Game Sixty-Nine: Cubs (34-34) vs. Tigers (40-31)
Game Time – 12:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 176
Location – Comerica Park, Detroit
Ted Lilly (7-4, 3.04/1.06) vs. Armando Galarraga (3-7, 5.62/1.64)
Can the Cubs avoid going below the .500 mark today? This afternoon could be classified as a must win. The Cubs have had plenty of chances since leaving Chicago on Sunday to win a game, if not all three, but they find themselves 0-3 staring at a trip to the South Side on Friday.
Reed Johnson is expected to officially be placed on the 15-day DL before today’s game. Johnson has not played since Saturday so the Cubs could backdate his DL stint to June 20. Ryan Freel, who has been on the DL longer than he was in a Cubs’ uniform, is expected to be activated to take Johnson’s spot on the active roster.
Look for Koyie Hill to be behind the plate this afternoon following Wednesday night’s game. Also, with Milton Bradley taking a tumble in right field, it might be his turn to serve as the team’s DH.
While the Cubs try to avoid being swept by the Tigers, it all starts with Ted Lilly … but the offense must do more than just show up this afternoon. While Ted Lilly has been stuck on seven wins since June 9, the Cubs have won Lilly’s last five starts … and the Cubs need ‘The Bulldog‘ today. The Cubs cannot hit with runners in scoring position and it has cost Ted Lilly at least five wins this season. Two of Lilly’s four losses were on days the Cubs were shutout (3-0 loss to the Reds on April 22 and 3-0 loss to the Cardinals on May 19) and in his last four starts Lilly has just one win but has allowed only six earned runs (1-0 in June with a 1.98 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP).
Ted Lilly is coming off a no-decision to the Indians last Saturday. The Cubs won the game 6-5 in 13 innings and Lilly notched another quality start … three runs on six hits in six innings without a walk and six strikeouts.
For as good as Lilly as been this season he has struggled on the road. Lilly is 3-3 in seven starts outside of the Friendly Confines with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP … compared to a 4-1 record at home in seven starts with a 1.85 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP.
Ted Lilly is 2-3 in nine career games, six starts, against the Tigers with a 3.96 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.
- Miguel Cabrera – 1-for-5 with a home run and a walk
- Adam Everett – 0-for-4 with 2 walks
- Curtis Granderson – 0-for-6
- Brandon Inge – 1-for-6 with a home run
- Gerald Laird – 2-for-5
- Magglio Ordonez – 6-for-23 with a double and a triple
- Placido Polanco – 1-for-7 with a home run
- Ramon Santiago – 0-for-3
- Marcus Thames – 1-for-5 with a home run and a walk
Armando Galarraga will make his 15th start of the season this afternoon. The Tigers are 6-8 in his starts despite his inconsistency. Galarraga is coming off a rough four-inning outing against the Brewers in which he gave up four runs, three earned, on eight hits with a walk and a strikeout. In his last two starts he has pitched a combined six innings and has given up eight runs, seven earned.
The Cubs will have plenty of chances, once again, to put crooked numbers on the board against Galarraga. In 73 2/3 innings he has walked 33 batters and given up 88 hits, with 15 home runs.
Galarraga was about unhittable in April (3-0 in four starts with a 1.85 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP) but fell apart in May (0-5 in six starts with a 8.49 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP). He has been better of late, but that is not saying much (0-2 in four starts with a 5.95 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP).
The Cubs must take advantage of Galarraga’s struggles and the fact he has not posted a win since April 26 in Kansas City. A lot of early runs will go a long way this afternoon.
This afternoon will be Galarraga’s first career start against the Cubs.
- Milton Bradley – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Aaron Miles – 0-for-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….