Game Seventy-Nine: Cubs (49-29) vs. Orioles (39-37)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Marquis (6-3, 4.43/1.48) vs. Radhames Liz (1-0, 6.27/1.34)
Lou Piniella’s crew will try to win the rubber game of the series today behind Jason Marquis. Today is the last home game for the Cubs until Dusty Baker and company returns to Chicago on July 8th. The Cubs begin their longest road trip of the year on Friday on the South Side. The 10-game road trip will conclude on July 6th after four games in San Francisco and three games in St. Louis.
The Cubs will likely be without Kosuke Fukudome today. Fukudome is listed as day-to-day with tightness in his left calf and Piniella said after Wednesday’s game that Fukudome would probably be held out of the day game on Thursday. After a two very good starts against the Dodgers and Blue Jays, Jason Marquis turned in a good performance against the White Sox….but most importantly he picked up a win. Marquis allowed 5 runs on 8 hits in 7 innings. Marquis has won 4 games in a row and his last 5 decisions….and the Cubs are 6-1 in his last 7 outings.
Marquis has been very effective of late and must keep it up today. The Cubs need to leave Wrigley on a winning note, with a rested bullpen. Marquis is 4-0 in June with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP….at Wrigley this season, 3-2 in 7 games with a 5.36 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP.
Today will be Marquis’ first career start against the Orioles. He has faced them two times out of the pen. In 3 innings of relief Marquis allowed 2 runs on a hit with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts.
- Alex Cintron – 1-for-5
- Aubrey Huff – 0-for-5
- Kevin Millar – 5-for-12 with a double and a home run
- Melvin Mora – 0-for-2
- Jay Payton – 5-for-13 with 3 doubles and a home run
- Luke Scott – 5-for-20 with 2 doubles and 2 home runs
The Cubs will get their first look today at Radhames Liz. The rookie right-hander will make his 5th start of the year and his 4th on the road. Liz is 1-0 in his first three outings with a 6.57 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP.
Liz was the second best prospect in the Orioles system at the beginning of the year according to Baseball America. Liz has a fastball that reaches into the high 90s (94-97) with movement. Liz also features a solid changeup and curveball but has trouble with location and can be quite wild. He has walked 9 in just 18 innings this season.
The Cubs must be patient today against Liz. The ‘book’ on Liz is when he gets ahead, like most pitchers, he is very good but can lose his command when he starts falling behind….again like most young pitchers.
The Orioles bullpen is taxed and Lou Piniella’s offense must not allow this very talented young pitcher to get comfortable on the mound.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….