Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 08/02/08

Game One Hundred Eleven: Cubs (65-45) vs. Pirates (51-58)
Game Time – 12:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Ted Lilly (10-6, 4.49/1.34) vs. Paul Maholm (7-6, 3.79/1.24)

Now that Friday’s loss is out of their system, Lou Piniella’s crew will get back to work behind Ted Lilly. Today’s game is a rematch of the two southpaws that took the hill in Pittsburgh on the Sunday before Memorial Day. Lilly kept his team in the game despite giving up 4 runs on 10 hits in 6 innings but it was an error in the 9th inning by Alfonso Soriano that was the difference but that was then….

The Cubs lost a game in the standings to both the Brewers and Cardinals after the shutout loss on Friday and must find a way to put runs on the board and a win in the left column against Paul Maholm.

Ted Lilly is coming off a very good start against the Brewers last Monday night and was inline for the win before a home run by Russell Branyan off of Bobby Howry. Lilly held the explosive Brewers’ offense to 3 runs on 7 hits with a walk and 4 strikeouts in 6 innings….but allowed two more home runs. Minus one start against the Reds, Lilly put together his best month of the season in July….despite the win-loss record.

Lilly was 1-1 in 5 starts last month with a 4.23 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. He allowed 13 earned runs on 32 hits in 27 2/3 innings (on July 10th against the Reds, 4 runs on 6 hits in 2 2/3 innings with 3 strikeouts and 2 walks) with 24 strikeouts and 9 walks. In his last 4 starts, 1-0 with 3.32 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP (7 runs, all earned, on 19 hits with 14 strikeouts and 6 walks in 19 innings….with 4 home runs).

Other than a win, Lilly’s goal must be to keep the Pirates in the park today. In 23 starts, 134 1/3 innings, Lilly has served up a league leading 25 home runs.

Today will be Ted Lilly’s third start of the season against the Pirates. The Bucs have not beaten Lilly this season….but they have had their way with him. Lilly has given up 9 runs, all earned, on 17 hits in 9 2/3 innings (2 starts) and the Pirates have hit 3 of the 25 home runs Lilly has allowed….8.38 ERA, a 2.17 WHIP and the Pirates have hit an unbelievable .395 against him.

For his career, Lilly is 1-0 against the Bucs in 7 games, 5 starts, with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP.

  • Jose Bautista – 5-for-16 with a double
  • Ryan Doumit – 3-for-7
  • Paul Maholm – 1-for-3
  • Nate McLouth – 4-for-6 with a triple
  • Jason Michaels – 2-for-2 with a double
  • Doug Mientkiewicz – 1-for-10 with a home run
  • Ronny Paulino – 6-for-10 with 2 doubles and a home run
  • Luis Rivas – 4-for-12 with 2 home runs
  • Freddy Sanchez – 3-for-16 with a double
  • Jack Wilson – 3-for-9 with a double

At least the Cubs will see a familiar face today, but they might have preferred another one of the Pirates’ starters they have a history against. Paul Maholm, despite his losty numbers, has never lost to the Cubs….

Maholm is coming off back-to-back outings in which he has allowed only 2 earned runs combined in 15 innings with 14 strikeouts and 4 walks. Maholm beat the Astros in Houston on July 22nd and received a no decision in a 3-1 Pirates loss in San Diego in his last start.

After a horrible May (1-3 in 6 starts with a 5.92 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP), Maholm showed a lot of improvement in June (2-0 in 5 starts with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP) and was outstanding in July (2-1 in 5 starts with a 2.43 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP). In each of his last three full months the oppositions batting average has dropped…. .314, .256, .211.

The Cubs must make Maholm work today. He is throwing a lot of strikes right now but can get a little wild from time to time. If they install the same game plan against Maholm that they did against Jeff Karstens on Friday, the Cubs will lose back-to-back games at Wrigley for the second time in a week.

Today will be Maholm’s second start of the season against the Cubs….he received a no decision back on May 25th and the Cubs scored 5 runs on 8 hits in 8 innings while Maholm struck out 7 and walked only 2. For his career, Maholm is 4-0 in 7 starts versus the Cubs with a 6.15 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.

On the road this year, Maholm is 2-5 in 10 starts with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP….and at Wrigley, he is 3-0 in 4 starts with a 6.86 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.

  • Henry Blanco – 3-for-11
  • Ronny Cedeno – 1-for-4
  • Mark DeRosa – 2-for-10
  • Jim Edmonds – 1-for-3
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-4
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-3
  • Derrek Lee – 7-for-20 with 3 home runs
  • Aramis Ramirez – 7-for-17 with 2 home runs
  • Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-14 with 3 home runs
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-3
  • Ryan Theriot – 3-for-13 with a double and 3 walks

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne