By Matt Abbatacola–
CHICAGO (WSCR) — It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame somewhere, just not here in Chicago. This weather is ideal for tailgating at Soldier Field, not watching a ball game from the bleachers at Wrigley Field.
With the rain coming down, wind gusts reaching 40 mph, and temperatures in the 20s with the wind chill, the decision was made to postpone tonight’s game and play it tomorrow night at 6:05 as part of a day-night double-header. Game one will start at the normal 1:20 time and gates will open for game two at 5:05. Matt Garza will start the first game and James Russell will make his second start in game two for Mike Quade’s Cubs. Russell will be on an extended pitch-count from his first outing of 50 pitches. The Cubs hope to get 5 solid innings of work out of Russell and his 70 pitches. Quade hinted at the idea of extending Russell beyond that if he was “doing something exceptional”.
This is an important outing for Matt Garza. First, with Russell going on a pitch-count in game two, Garza needs to eat up some innings for Quade so he doesn’t have to go to the bullpen for more than another pitcher or two. The ideal situation would be for Garza to give an eight inning effort like Zambrano did on Monday evening. In his first start of the year, Garza went seven innings, but didn’t factor in the decision. That has been his longest outing of his three starts. Early returns show that Garza has failed to live up to Cubs’ fan’s expectations. He is 0-2 with a 6.27 ERA. The Padres own the worst team batting average in baseball at .213 and are 27th in runs scored. This would be a great opportunity for Garza to get on track and show Cubs’ fans why Jim Hendry made the off-season trade for the starting pitcher that he did.