Game Seventy-Nine: Cubs (29-49) vs. White Sox (51-27)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Sean Marshall (4-6, 5.13) vs. Jon Garland (6-3, 5.76)
Welcome to the Civil War, Part II….the North vs. the South, however in this case the team from the South is the defending World Champions and hold the second best record in baseball but the team with the best record, the Detroit Tigers (54-25), resides in the their division and the Sox find themselves 2 1/2 games back in the standings. The American League Central has beat up the National League Central in Interleague competition this season and the Cubs hold a 3-9 record this year going into the final weekend of play and have already lost 2 out of 3 to their neighbors to the South. Can Sean Marshall quiet the White Sox today at Wrigley? And Welcome Back Michael Barrett…. The Sox are on a tare….winners of 8 of their last 10 while the Cubs have managed just 3 wins in their last 10. The Cubs enter play today 20 games under .500, 14 1/2 games back of the Cardinals in 5th place in the Central and with 10 games left before the All-Star break against the White Sox (3), the Astros (3) and the Brewers (4) it does not get any easier for the boys in blue.
Sean Marshall has been one of the bright spots for the Cubs this season but because of bad defense and little to no run support, Marshall has only won twice in his eleven starts and is 1-3 with a 5.33 ERA in June. Marshall was the victim of one of the worst defensive games you will ever see a Major League club play last Sunday in the Metrodome….not even the return of Derrek Lee could put a win on the board that day. Marshall has to throw strikes and like the entire pitching staff he has trouble doing that on a consistent basis. The Cubs have a tendency to nibble at the plate and try to throw the perfect pitch and the result is too many walks….Marshall has almost as many walks (13) as he does strike outs (15) in his last 5 starts. This will be Marshall’s first start against the Sox.
Jon Garland on the other hand can be very dominating. Garland was drafted by the Cubs in the first round of the 1997 draft and traded to the White Sox for Matt Karchner (1999-2000, appeared in 29 games for the Cubs) in July of 1998, by then Cubs GM Ed Lynch. Garland is 2-1 in his last 5 starts with a 4.78 ERA and he has had control problems as of late as well. Garland has walked 10 and struck out 17 while allowing 31 hits in 32 innings. The Cubs can beat him they just must make him pitch, take pitches and look for hitters counts….if they make him work that flag will fly for the second time in three days.
Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball, or anything else that is on your mind….