Game Eighty-Nine: Cubs (39-49) vs. Dodgers (48-39)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: ESPN Sunday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
Carlos Silva (9-2, 2.96/1.07) vs. Vicente Padilla (3-2, 4.72/1.13)
For the second year in a row, the Chicago Cubs will participate in the final game of the MLB season before the All-Star break. Last year the Cubs lost the second game of the day-night doubleheader to the Cardinals … maybe the Cubs can finish more than a disappointing first half with a victory over the Dodgers.
With Saturday’s win, Lou Piniella’s crew guaranteed themselves a winning road trip … but 5-2 sounds a lot better than 4-3.
Tonight is the first of three straight for the Cubs on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. As Jim Hendry starts overhauling his roster leading up to the trading deadline, Lou’s crew will face the Phillies on July 18 and the Cardinals on July 25 … both from the Friendly Confines.
Carlos Silva has been one of the few feel good stories of the first half for the Cubs … and said Saturday he is good to go for tonight’s start against the Dodgers. The Cubs were not sure if Silva would be able to make Sunday’s start after departing in the sixth inning Tuesday night due to his nagging calf injury. Mitch Atkins was penciled in as a possible replacement, but Atkins was used Friday night in relief and will not be available to start. Many thought the Cubs would have to make another roster move. If Silva struggles early, the pen could be in for a long night. Silva’s calf injury reportedly was so bad they were contemplating placing him on the DL.
Lou Piniella announced his rotation for after the break Saturday afternoon. Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly, Randy Wells, Tom Gorzelanny and Carlos Silva will start the first five after the break … four versus the Phillies and the opener of the Astros series, the Cubs have a 10-game homestand following the Mid-Summer Classic (four versus the Phillies, three against the Astros and three with the Cardinals).
XM All-Star Futures Game
The future stars of Major League Baseball will be on display this afternoon in the annual XM All-Star Futures game. ESPN 2 will carry the game live from Angel Stadium beginning at 5:00pm CDT, coverage on XM Radio (MLB Network Radio) will begin at 2:00pm CDT on XM 175.
Two of the Cubs’ top prospects, a legend and one of their minor league managers will represent the organization.
Brett Jackson and Hak-Ju Lee are two of the most athletic prospects in the Cubs organization. Jackson was recently promoted to Double-A and is on the U.S. roster while Lee will be the shortstop for the World team and figures to move Starlin Castro to second base in the near future. The 19-year old shortstop continues to impress in his second season in the organization.
Ryne Sandberg and Bill Dancy (Smokies manager) will serve as coaches for the U.S. and World Teams.
Geovany Soto, Josh Vitters, Starlin Castro and Welington Castillo have participated in the Futures Game in past season.
Tonight it all begins with Carlos Silva … Carlos Silva is coming off his first win in nearly a month. Silva picked up his ninth win of the year after limiting the D’Backs to two runs on four hits in six innings. Silva’s second walk in his last four starts cost him a run but the offense gave him a little run support in the 6-4 win.
The Cubs are 11-5 in Silva’s 16 starts.
Silva missed the Dodgers series at Wrigley and is 3-0 lifetime versus Los Angeles. In seven games, two starts, Silva has allowed eight runs on 19 hits in 17 2/3 innings with two walks and six strikeouts (4.08 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP). The last time Silva faced the Dodgers was back on June 26, 2006 at Dodger Stadium. Silva allowed two runs on six hits in eight innings.
Dodgers Career Numbers against Carlos Silva
- Garrett Anderson – 5-for-28 with a double and 3 walks
- Ronnie Belliard – 2-for-14 with a double
- Casey Blake – 15-for-44 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
- Andre Ethier – 0-for-2
- Rafael Furcal – 4-for-17
- Matt Kemp – 0-for-3
- Russell Martin – 0-for-3
The Cubs will get their first (and last) look of the season at Vicente Padilla. The Dodgers’ Opening Day starter is coming off back-to-back wins against the Giants and Marlins … and has pitched rather well since coming back from the DL.
Padilla held the Marlins to two runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings. Padilla struck out nine and did not walk a single batter. Padilla has allowed three earned runs on nine hits in his last two outings (13 2/3 innings) with 14 strikeouts and one walk.
Padilla is 2-1 in his last four games with a 3.12 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP (just three walks since June 19).
Vicente Padilla is 3-4 in 15 career games, six starts, versus the Cubs with a 4.79 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP … the last time Padilla faced Chicago was on June 21, 2007. The Cubs scored four runs on 10 hits in four innings off Padilla but lost the game 6-5 to the Rangers. Frank Catalanotto singled off Bobby Howry in the ninth and drove in Kenny Lofton with the winning run in Arlington.
The Cubs must beware of the headhunter tonight.
Cubs Career Numbers against Vicente Padilla
- Marlon Byrd – 0-for-2
- Mike Fontenot – 1-for-3 with a double
- Derrek Lee – 6-for-22 with 2 doubles, a home run and 3 walks
- Xavier Nady – 1-for-3
- Aramis Ramirez – 1-for-6 with a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-3
- Ryan Theriot – 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …