Game Ninety-Six: Cubs (57-38) vs. Astros (44-51)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Minute Maid Park, Houston
Ted Lilly (9-6, 4.68/1.34) vs. Brian Moehler (5-4, 4.28/1.39)
Updated – 5:16pm C.T. – Micah Hoffpauir Recalled – Jon Lieber Placed on 15-day DL
Game On! The Chicago Cubs resume play tonight in Houston behind Ted Lilly. Lou Piniella’s crew is 3-3 against the Astros this season after winning 2 of 3 in Chicago in the first week of the season and losing 2 of 3 in Houston May 19-21. The Cubs enter play tonight 6 games under .500 on the road at 20-26 in need of a stretch of wins away from the Friendly Confines. The Cubs play 10 of the next 14 games on the road and Lou Piniella has preached for the past several days the importance of a fast start following the break.
Ted Lilly, Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster are scheduled to start the three games in Houston and the Cubs offense will have their hands full against three Astros’ pitchers they have not fared too well against in the past.
According to a report by Paul Sullivan, the Cubs have recalled Micah Hoffpauir from Triple A Iowa and Sullivan speculated either Kevin Hart or Neal Cotts will be sent down to make room on the active roster….the Cubs have not made an official announcement. Sullivan also stated Scott Eyre is ready to return from the DL after completing his rehab start.
Rich Hill was scheduled to pitch for Class A Daytona on Thursday but the game was postponed due to rain. Hill will start tonight’s game against the Fort Myers Miracle.
A report from Bruce Miles mentioned the recent rumors surrounding Khalil Greene. Miles stated his sources “emphatically” told him the Cubs are not interested in the Padres’ shortstop. Miles did state the Cubs could be one of several teams interested in Brian Fuentes of the Rockies.
On a sad note, Dustin Eglseder passed away on Wednesday night from bone cancer. Eglseder won the first Take Me Out to the Ballgame contest last season and kicked off the Cubs Convention this past winter with his rendition. Everyone at the CCO sends out our thoughts and prayers to Dustin’s family and friends.
To borrow from Pat Hughes….Chicago Cubs Baseball is on the Air! Ted Lilly finished his first half like it started, with a bad loss. Lilly lasted just 2 2/3 innings against the Reds. He gave up 4 runs on 6 hits with 2 walks, 3 strikeouts and 2 more home runs surrendered. Lilly has served up 21 long balls in 20 starts this year. Lilly promised to be better in his next start. Lilly had won his last 4 decisions and his team was 5-1 in his 6 starts before the outing against the Reds.
Lilly beat Brian Moehler on May 19th in Houston, the only win for the Cubs in the 3-game series. Lilly held the Astros dangerous offense to 2 runs on 4 hits in 5 1/3 innings with 2 walks, 6 strikeouts and no home runs. Geovany Soto hit his inside the park home run that night.
Lilly is 2-1 in 4 career starts against the Astros with a 3.55 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP.
- Brad Ausmus – 1-for-5
- Lance Berkman – 1-for-11
- Michael Bourn – 1-for-3
- Darin Erstad – 2-for-21 with a double
- Carlos Lee – 4-for-21 with 2 doubles
- Mark Loretta – 5-for-17 with 2 doubles and 2 home runs
- Kaz Matsui – 0-for-2
- Hunter Pence – 0-for-6
- Miguel Tejada – 4-for-27 with 2 doubles
- Ty Wigginton – 2-for-6 with a double
The Cubs will get their second look of the season at Brian Moehler tonight. The soft-tossing-righty held the Cubs offense to 3 runs on 7 hits in 5 innings in Houston on May 19th and the Moehler appeared to have their number early on.
Moehler won his last start against the Pirates in Pittsburgh on July 9th and gave up 4 runs on 7 hits in 6 innings. The Astros are 3-1 in Moehler’s last 4 starts and the veteran right hander is 3-2 in 6 starts, 9 games, at Minute Maid this season with a 3.98 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.
Against the Cubs, Moehler is 1-1 in 7 career games, 4 starts, with a 4.18 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.
- Henry Blanco – 1-for-4 with a double
- Ronny Cedeno – 1-for-4
- Mark DeRosa – 1-for-4
- Jim Edmonds – 12-for-34 with 4 doubles and 5 home runs
- Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-2 with a walk
- Derrek Lee – 1-for-5 with a home run
- Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-14 with a double and a triple
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-3 with an inside the park home run
- Ryan Theriot – 0-for-4
- Daryle Ward – 6-for-14 with 3 doubles
It is very important for the Cubs to start the second half with a winning road trip, a 4-2 record over the next 6 games is a must.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….
Update – According to a report on Cubs.com, Micah Hoffpauir was recalled from Triple-A Iowa and will be available for tonight’s game against the Astros. The Cubs placed Jon Lieber on the 15-day DL retroactive to July 11th with a right foot strain.