Game Fifty: Cubs (22-27) vs. Marlins (24-27)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Marquis (5-1, 2.60/1.02) vs. Dontrelle Willis (6-3, 4.80/1.54)
The Cubs will look to get back in the win column tonight against Marlins’ ace, Dontrelle Willis. Lou Piniella’s team has struggled to score runs and he says the offense will eventually come around and start putting up runs on a consistent basis. While baseball is a team effort, several players are performing well below their expectations and must step up soon to avoid becoming the 2007 version of Juan Pierre. Jason Marquis has been one of the bright spots for the Cubs and needs to give his team another solid outing and put them in position to win the game. Alfonso Soriano has begun to be labeled the most-disappointing player in all of baseball. He has not been the offense force the Cubs paid for this past off-season and while his batting average (.297), OBP (.348) and doubles (15) are very respectable his home runs (4) and RBI’s (12) are well below the contract he signed. Soriano has played well in the outfield but is by no means a prototypical left fielder and he must make up his fielding deficiencies with his bat and he has yet to do that. While the bullpen has blown more games than Lou Piniella can stomach to count, Alfonso Soriano hasn’t exactly filled the bleachers with dingers and driven in those all-important “tack-on-runs” that win ballgames.
Jason Marquis rebounded from poor outings against the Mets and White Sox with one of his best outings of the season, despite receiving a no decision, against the Padres. Marquis held the Padres to 1 run on 5 hits in 7 innings of work (94 pitches, 55 for strikes) and tied a season high in strikeouts with 5 but most importantly he kept the ball down and recorded his best groundball out to fly out ratio of the season (12:4). Marquis has been more successful at Wrigley this year than on the road….3-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 5 starts with 22 strikeouts and 5 walks in 33 innings with a 1.00 WHIP.
Jason Marquis is 4-3 in 8 career starts (15 games) with a 6.83 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP against the Marlins. Last season Marquis beat the Marlins in the only game he faced them but gave up 5 runs on 7 hits with 3 walks in 5 innings.
- Miguel Cabrera – 3-9, with 2 doubles and 1 RBI
- Hanley Ramirez – 3-3, with 2 doubles
- Josh Willingham – 1-3
Dontrelle Willis still garners much conversation among the Faithful, the prospect the Cubs gave away…. Willis has given up a lot of hits, walks and runs this season despite his record. Willis may be 6-3 but he could easily be 3-6. After posting a 5-1 record with a 5.35 ERA in 6 starts in April, May has not been as kind. Willis has won just once in his last 5 starts (1-2) while posting a 4.18 ERA.
Right-handers have hit Willis extremely well this season to the tune of a .320 batting average (lefties are hitting .082) and a .388 OBP. Willis’ WHIP is more than a point lower against lefties (0.64) than righties (1.81) and his ERA is nearly 6 points lower (6.04/0.57).
Dontrelle Willis is 2-3 in 7 career starts against the Cubs with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. However, in 5 career starts at Wrigley, Willis is 2-1 with a 1.60 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP and has not allowed a home run in 33 2/3 innings.
- Alfonso Soriano – 7-13, with a double, a home run, 2 walks and a RBI
- Michael Barrett – 5-14, with 2 doubles, 2 walks and a RBI
- Mark DeRosa – 3-7, with a home run and 2 RBI’s
- Cesar Izturis – 6-9, with 2 doubles
- Matt Murton – 4-4, with a double and 2 RBI’s
- Aramis Ramirez – 2-11, with 2 doubles and 2 RBI’s
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….