The Chicago Cubs (31-42) not only have one of the best records over the last month, but still have themselves a solid starter in Jeff Samardzija.
Samardzija (2-6, 2.60 ERA) is currently ranked 13th in ERA and tied with Jon Lackey at 21 with 90 strikeouts on the year. With the trade deadline slowly approaching, teams will be watching the next three or four scheduled starts for Samardzija including tonight’s showdown against the Cincinnati Reds.
Samardzija will be looking to finish with a 2-2 record in June after recording a no-decision against the Miami Marlins on June 17. The Cubs top trade chip worked six innings in Miami, allowing three runs (non-earned) on seven hits before being removed from the game. His last loss came against the Pirates, as he is yet to walk away with a victory against a NL Central division rival. He is currently 0-4 with one no-decision against divisional opponents, giving up 22 runs (18 earned) off 42 hits against the Reds, Pirates and the Brewers combined.
The right-hander is currently 0-2 against the Reds this year but hopes to turn things around starting tonight. Reds’ right-hander Alfredo Simon will oppose Samardzija.
Simon (10-3, 3.05 ERA) has already reached a career high in games won and is closing in on innings pitched (115 2/3) and strikeouts (83), in which all were set back in 2011 when he was pitching for the Baltimore Orioles. He rests near the top of the league standings when it comes to wins, sitting behind Masahiro Tanaka (11) and Mark Buehrle (10).
With Samardzija looking to break even in the month of June, Simon is looking to remain perfect in hopes of finishing 5-0. He has worked 26 2/3 innings, allowing 22 hits, 10 runs (all earned) with four walks and 17 strikeouts against the D-backs, Phillies, Dodgers and Pirates. Also, he is 2-0 against the Cubs to start off the first half of the regular season. Cincinnati (37-37) is coming off a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, while the Cubs failed to take the series against the Bucs.
Here are tonight’s lineups:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 23, 2014
Here’s tonight’s lineup for the Reds:
6/23 Reds lineup vs. Cubs: Hamilton CF Frazier 3B Votto 1B Mesoraco C Bruce RF Ludwick LF Schumaker 2B Cozart SS Simon P #BigPasta
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 23, 2014
Tonight’s game will be shown on WCIU, WGN Radio 720 with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 P.M. CT.