Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Preview, Tuesday 5/1, 6:10 CT

What is Chris saying? Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcher Chris Volstad protests a balk call during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Cubs 6-4. Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

The Cubs enter the month of May at 8-15, their worst April since 2002, when they went 8-16 on their way to losing 95 games.

The numbers bear out that this isn't a very good team. They've hit only nine home runs, as I mentioned earlier, the fewest in a calendar month of at least 20 games since August 1981.

They've been outscored 103-82. 82 runs isn't terrible -- five NL teams are worse -- but 103 runs allowed is fourth-most in the NL. (Believe it or not, the Brewers have given up the most runs in the NL, 122, one reason for Milwaukee's 11-12 record).

At times -- the two games they won in the Philadelphia series are a good example -- the Cubs look like a solid team. Other times -- look no farther than the two games they lost -- they look bad.

It would be nice to win this series. The Reds, so far, haven't looked like world-beaters. The Cubs are 5-4 in their last nine games. That's about all I've got. Try to enjoy some baseball. And go Bulls.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus RF, Campana CF, Castro SS, LaHair 1B, Soriano LF, Stewart 3B, DeWitt 2B, Soto C, Samardzija P

Reds lineup:

Cozart SS, Stubbs CF, Votto 1B, Phillips 2B, Bruce RF, Rolen 3B, Heisey LF, Hanigan C, Arroyo P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jeff Samardzija
Jeff Samardzija
Cubs
vs. Bronson Arroyo
Bronson Arroyo
Reds
2-1 W-L 1-0
4.13 ERA 2.70
25 SO 15
8 BB 2
1 HR 2
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Jeff Samardzija 2-1 5 4 0 0 0 0 24.0 26 13 11 1 8 25 4.13 1.42


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Bronson Arroyo 1-0 4 4 0 0 0 0 26.2 27 10 8 2 2 15 2.70 1.09

Jeff Samardzija did not pitch in the series against the Reds at Wrigley Field in April; overall, current Reds don't have that much of a track record against him. In 36 at-bats, they have just seven hits and no home runs. Joey Votto, the Reds' best hitter, is just 1-for-9 against Shark. Maybe there's hope for this game after all.

Bronson Arroyo made three starts against the Cubs last year, combining for 19⅔ innings and eight earned runs allowed (3.66 ERA). The Cubs managed to win two of the three games, somehow. Arroyo has a long history against the Cubs; current members of the team, though, are hitting just .222 (30-for-135) against him with just five home runs.

Both pitchers look like they're posing for artsy-fartsy portraits in the pictures above.

Today's game was originally scheduled for the main CSN Chicago channel, but due to the Bulls playoff game will be on CSN Chicago Plus instead. "Check local listings", as the saying goes. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter. As always, be careful over there.

Today's first pitch thread will post at 6:10 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 7:10, 8:10 and 8:55 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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