Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 04/17/08

Game Fifteen: Cubs (9-5) vs. Reds (6-9)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Ted Lilly (0-2, 9.95/1.82) vs. Edinson Volquez (1-0, 0.87/1.26)

The Cubs will try for the 3-game sweep this afternoon at the Friendly Confines behind Ted Lilly. Lou Piniella’s second starter in his rotation is off to a bad start but will be facing a Reds’ team that struggles against southpaws….something’s going to give today. The Cubs offense will get a big test in the series finale, facing Edinson Volquez for the first time, after scoring 21 runs in the first two games.

Ted Lilly has not started the 2008 campaign the way anyone envisioned. The Cubs number two pitcher, in short, has been awful in his first three starts. Lilly has not completed 5 innings and is giving up a lot of runs and hits. Lilly is coming off his second loss of the year last Saturday. He gave up 5 runs in 7 hits in just 4 1/3 innings against the Phillies. Lilly’s velocity is down and his pitches are up….not a good combination.

Lilly picked up his first win as a Cub last April against the Reds in Cincinnati. For his career he is 1-1 in 5 starts versus Cincinnati with a 3.33 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP….all 5 starts came against the Reds last season.

  • Adam Dunn – 2-for-5 with a home run
  • Edwin Encarnacion – 1-for-10 with a home run
  • Ken Griffey, Jr. – 3-for-10
  • Jeff Keppinger – 2-for-6
  • Corey Patterson – 1-for-8 with a walk
  • Brandon Phillips – 0-for-13

The Cubs will get their first look at Edinson Volquez today. The Reds have been very pleased with Volquez since acquiring him this past off-season from the Rangers for Josh Hamilton. Volquez, along with Johnny Cueto, has turned a lot of heads in the first two and a half weeks of the year….and in a very short time, both pitchers have the Reds thinking about the post season.

Volquez is a hard thrower and has been very impressive in his first two starts. He beat the Phillies on April 6th….1 run on 5 hits in 5 1/3 innings with 8 strikeouts and 2 walks. Volquez received a no decision his last time out…. 0 runs on 3 hits in 5 innings with 3 walks and a strikeout. In 10 1/3 innings this year, 1 earned run on 8 hits with 9 strikeouts and 5 walks.

The Cubs have traditionally struggled against pitchers they have never faced before….today would be a good day to break the very bad habit.

Expect to see Reed Johnson in center once again. Lou Piniella is “personally” working with Felix Pie in hopes of correcting his long swing. According to a report in the Tribune, Pie should be out of the starting lineup for a few days.

MLB Blog Poll

The latest Blog Poll is up at Baseball….this week was the National League. And the leading vote getter for NL Rookie of the Year? You guessed it, Kosuke Fukudome with Geovany Soto coming in 3rd.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein