Game Two: Cubs (0-1) vs. Reds (1-0)
Game Time – 6:10pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati
Ted Lilly (0-0, -.–) vs. Bronson Arroyo (0-0, -.–)
The Cubs offense had a poor showing on Opening Day against Aaron Harang but they were not helped by Carlos Zambrano’s control problems. The Cubs have the added pressure now of being for sale and will look to bounce back and give Lou Piniella his first win of the season and make Ted Lilly’s Cub debut the first win of the new era. Ted Lilly will not only make his Cub debut tonight but he will also face the Reds for the first time in his career Lilly will look to keep the ball down and not allow Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. to beat him. In Lilly’s career he has allowed lefties to hit .234 against him with a 1.26 WHIP. Lilly was 15-13 with a 4.31 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP with the Blue Jays in 2006 in the very difficult AL East. The Cubs bet a lot on the southpaw that is just 2-games over .500 for his career and they are hoping he can duplicate the success that Bronson Arroyo, Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens had when they left the AL East and moved to the NL Central. Lilly had a good spring and allowed just one dinger but tonight is his first test, that counts….now the question is, will he be able to pass it?
Bronson Arroyo had a career year in 2006, his first with the Reds, and was 14-11 with a 3.29 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. He was awarded with a contract extension in the off-season and will look return to his form from the first half of 2006. Before he pitched in the All-Star game he was 9-6 with a 3.12 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP and 2 complete games in 130 innings. After the break, he was 5-5 with a 3.50 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP and 1 complete game in 110 2/3 innings. Last season Arroyo dominated the Cubs and especially Glendon Rusch. Arroyo hit two home runs off of Rusch and on the year he was 4-0 in 5 games with a 1.01 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP while striking out 26 and walking just 5. For his career, Arroyo is 4-3 in 10 games, 8 starts, with a 2.85 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP.
Lefties hit almost 80 points higher against Arroyo last season (.282 – .206) than righties. Cliff Floyd could end up making his Cub debut with Jacque Jones hitting in the 2-hole. Jones is 3-18 with a .167 average an a .211 OBP against Arroyo while Cliff Floyd is 3-6 with a double, a home run and 2 RBI’s (.500/.571).
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….