Game Thirty-Three: Cubs (16-16) vs. Phillies (15-19)
Game Time – 6:05pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 185/174
Location – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
Rich Hill (4-1, 1.73/0.91) vs. Cole Hamels (4-1, 3.59/1.32)
Two of the better left-handers in the league will square off tonight in the City of Brotherly Love. Rich Hill will have the tough task of getting the Cubs back above .500 against a team with a very dangerous offense. While the Cubs have struggled to win games at Wrigley this season (8-11), they have played very good on the road (8-5). Outside of Wrigley this season, Rich Hill has not lost a game (2-0) and has posted a 1.36 ERA with a 0.68 WHIP. The Cubs start a stretch today of 22 games outside of the central division and how they perform over the next 10 games will be a good indication of what kind of team Lou Piniella actually has. Since April 25th, the Cubs are 8-3.
Rich Hill gave up just 1 run on 6 hits in 6 innings of work his last time out against the Nationals. Hill has struck out 10 in his last 13 innings of work while walking just 2. In 5 starts this season Hill has allowed more than 2 runs just one time. On the season Hill has struck out 33 batters in 41 2/3 innings.
Hill will make his second career start tonight against the Phillies. He is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. In 6 innings last August, Hill gave up 5 runs, 2 earned, on 5 hits that included home runs by Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley.
The Phillies are 4-9 this season against southpaws.
For the third straight game the Cubs will face a left-handed pitcher and Cole Hamels has some of the best stuff of any southpaw in the league. Hamels throws strikes and the Cubs aggressiveness at the plate might actually pay off tonight. In 47 2/3 innings this season, Hamels has struck out 52 while walking just 14. His best outing of the season was against the Reds on April 21st. He threw a complete game and allowed just 1 run on 5 hits. May has not been as kind to him as April was. In his last 2 starts (14 1/3 innings) he has allowed 9 runs, 7 earned, on 17 hits.
Hamels has faced the Cubs one other time in his career. The Cubs lit him up last August at Wrigley and scored 9 runs, 5 earned, on 9 hits in 2 innings of work. Michael Barrett and Angel Pagan hit home runs.
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-12 with 2 home runs and 3 RBI’s
- Ryan Theriot – 2-2
- Aramis Ramirez – 2-2 with a triple
- Matt Murton – 1-2 with 2 RBI’s
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….