Game Seventy-Four: Cubs (32-41) vs. White Sox (38-34)
Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 181
Location – U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago
Carlos Silva (8-2, 3.01/1.08) vs. Freddy Garcia (8-3, 4.85/1.36)
Updated 2:56pm CDT – Jeff Stevens Optioned to Triple-A Iowa – Cubs purchase contract of Brian Schlitter and Recall from Triple-A Iowa
How will Lou Piniella’s crew respond in the wake of Friday’s suspension of Carlos Zambrano? Zambrano’s latest meltdown has many speculating that he’s thrown his last pitch in a Cubs’ uniform but with his diminished skills and nearly $45 million remaining on his contract, most feel he is untradeable.
One thing Zambrano’s tirade accomplished was taking the heat off the Cubs horrendous offense. The Cubs managed only three hits and have tallied only nine hits in their last two games … all singles. And it will not get any easier tonight.
Freddy Garcia has never lost to the Cubs (five career starts) and has dominated in the process. Garcia has a career ERA of 1.25 versus the Cubs with a 0.97 WHIP. The last time he faced the Cubs was back on May 12, 2007.
Tonight will mark the 20,000th game in the history of the Chicago National League Ball Club, Inc. The Chicago White Stockings played their first game on April 25, 1876 and beat Louisville 4-0. Albert Spalding took the win and notched the first shutout in National League history.
The Cubs all-time record is 10,197-9,642 with 160 ties.
Today is also another big day in Cubs history. Ron Santo made his Cub debut 50 years ago against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cubs will recognize Santo in a pre-game ceremony Monday night at Wrigley before the first pitch against the Pirates.
The Cubs enter play tonight nine games below .500, fourth place in the central. The Brewers jumped into third place Friday with their fifth win in a row. Nine games under the mediocre mark is the furthest the Cubs have been below .500 during Lou Piniella tenure on the North Side … the Cubs have not been 10 under with Piniella at the helm.
With Carlos Zambrano out of the mix, the Cubs will play with a 24-man active roster until his suspension is lifted … or until he is traded.
Tonight it all begins with Carlos Silva … Carlos Silva is coming off back-to-back losses and will face the Sox for the second time in three starts. While the back-to-back losses sound bad, Carlos Silva should be undefeated this season.
Silva received no run support in a 2-1 loss to the Sox on June 12 (two runs on seven hhits in seven innings with two walks and six strikeouts) then gave up just three runs on six hits in has last outing against the Angels. Silva departed after six innings with a tight hamstring.
Silva was scheduled to face his previous team on Thursday … but was pushed back after Silva revealed his hamstring was still sore after a bullpen session Tuesday.
The Cubs need Silva to show up once again tonight. Silva has notched four straight quality starts and has gone at least six innings in 10 of his 13 starts this season. The Cubs are 10-3 when Silva takes the ball.
After posting a 5-0 record in six June starts with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP, Silva is 1-2 in his last three games with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. In his last 20 innings, 17 hits, three walks and 15 strikeouts.
Tonight will be Silva’s 19th career start against the South Side … 4-11 in 20 games, 18 starts, with a 5.33 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. Silva is 2-5 in nine career starts at the Cell with a 6.57 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP.
White Sox Career Numbers against Carlos Silva
- Gordon Beckham – 1-for-3 with a double
- Andruw Jones – 1-for-9 with 2 walks
- Paul Konerko – 15-for-47 with 2 doubles, a home run and 3 walks
- Mark Kotsay – 4-for-24 with a double
- Juan Pierre – 1-for-7 with 2 walks
- A.J. Pierzynski – 8-for-29 with a double and 2 home runs
- Carlos Quentin – 1-for-7 with a walk
- Alexei Ramirez – 1-for-4
- Alex Rios – 4-for-22
- Omar Vizquel – 4-for-8
Many credit Freddy Garcia with keeping the White Sox a float while Mark Buehrle, Jake Peavy and Gavin Floyd got their act together. Garcia has been very good this season … and he “loves” the Cubs.
Garcia has not lost a game since May 23 and is 5-0 in his last five starts. Garcia is coming off a seven-inning performance against the Nationals in which he allowed only three runs on six hits with a walk and six strikeouts.
Freddy Garcia is 3-2 in six starts at the Cell this season with a 4.46 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP … in his last four starts, 4-0 with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.
Tonight will be Garcia’s sixth career start versus the North Side … and he’s never lost to the Cubs. Garcia is 4-0 with a 1.25 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP.
It should be another fun game for Lou’ offense.
Cubs Career Numbers against Freddy Garcia
- Marlon Byrd – 0-for-2
- Derrek Lee – 2-for-8
- Xavier Nady – 0-for-3
- Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-12
- Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-20 with a triple and 2 walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …
Update – According to multiple reports, Jeff Stevens was optioned to Triple-A Iowa Saturday and Brian Schlitter was recalled from Triple-A Iowa. In the wake of the 13-inning game Thursday in Seattle and Carlos Zambrano’s tirade Friday at the Cell, the Cubs felt they needed a fresh arm and decided to send Stevens back to Iowa.
The Cubs purchased the contact of Brian Schlitter and added him to the 40-man roster. A day after creating a space on their big league roster by designating Chad Tracy for assignment, the Cubs 40-man roster is once again stands at 40 players with the addition of Schlitter.
Brian Schlitter was the PTBNL in the deal that sent Scott Eyre to the Phillies in 2008. Schlitter has been closing games for Ryne Sandberg and doing a good job in the process. Apparently his neighbor, Jim Hendry, liked what he saw during his recent visit to Iowa.