Game Sixty-Four: Cubs (32-31) vs. Indians (29-40)
Game Time – 12:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 175
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ted Lilly (7-4, 2.94/1.06) vs. Tomo Ohka (0-1, 4.24/1.18)
Can the Cubs win three in a row? The Cubs have shown they can hit late in games over the last two days, it is time for them to get out in front early and give one of their starters a win.
Ted Lilly will face a very good Indians’ offense this afternoon led by an ex-teammate. Mark DeRosa lit up Ted Lilly in Mesa during Spring Training and many thought Lilly tipped his pitches that afternoon. When he was questioned about it back in March, Lilly promised there would be different results if he faced DeRosa during this series.
Carl Pavano was originally scheduled to start today for the Tribe but was pushed back to next week due to a sore neck. The Cubs will face former Brewer, Tomo Ohka instead. Ohka is coming off his first big league start since June 6, 2007 when he was with the Blue Jays. Ohka put together a solid outing in a loss to the Cardinals … his only mistakes, two solo home runs by Albert Pujols.
So while the Cubs’ offense tries to build off the last two games … it all starts with Ted Lilly. Ted Lilly is coming off another impressive outing … without a decision. In his last start against the Twins, Lilly put together one of his longest outings of the year. Lilly allowed only two runs on nine hits in 7 2/3 innings with six strikeouts and no walks. The Cubs scored only two runs while Lilly was on the mound. After Carlos Gomez tied the game in the sixth with a home run, Lilly was long gone by the time Derrek Lee went from first to third and scored on a single by Ryan Theriot … Lilly helped put an end to the Cubs four-game losing streak.
The Cubs have won Lilly’s last four starts and on the year they are 9-4 when Lilly takes the ball.
‘The Bulldog‘ has been very good at Wrigley this season (4-1 in six starts with a 1.48 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP) and the Cubs will need a similar performance this afternoon. One of the keys to Lilly’s success this year has been his ability to throw strikes. Lilly has walked only 20 batters in 85 2/3 innings to go along with 69 strikeouts … and at home, just five walks in 42 2/3 innings with 38 strikeouts. The Indians figure to hit a couple of longballs this afternoon and Lilly must limit them to solo shots.
Ted Lilly is 1-0 in his last three starts with a 1.27 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP with just three walks in 21 1/3 innings (three earned runs on 18 hits with 17 strikeouts).
Lilly is 4-3 in 11 career games, nine starts, against the Tribe with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.
- Jamey Carroll – 3-for-10 with a double and a home run
- Mark DeRosa – 2-for-10 with a home run and a walk
- Ryan Garko – 0-for-3
- Travis Hafner – 2-for-12 with a double and a walk
- Victor Martinez – 3-for-8 with 2 walks
- Jhonny Peralta – 0-for-3 with a walk
The Cubs will get their first look at Tomo Ohka today in an Indians’ uniform. The last time they faced the veteran right-hander he was in a Brewers’ uniform. A very different Cubs’ roster beat Ohka on August 8, 2006. Carlos Marmol picked up his fifth win as a starter and Ryan Dempster recorded his 22nd save of the year … Jacque Jones and John Mabry both went deep in the 6-3 win. But that was then…
Ohka will make his second start of the year for the Indians after missing the entire 2008 season. Ohka gave up on two runs on seven hits in seven innings to the Cardinals without a walk and two strikeouts. Today will be Ohka’s fourth game of the year. Before his start against the Cardinals he put together two five-inning relief appearances for Eric Wedge.
The Cubs should be familiar with Ohka. While he did not fool the Yankees or Twins in his two relief outings (six runs, all earned, on 11 hits in 10 innings with two walks and three strikeouts), his start against the Cardinals is concerning. For a pitcher that has not fared too well in his career to hold the Cardinals to only two Albert Pujols home runs he must have found something that worked … at least for one day.
Ohka is 1-2 in five career starts against the Cubs with a 7.30 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP.
- Koyie Hill – 0-for-3
- Reed Johnson – 0-for-6
- Derrek Lee – 7-for-20 with 3 home runs and 5 walks
- Aaron Miles – 0-for-2
- Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-2 with a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….