National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, August 3rd
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (43-60) at Los Angeles Dodgers (56-50), 10:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Jeff Samardzija (7-8, 4.19)
Los Angeles - Chad Billingsley (6-9, 3.89)
(Sports Network) - Buyer meets seller when the Los Angeles Dodgers begin a
three-game set against the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
The Dodgers are hoping their moves at the trade deadline will lift them
toward the postseason while the Cubs were active for an entirely different
LA, which is just one-half game behind San Francisco in the National League
West, snared former All-Star third baseman Hanley Ramirez and reliever Randy
Choate from Miami back on July 25, and then acquired outfielder Shane
Victorino from Philadelphia and reliever Brandon League from Seattle prior to
Early results haven't been promising as the Dodgers started a nine-game
homestand by dropping three straight to Arizona, which is also lurking in the
NL West, just two games back.
Patrick Corbin and three Arizona relievers combined to two-hit Los Angeles on
Wednesday as the Diamondbacks completed their first three-game sweep at Chavez
Ravine in five seasons with a 4-0 shutout.
Matt Kemp and pitcher Stephen Fife supplied the hits for Los Angeles, which
was swept at home by Arizona for the first time since August 3-5, 2007.
"This series scared me going in," admitted Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly.
"They hurt us with the long ball, and we couldn't put any runs on the board."
Victorino, batting leadoff and playing left field, went 0-for-4 with a
strikeout in his Dodger debut.
The Cubs, meanwhile, built for the future at the deadline, acquiring a number
of prospects by dealing Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to Atlanta on Monday,
and Geovany Soto and Ryan Dempster to Texas on Tuesday.
Chicago just finished a 3-3 homestand by dropping the final two games in a
three-contest set with Pittsburgh.
The Pirates' Michael McKenry capped a five-run eighth with a three-run homer
on Wednesday as Pittsburgh downed the Cubs, 8-4, in the rubber match of a
Travis Wood (4-7) fanned six, but was charged with two runs on three hits and
three walks over five innings for the Cubs, who have dropped two straight on
the heels of a three-game winning streak.
"There were no strike ones going on," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Wood.
"The at-bats were carrying on a little bit and he didn't have much control of
his arm side to get strikes. He was just missing out there. The pitch counts
got up and he got outs when he had to."
Taking the hill for Chicago on Friday will be former Notre Dame All-American
wide receiver Jeff Samardzija. The big right-hander has really started to
click recently, going 2-1 with a brilliant 1.91 ERA in five July starts,
including hurling six solid innings in a 3-2 win over St. Louis last Saturday.
Veteran righty Chad Billingsley will take the ball for the Dodgers. He has won
two consecutive starts and is 4-4 with a 3.47 ERA in 11 lifetime appearances
versus the Cubs.
Chicago won two of three over L.A. in the Windy City back in May.
08/03 10:38:00 ET