Game One Hundred Six: Cubs (56-49) vs. Phillies (56-50)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T. Comcast SportsNet, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Rich Hill (6-6, 3.59/1.17) vs. Jamie Moyer (9-8, 4.75/1.33)
The Cubs will try to solve the mystery of the southpaw tonight in the first game of what Lou Piniella calls the homestretch of the season. While the Cubs have put up the best record in the game since June 3rd the next month will determine if Lou Piniella’s crew will play meaningful games in September. Jim Hendry did not make any moves before the non-waiver trade deadline to try and improve his team but did mention he will be watching the waiver wire to see if he can find any help for Lou Piniella. The Cubs offense has to figure out left handed pitching and a nice offensive explosion tonight would be more than welcomed but, as usual, it all starts with Rich Hill. Which Rich Hill will show up to the park today? Lou Piniella needs the Rich Hill that pitched early in the season, not the one that has been so inconsistent of late. Hill is capable of dominating a game and has not been able to since early on in the season. Hill appears to be “thinking” too much on the mound instead of “just pitching.” If the Cubs are going to play meaningful games late in the season they need Rich Hill to return to form.
Hill pitched a decent game his last time out but once again did not receive any run support. He allowed 2 runs on 6 hits in 5 innings with 8 strikeouts and 3 walks against the Reds….thanks to the 9th inning rally, he received a no decision. In 3 starts since the All-Star break Hill has allowed a total of 4 earned runs on 16 hits in 19 innings. Hill’s pitch count his last time out was concerning, Hill must throw strikes and reduce his pitch count from an average of 20.8 his last time out against the Reds.
Tonight will be Rich Hill’s second start of the season against the Phillies. His last start back on May 11th was Hill’s first bad outing of the year and started the spiral of inconsistency. Pat Burrell hit two home runs and Hill gave up 5 runs on 4 hits with 7 strikeouts and 3 walks in 5 innings.
The ageless wonder, Jamie Moyer, will once again face his former team. Moyer had a tremendous start to the season (3-1 with a 2.65 ERA in April) but struggled in May (2-3 with a 5.63 ERA). Moyer made 5 starts in July and finished the month with a 2-3 record with a 6.75 ERA but is coming off one of his best starts of the season. Moyer held the Pirates to just 1 unearned run on 6 hits in 7 innings without a walk and 4 strikeouts. But that was the only time in his last 5 starts he has allowed 3 runs or less and he has given up as many as 10 during that stretch.
Moyer is 6-6 on the road this season in 13 starts with a 5.05 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Tonight will be Moyer’s first appearance against the Cubs this season. He has never lost to the team that drafted him in the 6th round of the 1984 draft in 3 starts, 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.
- Ronny Cedeno – 2-5 with a double
- Cliff Floyd – 3-9 with a double
- Jacque Jones – 6-20 with a double
- Jason Kendall – 8-25 with a RBI
- Matt Murton – 2-6, with a home run and a RBI
- Alfonso Soriano – 8-41, with a double, 4 home runs and 8 RBI’s
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….