Game Forty: Cubs (18-21) vs. White Sox (20-17)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ted Lilly (3-2, 2.53/0.90) vs. Mark Buehrle (2-1, 3.61/1.09)
Updated – 12:35pm – Carlos Marmol Recalled from Triple-A Iowa – Mike Fontenot Optioned
The 11th season of Interleague play gets underway today at Wrigley Field. The Cubs vs. The Sox….the North Side vs. the South Side. The Cubs won just 2 of the 6 games they played against the Sox last season with an overall Interleague record of 4-11. The Cubs must put their recent road trip behind them, regroup and start their season today. Despite their recent struggles at the plate and in the bullpen, there are still 122 games to play….but the clock is ticking. At the Cubs Convention last January among the highlights shown from last season was the infamous punch that Michael Barrett landed on A.J. Pierzynski. After the Sox won the World Series in 2005, the already intense rivalry took it up a notch but Barrett’s punch took it to an entirely different level. The Cubs must concentrate on winning games and ignore all of the extra “stuff” the Sox bring with them from across town.
Derrek Lee might miss the first round of the Crosstown Classic. Several reports on Thursday night out of Chicago downplayed his injury but for the first time Piniella said he was concerned about Lee missing the series and the two most feared letters in all of baseball were used….DL. Lee’s status (as of this writing) is uncertain at best.
Ted Lilly has been one of the many bright spots for the Cubs this season and is coming off his best outing of the season. Lilly threw a gem against the Phillies last Sunday and allowed just 1 run on 3 hits in 8 innings of work. Lilly’s success can be traced to the fact he is throwing strikes. In 53 1/3 innings he has walked only 8 batters while striking out 48.
Lilly has given up a lot of runs in 8 career starts against the White Sox but has a 4-2 record….29 runs on 47 hits in 39 1/3 innings (6.64 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP). Lilly has to continue to keep the ball down and not allow the White Sox offense to get jump started today.
- Paul Konerko – 5-18, with a double, 3 home runs and 6 RBI’s
- Juan Uribe – 3-10, with 2 home runs and 4 RBI’s
Mark Buehrle’s highlight of the season came on April 18th when he threw a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers with the only mistake he made in the game being a walk to Sammy Sosa. After the no-no, Buehrle has given up at least 3 runs in each of his 4 starts and has walked 6 batters in his last 12 innings while striking out just 10.
The Cubs sole win against the Sox at Wrigley last year came courtesy of Buehrle. He gave up 11 runs, 10 earned, on 13 hits in 5 innings of work with Michael Barrett, Neifi Perez and Carlos Zambrano each hitting home runs. Buehrle is 3-3 in 7 career starts against the Cubs with a 5.63 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.
- Michael Barrett – 5-13, with a home run
- Henry Blanco – 3-15, with 2 home runs and 3 RBI’s
- Mark DeRosa – 6-15, with 3 doubles, a home run and 2 RBI’s
- Derrek Lee – 4-6, with 2 doubles and a home run
- Alfonso Soriano – 4-23, with a double, a home run and 2 RBI’s
Let’s Talk Crosstown Classic Baseball…..
Update – According to a report on Cubs.com the Cubs have optioned Mike Fontenot back to Triple-A Iowa and have recalled Carlos Marmol….Lou Piniella now has his 12-man pitching staff.