Game Eighty-Two: Cubs (49-32) vs. White Sox (45-35)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: ESPN Sunday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 178
Location – U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago
Sean Marshall (0-1, 5.40/1.72) vs. Mark Buehrle (5-6, 4.04/1.31)
It’s game three of round two….it’s the Cubs versus the Sox, it’s the North Side versus the South Side….it’s the final game of the 2008 Crosstown Classic. The Cubs will try to avoid a sweep at the hands of the White Sox, as well as try to keep from losing their fourth game in a row for the first time this season. The Cubs’ Interleague schedule concludes tonight on the last Sunday in June and Lou Piniella’s crew is in need of a win.
The Cubs have struggled on the road, even within the Chicago city limits, and are not playing with the same confidence away from the Friendly Confines. In recent history, the Cubs have played better on the road than at home and while the play at Wrigley is the sole reason the Cubs are still in first place, the Cubs must learn how to win on the road….and fast. After tonight’s game the Cubs play four in San Francisco against a team that can pitch but has trouble scoring runs then they conclude their longest trip of the year with three next weekend against the Cardinals.
Some point at all of the runners the Cubs have left on base over the past week, but the starting pitching and defense have been the problem. Free passes, extra outs and 38 runs allowed over the last 5 games are all recipes for a 1-4 record. After a bad outing in his first start of the season subbing for Carlos Zambrano, Sean Marshall will get another shot tonight at picking up his first win of the season. Marshall was very good the first time through the Orioles lineup, but the second time was an entirely different story….and there wasn’t a third. Marshall gave up 4 runs on 7 hits in 4 2/3 innings but struck out 7 and walked only 1. Marshall has shown he can win games at the big league level and tonight he might get his biggest test in a Cubs’ uniform.
Marshall has been successful in the past against the Sox and Lou Piniella needs another good start out of the often forgotten southpaw.
Marshall is 1-1 in 2 career starts against the Sox with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. Last season Marshall pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings on the South Side and allowed only 5 hits while striking out 3 and walking only 1….the Cubs won 3-0.
- Joe Crede – 1-for-3 with a double
- Jermaine Dye – 1-for-3
- A.J. Pierzynski – 1-for-5
- Jim Thome – 0-for-3
- Juan Uribe – 4-for-5 with a double
The last game of the series will not get any easier for the Cubs offense. Mark Buehrle has been lights out of late and his season record is very deceiving. Buehrle is 3-0 in his last 5 starts with a 1.89 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. He has not allowed more than 2 earned runs in a start since June 1st and the last time he gave up more than 3 was May 27th in Cleveland. Buehrle is 2-2 in 6 starts at the Cell this year with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.
Buehrle will be making his 10th career start against the Cubs. He is 3-4 in his first 9 starts with a 5.10 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. Last season, 0-1 in 2 starts with a 3.29 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. The loss to the Cubs came on June 22nd at the Cell, Lou’s crew plated 2 runs (both solo home runs, Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez) on 4 hits in 7 innings in a 5-1 win.
- Ronny Cedeno – 3-for-6
- Mark DeRosa – 6-for-20 with 3 doubles and a home run
- Jim Edmonds – 1-for-2 with a home run
- Derrek Lee – 5-for-9 with 2 doubles and a home run
- Matt Murton – 1-for-9 with a double
- Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-10 with a double and a home run
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-4
On a side note….Happy Birthday to ‘Mr. Stay Classy Cubs Fans’.
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