Game Eighty-Six: Cubs (51-34) vs. Giants (37-48)
Game Time – 6:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 189
Location – AT & T Park, San Francisco
Sean Gallagher (3-3, 4.36/1.38) vs. Tim Lincecum (9-1, 2.38/1.24)
Updated – 3:46pm C.T. – Reed Johnson Activated – Eric Patterson Optioned
The Cubs will attempt to do tonight what only one other Major League club, the Rockies on April 29th, has done this season….beat Tim Lincecum and win their first series on the road since taking 2 of 3 from the Blue Jays nearly three weeks ago. After tonight’s game, the Cubs will have played as many games at home 43 (33-10) as on the road 43 (18-24). Lou Piniella’s crew must improve their performance away from the Friendly Confines and will try to post back-to-back road victories since the Toronto series.
Aramis Ramirez is expected back in the lineup tonight after missing the first 3 games in San Francisco for the birth of his child….and Reed Johnson is expected to be activated from the DL as well with either Eric Patterson or Matt Murton the likely candidates to be optioned to Iowa to make room on the roster for Johnson’s return. Sean Gallagher impressed his skipper during his last outing on the South Side on Saturday and earned tonight’s start. Gallagher gave up 4 of his 5 runs in the first 2 innings before settling down and giving up only 1 run in the last 4 innings….unfortunately it was a game tying home run by Alexei Ramirez after the Cubs had taken a 1 run lead in the top of the inning. Gallagher appeared to grow up on the mound that afternoon, after a little “pep talk” from Piniella, tonight will be his first opportunity to prove he not only listened to his manger but heard what he said.
Gallagher has yet to post a big league win on the road. He is 0-3 in 5 starts, 7 games, with a 4.99 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. Gallagher has shown improvement every time out and after posting a 2-1 record in 4 starts in May with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP….he was 1-2 in 5 starts last month with a 4.23 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP in his first full month as a Major League starter.
Gallagher has faced the Giants just once in his brief career….and earned a save. Gallagher came on in relief of Carlos Zambrano in a 12-1 Cubs win at Wrigley on July 18th. Gallagher, by rule, picked up the save after working 4 innings and allowing only 1 run on 4 hits with 2 walks and no strikeouts….his best outing of the 2007 season.
- Rich Aurilia – 0-for-1
- Ray Durham – 1-for-2
- Fred Lewis – 0-for-2
- Bengie Molina – 0-for-2
- Randy Winn – 0-for-1
The Cubs offense will have the pleasure of facing arguably the best young arm in the National League in Tim Lincecum. The young flame-thrower has struck out 114 batters and walked only 43 in 109 2/3 innings. Lincecum was drafted by the Cubs in the 48th round back in 2003 but opted for college instead and was taken by the Giants as the 10th overall pick in the 2006 draft.
Lincecum is coming off a 7-inning gem against the A’s. He allowed only 5 hits and no runs while walking 3 and striking out 11….the second time this season Lincecum has notched 11 k’s in a single game.
Lincecum was 2-0 in 6 starts in June with a 2.48 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP….at AT & T this season, 2-1 in 7 games with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.
Tonight will be Lincecum’s third career start against the Cubs, he is 0-1 in his first 2 outings with a 2.51 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. The Cubs beat him in San Francisco 5-1 on August 21st of last season, he allowed 3 runs on 5 hits in 8 innings with 7 strikeouts and 1 walk. At Wrigley, the Cubs and Rich Hill beat the Giants 3-2. Lincecum received a no decision and the Cubs managed only 1 run on 2 hits (home run by Koyie Hill) in 6 1/3 innings.
Lincecum is an extremely arrogant pitcher on the mound and can get under his opponents skin. If the Cubs let him get comfortable, it could be a very long, frustrating evening.
- Mark DeRosa – 1-for-4
- Jim Edmonds – 0-for-5
- Derrek Lee – 1-for-6
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-6
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-7 with a double
Update – According to a report from the Sun-Times, Reed Johnson was activated from the 15-day DL and Eric Patterson was optioned to Iowa to make room for Johnson. According to the Sun-Times, Johnson will start tonight’s game in left field.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….