2013 Reds / Series Preview

Series Preview in the Windy City

The Cincinnati Reds finish their 10 game road trip with three afternoon games in Schaumburg Boomers Stadium Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs. Could this be one of the last Reds-Cubs series at Wrigley Field? If Tom Ricketts’ plan to renovate Wrigley Field is blocked, Schaumburg Boomers Stadium has identical field dimensions to Wrigley and is only 25 miles away.

Since meeting just a week ago for a showdown in Cincinnati, the Cubs have played a pair of 4-game series against Miami and San Diego, winning 5 of those 8 games.

2013 W-L exW-L GB RS/G RA/G
Reds 15-14 17-12 2.5 4.4 3.7
Cubs 11-17 12-16 6.0 3.6 4.2

WHERE TO WATCH

Sunday’s game gets a national audience on WGN. In the Cincinnati market, all three games will be televised on Fox Sports Ohio. For those of you in the Chicago television market, Friday and Saturday’s game will be on CSN.

ROSTER CHANGES SINCE THEY LAST MET

The Cubs have had no roster changes since the team was in Cincinnati. The Reds have added Sean Marshall to the bullpen and Donald Lutz in the outfield with Manny Parra and Chris Heisey going on the disabled list.

PROBABLE BATTING LINEUP

Player Bats Pos Age PA BA OBP SLG OPS+ BABIP SB/CS
David DeJesus (L) CF 33 94 .282 .351 .541 142 .299 1/0
Starlin Castro (R) SS 23 123 .283 .301 .417 96 .320 2/1
Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B 23 119 .226 .311 .509 121 .232 4/1
Alfonso Soriano (R) LF 37 107 .262 .290 .340 73 .317 3/1
Nate Schierholtz (L) RF 29 86 .295 .353 .551 145 .313 3/1
Welington Castillo (R) C 26 85 .321 .345 .432 113 .455 1/0
Luis Valbuena (L) 3B 27 86 .227 .326 .467 115 .214 1/0
Darwin Barney (R) 2B 27 61 .196 .328 .333 83 .205 1/0

The Cubs are sporting the same probable lineup as last week. Former Reds outfielder Dave Sappelt (avg/obp/slg) has been part of a platoon with DeJesus and will likely play centerfield and leadoff against Tony Cingrani on Saturday. Given Cody Ransom’s 2-for-4 day against Cingrani, he’ll probably also get the nod at third base on Saturday.

PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS

• Friday 2:20pm: Carlos Villanueva (R) vs. Mike Leake (R)
• Saturday 1:05pm: Jeff Samardzija (R) vs. Tony Cingrani (L)
• Sunday 2:20pm: Edwin Jackson (R) vs. Mat Latos (R)

Name ERA xFIP WHIP BABIP HR/9 BB/9 K/9
Villanueva 2.29 3.25 0.82 0.176 1.3 2.3 7.4
Leake 4.34 4.44 1.52 0.323 0.9 3.4 5.9
Samardzija 3.35 2.83 1.17 0.297 0.7 3.3 11.2
Cingrani 1.50 1.77 0.89 0.278 1.0 2.0 14.0
Jackson 6.27 3.69 1.61 0.333 0.5 4.6 9.3
Latos 1.83 3.14 1.09 0.299 0.7 1.8 8.5

The Reds faced Villanueva and Samardzija last week. Both pitchers threw very well against Cincinnati but are each coming off poor starts. Meanwhile, the Cubs are facing the same three pitchers that they saw in Cincinnati. It will be Tony Cingrani’s first test facing a major league team twice.

Villanueva allowed 4 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks over 6 innings to the Marlins. While he breezed through 8+ innings in the Reds game on 99 pitches, it took him 100 pitches to get through the 6 frames against Miami. Samardzija surrendered 3 runs over 5 innings against the Padres. Edwin Jackson was rocked for 8 runs in 4.2 innings against the Padres. The Reds will need to be uncharacteristically patient to fare better this time through the Cubs rotation.

BULLPEN

Kevin Gregg took over closer duties while the Cubs were in Cincinnati. He has appeared in four of the last five save opportunities for the Cubs since then, and saved all four games. He’s allowed just 2 hits with no walks and 6 strikeouts since taking over 9th inning duties.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

This is the type of team the Reds should beat, whether they play at home or on the road. However, the Reds will need to show more patience at the plate than they’ve shown so far on this road trip.

13 thoughts on “Series Preview in the Windy City

  1. Here’s a headline we didn’t want to see from a Mark Sheldon post from a couple minutes ago: Setback for Cueto

    “He had a good bullpen [Monday] and he didn’t experience anything in his arm but he experienced soreness in that oblique that he hurt last year in the playoffs,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “So, we’ll wait and see.”

  2. Those darn obliques are tricky little buggers. Make sure it is completely healed before risking any recurrence. The absolute worst situation is reinjury that causes scar tissue formation, further weakening the muscle, tendon & connective tissue. Such injuries can be career limiting.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I’ve got no idea if the twist aggravates the injury, but it does seem to have made him a better pitcher. I’ve heard it credited for hiding the ball better. But it also seems to have curbed his falling way off to the left side when he pitches. Remember how pronounced that was for a couple of years, especially when he was struggling? It may not be connected, but I always assumed it was some brilliant person’s (Price?) idea as a way to get Cueto to pay more attention to the spin of his body.

        Hope this isn’t a long setback.

  3. Dang, look at that lineup. The Cubs are only a few players away from being major contenders once again. Theo is the man. Dang it!

    • @TC: Yep. And this time, they won’t have their manager holding them back. He’s doing that to another club now.

  4. I’d bet a dollar that they don’t play today. It is supposed to rain all day.

    If they do get rained out, do they skip Mike Leake or move everyone back a day. That would put everyone pitching won 6 days rest. Most guys don’t like that.

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