Game One Hundred Twenty-Three: Cubs (63-59) vs. Cardinals (58-62)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. Comcast SportsNet, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ted Lilly (13-5, 3.74/1.15) vs. Joel Pineiro (3-2, 4.25/1.43)
If weather permits the Cubs and Cardinals will complete their 4-game series today, but with a little bit of unfinished business….as of this writing, the date for Sunday night’s postponed game has not been announced. The weatherman is not promising a rain free afternoon and it is very likely the two teams will have another double header before the season is over, to go along with the one already scheduled for September 15th in St. Louis. Did anyone actually think the Cubs could be in a pennant race without their biggest rival figuring heavily in the outcome?
The Cubs will turn to Ted Lilly today to get the win before heading to the west coast for six games against the Giants and Diamondbacks. Kip Wells held the offense in check for the 2 innings he pitched on Sunday and today would be a good time to kick it back into gear before hitting the road. While the offense has to do their job, it all starts with Ted Lilly.
Lilly has been Lou Piniella’s most consistent starter this season but is starting to give up a lot of long balls. After finishing July with a 5-1 record and a 2.52 ERA, he allowed just 3 home runs in 39 1/3 innings. Lilly is 2-0 in his last 3 starts with a 4.82 ERA but has allowed 5 home runs in 18 2/3 innings. Lilly has a very respectable strikeout to walk ratio (18 k’s to 8 walks) but has to keep the ball down today.
Today will be Lilly’s third start of the season against the Cardinals. He is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP (3 runs on 10 hits in 14 innings with 8 strikeouts and 5 walks). Lilly beat the Cardinals the last time he faced them on July 25th in St. Louis, 1 run on 6 hits in 7 innings with 3 walks and 2 strikeouts.
Joel Pineiro came over from the Red Sox on July 31st with cash for the infamous PTBNL. After posting a 1-1 record with a 5.03 ERA in 31 games out of the Red Sox bullpen he was sent to Triple-A Pawtucket on July 25th after being activated from the 15-day DL. Pineiro was placed on the DL on June 30th with a right ankle sprain. Pineiro was a full-time starter for the Mariners from 2003 to 2005 before splitting time between the rotation and the pen for the Mariners in 2006. He was 14-7 with a 3.24 ERA for Lou Piniella in 2002 and was 16-11 in 2003 with a 3.78 ERA.
Dave Duncan has worked his magic once again with Joel Pineiro. In 3 starts, he is 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP for Tony LaRussa. Pineiro is coming off back-to-back wins and has allowed just 2 earned runs on 9 hits in his last 14 innings….pretty impressive.
Today will be Pineiro’s second career start against the Cubs. He is 0-1 with a 2.35 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP (2 runs on 7 hits in 7 2/3 innings). Pineiro lost to the Cubs in Seattle, 2-0, on June 7, 2002. Mark Prior threw a shutout and the two runs came off of solo home runs by Sammy Sosa and Fred McGriff.
- Jacque Jones – 11-31, with 4 doubles, a home run and 5 RBI’s
- Jason Kendall – 6-26, with a double and 5 RBI’s
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….