Game Twenty-One: Cubs (10-10) vs. Marlins (13-8)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WCIU – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Sean Marshall (0-1, 4.50/1.42) vs. Chris Volstad (2-0, 2.70/1.16)
Updated 4:55pm C.T. – According to a report from the Sun-Times, the Cubs will not place Aramis Ramirez on the DL. Ramirez “ran much better” than on Tuesday. Bobby Scales is in Chicago and the Cubs were contemplating another roster move to keep him, but decided against it. The Sun-Times stated the Cubs will not make any moves before tonight’s game against the Marlins.
The fifth place Chicago Cubs open up an important four-game series against the Marlins tonight. After not being competitive in three of their last six games, the Cubs need to get back to basics tonight, play hard and just try to win a game.
Alfonso Soriano has publicly questioned his team’s desire and tonight would be a good time to start seeing improved play in all three facets of the game. While many are brushing off the team’s record and standing within the division, which is irrelevant at this point, the lack of focus, effort and consistency are a few of the things that has this writer concerned after 20 games.
The Cubs are expected to be without Aramis Ramirez and he could be placed on the DL before tonight’s game. Lou Piniella also should go back to his plan of giving Geovany Soto a couple of days off. Koyie Hill is hitting and Soto is hurting.
While Piniella will likely play the lefty-righty match-ups to the book, right handers hit slightly better against Chris Volstad on the season… .195/.167. After a rough road trip it will not get any easier tonight. The Cubs face a very good team for the next four games that can win games a lot of different ways. They have excellent starting pitching, a great pen and an explosive offense…but one thing is unclear, if no one is in the stands to watch the Marlins win in Florida, does it really count as a win?
It will be up to Sean Marshall to keep the Cubs from dropping below the .500 mark for the first time in over a year. Marshall will make his third start of the season and his first against a team not managed by Tony LaRussa.
Marshall did his part last Saturday and put his team in position to win…but a couple of misplayed balls in the outfield led to three runs and Albert Pujols took care of the rest with a grand slam off David Patton.
Marshall allowed three runs on six hits in six innings with a walk and five strikeouts…a very good outing for a fifth starter in any rotation.
The Marlins did not do much offensively in two games against Marshall a year ago. Marshall was 0-1 with a blown save but gave up only three runs on five hits in eight innings (one start) with three walks and 13 strikeouts (3.38 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP)
For his career Marshall is 1-3 in five games, four starts, against the Marlins with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.
- John Baker – 0-for-1
- Jorge Cantu – 0-for-3 with a walk
- Jeremy Hermida – 2-for-4 with a home run and a walk
- Hanley Ramirez – 4-for-10 with a double and a home run
- Cody Ross – 1-for-4
- Dan Uggla – 5-for-13 with three doubles
The struggling Cubs’ offense will not get a break tonight after managing only two hits against Doug Davis on Wednesday. Chris Volstad is one of the best young pitchers in the league and in his first four starts of the year has allowed only seven earned runs (23 1/3 innings).
Volstad is coming off back-to-back no decisions. He allowed only two earned runs on four hits to the Phillies in seven innings with six strikeouts and only one walk. The Marlins are 3-1 in his four starts.
Volstad has never beaten the Cubs but has held them in check in two starts last season. In 12 innings the Cubs’ offense has managed only four runs on 12 hits (3.00 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP).
- Mike Fontenot – 3-for-5 with a double and a walk
- Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-4 with a walk
- Reed Johnson – 2-for-3 with a double
- Derrek Lee – 2-for-5 with a double and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-6
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-5 with a double
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-5
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball…