Pregame Notes: Chicago Cubs take on Reds in rubber match


On the day Major League Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson, the Chicago Cubs find themselves in a rubber match against the Cincinnati Reds – a battle for first place in the N.L. Central.

Chicago (4-3) had their three-game winning streak snapped in Jake Arrieta‘s first loss of the year, while falling into second place behind the now first place Reds (5-3). Arrieta was tagged for three earned runs in the back-and-forth battle with Cincinnati’s young right-handed starter Anthony DeSclafani.

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Catcher Welington Castillo brought the Cubs within a run after a pinch-hit two-run home run to left-center field but failed to tie things up at the bottom of the ninth against Aroldis Chapman.

Today, skipper Joe Maddon will send former Red Travis Wood, as the Cubs will take on a former member of their starting rotation in veteran Jason Marquis. Wood (0-1, 5.79 ERA) is coming off a loss against the Colorado Rockies in a brief 4 2/3 outing in which he allowed three earned runs on seven hits with three free passes and five strikeouts.

Back in December of 2006, Marquis signed a three-year contract with the Chicago Cubs, helping them reach the playoffs in 2008. He made one appearance against the Los Angeles Dodgers, giving up a solo blast to Russell Martin in a season where the Cubs would be swept.

In January of 2009, Marquis was moved to the Rockies in exchange for reliever Luis Vizcaino. After spending a year in Colorado, the now 36-year-old righty has bounced around from team-to-team, eventually finding himself back in the N.L. Central with the Reds on a minor league contract in 2005.

Marquis (0-0, 4.50 ERA) picked up a start against the St. Louis Cardinals five days ago, giving up three earned runs on five hits (one home run) in six innings with a 7/2 K/BB ratio. Both starters will surely have their hands full with the amount of power in each lineup.

On one end, you have Joey Votto, Marlon Byrd, and Todd Frazier – on the other hand, you have Anthony Rizzo still looking to record his first home run of the young campaign, alongside early N.L. Rookie of the Year – Jorge Soler – who has had himself a wonderful homestand so far.

Here’s a look at tonight’s starting lineups:

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm central time and will be aired live on both WPWR and WBBM 780.

Next: Castillo's Hot Start Gives Cubs Options