video thumbnail

COL@STL: Garland goes five strong vs. the Cardinals

There are better indicators of a pitcher's effectiveness than his win-loss record. Still, it's a stat that's measured, and Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija has only seen it worsen since holding Pittsburgh to two hits over eight innings in a win to start the year.

Samardzija's last outing was particularly painful. In five innings against the Nationals, he surrendered a season-high seven runs, five of which were earned. He'll be looking to turn things around on Wednesday, when he'll grab the ball at Wrigley Field opposite Rockies righty Jon Garland.

The clubs have split the first two games of the three-game set. On Tuesday, the Rockies won, 9-4.

"On my part, I needed to make a couple better pitches and get out of those innings with no damage and get your offense back in the dugout to score some runs," Samardzija said after his last start. "I have to take the positive out of today and how I was pounding the zone. I used my fastball a lot, my pitch count was down. I was efficient."

Whatever positives there were did not result in Samardzija's first win since Opening Day. He's 1-5 with a 3.70 ERA this season.

Garland, on the other hand, won as recently as May 4. He carries a 3-3 record and 4.83 ERA into Wednesday. In each of his past two outings, he's given up three runs in five innings.

"He battled, got in some deep counts more than he's probably accustomed to," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said after that May 4 start. "But like he can, he found a way through it. In the end, he did his job, giving us a chance to win and I'm glad he ended up getting the 'W.' He fought hard for it."

Rockies: Tight defense a goal in rubber match
• Colorado won on Tuesday despite a careless effort in the field. Eric Young and Edgmer Escalona both committed errors.

• Josh Rutledge, Young and Carlos Gonzalez have all homered during this series. Gonzalez had two on Tuesday, giving him nine for the year.

Cubs: Valbuena expected to return to lineup
• Chicago expected third baseman Luis Valbuena to return to the lineup on Wednesday. He sprained the little finger on his right hand when sliding into third base on Saturday. Valbuena is batting .272 in 31 games with five home runs, five doubles and 13 RBIs.

• Alfonso Soriano and Darwin Barney have both gone deep for the Cubs in this series.

Worth noting
• In 2012, the Rockies won the season series, 4-2.

• The Cubs are 6-6 in May, while Colorado is 5-7. Comments