Game Five: Cubs (1-3) vs. Astros (2-3)
Game Time – 12:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Marquis (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Roy Oswalt (0-1, 5.06/2.25)
Bruce Miles put the Cubs poor play into the proper perspective on Saturday morning, it is not time to panic….it is time to hit the ball. Unfortunately for Lou Piniella’s offense, it will not get any easier today with Roy Oswalt on the mound. The ‘Big Three‘ have not hit the ball, period, and until they do this team will continue to struggle. While quality at-bats have escaped a majority of the lineup in this young season, they just need to relax and find green.
Lou Piniella’s crew is playing tight right now and the only thing that will help is a couple of wins….but to throw out a cliche, they must take it one game at a time. Jason Marquis will take the mound today after a very good spring. Marquis earned a spot in the rotation and whether he remains there the entire season or not is up to him. Marquis’ early season success has been discussed ad nauseam and his team needs one of his trademark April starts today.
Marquis had solid first year in Chicago. He was 12-9 in 33 starts with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP….however, his team posted 20 wins in the games he started. Marquis was 3-1 in 5 starts last April with a 2.35 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP while holding opponents to a .204 batting average.
Marquis is 8-5 in 23 career games, 18 starts, versus the Astros with a 5.12 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP….last year Marquis was 1-1 against Houston with a 6.10 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP in 4 starts. Today will be a big test for Marquis.
- Lance Berkman – 19-for-37 with 5 doubles, a triple, a home run and 11 walks
- Carlos Lee – 8-for-26 with a double, 2 home runs and 4 walks
- Hunter Pence – 3-for-7 with a double and 2 walks
- Ty Wigginton – 5-for-14 with a triple and 2 walks
- Mark Loretta – 3-for-17 with a double
Roy Oswalt is coming off a bad performance in San Diego on Opening Day. The Padres pounded out 11 hits and scored 3 runs off the Astros’ ace in 5 1/3 innings. Oswalt has been very successful against the Cubs in the past and will look to show today that his first start of the year was a fluke.
Oswalt is 11-10 in 24 career games, 23 starts, against the Cubs with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. Last year he posted a 1-1 record in 2 starts with a 6.35 ERA and a 1.94 WHIP….but the numbers are very deceiving. On August 8th, Oswalt shutout the Cubs in Houston and allowed only 6 hits in 6 innings as the Astros routed the Cubs, 12-6. The other start came in the first series after the All-Star break at Wrigley. The Cubs scored 9 runs, 8 earned, on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings.
- Mark DeRosa – 9-for-17 with 4 doubles
- Derrek Lee – 11-for-42 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs and 5 walks
- Jason Marquis – 2-for-10 with a double
- Aramis Ramirez – 15-for-54 with 3 doubles and 3 home runs
- Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-24 with 2 home runs
According to a report in the Tribune on Friday night, the reason Alfonso Soriano was at second base at the end of the game….Mike Fontenot was unavailable, his back locked up.
And finally….don’t be surprised if Lou’s lineup tinkering continues today.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….