Entering play Friday afternoon, the Chicago Cubs (4-10) have the second-lowest winning percentage in all of Major League Baseball, ahead of only the Arizona Diamondbacks (4-14). Despite keeping the majority of its contests close late, the club has struggled to put away opponents and bullpen struggles have cost Chicago several late-inning leads.
Returning home today, Ricky Renteria and his club will look to right the ship against the Cincinnati Reds (6-9), sending right-hander Jeff Samardzija (0-1, 1.29 ERA) to the hill. The tall righty has been one of the bright spots for the team early this year, but the team’s offense failed to plate any runs in his first 20 innings of the year.
Cincinnati counters with a right-hander of its own in the form of Alfredo Simon (1-1, 1.20 ERA), who tossed a career-high eight innings on Saturday against Tampa Bay.
First pitch is slated for 1:20 p.m. CT at the Friendly Confines. In the Chicagoland area, the game can be heard on WGN 720 AM and will also be shown on WGN and MLB Network.
Here are today’s starting lineups:
#Cubs lineup vs CIN: Bonifacio 2B, Lake LF, Riz 1B, Schierholtz RF, Castro SS, Sweeney CF, Castillo C, Valbuena 3B, Samardzija P
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) April 18, 2014
Per #Reds media relations, today’s lineup: Hamilton 8, Votto 3, Phillips 4, Bruce 9, Frazier 5, Ludwick 7, Mesoraco 2, Cozart 6, Simon RHP
— Tom Groeschen (@TomGroeschen) April 18, 2014