Game Forty-One: Cubs (19-21) vs. White Sox (20-18)
Game Time – 2:55pm C.T. FOX TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Marquis (5-1, 2.22/0.97) vs. Javier Vazquez (2-2, 3.86/1.15)
Game Two of the Crosstown Classic…. With the Cubs taking the first game of the series it is quite safe to say Ozzie Guillen will do everything possible not to lose two in a row. While Lou Piniella appears to be treating this series like any other, Guillen is not. He exploded on the radio Friday morning before the game so it is safe to say he will be fired up for this one. While Derrek Lee’s status for today’s game is uncertain at best, Joe Crede is expected to be back in the starting lineup today along with A.J. Pierzynski. The Cubs must ignore Pierzynski’s antics and not allow him to get under their skin. Jason Marquis has arguably been the biggest surprise of the season for the Cubs and will look to get back on track after his disappointing outing against the Mets last Monday. Marquis lost his rhythm and appeared very frustrated on several occasions. Marquis had problems with his command and walked 3 on the night (88 pitches, 47 strikes)….the first time he had allowed a walk since April 27th (2 starts, 17 innings). Marquis also recorded more fly ball outs than groundouts for the second start in a row (the only two starts this season he has recorded more fly outs than groundouts). Marquis has to keep the ball down today against a White Sox team that is starting to hit the ball and one that will also be looking to make a statement.
Jason Marquis on the other hand will be out to show the baseball world that his outing last season against the White Sox was just a fluke. Tony LaRussa left Marquis on the mound last June in Chicago longer than he should have and many feel LaRussa was out to prove a point to Marquis. The White Sox scored 13 runs on 14 hits in 5 innings and hit 4 home runs (Paul Konerko, Jim Thome, Joe Crede and Juan Uribe). Marquis’ other start against the White Sox came on June 23, 2002 while he was a member of the Atlanta Braves. He gave up just 1 run on 3 hits in 6 innings of work (6 k’s, 3 walks and a home run) and earned the win. Look for Rob Mackowiak to get the start today for the Southsiders, he is 11-27 with a double in his career against Marquis.
Javier Vazquez has not posted a win since his second start of the season against the Indians on April 13th and is coming off of a loss to the Kansas City Royals. Vazquez gave up 4 runs on 7 hits in 6 innings of work, walked 3 and struck out 3 (his lowest strikeout total of the year). Vazquez has allowed a home run in each of his last 3 starts (20 1/3 innings).
In 12 career starts against the Cubs, Vazquez is 3-3 with a complete game, a 5.04 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Last year the Cubs scored 5 runs on 11 hits in 6 innings but Vazquez received a no decision in the game that was decided in the 9th inning when A.J. Pierzynski hit a 3-run homer off of Ryan Dempster.
- Mark DeRosa – 6-17, with a home run and 3 RBI’s
- Cliff Floyd – 9-34, with 2 doubles and 2 RBI’s
- Cesar Izturis – 5-15, with 2 doubles and 2 RBI’s
- Jacque Jones – 3-13, with a home run and 2 RBI’s
- Derrek Lee – 15-41, with 5 doubles, 3 home runs and 12 RBI’s
- Aramis Ramirez – 6-18, with 2 doubles, a triple, a home run and 7 RBI’s
- Daryle Ward – 8-21, with 3 home runs and 7 RBI’s
Will he or won’t he? Angel Pagan has been hitting the cover off the ball since being recalled from Iowa (10-22 – .455/.455/.864, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 home runs, 7 runs scored, 5 RBI’s and 2 stolen bases). With Pagan hitting from both sides of the plate and playing a solid centerfield, will Lou Piniella sit him today in favor of Jacque Jones?
Lou Piniella stated before Friday’s game that he has changes planned for his pitching staff but will not make any announcements until Monday or Tuesday….it will be interesting to see what he has up his sleeve.
Let’s Talk Crosstown Classic Baseball….