Game Sixty-Three: Cubs (27-35) vs. White Sox (28-33)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: ESPN Sunday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ted Lilly (1-5, 3.28/1.09) vs. Gavin Floyd (2-6, 6.18/1.63)
Can the Chicago Cubs avoid being swept by the White Sox? Lou Piniella’s crew enters play tonight eight games under .500 and they have lost five straight series. Tonight should be about just winning a ballgame … forget the fact they are playing the White Sox. The Cubs are in desperate need of a win.
If the Cubs can salvage the last game of the series against the White Sox, they will avoid going nine under .500 for first time since June 2, 2007 (22-31) … their lowest mark under Lou Piniella.
Ted Lilly has started pitching the way he did last year before injuries caught up to him … but has nothing to show for his efforts. Lilly is the second pitcher in Cubs’ history to pitch six straight quality starts without a win … the first was Sheriff Blake in 1926. Blake finished the season 11-12.
Tyler Colvin must be in the starting lineup tonight. The lefty-righty match-ups that Lou loves to use must be thrown out the window. Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome are not hitting and Colvin is … whether Piniella wants to hear it or not he really has only one big league outfielder right now and his name is Marlon Byrd.
Soriano is hitting .111 with a .219 OBP in 27 at bats this month (one double and one home run … two extra base hits) in June while Fukudome continues to prove he can only hit in April. Fukudome’s numbers this month are almost as bad (.185/.241 with a triple … one extra base hit in 27 at bats) but Colvin gives the team some much-needed energy and he is hitting the baseball. Colvin’s line for June: .304/.360/.522 with two doubles and a home run in 23 at bats in June.
Lou Piniella should shake up his lineup once again … drop Derrek Lee and pencil in Marlon Byrd in the three-hole. It is time for Piniella to think outside of the box that he has been managing in for 20 years.
Tonight it all starts with Ted Lilly … Ted Lilly has put together a nice stretch … with nothing to show for his improvement. The last time Lilly allowed more than three earned runs was May 5 in Pittsburgh. Lilly has pitched into the seventh (or later) in every outing since May 10 and is coming off his best start of the season.
In his last start, Lilly held the high-powered Brewers offense to one run (a solo homer by Corey Hart) on four hits in eight innings. Lilly struck out eight and did not walk a batter for the first time since May 10.
‘The Bulldog‘ is 0-4 in his last seven starts with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. Lilly has walked 13 batters and struck out 30 in 49 1/3 innings.
Tonight will be Lilly’s fifth start at Wrigley … where he has struggled this season. Lilly has yet to post a win and is 0-2 with a 4.15 ERA.
Ted Lilly is 5-2 in 10 career starts versus the Sox with a 5.94 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP … Theodore did not face the Sox last season and received a no decision the only time he faced them in 2008 (three runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings with three walks and eight strikeouts).
White Sox Career Numbers against Ted Lilly
- Andruw Jones – 2-for-9 with a home run
- Paul Konerko – 6-for-21 with a double, 3 home runs and a walk
- Juan Pierre – 4-for-13 with 2 doubles and a walk
- A.J. Pierzynski – 2-for-7 with a home run
- Carlos Quentin – 1-for-2 with a double and 2 walks
- Alex Rios – 0-for-2 with a walk
Gavin Floyd has been awful this season … except for in his last start. Floyd took a no decision against the Tigers but held Detroit to one run on six hits in six-inning with two walks and a season-high eight strikeouts.
Floyd has appeared to be on the verge of putting it all together this season … but ends up with just a one-game wonder.
Gavin Floyd is 1-4 in five starts outside of The Cell with a 6.67 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP.
Like every player for the White Sox, no matter how difficult a season the player is having, they traditionally play their best ball of the year against the Cubs. Gavin Floyd is no exception.
Floyd received a no decision in his only start versus the Cubs back on June 18, 2009 at Wrigley Field … but the young right-hander held Lou’s offense to one run on four hits in seven innings.
Cubs Career Numbers against Gavin Floyd
- Marlon Byrd – 1-for-4 with a walk
- Mike Fontenot – 1-for-2 with a walk
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-3
- Derrek Lee – 0-for-3
- Xavier Nady – 0-for-5
- Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-7
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …