Cubs vs. Reds Preview, Wednesday 4/24, 11:35 CT: Early Getaway Game

Andy Lyons

The Cubs go for a series win against the Reds in a game that might go quickly, starting so early after two long extra-inning affairs.

Matt Garza has "dead arm" and won't make his previously-scheduled rehab start this afternoon. Does this surprise you?

I don't have a lot more to say about this game, other than the fact that the Cubs have a chance to win a series for the first time since the season-opening set at Pittsburgh. Yes, that's right -- no series wins at home yet, just a pair of two-game splits due to rainouts. And speaking of rainouts, there's a pretty good chance today's game won't be played:

Showers, mainly before 2pm. High near 6O. Northwest wind 15 to 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 1OO%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

2 p.m. ET... well, that'd be 90 minutes after scheduled game time, so with the chance of rain at 100 percent, at best, we're looking at a delay of a couple of hours.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus CF, Borbon LF, Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, Schierholtz RF, Navarro C, Valbuena 2B, Ransom 3B, Samardzija P

Alfonso Soriano gets his first day off, and Julio Borbon his first start. Also, Dale is giving Darwin Barney a break today, and Dioner Navarro catches the day game after two long night games.

Reds lineup:

Choo CF, Cozart SS, Votto 1B, Phillips 2B, Bruce RF, Frazier 3B, Paul LF, Mesoraco C, Latos P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija


Cubs

vs. Mat Latos

Mat Latos


Reds

vs. Cin

--

vs. Cubs


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Jeff Samardzija 1-3 4 4 0 0 0 0 26.2 19 11 10 2 7 31 3.38 .98


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Mat Latos 0-0 4 4 0 0 0 0 26.1 26 11 8 3 4 29 2.73 1.14

Jeff Samardzija's year in brief: great starts, gets himself into trouble with too many long counts, and has one bad inning that ruins his outing. He's third in the league with 31 strikeouts (in 26⅔ innings) and though he's walked only seven, it seems like those are what's gotten him into trouble, along with high pitch counts. He faced the Reds twice last year, both in Cincinnati, and combined to throw 12⅔ innings and allow five earned runs. This was the better of the two starts. Current Reds don't have much of a track record against him -- 14-for-64 (.219) and he has handled the tough Brandon Phillips (2-for-13) and Joey Votto (1-for-11) quite well.

Mat Latos is off to an excellent start this year, with just four walks and 29 strikeouts in 26⅓ innings. Typical of many starters, though, all that's resulted in is four no-decisions (the Reds are 2-2 in his starts). Last year against the Cubs, he made one start, August 19 in Cincinnati -- and again, wasn't involved in the decision, a game the Reds won. Latos might have the fewest decisions of any pitcher in baseball since the start of 2012; he's made 37 starts and has just 18 decisions (14-4). If this holds, expect this afternoon's game to be decided by the bullpens. (Scary thought, I know.)

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. If you live in the St. Louis or Washington, DC TV market, you can see this game on MLB Network (the Cardinals/Nationals game is the primary game, the Cubs/Reds the alternate).

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. The usual caution is advised.

Here's the scoop on game threads for 2013. You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.

You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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