Game Thirty-Nine: Cubs (16-22) vs. Nationals (13-26)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T. Comcast SportsNet, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Sean Marshall (2-1, 4.93) vs. Zach Day (2-3, 5.85)
The Cubs look for their first back-to-back wins since late April tonight against the Washington Nationals. Sean Marshall is coming off of his worst start of the season against the Giants when he allowed 9 runs on 9 hits in just 3 2/3 innings of work. Marshall has been a huge surprise this year for the Cubs and had only allowed 2 runs in his previous 2 starts before the game against the Giants on May 11th. Marshall looked uncomfortable from the start, something uncharacteristic this season for the rookie left-hander.
The Cubs offense showed signs of life on Tuesday against Livan Hernandez, a pitcher that usually has very good outings against the Cubs (9-5/4.08 lifetime) and must continue to improve tonight against Zach Day. Day had a very bad April (with the Rockies) and was 1-3 with a 9.82 ERA in 4 starts, but in his 2 starts in May (with the Nationals) he is 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA. The Nationals claimed Day off of waivers from the Colorado Rockies on April 26 and has pitched extremely well for them. He shutout the Pirates over 7 innings on May 5th and held the Reds potent offense to only 1 run on 7 hits on May 11th. Day has only allowed 6 earned runs since being added to the Nationals rotation.
Juan Pierre must continue what he started on Tuesday (2 for 5) and provide the Cubs with a major distraction for Zach Day. Day can be rattled, but again the Cubs must remain patient and allow him to make a mistake to beat himself. Day is a sinker-ball pitcher and if that ball gets up the Cubs could gain a tremendous amount of confidence going into Thursday afternoon’s game and Kerry Wood’s season debut.
Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….