Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 05/18/08

Game Forty-Four: Cubs (26-17) vs. Pirates (21-22)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jason Marquis (1-3, 5.26/1.73) vs. Phil Dumatrait (1-1, 3.96/1.46)

Updated – 11:36am C.T. – Ward Placed on 15-Day DL and Hoffpauir Called-up

Today is an important game for Jason Marquis as well as the Cubs. Lou Piniella was not pleased following Marquis performance last Tuesday and with the emergence of Sean Gallagher as well as the depth in Iowa, Marquis could be pitching to stay in the rotation. While the Cubs may not know what they will get from other options, the inconsistent performances from Marquis, to this point this season, has been the only thing Lou Piniella can count on when he gives Marquis the ball.

The Cubs, on the other hand, have put together a very good homestand but dropping the last two to the Pirates would bring a negative end to a very positive week.

According to several reports, Daryle Ward will be placed on the DL and Micah Hoffpauir will be called up to take his roster spot on Monday….but Hoffpauir did not play against Round Rock on Saturday night. So stay tuned….Derrek Lee needs a day off and Micah Hoffpauir hits southpaws rather well.

One bad inning” is the phrase Lou Piniella kept using during his post-game press conference to describe Jason Marquis’ performance against the Padres. Piniella sounded frustrated with his right-hander but the “one bad inning” moniker is the most accurate description of Marquis’ 2008 campaign.

Marquis was staked to a lead against the Padres, but a 3-run home run by Kahlil Greene and a 2-out single by Shawn Estes turned a 3-0 Cubs lead into a 4-3 Cubs deficit within a blink of an eye….or in one inning.

Many think Marquis is pitching to stay in the rotation. Rich Hill has not shown any improvement in Iowa and left his start on Friday in the 3rd inning with a stiff back but Sean Marshall turned in another good outing on Saturday. Marshall has allowed only 2 earned runs on 6 hits in 12 innings (3 starts) with 11 strikeouts and 4 walks.

Marquis’ only win (and best outing) this season came against the Pirates on April 19th at Wrigley. Marquis gave up just 1 run on 6 hits in 6 innings with 7 strikeouts and 1 walk….both a season high and a season low and clearly his best strikeout to walk ratio.

The Cubs are 3-4 in Marquis’ 7 starts this season and he has dropped his last 3 in a row.

  • Jason Bay – 14-for-34 with 4 doubles, a triple, 4 home runs and 5 walks
  • Adam LaRoche – 3-for-21 with a double and a home run
  • Nate McLouth – 5-for-13 with a double and a home run
  • Xavier Nady – 3-for-16 with a home run
  • Freddy Sanchez – 4-for-25 with 2 doubles and a home run

Phil Dumatrait replaced Matt Morris in the Pirates rotation after Pittsburgh DFA’d the veteran right-hander a few weeks back. Dumatrait will make his fourth start of the season for John Russell and the Pirates are 3-0 in games he’s started.

Dumatrait picked up a win against the Giants at PNC back on May 7th and was impressive in St. Louis in his last start. Dumatrait held the Cardinals to 3 runs on 4 hits in 6 innings of work….the Pirates won the game 8-4.

Dumatrait will face the Cubs for the fourth time this year but will make his first start. Dumatrait had success against Lou’s Crew the last two times he faced them on April 19th and 20th at Wrigley….no runs on 3 hits with 4 walks and 3 strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. On the year, Dumatrait is 0-1 in 3 games with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.89 WHIP against the Cubs.

Dumatrait made his first and only start against the Cubs last year while he was a member of the Reds’ starting staff. The Cubs roughed him up but the Reds won a shootout in Cincinnati on August 15th, 11-9.

Dumatrait is 0-1 in 5 career games against the Cubs, 1 start, with a 7.36 ERA and a 2.36 WHIP.

  • Ronny Cedeno – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Mark DeRosa – 0-for-4
  • Jim Edmonds – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-1 with 2 walks
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-3
  • Derrek Lee – 1-for-4
  • Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-5 with a double and a home run
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-2
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-2

The Cubs offense must be patient today and allow Dumatrait to get into trouble….if there are a lot of early swings and misses, it could end up being another frustrating afternoon.

UpdateAccording to a report from Yahoo Sports, the Cubs placed Daryle Ward on the 15-day DL Sunday morning with a bulging disc in his lower back. Micah Hoffpauir, as expected, has been called up from Triple-A Iowa to take his place on the 25-man roster. The Cubs purchased Hoffpauir’s contract and have added him to the 40-man roster.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

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