The Cubs will get their last look for 2012 at Brooks Raley in today’s series finale against the Brewers. Raley will start, and the Cubs will shut him down for the season after that. The lefty pitched 48.2 innings at Class AA Tennessee this year before throwing 82 at Iowa and the 20.1 until today for the Cubs.
Another lefty, Chris Rusin, will take Raley’s spot in the rotation. We’ll talk about a couple of other names: Jeff Samardzija and Josh Vitters. Samardzija has pitched 158.2 innings this year, and the Cubs will monitor him the rest of the way. It’s not out of the question that he could be shut down before it’s over.
As far as Vitters goes, he sits for the third straight game, as Luis Valbuena starts again. Recently, manager Dale Sveum said Vitters would play 70-75 percent of the time the rest of the season. Now, that’s changed, as Vitters has a hitting line of .093/.107/.185 on 5-for-54 hitting.
“I’ll still mix and match,” Sveum said. “You might see Valbuena in there a little bit more. We still want to evaluate, just kind of giving Vitters some time to kick back here right now and see what happens. It’s just one of those things right now. You’re trying to evaluate but you’re trying to win ballgames at the same time. We’re having trouble scoring runs, period. Valbuena’s getting on base. He was swinging the bat really well, the defense, everything like that, coming to the plate as well as solidifying the top of the lineup, too, against right-handed pitching.”
The Cubs are going up against Shaun Marcum, meaning they’ll be facing a right-hander for the 20th time in the last 21 games. They’ll get tough lefty Madison Bumgarner of the Giants Friday, followed by righties Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain. The Cubs are 5-20 against the Brewers over their last 25 against Milwaukee. They’re looking to snap an eight-game losing streak against the Brewers. That’s the longest losing streak by the Cubs against the Brewers since the two teams starting playing each other in 1997 (then an interleague series).
Class AAA Iowa fell 3-0 at Nashville. Ryan Rowland-Smith pitched 5 innings, giving up 5 hits and 2 runs, 1 earned. He’s 3-6 with a 3.94 ERA.
Class AA Tennessee was off. Daytona (A) split a doubleheader with Clearwater, winning 4-1 and losing 3-1. P.J. Francescon was the winner in Game 1 as he tossed 6 innings of 3-hit, 1-run ball. He’s 3-6 with a 3.75 ERA. Christian Villanueva hit his fourth homer, going 2-for-3 with a stolen base. In Game 2, Frank Del Valle got no decision, working 5 innings and giving up 4 hits and 1 run. Rebel Ridling hit his fourth homer.
Peoria (A) lost 9-5 to Cedar Rapids. Yao-Lin Wang took the loss as he worked 4 innings, giving up 8 hits and 9 runs, 7 earned. He’s 4-5 with a 3.92 ERA. Jorge Soler was 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly. He’s reached in 13 of 16 with Peoria.
Boise (A) beat Everett 9-5. Tayler Scott worked 4 innings, giving up 4 hits and 3 runs. Dan Vogelbach hit his 10th homer. He also had 2 walks. Stephen Bruno extended a hit streak to 19 games, going 2-for-3 with 2 walks.