Game One Hundred Twenty: Cubs (60-59) vs. Reds (52-67)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Marquis (9-7, 4.18/1.33) vs. Bobby Livingston (3-2, 4.24/1.35)
Forget the Brewers and the Cardinals, the Cubs need to win a game and it is up to Jason Marquis to put and end to the Cubs 4-game losing streak. Marquis was the last Cubs’ pitcher to post a win and will have to be on top of his game against a team that has scored 17 runs on 28 hits in the first two games of this series. Aramis Ramirez will likely have the day off and someone else will have to step up in his absence. The Cubs will once again face a rookie left hander for the first time and while the Reds will look to continue their role as spoiler, the Cubs must figure out a way to avoid being swept at home. And it all starts with Jason Marquis.
After a rough stretch without a win, Marquis has posted 3 wins in his last 5 starts but has not posted back-to-back wins since he won 5 in a row from April 16th – May 9th. After a miserable July (3-2 with a 6.29 ERA in 6 starts), Marquis is 1-1 in his last 2 starts with a 3.75 ERA and a 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio (6 strikeouts and 3 walks in 12 innings). Marquis must keep the ball down today, he has been doing that pretty successfully of late….21 ground ball outs to 9 fly ball outs in his last 2 outings.
Today will be the second time this season Marquis has faced the Reds. Marquis received a no-decision in his first start of the year back on April 5th. Marquis lasted 6 innings and gave up a run on 4 hits with 2 walks and 1 strikeout. Marquis is 4-3 in 11 career starts against the Reds with a 4.45 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP.
- Edwin Encarnacion – 5-10, with 2 home runs and 5 RBI’s
- Scott Hatteberg – 4-11, with a home run and 2 RBI’s
The Cubs will get their first look at another rookie lefty in Bobby Livingston. Livingston was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 4th round in 2001 and was the 18th best prospect in the Mariners organization in 2006 according to Baseball America. Major League Baseball nullified a waiver claim for Livingston by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and assigned him to the Reds on December 14, 2006. The Devil Rays claimed Livingston off of waivers from the Mariners on December 12th and attempted to trade him to the Phillies. He appeared in 3 games out of the Mariners bullpen last season, did not record a decision and gave up 10 runs on 9 hits in 5 innings (18.00 ERA). Livingston was recalled from Triple-A Louisville on May 28th.
Livingston will make his 9th career start today at the big league level and is coming off his best outing of his young career. He gave up just 3 runs on 4 his in 8 1/3 innings against the Padres at Great American Ball Park. Livingston is 1-0 in his last 2 starts with a 3.29 ERA but his most impressive stat is NO WALKS in 13 2/3 innings with 6 strikeouts. He is 2-2 in 6 starts on the road this season with a 4.45 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP.
Piniella might want to insert a couple of lefties in his lineup today. Lefties are hitting .303 against Livingston with a .361 OBP and righties are hitting .297 with a .314 OBP.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….