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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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.