Game One Hundred Fourteen: Cubs (58-55) vs. Rockies (59-54)
Game Time – 8:05pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Coors Field, Denver
Ted Lilly (12-5, 3.53/1.11) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (1-1, 5.16/1.37)
The Cubs will look to end their 4-game losing streak tonight in the first of a 4-game series in the thin air of Colorado. The Cubs were awful in Houston and it will not get any easier tonight. The Rockies just swept a 3-game series against the Brewers and are coming off a 19-4 win on Wednesday. They have won their last 9 series at home and in their sweep of the Brewers they scored 36 runs. The Cubs will have to deal with arguably the hottest team in baseball and the humidor balls.
Ted Lilly has been very good for Lou Piniella this season and once again his team needs him tonight. The Cubs enter play just 3 games above .500 and are limping into the day off on Monday. Maybe Piniella will shake things up and possibly even get thrown out again….after all it worked the last time his crew was playing this bad. The Cubs have to remember how to play the game and relax. They are all playing very tight right now and more importantly, they are not taking what the other team is giving them….simply they are trying to force situations. The Cubs will likely face a Rockies team without Todd Helton. He left the game on Wednesday against the Brewers with back spasms. But the Rockies have a very exciting young team that just does not lose at home.
Ted Lilly has been the most consistent pitcher this season for Lou Piniella. While not every game has been a great one, more times than not he has been very solid this year. Lilly is coming off an impressive win against the Mets last Saturday, he gave up 2 runs on 7 hits in 7 2/3 inning while striking out 8 and walking 1. Lilly is 7-1 in his last 8 starts with a 2.21 ERA.
Lilly beat the Rockies on June 26th at Wrigley. He gave up 4 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings with 5 walks (a season high) and 5 strikeouts. Lilly is 1-1 in 2 career starts against the Rockies with a 9.39 ERA and a 2.48 WHIP. He will make his second career start at Coors Field tonight and the Cubs’ fly ball pitcher did not fair too well there the first time. He gave up 5 runs, 4 earned, on 6 hits and 2 walks in 1 2/3 innings on May 21st of last season.
Ubaldo Jimenez will make his 5th start of the season tonight for Clint Hurdle. He started the season in Triple-A with Colorado Springs and was recalled on July 17th. Jimenez pitched very well in his first 3 starts and gave up 7 runs on 12 hits in 18 innings (3.50 ERA) and posted a 1-0 record. In his last start against the Braves, Jimenez lasted just 4 2/3 innings and gave up 6 runs on 6 hits.
Jimenez is 1-0 in 2 starts at Coors this season with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. On the road, he is 0-1 with a 7.45 ERA and a 1.86 WHIP. Tonight will be Jimenez second career start against the Cubs. He received a no decision in the last game of the 2006 season (October 1st), the Cubs won the game 8-5 and he gave up 4 runs on 3 hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….