Game Seventy-Nine: Cubs (39-39) vs. Brewers (46-33)
Game Time – 2:55pm C.T. FOX Saturday Game of the Week, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Sean Marshall (4-2, 2.44/1.08) vs. Ben Sheets (9-3, 3.09/1.18)
The Faithful knows what is at stake…. The Cubs get another shot at the first place Brewers today on National Television. The game was originally scheduled for a 12:05pm start but was moved to 2:55pm in order to accommodate FOX. It will be interesting to see how the Brewers bounce back today. After Justin Verlander threw his no hitter against them on June 12th, they won 12 of 14 entering play on Friday.
With today being the last day of June, what a month it has been on the North Side of Chicago. There was the Zambrano-Barrett game on June 1st, Lou Piniella was ejected on June 2nd, the beaning wars with the Braves, the Derrek Lee-Chris Young brawl, Michael Barrett was traded and the Cubs have won 17 and lost 10 while posting their first 7-game winning streak since 2005…. The Brewers will be looking to make a statement while Lou Piniella will be looking for innings from Sean Marshall. With Piniella having to empty his pen on Friday, the roster move that has been rumored for the last week could be made before game time. The Cubs need another pitcher on the staff, especially without another day off before the All-Star break, and the fact Piniella is apparently going to use Scott Eyre solely in mop up duty, the “Wanted: A Relief Pitcher that Throws Strikes” sign is probably hanging on the Cubs’ clubhouse door. On a related note, Neal Cotts was put on the I-Cubs disabled list on June 19th. (Note: today’s game preview was written before the Cubs recalled Rocky Cherry from Triple-A Iowa on Saturday morning. There has not been an annoucement of which player will be sent down, put on the DL…or otherwise)
Sean Marshall is coming off a solid outing against the White Sox last Sunday. Marshall did not allow a run in 6 1/3 innings and gave up just 5 hits (a walk and 3 strike outs). He rebounded very well from his worst outing of the season against Texas on June 19th. Marshall continues to throw strikes and has pitched very good at Wrigley this year (2-1 with a 2.14 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP), look for Koyie Hill to be Marshall’s battery mate today.
Marshall will make his second start of his career today against the Brewers. Marshall is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP in his only other start on September 26th of last year at Wrigley. He gave up 3 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings, walked 3 and struck out 3. The Cubs won the game 14-6 in Marshall’s last start of the season, the losing pitcher was Carlos Villanueva.
- Bill Hall – 2-2, with a home run and a RBI
The Cubs will face a familiar foe today in Ben Sheets. Sheets has been healthy and the result has been a very good first half of the season….he will likely be in San Francisco in a couple of weeks pitching for Tony LaRussa. Sheets is having a tremendous June. He has allowed just 6 earned runs in 5 starts, with a complete game and two shutout performances, one against the Marlins (June 3) and the other against the Rangers (June 9). Sheets is 4-0 with a 1.60 ERA in his last 5 starts, is 6-1 at home (his only loss is to the Cubs) and is 3-2 on the road with a 3.76 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.
Today will be Sheets third start of the season against the Cubs. After losing to the Cubs at Miller Park on April 7th (Carlos Zambrano) he left after 3 innings on April 25th (no runs on 4 hits). In 9 innings this season, the Cubs have scored 5 runs on 13 hits (5.00 ERA). In 20 career starts against the Cubs, Sheets is 7-7 with a 3.94 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.
- Cliff Floyd – 5-15, with 2 doubles and 2 RBI’s
- Mark DeRosa – 3-11, with a triple and a RBI
- Koyie Hill – 1-2, with a double and 2 RBI’s
- Derrek Lee – 14-39, with 2 doubles, 5 home runs and 11 RBI’s
- Aramis Ramirez – 9-46, with 2 doubles, a home run and 6 RBI’s
- Alfonso Soriano – 1-3, with a double
How do the Cubs top Friday’s victory? ….By just winning the game and getting over .500.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….