Game One Hundred Fifty-Seven: Cubs (83-73) vs. Marlins (66-90)
Game Time – 6:05pm C.T. WCIU, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Dolphin Stadium, Miami
Ted Lilly (15-7, 3.78/1.14) vs. Dontrelle Willis (9-15, 5.32/1.62)
Only 6 games left…. The Cubs enter play tonight in first place in the division by 3 games, with a 6-game road trip to finish the season. Lou Piniella appears to have his crew grounded and focused on the week ahead. He mentioned on Sunday he would not get excited until “if and when” his club wins the division.
Since the last time the Cubs and Marlins faced one another the two teams have gone in different directions. The Cubs entered the 49th game of the year with a 22-26 record while the Marlins were 23-27. The Marlins swept the Cubs in the 3-game series and embarrassed them in the process. That was truly the lowest point of the season. Two days later, Barrett and Zambrano had their “little disagreement” and the next day Lou Piniella had his “little discussion” with Mark Wegner….that was then and this is now.
The Marlins have a very dangerous, young team. When they feel like playing, they can score runs in bunches and beat the best teams in the league. The Cubs must not take the Fish for granted and keep hitting the ball tonight against Dontrelle Willis, but it all starts with Ted Lilly. Ted Lilly has bounced back from a rough August (2-2 with a 5.05 ERA in 6 games) with a solid September and should have won all 4 of his starts. Lilly is 2-0 this month with a 3.04 ERA. Lilly has been throwing strikes and keeping the ball down, for the most part. In his last 4 starts Lilly has 22 strikeouts to 4 walks but has served up the longball….4 home runs in his last 26 2/3 innings.
Lilly is coming off a solid outing against the Reds. He gave up 2 runs on 5 hits in 7 innings with 8 strikeouts and 1 walk.
The Marlins roughed up Lilly at Wrigley back in the end of May. Lilly surrendered 6 runs, 5 earned, on 7 hits in 7 innings with 9 strikeouts and 1 walk. Lilly gave up 3 home runs that afternoon, two to Dan Uggla and one to Miguel Cabrera….the Cubs were blanked 9-0. Lilly is 6-2 in 13 road starts this year with a 3.64 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.
Ted Lilly has never beaten the Marlins….0-3 in 4 starts with a 5.16 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP.
Dontrelle Willis has had a rough year, but one of his 9 wins did come against the Cubs. After a 1-4 month of August with a 5.73 ERA in 6 starts, Willis has struggled in September as well. He is 1-1 in 4 starts with a 6.85 ERA….17 earned runs on 27 hits in 22 2/3 innings. He is coming off a no decision against the Mets. Willis gave up 3 runs on 5 hits in 6 innings with 6 strikeouts and 1 walk.
Willis beat the Cubs at Wrigley back on May 29th. He allowed 4 runs on 7 hits in 7 innings. Both Derrek Lee and Ryan Theriot went deep in the game off Willis.
Willis is 3-3 in 8 career starts with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP against the team that drafted him in the 8th round back in the year 2000.
- Mark DeRosa – 5-10 with a double, a home run and 2 RBI’s
- Jason Kendall – 4-9, with a double and a RBI
- Derrek Lee – 3-10, with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 RBI’s
- Matt Murton – 4-7, with a double and 2 RBI’s
- Alfonso Soriano – 8-17, with 2 doubles, a home run and a RBI
- Ryan Theriot – 1-1, with a home run and 2 RBI’s
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….