Game Forty-Six: Cubs (21-24) vs. Dodgers (27-20)
Game Time – 9:40pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
Ted Lilly (4-2, 2.69/0.93) vs. Derek Lowe (4-5, 3.84/1.42)
The Cubs open a 3-game series tonight in Los Angeles against a few familiar faces and one that got away. The Dodgers are the top team in the west and boast one of the best home records in the National League at 15-9. The Dodgers just took two of three from the Brewers and will look to stay on track against the Cubs. Ted Lilly was pushed back from his scheduled start against the Padres with Sean Marshall being inserted in the starting rotation.
Lou Piniella has reminded all who would listen that it is almost Memorial Day and it is time for his team to string together some wins and become more consistent at the plate, well there is no time like the present to take a series on the road from a very good ballclub. Ted Lilly has done one thing consistently this entire season and that is throwing strikes. Lilly is among the National League leaders in several categories….ERA (2.69), Strikeouts (54) and Opponents batting average (.210). He leads the National League in WHIP (0.93), strikeout to walk ratio (54:10), opponents OBP (.245) and is second in walks allowed (10) to only Greg Maddux (7). Lilly has started 9 games for the Cubs this season and has recorded 8 quality starts.
Lilly is coming off a win against the White Sox last Saturday and has not lost a game since April 20 against the Cardinals when he allowed just 2 runs on 4 hits in 7 innings of work. The Dodgers do not have much power in their lineup and are near the bottom in home runs for the season. While Lilly might not have to worry about the long ball, he has to throw strikes and keep the likes of Juan Pierre and Rafael Furcal off the bases.
Lilly has faced the Dodgers two times in his career and he beat the Dodgers the last time he faced them back in 2004. Lilly allowed just a run in 7 1/3 innings of work. For his career Lilly is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP, he has allowed 4 runs on 10 hits and has given up a couple of home runs in 8 innings of work.
- Rafael Furcal – 1-3, with a home run
- Juan Pierre – 1-3, with a double
Derek Lowe has been consistently inconsistent this season. Lowe works deep into ballgames and as the popular phrase goes, “eats a lot of innings” but this season he has given up a lot of runs. Lowe’s best start of the year came back on May 5th in Atlanta when he allowed 1 unearned run on 3 hits in 7 innings of work. Lowe struggled in April and walked (17) almost as many as he struck out (20) in 37 innings of work but in his last 4 starts (28 2/3 innings) he has struck out 22 and walked just 7.
The Cubs must leave their “big swings” in the clubhouse and just concentrate on hitting the ball hard and finding the gaps against Lowe….in 65 2/3 innings Lowe has given up just 2 long balls. Lou Piniella’s lineup tonight should be interesting, unlike most pitchers both righties and lefties have had about the same amount of success this season against Lowe….righties hit .271 and lefties hit .268.
Lowe is 1-1 in 4 career starts against the Cubs with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP with a complete game shutout in his resume against the Cubs that took place back in 2005.
- Henry Blanco – 2-6, with 2 doubles and a RBI
- Cliff Floyd – 2-4, with a triple and a RBI
- Jacque Jones – 8-25, with 2 doubles, a triple and 4 RBI’s
- Derrek Lee – 8-17, with a home run and 4 RBI’s
- Matt Murton – 3-7, with a double and 2 RBI’s
- Aramis Ramirez – 2-6, with a double
- Alfonso Soriano – 9-20, with 2 doubles, a home run, 3 RBI’s and 10 strikeouts
Also, be ready for WGN to show replay after replay of “the play” last year in LA.
Let’s Talk Cubs (late night) Baseball….