Game One Hundred Fifty-Three: Cubs (79-73) vs. Reds (69-82)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T. WCIU/ESPN, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ted Lilly (15-7, 3.82/1.15) vs. Tom Shearn (3-0, 4.15/1.08)
Only 10 games left…. The Cubs play their last night game of the regular season at Wrigley tonight. Lou Piniella will once again turn to Ted Lilly when his team needs a win. The Cubs control their own destiny but have to figure out a way to beat a team that came to Chicago with one goal in mind, keep the Cubs from winning the division. The Cubs must win this game tonight, take the series and enjoy a well-deserved day off on Thursday, their first since August 27th. The Cubs’ offense will have their hands full with a pitcher they have never faced before, but it all starts with Ted Lilly. Like Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly will start on short rest tonight against the Reds. Lou Piniella needs a quality start from his left-hander….and most importantly a win. Lilly received a no decision in his last start against the Cardinals in the first game of the double header last Saturday. He gave up 2 runs in the 1st inning and then shut the Cardinals down on just 4 hits in 6 innings.
Lilly is 2-0 in his last 3 starts with a 3.20 ERA (7 runs on 15 hits in 19 2/3 innings). Tonight will be Lilly’s 4th start of the season against the Reds. The last time Lilly faced the Reds on August 15th, he gave up 6 runs on 6 hits in 5 innings and received a no decision. Lilly is 1-1 in his first 3 starts against the Reds this year with a 4.00 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP….the Reds are hitting .175 against him.
The Cubs will get their first look at 30-year old rookie, Tom Shearn. Shearn made his Major League debut on August 26, 2007….just 2 days shy of his 30th birthday. He spent 11 years in the minors and compiled a 70-63 record with a 3.60 ERA in 352 games, 140 starts, in the Astros and Reds system.
Shearn will make his 5th career big league start tonight. In his first 4 starts he has not allowed more than 3 earned runs. Shearn threw 6 shutout innings against the Mets on September 5th and allowed just 3 hits. Not only has Shearn been very effective on the mound, but his teammates give him a lot of support. In Shearn’s 3 wins, the Reds have out scored their opponents 22-16.
The Cubs offense must be patient tonight and make him work. In 26 big league innings, Shearn has walked 9 and struck out 13.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….