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Game Chat : BR Preview : Game Notes Bronson Arroyo vs. Rich Hill Lineups:
N. Hopper CF A. Soriano LF
J. Keppinger SS R. Theriot SS
K. Griffey RF D. Lee 1B
B. Phillips 2B A. Ramirez 3B
A. Dunn LF C. Floyd RF
E. Encarnacion 3B M. DeRosa 2B
J. Cantu 1B J. Jones CF
D. Ross C J. Kendall C
B. Arroyo P R. Hill P
The Reds lead the season series, 7-5, and have taken three of the four series between the teams, including both sets at Wrigley. Interestingly, the Cubs have outscored Cincinnati by a whopping 63-45 in the 12 games. Arroyo is 0-2 this season against the Cubs with one well-pitched no-decision (4 hits, 2 earned runs in 7 2/3 IP); Hill has a win and an ND against the Reds this year. The victory was a 7-0 whitewash back in April, against Arroyo. All in all, the skies may be getting sunnier for the Red Legs. The team has been playing well (37-30) since Pete Mackanin became manager, and since the last time the Cubs and Reds met, Cincy summoned first baseman Joey Votto to the big club. In Votto (.438 AVG and 1.264 OPS in 32 AB), Edwin Encarnacion, Norris Hopper, Jeff Keppinger, Brandon Phillips and minor league stud Jay Bruce, Cincinnati has an enviable combination of talent and youth: the six players listed have an average age a shade under 25. But that's future talk. As for now, the Cubs need to beat the Reds. If the Cubs can win two of three, the Reds will be officially eliminated from the NL Central race. Take that, Joe Morgan!
Game Chat : BR Preview : Game Notes Jason Marquis vs. Mark Mulder Lineups:
A. Soriano LF A. Miles 2B
M. DeRosa 2B R. Ankiel RF
D. Lee 1B A. Pujols 1B
A. Ramirez 3B J. Edmonds CF
M. Murton RF R. Ludwick LF
C. Monroe CF S. Spiezo 3B
G. Soto C Y. Molina C
R. Cedeno SS M. Mulder P
J. Marquis P B. Ryan 2B
Mulder is coming off two brutal starts following his return from the Disabled List. This past Tuesday, the Reds tagged him for seven hits and seven runs (two unearned) in just four innings...which was arguably better than his earlier start against the Pirates--eight hits and six runs allowed, also in four innings. Lifetime, the lefty is 2-3 against the Cubs, but has given up 54 hits in just 42 2/3 IP. Derrek Lee hasn't just hit Mulder hard, he has savaged him: 11-for-15 with a homer, five RBI and a 1.698 OPS. Cub starter Marquis, who has been better this year at Wrigley than on the road, is following a not-so-good no-decision against the Astros. Right before that, however, he had consecutive strong outings against Houston and the Dodgers. Marquis is 2-1 against his former teammates this season, including a sterling 7-inning, no-walk, no-runs-allowed start back in April. Jason, I think we'll take one of those, if you don't mind.
Game Chat : BR Preview : Game Notes Sean Marshall vs. Joel Pineiro Lineups:
Soriano LF Taguchi LF
Jones CF Ryan SS
Lee 1B Pujols 1B
Ramirez 3B Ludwick RF
Floyd RF Edmonds CF
DeRosa 3B Molina C
Kendall C Spiezio 3B
Theriot SS Pineiro P
Marshall P Cairo 2B

In beating the Cardinals 3-2 in the sunshine half of Saturday’s day-night doubleheader, the Cubs:
  • Overcame a rocky first inning that put them in an early hole
  • Won despite a dominant starting pitching performance by the opposition
  • Got the game-winning hit and a nice ninth-inning catch from the same, very important leftfielder
  • Saw their closer pitch like Friday night never happened
And we did it all in the blistering heat of a pennant race and at the expense of the Saint...Louis...Cardinals. Game two can’t begin soon enough.
Game Chat : BR Preview : Game Notes Ted Lilly vs. Braden Looper Lineups:
Soriano LF Miles 2B
Theriot SS Taguchi LF
Lee 1B Pujols 1B
Ward RF Ludwick RF
Jones CF Edmonds CF
DeRosa 3B Molina C
Soto C Cairo 3B
Fontenot 2B Looper P
Lilly P Ryan SS
• About the business of our pitchers starting on three days rest: Z was right--except for taking the mound August 23rd against the Giants right after the 8/19 rainout against the Cardinals, he has never done it. Lilly has done it once in his career (4 1/3 IP, 7H, 2 ER). And Trachsel has done it five times (1-3, 6.04, 6 HR allowed in 28 1/3 innings), but not since 2000, when he was 29-year-old Steve Trachsel. • In his MLB Power Rankings published Monday, the Tribune’s Phil Rogers had the Cubs 9th among all MLB teams—six spots in front of the Brewers and seven spots ahead of the Dodgers—though heading into Monday’s game, the Cubs had the 9th best record in the National League. • Though the Cub defense has been a bit wobbly lately, for the season the Cubs and Mets are solidly atop the rest of the National League in Defensive Efficiency (turning batted balls into outs). I know there are more relevant things to be talking about just now, but in case things don't go well over the next 19 games, I'm going to need something to cling to. • Your wife may be mad at you, your kids may not respect you, and your boss may wonder why you're still on the payroll, but take heart. John McDonough is very proud of you.
