Game Sixteen: Cubs (8-7) vs. Cardinals (12-5)
Game Time – 3:10pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Sean Marshall (0-0, 4.50/1.67) vs. Mitchell Boggs (0-0, 4.50/1.50)
Updated – 1:25pm C.T. – Ramirez Out of today’s lineup, expected to miss at least three days. A MRI on Carlos Marmol Saturday morning revealed a grade one strain in his left knee. Marmol will test the knee on Monday and could return by midweek. The Cubs have not made a roster move for this afternoon’s game. Here’s the link…
After dealing with only one big injury last season, the Cubs lost two big pieces of the puzzle on Friday night when Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Marmol left the game. The extent of the injuries and possible time lost is unknown as of this writing.
Ramirez will miss at least three games according to a report from Bruce Levine on Saturday morning and it could be more. The Cubs are expected to make a roster move to bring up an infielder to backup Ryan Theriot, Mike Fontenot and Aaron Miles. Bobby Scales or Andres Blanco could be added to the Cubs 40-man roster before this afternoon’s game.
With Carlos Marmol it is very important that the Cubs do not rush him back to the mound. Marmol has an extremely violent delivery and if his knee is not 100% could cause him to compensate in other areas, which could lead to a chain of injuries. Marmol is too important to this organization, not only this year but down the road, for him to be rushed back to win a few games in April…or even May.
With the Cubs struggles over the last week coupled with the Cardinals looking like world-beaters in April, today could arguably be the biggest start of Sean Marshall’s career. The Cubs enter play today just a game over .500 and three full games back of the Cardinals, a sweep in St. Louis this weekend could put the Cubs in a very tough spot with a difficult stretch of games, especially without Ramirez and Marmol, on the horizon.
Lou Piniella needs Sean Marshall to step up this afternoon…and for the offense to deliver with men on base early in the game. A few early runs could relax the depleted roster enough to give them some much-needed confidence.
From the Cubstory Book…133 years ago today the Cubs played and won their first ever ballgame. Albert Spalding pitched the first shutout in National League history as the Chicago National League Ball Club beat Louisville, 4-0. Paul Hines scored the first ever run in the second inning on a wild throw. Sean Marshall will make his second start of the year…and his second against the Cardinals. Marshall pitched a good game against the Cardinals last Thursday at Wrigley and left in position to win the game. Marshall allowed three runs on seven hits in five-plus innings with two walks and four strikeouts.
Marshall has been successful in the past against the Cardinals and his team needs him to step up today as they try to get out of their funk.
Marshall is 2-1 in six career starts against the Cardinals with a 3.67 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.
- Rick Ankiel – 2-for-7 with a double
- Brian Barden – 2-for-2
- Chris Duncan – 2-for-3 with a home run
- Khalil Greene – 0-for-8
- Ryan Ludwick – 2-for-11 with a home run and a walk
- Yadier Molina – 4-for-14 with a double and two walks
- Albert Pujols – 4-for-15 with 4 walks
- Brendan Ryan – 3-for-9 with a double and a home run
- Skip Schumaker – 0-for-4
Mitchell Boggs started the season in Triple-A and was recalled when the Cardinals placed Chris Carpenter on the 15-day DL. Boggs will make his first start of the season today.
Boggs pitched two innings against the Cubs last Friday at Wrigley. He gave up a run on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
Last year Boggs was 3-2 in six starts, eight games, in his first action at the big league level…with a 7.41 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP.
No Cub has more than one at bat against Mitchell Boggs. Kosuke Fukudome doubled in his only plate appearance and Aramis Ramirez singled…Geovany Soto walked.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….