Game Sixty-Eight: Cubs (30-37) vs. Angels (38-32)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 175
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ted Lilly (2-5, 2.90/1.00) vs. Jered Weaver (6-3, 3.29/1.17)
Can the Cubs’ offense pick-up where it left off in the ninth inning on Friday? The Cubs finally scored more than two runs Friday … but their defense gave four runs away and was the difference in the game. The Cubs showed Wednesday night the type of ball they are capable of playing, maybe another one of those performances will surface today.
Friday was the Cubs’ 26th one-run game and Lou Piniella’s crew is 10-16 in those tight games. The Cubs must figure out how to win close games if they want to climb back to the mediocre mark.
Will Tyler Colvin leadoff once again? Or will Lou change his mind and put the scrappy-one back at the top of his lineup? Colvin did a good job Friday. He hit the ball, worked the count and in his at bat in the seventh that resulted in a walk, Colvin made Kevin Jepsen throw nine pitches. Expect Koyie Hill back behind the plate with the right-hander on the mound.
Starlin Castro enters play today with a modest five-game hitting streak. Castro is 5-for-15 with three walks, three RBI and a double (.333/.444).
Aramis Ramirez is expected to suit up for the Peoria Chiefs tonight. Ramirez will play two games for the Cubs’ Class-A team and if all goes well, he will rejoin the team in Seattle. If the Cubs have a run in them, they will need Aramis Ramirez healthy and hitting the baseball.
Today it all begins with Ted Lilly …
Lilly has shown improvement every time he’s taken the ball this season. But it will be hard for him to top his one-hitter.
After a decent April (1-1 in two starts with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP) and despite the record, a solid May (0-3 in five starts with a 3.21 and a 1.13 WHIP), Lilly is 1-1 in his last three starts with a 1.52 ERA and a 0.68 WHIP. Lilly has walked only five batters and given up 11 hits in 23 2/3 innings.
This afternoon will be Lilly’s 11th career start against the Angels. He is 5-4 lifetime against Anaheim with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.
Angels’ Career Numbers against Ted Lilly
- Bobby Abreu – 2-for-3 with a double
- Kevin Frandsen – 0-for-2
- Torii Hunter – 3-for-16 with a double, 2 home runs and a walk
- Howie Kendrick – 0-for-3
- Hideki Matsui – 9-for-25 with 3 doubles and 3 walks
- Mike Napoli – 1-for-2 with a walk
- Robb Quinlan – 2-for-5
- Juan Rivera – 3-for-5 with 2 doubles
The Cubs will get their first regular season look at Jered Weaver this afternoon. Weaver has faced the Cubs several times over the years in the Cactus League and has made them look foolish at the plate. While those games do not count, hopefully they’ve paid attention.
Weaver is the ace of the Angels staff and in a different league on a team not on the West Coast he would receive more national attention. Weaver is very good and without a doubt is the best starting pitcher the Cubs have faced since Adam Wainwright.
Weaver is 4-2 in eight road starts this season with a 4.44 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.
Marlon Byrd (7-for-22 with four doubles and four walks) and Xavier Nady (3-for-5 with a home run) are the only two active Cubs that have faced Jered Weaver.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …