Game Seventy-Four: Cubs (45-28) vs. White Sox (41-31)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet (Cubs), WGN (White Sox) – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ted Lilly (7-5, 4.76/1.33) vs. John Danks (4-4, 2.90/1.25)
It’s the Crosstown Classic, the Cubs versus the White Sox and the North Side versus the South Side….Round One. Both the Cubs and White Sox are dealing with injuries and both teams have climbed to the top of their division in different ways. The Cubs with offense and good pitching and the White Sox with outstanding pitching….so something’s gonna give this weekend. Lou Piniella’s crew will be without the services of Alfonso Soriano and could be without both Jim Edmonds and Reed Johnson while the Sox will not have Paul Konerko for the weekend.
The Cubs are in uncharted territory. After becoming the last team in the majors to lose their third game in a row on Thursday, they turn to Ted Lilly to avoid their first 4-game losing streak of the season. The Cubs’ offense must turn it up a notch today in their return to the Friendly Confines, where the team is sporting an 11-game winning streak, but it will not be easy against a very good southpaw they have never faced before in John Danks.
Ted Lilly has picked up wins in back-to-back starts and a solid 2-1 loss to the Padres, and Greg Maddux, in San Diego. Lilly tossed 6 innings of 1-hit, shutout ball against his old team and held the Braves to 3 runs (all in the 1st inning) on 4 hits in 6 2/3 innings. Lilly must keep the ball down today and cut down on walks. In his last 2 outings (12 2/3 innings), Lilly has struck out 14 and walked 8.
Lilly is 5-2 in 9 career starts against the White Sox with a 6.22 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. Last year, 1-0 in only 1 start with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP….Lilly allowed 3 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings with 6 strikeouts and 2 walks in a May 18th Cubs’ win at Wrigley, 6-3.
- Orlando Cabrera – 5-for-16 with a double and 4 walks
- Joe Crede – 4-for-15 with a double
- Jermaine Dye – 2-for-10 with a home run
- Toby Hall – 9-for-22 with a double and a home run
- A.J. Pierzynski – 1-for-3
- Nick Swisher – 5-for-15 with a double, 2 home runs and 3 walks
- Jim Thome – 2-for-7 with a double
The Cubs will get their first look at John Danks today. The Sox southpaw has taken his game to the next level this season and is actually better on the road than at the Cell. Danks is coming off a no decision to the Rockies. He tossed 6 innings of shutout ball and allowed just 5 hits with a walk and 6 strikeouts. The Sox lost the game 2-0. The last time Danks was beaten was on May 24th on the South Side. The Angels scored 2 runs on 5 hits in 5 innings of work.
Danks is 2-1 in 6 starts on the road this year with an impressive 1.72 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP….opponents are hitting just .221 against him.
The Cubs must make Danks work today. This will be his first appearance at Wrigley in the city series and if he gets comfortable and confident the Cubs will have a long afternoon at the plate.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….