Game Eighty-One: Cubs (40-40) vs. Nationals (33-48)
Game Time – 6:05pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – RFK Memorial Stadium, Washington D.C.
Ted Lilly (6-4, 4.03/1.10) vs. Jason Simontacchi (5-5, 5.81/1.38)
Tonight is the 81st game of the year for the Chicago Cubs and they enter play tonight at .500, with 40 wins and 40 losses. The Cubs have played better ball of late and must not relax in the next 7 games leading up to the All-Star break. Lou Piniella’s crew needs a strong finish and to complete the first half several games over .500. But first things first, get a win tonight in the opener of their last series at RFK and continue to take one game at a time. Alfonso Soriano returns to RFK for the first time since being in a Nationals uniform, he hit 20 doubles, 24 home runs and drove in 44 last season on his home turf. Ted Lilly is coming off a solid start and a win against the Colorado Rockies. Lilly gave up 4 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings of work but walked 5 (a season-high) and struck out 5. Lilly had a very good start to the season (2-2 with a 2.18 ERA in April) but has started to give up runs in bunches. He finished June with a 2-1 record in 5 starts (with an ejection) and allowed 16 runs on 26 hits in 26 2/3 innings (5.40 ERA) with 22 strikeouts and 8 walks. After starting the season with an ERA below three, he has given up 38 runs in 65 1/3 innings (5.23 ERA) and he has given up 12 home runs in the same time span.
Lilly is 2-1 with a 5.30 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP on the road this season.
Ted Lilly is 2-2 in 5 career starts against one of his former organizations….he pitched for the Montreal Expos in 1999. Lilly has a 2.25 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP in 28 innings (8 runs, 7 earned, on 24 hits) and beat the Nationals, 6-1, last year in Toronto on June 28th. He did not allow a run on 5 hits in 6 innings of work.
Jason Simontacchi was signed to a minor league contract by Jim Hendry on February 3, 2006 but was not healthy enough to compete and the Cubs voided his contract on March 3rd. Simontacchi was brought up on May 8th and has been in the starting rotation for Manny Acta since.
Simontacchi has been better than his stats look. He had a horrible start against the Tigers at RFK on June 19th (10 runs on 10 hits in 3 innings) but allowed just 1 runs on 9 hits to the Orioles in 7 innings on June 14th and held the first place Indians to 1 run on 4 hits in 6 innings in his last start. Not counting the start against the Tigers, Simontacchi is 3-1 in his last 4 starts with a 3.55 ERA.
Simontacchi is 2-4 in 6 starts at RFK this year with a 7.76 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP. For his career against the Cubs he is 1-2 in 5 starts with a 4.67 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP….the last time he faced the Cubs was 2003 while a member of the Cardinals.
- Aramis Ramirez – 6-15, with 4 doubles, a home run and 5 RBI’s
- Derrek Lee – 1-3
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….