Game Thirty-Eight: Cubs (15-22) vs. Pirates (16-20)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ted Lilly (1-3, 4.88/1.17) vs. Ross Ohlendorf (0-1, 3.00/1.56)
The Cubs enter play today seven games under .500, closer to last place than second place … and Lou Piniella’s crew looks indifferent in the process. The Cubs are one loss away from beginning the season 0-6 against the Pirates. While losing games is never good, it is the way they’ve dropped the first five games against the Pittsburgh. The Cubs have been outscored 32-14 and outplayed in every facet of the game.
Would a sweep at Wrigley at the hands of the Pirates force changes on the North Side?
Expect Kosuke Fukudome back at the top of Lou Piniella’s lineup with Ryan Theriot hitting behind him in the two-hole. Will Tyler Colvin continue to sit on the bench? Colvin was in the starting lineup for Saturday’s game before the trainers said Xavier Nady could play. The Cubs need to get Colvin in the starting lineup. If not, send him to Iowa so he can play regularly … he as started only one game since April 30.
Len Kasper and Bob Brenly are expected to broadcast the game from the bleachers in left center this afternoon.
Today it all starts with Ted Lilly and just winning a ballgame … it’s getting late early for the Chicago Cubs. After a solid season debut against the Brewers, Ted Lilly has struggled with his command and velocity. Lilly put together a better start against the Marlins in his last outing but he has allowed at least four runs in his last three games.
Lilly’s success at Wrigley Field last year has not carried over to this season. Lilly is 0-2 at home with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Lilly posted an 8-2 record in 13 starts at Wrigley in 2009 with a 1.87 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP.
The Pirates had their way with ‘The Bulldog‘ when he faced them on May 5. Pittsburgh scored four runs on nine hits in six innings against Lilly. The Cubs lost 4-2.
Pirates’ Career Numbers against Ted Lilly
- Ronny Cedeno – 2-for-6
- Ryan Church – 1-for-6 with a home run
- Bobby Crosby – 5-for-18 with 4 doubles and a walk
- Ryan Doumit – 5-for-18 with a double and a walk
- Jason Jaramillo – 1-for-3 with a double
- Garrett Jones – 2-for-8 with a double and a walk
- Andy LaRoche – 3-for-14 with a double and a home run
- Andrew McCutchen – 2-for-12 with a double and 2 walks
- Lastings Milledge – 3-for-11 with a double
- Ross Ohlendorf – 0-for-1
- Steve Pearce – 3-for-10 with a double
- Delwyn Young – 0-for-5 with a walk
Ross Ohlendorf is arguably the best pitcher on the Pirates staff. After beginning the year in the rotation, Ohlendorf spent a month on the DL and made his return on May 10 against the Reds.
Ohlendorf labored through four innings. He allowed just one run on three hits but walked four and struck out three. Ohlendorf threw 84 pitches.
In order to avoid being swept, the Cubs must make him work … and take advantage of the free passes.
Ross Ohlendorf has faced the Cubs just once in his big league career. Ohlendorf dominated the Cubs and tossed seven innings of shutout ball. Ohlendorf allowed only four hits, did not walk a batter and struck out eight on June 30, 2009 … a career-high at the time.
Cubs’ Career Numbers against Ross Ohlendorf
- Mike Fontenot – 1-for-3
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-3
- Derrek Lee – 1-for-3
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-2
- Geovany Soto – 2-for-3 with a double
- Ryan Theriot – 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …