Game Seventy-Three: Cubs (33-39) vs. White Sox (29-40)
Game Time – 12:05pm C.T. WGN TV (White Sox), Comcast Sports Net (Cubs), WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 181
Location – U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago
Rich Hill (5-5, 3.22/1.04) vs. Javier Vazquez (3-5, 4.39/1.15)
The Crosstown Classic continues…. The Cubs offense showed signs of life on Friday with Aramis Ramirez returning to the lineup and Felix Pie’s single in the 9th finally plated runs with the bases loaded, but that was yesterday. One of the Cubs biggest problems this season has been their lack of consistency and if Lou Piniella’s crew still has thoughts of turning their year around they must figure out how to build on a win and quit trying to figure out how to rebound from a loss. A win today would guarantee the Cubs a winning record against the White Sox this season. The good news for Rich Hill is that he will not face the Padres today but the bad news is he has to face the White Sox, at the Cell, for the first time since the Barrett-Pierzynski game last season. Rich Hill was horrible in the loss on May 20th and was sent back to Iowa the next day. Hill gave up 7 runs on 5 hits, walked 5, struck out 2 and gave up two home runs to Tadahito Iguchi in 4 innings….but Rich Hill has to point to that game as a turning point in his career.
Hill spent the next two months in Triple-A piling up strikeouts and most importantly maturing. He returned to the Cubs in late July and after a sub-par start against the Cardinals started to put it all together and has an 11-8 record at the big league level since August 1, 2006….166 innings, 120 hits, 54 earned runs, 157 strikeouts, 48 walks and a 2.92 ERA.
Hill is coming off his shortest outing of the season against the Padres last Sunday. Hill threw just 3 innings and gave up 5 runs on 5 hits with 3 home runs. Hill has allowed 15 home runs this season, the Padres hit 7 of them and of the 32 earned runs he has allowed the Padres scored 10. In Hill’s previous three outings he allowed 5 earned runs on 15 hits in 21 2/3 innings (2.08 ERA). Lou Piniella needs Rich Hill to return to form today.
Javier Vazquez will face the Cubs for the second time this season. Vazquez started the second game of the Cubs-Sox series at Wrigley in May and received a no decision when he left with the game tied after 7 innings. The Cubs scored 6 runs in the bottom of the 8th and the highlight of the inning was Derrek Lee’s pinch-hit grand slam. The Cubs scored 5 runs on 5 hits in 7 innings off of Vazquez but he struck out 8 on the afternoon and set a season high that he tied his last time out.
Since May 1st Vazquez is 1-5 with a 4.65 ERA, 31 earned runs on 54 hits in 60 innings and is 1-3 in 5 games at the Cell this season with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.
Vazquez is 3-3 in 13 career starts with a 5.17 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP….44 runs on 85 hits in 76 2/3 innings.
- Mark DeRosa – 6-19, with a home run and 3 RBI’s
- Cliff Floyd – 9-34, with 2 doubles and 2 RBI’s
- Cesar Izturis – 5-16, with 2 doubles and 2 RBI’s
- Derrek Lee – 15-41, with 5 doubles, 3 home runs, 2 walks and 12 RBI’s
- Aramis Ramirez – 7-21, with 2 doubles, a triple, a home run and 7 RBI’s
- Daryle Ward – 9-24, with a double, 3 home runs and 8 RBI’s
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….