Game Sixty-Five: Cubs (40-24) vs. Braves (32-32)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ted Lilly (5-5, 5.23/1.38) vs. Tom Glavine (2-2, 4.47/1.47)
The Cubs start a brief 3-game homestand tonight against the Braves before beginning Interleague play on Friday in Toronto. Ted Lilly will make his first start against the Braves in exactly one year. On June 10, 2007, Ted Lilly lasted just 2/3 of an inning before being ejected from the game for hitting Edgar Renteria. Alfonso Soriano hit 3 home runs on Friday night in Atlanta, Tim Hudson went head hunting the next day and Lilly retaliated in the first inning on Sunday night. Renteria took out his frustrations on Mike Fontenot with hard slide at 2nd before leaving the game with an injury.
The Cubs are a different team since then and are facing a Braves team that could be without Chipper Jones. Jones is having a career year, hitting .420/.504/.680 with 12 doubles and 15 home runs in 58 games but has a slight tear in his right quadriceps muscle. Depending on the report, Jones will either miss a few games of the series or will be in the starting lineup tonight. While the Cubs (26-8) and Braves (25-11) have been very successful at home, the Braves (7-21) have been worse than the Cubs (14-16) on the road.
Will Ohman will make his first appearance at Wrigley since being traded to the Braves along with Omar Infante during the Winter Meetings for Jose Ascanio. Ohman has pitched rather well for Bobby Cox (3-0 with a 2.28 ERA in 35 games with a save and a 1.23 WHIP). Also, the Cubs will get their first look at Mark Teixeira in a Braves’ uniform.
The last time Tom Glavine faced the Cubs at Wrigley, he won the 300th game of his career. The Mets beat the Cubs 8-3 and lost Alfonso Soriano for two weeks when he pulled his quad rounding 2nd base. Kerry Wood also made his first appearance out of the Cubs’ pen and his 2007 debut during Sunday Night Baseball. While Ted Lilly is coming off a loss against Greg Maddux and the Padres, Lilly turned in his best start since beating the Diamondbacks at Wrigley on May 9th. Lilly gave up a home run to Scott Hairston to start the game and then shut down the Padres until the 8th inning….the Padres won 2-1 on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Kouzmanoff off Carlos Marmol.
Not only was Lilly’s command back….so was his velocity. Lilly mixed in his change up with a well-located fastball. He held the Padres to 2 runs on 7 hits in 7 1/3 innings with 2 walks and 8 strikeouts. Unfortunately Greg Maddux was just better.
The Cubs need a similar performance from Lilly tonight but more than anything, he must keep the ball down. Lilly has served up 6 home runs in his last 3 starts (16 1/3 innings). The ‘Bulldog‘ is 3-2 in 6 starts at home this season with a 5.23 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.
Lilly is 1-2 in 5 career starts against the Braves with a 6.17 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.
- Jeff Francoeur – 2-for-3
- Omar Infante – 1-for-3
- Chipper Jones – 1-for-6 with a double and 3 walks
- Brian McCann – 1-for-1 with a walk
- Mark Teixeira – 4-for-20 with 2 home runs and 4 walks
Tom Glavine will face the Cubs in a Braves’ uniform tonight for the first time since July 6, 2002. The Cubs beat Glavine in Atlanta 6-3 and the future Hall of Famer allowed 5 runs on 5 hits in 4 innings with two home runs from Moises Alou in Bruce Kimm’s managerial debut with the Cubs.
Glavine has not posted a win since beating the Mets 6-1 on May 20th….but he has received little to no run support. Glavine has allowed only 4 earned runs in his last 2 outings (11 innings) with 10 strikeouts and 4 walks….his best 2 game stretch of the season.
Glavine is 15-13 in 35 career starts against the Cubs with 6 complete games and 2 shutouts, a 3.61 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP….at Wrigley, 7-5 in 16 starts with 3 complete games, a 3.44 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. Last season, 1-0 in 2 starts with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP.
- Henry Blanco – 5-for-14 with a double
- Mark DeRosa – 1-for-13
- Jim Edmonds – 4-for-21 with 5 walks
- Reed Johnson – 1-for-4 with a triple
- Derrek Lee – 16-for-55 with 6 doubles, 2 home runs and 9 walks
- Aramis Ramirez – 12-for-25 with 2 doubles, 3 home runs and 5 walks
- Alfonso Soriano – 8-for-20 with a double, a home run and 3 walks
- Ryan Theriot – 2-for-10 with a triple
- Carlos Zambrano – 2-for-6 with a home run
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….