Game Fifty-Four: Cubs (22-31) vs. Braves (32-23)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 176
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Sean Marshall (0-2, 2.70/1.05) vs. Lance Cormier (0-0, -.–/-.–)
Updated – 11:44am – Lou Piniella was suspended indefinitely on Sunday morning and will start serving his suspension today. The length of the suspension will be decided on Monday.
To say the Cubs have had a bad weekend would be an understatement. After two embarrassing games against the Braves, Lou Piniella’s crew has to find a way to win a game, not for any other reason but to gain some much-needed confidence. Felix Pie has been recalled from Triple-A and Daryle Ward was placed on the 15-day DL on Sunday morning. Pie will supply solid defense in the outfield but the veterans have to pick it up and start pulling their weight, both on the mound and at the plate. While the Cubs have dropped 6 in a row and find themselves a loss short of 10 games below .500, the 2007 season has a long way to go and fortunately for the Cubs, they play in the weakest division in baseball. Sean Marshall may be 0-2 this season but his record is not a good indication of how well he has pitched. Marshall has not allowed more than 2 earned runs (5 total runs allowed) in either of his starts and has struck out 14 in 13 1/3 innings while walking just 4. Like last season, Marshall has received no run support. He must keep the ball down and in the yard today….16 fly ball outs and 2 home runs allowed in his two starts this season.
Marshall has faced the Braves just once in his short career and is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. The loss came on May 27th at Wrigley and the game was low scoring one, decided by just 1-run….the final score was 2-1. Marshall threw 6 innings and allowed 2 runs on 7 hits while striking out 2 and walking 2. Horacio Ramirez got the win and Matt Murton was 3-4 on the day.
- Chris Woodward – 2-3, with a home run
- Jeff Francoeur, Andrew Jones and Edgar Renteria all have 1 hit against Marshall in limited at bats.
John Smoltz was scheduled to start the game today but had his start pushed back to give injuries to his hand and shoulder more time to recover. Lance Cormier will make his first start of the season after spending the entire year on the DL with a strained right triceps muscle (placed on the DL March 31st). Cormier was very impressive in Spring Training and if not for his injury would have started the season in the Braves’ rotation.
Cormier is 2-0 in 3 career games (1 start) against the Cubs with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP with a win in his lone start against the Cubs last September 10th in Atlanta. Cormier was very impressive and beat Juan Mateo, 2-1. Cormier threw 7 innings and allowed 1 run on 8 hits while striking out a season high 10 batters.
- Alfonso Soriano – 5-9, with a double
- Daryle Ward – 2-4
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….