Game One Hundred Twenty-Three: Cubs (75-47) vs. Marlins (63-60)
Game Time – 6:10pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Dolphin Stadium, Miami
Sean Marshall (2-2, 3.55/1.13) vs. Anibal Sanchez (1-2, 4.08/1.36)
After the dramatic 9th inning on Friday night, the Cubs will try to win their second consecutive game in Florida since 2005 behind Sean Marshall. Marshall will make the spot start in place of both Ryan Dempster and Rich Harden. The rainout on Tuesday in Atlanta pushed Harden from his scheduled start on Sunday to the opener at Wrigley against the Reds on Tuesday. Two days ago the Cubs announced Marshall would start today instead of Ryan Dempster. Dempster went back to Chicago to take care of personal business but is scheduled to make the start in the finale of the 3-game series on Sunday.
Sean Marshall will make his 4th start of the season today with reportedly an 80-pitch count limit. Marshall must throw strikes and give his manager innings. Chad Gaudin and Kerry Wood will likely be unavailable and it will be up to Jeff Samardzija and Carlos Marmol to finish tonight’s game….if necessary.
The Cubs will face Anibal Sanchez for the first time in only his fourth start of the year. Sanchez garnered national attention on September 6, 2006 when he tossed the fourth no-hitter in Florida Marlins history….and the first since A.J. Burnett in San Diego 5 years earlier. Sanchez spent 13 months recovering from right shoulder surgery in June of 2007. Sanchez struggles against left handed hitters and Lou Piniella stated he will use a mostly lefty lineup tonight. Derrek Lee will get the night off in favor of Daryle Ward and look for Mike Fontenot at 2nd, Kosuke Fukudome back in right and Jim Edmonds in center according to a report from the Chicago Sun-Times. Aramis Ramirez could return to the lineup as well.
In other news…. Bobby Howry is no longer in the mix as a setup man in the Cubs’ bullpen according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. Howry’s struggles have been well documented and he will fill the mop-up role in the pen vacated by the recently traded Scott Eyre.
Jason Marquis’ next start will be skipped and he is available out of the pen this weekend for Lou Piniella. Marquis will start the opener against the Nationals next Friday at Wrigley. Rich Harden, Ted Lilly and Carlos Zambrano will start the 3-game series against the Reds while Jason Marquis, Ryan Dempster and Rich Harden will face the Nationals next weekend.
Marshall took the mound in St. Louis on the Sunday night following the 9th inning loss the day before at the hands of Rick Ankiel….with a lot of help from Kerry Wood and Marshall led his team to a very important series win on the road, at the time the second of the season since sweeping the Pirates in Pittsburgh at the beginning of the year. Marshall held the Cardinals to 1 run on 6 hits in 6 innings with a walk and 4 strikeouts and the Cubs won 7-1. Piniella will need a similar performance tonight out of his young southpaw.
Marshall faced the Marlins on July 26th at Wrigley and made just one mistake in 3 innings of work. The Cubs and Rich Harden led 2-1 going into the 8th but Jeremy Hermida tied the game at 2 with a home run, the only hit Marshall allowed. The Marlins won the game, 3-2 in 12 innings on a double by Jorge Cantu.
Tonight will be Marshall’s 15th game and 3rd start on the road. Marshall is 1-1 with a save and a 3.22 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. As a starter this season, Marshall is 1-2 in 3 starts with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP….only 3 walks and 16 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings.
Marshall is 1-2 in 3 career starts, 4 games, versus the Marlins with a 4.58 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP while the Fish have hit .219 against him. Florida’s offense is extremely dangerous but has not fared as well against lefties as righties. The Marlins are 17-18 (.485) versus southpaw starters and 46-42 (.523) against right-handers.
For his career, Marshall is 0-1 in 1 start at Dolphin Stadium with a 18.90 ERA and a 3.30 WHIP….7 runs on 7 hits in 3 1/3 innings with 4 walks and 2 strikeouts on May 22, 2006.
- Jorge Cantu – 0-for-2
- Wes Helms – 2-for-6 with 2 doubles
- Jeremy Hermida – 2-for-4 with a home run
- Hanley Ramirez – 2-for-8
- Dan Uggla – 4-for-11 with 2 doubles
- Josh Willingham – 2-for-7
Anibal Sanchez will make his first ever start and appearance tonight against the Chicago Cubs. Sanchez is scheduled to make only his 4th start of the season since returning from the DL on July 31st. Sanchez had right shoulder surgery on June 21, 2007 and missed a majority of his sophomore season after a sensational rookie campaign in 2006.
Sanchez was 10-3 in 17 starts, 18 games, with 2 complete games and his no hitter against the Diamondbacks. Sanchez was acquired from the Red Sox along with Hanley Ramirez, Jesus Delgado and Harvey Garcia on November 24, 2005 for Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell and Guillermo Mota….a trade that has worked out quite well for both organizations.
Sanchez is coming off a loss to the Cardinals his last time out. He pitched rather well and allowed 3 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings of work but the Marlins scored only 2 runs in a 4-2 loss. Sanchez tied a career high with 8 strikeouts against the Cardinals but tossed a season-high 103 pitches.
Alfonso Soriano is the only Cub that has faced Sanchez….he is 2-for-11 with 2 home runs and 2 walks.
Sanchez struggles against left handed batters and Piniella has already stated he will use a mostly lefty lineup tonight. 14 of the 17 hits allowed this season by Sanchez have come from left handers and they are hitting .400 (righties .088) with a .571 slugging percentage.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….