Cubs VS. D-Backs Series Preview


Jun. 9, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Tyler Skaggs throws in the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field. Image Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona just barely managed to avoid a sweep at the hands of the San Francisco Giants this weekend, by salvaging the final game of the series. They now just have a half game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West division.

The Diamondbacks will come back home and start a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs on Monday night. The big storyline in this series is if Matt Garza will make his scheduled start on Monday, or if he will be traded before then.

This the second time that these two clubs will go up against each other in the season. Arizona is 2-1 against the Cubs this season.

Game 1 (Monday): Matt Garza (6-1, 3.17 ERA) vs. Tyler Skaggs ( 2-1, 4.03 ERA)

Garza is 5-0 with a 1.47 ERA in his last five starts, all quality starts giving up six earned runs over 36 2/3 innings. He has struck out 33 during that stretch. The right-hander’s last win came over the Cardinals, on July 13.

Skaggs is being recalled from Class A Visalia, where the young left-hander stayed on his pitching schedule during the All-Star break. Two of his five starts for the D-Backs this season have come in July, and he is 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA this month.

Game 2 (Tuesday): Travis Wood (6-6, 2.79 ERA) vs Patrick Corbin (11-1, 2.35 ERA)

For only the second time this season, Wood failed to record a quality start. He gave up a season-high 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings against the Cardinals on July 14. He finished the first half with a Major League-leading 17 quality starts.

Corbin suffered his first loss of the season back on July 2, allowing five runs in six innings to the New York Mets. Since then, however, Corbin has gone back to his dominant ways, winning consecutive games while giving up just two runs over 14 2/3 innings.

Game 3 (Wednesday): Jeff Samardzija (6-9, 3.91 ERA) vs. Ian Kennedy (3-7, 5.29 ERA)

Samardzija bounced back from his ugliest start of the year with a gem against the Colorado Rockies on Friday, allowing only one run over 7 1/3 innings. He relied on strong fastball command and a nasty splitter.

Kennedy is coming off a solid performance in San Francisco to begin the second half but he needs to regain the consistency he has shown at times. He enters this start with a 2-3 record and 5.36 ERA at Chase Field this season.

Game 4 (Thursday): Carlos Villanueva (2-6, 4.16 ERA) vs Wade Miley (6-8, 4.03 ERA)

Villanueva’s career-long struggles against the Rockies continued his last time on the mound, as he allowed seven earned runs in four innings. He did not record a strikeout and walked four, including the opposing pitcher.

Miley is coming off his second-shortest outing of the season. He returns home to face the Cubs. They roughed him up for seven runs in seven innings on May 31. He has struggled at home, going 3-2 with a 4.91 ERA in seven starts.