Game Twenty: Cubs (7-12) vs. Brewers (12-7)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Rich Hill (3-0, 0.41/0.68) vs. Jeff Suppan (2-2, 3.91/1.26)
For the third time in as many starts the Cubs will be asking Rich Hill to end a losing streak and pitch deep into the game to give the bullpen some much-needed rest. The Cubs have played back-to-back extra inning games while their starters have not made it out of the 5th and 6th innings respectively. Rich Hill has had a tremendous start to the season and the only run he has allowed in his first 3 starts was to the Brewers’ Corey Hart, who hit a home run in the 6th inning of the game back on April 6th. Rich Hill has been lights out so far this year but today will be the first time he has faced the same team twice this season. The Brewers are in first place and are playing with a lot of confidence….Hill will have his hands full against a very dangerous offense. Hill has given up only 8 hits in 22 innings while striking out 18 and walking 7. The Cubs inability to throw strikes have led to big innings and comeback wins for the opposition so far this season, Hill must buck that trend in order to pick up a win tonight.
After dropping his first 2 starts of the season to the Dodgers and Marlins, Jeff Suppan has won his last 2 and has pitched into the 6th and 7th innings in both. Suppan is not over powering on the mound, just effective. In 25 1/3 innings this season, he has allowed 12 runs, 11 earned, on 27 hits, walked 5 and struck out 3. The Cubs will have opportunities….they must take advantage of them. In 13 career starts against the Cubs, Suppan is 4-4 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. He has allowed 33 runs, 29 earned, on 86 hits in 81 innings while walking 30 and striking out 44.
- Michael Barrett – 8-21
- Ronny Cedeno – 4-8, 1 double, 1 triple
- Jacque Jones – 12-37, 4 home runs, 11 walks
- Derrek Lee – 13-27, 4 doubles, 3 home runs
- Aramis Ramirez – 7-24, 3 doubles, 1 home run
- Alfonso Soriano – 5-23, 1 double
5 games below .500 is far enough and the April excuse will not be able to be used much longer. Lou Piniella has to figure out how to start winning ballgames in groups, just not one at a time.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….