1.479 WHIP, at least he has a win.
Justin Germano has been a pleasant surprise for the Cubs this season after being acquired mid-season from the Red Sox. Germano has been versatile for the Cubs, pitching out of the pen and the rotation. He is not going to light up the radar gun but he knows how to pitch, and pitchers have a chance against the Reds as opposed to throwers. Likewise, Homer Bailey has also been a nice surprise this season for the Reds as he is starting to fulfill some of that potential that everyone was so excited about. In his career, Bailey has been roughed up by the Cubs. In 8 career starts, Bailey is 3-2 with a 5.60 ERA, and 1.667 WHIP.
Travis Wood should have some extra incentive going into this one as the Reds are the only other team he has pitched for in his career. After struggling a bit in July, Wood has been pretty good the last two times out, however he has no wins to show for it. Bronson Arroyo profiles as a guy the Cubs struggle with, changes speeds, more slow than hard and the Cubs refuse to be patient. The numbers back this up, in 26 games (24 starts) against the Cubs in his career he is 9-9 with a 2.97 ERA and a 1.138 WHIP. If the Cubs want success against Arroyo they need to take pitches and force him to elevate.
Talk about being thrown into the fire, Brook Raley will make his second career start against a first place team and a 14 game winner. Raley was the victim of some bad luck in his major league debut where balls were just finding holes. He was unable to work out of jams after those dink and dunk hits and that’s what hurt him. I’m sure nerves will be an issue once again for Raley as he will be making his Wrigley Field debut. Johnny Cueto is having an outstanding season for the Reds, he has been just okay against the Cubs however. In 15 career starts, Cueto is 5-6 with a 3.55 ERA with a 1.320 WHIP.
Season Series: Reds lead 3-2
Prediction: Reds win series, 3-1
Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
The weather is miserable in the Chicagoland area today, but it’s not as bad as the Cubs, they are ice-cold. Thanks to a rocky outing from Chris Volstad, and some bad defensive work, stop me if you’ve heard this before, the Cubs have dropped their sixth in a row. Right from the hop it was apparent that the Cubs probably didn’t have a chance today. Before the sparse crowd could even get settled the Reds were up 4-0 in the top of the first inning against Volstad. Things never really got better for the Cubs as every time they tried to mount a comeback the Reds were able to tack on to their lead. When it was all said and done, the Reds walk out with a 9-4 victory, in which the Cubs almost had more errors (3) than runs (4) and hits (5). Full Recap after the jump.