Game One Hundred Twenty-Four: Cubs (63-60) vs. Giants (55-70)
Game Time – 9:15pm C.T. Comcast SportsNet, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 174, 178
Location – AT & T Park, San Francisco
Jason Marquis (10-7, 4.25/1.35) vs. Tim Lincecum (7-3, 3.95/1.23)
Every team wins 60 games and every team loses 60 games, it is the other 42 that make a difference. Lou Piniella’s crew dropped their 60th game of the season on Monday, and what they do with their remaining 39 games will determine whether there is fall ball or not on the North Side of Chicago.
The Cubs open a 6-game road trip tonight tied with the Milwaukee Brewers at the top of the Central Division with the Cardinals closing in fast. The Cubs have to take care of business tonight and cool off a very hot Giants’ team that has won their last 5 games in a row. Cliff Floyd should be back in right field tonight and do not be surprised if Aramis Ramirez is not in the starting lineup. The offense will have their hands full with Tim Lincecum, but it all starts with the adventure, Jason Marquis. Jason Marquis is coming off back-to-back wins for the first time since he won 5 in a row from April 16th – May 5th. Marquis was not sharp against the Reds but effective. He gave up 4 runs, all in one inning, before settling down and completing 6 innings of work. Marquis, however, was very sharp in his previous outing against the Rockies. He did not allow an earned run in 6 2/3 innings while surrendering just 5 hits. Marquis is 2-1 in his last 3 starts with a 4.50 ERA….10 runs, 9 earned, on 21 hits in 18 innings with 7 walks and 8 strikeouts.
Marquis’ biggest obstacle is usually himself and he must keep the ball down tonight against a veteran Giants’ lineup. In his last 18 innings he has recorded 28 groundouts to 17 fly ball outs.
Marquis is 3-4 in 11 road starts this season with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP and will face the Giants for the first time tonight in a Cubs’ uniform. Marquis is 3-0 in 4 career games, 3 starts, against the Giants with a 2.92 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP….with all 3 wins coming at AT & T Park, 7 runs, 6 earned, on 17 hits in 22 2/3 innings, a 2.38 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP.
- Rich Aurilia – 6-17, with a triple, a home run and 2 RBI’s
- Barry Bonds – 5-10, with a double, 2 home runs, 3 RBI’s and 2 walks
- Ryan Klesko – 6-12, with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 RBI’s
- Randy Winn – 5-10, with a double, 2 home runs and 3 RBI’s
The Cubs will get their second look of the season at Tim Lincecum. The flame-throwing right-hander dominated the Cubs back at Wrigley on July 16th. He received a no-decision and was out pitched by Rich Hill. Lincecum left the game tied and the Cubs won the game against the Giants’ bullpen. He surrendered just 1 run on 2 hits in 6 1/3 innings of work with 8 strikeouts and 5 walks.
Lincecum has posted a 1-1 record in his last 4 starts with a 4.13 ERA after an excellent 4 starts in July that saw him post a 4-0 record with a 1.62 ERA in 5 starts. Lincecum has struggled a little in his last 2 starts despite a 1-1 record. He has given up 9 runs on 14 hits in 11 innings with 12 strikeouts and just 2 walks (7.36 ERA).
The Cubs must be patient against Lincecum tonight and make him work. He has thrown a lot of innings in his first big league season (116 1/3 innings with the Giants and 31 innings in Triple-A) and could be starting to show signs of fatigue….last season he threw a total of 157 innings between college (125 1/3) and the minors (31 2/3). The Giants have kept his pitch total under 100 in his last two starts.
Lincecum is 3-2 with a 4.39 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP in 9 starts at home compared to a 4-1 record with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP on the road in 10 starts.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….