Game Fifty-Eight: Cubs (26-31) vs. Brewers (23-34)
Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 175
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee
Ted Lilly (1-5, 3.61/1.18) vs. Yovani Gallardo (6-2, 2.64/1.32)
Can the Chicago Cubs win two games in a row? The Cubs long, winding road trip will come to a conclusion Thursday after three in Milwaukee. Lou Piniella’s crew will play their third game in row in a different city tonight (first time since 2004) and are 2-4 on the current nine-game road trip.
While the Cubs are 5-1 against the Brewers this season, the next three games will not be as “easy” as the first six. The Cubs’ underachieving offense will have to deal with Yovani Gallardo and Randy Wolf for the first time this year.
The Brewers have pitching problems, but typically not when Yovani Gallardo is on the mound. Milwaukee is 6-6 in games Gallardo starts. The Cubs must be patient at the plate over the next three games and get into the Brewers’ pen early and often.
Ron Santo is expected back in the booth tonight with Pat Hughes. Santo missed the last game in Pittsburgh, the trip to Houston and back to the Steel City after having problems with the heat on Memorial Day.
In other baseball news … Stephen Strasburg makes his big league debut against the Pirates tonight in D.C. MLB Network will carry the game.
Tonight it all begins with Ted Lilly … and just winning a ballgame. After a rough start to the season Ted Lilly has thrown the ball much better of late … despite his 1-5 record. Lilly held the Pirates to three runs on six hits in 7 2/3 innings in his last outing with four walks and six strikeouts. Lilly was left in one batter too long and Neil Walker’s first career home run was the difference in the game.
Lilly’s velocity and command has shown improvement but Lilly must start cutting down on his walks. In his last three starts Lilly has issued 10 walks in 21 1/3 innings, couple that with his tendency to serve up a longball or two and he is creating problems for himself.
Lilly is 0-4 in his last six starts with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.
Ted Lilly’s only win came in Milwaukee back on April 24. Lilly threw six innings of shutout ball against the high-powered Brewers’ offense … and it is going to take a similar performance tonight.
The Cubs’ offense is going to have their hands full with Yovani Gallardo so it is up to ‘The Bulldog‘ to limit the Brewers to two runs or less.
Lilly is 4-2 in nine career games, eight starts, versus Milwaukee with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP … at Miller Park, 3-1 in five career starts with a 3.00 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP.
Brewers’ Career Numbers against Ted Lilly
- Ryan Braun – 8-for-19 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and a walk
- Craig Counsell – 0-for-1
- Jim Edmonds – 2-for-11 with a double
- Alcides Escobar – 1-for-2
- Prince Fielder – 8-for-21 with a double, a home run and a walk
- Jody Gerut – 3-for-8 with a double and a walk
- Corey Hart – 5-for-20 with 3 doubles, a home run and a walk
- George Kottaras – 0-for-2
- Casey McGehee – 3-for-6 with a double
- Rickie Weeks – 2-for-15 with 2 home runs and 2 walks
The Cubs will face one of the best young right-handers in the NL tonight. Yovani Gallardo is coming off back-to-back wins and has allowed just one earned run in his last 16 innings. Gallardo pitched a complete game shutout against the Mets on May 28 and followed that up with a strong seven-inning performance against the Marlins.
Since receiving a no-decision against the Twins on May 22, Gallardo is 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.
Gallardo has pitched very well at Miller Park this season … 2-2 in five games with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP and is not the reason the Brewers have won only eight games at home this year (8-16).
Tonight will be Gallardo’s fifth career start versus the Cubs. He is 1-1 in the first four with a 5.64 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP. Last season Gallardo posted a 1-1 record in two starts against the Cubs with a 7.84 ERA and a 2.03 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Yovani Gallardo
- Jeff Baker – 0-for-1
- Mike Fontenot – 2-for-7 with a double and a walk
- Kosuke Fukudome – 3-for-8 with a walk
- Derrek Lee – 3-for-7 with a double and 2 walks
- Xavier Nady – 2-for-5 with a double
- Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-8 with a double and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-9 with a double
- Geovany Soto – 3-for-8 with a double, a home run and a walk
- Ryan Theriot – 4-for-7 with 3 walks
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