The Cubs head to Cincinnati to continue their seven game road trip, and they have a sour taste in their mouth. Although a four game series split in Pittsburgh is all you can ask for, the Cubs feel that they should have won the series. While they should have closed that one out yesterday, they probably should have lost game two, so I’ll call it even. The Cubs bullpen is reeling however, and they will need some deep starts from their best pitchers in this series. The Reds come into this series feeling pretty good about themselves as they took three out of four against a crapshow of a Milwaukee team, and sit just a half game behind the Cubs for second place in the Central.
- Friday, April 24, 2015 – 6:10 PM CST – CSN Chicago
- Saturday, April 25, 2015 – 12:10 PM CST – ABC 7 Chicago
- Sunday, April 26, 2015 – 12:10 PM CST – WGN TV
- Game One: Jon Lester (0-2, 6.89) vs. Mike Leake (0-1, 3.92)
- Game Two: Jake Arrieta (2-1, 1.74) vs. Anthony DeSclafani (2-0, 0.86)
- Game Three: Travis Wood (1-1, 3.24) vs. Jason Marquis (1-1, 7.20)
Who is Hot:
- Reds: Zack Cozart is out of his mind right now, he’s putting up almost impossible numbers over his last seven games. Cozart is hitting .393 (11-for-25) with a double, FOUR dingers, and seven RBI’s, wut?
- Cubs: After a bumpy start, Starlin Castro has been scorching hot. In his last seven games Castro is hitting .387 (12-for-31) with one homer, and seven RBI’s, looks like a middle of the order guy.
Who is Not:
- Reds: It appears that Marlon Byrd is regressing to meet the levels of his Cubs career. Over his last six games he is hitting .095 (2-for-21) with one home run, and eight strikeouts.
- Cubs: The magic that Chris Coghlan had at the beginning of the season seems to be fleeting. In his last seven games he is hitting .150 (3-for-20) with one RBI, one walk, and seven strikeouts.
The Cubs are flying high after a dramatic win yesterday in Colorado thanks to Dexter Fowler‘s two-out, two-strike bomb. Waiting for the Cubs at Wrigley Field is a Reds team that was feeling the same way heading into this past weekend, not so much now. The Reds beat the Cardinals on Friday to push their record to 4-0 on the season but lost the last two games of said series. It’s still been a solid start for the Reds as they have thrown the ball well, and been able to get big hits when needed. The Cubs have a great opportunity to get a bit of a winning streak going as they will turn to Lester and Arrieta in games one and two of the series.
- Monday, April 13, 2015 – 7:05 PM CST – CSN+ (Channel Finder)
- Tuesday, April 14, 2015 – 7:05 PM CST – CSN Chicago
- Wednesday, April 15, 2015 – 7:05 PM CST – WPWR
- Game One: Jon Lester (0-1, 6.23) vs. Mike Leake (0-0, 4.76)
- Game Two: Jake Arrieta (1-0, 0.00) vs. Anthony DeSclafani (0-0, 3.00)
- Game Three: Travis Wood (0-1, 5.79) vs. Jason Marquis (0-0, 4.50)
Who is Hot:
- Reds: It appears that Joey Votto has once again found his power stroke, the Reds’ first baseman has blasted three dingers so far this season. He is hitting .333 (8-for-24) on the season with said three homers, eight RBI’s, four walks, and two stolen bases.
- Cubs: Dexter Fowler had a rough first few games in a Cubs uniform, but he put that well behind him over the last two games. Fowler had a monster series in Colorado, registering two triples, and a monster home run to give the Cubs a comeback win yesterday. On the season he’s hitting .238 (5-for-21) with a double, two triples, a home run, four RBI’s, two walks, and a stolen base. He fills up the box score.
Who is Not:
- Reds: After a breakout year last year, Devin Mesoraco is having a rough start to the season. Mesoraco is hitting just .095 (2-for-21) on the season, with five strikeouts, he can stay in that slump until about Friday of this week.
- Cubs: It’s been a rough go of it for Arismendy Alcantara as far as getting hits, he has none. He has been having really good plate appearances though, he’s just struggling to find that first hit of the 2015 season (0-for-12).
