Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 09/15/08

Game One Hundred Forty-Eight: Cubs (89-58) vs. Astros (80-68)
Game Time – 1:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee

Ted Lilly (14-9, 4.29/1.29) vs. Brian Moehler (11-6, 4.16/1.33)

The Cubs will try to make it four in a row today behind Ted Lilly….and it should be a challenge to say the least. Not only did Carlos Zambrano cool-off‘ the hottest team in the league on Sunday night with his no-hitter, but he might have made it very difficult on one of his teammates today.

The Astros were not happy about two of the three games being relocated to Miller Park to begin with and after being no-hit by Zambrano they will be looking to prove a point today. The Astros are in the thick of the playoff picture and a win today by the Cubs would make it a little harder for them to continue their late season surge. Lilly better bring his A game, especially early on.

Jason Marquis was slated to start this game when the announcement was originally made the second of the three game series would be played today. But the Astros rearranged their rotation….and so did Lou Piniella. Marquis will face Ben Sheets on Wednesday at Wrigley instead and Lilly will get the task of trying to hand the Astros their first back-to-back loss since August 25th and August 26th.

The Cubs are 7-9 against the Astros this season with at least one left to play….

Ted Lilly bounced back from his horrible start in Cincinnati with a gem against the Cardinals in St. Louis his last time out. Lilly allowed only 1 run on 5 hits without a walk and 5 strikeouts in 8 innings of work. Lilly showed very good command and threw strikes against a very good Cardinals’ offense.

Lilly had lost his two previous starts, one because of no run support….the other because of no velocity or command. The Cubs need the ‘Bulldog‘ to step up again today and give them innings while the offense tries to figure out Brian Moehler.

Lilly is 8-4 in 17 games on the road this season with a 4.16 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.

The two biggest stats from his last start….no walks and no home runs allowed. It was the first time all season Lilly had not issued a free pass or served up a long ball. Lilly must keep the ball in Miller Park today.

Lilly is 1-0 in 2 starts versus the Astros this season with a 2.19 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Lilly received a no decision in the first game back from the break on July 18th and a win in Houston on May 19th.

  • Brad Ausmus – 1-for-5
  • Lance Berkman – 1-for-14
  • Geoff Blum – 3-for-11 with a double and 2 walks
  • Michael Bourn – 1-for-3
  • Darin Erstad – 2-for-23 with a double and 2 walks
  • Mark Loretta – 5-for-18 with 2 doubles and 2 home runs
  • Brian Moehler – 0-for-3
  • Hunter Pence – 2-for-9
  • Humberto Quintero – 0-for-5
  • Miguel Tejada – 6-for-30 with 2 doubles and 4 walks
  • Ty Wigginton – 2-for-9 with a double

The Cubs offense has been mesmerized by Brian Moehler this season and must be patient today against the crafty righty. For whatever reason Moehler has the Cubs figured out and one of their problems this season against Moehler has been their impatience. They are simply not making him work.

Moehler is coming off a solid month of August, his best stretch of the season (4-1 in 6 starts with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP) ….but has struggled a little in his last two starts. Moehler gave up a pair of runs to the Pirates in his last start (2 runs on 5 hits in 6 innings without a walk or a strikeout) and could not complete 5 innings of work against the Rockies (5 runs on 6 hits in 4 2/3 innings with 3 walks and 4 strikeouts). Moehler is 1-1 in his last 2 starts with a 5.91 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.

Moehler is 1-1 in 3 starts this season versus the Cubs with a 2.12 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. The Cubs offense has just 15 hits and 4 runs in 17 innings with only 3 walks….simply not good enough.

  • Henry Blanco – 1-for-4 with a double
  • Ronny Cedeno – 2-for-6
  • Mark DeRosa – 1-for-7
  • Jim Edmonds – 14-for-39 with 5 doubles and 6 home runs
  • Mike Fontenot – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-7
  • Derrek Lee – 1-for-8 with a home run
  • Ted Lilly – 1-for-3
  • Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-19 with a double and a triple
  • Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-12 with a double
  • Geovany Soto – 2-for-8 with a home run
  • Ryan Theriot – 1-for-6 with a double
  • Daryle Ward – 6-for-16 with 3 doubles

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

Quote of the Day

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