Game Seventy-One: Cubs (32-38) vs. Rangers (27-44)
Game Time – 1:05pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 182
Location – Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington
Ted Lilly (5-4, 3.69/1.05) vs. Vicente Padilla (3-8, 6.57/1.73)
The Cubs will go for the win today in the rubber game of the series. With the loss on Wednesday night, Lou Piniella’s crew must leave Texas after taking 2 of 3 from the last place Rangers. The Cubs offense has struggled without Aramis Ramirez in the lineup but seem to respond when they receive a good outing from their starting pitcher. The weather could play a factor today and is expected to reach into the 90′s by mid afternoon. Maybe the Cubs bats will heat up with the weather.
Lou Piniella dropped hints earlier in the week that Mike Fontenot could be moved up in the order and hit in the 2-hole behind Alfonso Soriano. With the offense struggling to score runs, a Piniella shake up could be in the works for today and some have speculated Rob Bowen could make his Cub debut this afternoon as well. Ted Lilly rebounded quite well his last time out against the Padres. After facing only two batters before being ejected against the Braves, Lilly gave up just 1 run on 6 hits in 8 innings of work and posted his first win since May 18th when he beat the White Sox at Wrigley. Lilly regained the command he had lost and kept the Padres guessing all afternoon.
Lilly has struggled on the road this season and is 2-1 with a 5.04 ERA in 6 starts. Lilly is 4-4 in 11 starts (12 games) against the Rangers in his career with a 3.34 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.
- Marlon Byrd – 3-8, with a double and 3 RBI’s
- Gerald Laird – 2-5, with a RBI
- Michael Young – 10-31, with 3 doubles, a home run and 4 RBI’s
Vicente Padilla somehow won his last start against the Reds despite giving up 6 runs on 12 hits, 2 home runs in 5 innings of work. In his two starts this month Padilla is 1-0 with a 7.45 ERA and has allowed 8 runs on 23 hits in 9 2/3 innings but has struck out 10 and walked just 1. Padilla has allowed 2 runs or less in 3 of his 14 starts this season but is 2-3 with a 3.93 ERA in Arlington while on the road he is 1-5 with a 9.00 ERA.
Padilla has faced the Cubs 14 times in his career with 5 starts and has a 3-4 record with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.
- Cliff Floyd – 4-12, with 2 home runs, 3 RBI’s and 7 walks
- Derrek Lee – 4-20, with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 RBI’s
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….