Four in a row and five of six. The Cubs, in a mini-slump for a couple of weeks, seem on a roll. They were worried about having to play so many home games early in the season, but with a 15-6 home record so far, they are taking good advantage.
Tonight, the first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive an Alfonso Soriano bobblehead. There is no truth to the rumor that it also does bunny hops.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2008 - Jason Marquis||1-2||6||6||0||0||0||0||33.2||43||20||19||3||15||21||5.08||1.72|
|2008 - Shawn Estes||0-0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1.2||2||2||0||0||1||2||0.00||1.80|
Jason Marquis just has to pitch better, period, or I suspect Lou's patience with him will run out. A year ago at this time, he had just thrown a CG shutout against the Pirates and he was 5-1 with a 1.70 ERA. Suffice to say that this year, he's not doing that. He is, however, 3-2, 3.38 in six career starts vs. San Diego, and has a 1.69 ERA in his last three outings. The Padre who hits him best is Michael Barrett, who's on the DL. Other than that, the only Padre who will actually play tonight who hits Marquis well is Tadahito Iguchi, 5-for-7 with two doubles (and all of that was in two games last year, on May 19, when he was 3-for-4, and then right after his trade to the Phillies, on July 31, when he went 2-for-3 against Marquis. The Cubs won both games anyway).
Shawn Estes, wow. Before last week he hadn't pitched in the major leagues since April 2006, and he hasn't had a full season with an ERA under 5.00 since 2001. He last pitched against the Cubs on May 7, 2004, and the Cubs beat the living daylights out of him, scoring nine earned runs in 2.2 innings. Among current Cubs, Aramis Ramirez is 8-for-13 (2 HR) vs. Estes, and Henry Blanco (who probably won't start tonight, but I had to post this) is 0-for-7 ... but with five walks. Estes has had a pretty mediocre career, but as a lefthander, he has made enough money to buy a 6200-square-foot home in Paradise Valley, Arizona. You'd think that with a house like that, he'd smile more. (Looks pretty unhappy in that photo, doesn't he?)
I was corrected by the San Diego Smooth Jazz Man on SD's TV coverage, which is listed as "CH4"; I assumed that was a broadcast channel. I should know better, because there's no over-the-air channel 4 in SD. This is Cox Cable 4, who has an exclusive deal, so you can't even get this channel via satellite. If you want to watch the Padres in SD, you have to get Cox Cable. Anyway, there's more on today at the MLB.com Mediacenter.
MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)
MLB.com Gameday (2008 version)
Today's overflow comment thread will post at 8:30 pm CT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.