Game Eighty-Four: Cubs (41-42) vs. Cardinals (48-40)
Game Time – 3:10pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ted Lilly (8-6, 3.32/1.14) vs. Brad Thompson (2-5, 4.92/1.36)
The tied for fourth place Chicago Cubs enters play today 4 1/2 games back of the Cardinals in need of a win. Lou Piniella’s crew will turn to their most dependable starter this season, Ted Lilly, to end their current three game losing streak.
The Cubs are expected to make a roster move before this afternoon’s game in order to fill Geovany Soto’s roster spot … last season’s rookie of the year could miss up to a month with a left oblique strain. The Cubs did not officially place Soto on the DL Friday; they are waiting to find a veteran catcher to share time with Koyie Hill while Soto is out. Soto will make the trek to Arizona on Monday to begin his rehab. The Cubs tried to claim Chris Coste off of waivers from the Phillies on Friday, but the Astros beat them to the punch …
Updated – 11:00am C.T. – The Cubs recalled Sam Fuld on Saturday to take Geovany Soto’s roster spot.
While the entire roster must play better this afternoon, it all starts with Ted Lilly … and one win at a time. Ted Lilly will make his second start of the year against the Cardinals this afternoon. Lilly was on the wrong end of a 3-0 shutout back on May 19 in St. Louis. Joel Pineiro tossed a complete-game shutout in the first of three disappointing losses against the Cardinals.
‘The Bulldog‘ is coming off an impressive win against the Brewers. He allowed only two runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings with no walks and nine strikeouts. Lilly must not give the Cardinals any help this afternoon and a similar strikeout to walk ratio will go a long way towards him posting his ninth win of the year.
Lilly has been very, very good at home this season. In eight starts he is 5-1 with a 1.96 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. In his last three games at Wrigley he has allowed three runs only once. If the Cubs want to reach the .500 mark for the 19th time this year, they will need Lilly to continue to dominate at Wrigley.
This afternoon will be Lilly’s thirteenth career start against the Redbirds. He is 6-3 in the first 12 with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.
- Rick Ankiel – 3-for-12 with a double and a home run
- Chris Duncan – 2-for-9
- Ryan Ludwick – 3-for-20 with 3 doubles and 4 walks
- Yadier Molina – 5-for-26 with a home run and 2 walks
- Albert Pujols – 9-for-31 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 5 walks
- Colby Rasmus – 1-for-2 with a home run
- Brendan Ryan – 5-for-18 with 3 walks
- Joe Thurston – 0-for-2 with a walk
The Cubs will get their first look of the year at Brad Thompson this afternoon. Thompson has been serviceable since being inserted into the Cardinals rotation for the injured Kyle Lohse (who is expected to come off the DL on Sunday and start one of the games of the doubleheader).
Thompson is 2-4 as a starter this year with a 5.45 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP …and is coming off a rough outing against the Reds. Dusty Baker’s team put up five runs, four earned, in five innings on nine hits against Thompson on the 4th of July. Thompson has issued almost as many walks (12) as strikeouts (13) since joining the starting staff. In 36 1/3 innings he has also given up 42 hits. The Cubs should have plenty of chances this afternoon … if they can relax and remember how to hit the ball.
Today will be Brad Thompson’s first career start against the Cubs. He is 0-1 in 15 career games out of the pen with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP … at Wrigley, 0-1 in seven games with a 7.04 ERA and a 2.09 WHIP.
- Jeff Baker – 1-for-3 with a double
- Andres Blanco – 0-for-1
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-1
- Reed Johnson – 1-for-1
- Derrek Lee – 3-for-6 with 2 home runs and 3 walks
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-6
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-2
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-2
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….