Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Lackey, Simon bring strong history to Reds-Cubs matchup

Following a day off, the Cubs and Reds will resume their three-game series on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field. Based on the track records of the starting pitchers in their history against these teams, it could be quite a duel.
Cubs right-hander John Lackey, who is making his second start with his new club, is 3-2 with a 2.75 ERA over nine career starts vs. Cincinnati. It was a 2.91 ERA over five starts last season while pitching for the Cardinals and included an eight-inning, one-run outing on July 29 when he was a 1-0 loser.
Lackey gave up six runs and eight hits last Wednesday in his Cubs debut, a 14-6 win over the D-backs. He did hold Arizona scoreless over his final three innings.
For the Reds, Alfredo Simon has a 1.66 ERA over his career vs. the Cubs -- his second-lowest career ERA against an opponent. He made five starts vs. Chicago during his last tour with the Reds in 2014 and went 3-0. His best showing was his last one at Wrigley Field on Sept. 15, 2014, when he worked seven scoreless innings with five hits allowed for a no-decision.
Simon gave up two runs, one earned, and five hits over five innings for a no-decision in his 2016 debut, a 6-5 loss to the Pirates on Friday.
Things to know about this game
• As is often the case, the Cubs hitter Simon will need to watch carefully is Anthony Rizzo. The first baseman is 5-for-15 with two homers lifetime against Simon.
• This is the fourth time in the last three seasons that an entire Reds-Cubs series is being played at night. It's the sixth time ever since Wrigley Field installed lights in 1988. The Cubs won the series opener, 5-3, Monday night.
• Jason Heyward is three home runs shy of 100 for his career.

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