Pregame Notes: Chicago Cubs start second half vs D-backs


The All-Star break is over, which means we can finally start the second half of the regular season and hopefully end things on a good note.

First stop for the Chicago Cubs (40-54) will be in Arizona against the Diamondbacks (40-56), with right-handed starter Edwin Jackson taking the mound for the visiting squad. Jackson (5-10, 5.64 ERA) may be auditioning for another team who could be looking to add a four or five starter in their rotation, but chances of that happening are pretty slim.

Nonetheless, Jackson is hoping to start off the second half with a solid performance after he was completely hammered by the Atlanta Braves during the Cubs final home stand before the All-Star break this past Saturday.

Atlanta plated nine runs off seven hits (three home runs), forcing Cubs skipper Rick Renteria to pull Jackson from the game after just 3 2/3 innings of work. Edwin finished July 0-2 in just three starts, giving up a total of 14 earned runs off 20 hits (three home runs) with 10 walks, and 12 strikeouts in a combined 15 2/3 innings pitched against the Red Sox, Reds, and the Braves.

Jackson took a loss in his fifth start of the season on April 24 against the Diamondbacks, surrendering just three earned runs off five hits in seven innings at home. Starting opposite of the 30 year old veteran is 26 year old righty Trevor Cahill. Cahill (1-6, 5.66 ERA) will be making just his fifth start of the 2014 campaign after struggling during the early part of the season.

Cahill’s last start came back on April 13 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, his worst outing of the season. He gave up seven runs (six earned) off five hits (two home runs) with five walks, and eight strikeouts in just four innings of work. The last time he made an appearance against the Cubs, he only allowed them to record one hit  while striking out three in two innings out of the bullpen.

Chris Coghlan will remain in the lead off spot with Arismendy Alcantara staying up at the major league level playing second base. Welington Castillo is back calling pitches while Ryan Sweeney starts in right field with Junior Lake on the bench.

Tonight’s game is scheduled for a 8:40 P.M. CT first pitch, and will be shown live on CSN, while broadcast on WGN 720.