Game One Hundred Forty-One: Cubs (72-68) vs. Reds (64-78)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ted Lilly (11-8, 3.17/1.07) vs. Homer Bailey (5-4, 5.60/1.54)
The Cubs will try to rebound from Saturday’s sloppy loss in the series and season finale against the Reds this afternoon. The Cubs are 9-5 against Dusty Baker’s team, a win today would give them ten on the year versus the Reds for the first time since 2006 …
The 2009 season ends three weeks from today for the Chicago Cubs. While they are playing for pride at this point, their third consecutive winning season under Lou Piniella is a must at this point. If the Cubs can stay above .500 for the remainder of the year it will be the first time the Cubs have posted three winning seasons in a row since Ron Santo, Ernie Banks and company accomplished the feat under Leo Durocher (1967 – 1972).
Where is Jake Fox? The question has been asked a lot of late with Bobby Scales and Micah Hoffpauir getting the playing time while Alfonso Soriano contemplates when or if he will have surgery on his left knee. Lou Piniella told Bruce Miles the Cubs have been facing a lot of righties of late and the Cubs have a lot of left-handed batters on the team. Piniella told Miles he would get Fox “in there before long.”
As everyday passes it appears Reed Johnson will not return to the field this season … and he could have played his last game with the Cubs. Johnson is a free agent at the end of the year.
It all begins with Ted Lilly today and not mailing in the remainder of the season … Ted Lilly became the Cubs’ first 11-game winner in his last outing against the Pirates. Lilly has posted back-to-back wins and the Cubs have won his last three starts. Ted Lilly has quietly become the Cubs number one pitcher over the past year and a half. With only one year remaining on Lilly’s contract after this season, many have begun to wonder if the Cubs will try to extend Lilly’s contract before he reaches free agency.
‘The Bulldog‘ is 7-1 in 11 home starts this season with a 1.72 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. In 78 1/3 innings at Wrigley, Lilly has walked only eight batters all year.
This afternoon will be Lilly’s second start of the year against the Reds. Lilly was the tough-luck loser in his first game against Cincinnati. The Cubs were shutout and Lilly took one of his four losses on the year in which the Cubs did not score a single run. Lilly allowed one unearned run in seven innings back on April 22. The Reds managed only five hits and no walks but the Cubs could not score anything against Johnny Cueto in the 3-0 loss.
Ted Lilly is just 1-6 in ten career starts against the Reds with a 4.53 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.
- Jonny Gomes – 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
- Ryan Hanigan – 2-for-5 with a double
- Darnell McDonald – 0-for-2
- Brandon Phillips – 2-for-22 with a home run and 2 walks
- Scott Rolen – 3-for-11 with 2 doubles and a walk
- Joey Votto – 5-for-16 with a double, 2 home runs and a walk
Homer Bailey has been at the top of the Reds’ prospect list for years … and this season he is finally showing why. Bailey has been lights out since August 23 and would have won his fourth game in a row if the Reds’ bullpen had not blown the save in Colorado on Labor Day.
Bailey has shut down offenses much better than the Cubs of late and if they are not patient and make him work it could be more of the same today. Bailey threw eight innings of shutout ball against the Dodgers, held the Pirates to three runs in 6 1/3 innings and allowed only one run in 5 2/3 innings to the Rockies.
Homer Bailey is 3-0 in his last four starts with a 1.67 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.
Today will be Bailey’s second career start against the Cubs. Bailey beat the Cubs on the final day of the 2007 season in Cincinnati. Bailey allowed four runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings with four walks and five strikeouts.
Homer Bailey is another power arm from Texas in the vein of Nolan Ryan and Kerry Wood … he even wears number 34.
- Mike Fontenot – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Sam Fuld – no official at bat, one walk
- Derrek Lee – 1-for-2 with a double
- Aaron Miles – 0-for-2
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-2
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-3 with a double and a home run
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….