Game Forty-Four: Cubs (21-22) vs. Pirates (21-24)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Sean Marshall (2-3, 3.96/1.29) vs. Ian Snell (1-5, 4.88/1.50)
Weather permitting… The Cubs will get back to work tonight in search of their first win since May 16 behind Sean Marshall. Lou Piniella will need for his lefty to give him innings and work deep into the game. The bullpen was taxed on Monday night and will be without Carlos Marmol… Marmol is in New York with his wife for the birth of his child.
Derrek Lee has been out of the lineup for the last two days with the flu and Bobby Scales was a late scratch on Monday night as well. The Cubs need Lee and Scales to be healthy tonight, Lee’s absence hurt the team on Monday against all of the lefties in the Pirates’ pen.
The Cubs need a win and to remember what it feels like to leave the field victorious instead of looking around for people to blame or Gatorade dispensers to take their frustrations out on… After posting back-to-back wins in consecutive outings (one as a starter and one in relief), Sean Marshall did his job in his last start and allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits in five innings. Other than serving up a home run to Albert Pujols that knocked out lights in a sign, Marshall worked fast and kept his pitch count down…if the offense was scoring runs he probably would have gone deeper than just five innings.
Marshall has posted decent numbers in the past against the Pirates. Marshall is 2-0 in three career starts, eight games, with a save and a hold. The Bucs’ offense has managed 11 runs, all earned, against Marshall on 21 hits in 21 innings (4.71 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP).
Unlike most of the Cubs staff, the Cubs’ second lefty has pitched better on the road (1-2 in three starts, five games, with a 3.71 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP) than at home (1-1 in three starts, four games with a 4.19 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP) this season.
- Adam LaRoche – 0-for-2
- Nate McLouth – 2-for-8 with a home run
- Nyjer Morgan – 1-for-1
- Freddy Sanchez – 1-for-2
- Jack Wilson – 3-for-9 with a walk
Ian Snell has been inconsistent throughout his career…and this season is no different. Snell has shown how good he can be in two of his nine starts this year but has struggled mightily in his last four starts.
Snell was 1-3 in five starts in April with a very solid 3.72 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP and is 0-2 in his last four starts with a 6.63 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP.
The Cubs must make him work and cannot allow him to get into a rhythm. Snell will walk his fare share of batters (26 walks in 48 innings) but will strikeout his fare share as well (36 in 48 innings). The Cubs will have their chances it will be up to them to capitalize.
Snell has beaten the Cubs once in his career…1-5 in 11 games, nine starts, with a 5.93 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP. The Cubs beat Snell one time in three chances last year and scored 12 runs on 21 hits in 14 innings (7.71 ERA and a 2.07 WHIP with a .344 batting average).
- Milton Bradley – 1-for-2
- Ryan Freel – 3-for-12 with a home run and a walk
- Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-5 with a triple and 2 walks
- Reed Johnson – 2-for-3
- Derrek Lee – 6-for-25 with 3 doubles and 2 walks
- Aaron Miles – 2-for-13 with a home run and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 9-for-18 with a double, 3 home runs and a walk
- Geovany Soto – 4-for-6 with 3 doubles and a walk
- Ryan Theriot – 7-for-18 with a double, 2 triples and 3 walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….