Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Braves – 06/03/09

Game Fifty-One: Cubs (25-25) vs. Braves (26-25)
Game Time – 6:00pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Turner Field, Atlanta

Ted Lilly (6-4, 3.50/1.09) vs. Derek Lowe (6-3, 3.49/1.21)

Game number 51 of 162 will tell a lot about the character of this edition of the Chicago Cubs. After their worst loss of the year, how will Lou Piniella’s crew respond on the road against a pitcher they have struggled mightily against in the past?

The extra-inning loss to the Braves on Tuesday night taxed an already bad bullpen. It will be up to Ted Lilly to put together his best start away from Wrigley if the Cubs are to beat Derek Lowe…and they will likely have to do it without Milton Bradley.

The Cubs right fielder strained his right calf in the fourth inning on Tuesday night and is listed as day-to-day. Lou Piniella needs to put a lineup on the field of players that are producing, instead of the same starting eight that is not getting the job done. It is no longer early, and it is a far cry from being late in the season….but it is time for the Chicago Cubs to start playing winning baseball.

Ted Lilly ended his two-game losing streak in his last start against the Dodgers. Lilly pitched a gem and limited the high-powered Dodgers offense to one run in seven innings. Lilly has been very good this season for Lou Piniellabut not on the road.

The Bulldog‘ has been as good as it gets at Wrigley. Lilly is 4-1 in five starts with a 1.29 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP while holding opponents to a .189 batting average. On the road, 2-3 in five starts with a 6.14 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP while teams have hit .270.

Lilly is 4-2 in his last six starts with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. The Cubs’ offense will need Lilly to bring his A-game to the park.

Tonight will be Lilly’s eighth career start against the Braves…he is 3-2 in the first seven with a 5.75 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. At Turner Field, Lilly is 2-1 in four career starts with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP…and a very memorable ejection.

  • Garrett Anderson – 3-for-22 with a double and a walk
  • Gregor Blanco – 0-for-3
  • Yunel Escobar – 2-for-6 with a walk
  • Jeff Francoeur – 3-for-9
  • Kelly Johnson – 1-for-4
  • Chipper Jones – 2-for-9 with a double and 4 walks
  • Derek Lowe – 0-for-2
  • Brian McCann – 1-for-4
  • Martin Prado – 2-for-4 with 2 doubles

The Cubs will face a very familiar foe tonight…and one that has dominated them for years. The last time Lou Piniella’s crew saw Derek Lowe he was in a Dodgers’ uniform…and it was October.

The Cubs were rumored to be interested in Derek Lowe during the off-season, along with several other teams. Lowe ended up in Atlanta with a four-year contract worth $60 million. Lowe has been a very good pick-up for the Braves…and has given them the number one pitcher they have needed for the past two seasons.

Lowe is coming off a loss to the Diamondbacks. He gave up five runs, three earned, on 10 hits in seven innings. After a very good April (2-1 in five starts with a 3.10 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP), Lowe is 4-2 in his last six starts with a 3.76 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. At Turner Field this season, 2-1 in five starts with a 3.30 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

Derek Lowe will make his ninth career tonight against the Cubs…2-1 in his first eight with a 3.25 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.

  • Milton Bradley – 1-for-9 with 3 walks
  • Mike Fontenot – 3-for-5 with a double
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-5
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-6
  • Reed Johnson – 4-for-11 with a double
  • Derrek Lee – 11-for-28 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
  • Ted Lilly – 0-for-2
  • Alfonso Soriano – 13-for-53 with 2 doubles, 3 home runs
  • Geovany Soto – 2-for-5 with a walk
  • Ryan Theriot – 2-for-10 with a double

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax