Game Eighty-Seven: Cubs (38-48) vs. Dodgers (47-38)
Game Time – 9:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
Ted Lilly (3-7, 3.76/1.10) vs. Chad Billingsley (6-4, 4.06/1.38)
Can Lou Piniella’s crew get back on the winning track tonight? It was back to reality Thursday night for the Cubs’ offense after three good days in Phoenix … and it will not get any easier with Chad Billingsley on the mound. The Cubs have shown they can hit Billingsley but winning at Dodger Stadium has always been a challenge for the North Side Nine.
Could tonight be the last start for Ted Lilly in a Cubs’ uniform? The trade rumors are heating up and Lilly is rumored to be on the market. The Cubs enter play tonight 10 games under .500 but Jim Hendry has yet to start making changes to his roster. The Cubs’ GM must determine, and soon, what players he would like to try to move. Ted Lilly appears to have the most value and should be traded in the near future.
Kosuke Fukudome and Mike Fontenot have good career numbers versus Billingsley and should be in the starting lineup. Alfonso Soriano is expected to receive the night off. Soriano will be back in the lineup Saturday afternoon. Tyler Colvin should be in left, Fukudome in right with Marlon Byrd in center … the Cubs best defensive combination in the outfield.
Tonight it all starts with Theodore Ted Lilly … Ted Lilly is coming off one of the worst starts of his career. Lilly gave up a career-high, or low, 11 hits to the Reds. Cincinnati knocked four of their six homers off Lilly in the 14-3 thumping last Sunday. Lilly simply did not have it for the second time in four starts.
After throwing his one-hitter against the Sox back on June 13, Lilly is 1-2 in his last four starts (Cubs 2-2 in Lilly’s last four games) with a 6.12 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.
‘The Bulldog‘ is 1-3 in six road starts this season with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP.
Tonight will be Lilly’s second start of the season against the Dodgers. Lilly threw seven innings of shutout ball at Wrigley back on May 27 that came with a little bit of controversy. Casey Blake and several of his teammates said Lilly was not pitching from the rubber … and replays showed the Dodgers were right. Look for carryover from the argument today. The Cubs beat the Dodgers and Lilly received a no-decision after tossing a very good game.
Lilly is 3-1 in seven career games, six starts, with a 3.23 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP against the organization that drafted him in the 23rd round back in 1996.
Dodgers Career Numbers against Ted Lilly
- Garrett Anderson – 3-for-22 with a double and a walk
- Ronnie Belliard – 2-for-9 with a double and 3 walks
- Chad Billingsley – 0-for-2
- Casey Blake – 8-for-28 with a double, 2 home runs and 4 walks
- Jamey Carroll – 4-for-15 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
- Blake DeWitt – 0-for-3
- Andre Ethier – 0-for-8
- Rafael Furcal – 2-for-11 with a home run
- Reed Johnson – 2-for-5 with a double and a walk
- Matt Kemp – 3-for-10 with 2 home runs and a walk
- James Loney – 0-for-9
- Russell Martin – 2-for-6 with 2 walks
- Xavier Paul – 0-for-3
Chad Billingsley has not posted a win since he beat the Cubs back on May 26 (three runs, two earned, on 10 hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings) … but he has been very good since his return from the DL. Billingsley is coming off a no-decision on the 4th of July against the D’Backs. Billingsley allowed one run on seven hits in six innings. Billingsley struck out eight and walked just one.
In his last two starts, Billingsley has two no decisions with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP (three runs on 12 hits in 12 innings with three walks and 11 strikeouts).
Billingsley is 2-3 at Dodger Stadium this season with a 5.48 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP in seven starts.
Tonight will be Billingsley’s sixth career start against the Cubs. He is 2-3 in five starts, seven games, with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Chad Billingsley
- Jeff Baker – 2-for-3 with a double
- Marlon Byrd – 0-for-3
- Starlin Castro – 0-for-3
- Tyler Colvin – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Mike Fontenot – 4-for-8 with 2 doubles
- Kosuke Fukudome – 4-for-15 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
- Koyie Hill – 2-for-7 with a home run and 2 walks
- Derrek Lee – 3-for-15 with a home run and 2 walks
- Xavier Nady – 2-for-6 with a double and a home run
- Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-10 with a triple
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-15 with a walk
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-4 with a walk
- Ryan Theriot – 6-for-11 with a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …