Game One Hundred Six: Cubs (61-44) vs. Brewers (60-45)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast Sports Net – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee
Ted Lilly (10-6, 4.49/1.34) vs. CC Sabathia (10-8, 3.30/1.16, 4-0, 1.36/0.85)
Updated – 6:50pm C.T. – According to a report on WGN Radio, Matt Sinatro was suspended for two games for his actions on Saturday afternoon. Sinatro will miss the first two games of the Brewers series and Ivan DeJesus will serve as Lou Piniella’s first base coach.
Lou Piniella was fined an undisclosed amount for his actions on Saturday with umpire Rob Drake.
In a total scheduling snafu, it took 106 games for the Cubs to make their first trip of the year to Miller Park. The Brewers are out to make a statement over the next 4 games and many in the Milwaukee media are predicting an easy four game sweep over the hated Chicago Cubs. The Brewers have already won the first two series of the season against Chicago. They won 2 of 3 to start the season and 2 of 3 from April 29th – May 1st….both at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs will make the easy trip up I-94 but the next four days figure to be anything but easy. Lou Piniella’s crew will face the best the Brewers have to offer in CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets, Manny Para and Dave Bush while the Cubs will counter with Ted Lilly, Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster and Rich Harden. Most think the Brewers offense is too much for Cubs’ pitching and Sabathia and Sheets will have an easy time against the Cubs’ struggling offense. It is showdown time in Miller Park….
Ted Lilly will have the task of trying to start the series off on a positive note for the Cubs. He did not fare too well against the Brewers the last time he faced them on April 2nd and the Cubs’ offense will face CC Sabathia for the first time in a Brewers uniform.
The Brewers are “going for it” this season and the trade for Sabathia sent the message they are not to be ignored. The Brewers have not made the playoffs since 1982 and are determined to end the drought this year. With Sabathia and Sheets at the top of their rotation, as well as Manny Para, most think they have the best 1-2 punch in the National League.
CC Sabathia removed the dots from between his two initials for those that missed the news. Sabathia made the announcement during his first press conference with the Milwaukee media. Sabathia is 4-0 with 3 straight complete games as a Brewer and it will be up to the Cubs’ offense to hand Carsten Charles his first loss.
It is game on for round one of three remaining series down the stretch between the Cubs and Brewers…. Ted Lilly is coming off a solid outing against the Diamondbacks in Arizona and picked up the only win in the series. After a very good start out of the break against the Astros (1 run on 6 hits in 7 innings with 6 strikeouts and 2 walks), Lilly bounced back from a difficult loss and even helped out on the offensive end. Lilly tied the game with a chopper to left over the drawn in infield….and scored the go ahead run after stealing 3rd in the same inning.
While Lilly’s offense was more than welcome in his last start, the Cubs need Lilly to step up and pitch the way he did against Dan Haren and the Diamondbacks in May at Wrigley. Lilly outpitched Haren, made only one mistake and set the tone for the weekend series. A similar outing against the Brewers would go along way in helping his team regain the confidence they have misplaced over the past few weeks.
The Brewers’ explosive offense lit up Ted Lilly in the second game of the season. Lilly lasted just 4 2/3 innings and gave up 4 runs on 5 hits with 4 strikeouts and no walks. The Cubs were embarrassed 8-2 as the Brewers celebrated back-to-back wins to start the year at the Friendly Confines.
Lilly is 1-2 in 4 career starts, 5 games, against the Brewers with a 5.64 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP….last season at Miller Park, 0-1 in 1 start with a 10.80 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP.
Ted Lilly must throw strikes and not give the Brewers any help with free passes, especially before Ryan Braun steps in.
- Russell Branyan – 1-for-2
- Ryan Braun – 4-for-8 with a double and a home run
- Mike Cameron – 7-for-23 with a double and a home run
- Ray Durham – 3-for-12 with a triple
- Prince Fielder – 3-for-9
- Bill Hall – 1-for-8
- Corey Hart – 3-for-10 with 2 doubles and a home run
- Jason Kendall – 4-for-12 with 2 doubles
- Rickie Weeks – 2-for-8 with 2 home runs
While the Cubs will see Ray Durham and Sabathia for the first time in a Brewers’ uniform, Milwaukee will also get their first look at Jim Edmonds in a Cubs’ uniform. Edmonds has made a career of performing well in big games and while he will likely be out of the starting lineup tonight, Edmonds having a big series could lead to disappointment for Ned Yost and his coaching staff.
The Chicago Cubs are likely the biggest reason the Brewers traded so much of their future for CC Sabathia. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner made the Brewers already a good team, a great one. Sabathia has not disappointed and is 4-0 in 4 starts with the Brewers with three straight complete games.
Tony LaRussa said his team did not make Sabathia work in his last outing against the Cardinals and that is key to beating Sabathia. The Cardinals made him throw only 106 pitches in 9 innings and the typically patient Cardinals’ offense only walked two times….if Lou’s crew does the same, Sabathia will earn his fifth win in as many starts for the Brewers.
Sabathia has allowed only 3 earned runs on 14 hits in his last 27 innings with 26 strikeouts and 3 walks.
Sabathia is 0-1 in his only career start against the Cubs with a 34.71 ERA and a 4.29 WHIP. He lasted just 2 1/3 innings to an awful Cubs’ team back in 2006 at Cleveland. On June 21st, the Cubs scored 9 runs on 8 hits with 2 walks and only 2 strikeouts against the 6’7″ southpaw.
- Henry Blanco – 2-for-5
- Ronny Cedeno – 0-for-2
- Mark DeRosa – 1-for-3
- Jim Edmonds – 1-for-4
- Reed Johnson – 8-for-21 with 2 doubles and a home run
- Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-7
- Alfonso Soriano – 8-for-25 with 3 home runs and 5 walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….