Game Chat : BR Preview : Game Notes Joel Pineiro vs. Ted Lilly Lineups:
Ryan 3B Soriano LF
Taguchi LF Theriot SS
Pujols 1B Lee 1B
Ankiel RF Floyd RF
Molina C Ramirez 3B
Edmonds CF DeRosa 2B
Miles 2B Jones CF
Pineiro P Kendall C
Eckstein SS Lilly P
Notes: This game is the make-up for the 8/19 rainout that spoiled Carlos Zambrano’s near no-hitter vs. the Cardinals (“near” as in, just six innings short). When the rain fell, the Cubs were 63-59, one-half-game ahead of the Brewers and four up on St. Louis. Since then, the Cubs have gone 9-11, the Brewers are 10-9, and the Cards, 11-9. In other words, things haven’t changed much in three weeks and a day, except that the Cubs now have 20 fewer games to discover that one remaining hot streak they supposedly have left in them. Today’s pitching matchup is a repeat of the Pineiro-Lilly duel when the teams last met on 8/20, the day after the rainout. The Cards won that day, 6-4, and Lilly was hit hard, particularly by Scott Rolen, who smacked two doubles and drove in three runs. The Cub lefty is fresh off a victory at Wrigley against the Dodgers, and he will tie a career high if he can notch his 15th win of the season this afternoon. The Brewers play at Pittsburgh tonight. In fact, this is the only day game in the majors, which means all eyes, especially those that seek out games between profoundly mediocre baseball teams, will be trained on Clark & Addison.
Game Chat : BR Preview : Game Notes Steve Trachsel vs. Matt Morris Lineups:
Soriano LF Morgan CF
Theriot SS McLouth LF
Lee 1B Sanchez 2B
Ramirez 3B LaRoche 1B
Murton RF Bautista 3B
Jones CF Pearce RF
DeRosa 2B Paulino C
Kendall C Wilson SS
Trachsel P Morris P
Notes: This is a match-up between veteran righties who started the season pitching for eventual bottom-dwellers. Trachsel left Baltimore to join a division leader; Morris left San Francisco only to land on a different part of the bottom...Morris is one of those pitchers I think of as a proverbial Cub-killer, and he has had his moments against us. Still, over his last five starts versus the Cubs, Morris is 0-5, 7.86, allowing 46 hits and 7 HR in just 26 1/3 innings, which sounds an awful lot like batting practice...Trachsel last pitched for the Cubs against the Bucs in July of '99, in a game the Pittsburghs would win 6-1. I'd say it's time for revenge. Let's win this one for Tyler Houston!
Game Chat : BR Preview : Game Notes Carlos Zambrano vs. Ian Snell Lineups:
Soriano LF Morgan CF
Theriot SS McLouth RF
Lee 1B Sanchez 2B
Ramirez 3B Bay LF
Floyd RF LaRoche 1B
DeRosa 2B Bautista 3B
Kendall C Paulino C
Jones CF Wilson SS
Zambrano P Snell P
Notes: We need this one. Man, do we need this one.
Game Chat : BR Preview : Game Notes Rich Hill vs. Tom Gorzelanny Lineups:
Soriano LF Morgan CF
Theriot SS Bautista 3B
Lee 1B Sanchez 2B
Ramirez 3B Bay LF
DeRosa 2B LaRoche 1B
Monroe CF Pearce RF
Soto Paulino C
Murton RF Wilson SS
Hill P Gorzelanny P
In two career starts and 15 IP against the Cubs, Gorzelanny has struck out 12, allowed one hit and one run. I believe in scouting parlance, that's referred to as "kicking our ass." Hill, however, has been mighty tough on the Bucs: 26 strikeouts and a 1.69 ERA over 21 1/3 innings. Sounds like a pitchers duel to me. But watch out--the Pirates canned Dave Littlefield today. No telling how much raw emotion that could set loose in the Pittsburgh clubhouse. Last is this note from
Gorzelanny's biggest problem continues to be running up an early pitch count. On Sunday, that pitch count was at 49 after two innings and 105 by the end of four. It's been an ongoing problem for Gorzelanny all season, but it's something that has gotten more concerning during the second half of the season.
What are the odds Cub hitters will exploit a shortcoming like that?


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