Series Outlook 4/28/11-5/1/11: Arizona Diamondbacks

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The Chicago Cubs are abandoning the droopy weather in Chicago and hitting the road for their first west-coast trip of the season. The Cubs open a four game series in Arizona tonight and then travel to Los Angeles next week to play the Dodgers in a 3-game set. The Cubs will take the field tonight hoping to end their 3-game losing streak when they play the Diamondbacks. Here is the preview of the series in Arizona.

Game 1–Ryan Dempster vs Barry Enright

  • Much has already been made of Dempster’s poor start to the season. Going against the Diamondbacks may be a step in the right direction for Dempster. However, Dempster allowed 5 runs on 10 hits against the Diamondbacks earlier this season when they visited Wrigley Field. Dempster has been going with his breaking pitches more this season, but he has not been locating them properly which has led to the increased amount of home runs. If Dempster locates his pitches, he should have a favorable matchup against the Diamondbacks and their starting pitcher Barry Enright, who is 0-2 with an ERA of 6.65.

Game 2–Carlos Zambrano vs Armando Galarraga

  • At one point this off-season the Cubs were rumored as potential suitors for Galarraga in a trade that would have involved Tom Gorzelanny. But for whatever reasons, such a trade never materialized. While Galarraga does have a 3-1 record on the season, he has been surprisingly bailed out by the Diamondbacks offense as Galarraga has an ERA of 6. Once again the Cubs should have the favorable matchup as Carlos Zambrano will take the mound. Zambrano is 2-1 on the year with an ERA of 5.28.

Game 3–Matt Garza vs Ian Kennedy

  • It is fair to say that Garza has been the best pitcher in the Cubs’ rotation this year despite the fact that he has yet to record a win on the season. Garza has an ERA of 4.11 with a WHIP 1.47 and 41 strikeouts so far on the season. If the Cubs give Garza the run support that he has yet to receive, Garza should get his first victory as a Chicago Cub. Ian Kennedy will take the mound for the Diamondbacks, he is 3-1 on the year with an ERA of 4.02.

Game 4–Casey Coleman vs Daniel Hudson

  • This figures to be one of the last starts that Coleman has as the fourth starter in the rotation. With Randy Wells scheduled to come back in about 1 1/2 more weeks, Coleman will likely get two more starts before moving to the fifth spot in the rotation. Coleman has been hot and cold this season as he as an ERA of 7.43 through three starts. This matchup figures to be a toss-up as Daniel Hudson is in the same position as Coleman, being a young pitcher trying to make a lasting impression on his team. Hudson has a record of 1-4 with an ERA of 5.64.

Player To Watch

  • Carlos Pena–With the Cubs beginning to play their games in a warm climate, I would expect Carlos Pena to heat up offensively. Playing the next four games in Arizona, this figures to be a prime opportunity for Pena to show off his power. Carlos Pena will hit his first home run as a Cub during this series.