National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, August 30th
(All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Phillies (61-73) at Chicago Cubs (56-77), 2:20 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - Roy Halladay (3-4, 7.81)
Chicago - Jeff Samardzija (8-11, 4.03)
(Sports Network) - Ryne Sandberg spent 15 years as a player for the Chicago
Cubs, making 10 All-Star Games, winning nine Gold Gloves as a second baseman
and claiming the NL MVP award in 1984.
He had hoped to one day add manager of the Cubs to his resume, but was passed
over for the position. On Friday Sandberg returns to Wrigley Field as the
interim skipper of the Philadelphia Phillies for the opener of a three-game
set against his former club.
Sandberg had his eye on Chicago's managing position following his playing days
and, told he needed experience, began a stint coaching at the minor league
level for the franchise. He worked his way up the system and seemed possibly
in line for the Cubs job after Mike Quade was fired following the 2010
However, new president Theo Epstein bypassed Sandberg in favor of current
Chicago manager Dale Sveum, who will square off today against the Cub legend.
Sandberg departed the Cubs organization prior to the 2011 season and began
managing in the minors for the Phillies, who had drafted the second baseman in
1978 before dealing him to the Cubs along with Larry Bowa on Jan. 27, 1982 for
Ivan de Jesus. He was promoted to third base coach before this campaign and
elevated to interim manager on Aug. 16 when Charlie Manuel was fired.
Now he finds himself again in the visiting dugout of Wrigley Field.
"I'm sure he'll get a standing ovation," Sveum told the Cubs' website. "This
guy is in the Hall of Fame. He's arguably the best second baseman to play the
game, and he did it all in Chicago. It'll be a nice moment for him to come
back, after getting his first job, and a couple weeks after he gets it, he
comes to Chicago for the first time."
Sandberg, whose Phillies have lost 15 of their past 18 on the road, will start
Roy Halladay in this afternoon's opener. Because of an 18-inning game the
night before, Halladay skipped a scheduled rehab start last Sunday and instead
pitched for the Phillies that day versus Arizona.
It was Halladay's first Major League start since May 5 due to right shoulder
surgery and he held the Diamondbacks to a pair of runs on four hits and two
walks over six innings. He logged a 9-5 victory, his first win since April 19
and it moved him to 3-4 with a 7.81 earned run average in eight starts this
"I'm getting back to who I was," said the former Cy Young Award winner. "I
feel like each time out I'm progressing back to where I was. There are going
to be changes and you always change over your career, but I think my arm slot
is back to where it used to be. The movement is back to where it used to be."
The 36-year-old has a 3.68 ERA in seven career meetings with the Cubs, but
just a 2-5 record.
Chicago is returning home after losing two of three on the road to both San
Diego and the Los Angeles Dodgers, and has lost seven of its past nine
overall. The Cubs hope to get on track today behind Jeff Samardzija, who has
posted a pair of lengthy victories in his past two starts.
Samardzija snapped a five-game winless slide with a one-run, complete-game
effort versus Washington on Aug. 19. He followed up last Saturday by holding
the Padres to a pair of runs on seven hits and two walks in eight innings. The
righty fanned seven, improving to 8-11 with a 4.03 ERA in 27 starts this
"Like I said last outing, getting strike one for him is huge," said Sveum.
"When he gets that, those are usually all his good games."
Samardzija, 28, was drilled the last time he faced the Phillies on Aug. 8. He
lasted only 3 1/3 innings and was charged with nine runs and 11 hits in a
Lifetime versus Philadelphia, he is just 1-3 with a 12.83 ERA in eight
meetings (2 starts).
The Phillies have won 11 of their previous 15 meetings with the Cubs, taking
two of three at home from Aug. 6-8.
08/30 10:26:16 ET