Game Eighteen: Cubs (9-8) vs. Diamondbacks (7-11)
Game Time – 8:40pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus- Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 189
Location – Chase Field, Phoenix
Ted Lilly (2-1, 2.41/0.86) vs. Dan Haren (1-3, 1.38/0.88)
Updated 6:32pm C.T. – According to reports from the Sun-Times…Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Milton Bradley are out for tonight’s game. Carlos Marmol tossed a bullpen session and is “feeling 100% and will be available on Tuesday“. The Cubs will have only Koyie Hill and Joey Gathright healthy and available. Tomorrow’s starter, Carlos Zambrano is listed as an extra hitter for tonight’s game.
Updated – 8:12pm C.T. – According to a report on the Cubs pre-game show, Milton Bradley is available for pinch hitting tonight and the Cubs’ manager expects Bradley back in the starting lineup on Tuesday.
After spending seven weeks in Arizona during Spring Training, the Cubs return to the desert just four weeks into the young season to complete a six-game road trip. The Cubs have struggled at Chase Field and it will be up to Ted Lilly to keep his glove on his hand and put a ‘W’ up on the board.
The-bat-Alfonso-Soriano-further-down-in-the-order-experiment is over. Alfonso Soriano will remain in his comfort zone on the days he’s in the lineup. After a miserable two days, Soriano thrived on Sunday hitting in the top spot.
Carlos Marmol will throw a bullpen session today and could return on Tuesday while Aramis Ramirez is expected to return at some point over the next three days. However, Milton Bradley and Derrek Lee are both listed as day-to-day and Lou Piniella will try to win tonight with a 21-man roster…and only two healthy position players on his bench.
The Diamondbacks have struggled, like the Cubs, offensively and will be without Brandon Webb for the next six weeks. The injury bug has hit Arizona as well. They placed Stephen Drew on the 15-day DL Sunday with a left hamstring tear.
The Cubs won four of the six games against the Diamondbacks last season that included a three-game weekend series sweep at Wrigley…that began with a Ted Lilly victory over Dan Haren. Ted Lilly is coming off an unearned loss against the Reds last Wednesday. Lilly, and the wind, kept the Reds in the park and he gave up an unearned run on only five hits in seven innings with no walks and two strikeouts. After a very rocky start to the season and a bad end to Spring Training, Lilly has put together two good outings in inclement weather. The weather will not be a factor tonight and Lilly must keep the ball in the park.
Lilly was 2-0 in two starts against the Diamondbacks last season with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP…he allowed four runs on nine hits in 13 innings with five walks and 16 strikeouts. Lilly did serve up two of his 32 home runs to the young, dangerous but inconsistent D’Backs offense.
Lilly is 2-2 in four starts, six games, against Arizona with a 3.10 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP.
- Eric Byrnes – 4-for-17 with a double and a home run
- Tony Clark – 6-for-24 with a double and 2 home runs
- Conor Jackson – 3-for-5 with a triple, a home run and 3 walks
- Felipe Lopez – 4-for-17 with 2 home runs
- Augie Ojeda – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Mark Reynolds – 0-for-6
- Chris Snyder – 1-for-8
- Chad Tracy – 0-for-3
- Justin Upton – 1-for-5
- Chris Young – 3-for-9 with 3 doubles and a home run
The Cubs faced Dan Haren once in his first season in Arizona…and ‘The Bulldog’ beat him on a Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Haren is one of the best young pitchers in the league…and with Brandon Webb on the shelf has become the staff ace of the Diamondbacks.
Haren has been lights out this season. His 1-3 record is no indication of how well he has actually pitched. In four starts this season he has allowed a total of four earned runs to some pretty good offenses (Colorado twice and the Dodgers). Haren has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his starts and is coming off a seven-inning gem against the Rockies.
Haren held the Rockies to no runs on just six hits in seven innings with two walks and nine strikeouts. Haren is by far the best pitcher in the league with a losing record…if the D’Backs were scoring any runs for Haren he would be undefeated on the young season.
Tonight will be Haren’s fourth career start against the Cubs. He is 0-2 in his first three with an 8.04 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP. Last May 9 the Cubs scored two runs on five hits against Haren with two walks and five strikeouts in seven innings.
- Mike Fontenot – 0-for-1
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Reed Johnson – 4-for-15 with a triple and a walk
- Derrek Lee – 1-for-7 with a walk
- Aaron Miles – 1-for-4
- Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-7 with a double and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 6-for-17 with 3 doubles and 2 home runs
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-3
- Ryan Theriot – 0-for-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….