Game One Hundred Twenty-Nine: Cubs (66-62) vs. Diamondbacks (73-57)
Game Time – 3:40pm C.T. Comcast SportsNet, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 174, 189
Location – Chase Field, Phoenix
Jason Marquis (10-7, 4.12/1.34) vs. Yusmeiro Petit (2-4, 5.14/1.38)
The Cubs play the finale of their 6-game road trip today before their last day off until September 20th and it is up to Jason Marquis to win the rubber game of the series. Lou Piniella has received quality starts in 4 of the first 5 games from his starters, including one from Marquis but a 4 and 2 road trip has a much better ring to it than 3 and 3. Piniella stated before Saturday’s game that this is not the stretch run just yet but more “like a jog” but the offense could use a little more pep in it’s step after Saturday’s lackluster performance.
In other news, Mark Prior was with his team on Saturday and plans to be in the picture in Spring Training next year. Also, it appears Alfonso Soriano could be activated before Tuesday’s game against the Brewers. If he is, Matt Murton or Felix Pie will likely be the odd man out. Speaking of odd man out, there is still nothing new on the Will Ohman front. He was rumored to be on the list the Tigers submitted that would complete the Craig Monroe deal and it will be interesting to see if he is recalled before September 1st. Finally, four pitchers combined for a no-hitter on Saturday for the Peoria Chiefs. James Russell threw the first 3 innings, Chris Siegfried pitched the next 2 1/3 innings and was credited with the win. Matt Maradeo added 1 2/3 innings before Jose Ceda pitched the final 2 innings of the game. Peoria beat Beloit, 6-0.
But back to the business at hand…. While nice production from the offense would be a great way to head into an off day, it all starts with Jason Marquis. The adventure that is Jason Marquis is coming off one his best starts of the year against the Giants. He had one bad inning, the first one, and then threw a gem in his last 6 innings of work. Marquis gave up 1 run on 3 hits in 7 innings but received a no-decision. Tim Lincecum just out pitched him but the Cubs scored 5 in the 9th to get the win. Marquis has pitched very well in his last 3 starts. He is 2-0 with a 2.29 ERA, his best stretch since he won five games in a row from April 16th – May 9th. Marquis’ success can be traced to the confidence he has shown on the mound and his ability to control himself, plus he has recorded 31 groundouts to 15 fly ball outs in his last 19 2/3 innings.
Marquis beat the Diamondbacks at Wrigley on July 20th, the only game the Cubs won in the 3-game series. Marquis held the ‘Baby Backs’ to 2 runs on 4 hits in 7 2/3 innings with 1 walk and 3 strikeouts. Marquis is 3-4 in 12 road starts this season with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP.
Today will be Marquis’ 8th career start against Arizona. He is 2-3 in 8 games with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP….0-1 in 4 games, 3 starts, at Chase Field with a 2.28 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP.
- Conor Jackson – 2-5, with a double, a home run and a RBI
- Chris Snyder – 2-5, with a RBI
- Chris Young – 1-3, with a home run and 2 RBI’s
Yusmeiro Petit embarrassed the Cubs back on July 22nd at Wrigley. He made his 5th start of the season and the overly aggressive Cubs made a mediocre-at-best pitcher look like a Cy Young winner….again. He threw 6 innings of shutout ball, gave up 3 hits, no walks and struck out 5….without a doubt the best start of his young career. The last win he posted was against the Cubs and has not completed 6 innings in his last 3 starts. Petit is 0-2 in his last 2 starts with a 12.38 ERA. Since beating the Cubs, he is 0-3 with 10.54 ERA. In his last start against the Braves, Petit gave up 6 runs on 7 hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Today will be Petit’s second start of the season at home. He did not get a decision in his only other start against the Braves….5 runs on 6 hits in 5 2/3 innings, a 7.94 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.
Hopefully the Cubs will remember their horrible performance against Petit today and remind him the Chicago Cubs do have a good offense.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….