Game Seventy: Cubs (44-25) vs. Blue Jays (35-35)
Game Time – 12:07pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 179
Location – Rogers Centre, Toronto
Ted Lilly (6-5, 5.13/1.35) vs. Jesse Litsch (7-2, 3.42/1.28)
From everyone at the CCO….Happy Father’s Day. Lou Piniella’s crew will try to win their first series ever against the Blue Jays today behind Ted Lilly. The Cubs dropped the first game 3-2 and put up a crooked number in the 2nd inning against Roy Halladay on Saturday that led to an impressive 6-2 win. It will be up to the former Blue Jay to give his new team a chance to figure out Jesse Litsch.
Piniella mentioned after Saturday’s game that Reed Johnson would be the Cubs leadoff hitter, at least for now. ‘Lou’s Lineup Tinkering‘ should continue throughout the road trip and into the series against the White Sox, but it appears Johnson will start games off for the immediate future. Can Ted Lilly make it through the 1st inning without serving up a home run? If he does it will be the first time since May 19th in Houston. Ted Lilly has been very good in his last two outings, a far cry from the horrible starts he had against the Rockies and Pirates. Lilly will be out to prove a point today and hopefully his ‘excitement’ does not cause his fastball to rise. If Lilly over throws early and often, expect to see Jon Lieber.
Lilly is coming off a very good start against the Braves his last time out….and an excellent outing against the Padres in a 2-1 loss at the hands of Greg Maddux. Lilly served up a long ball to Greg Norton last Tuesday at Wrigley but that was all….just 3 runs on 4 hits in 6 2/3 inning with 8 strikeouts and 3 walks. Lilly has recorded 16 strikeouts to only 5 walks in his last two starts (14 innings).
Ted Lilly is 1-1 in 2 starts, 7 games, in his career against his former team. And without a doubt would like to show his former manager, John Gibbons, he still has what it takes. The ‘Bulldog’ is 23-15 in 49 games, 45 starts, lifetime in his previous home park with a 4.36 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.
- Rod Barajas – 0-for-8
- David Eckstein – 5-for-34 with a double
- Kevin Mench – 6-for-26 with 2 doubles
- Scott Rolen – 3-for-9 with 2 doubles
- Marco Scutaro – 1-for-8 with a double
- Vernon Wells – 2-for-7 with a double and 2 walks
The Cubs will try to become the first team to beat Jesse Litsch at home this season. The Blue Jays impressive young right hander is 3-0 in 6 starts at the Rogers Centre this year with a 2.97 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP….and his resume includes a complete game shutout. Litsch made his Major League debut a year ago and posted a 7-9 record in 20 starts with an impressive 3.81 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP.
Litsch is coming off back-to-back no decisions after throwing 16 scoreless innings in 2 starts….one against the A’s in Oakland and the other against the Royals at home. Litsch surrendered 2 runs on 10 hits in 6 innings in his last start with 4 strikeouts and a walk. In his last 11 1/3 innings (2 starts) Litsch has allowed 6 runs on 20 hits with 3 walks and 5 strikeouts.
Today will be Litsch’s first career appearance against the Cubs and no one on the active roster has ever faced him.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….