Game Forty-Nine: Cubs (25-23) vs. Dodgers (34-17)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: ESPN Sunday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 175
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Sean Marshall (3-3, 3.70/1.28) vs. Eric Milton (1-0, 3.00/1.44)
Can Lou Piniella’s crew build on the momentum created from Friday and Saturday’s victories over the best team in the league? In order to do so they will have to be very patient against Eric Milton and make the veteran southpaw work…the former Red is trying to make another comeback and is coming off a win against the Colorado Rockies.
The Cubs will send their ‘second lefty‘ to the hill tonight in search of his fourth win of the year. The Dodgers like facing southpaws and are 11-4 on the year against lefty starters. Sean Marshall must pick up where he left off against the Pirates, throw strikes and not fall behind in the count.
Lou Piniella announced on Saturday that Mike Fontenot would play exclusively at third base until Aramis Ramirez returns…that was evident on Saturday when Piniella started Fontenot against the left-handed Eric Stults. The Cubs feel Mike Fontenot is their best internal option to fill in while Ramirez is on the DL.
There have been several conflicting reports on the sale of the team over the past week. One said the deal was far from being done and that Sam Zell might have to explore other options…then reports in the last twenty-four hours have suggested the deal could be done soon with the Ricketts Family. Bottom line is, the sale of the Chicago Cubs must be completed as quickly as possible. The Cubs cannot add to their payroll according to Bruce Levine…Sam Zell will not give the approval and Tom Ricketts cannot legally give the go ahead to add to the payroll. So while the Cubs try to scratch out as many wins as possible, the sale of the Chicago National League Ballclub must be completed…and soon.
After beginning May with an 11-3 record, the Cubs are 15-12 over the last month with one more remaining on the schedule…. Sean Marshall is coming off a complete game win against the Pirates last Tuesday night…the rain ended the game after a couple of pitches to Craig Monroe in the sixth. Marshall had a good outing against the Pirates and ended the Cubs eight-game losing streak. Marshall allowed one run on four hits in five innings…with two walks and six strikeouts.
Marshall has done a good job with limiting his free passes this season (13 walks and 29 strikeouts in 41 1/3 innings) and must improve on that ratio tonight. The Dodgers will make him work.
The Cubs’ second lefty is 2-1 in five games, four starts, at Wrigley this year with a 3.70 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP.
Tonight will be Sean Marshall’s third career start and appearance against the Dodgers. Marshall does not have a decision and has allowed nine runs, five earned, on eight hits with seven walks and six strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings (5.19 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP).
- Brad Ausmus – 3-for-12 with a double and a home run
- Andre Ethier – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Rafael Furcal – 1-for-5 with a home run and a walk
- Orlando Hudson – 1-for-6 with a home run and a walk
- Matt Kemp – 0-for-2
- Mark Loretta – 1-for-5
- Russell Martin – 1-for-2
Eric Milton missed all of the 2008 season after his second Tommy John surgery in 2007. Milton signed a huge contract with the Reds prior to the 2005 season (3 years, $25.5 million)…and is viewed as one of the worst free agent signings by Cincinnati in their storied history. Eric Milton was solid in 2004 for the Phillies (14-6 in 34 starts with a 4.75 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP) but never pitched to the contract he signed with the Reds.
Milton is subbing for the injured Hiroki Kuroda, who is expected back on Monday.
The veteran southpaw has had success against the Cubs in the past, despite a 3-3 career record and a 6.35 ERA with a 1.40 WHIP. Milton took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the Cubs on July 25, 2004 in Philadelphia. Michael Barrett broke up the no-hit bid with a double and Corey Patterson tied the game with the third hit of the inning…a double to left center. Pat Burrell beat the Cubs and LaTroy Hawkins with a single that drove in Jim Thome. That was then…
Eric Milton is coming off a five-inning win in his second start of the season. Milton beat the Rockies 7-1 and allowed only one run on seven hits with three strikeouts and no walks.
Tonight will be Eric Milton’s ninth career start at Wrigley…he is 3-1 with a 6.70 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. His last outing against the Cubs was at Wrigley on September 17, 2006. He left after a third of an inning…six runs on six hits.
- Milton Bradley – 3-for-14 with a home run and a walk
- Derrek Lee – 4-for-18 with 3 home runs and 2 walks
- Alfonso Soriano – 6-for-12 with a double
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….