Game One Hundred Thirty-Three: Cubs (82-50) vs. Pirates (57-75)
Game Time – 11:35am C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Jason Marquis (8-7, 4.76/1.44) vs. Zach Duke (4-12, 5.29/1.55)
While Major League Baseball sorts out the last of the details on instant replay that will debut at Wrigley on Thursday, the Cubs will complete their season series today against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cubs offense must continue what they started in the first two games….26 runs in 18 innings and not let up on getaway day. Lou Piniella’s crew is 13-4 versus the Bucs this season with one left to play….
Jason Marquis will remain in the rotation for at least his next two starts according to a report in the Tribune. With the way Piniella went through his pen last night, don’t be surprised to see Sean Marshall or Chad Gaudin early on if Marquis struggles with his command….and himself. If Marquis is replaced in the rotation for the last month of the season, Sean Marshall would give his skipper another southpaw in the rotation and a proven winner at the big league level.
Lou Piniella has been receiving contributions from his entire roster of late and his bench should receive a lot of playing time today. Henry Blanco should be behind the plate to give Geovany Soto a day off. Reed Johnson will be in center. Mark DeRosa could spell Kosuke Fukudome in right with Ronny Cedeno somewhere in the middle infield….Cedeno has hit Zach Duke extremely well in his career. Jason Marquis is coming off a very good 5 innings against the Nationals…..then a horrible 6th inning. Marquis could not find the strike zone, walked the bases loaded, gave up a pair of runs and managed to record just one out before Neal Cotts gave up the grand slam to Willie Harris. But that was then….
Lou Piniella needs a good outing today out of Jason Marquis. Piniella used his pen last night after lifting Carlos Zambrano in the 5th and the offense could go a long way to helping their pitcher’s cause. Marquis has pitched much better on the road this season than at Wrigley and has been successful in the past at PNC. If the Cubs are to win this game it will depend on the right arm of Jason Marquis.
Marquis won his two previous starts before his loss to the Nationals and is 2-1 in his last 4 starts with a 5.09 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.
Today will be Marquis’ 5th start of the season against the Pirates. He is 2-1 with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP….at PNC, Marquis did not receive a decision on May 24th and allowed 3 runs on 7 hits in 5 1/3 innings with a 3 walks and 2 strikeouts.
- Ryan Doumit – 5-for-17 with 2 doubles and a home run
- Zach Duke – 1-for-1
- Adam LaRoche – 7-for-27 with a double and 2 home runs
- Andy LaRoche – 1-for-6
- Nate McLouth – 5-for-20 with a double and a home run
- Jason Michaels – 4-for-6 with a home run
- Nyjer Morgan – 2-for-2
- Freddy Sanchez – 7-for-31 with 3 doubles and a home run
- Jack Wilson – 10-for-40 with 2 doubles
The Cubs will face an old nemesis today in Zach Duke. The Pirates southpaw dominated the Cubs at the beginning of his career. Duke is 4-4 in 12 career starts versus the Cubs with a 3.16 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP….while they have hit a robust .297 against him. This year is a slightly different story. Duke is 0-2 in 4 starts with a 5.91 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP and they have hit .362 against him.
Duke is another one of the very good arms in the Pirates’ system that has not pitched well this season. He is 4-7 in 13 starts at PNC with a 4.90 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP….in his last 4 starts, Duke is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP after going 0-4 in 6 starts in July with a 9.51 ERA and a 2.01 WHIP.
The Cubs must be patient against Duke, make him work and most importantly….score early and often.
- Henry Blanco – 1-for-5
- Ronny Cedeno – 8-for-23
- Mark DeRosa – 5-for-17 with 2 doubles
- Jim Edmonds – 0-for-8
- Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-6
- Reed Johnson – 5-for-10 with 2 doubles
- Derrek Lee – 10-for-32 with 2 doubles and a home run
- Aramis Ramirez – 11-for-32 with 6 doubles and a home run
- Alfonso Soriano – 12-for-21 with 2 doubles and 2 home runs
- Geovany Soto – 3-for-12 with a double
- Ryan Theriot – 7-for-21 with 2 doubles
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….