Game Twenty-Nine: Cubs (14-14) vs. Padres (14-15)
Game Time – 9:05pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 189
Location – PETCO Park, San Diego, CA
Sean Marshall (2-0, 3.45) vs. Jake Peavy (2-3, 4.58)
Sean Marshall takes the mound tonight for the Cubs looking to end their 4-game losing streak. Marshall enters tonight’s game with a 1.41 ERA and 16 strikeouts in his last 3 starts. The Cubs have not played fundamental baseball in over a week and are 3-7 in their last 10 games. Dusty shook up the lineup again on Friday, giving Matt Murton and Ronny Cedeno the night off….Murton is hitting .263 in his last 7 games and Cedeno is hitting .300. Dusty said they both needed the night off and he might try that philosophy with Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez is pressing and is only hitting .198 for the season and .160 in his last 7 games, but Ramirez is far from the only problem with the Cubs offense. The Cubs are 2 for their last 29 with runners in scoring position (.069 average) and have stranded 30 runners on base in 3 games. The Cubs have not hit a home run in 7 games, their longest drought since April – May 1999. The Cubs looked like a team that had remembered how to play baseball during Spring Training and the early part of the season….they were having fun and doing all of the little things that puts wins on the board. In recent days the Cubs have reverted back to fundamental and mental mistakes, what they had eliminated early on is now coming back to cost them games.
Sean Marshall was on the hill the last time the Cubs won a ballgame. He pitched a gem and only allowed 1 hit into the 7th inning against the Pirates. Marshall looks to pickup where Zambrano left off and hold the second worse scoring offense in the league down again tonight.
The Cubs have not scored a run in the last 25 innings and until they quit swinging at every pitch that will continue. With Jake Peavy on the mound runs will come at a premium and the Cubs must do the little things that will end this losing streak.
The past two nights Dusty has shaken up the lineup….what does he have in store for the Cubs Faithful tonight? Todd Walker has only one hit on the road trip and is hitting .231 in his last 7 games. Is tonight the night the corner infield gets a rest? With Ramirez and Neifi struggling that might not be a possibility.
The key for tonight is fundamental baseball. The Cubs made too many basic errors on Friday night and one of them cost them the ballgame. The Cubs need to remember what is was like playing winning fundamental baseball and go get some runs….have fun, relax and everything else will take care of itself….winning has a way to cure a lot of problems.
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