Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 09/02/09

Game One Hundred Thirty-One: Cubs (66-64) vs. Astros (63-69)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Ted Lilly (9-8, 3.35/1.11) vs. Felipe Paulino (2-6, 6.96/1.72)

The Cubs complete their season series with the Houston Astros this afternoon. Lou Piniella’s crew is 10-6 versus Carlos Lee and company this year after Tuesday night’s victory.

It is time for Ryan Theriot to get a breather. Theriot has played more games than any other Cub this season and with the roster expanding on Tuesday, Lou Piniella has a shortstop once again on his roster that can spell Theriot. It is time for Piniella to use Andres Blanco and see if he can hit big league pitching for the remainder of the year. While Aaron Miles is not the answer to serve as the Cubs back-up middle infielder next year… Andres Blanco could be.

The Cubs are expected to activate David Patton from the DL today and Piniella mentioned on Tuesday he expects the Cubs roster to be around 32 – 33 players in the next week.

This afternoon it all starts with Ted Lilly and just playing baseball …

Ted Lilly has quietly become the number one pitcher on Lou Piniella’s staff this season. Like Randy Wells, with any kind of run support Lilly would have 13-15 wins at this point of the year … four of Lilly’s eight losses have come on the wrong end of shutouts. Lilly has been stuck on nine wins since July 11. Lilly beat the Redbirds on a beautiful Saturday afternoon back in July, 5-2.

The Bulldog‘ has pitched extremely well since returning from the DL on August 17. Lilly is 0-1 in his last three starts with a 1.86 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP.

This afternoon will be Ted Lilly’s 11th start of the season at Wrigley. He is 6-1 in the first ten with a 1.92 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP. In 142 1/3 innings this year, Lilly has walked just 29 batters … only eight at Wrigley Field.

Lilly will make his fourth start of the campaign against the Astros today. Lilly is 3-0 with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. Houston has hit five of the 21 home runs allowed by Ted Lilly this season.

  • Lance Berkman – 3-for-25 with a home run and a walk
  • Geoff Blum – 3-for-12 with a double and 2 walks
  • Aaron Boone – 2-for-2 with a double
  • Michael Bourn – 1-for-8
  • Chris Coste – 0-for-3
  • Darin Erstad – 2-for-25 with a double and 2 walks
  • Jeff Keppinger – 7-for-22 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
  • Carlos Lee – 7-for-32 with 3 doubles, a home run and 4 walks
  • Kaz Matsui – 2-for-11 with a triple, a home run and 2 walks
  • Jason Michaels – 2-for-7 with a double and 2 walks
  • Hunter Pence – 4-for-20 with a double
  • Miguel Tejada – 10-for-42 with 3 doubles, a home run and 4 walks

The Cubs will get their second look at Felipe Paulino this afternoon. Paulino has pitched like a rookie this year. At times he can be dominant, at times average and at other times simply mediocre.

Paulino will make his 12th start of the year today … and his first against the Cubs. Lou Piniella’s offense must be patient this afternoon and make him work. In 64 2/3 innings Paulino has walked 22 batters and given up 89 hits with 58 strikeouts. Paulino has the stuff to dominate a lineup, just as the Detroit Tigers (one run on three hits in seven innings with no walks and nine strikeouts on June 27), the key is to simply make him throw a lot of pitches and not allow him to get comfortable on the mound.

The Cubs faced Paulino back on May 7 in Houston. The rookie right-hander last just 2/3 of an inning and gave up four runs on five hits with two walks and a strikeout.

Away from Minute Maid this season, Paulino is 1-4 in seven games, four starts, with a 10.55 ERA and a 2.20 WHIP … teams have hit a robust .371 against him.

  • Mike Fontenot – no official at bat, one walk
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-1
  • Micah Hoffpauir – no official at bat, one walk
  • Aaron Miles – 1-for-1
  • Aramis Ramirez – 1-for-1
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-1 with a home run
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-1
  • Ryan Theriot – 1-for-1 with a double

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt