The Chicago Cubs are preparing for a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers from May 11 through May 13, 2012. The Cubs had previously lost three games to the Brewers in a four-game series from April 9 through April 12. The Cubs will continue in their luck with avoiding top pitchers as they aren't scheduled to face Zack Greinke or Yovani Gallardo in this series. The Cubs had previously missed Clayton Kershaw and Brandon Beachy in their past two series with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves.
All times are central time zone. The probable pitchers are updated as of May 10 on Cubs.mlb.com. The Cubs are represented by the pitchers in italics.
May 11, 7:10 p.m.: Matt Garza (2-1, 2.67 ERA) vs. Randy Wolf (2-3, 6.68 ERA)
Matt Garza had one of his best outings of 2012 when he surrendered one hit over seven scoreless innings against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 29. Garza missed his last start because of the flu. He surrendered three hits and no earned runs in 8.2 innings against the Brewers on April 12 for an 8-0 victory.
The Brewers haven't enjoyed much success against Garza as their current hitters are 22-for-94 (.234 average) with a .305 on-base percentage (OBP). Nyjer Morgan has had the most success as he's 6-for-13 (.462 average) with a triple.
May 12, 12:05 p.m.: Chris Volstad (0-4, 6.55 ERA) vs. Shaun Marcum (1-1, 3.41 ERA)
Chris Volstad hasn't won a game since July 10, 2011. Volstad's problem is that he can't avoid that one disastrous inning where he surrenders three-or-more runs. Volstad surrendered three earned runs through five innings against the Brewers in his Wrigley Field debut on April 9.
Like Garza, Volstad has performed well against the Brewers. Ryan Braun is only 3-for-14 (.214 average) with a walk against Volstad. Aramis Ramirez could be the biggest obstacle as he's 6-for-14 (.429 average) with four RBIs, two doubles, one home run and a walk.
May 13, 1:10 p.m.: Jeff Samardzija (4-1, 3.03 ERA) vs. Marco Estrada (0-2, 4.50 ERA)
So how did Jeff Samardzija respond to two underwhelming outings against the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins? Samardzija has surrendered two earned runs in his last 21.1 innings en route to a 4-1 record. Samardzija didn't play in the previous meeting between these two clubs.
Samardzija has a limited sample of at-bats against current Brewers hitters. Braun is 4-for-9 (.444 average) with two walks, two RBIs and a home run against Samardzija. It'll be critical that Samardzija can keep the leadoff hitters (Rickie Weeks and Morgan) off base.
Joshua Huffman grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula as a Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs enthusiast. He immediately gained an admiration for Cubs fans after watching numerous games on WGN during the mid-90s. His favorite Cubs moment was Kerry Wood's(notes) 1-hitter, 20K extravaganza that was only denied of a no-hitter by Kevin Orie's defensive blunder. As a Packers and Cubs fan, he suffered through Steve Bartman and "4th & 26" in a span of three months. He can be found on Twitter HERE.
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