Game Thirteen: Cubs (8-4) vs. Reds (7-6)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ted Lilly (2-0, 3.86/0.94) vs. Johnny Cueto (0-1, 4.22/1.59)
Updated – 5:21pm C.T. – According to multiple reports, Jeff Samardzija will rejoin the Cubs as a reliever on Thursday. The Cubs have not announced the roster move but according to the Sun-Times they will DFA Luis Vizcaino.
With a much warmer night on the horizon the Cubs will shoot for their fourth in a row behind Ted Lilly. Lilly was scheduled to start last Sunday but with the rainout and a cold, the Cubs decided to push Lilly until tonight. Sean Marshall was originally slated to make his second start tonight but he will be available out of the pen if Piniella needs another southpaw late in the game.
Milton Bradley is expected to be back in the starting lineup after missing the last six games. The Cubs held him out of Tuesday once again because of field conditions. Bradley is expected to play a lot over the next 19 games…and if he doesn’t, Micah Hoffpauir will be ready to take his place.
Koyie Hill was in Sunday night’s lineup and he could be in there tonight. Hill was on XM Radio last Saturday with Ed Randall and discussed the solid relationship he has with the entire pitching staff, but especially Ted Lilly. Could Koyie Hill become Ted Lilly’s ‘personal catcher‘? Ted Lilly is coming off a near no-hitter against the Rockies in the first game of the season at Wrigley Field. Lilly allowed only one-hit, a single to left with two outs in the seventh inning to Garrett Atkins. Lilly kept the Rockies in the yard and walked just two batters. Lilly must follow the same formula tonight against a very dangerous Reds’ offense…that is just waiting to have a break-out game.
To say Lilly has struggled against the Reds in his career would be an understatement. Lilly was 0-4 in four starts against Cincinnati last season with an 8.15 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. Lilly averaged just over four innings per outing (17 2/3 innings) and served up four of his 32 home runs to the new Big Red Machine.
Lilly has beaten the Reds only once in his career, the second game of the 2007 season, and is 1-5 in nine starts with a 5.24 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP.
- Jay Bruce – 0-for-3 with 2 walks
- Chris Dickerson – 1-for-4
- Edwin Encarnacion – 5-for-18 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and a walk
- Alex Gonzalez – 5-for-15 with a double and a home run
- Jerry Hairston, Jr. – 5-for-22 with 3 doubles, a home runs and a walk
- Ryan Hanigan – 2-for-5 with a double
- Ramon Hernandez – 6-for-14 with a double, 2 home runs and 6 walks
- Brandon Phillips – 1-for-19 with a home run and 2 walks
- Willy Taveras – 3-for-7 with a home run and a walk
- Joey Votto – 5-for-13 with a double, 2 home runs and a walk
While Ted Lilly tries to keep the Reds off the scoreboard, and in the yard, the Cubs offense will have their hands full with Johnny Cueto. The Reds have two of the best young arms in the game on their staff, and Johnny Cueto is one of them.
Cueto was extremely impressive in his rookie season, but inconsistent. Cueto posted a 9-14 record in 31 starts with a 4.81 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP…in 174 innings he struck out 158 batters and walked 68.
The Cubs must follow the same game plan they used last season against Cueto and make him work. Cueto has great stuff but like most young pitchers will get himself into trouble. He is coming off a no-decision against the Astros and lasted only 4 2/3 innings. The Reds won the game 2-1 but Cueto walked six, struck out three and ran up his pitch count.
Cueto threw 88 pitches in 4 2/3 innings, 46 for strikes and on April 11 he tossed 109, 66 for strikes, in six innings. Cueto is averaging 18.48 pitches per inning and in his last outing he threw just under 19 pitches (18.88). The best way to beat a good pitcher is to make him work…and that is clearly the scouting report on young Mr. Cueto.
The Cubs beat Cueto three out of the four times they faced him last year, but he was in every game. In 25 innings, Cueto allowed 14 runs, 13 earned, on 26 hits with seven walks and 23 strikeouts (4.68 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP). At Wrigley, Cueto was 0-2 in two starts with a 3.29 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.
- Mike Fontenot – 0-for-4
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-9 with a double and a walk
- Micah Hoffpauir – 0-for-3
- Reed Johnson – 2-for-5
- Derrek Lee – 4-for-12 with 2 doubles and a walk
- Aaron Miles – 0-for-1 with 2 walks
- Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-7 with a home run and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-9 with 2 home runs
- Geovany Soto – 5-for-11 with 2 doubles, a triple, a home run and a walk
- Ryan Theriot – 7-for-13 with 2 doubles
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….