Naturally, now that it's September and autumn is on the way, we are having the warmest spell of the year in Chicago, with temperatures, as yesterday, expected to approach 90 degrees.
And today, to enjoy the summerlike weather and hopefully, help contribute to the cause, the Cubs will add the following players to the roster, as they expand on September 1: Micah Hoffpauir, Koyie Hill, Michael Wuertz and Casey McGehee, all recalled from Iowa, and Jon Lieber and Angel Guzman, activated from the disabled list. Both McGehee (who will make his major league debut when he first appears) and Hill had to be added to the 40-man roster; there was one open slot and the other is from Chad Fox being moved to the 60-day DL. There was one move made yesterday that may have some significance later: Rich Hill was recalled from Iowa and placed on the DL. By making this move on August 31, the Cubs gave themselves four extra roster options for postseason play, as the rules make eligible the 25 players active on August 31 plus any DL slots -- as of yesterday, the Cubs had four (Fox, Guzman, Lieber and now Hill). The practical effect of this is that the Cubs can name up to four players NOT on the active roster as of yesterday to a postseason roster, if they want to.
Attendance watch: the season average is now 40,747, and the Cubs will pass the 3 million mark tomorrow night. They need 318,678 in the nine remaining dates to pass last year's record total of 3,252,462. At the current average, that will take eight dates, so the record should fall on Saturday, September 20.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2008 - Jason Marquis||9-7||24||24||0||0||0||0||141.1||146||74||71||14||52||74||4.52||1.40|
|2008 - Roy Oswalt||12-9||26||26||1||0||0||0||164.1||175||82||75||21||41||135||4.11||1.31|
These two pitchers matched up on April 5 at Wrigley Field, and it was a decent start for Marquis, allowing four earned runs in 5.1 innings. Oswalt did about the same, giving the Cubs five earned runs in 6.2 IP. Marquis was gone from the game by the time the Cubs won it 9-7.
Oswalt has been good recently: 8-3 with a 2.84 ERA in his last 13 starts. But, he is 0-2, 9.75 in his last two outings at Wrigley Field. The Cubs had four extra-base hits in that April game, including a HR by D-Lee and a double by Marquis. Lee is a .326 lifetime hitter vs. Oswalt (15-for-46) with 3 HR. Marquis, a good hitter, is 3-for 12 (two doubles).
Good thing Carlos Lee isn't around -- he pounds Cub pitching, and hits .344 off Marquis. Lance Berkman is his nemesis (20-for-42, .476/.585/.714). If Marquis can keep Berkman down, he should do well today. He needs to be the "good Marquis" we saw last week in Pittsburgh.
Today's game is on WGN. Also see the MLB.com Mediacenter.
Once again, a reminder that you can find the overflow comment threads, including the first pitch thread, on the right sidebar of both the front page and any interior page in the box headed "RECENT STORIES IN GAME THREADS". Today's first pitch thread posts at noon CT, and the overflow comment threads will post at xxxx pm CT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.