Game One Hundred Twenty-One: Cubs (52-68) vs. Cardinals (63-55)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Marmol (5-5, 5.50) vs. Jason Marquis (12-11, 5.71)
The Cardinals have not won in Chicago this season and the Cubs have not won 5 in a row this year….something is going to give. After an impressive sweep of the Astros in Houston the Cubs will give the ball to another rookie, Carlos Marmol, in hopes of winning their 8th in a row this season against the Cardinals at Wrigley (10-3). This is the first game of a 7-game homestand and the Cubs will play 6 out of their next 10 against the Redbirds, this is St. Louis’ last trip to the Windy City this season. According to a report on Cubs.com Wade Miller is close to being activated after his last rehab start on Wednesday for the I-Cubs and Cesar Izturis may not play this weekend because of a sore right hamstring.
Carlos Marmol received a no decision his last time out against the Rockies but the Cubs came back in the 8th thanks to Ryan Theriot and salvaged the last game of that series. Marmol has to start throwing strikes, his walk to strikeout ratio is beyond belief. In 68 2/3 innings this season he has walked 56 and struck out 52 but in his last 40 2/3 he has walked 44 while striking out just 24. On the year Marmol given up just 58 hits, if he could just cut down on those walks, he could go longer in his starts and lower his ERA. Marmol is 1-0 in 2 games against the Cardinals with 3.68 ERA and won his last game against the Cards despite walking 7.
Jason Marquis is among the league leaders in wins with 12 but his 5.71 ERA ranks him near the bottom. Marquis is 1-2 with an 9.21 ERA (15 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings) in 3 games this season against the Cubs. His last time out on July 28th, Carlos Marmol beat him and Marquis lasted just 3 2/3 innings. He gave up 6 runs, 3 earned, on 8 hits. Marquis has lost 5 out of his last 6 starts and is 2-5 with a 4.39 ERA lifetime against the Cubbies.
The Cubs need to get out to the early lead and give Marmol a comfort zone he can work with. Marquis will give the Cubs plenty of chances it is up to them to take advantage of every opportunity.
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