Game Sixty-Two: Cubs (25-36) vs. Reds (36-26)
Game Time – 12:15pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati
Carlos Marmol (0-0, 0.00) vs. Eric Milton (4-2, 4.14)
Carlos Marmol will get the start today for the Cubs against Eric Milton and the Reds. The Cubs are looking for their third series win out of the last four and to win their sixth game on this 10-game road trip. The Cubs have played back-to-back games that could have gone either way but the Cubs took advantage of the extra opportunities that the Reds have given them and won both ball games. Marmol will be the 5th rookie to start a game for the Cubs this season and this will be his first Major League start. In 4 innings of relief Marmol has given up 3 hits, struck out 6 and not allowed a walk. The Cubs will need a similar performance in order to beat the Reds on get away day. Marmol has been very impressive in his two appearances but the Cubs without Kerry Wood and Mark Prior need Marmol to be more like Sean Marshall than Angel Guzman or Rich Hill. With the Cubs getting an off day on Monday Dusty will have a full bullpen if necessary to pull out this win today….another much-needed win that would pull them to within 10 games of .500. Unfortunately for the Cubs they are facing one of the hottest starting pitchers in the Majors in Eric Milton.
Milton has already beaten the Cubs twice this season and in those two games he has only allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 12 hits in 14 1/3 innings while striking out 5 and only walking 2. In Milton’s last three starts he has only allowed 3 earned runs on 14 hits in 22 2/3 innings, struck out 13 and has not given up a walk. Milton pitched 7 shutout innings against the Cardinals his last time out and held them to just 5 hits. In his last start against the Cubs he had shut them out through 7 innings and the only runs he surrendered was the 2-run home run by Jacque Jones in the 8th inning.
The Cubs need to get Milton out of his groove, be patient and make him throw some pitches. Juan Pierre collected two hits on Saturday and has played a big role in the last two victories….he must continue getting on base and let Aramis Ramirez, Michael Barrett and Phil Nevin do their job against the very tough veteran lefty. Over the last 10 games the offense has had mixed results but certain players are doing their part. Aramis Ramirez is hitting .262 with a home run and 9 RBI’s, Jacque Jones is hitting .378 with 3 home runs and 6 RBI’s, Ronny Cedeno is hitting .333 with 2 RBI’s and 5 runs scored and Michael Barrett is hitting .316 with 2 home runs, 5 RBI’s and 6 runs scored.
A 3-game win streak would be nice before heading back to Chicago, the day off on Monday and Houston coming to town on Tuesday. A win might provide a little more confidence….to a team that is starting to build some.
Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….