Game One Hundred Fifty-Six: Cubs (95-60) vs. Mets (86-70)
Game Time – 6:10pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Shea Stadium, New York
Sean Marshall (3-4, 3.62/1.22) vs. Johan Santana (14-7, 2.65/1.17)
The Cubs will face a desperate New York Met squad tonight that saw their lead in the NL Wild Card drop to just a single game over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday. Jerry Manuel will send his ace, Johan Santana, to the hill tonight and Lou Piniella has pushed back Rich Harden in favor of Sean Marshall. Reports have indicated Harden is fine but Piniella is attempting to align his rotation for the post-season. Piniella indicated Marshall could start in the season finale on Sunday in Milwaukee.
If the playoffs started today, the Cubs would face Santana in game one and it is imperative for the Cubs that the Brewers remain in the hunt until the final game of the season. Santana is slated to start on Sunday against the Marlins which would make him unavailable for a possible game one in the NLDS against the Cubs next Wednesday…. Sean Marshall will make his seventh start of the season tonight and his first since September 7th in Cincinnati. Marshall gave up a run on 3 hits in 6 innings on the Sunday afternoon Kerry Wood’s wildness and an error by Ronny Cedeno led to a 9th inning defeat at the hands of Dusty Baker’s team. Sean Marshall did his part and turned in a gem substituting for Carlos Zambrano.
Marshall is 1-4 as a starter with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.
Tonight will be Marshall’s second career start and appearance against the Mets. Carlos Beltran and company beat up the Cubs left hander in his first appearance against them on a Sunday afternoon back in 2006. The Mets plated 7 runs, 5 earned, on 7 hits in 5 1/3 innings. The Cubs lost 13 to 7 and Marshall served up three longballs….and hit one of his own. Cliff Floyd, Carlos Beltran and David Wright all went deep in the 11-run 6th inning.
- Marlon Anderson – 0-for-4
- Carlos Beltran – 1-for-3 with a home run
- Luis Castillo – 0-for-3
- Carlos Delgado – 1-for-3
- David Wright – 1-for-3 with a home run
The Cubs will get their first look tonight at Johan Santana in a Mets’ uniform. Arguably the best lefty in the game has been the only consistent pitcher in New York’s rotation throughout the season. Santana has been very good in his first full year in the Senior Circuit and is 7-3 in 15 starts at Shea with a 2.26 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP while holding opponents to a .229 average.
Santana is coming off a gem, as most of his starts are, against the Nationals. He allowed 1 run on 8 hits with 8 strikeouts and a walk in 7 innings. Santana has put together a very typical second half for him….he is 6-0 in 13 starts with a 2.38 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. In his last 4 starts, 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.
Santana would be receiving major consideration for the NL Cy Young Award if his bullpen was better. Santana has received 11 no decisions this season….8 of those were decided by 2 runs or less and 5 ended up being Met losses.
Santana is 1-0 in 4 career games, 1 start, against the Cubs with a 1.38 ERA and a 0.77 WHIP. Santana dominated the Cubs at the Metrodome back on June 23, 2006. The Cubs managed 2 runs, 1 earned, on 5 hits in 8 innings….Phil Nevin hit a home run in the 6th for the only earned run in the game for the Cubs.
- Henry Blanco – 0-for-3
- Ronny Cedeno – 0-for-3
- Mark DeRosa – 1-for-6
- Reed Johnson – 10-for-19 with a double and a home run
- Derrek Lee – 1-for-2 with a home run
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-4
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-6 with 2 walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….