Game One Hundred Thirty-Six: Cubs (85-50) vs. Phillies (73-62)
Game Time – 2:55pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ted Lilly (13-7, 4.23/1.31) vs. Brett Myers (7-10, 4.49/1.40)
It’s the last Saturday in August and happy Labor Day weekend from everyone here at the CCO…. The Cubs offense will face a tough customer today in the red hot Brett Myers. Myers has been dominant of late and has always pitched well against the Cubs….but that was without Jim Edmonds in the lineup, who has very good career numbers against the Phillies’ right hander.
A win today would give the Cubs 10 straight series wins (9-0-1) of at least two games or more for the first time since they won 10 straight in 1907. Ted Lilly has been good of late as well but he must keep the ball down and in the park as much as possible against the team with the most longballs in the National League. As Mr. Robinson use to say, today’s word boys and girls is “solo“…..as in limit the home runs to just solo shots.
In other news…. Expect additions to the big league club starting on Monday. Reports are suggesting the Cubs could increase their active roster to 32 or 33 players over the next few weeks. According to a report from Bruce Miles, the Cubs will call up 3-4 players next week from Triple A and they will likely not pull from the Double-A Tennessee squad this September.
Jon Lieber should be activated from the DL, as well as Angel Guzman….which would require a 40-man roster move. Koyie Hill will be added to the 40-man and be recalled and Micah Hoffpauir should remain with the big club for the remainder of the season. Dave Kaplan mentioned on Friday night that if the Cubs do make the post season, Hoffpauir would likely be on the playoff roster if he continues to hit the way he has this summer for both Chicago and Iowa. Kevin Hart, Felix Pie and Michael Wuertz will also be up at some point in the upcoming month.
Fasten Those Seatbelts…. Ted Lilly is coming off his seventh quality start in his last eight games with his 13th win of the year at Pittsburgh. Lilly gave up 3 runs on 7 hits in 7 innings with all 3 runs coming off two longballs. Lilly struck out 7 for the second straight start with only 1 walk and in his last 5 outings, Lilly owns a solid strikeout to walk ratio….31 k’s to only 10 free passes.
Lilly must keep the walks to a minimum today and when he serves up the longball he must make sure they are only solo shots. In 28 starts this season, Lilly has given up 29 homers. The Phillies will go deep against Lilly today, it is up to the ‘Bulldog‘ to hold the damage to a minimum.
Lilly has pitched slightly better on the road than at Wrigley and is 6-4 in 13 starts with a 4.48 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP with 13 home runs.
Today will mark Lilly’s sixth start of the month, he is 3-1 in the first 5 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. With Piniella having to use Jeff Samardzija and Carlos Marmol for more than one inning he will probably be working with a short pen this afternoon. Coupled with the uncertainty that has become Carlos Zambrano, it is important for Lilly to turn in another quality start.
Lilly lost to the Phillies in his third start of the season back on April 12th. Cole Hamels silenced the Cubs’ offense and Lilly gave up 4 runs on 5 hits in 4 2/3 innings with 4 strikeouts and no walks.
For his career, Lilly is 1-2 in 3 starts versus Philadelphia with a 5.19 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.
- Pat Burrell – 1-for-6 with 2 walks
- Pedro Feliz – 4-for-10 with 2 home runs
- Ryan Howard – 2-for-6 with a double and a home run
- Jimmy Rollins – 1-for-7 with a double
- Carlos Ruiz – 0-for-7
- Chase Utley – 1-for-6 with a double
- Shane Victorino – 2-for-7
- Jayson Werth – 2-for-9
Brett Myers season has not gone as planned. After spending time in the minors this season, Myers has returned to the Phillies and has been just about unhittable….or least unscored upon. Myers has not allowed a single run, earned or unearned, in his last 2 starts (16 innings) against the Dodgers and Nationals. Myers tossed a complete game shutout against the Nationals on August 20th despite giving up 9 hits.
Myers is 3-1 in his last 5 starts with a 1.47 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP with 34 strikeouts and only 7 walks….since his return from the minors, 4-1 in 7 games with a 1.66 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP.
Myers has been lights out of late, as well as dominant against the Cubs in his career, but if the Cubs can remain patient and make him work….well, a 10th series win in a row is a strong possibility. Myers has thrown a lot of pitches of late and has not faced an offense similar to the Cubs since he pitched in St. Louis on August 3rd.
Myers has won just once in 13 starts on the road this season and is 1-7 with a 6.35 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP….nearly 5 more runs on the road than at home (2.77 home ERA). During the day, Myers struggles as well….1-3 in 6 starts with a 6.55 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP, at night 3.91 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.
Myers beat the Cubs in Philly back on April 11th, 5-3. He allowed 3 runs on 5 hits in 8 innings with 5 strikeouts and no walks….all 3 runs were scored off of solo home runs by Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano.
Myers is 6-3 with a save and 2 complete games in 12 appearances, 8 starts, versus the Cubs in his career with a 2.63 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP.
- Mark DeRosa – 4-for-10
- Jim Edmonds – 6-for-15 with a double, a triple, a home run and 6 walks
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-4
- Derrek Lee – 12-for-25 with 4 doubles, a triple and 3 home runs
- Aramis Ramirez – 7-for-24 with 2 doubles and 2 home runs
- Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-20 with 3 home runs
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-3
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-4
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….