Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Diamondbacks – 07/23/08

Game One Hundred One: Cubs (58-41) vs. Diamondbacks (50-50)
Game Time – 8:40pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast Sports Net – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Chase Field, Phoenix

Ted Lilly (9-6, 4.49/1.33) vs. Doug Davis (3-4, 4.14/1.53)

Updated – 6:53pm C.T. – Alfonso Soriano and Scott Eyre Activated – Micah Hoffpauir and Kevin Hart Optioned

The Chicago Cubs activated Alfonso Soriano and Scott Eyre from the 15-day DL on Wednesday afternoon. Soriano is expected in the starting lineup exactly 6 weeks after the Braves’ Jeff Bennett threw one up and in and broke Soriano’s hand. The Cubs were 16-18 with Soriano on the DL.

The Chicago Cubs enter play tonight in sole possession of first place in the National League Central….the same position they have held by themselves for 58 days. But the Cubs are playing their worst ball of the season and tonight is a must win for Lou Piniella’s crew if they do not want to have company atop the standings. The Cubs should receive a boost with the return of Alfonso Soriano, even if he spends a few days knocking the rust off, his performance could not be much worse than a majority of his teammates over the past 5 games.

Lou Piniella’s crew will try to salvage the last game of the series behind Ted Lilly. The last time Lilly pitched at Chase Field there was that little glove throwing incident on the mound and he faced Doug Davis that night. The Cubs are 1-4 in the first 5 games of this disappointing road trip….with one game left. Ted Lilly tossed a gem in his last start and received a no decision after serving up a home run to Carlos Lee that tied the game at one in the 7th. The Astros won the game 2-1 after back-to-back doubles by Miguel Tejada and Hunter Pence in the 9th. Lilly’s first start of the second half was a stark contrast to his last outing before the break. Lilly gave up 4 runs on 6 hits in 2 2/3 of an inning against the Reds.

Lilly was very good in June (4-1 in 6 starts with a 3.02 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP) and other than his start against the Reds has been solid in his first three starts of July (0-1 in 3 games with a 4.02 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP).

Lilly is 1-2 in 5 career games, 3 starts, against the Diamondbacks with a 2.74 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP….he beat Arizona earlier this season at Wrigley on May 9th, 3-1. Lilly gave up a home run to Chris Young and 2 other hits in 7 innings with 2 walks and 10 strikeouts.

  • Chris Burke – 3-for-12 with a double
  • Tony Clark – 5-for-21 with a double and a home run
  • Doug Davis – 0-for-2
  • Stephen Drew – 2-for-5 with a triple
  • Orlando Hudson – 0-for-3
  • Mark Reynolds – 0-for-3
  • Chris Young – 1-for-6 with a home run

Doug Davis was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in March and made his first two starts of the year before spending from April 8th to May 23rd on the DL. Davis has struggled of late and has not won a game since beating the Brewers on June 30th in Arizona, 6-3. The Brewers managed just 3 runs on 5 hits in 5 2/3 innings nearly a month ago. In his last outing, Davis lasted just 3 innings and gave up 5 runs, 4 earned, on 5 hits with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. Davis is 0-1 in his last 3 starts with a 5.29 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP while opponents hit .270 against him.

The crafty lefty is 2-2 in 7 starts at Chase Field this season with a 4.20 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.

Davis is 7-5 in 13 career starts versus the Cubs with a 3.29 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP….last season, 1-0 in the regular season in 1 start with a 1.29 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. Davis beat the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLDS last fall. The Cubs scored 4 runs on 5 hits in 5 2/3 innings, walked 4 times and Davis struck out 5….the D’Backs beat Ted Lilly 8-4.

  • Henry Blanco – 0-for-8
  • Ronny Cedeno – 0-for-6
  • Mark DeRosa – 0-for-3
  • Jim Edmonds – 5-for-18 with 2 doubles, a triple and 2 home runs
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-2
  • Derrek Lee – 4-for-22 with a double and 2 home runs
  • Ted Lilly – 0-for-2
  • Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-22 with a double and 2 home runs
  • Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-14 with a home run
  • Ryan Theriot – 4-for-6
  • Daryle Ward – 2-for-7

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….