Game One Hundred-Sixteen: Cubs (60-55) vs. Padres (49-70)
Game Time – 9:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WCIU – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – PETCO Park, San Diego
Ted Lilly (9-7, 3.59/1.15) vs. Kevin Correia (8-9, 4.51/1.34)
Updated – 4:40pm C.T. – Ted Lilly Activated from 15-day DL – Justin Berg Optioned to Triple-A Iowa
After a little breather, a lot of rain and a long plane ride, the Chicago Cubs will return to the field tonight for the first of three against the San Diego Padres. This is a huge trip for Lou Piniella’s crew who enters play tonight five games back of the St. Louis Cardinals.
For all of the Padres’ problems this season, only a few of them have been at home. The Padres are .500 at 30-30 in spacious PETCO Park and just 19-40 on the road. The Cubs struggle away from Wrigley (25-33) but must figure out a way to improve that mark over the next seven games. The last time the Cubs were in San Diego they were swept and completed their worst week under Lou Piniella. Another repeat performance out west and the chances of playing beyond game 162 go from possible to almost improbable.
The Cubs should have Aramis Ramirez in the starting lineup tonight. Before the rains came he was in the lineup on Sunday with Jake Fox in left field. Piniella should stick with his plan to give Alfonso Soriano time off and put the always-hustling Jake Fox in left once again tonight.
Ryan Theriot was sent home Sunday with a stomach virus, one that has apparently hit his entire family. Theriot was not on the team flight but was expected to join the team in San Diego later in the day. Aaron Miles will likely get the start at short once again tonight … Miles was in the starting lineup Sunday for Theriot.
The Cubs will receive a boost with the return of Ted Lilly tonight … and they must make sure Adrian Gonzalez does not beat them over the next three days.
While the offense must do their job, it all begins with Ted Lilly … and one run and one win at a time. Ted Lilly will make his first start tonight since going on the DL back on July 21 with left shoulder inflammation. Lilly was dealing with a sore left knee as well and went ahead and had that scoped while he was out.
In order for the Cubs to make a run at the Cardinals they will need the Ted Lilly that took the mound before his last start in Philly. Lilly struggled mightily, had zero to command and left after four innings on July 20 … and nine runs, seven earned, on eight hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
Lilly had been dominant before his start against the Phillies, only five earned runs in three starts (2-1 record) and he must keep the Padres off the board … and not allow Adrian Gonzalez to beat him.
‘The Bulldog‘ is 3-6 in 10 starts on the road this season with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.
Tonight will be Lilly’s third start of the season against the Friars. He is 1-1 in the first two with a 5.68 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. He beat San Diego at Wrigley back on May 13 (three runs on eight hits without a walk and seven strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings) but lost the finale in San Diego back on May 24, 7-2. The Padres plated five runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Lilly is 5-2 in eight career games, seven starts, with a 3.55 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP against the Padres, 1-2 in three career games at PETCO with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.
- Henry Blanco – 0-for-3
- David Eckstein – 5-for-39 with a double and 2 walks
- Adrian Gonzalez – 4-for-15 with a double, a triple, 2 home runs and a walk
- Tony Gwynn, Jr. – 1-for-1
- Chase Headley – 2-for-9 with a double
- Kevin Kouzmanoff – 4-for-15 with 2 doubles
- Luis Rodriguez – 2-for-3
Kevin Correia has been extremely inconsistent this season for Bud Black but unfortunately for the Cubs’ offense, he has been very good of late. After posting a 2-3 record in six starts in July, Correia is 1-1 in his last three starts with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Teams are hitting close to 100 points lower (.221 in August, .313 in July) than they did against Correia a month ago.
The Cubs must be patient against Correia and make him work. He will struggle with his command and will walk his fare share of batters if they give him a chance to do so. In his last 33 2/3 innings Correia has walked (16) almost as many as he’s struck out (19).
The Padres are a very different team at home and the Cubs must not allow them to gain any confidence after being swept over the weekend by the Cardinals … and Heath Bell blowing his second game of the year on Sunday, after two long delays.
Kevin Correia is 3-4 in 13 home games this season with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.
Tonight will be Kevin Correia’s third career start against the Cubs. He is 0-2 in six career games, two starts, with an 11.25 ERA and a 2.33 WHIP.
- Jeff Baker – 2-for-5 with a home run
- Milton Bradley – 1-for-2 with a home run
- Mike Fontenot – 2-for-5 with 2 walks
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-7
- Derrek Lee – 3-for-7
- Aaron Miles – 1-for-4
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-4
- Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-4
- Geovany Soto – 2-for-5 with a double and a walk
- Ryan Theriot – 3-for-6 with 2 walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….