Game Ninety-Eight: Cubs (44-53) vs. Cardinals (54-43)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Tom Gorzelanny (5-5, 3.12/1.41) vs. Blake Hawksworth (4-5, 4.85/1.77)
Weather permitting … Can the Chicago Cubs beat the Cards on back-to-back days? Instead of hovering around .500 this season, Lou’s crew has not been able to put the 10-game under mark in their rearview mirror. The Cubs enter play this afternoon nine games below … the last time the Cubs were within eight games of being an average team was back on June 24. One month ago today.
From the Rumor Mill
According to a report from the Sun-Times, Ted Lilly’s “trade value skyrocketed” after his outing against the Astros. Lilly’s next start is scheduled for Tuesday in Houston … and the Sun-Times’ sources indicated the Cubs “would like to complete a deal before that outing.”
The Sun-Times, along with other mainstream outlets, have speculated that if Lilly is dealt the Cubs could stretch out Carlos Zambrano to return as a starter … instead of a reliever. The feeling is the Cubs will attempt to trade Z and his contract over the winter.
The Mets are still showing the most interest in Ted Lilly. The Dodgers, Twins and Tigers were among the teams that had scouts at Lilly’s last game. Details of Ted Lilly’s limited no trade clause has surfaced in recent days … and Theodore can block deals to the Phillies, Twins and Rays, but not the Tigers or Mets.
In other news … Andrew Cashner was fined by Major League Baseball for hitting Blake DeWitt back on July 11. According to a report from Bruce Miles, MLB deemed Cashner’s plunking of DeWitt in retaliation for Vicente Padilla hitting Marlon Byrd.
Today it all begins with Tom Gorzelanny … Tom Gorzelanny has won his last three starts, beating two of the pre-season favorites in the NL in the process. Gorzelanny held the Phillies to three runs, two earned, on five hits in 6 2/3 innings. The Cubs’ other lefty starter struck out five but walked five as well. Gorzelanny must not help out the Cardinals struggling offense this afternoon.
Gorzelanny is 3-0 in his last three starts with a 3.08 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP.
The Evergreen Park native is 2-3 in nine games, seven starts, at Wrigley this season with a 3.98 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP.
Today will be his first game against the Redbirds this season. Gorzelanny has beaten St. Louis just once in his career in six tries (1-3 with a 3.82 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP).
Cardinals Career Numbers against Tom Gorzelanny
- Matt Holliday – 1-for-3 with 2 walks
- Felipe Lopez – 2-for-9 with a double and a walk
- Ryan Ludwick – 1-for-9 with a walk
- Aaron Miles – 7-for-15 with a double and 2 walks
- Yadier Molina – 2-for-6 with a double and 2 walks
- Albert Pujols – 6-for-17 with 3 doubles and 3 walks
- Brendan Ryan – 0-for-1 with a walk
- Skip Schumaker – 0-for-2 with 2 walks
- Randy Winn – 1-for-8
Blake Hawksworth will make his first career start against the Cubs this afternoon. Hawksworth has been effective in the Cardinals rotation this season. Today will be his seventh start of the year and he is 2-1 in his last four with a 4.43 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP.
Hawksworth is coming off back-to-back wins against the Astros and Phillies. Hawksworth limited the Astros to two runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. In his last outing versus the Phils, he gave up four runs on 10 hits in six innings.
The Cubs must be patient at the plate once again this afternoon. In his last two outings, Hawksworth has issued six free passes (three in each start) while striking out just three.
This afternoon will be Hawksworth’s fourth career appearance against the Cubs (0-0 with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP, one run on five hits in 3 2/3 innings with a walk and three strikeouts). The Cubs faced Hawksworth for an inning back on May 29 at Wrigley. Lou’s offense managed a run on two hits.
Cubs Career Numbers against Blake Hawksworth
- Jeff Baker – 0-for-1
- Starlin Castro – 1-for-1
- Tyler Colvin – 0-for-1
- Koyie Hill – 2-for-2
- Derrek Lee – Walked in only at bat
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-2
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-1
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-2
Ryan Theriot and Randy Wells are hosting a benefit for the Children’s Memorial Hospital on Wednesday, August 4 at Joe’s Bar. The CCO was asked to pass along the info on the event. For those interested, click on this link to Ticketmaster.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …