Game One Hundred Forty-Two: Cubs (85-56) vs. Reds (63-78)
Game Time – 6:10pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 189
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati
Jason Marquis (9-8, 4.46/1.40) vs. Johnny Cueto (8-12, 4.65/1.36)
One of two things will happen tonight. Either the Cubs will end their six game losing streak or it will stretch to a season-high seven games. But whether the Cubs win or lose, they must start playing better ball. While winning is a cure all and losing can magnify any problem, the bottom line is this team is just not scoring runs but they are not even putting good wood on the ball right now. The Cubs have been outscored 36-14 over the last 6 games, and that is to be expected. They have managed 12 hits in the last two games with 11 singles and a double by Koyie Hill….of the 11 base hits, only 4 of them have left the infield.
Jason Marquis’ job is simple, keep his team in the game and give his offense a chance to string hits together….as well as score a few runs. The Cubs must be patient against Johnny Cueto and make him work. He is only 6 innings short of his career high in innings pitched (161 career high, thrown 155 this season) and is showing signs of a pitcher toward the end of his first full big league season.
The Cubs enter play tonight 4 games ahead of the Brewers and in need of not only a win but of their first good performance in over a week. They were pulling out games at the end of August when the team-wide slump was in its early stages. A couple of well hit balls as well as a few breaks will go a long way in relaxing the entire team…. Like the rest of the rotation last week, Jason Marquis pitched good enough to pick up a win in his last outing. Roy Oswalt shutout the Cubs but Marquis allowed only 2 runs on 5 hits in 6 innings with a season-high 8 strikeouts. Marquis threw the ball well….and must repeat the performance again tonight. The loss against the Astros was his first since August 1st against the Pirates when the Cubs were shutout by Jeff Karstens.
Marquis is in a position to not only help his team….but to maybe improve his own stock in his manager’s eyes. If the Cubs make the post season Marquis figures to not be in the rotation as long as Carlos Zambrano and Rich Harden are healthy. If Marquis can continue to pitch the way he has since August 1st, he might find himself in the bullpen instead of watching from the dugout.
Marquis is 5-3 in 11 road starts this season with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP and in August, he was 3-1 in 5 starts with a 3.90 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. In his last 6 outings, 3-2 with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.
Tonight will be Marquis’ first start of the season against the Reds. He is 5-3 in 13 career appearances, 12 starts, with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP….at Great American Ball Park, 3-2 in 9 games, 8 starts, with a 4.73 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP.
- Paul Bako – 1-for-9 with a double
- Edwin Encarnacion – 6-for-13 with a double and 2 home runs
- Jeff Keppinger – 1-for-3
- Corey Patterson – 3-for-17
- Brandon Phillips – 1-for-6
- Javier Valentin – 4-for-17 with 2 doubles and a home run
- Joey Votto – 1-for-1 with a double
Johnny Cueto will make his first start since leaving after the 3rd inning in Colorado on August 24th. Cueto received a visit from Dusty Baker and the Reds’ trainer on the Wrigley Field mound on August 19th and the former Cubs’ manager left him in the game. Cueto left after completing 3 innings against the Rockies after allowing only 1 hit with a right elbow strain. The Reds appear determined to have him finish the season in the rotation for a team 15 games under .500. Sound familiar?
Johnny Cueto has the talent to have a very successful career at the Major League level. Before his injury he was 1-2 in 5 starts in August with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.
Cueto lost in his last start against the Cubs but gave up only 1 run on 4 hits in 7 innings with 6 strikeouts and 2 walks. Tonight will be the fourth start of the season against the Cubs, Cueto is 1-2 in the first 3 with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.
The Cubs must make him work. If the Reds are willing to throw him out there and risk his future, it is up to them to make him throw as many pitches as possible and pick up a win against the incredibly talented Johnny Cueto.
- Mark DeRosa – 1-for-8 with a double
- Jim Edmonds – 0-for-4
- Mike Fontenot – 0-for-4
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-9 with a double and a walk
- Reed Johnson – 1-for-3
- Derrek Lee – 3-for-9 with a double and a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 1-for-4 with a home run and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-6
- Geovany Soto – 4-for-8 with a double, a triple, a home run and a walk
- Ryan Theriot – 5-for-10 with 2 doubles
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….