MLB

more stats

National League Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, April 29th (All times Eastern)

Chicago Cubs (8-16) at Cincinnati Reds (11-14), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Jeff Samardzija (0-2, 1.53) Cincinnati - Alfredo Simon (3-1, 1.30)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Jeff Samardzija has one of the better earned run averages in the National League, but does not have a win to show for it.

The right-hander hopes to move past his tough luck on Tuesday night as the Chicago Cubs try once again to open their series with the Cincinnati Reds.

This originally scheduled three-game set was to get underway on Monday night, but that contest was postponed due to rain. A makeup date has yet to be announced and both clubs are expected to turn to last night's starters for this game.

Samardzija has pitched to a 1.53 ERA through five starts this season, not allowing more than two earned runs in any of those outings, but sits at 0-2 and is actually winless in his last 11 starts dating back to last season.

He concluded the 2013 campaign 0-2 in his last six outings following a victory on Aug. 24.

Samardzija was in line to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, holding them to two runs on seven hits and a pair of walks over 7 1/3 innings, but the bullpen allowed five runs in the ninth frame. That left Samardzija with a no- decision in the 7-5 setback.

"I'm going out and doing my job," Samardzija told his club's website. "As a starting pitcher, you know when you're pitching every fifth day and you come out -- you have to have a short memory as a pitcher. You start carrying over start to start, that's when it starts to snowball on you. You keep doing your work and competing for the team and hope for the best."

The 29-year-old went 0-2 with a 5.16 ERA in five starts versus the Reds last season, then dropped a 4-1 decision to them at home on April 18. Samardzija was charged with three runs (one earned) over seven frames with seven strikeouts.

Alfredo Simon opposed Samardzija on that day and will do so again tonight. That outing was the righty's first career start against the Cubs following 10 relief appearances and he allowed just one unearned run over six frames. That moved Simon to 2-0 with a save and 2.16 ERA versus Chicago.

The 32-year-old was plugged into Cincinnati's rotation at the start of the season due to Mat Latos' injury and has responded with a 3-1 record through four starts with a 1.30 ERA that is fourth best in the NL.

Simon won his second straight start on Wednesday as he topped Pittsburgh 5-2 despite some early trouble. He issued three of his season-high five walks in the first inning to force in a run, but was solid the rest of the way in allowing just one more run over 6 2/3 total innings of work.

"I feel comfortable right now," Simon said. "I'm getting to know the hitters (in the National League)."

The Reds probably don't feel too comfortable in close games following Sunday's 1-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves, who swept the three-game series. The loss dropped Cincinnati to 3-9 in one-run games this season and wasted another gem by Johnny Cueto.

Cueto, who was coming off back-to-back complete-game victories, struck out 11 over eight scoreless innings of three-hit ball, moving his ERA to 1.15 that sits as the second best in the NL.

However, the offense struggled and the Braves won it on Freddie Freeman's RBI single in the 10th off J.J. Hoover.

Cincinnati had won three in a row before getting swept and went 5-5 on a 10- game road trip.

"It's still early," said Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips. "I'm not really worried about anything. That's just how baseball goes. We just didn't take advantage of the situations. We still got a long season, man."

Chicago, meanwhile, snapped a four-game slide by salvaging the finale of a three-game set with the Milwaukee Brewers, taking Sunday's contest 4-0.

Jason Hammel hurled five hitless innings before yielding a double in the sixth and then a walk before getting out of the jam.

Hammel, who scattered three hits and two walks over seven innings with seven strikeouts, admitted to getting confused on signs in the frame, taking him out of his no-hit groove.

"What happened in the sixth inning was I pretty much screwed myself going back and forth from signs. We were bouncing back and forth between innings, changing up signs, and I got caught up in the signs. I basically mixed myself up and kind of lost my rhythm," Hammel said.

Starlin Castro belted a pair of solo homers for the Cubs, his second multi- homer game of his career. The other also came this season.

The Reds won two of three over the hosting Cubs from April 18-20 and have been victorious in 31 of the last 41 encounters dating back to late in the 2011 season.

04/29 10:38:55 ET

  • US Open Tennis: Men’s Third Round & Women’s Fourth Round

    Today at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Norfolk

    Tonight at 5:00 on METV 50.2

  • US Open Tennis: Men’s & Women’s Fourth Round

    Tomorrow at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Norfolk

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on METV 50.2

  • MiLB: Bulls at Norfolk

    Tonight at 5:00 on 620am

  • MLB: Cleveland at Kansas City

    Tonight at 8:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Seattle at Oakland

    Tomorrow at 4:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: Miami at Louisville

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
TOR 2
NYY 0
Final
CWS 6
DET 3
Final
STL 1
CHC 5
Final
PIT 3
CIN 2
Final
BAL 3
MIN 2
Final
TAM 7
BOS 0
Final
KAN 2
CLE 3
Final
CWS 4
DET 8
Final
ATL 0
MIA 4
Final
NYM 2
PHI 7
Final
HOU 2
TEX 0
Final
ARI 0
COL 2
Final
STL 13
CHC 2
Final
SDP 2
LOS 1
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
ANA 2
OAK 0
Final
SEA 1
WAS 3
1:07pm Today
TOR
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
PHI
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
MIN
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
2:10pm Today
CWS
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
TEX
 
2:15pm Today
STL
CHC
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
MIL
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
LOS
 
4:10pm Today
SEA
WAS
 
5:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
Final
MICH 52
APPST 14
Final
NAVY 17
OSU 34
Final
UAB 48
TROY 10
Final
UVA 20
UCLA 28
Final
PURD 43
WMICH 34
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
UMASS 7
BC 30
Final
NW 24
CAL 31
Final
NEB 55
FATL 7
Final
UMO 27
MARS 42
Final
ND 48
RICE 17
Final
MIZZ 38
SDST 18
Final
ALA 33
WVU 23
Final
AUB 45
ARK 21
Final
STAN 45
UCD 0
Final
UGA 45
CLEM 21
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
Final
KSU 14
OHIO 17
Final
OKLA 48
LATU 16
Final
KST 55
SAUST 16
Final
USC 52
FRES 13
Final
MSST 49
SMISS 0
Final
OKST 31
FSU 37
Final
TEX 38
UNT 7
Final
NMU 24
UTEP 31
8:05pm Saturday
UF 0
IDAHO 0
Final
LSU 28
WISC 24
Final
OREG 62
SD 13
Final
HAW 16
WASH 17
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
UTST
7:30pm Tonight
BAY
SMU
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR