Game Thirty-Six: Cubs (17-18) vs. Mets (23-13)
Game Time – 6:10pm C.T. ESPN/WCIU TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Shea Stadium, Flushing
Jason Marquis (5-1, 1.70/0.90) vs. Tom Glavine (4-1, 2.98/1.16)
The Cubs start a 4-game series tonight against a New York Mets team that most consider to be the best in the National League. The Mets just took 2 of 3 from the Brewers and enter play tonight a half game back of the Atlanta Braves for the top spot in the east. Jason Marquis is coming off his best start of the season and will have his hands full against the high-powered Mets’ offense that will likely be without Moises Alou. Jason Marquis has had an unbelievable start to the season. He is ranked among league leaders in ERA (3rd in the NL and 3rd in MLB) and is one of eleven pitchers in the NL with 5 wins that ranks 2nd behind Roy Oswalt for the league lead. Marquis’ 0.90 WHIP is the best in the National League (Rich Hill ranks 3rd and Ted Lilly ranks 4th). Marquis’ 3-hit, complete game shutout of the Pirates his last time out was his best start in over 2 seasons and he has not walked a batter in his last 17 innings while striking out 10. In his last 2 starts, he is 2-0 with a 0.53 ERA (1 run on 7 hits in 17 innings) Marquis has seemingly gotten better this year with every start but considering he is facing the Mets tonight, all Lou Piniella can ask for is a win.
Marquis is 5-4 in 18 career games (11 starts) against the Mets with a 3.96 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. Last year with the Cardinals he was 1-1 with a 5.27 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP in 2 starts while in 11 career games (6 starts) at Shea Marquis is 2-2 with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.
- Carlos Beltran – 2-14, with a home run and 2 RBI’s
- Carlos Delgado – 3-5, with a home run and 2 RBI’s
- Shawn Green – 7-22, with a home run and 4 RBI’s
- Paul Lo Duca – 4-8, with a triple and 2 RBI’s
- Jose Reyes – 5-18
Tom Glavine is adding another fine season to his Hall of Fame career. Glavine picked up the 294th victory of his career his last time out against the Giants. He held Barry and the Boys to just 1 run on 7 hits in 7 innings of work. Glavine has based his entire career on pinpoint control and he has not lost it yet. In his last 13 innings he has struck out 9 while walking just 1….for the year he has 27 strikeouts and 14 walks in 48 1/3 innings. Glavine will likely be without Moises Alou who is not even available to pinch hit and will likely not play until the upcoming weekend series against the Yankees (injured left quadriceps). The Mets recalled one of their prize prospects on Sunday to help them until Alou is ready to play. Carlos Gomez made his major league debut on Sunday and went 2-4 with a double and 2 runs scored. To make room for Gomez the Mets sent down another prized prospect in Mike Pelfrey (Pelfrey was slated to start the series finale against Angel Guzman on Thursday but lefty Jason Vargas will likely take his place in the rotation against the Cubs). The addition of Gomez (his natural position is centerfield) to Carlos Beltran and either Endy Chavez or Shawn Green and the once questionable Mets outfield defense just became a lot better.
Glavine is 14-13 in 33 career starts against the Cubs with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Glavine has a 4.50 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP at Shea this season, compared to an overall ERA of 2.98 and a 1.16 WHIP. The Cubs beat Glavine the two times they faced him last season (0-2) and scored 11 runs, 8 earned, on 11 hits in 11 1/3 innings (6.35 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP).
- Henry Blanco – 5-11, with a double and 3 RBI’s
- Cliff Floyd – 13-33, with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 7 RBI’s
- Cesar Izturis – 7-17, with a double, a triple and 3 RBI’s
- Derrek Lee – 15-52, with 5 doubles, 2 home runs and 3 RBI’s
- Aramis Ramirez – 10-20, with a double, 3 home runs and 5 RBI’s
- Alfonso Soriano – 6-16, with a home run and 1 RBI
With Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez receiving attention from Mark O’Neal on Sunday, their status for tonight’s game is uncertain.
After all these years, New York remains one of Ron Santo’s “favorite” places to visit. The ESPN crew for tonight’s game is expected to include Rick Sutcliffe and Dusty Baker.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….