Game Ninety-Seven: Cubs (51-45) vs. Diamondbacks (51-48)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. Comcast SportsNet, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Sean Marshall (4-3, 3.43/1.27) vs. Yusmeiro Petit (1-2, 3.22/1.39)
The Cubs complete their 10-game homestand today with the finale against the Diamondbacks. Lou Piniella’s crew has played very good ball of late with the exception of the offense laying an egg on Saturday. The Cubs have a chance to get back to 7 games over .500 with a win today and to finish the homestand with a very strong 8-2 record. While the offense skipped a beat for the first time without Derrek Lee in the lineup, they need to get back on track against a pitcher they have little history against and quit making young, mediocre pitchers look like award winners. The Cubs must pick up the win to avoid loosing lose their first back-to-back games in over a month. And it all starts with Sean Marshall. Sean Marshall pitched well his last time out against the Giants after receiving 12 days between starts thanks to the All-Star break. Marshall received a no decision despite giving up just 2 runs on 5 hits in 6 innings….he was just out pitched by Barry Zito and the bullpen could not throw strikes once the game was put in their hands. Marshall held his own against the former Cy Young Award winner and was very efficient. Marshall threw just 88 pitches and 62 went for strikes, not a bad ratio especially compared to his previous start against the Nationals on July 5th when he threw 85 pitches in 5 1/3 innings, but only 47 were strikes.
Marshall has walked more in his last two starts combined than he has struck out and that is cause for concern. In his previous 46 1/3 innings (8 starts) he had walked just 13 while striking out 36. In his last 11 1/3 innings he has walked 6 and struck out just 4….those numbers have to turnaround quickly in order for Marshall to win a game. His last win came on June 24th against the White Sox.
Today will be Marshall’s first career appearance against the Diamondbacks.
Yusmerio Petit was originally signed by the New York Mets as an undrafted free agent in 2001. Petit was a part of the trade with the Marlins and Mets that sent Carlos Delgado to New York for Petit, Mike Jacobs and Grant Psomas. He was 1-1 in 15 games, 1 start, last season for the Marlins with a 9.57 ERA. Petit was acquired from the Marlins on March 26, 2007 for Jorge Julio and cash.
Petit was recalled from Triple-A on April 22nd but was optioned back to Triple-A two days later when Arizona activated Randy Johnson from the DL the first time on April 24th. Petit was recalled again from Triple-A Tuscon on July 3rd when the D’backs placed Johnson on the 15-day DL with a sore back. Petit beat the Cardinals at Bush Stadium on July 3rd, his only win of the season.
Today will be Petit’s 5th start of the year and all have been on the road. He is 1-1 in his last 3 games with a 3.52 ERA. Petit has not pitched past the 5th inning in his last 2 starts and has given up 6 runs on 18 hits in 15 1/3 innings. Petit will struggle with his command and it is up to the Cubs to be patient at the plate and hit what they are given.
Petit will be making his first career start against the Cubs and appearance at Wrigley Field today. Petit pitched 1 inning of relief for the Marlins against the Cubs last season on May 23rd in Florida. He did not allow a hit or give up a walk but did strikeout 1 batter.
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-3, with 2 doubles
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….