Game One Hundred Twenty-One: Cubs (61-59) vs. Dodgers (73-50)
Game Time – 3:10pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
Ted Lilly (9-7, 3.42/1.14) vs. Charlie Haeger (0-1, 3.86/0.71)
Ted Lilly will finally make a start a Dodger Stadium … The Cubs enter play this afternoon only two games over .500 on the verge of ending their season before September 1. Lou Piniella’s crew is just 1-4 on their current seven-game trip with two remaining and are playing uninspired baseball right now.
Lou Piniella hinted at benching Alfonso Soriano before Friday night’s game. Soriano is marred in a season-long slump and the Cubs are getting zero production out of him. It is past time for Piniella to sit Soriano. In the large outfield of Dodger Stadium, Sam Fuld in left and Kosuke Fukudome in center could go a long way towards picking up a win this afternoon. Both Fuld and Fukudome are hitting right now while Jake Fox has cooled off on the bench and Soriano is an automatic out.
“Lou Piniella and hitting coach Von Joshua have suggested that Soriano use a lighter bat to help break out of his slump. But Soriano is comfortable with the heaviest bat on the team and is reluctant to change.”
It all begins with Ted Lilly this afternoon … and a lot of patience against the young knuckle-baller, Charlie Haeger.
The Cubs need another solid outing from ‘The Bulldog‘ this afternoon. The Cubs will play a day game for the first time in a week and Lilly is 5-2 with a 3.05 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP during the daylight.
Ted Lilly will face the team that selected him in the 23rd round of the 1996 draft for the second time this season. Lilly beat the Dodgers 2-1 back on May 29 at Wrigley … he allowed one run on four hits in seven innings with three walks and five strikeouts.
This afternoon will be Ted Lilly’s fifth career start against the Dodgers. He is 3-0 in five career appearances, four starts, with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP … at Dodger Stadium, no record in two games, one start, with a 14.40 ERA and a 2.80 WHIP (eight runs on nine hits in five innings). Lilly’s last outing at Dodger Stadium came on May 25, 2007.
- Brad Ausmus – 1-for-6
- Casey Blake – 5-for-23 with a double, a home run and 4 walks
- Andre Ethier – 0-for-8
- Rafael Furcal – 1-for-8 with a home run
- Orlando Hudson – 1-for-6
- Matt Kemp – 2-for-5 with a home run and a walk
- James Loner – 0-for-6
- Mark Loretta – 6-for-21 with 2 doubles and 2 home runs
- Russell Martin – 2-for-4 with a walk
- Juan Pierre – 4-for-11 with 2 doubles and a walk
- Manny Ramirez – 11-for-42 with 3 doubles, 4 home runs and 4 walks
The Cubs will face the knuckle-baller Charlie Haeger for the first time. Haeger will make his second start and second appearance for Joe Torre this afternoon. The Cardinals beat Haeger in his last start, Monday in Los Angeles. Albert Pujols and company scored three runs on five hits in seven innings … with two home runs, Pujols and Rick Ankiel both went deep against the righty.
The Chicago White Sox took Charlie Haeger in the 25th round of the 2001 draft. He pitched in eight games out of the Sox pen in 2007 and posted a 0-1 record with a 7.15 ERA and a 2.21 WHIP. Haeger was the fifth best prospect in the White Sox organization according to Baseball America prior to the 2007 season.
Jeff Baker is the only Cub on the active roster that has faced Charlie Haeger. Baker is 0-for-1 in one career at bat.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….