Game Sixty-Nine: Cubs (31-37) vs. Rangers (26-43)
Game Time – 7:35pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 182
Location – Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington
Sean Marshall (3-2, 2.12/1.00) vs. Robinson Tejeda (5-7, 6.49/1.62)
The Cubs start a 3-game series tonight against the Texas Rangers and this will be the first game for the Cubs this season in an American League park. While drama and interesting storylines have followed Lou’s Crew since the beginning of the season, none may be bigger than the tonight’s. The Cubs face their one-time teammate for the first time in a regular season game and one of the most popular Cubs of all-time in Sammy Sosa and he enters play just one home run short of the magical number of 600 for his career. While the Faithful would like to see Sammy hop one more time, as long as the Cubs have the game well-in hand, it will be a welcome sight to see. The Rangers’ organization is a mess right now to say the least. Many in Texas are questioning the hiring of Ron Washington over the past off-season and most of the core of this team is reportedly on the trading block. The Cubs must take advantage of a team in search of its identity and arguably the worst team in all of baseball. Lou Piniella is in search of wins and a sweep of the Rangers would be a good way to head back to Chicago for a weekend series on the South Side.
Sean Marshall has given Lou Piniella more than he could have ever expected out of the 5th spot in the rotation. Marshall has pitched extremely well since his call-up at the end of May and is coming off his longest start of the season against the Mariners last Wednesday night. Marshall allowed just 2 earned runs on 7 hits in 8 innings of work and while he struck out only one batter, he did not give up a walk for the first time this season. Marshall has won his last 3 starts after starting the season 0-2. In his last 20 2/3 innings he has allowed 4 runs on 17 hits with 13 strikeouts and 3 walks….1.74 ERA. Marshall picked up the first win of his career against an American League team when he beat the Mariners and tonight will be the first time he has faced the Rangers.
Robinson Tejeda was 3-1 with a 3.82 ERA in May but has posted a 2-6 record since with a 8.68 ERA….36 earned runs on 48 hits in 37 1/3 innings with 29 strikeouts and 24 walks. Tejada did beat the Brewers back on June 8th despite allowing 6 runs on 8 hits in 6 2/3 innings but he tied a season high with 7 strikeouts. Tejada is 2-3 in 6 starts at home this year with a 6.03 ERA, a 1.54 WHIP and has allowed 8 home runs in 34 1/3 innings.
Tejada has faced the Cubs once in his career and received a no decision on August 3, 2005 while a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies won the game 4-3 in the bottom of the 9th when Michael Barrett allowed Jimmy Rollins to score the winning run on a passed ball. Tejada held the Cubs to just 1 run on 4 hits in 6 innings, did not walk a batter and struck out 6.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….