Game One Hundred Thirty-Three: Cubs (68-64) vs. Astros (60-74)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Sean Marshall (7-6, 4.04/1.29) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (7-12, 4.67/1.31)
Updated – 12:06pm C.T. – With a Name from the past in the rumor mill….
Updated – 1:05pm C.T. – According to a report by Bruce Levine on ESPN 1000 and a report by Ken Rosenthal on Foxsports.com, the Cubs have acquired pitcher Steve Trachsel from the Baltimore Orioles for Scott Moore and Rocky Cherry. Trachsel has a club option for 2008 worth $4.75 million. Will update when more information becomes available.
After a very exciting series against the Brewers, Lou Piniella’s crew gets a big test today. While the Houston Astros are coming off back-to-back wins against the Cardinals, the Cubs must not have a let down against an always dangerous team that swept them the last time the two faced off in Houston. The Cubs will get their first look at the new Astros’ manager, former Brewer, Cecil Cooper. Cooper took over for Phil Garner when he was fired earlier in the week.
Piniella stated after Thursday night’s game that Alfonso Soriano will get today off, Matt Murton will start in his place and Henry Blanco will get a start behind the plate. The Cubs will face their second southpaw in as many days, with a third coming on Saturday, and while the offense must do their job, it all starts with Sean Marshall. Sean Marshall is coming off his best outing of the year. Marshall held the Diamondbacks to 1 run on 2 hits in 6 innings and earned the only victory of the 3-game series. Marshall has been very impressive in his past two starts after struggling in his first three starts of the month. Marshall is 2-2 with a 6.75 ERA in his last 5 starts but is 2-0 in his last 2 with a 2.45 ERA.
Today will be Marshall’s second start of the season against the Astros. He lost his other start back on August 7 in Houston. Marshall gave up 5 runs on 7 hits in 5 1/3 innings….that was the game the Cubs let Woody Williams off the hook in the 1st inning an did not take advantage of several early scoring opportunities, sound familiar?
Marshall is 1-3 in 4 career starts against the Astros with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP….this season 0-1 with a 8.44 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.
The Cubs will get another look at Wandy Rodriguez today. Rodriguez dominated the Cubs the last time he faced them in Houston, but he has dominated most teams he has faced at home this season….on the road is an entirely different story. According to Cubs.com and XM Radio, Rodriguez has the “third largest home/road splits in the major leagues since 1957.” Rodriguez is 6-3 with a 2.54 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP in 14 starts at Minute Maid this year but is 1-9 with a 7.80 ERA with a 1.68 WHIP in 12 road starts.
Rodriguez is 0-3 in his last 6 starts with a 6.03 ERA and has not posted a win since July 26th. Rodriguez is 0-1 in 2 starts against the Cubs this season with a 6.35 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP….the Cubs are hitting .271 against him.
- Derrek Lee – 7-13, with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 7 RBI’s
- Matt Murton – 5-14, with 2 home runs and 2 RBI’s
- Ryan Theriot – 4-7, with 2 doubles, a home run and a RBI
Piniella will need to mix in a few lefties in the lineup today. Right handed batters hit more home runs (15 to 3) but lefties have a higher average (.270/.253) and OBP (.317/.314).
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….
Update – According to a report from Yahoo Sports, their source the Baltimore Sun, the Cubs are rumored to be one of the teams interested in Steve Trachsel.