Game Eighty-Eight: Cubs (52-35) vs. Cardinals (49-39)
Game Time – 2:55pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Ted Lilly (9-5, 4.56/1.30) vs. Kyle Lohse (10-2, 3.67/1.27)
After dropping the first three games of the 10-game road trip, the Cubs have won 3 of the last 5 and will look to win the second game of the series today behind Ted Lilly. Lilly has pitched much better of late and must continue to throw strikes. The typically patient Cardinals offense helped make Carlos Zambrano’s return a little easier and today the Redbirds need a win to avoid losing a series at home to their archrival….and setup a rubber game for Sunday afternoon.
Lou Piniella’s crew enters play today with more games under their belt away from Wrigley than at the Friendly Confines for the first time this year and will attempt to improve on their sub-.500 mark on the road. The Cubs are 19-25 as a visiting team and a win today would give them 20 wins in their first 45 contests on the road.
The Cubs will face Kyle Lohse for the second time this season and today’s pitching pairing is a rematch from the game on May 3rd….the Cubs and Ted Lilly beat Lohse on that Saturday afternoon. Lohse is at the top of his game right now and is executing Dave Duncan’s game plan and like so many pitchers, has found a way to win games on a consistent basis in a Cardinal uniform.
The Cubs offense must make him work….and for Aramis Ramirez to break out of his 0-for-25 slump. Ted Lilly is coming off back-to-back wins against the Giants and Orioles. After a rough start to the season has won his last 4 decisions and his team has won his last 5 starts. Lilly pitched a gem in San Francisco and started the 9th inning with a 9-0 lead. The Cubs won 9-2 and Lilly ended up allowing 2 runs on 7 hits in 8+ innings with 5 strikeouts and 2 walks….clearly his best outing of the season.
Lilly is 4-3 on the road this year in 9 starts with a 4.19 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. He beat the Cardinals in St. Louis back on May 3rd for his second win of the year, 9-3. Lilly gave up 3 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings with 4 strikeouts and a walk….2 of the 3 runs came off home runs by Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols.
In his career, Lilly is 4-3 in 9 starts versus the Redbirds with a 4.19 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. Last season, 2-2 in 5 starts with a 3.55 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.
- Rick Ankiel – 1-for-9 with a double
- Chris Duncan – 2-for-6
- Troy Glaus – 1-for-11
- Adam Kennedy – 3-for-11 with a double and a home run
- Ryan Ludwick – 1-for-9 with a double
- Yadier Molina – 3-for-15 with a home run
- Albert Pujols – 6-for-19 with a double and 2 home runs
- Brendan Ryan – 4-for-14
- Skip Schumaker – 0-for-5
The Cubs are one of two teams (Rockies) to beat Kyle Lohse this season. The talented right hander was drafted by the Cubs in the 29th round back in 1996. They traded him to the Twins in the Rick Aguilera deal in 1999 and he’s had a very inconsistent career….until this season.
Lohse did an adequate job for the Phillies after being traded from the Reds to Philly during the 2007 season and was expecting a huge payday this past off-season. No one bit and Lohse signed a 1-year deal with the Cardinals during Spring Training and has been very good under Dave Duncan. If Lohse continues to pitch the way he has, the large contract he desired last winter will be obtainable in the upcoming off-season.
Lohse has not lost since May 8th in Colorado and has won his last 7 decisions (Cardinals are 8-2 in his last 10 starts). He is 5-1 in 10 starts at Busch Stadium this year with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. The Cubs are the only team to beat him at home in his worst statistical start of the year.
The Cubs are 1-2 in 5 starts against Lohse with a 5.92 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP while hitting .317 off of him.
- Mark DeRosa – 6-for-13 with a home run
- Jim Edmonds – 3-for-9
- Mike Fontenot – 1-for-2 with a home run
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-3 with a double
- Reed Johnson – 3-for-9
- Derrek Lee – 3-for-9 with a double
- Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-5 with 2 doubles and a home run
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-3 with a double
- Ryan Theriot – 5-for-10
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….