Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies Free Pick - 8/30/13
2013-08-30 01:20:00 EDT
The Philadelphia Phillies open a weekend series with the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
The Phillies and Mets are locked in a battle for third in the National League East which is about all Philadelphia has as far as goals are concerned. Still not too bad an accomplishment for an aging team that has battled their share of injuries to their better players. An even better chance for the team to get a look at a few of the youngsters that could be the future although one of those kids didn’t look good on the mound Thursday in an 11-3 loss at Citi Field. Ethan Martin was tagged for three runs over four frames with the pen getting blasted for seven more in a dismal effort on the pitching front. The bats faired marginally better with only seven hits with Roger Bernadina clubbing a two run bomb in the 8th. The Phillies open the series with the Cubs with Roy Halladay on the bump. Halladay was solid in his first start back from shoulder surgery when he beat Arizona 6-2 with two runs allowed in six innings.
The Cubs look of improvement has taken a hit over the past several weeks as the losses have mounted. Simply not enough consistency on the mound and at the plate with neither unit on the same page as the other. Chicago has dropped seven of ten following a 4-0 road loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday. A day after beating Clayton Kershaw, the Cubbies never solved Ricky Nolasco who held them to just three hits and a single free pass over eight innings while striking out eleven. Edwin Jackson pitched well in defeat with only two of the four runs allowed being earned. Jackson did serve up a pair of solo jacks through 6.2 innings which was more than enough when your team doesn’t score. The Cubs return home from a West coast swing and send Jeff Samardzija out to face Philadelphia on Friday. Samardzija has been tough to figure at times with five quality starts in his last ten outings.
I am concerned about Halladay who was topping off at 87 mph on his fastball in his minor league rehab before reaching 90 against Arizona. I couldn’t tell you what to expect from Samardzija so I’m backing my team in a virtual pick ’em…