The Cubs come into this series playing well, okay, play well for most of the game I guess. The Cubs could have very easily taken three out of four from the Padres, or two out of three from the Reds last month, but they just can’t get out of their own way. Today the Cubs welcome those Reds to Wrigley Field for a three game weekend set, and hopefully some revenge as well. The Reds took two out of three from the Cubs in Cincinnati the last time these two teams met. It was a great series, and the Cubs pitchers shut down the Reds vaunted lineup, but couldn’t find a big hit the whole series, or a closer the whole series and ended up losing two out of three. It will be another challenge this weekend for the Cubs pitchers as the Reds continue to hit and score runs, they have scored 128 runs, good enough for sixth in baseball compared to the 100 runs the Cubs have scored which is 26th in baseball. The Reds team ERA is also impressive, currently they sit fourth in the Majors with a 3.32 ERA, the Cubs are not too far behind though, they have a team ERA of 3.72, that’s good for twelfth in the Majors. This should be a good series, hopefully the results are better this time around.
The Cubs split a four game series with the Padres at Wrigley.
The Reds lost two out of three to the Cardinals in St. Louis
Game Times and Broadcast Information:
- Friday, May 3, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on CSN Chicago
- Saturday, May 4, 2013 – 12:05 PM CST on CSN Chicago
- Sunday, May 5, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on WGN TV
Starting Pitchers Scheduled:
Game One – Carlos Villanueva (1-1, 2.29)
– Career vs. Reds (21 appearances, 6 GS) (2-2, 3.72)
Game Two – Jeff Samardzija (1-4, 3.35)
– Career vs. Reds (17 appearances, 3 GS) (1-2, 4.09)
Game Three – Edwin Jackson (0-4, 6.27)
– Career vs. Reds (3 GS) (1-0, 2.57)
Game One – Mike Leake (1-1, 4.34)
– Career vs. Cubs (11 GS) (4-2, 3.46)
Game Two – Tony Cingrani (2-0, 1.50)
– Career vs. Cubs (1 GS) (0-0, 2.57)
Game Three – Mat Latos (2-0, 1.83)
– Career vs. Cubs (6 GS) (3-2, 2.58)
The Cubs are playing better baseball, but it’s still not good enough to win games consistently at the Major League level. I think too many mistakes pop up again this weekend and the Cubs lose two out of three to the Reds. Prove me wrong….please?
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Just when you think that the Cubs have lost every way possible they go and gives us another disaster. At this point it seems as though the only thing that is holding the Cubs back, is the Cubs themselves. Travis Wood was outstanding in this one, as he has been so often this year, and yet again, somehow, the Cubs found a way to lose. After taking a late 2-0 lead on a clutch Scott Hairston home run the wheels fell of in the eighth. With two outs and two guys on it looked like the Cubs were going to get out of it, then the wind took over. Yonder Alonso, who had the day off until the eighth inning, hit a fly ball to right field, it turned into more of a pop up in short right field because of the wind. Julio Borbon, who made a spectacular catch to retire the previous batter charged in and called off Barney, then flat-out missed the ball, that allowed the Padres to score and make it 2-1, and extended the inning. That marked the end of the day for Wood, but not the end of the misery. Shawn Camp came in and Welington Castillo completed boxed the first pitch from Camp to allow the game tying run to score, not only was it a passed ball on Castillo, but he completely dogged it while “chasing” the ball down. The Padres runner didn’t break right away, and if Castillo hustles they have a great chance to get him at the plate, he didn’t, and when the dust finally settled the Padres led 4-2 and the Cubs were done. Yet again, a series the Cubs should have won, ends in a split, so very frustrating.
At The Plate – The familiar issues were there once again for the Cubs as they tallied nine hits in this one but could only score twice as they were o-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Scott Hairston had the big blow for the Cubs, a two run homer in the seventh that looked like it would be the difference. Hairston finished the day going 1-for-3 with two RBI’s, said home run, and a run scored. Welington Castillo at least had a solid day at the plate going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
On The Mound – For the second straight game the Cubs starting pitching was the story, or should have been the story as Travis Wood was brilliant. Wood carried a perfect game through four and two-thirds, giving up a hit to Kyle Blanks with two outs in the fifth. Wood ended up going 7.2 innings giving up three runs on four hits while walking one and striking out three, and was tagged with the loss, mind numbing. Shawn Camp was charged with an earned run, and didn’t retire anyone as he walked the only batter he faced. James Russell didn’t have it today either as he gave up the difference making hit in two-thirds of an inning. Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless ninth inning, he hit a batter, and gave up a hit, but kept the Padres off the scoreboard.
Up Next – The Cubs welcome the Reds to Wrigley for a three game weekend set. Carlos Villanueva will get the ball for the Cubs in game one and the Reds will counter with Mike Leake, first pitch scheduled at 1:20 PM CST, weather permitting.
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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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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
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