Game Fifty-Six: Cubs (24-31) vs. Brewers (32-26)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee
Ted Lilly (4-3, 3.52/1.03) vs. Claudio Vargas (3-1, 3.90/1.52)
The Cubs are coming off back-to-back impressive wins and will look to win their 3rd in a row for the first time since their 5-game winning streak to begin the month of May. While Monday night’s win in Milwaukee might not have been the text book victory the Cubs were looking for, they still received an effective outing by Jason Marquis, the best performance of the year by the bullpen and once again the offense flipped the switch and turned in a big inning to get the win. Tonight is Ted Lilly’s turn to keep the Cubs on track and improve on his last outing. The Cubs offense has performed to preseason expectations the past two games but in order for Lou Piniella’s crew to climb out of the hole they dug for themselves, they must continue it tonight against Claudio Vargas. The Cubs scored 4 runs on 6 hits in 4 innings the last time they faced Vargas back on April 23 in Chicago and have hit Vargas pretty good in the two times they have faced him this season…. 7 earned runs on 10 hits in 6 innings, 10.50 ERA. But Vargas is coming off a successful month and has allowed more than 3 earned runs only twice in his last six starts.
Vargas is 0-2 in 6 games (2 career starts) against the Cubs with a 9.00 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP but in 5 starts (6 games) this season at Miller Park, Vargas is 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA, a 1.50 WHIP and has held opponents to a .259 batting average.
Like Jason Marquis, Ted Lilly is coming off his worst start of the season against the Marlins. The Cubs were in the middle of playing their worst ball of the season as well, but Lilly allowed 3 home runs in 7 innings (6 runs, 5 earned, on 7 hits, 1 walk and 9 strikeouts) and must keep the ball in the yard tonight against the Brewers. Lilly beat the Brewers the first time he faced them on April 25th at Wrigley and did not walk a batter or give up a home run….2 runs, 1 earned, on 6 hits and 3 strikeouts in 7 innings of work. Lilly has not lost on the road this season (2-0) but has a high ERA (4.01) and his strikeout to walk ratio is still more than 3:1 (22 k’s, 7 walks).
The Brewers will be looking to prove a point tonight against Ted Lilly, here’s to hoping he is up to the test.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….