Game One Hundred Sixty-Two: Cubs (85-76) vs. Reds (71-90)
Game Time – 12:10pm C.T. Comcast SportsNet, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati
Ted Lilly (15-8, 3.86/1.15) vs. Homer Bailey (3-2, 5.67/1.49)
The last game of the regular season…. Greetings from Cincinnati! To use a familiar quote, what a long strange trip it has been. It is hard to believe the 2007 regular season ends today but thankfully there will be baseball in October on the North Side of Chicago. There have been a lot of ups and downs over the last 161 games. What started at the Cubs Convention back in January, picked up steam in Mesa in March and then Opening Day in Cincinnati six months ago. It is kind of fitting the Cubs regular season ends where it began.
Ted Lilly will start today’s game as scheduled but according to a report on Cubs.com will have a pitch count of around 40. The Cubs announced Carlos Zambrano will start Game One of the NLDS on Wednesday with Ted Lilly starting Game Two on Thursday. Rich Hill and Jason Marquis were announced as the Cubs other two starters for the poast season. The Cubs have until 10:00am on Wednesday to announce their playoff roster. Daryle Ward sprained his left hand in Florida and may not be available. Now on to today’s game….
Some of the regulars should get filtered back into today’s starting lineup with two big off days on Monday and Tuesday. Piniella stated after the game on Saturday that the bullpen will get the majority of the work today to keep them sharp going into the 2-day layoff. If the Cubs can win today they would finish 10 games over .500 with a 20-game improvement from a year ago. While today’s starting lineup will likely be missing a few of the regular names, Lou Piniella and Jim Hendry certainly altered the roster throughout the season.
Lou Piniella’s Opening Day Lineup:
- Alfonso Soriano – CF
- Matt Murton – LF
- Derrek Lee – 1B
- Aramis Ramirez – 3B
- Jacque Jones – RF
- Michael Barrett – C
- Mark DeRosa – 2B
- Cesar Izturis – SS
- Carlos Zambrano – P
Today, Ted Lilly and the bullpen will face a very different Reds’ lineup as well, not counting a new manager. Lilly put together a very good season. He set a career high in innings pitched and strikeouts and if he could somehow pickup the win today he would set a new career mark in wins as well (Lilly will likely not qualify for the win with the limited pitch count).
Lilly is 2-1 in his last 5 starts with a 3.69 ERA, and should be 4-1. Lilly lost the first game of the Marlins series last Tuesday because of one bad inning. Lilly gave up 4 runs on 8 hits in 5 innings of work. Lilly faced the Reds on September 19th and received a no decision, 2 runs on 5 hits in 7 innings. Today will be Lilly’s 5th start of the season against the Reds.
The Cubs will get their first look at the Reds’ top pitching prospect, Homer Bailey. Bailey has been compared to Kerry Wood, partly because they are both from Texas and because they are both hard throwing right handers….and Bailey also wears number 34.
Bailey is 1-0 in his last 2 starts with a 2.38 ERA against the Astros and the Giants. Bailey made 4 starts in June (2-1, 6.49) and 2 in July (0-1, 8.31).
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball on the last day of the regular season….