Game Eight: Cubs (3-4) vs. Astros (2-5)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Marquis (0-0, 1.50/1.00) vs. Chris Sampson (0-0, 0.00)
Jason Marquis will try to right the ship against the Astros and one of their young arms, Chris Sampson, who will make his first start of the season today. Marquis had a good outing in his Cub debut last week against the Reds and should have picked up his first win of the season. Marquis held the Reds high-powered offense to just 1 run on 4 hits in 6 innings of work. Marquis kept the ball down at Great American Ball Park and recorded 10 groundouts to just 7 fly outs. For Marquis to be successful at Wrigley, he will have to keep his sinker working and the ball on the ground. In 14 career starts (19 total), Marquis is 7-4 against the Astros with a 4.89 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. He has allowed 54 runs, 48 earned, on 110 hits (9 home runs), struck out 49 and walked 30 in 88 1/3 innings. Last season he was 2-2 in 5 starts against the ‘Stros with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP and gave up just 2 long balls. In 4 career starts at Wrigley Marquis is 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP; he has given up 6 home runs in 20 innings.
Lance Berkman has lit up Marquis in his career….16-28, 4 doubles, a home run, 10 RBI’s and 8 base on balls (.571/.667/.893/1.560). While Carlos Lee is 5-15 with 2 home runs and Morgan Ensberg is 15-32 with 3 home runs. If Marquis does not keep the ball down, it could be a long day for the bullpen.
Chris Sampson has made just 1 career start against the Cubs and he out dueled Sean Marshall last year in Minute Maid Park. The Cubs lost the game 1-0 and Sampson was one of many that threw a shutout against them last season. Sampson was very impressive and allowed just 3 hits and a walk in 7 innings of work. Last season Sampson was 2-1 in 12 games, 3 starts, with a 2.12 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP with a nice strikeout to walk ratio….3:1 (15 k’s, 5 walks) and held opposing batters to a .205 average.
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