National League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, August 3rd (All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (43-60) at Los Angeles Dodgers (56-50), 10:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Jeff Samardzija (7-8, 4.19) Los Angeles - Chad Billingsley (6-9, 3.89)
(Sports Network) - Buyer meets seller when the Los Angeles Dodgers begin a three-game set against the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
The Dodgers are hoping their moves at the trade deadline will lift them toward the postseason while the Cubs were active for an entirely different reason.
LA, which is just one-half game behind San Francisco in the National League West, snared former All-Star third baseman Hanley Ramirez and reliever Randy Choate from Miami back on July 25, and then acquired outfielder Shane Victorino from Philadelphia and reliever Brandon League from Seattle prior to Tuesday's deadline.
Early results haven't been promising as the Dodgers started a nine-game homestand by dropping three straight to Arizona, which is also lurking in the NL West, just two games back.
Patrick Corbin and three Arizona relievers combined to two-hit Los Angeles on Wednesday as the Diamondbacks completed their first three-game sweep at Chavez Ravine in five seasons with a 4-0 shutout.
Matt Kemp and pitcher Stephen Fife supplied the hits for Los Angeles, which was swept at home by Arizona for the first time since August 3-5, 2007.
"This series scared me going in," admitted Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly. "They hurt us with the long ball, and we couldn't put any runs on the board."
Victorino, batting leadoff and playing left field, went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his Dodger debut.
The Cubs, meanwhile, built for the future at the deadline, acquiring a number of prospects by dealing Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to Atlanta on Monday, and Geovany Soto and Ryan Dempster to Texas on Tuesday.
Chicago just finished a 3-3 homestand by dropping the final two games in a three-contest set with Pittsburgh.
The Pirates' Michael McKenry capped a five-run eighth with a three-run homer on Wednesday as Pittsburgh downed the Cubs, 8-4, in the rubber match of a three-game set.
Travis Wood (4-7) fanned six, but was charged with two runs on three hits and three walks over five innings for the Cubs, who have dropped two straight on the heels of a three-game winning streak.
"There were no strike ones going on," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Wood. "The at-bats were carrying on a little bit and he didn't have much control of his arm side to get strikes. He was just missing out there. The pitch counts got up and he got outs when he had to."
Taking the hill for Chicago on Friday will be former Notre Dame All-American wide receiver Jeff Samardzija. The big right-hander has really started to click recently, going 2-1 with a brilliant 1.91 ERA in five July starts, including hurling six solid innings in a 3-2 win over St. Louis last Saturday.
Veteran righty Chad Billingsley will take the ball for the Dodgers. He has won two consecutive starts and is 4-4 with a 3.47 ERA in 11 lifetime appearances versus the Cubs.
Chicago won two of three over L.A. in the Windy City back in May.
08/03 10:38:00 ET