Game One Hundred Twelve: Cubs (58-53) vs. Astros (49-63)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T. Comcast SportsNet, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Minute Maid Park, Houston
Sean Marshall (5-5, 3.86/1.24) vs. Woody Williams (5-12, 5.41/1.43)
Updated 5:45pm C.T. with Roster Move – Sean Gallagher Recalled from Triple A – Will Ohman Optioned to Iowa
The Cubs will look to avoid their first 3-game losing streak tonight in over 2 months behind Sean Marshall. The Cubs have not lost more than 2 games in a row since they dropped 6 straight between May 27th and June 2nd. Lou Piniella’s crew is struggling right now; they have lost 5 of their last 8 and are not scoring runs. The Cubs were just flat on Monday night but must bounce back tonight against Woody Williams. This is a must win for the Cubs, they need a confidence builder and a solid offensive performance. Eric Patterson is scheduled to make his first big league start tonight and maybe he can provide a spark to the offense.
Sean Marshall reportedly received new contacts and everything is fine with his eyes, and while it all starts with Marshall, the Cubs need contributions from the entire roster tonight. Sean Marshall is coming off his second worst start of the season against the Phillies last Thursday. Marshall labored through 2 2/3 innings, his second shortest start of the year, and allowed 7 runs on 9 hits. A report after the game mentioned Marshall scratched the cornea in his right eye the night before with a contact lens and that was the reason for his horrible outing. Marshall has given Lou Piniella’s staff a legitimate 5th starter and many think Marshall has outperformed his slot in the rotation. However, Marshall must get back on track tonight against the Astros.
Marshall was 1-1 in 4 starts in July with a 2.31 ERA and received little to no run support. He did not allow more than 2 earned runs in any of his 4 starts. Marshall has pitched extremely well on the road this season. He is 3-1 with a 2.60 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP compared to a 2-4 record with a 5.02 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP at Wrigley Field.
Tonight will be the first time Marshall has faced the Astros this season. He is 1-2 in 3 career starts against the Astros with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. At Minute Maid Park, Marshall is 1-1 in 2 career starts with a remarkable 0.64 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. He has allowed just 1 earned run on 10 hits in 14 innings in Houston. The one loss he took was a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Chris Sampson on June 7th of last year and the win was a 1-0 defeat of Roy Oswalt in which Marshall threw 7 innings of shutout ball.
- Chris Burke – 5-7, with a home run and a RBI
- Craig Biggio – 3-9, with a double
Woody Williams has not pitched the way the Astros front office was hoping for when they signed him this past off-season. Williams has struggled to say the least and after a tremendous start against the Pirates on July 22nd in which he did not allow a run in 8 innings of work, he is coming of two horrendous starts. He gave up 5 runs on 8 hits in 6 innings against the Padres on July 27th and 7 runs on 13 hits in 5 innings his last time out against the Braves. Williams has pitched slightly better at home this year (3-4 with a 5.33 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP) than on the road (2-8 with a 5.46 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP)
Tonight will be Williams’ third start of the season against the Cubs. He received a no decision back on April 9th at Wrigley (2 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings) and lost to the Cubs at Wrigley on June 11th (2 runs on 4 hits in 7 innings). But he received no run support and has pitched better against the Cubs than just about any other team in the league (0-1 in 2 starts with a 2.77 ERA).
Williams is 3-9 in 18 career games (17 starts) against the Cubs with a 4.42 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.
- Cliff Floyd – 10-27, with a double, 2 home runs and 5 RBI’s
- Mike Fontenot – 2-3, with a double
- Jason Kendall – 18-35, with 2 doubles, a home run and 5 RBI’s
- Derrek Lee – 10-31, with 3 doubles and 6 home runs
- Aramis Ramirez – 13-43, with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 7 RBI’s
Updated – 5:46pm C.T. – According to a report on Yahoo Sports, the Cubs optioned Will Ohman to Triple-A and recalled Sean Gallagher from Iowa.
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