Game Twenty-Five: Cubs (10-14) vs. Pirates (12-12)
Game Time – 6:05pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Ted Lilly (2-2, 2.18/0.79) vs. Tony Armas (0-2, 11.57/2.74)
Updated – 10:28pm C.T. – Tonight’s Game between the Pirates and the Cubs was just suspended in the 7th inning and will resume at 11:35am on Wednesday morning. The game scheduled for 11:35am will start 20 to 30 minutes after the conclusion of the suspended game.
Let’s all rejoice for the fact April is over. It is time for the Cubs to win games in bunches and most importantly….to start hitting the ball. Alfonso Soriano is a month into his tenure as a Cub and has not hit a dinger yet, in fact the Cubs outfield as a whole has a total of two….Felix Pie and Cliff Floyd. The pitching staff is doing their part, it is time for the offense to step up and win some games. Ted Lilly has had 5 quality starts in as many games for the Cubs and could easily be 4-0 on the season with a little run support. The Cubs scored more than enough in last Wednesday’s 9 to 3 defeat of the Brewers. Lilly has not given up more than 3 runs in his 5 starts and in his last 20 innings (1-2) he has given up 5 runs, 4 earned, on 12 hits, struck out 19 and walked 3. Like Rich Hill, Lilly has had more success against righties (.158) than lefties (.261). Lilly has struck out 33 on the year and walked just 5, a more than 6:1 strikeout to walk ratio usually equals a better win-loss record. Lilly will win his fair share of games if the Cubs’ offense will hold up their end of the deal.
Tonight will be the first career start for Ted Lilly against the Pirates. He has faced them twice in relief while he was a member of the Montreal Expos. Lilly gave up 3 runs on 5 hits in 2 games (2 1/3 innings) while walking 2 and striking out 4.
Tony Armas will be making his fourth start of the season tonight against the Cubs and while he showed a lot of improvement in his last outing against the Astros on April 26th (1 run on 6 hits in 5 innings with 4 walks and 4 strikeouts), his first two starts of the year were nightmares. Against the Reds on April 7th, Armas allowed 6 runs on 8 hits in 4 innings, walked 5 and struck out 2. On April 20th against the Dodgers, he allowed 8 runs on 7 hits in 2 2/3 innings….he threw 62 pitches. Armas has trouble throwing strikes that is obvious, in 11 2/3 innings he has walked 11 and struck out 6 but the amount of pitches he throws per outing has to be alarming to Jim Tracy and the Pirates coaching staff. In 3 starts he has thrown 264 pitches for an average 88 per start, but when broken down to innings pitched that is an average of nearly 23 (22.64) per inning. Opponents are hitting .404 against Armas this season….righties .448 and lefties .348.
In 10 career starts against the Cubs he is 3-5 with a 4.19 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP….26 runs, 25 earned, on 43 hits in 53 2/3 innings but last year he beat the Cubs the only time he faced them and gave up just 1 runs on 3 hits in 7 innings of work. Armas will beat himself if the Cubs give him a chance to do so.
- Cliff Floyd – 11-26, 2 doubles and 7 RBI’s
- Cesar Izturis – 7-12, 3 doubles, a triple, a home run and 4 RBI’s
- Derrek Lee – 10-29, 2 doubles, a triple, 4 home runs and 9 RBI’s
- Aramis Ramirez – 6-13, 2 home runs and 5 RBI’s
- Alfonso Soriano – 2-5, a home run and 1 RBI
- Daryle Ward – 2-5
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….