Friday, July 01, 2005

Preview of Friday’s Games (7/1)

Nationals @ Chicago Cubs
Game Time: 2:20 p.m.
Location: Wrigley Field

WAS: 47-31 (1st in NL East, 4.5 ahead of Atlanta)
CHC: 40-37 (2nd in NL Central, 8.5 behind St. Louis)

Pitching Match-up
WAS: Livan Hernandez (11-2, 3.32 ERA) Throws Right
CHC: Mark Prior (5-1, 2.66 ERA) Throws Right

The Nationals start another series with an NL Central opponent this afternoon, but this one could prove to be a little tougher than the Pirates.
The Cubs had their modest four game winning streak snapped by the Brewers yesterday, but send Mark Prior to the mound this afternoon to try and get another streak started. The Cubs have won the last five games that Prior has started, but he has only gotten credit for two of the wins. In the midst of that span was nearly a month spent on the disabled list with a fractured right elbow.
The Nationals send their veteran ace, Livan Hernandez, to counter. Hernandez has won a whopping 10 straight decisions and the Nationals have only lost three times in his 17 starts this year.

Cleveland Indians @ Orioles
Game Time: 7:35 p.m.
Location: Oriole Park at Camden Yards

CLE: 42-35 (3rd in AL Central, 11 behind Chicago)
BAL: 43-35 (2nd in AL East, 2.5 behind Boston, 3.5 ahead of New York)

Pitching Match-up
CLE: C.C. Sabathia (5-4, 4.60 ERA) Throws Left
BAL: Rodrigo Lopez (7-3, 4.47 ERA) Throws Right

The Orioles look to bounce back and even up the four game series with the Cleveland Indians after a blowout loss yesterday.
Rodrigo Lopez hadn’t taken a loss in over a month until giving up four runs in six innings in an 8-1 loss to Atlanta on June 26. The streak is deceptive, though, because Lopez gave up four runs in five innings in a 9-5 win over the Blue Jays in the start before and seven runs in three innings in a no-decision against Detroit on June 4 (the O’s won that game 14-7).
C.C. Sabathia will pitch for the Indians. He has been inconsistent this year, having five solid starts in a row before his last three, a span in which he never made it through more than five innings and ballooned his ERA from 3.36 to 4.60.
The Birds’ sluggish offense of late will look to take advantage of Sabathia’s cold streak. The O’s are only averaging 3.25 runs over their last eight games, of which they have lost seven., which was listing Melvin Mora as questionable before Wednesday’s rained out game against the Yankees, is now listing him as out indefinitely. Mora has repeatedly told the media, though, that he doesn’t feel any pain. reported on Thursday that Mora thinks he could be back this weekend, and KFFL reported that he ran and took batting practice before the game. The question is whether “this weekend” means Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

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