Time to start playing good baseball, and getting some wins, and no better time than right now. The Cubs travel to Cincinnati to take on the first place Reds for a three game series beginning tonight. The Reds have been playing solid baseball as of late as they are 6-4 in their last ten games, and have won seven of eight. The Cubs are the exact opposite, having lost three straight and only winning three times in their last ten games. The Reds are also clicking on all cylinders at home as they have an impressive 10-3 home record, if they could do anything on the road they might have a three or four game lead in the division, but they are only 1-5 away from Great American Ballpark. As bad as the Cubs have been, they are only 4.5 games out of first in a tightly packed Central Division, time to get hot, hopefully it starts tonight.
The Cubs came up empty in Milwaukee, getting swept in the three game series.
The Reds took three out of four from the Marlins in Cincinnati.
Game Times and Broadcast Information:
- Monday, April 22, 2013 – 6:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago
- Tuesday, April 23, 2013 – 6:10 PM CST on WGN TV
- Wednesday, April 24, 2013 – 11:35 AM CST on CSN Chicago, MLBN
Starting Pitchers Scheduled:
Game One – Travis Wood (1-1, 1.83)
– Career vs. Reds (2 GS) (0-1, 5.25)
Game Two – Carlos Villanueva (1-1, 1.83)
– Career vs. Reds (20 appearances. 5 GS) (2-2, 3.99)
Game Three – Jeff Samardzija (1-3, 3.38)
– Career vs. Reds (16 appearances, 2 GS) (1-1, 4.67)
Game One – Mike Leake (1-0, 4.26)
– Career vs. Cubs (10 GS) (4-2, 3.56)
Game Two – Tony Cingrani (1-0, 1.80)
– Career vs. Cubs (First appearance)
Game Three – Mat Latos (0-0, 2.73)
– Career vs. Cubs (5 GS) (2-2, 3.16)
I’m going into this series extremely positive, the Cubs have been in too many close games to keep losing at the clip they are. Unfortunately, this is a tough place to play and the Reds are playing well and have more talent, I think the Reds take two of three from the Cubs. BUT, if the Cubs defense actually defends I think the Cubs take two out of three. Keep an eye on Tony Cingrani in game two of the series, he is an outstanding young talent, and highly touted pitching prospect. Soon the Cubs will have guys like that, at least I hope they will.
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It was an uphill battle all day long for the Cubs, they were battling not only the Reds but themselves for the better part of the game. Mentally the Cubs were out of it again, Soriano was making base running errors, mental errors in the field, and Luis Valbuena had a great time watching the game on the bases instead of actually playing it. With all of that the Cubs were able to erase a 4-1 deficit to tie the game at four in the eighth inning, and made things interesting in the ninth. Brett Jackson somehow managed to hit a double off of all world closer Aroldis Chapman, but was then caught stealing third with one out, that would be something the Cubs would do today, nothing was going right. So you can guessed what happened next, before you could blink the Reds led off the ninth with a triple and two pitches later the game was over with the Reds winning 5-4. Chris Volstad got the start today, and he did an adequate job, not horrible, not terrific, something in the middle, and that’s okay from Volstad. He went six innings giving up four runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out four, if he gets hit I’m fine with it, he needs to avoid the walks and he did that today. David DeJesus led the offensive attack once again going 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and two runs scored in the loss. The Cubs only had seven hits but they were able to push across four runs as they were 3-for-8 with runners in scoring position. The Cubs travel to Milwaukee to start a three game series tomorrow night.
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Chris Volstad will take the mound today against Mat Latos and the powerful Reds offense. Anthony Rizzo gets the day off and Luis Valbuena is bumped up to the three spot in the order. Here is a look at the rest of the lineup for Sunday, August 19. The game can be seen at 12:10 on WGN.
DeJesus – RF
Barney – 2B
Valbuena – 3B
Soriano – LF
Castro – SS
LaHair – 1B
Jackson – CF
Clevenger – C
Volstad – P
Tons of baseball to be played this weekend in Cincinnati as the Cubs and Reds square off in a four game series. Yes, that’s right, four games in three days as the teams will play a double-header on Saturday which is making up a rain out from May. After not seeing the Reds for three months the Cubs will round out this weekend seeing them in eight of the last eleven games. The Reds just took three out of four from the Cubs at Wrigley so it’s time for the Cubs to return the favor. If they plan on doing so they are going to have to put up more performances like they did against the Astros in the series finale. The Cubs offense has been awful as of late as they struggle to find consistency with a very young lineup. Surprisingly the Reds are having the same troubles, I guess it’s to be expected as they are still without Joey Votto but the Reds have only scored the 9th most runs in the National League. Equally surprising is how good the Reds pitching staff has been, they have the second best ERA in the national league, it will be a formidable challenge for this Cubs offense.
Saturday August 18, 2012 – Game 2
Cubs: TBD (Most likely Raley)
Season Series: Reds lead 6-3
Prediction: Reds win series, 3-1
Thanks for reading, go Cubs!