Game Fifty-Five: Cubs (23-31) vs. Brewers (32-25)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee
Jason Marquis (5-2, 2.93/1.10) vs. Dave Bush (3-5, 5.64/1.33)
The Cubs have not faced a divisional opponent in nearly a month, May 8th – May 10th against the Pirates, and begin play tonight 8 games under .500 and 7 1/2 games behind the division leading Brewers. The Cubs will play a total of 6 games in June against division foes ending the month with a 3-game series in Wrigley against the Brewers. If Lou Piniella’s crew has thoughts of turning their season around, it must start tonight in Milwaukee with Jason Marquis.
The Cubs showed on Sunday they are capable of putting together a solid win but the lack of consistency has been a trademark for this team all season, they have not put back-to-back wins on the board since taking 2 of 3 from the White Sox in mid-May. The Cubs will not face either Ben Sheets or Chris Capuano in the series and must find a way to keep the Brewers’ high-powered offense in check while keeping Prince Fielder and J.J. Hardy from adding to their league leading home run totals. To say this is a big series for the Cubs would be an obvious understatement. The Cubs have struggled against the Central Division and are just 11-14 on the season but find themselves right in the middle the weakest division in baseball….the Cubs and Brewers have split the 6 games they have played this year (3-3) but the Cubs did take 2 of 3 the last time they faced each other in Miller Park (April 6th – April 8th).
With Lou Piniella serving his 4-game suspension, Alan Trammell will take the reigns once again.
Jason Marquis is coming off his worst start of the season against the Marlins….5 runs, 4 earned, on 8 hits in 5 innings. Marquis could not find a rhythm on the mound after an impressive start to his outing. Marquis had not lost in his 8 previous starts before the game against Florida on May 29th.
Tonight will be the first start for Marquis against the Brewers this season. He is 4-6 in 13 games (11 starts) in his career with a 4.43 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP but Marquis is 1-1 lifetime (5 games, 4 starts) at Miller Park with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP while holding the Brewers to a .192 batting average. This year Marquis is 2-0 away from Wrigley with a 2.76 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP.
- Craig Counsell – 8-24, with 2 doubles, a triple, a home run and 1 RBI
- Prince Fielder – 1-7, with a double
- J.J. Hardy – 3-10, with a double
- Geoff Jenkins – 9-27, with a double, 2 triples and 6 RBI’s
The Cubs will face Dave Bush for the second time this season. Rich Hill beat him back on April 6th in Milwaukee. The Cubs scored 6 runs, all earned, on 8 hits in 6 innings with all 6 runs that evening coming in the 1st inning and after struggling to get out of the opening frame, Bush settled down and struck out 7 (set a season high he has matched just once since, April 22nd against Houston) while shutting down the Cubs offense. After a dismal first five starts in May, Bush recorded his best outing of the season his last time out against the Braves….1 run on 6 hits in 7 innings, no walks and 7 strikeouts.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….