Game Twenty-Three: Cubs (11-11) vs. Marlins (14-9)
Game Time – 12:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ted Lilly (2-2, 3.80/1.10) vs. Anibal Sanchez (1-2, 4.13/1.54)
Lou Piniella talked about building on Friday’s win in his post-game press conference and carrying the momentum throughout the weekend. The Cubs need to work on consistency and posting back-to-back wins…something they have not done since winning three in a row from April 17 through April 21. The Cubs have not played good ball over the first 22 games, but Friday was a step in the right direction. They displayed a little of the fight that Alfonso Soriano said earlier in the week that this team is missing. Winning can cure a lot of ills…or at least mask problems that are magnified when teams are losing ballgames.
Florida is expected to have Hanley Ramirez back in the starting lineup today, while the Cubs’ Aramis Ramirez should be out of the starting lineup for the seventh day in a row. Errors and walks are the key for the Cubs. When the Cubs have made at least one error this season they are 0-9…and walks, well they can spark an offense and put pressure on a very good starting pitcher.
It all starts with Ted Lilly today, but making Anibal Sanchez throw a lot of pitches in the early innings will go a long way toward posting the illusive second consecutive win. Ted Lilly has lost his last two starts and is coming off a horrible outing against the D’Backs in the desert. While Lilly put together an impressive streak of 13 2/3 innings over two starts with not allowing an earned run, that all came tumbling down around him in the Cubs’ House of Horrors…the park currently known as Chase Field.
Lilly gave up five runs in five innings on six hits but the most concerning stat was the four walks. Lilly must not give away bases today to a Marlins’ offense that is in a different class from the one that knocked Lilly around last Monday night.
After the incredibly short outing by Rich Harden on Friday, Lou Piniella needs ‘The Bulldog‘ to take the hill at Wrigley today ready to go at least six…and notch another quality start.
Lilly’s strikeout to walk ratio after his first four starts in more than impressive (16 strikeouts, six walks) and in order for him to beat the Marlins for the first time in his career, the home runs he serves up today, must be solo shots.
Lilly is 0-4 in five career starts against the Fish with a 5.53 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP…and today will be his first start against Florida since the 2007 season.
For the record, Ted Lilly has not allowed an earned run at Wrigley this year.
- Alfredo Amezaga – 0-for-3
- Jorge Cantu – 3-for-12 with a double and a walk
- Wes Helms – 1-for-4
- Jeremy Hermida – 4-for-6 with 2 doubles
- Ronny Paulino – 6-for-10 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
- Hanley Ramirez – 1-for-7
- Dan Uggla – 2-for-5 with 2 home runs
Anibal Sanchez is one of the many great young arms in the Marlins’ organization…and one at the age of 25 that already has a no-hitter under his belt. Sanchez missed a majority of the past two seasons with injuries but appears to be healthy this year.
Sanchez was very impressive in his first two starts of the season but is coming off a rough outing. He gave up six runs on eight hits in six innings to the Mets last Sunday. The Mets pounded the Fish, 7-1.
The Cubs must make Sanchez work. Like most young pitchers he will get himself into trouble. He has walked 10 batters in just 24 innings and opponents are hitting .276 against him.
Today will be Sanchez’s second career start against the Cubs. He is 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP (one run on three hits with five walks and six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings). He beat the Cubs in Miami on August 16, 2008, 2-1. Sean Marshall took the loss and Kevin Gregg picked up his 27th save of the season. The lone run, a solo homer by Henry Blanco.
- Mike Fontenot – 1-for-2 with a walk
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-1 with a walk
- Aaron Miles – 0-for-3
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-13 with a double, 2 home runs and 3 walks
- Ryan Theriot – 0-for-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball…