Game Eleven: Cubs (4-6) vs. Reds (6-5)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ted Lilly (1-0, 2.77/0.85) vs. Kyle Lohse (0-0, 4.05/1.28)
April 15th is a very important day in Baseball and American History; 60 years ago today Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and became the first African-American to play in a major league baseball game. Major League Baseball, several players and five teams will wear Robinson’s number 42, that was retired 10 years ago, in honor of the man that helped change the game and more importantly, society. While Ebbets Field, the Boston Braves and the Brooklyn Dodgers are no longer in existence, the impact Jackie Robinson had on America and the game of baseball will never be forgotten.
Today’s game against the Reds will feature several Cubs honoring the legacy of Jackie Robinson….Derrek Lee, Daryle Ward, Cliff Floyd, Jacque Jones, Gerald Perry, Lester Strode and the Reds’ Ken Griffey Jr. And on the field the Cubs will look to win their second series of the season. Ted Lilly has had a good start to his Cub career….4 earned runs on 9 hits in 13 innings while striking out 14 and walking just 2. Lilly was very impressive in his Cub debut against the Reds and pitched good enough for his team to win the home opener last Monday against the Astros. Lilly held the Reds high-powered offense to just 1 run on 3 hits in 7 innings of work back on April 4th. He has shown very good command in his first two games but most importantly he has put his team in position to win both games he has started. Lilly is not keeping the ball down the way he did in Arizona (19 fly outs to 7 ground outs) but he has not given up a home run after starts at Great American Ball Park and Wrigley Field. If Lilly is to pickup his second victory of the season today, he will have to keep the Reds in the park and keep their struggles against southpaws intact….the Reds are 1-4 with a .206 (32-155) against lefties.
Kyle Lohse (drafted by the Cubs in the 29th round in 1996) has become the project of Reds’ pitching coach and former Cubs’ bench coach Dick Pole. Pole feels he can turn Lohse into the pitcher the Twins thought he could become by having the right hander throw more first pitch strikes and stay aggressive on the mound. Lohse had a good outing against the Cubs and Jason Marquis back on April 5th. He allowed 2 runs on 10 hits (a home run by Mark DeRosa) in 6 1/3 innings and the Reds ended up beating the Cubs that afternoon after Piniella turned over Marquis’ 2-1 lead to the bullpen. The Diamondbacks had more success against Lohse. In 7 innings of work he allowed 4 runs on 6 hits, gave up 2 long balls, struck out 4 and did not walk a batter.
A 2-game mini-winning streak would be a good way to start the new week, one that features match-ups against the Padres (Greg Maddux is scheduled to start on Tuesday against Wade Miller), Braves and Cardinals.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….