Game Thirty: Cubs (17-12) vs. Cardinals (19-11)
Game Time – 2:45pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Game of the Week – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Ted Lilly (1-4, 6.46/1.50) vs. Kyle Lohse (3-0, 2.36/1.17)
Updated – 2:32pm C.T. – Hill Optioned and Gallagher Recalled
According to a report on Cubs.com, Rich Hill was optioned to Triple-A Iowa and Sean Gallagher was recalled to fill his roster spot. No official word on who will take Hill’s spot in the rotation.
The Cubs will try to avoid their first three game losing streak of the season for the third time in the last 10 days. Lou Piniella’s crew is coming off two tough losses and needs Ted Lilly to step up and deliver a victory….not only for his team but for his fellow pitchers in the bullpen. Piniella needs at least a quality start out of Lilly or he might have to “take one for the team.”
A report in the Sun-Times on Saturday morning indicated that Aramis Ramirez did not suffer a broken wrist on Friday night but his wrist is swollen and he could miss today’s game. The same report mentioned Scott Eyre could return from the DL in the next four or five days which would give the Cubs the possibility of starting Sean Marshall against the Reds on Wednesday.
It is only the third day of May, but every game counts….especially the ones against the Cardinals. Ted Lilly is clearly coming off his best start of the year, despite the fact the Cubs lost the game. After a horrible start to the season, Lilly has put together solid starts in back-to-back outings. He held the Mets to 1 run on 4 hits with 4 walks and 4 strikeouts in 6 innings and threw with a lot more confidence in DC last Sunday. The Cubs lost the game 2-0 because they could not score any runs off of John Lannan, not because of Ted Lilly’s performance. Lilly held the Nationals to 2 runs on 4 hits in 6 innings and recorded a season-high 7 strikeouts…and tied a season-low in walks allowed with 2.
Lilly is 3-2 in 6 career starts against the Cardinals with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP….last year, 2-2 in 5 starts with a 3.55 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.
- Rick Ankiel – 1-for-6 with a double
- Chris Duncan – 2-for-6
- Troy Glaus – 1-for-8
- Cesar Izturis – 2-for-6 with a double
- Adam Kennedy – 3-for-11 with a double and a home run
- Yadier Molina – 1-for-12
- Albert Pujols – 5-for-16 with a double and a home run
After spending the entire off-season on the unemployment list, the Cubs former 29th round pick back in 1996 signed a 1-year deal with the Cardinals and appears to be out to prove he is worthy of a big, long-term contract. Scott Boras was reportedly looking for at least a 5-year deal for his client worth at least $10 million annually. No one bit and the Cardinals are reaping the reward.
Kyle Lohse started the season by not allowing a run in his first two starts (12 innings) and has only allowed more than 2 runs in his first 6 starts….April 22nd in Milwaukee, Lohse lasted only 4 innings after giving up 4 runs on 8 hits.
Lohse is coming off a good win his last time out against the Astros. He held the dangerous Astros’ offense to only 1 run on 4 hits in 6 innings.
Lohse has always possessed the talent to be successful at the big league level….and it appears he is finally taking his career to the next level. At Busch Stadium this year, Lohse is 2-0 in 4 starts with a miniscule 1.08 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP.
In 4 career starts against the Cubs, Lohse is 1-1 with a 3.93 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. The Cubs always hit Lohse hard (a .303 batting average, 23 hits and 4 walks in 18 1/3 innings, but just 8 earned runs) but have trouble plating those runs.
- Mark DeRosa – 6-for-11 with a home run
- Reed Johnson – 2-for-6 with a walk
- Derrek Lee – 2-for-6 with a double
- Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-5 with 2 doubles and a home run
- Alfonso Soriano – 12-for-28 with 2 doubles and 2 home runs
- Ryan Theriot – 4-for-7
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….