Game One Hundred Fifty-Eight: Cubs (63-94) vs. Brewers (73-83)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T. WCIU, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Sean Marshall (5-9, 5.64) vs. Carlos Villanueva (1-1, 3.35)
Five left and counting…. Sean Marshall is scheduled to make his last start of the season tonight against the Brewers and like everyone in a Cubs’ uniform, he needs to finish on a positive note. Marshall has had only one decent outing since returning from the DL against the Giants on September 2nd. Marshall has not won a game since July 5th in Houston and has not made it past the 5th inning since his outing against the Giants. He is 0-1 in 4 games with a 9.72 ERA and is nowhere near as effective as he was earlier in the season. The most concerning stat about Marshall is the amount of home runs he has allowed in his last 6 starts. In his last 33 innings he has allowed 10 home runs, walked 11 and struck out just 13 while giving up 36 hits and 25 earned runs….a 6.82 ERA. In his first 16 games of the season (86 2/3 innings) he gave up just 9 home runs, 84 hits, 42 walks, 59 strikeouts and 50 earned runs (5.19 ERA). Marshall has not been as confident and obviously has had command problems. Marshall must pitch well tonight so he is not lost next season in the mix for the 5th spot in the rotation, plus a good outing might improve his trade value in the off-season, something Jim Hendry has to be exploring.
Carlos Villanueva is coming off the best start of his young career. The rookie right-hander threw 7 shutout innings against the Cardinals on September 20th; he gave up just 3 hits, 1 walk and struck out 5. In his last 13 innings he has struck out 10 and walked just 1. Tonight will be the 5th start of his career.
Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….