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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.