Game Sixty-Three: Cubs (28-34) vs. Mariners (34-26)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 189
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Rich Hill (5-4, 2.71/0.98) vs. Jarrod Washburn (5-5, 3.94/1.29)
Lou Piniella will welcome his former team to Chicago for the first time tonight as the Cubs start their second round of Interleague play against the Seattle Mariners who have never played at Wrigley Field. Of the Cubs next 12 games, 9 will be against the American League and they will finish their Interleague schedule next week with three games against Sammy Sosa and the Rangers in Arlington and with three at the Cell on the South Side of Chicago. The Mariners enter play tonight in 2nd place in the AL West behind the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim and are coming off a 3-game sweep of the Padres in San Diego and a win in Cleveland on Monday night….the Mariners have won 8 of their last 9 and 15 of their last 20.
The battle of the southpaws should be very interesting for both teams. Rich Hill will make his first career start against the Mariners and Jarrod Washburn will face the Cubs for the first time in his career as well. Rich Hill is coming off a dominating performance against the Braves last Thursday night in Atlanta. Hill tied a career high with 11 strikeouts and for the second start in a row allowed just one earned run. After struggling in May, Hill has allowed 4 runs, 2 earned, in his last 3 starts (21 innings) and has improved on his strikeout to walk ratio (20:4 last 3 starts, 74:25 in 79 2/3 innings this season).
After a good start to the season (1-2 with a 2.96 ERA in 4 starts in April) and an improved May (4-2 with a 3.40 ERA in 6 starts), Jarrod Washburn has struggled to say the least in his last two starts. Washburn has allowed 10 runs, 9 earned, on 18 hits in his last 8 1/3 innings, both losses to the Rangers and Orioles. Washburn did not record a strikeout for the first time this season against the Rangers on June 1st but rebounded and struck out 6 Orioles on June 6th, however Washburn threw a ton of pitches in 4 2/3 innings….103, 64 for strikes. Washburn has not pitched past the 5th inning since the end of May and has given up at least 3 runs in 5 of his last 7 starts.
Teams are hitting .265 this season against Washburn with a .318 OBP but right-handers are hitting .274 with a .325 OBP and left-handers are hitting .241 with a .300 OBP.
- Jacque Jones – 3-10, with a double and a RBI
- Alfonso Soriano – 4-25, with a home run and a RBI
- Cesar Izturis – 3-11, with a double
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….