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  #1  
Old Apr 4th 2007, 9:10 pm
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Lightbulb 4/5 Cubs @ Reds 11:35 AM CT CSN

Just a reminder...early game on Thursday! Let's take the first series of the year!

Game 3
Cubs: 1-1
Reds: 1-1
Place: Great American Ballpark
Cubs Pitcher: Jason Marquis
Reds Pitcher: Kyle Lohse

Quote:
Jason Marquis was excited about making his first Cubs start March 1 in the Cactus League opener. He's probably giddy now.
Thursday will be Marquis' first start for the Cubs, who signed the pitcher to a three-year deal in December. At least he doesn't have to worry about getting the Cubs their first win. Ted Lilly, another free-agent acquisition, took care of that Wednesday night, fighting off an inner ear infection to strike out nine over seven innings in a 4-1 victory.

"Let's hope Marquis is just as sick [Thursday]," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said jokingly.

Last year, Marquis made one start in Cincinnati, and it wasn't one he'd like to remember. He gave up four runs on nine hits, including a Rich Aurillia home run, over 2 2/3 innings in the St. Louis Cardinals' 10-3 loss to the Reds.

Well, this is a new year, and the Chicago Cubs hope it will be a new Jason Marquis. The 2006 season was bizarre. Marquis pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals, who made it to the World Series. Yet, he was left off the playoff roster. Only two pitchers since 1900 have finished with higher ERAs than Marquis did and won 14 or more games. They include Wes Ferrell, who was 15-10 with a 6.28 ERA in 1938 for the Senators, and Guy Bush, who was 15-10, 6.20 in 1930 for the Cubs.

Marquis got to work quickly this offseason. He met with Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild in Florida before the right-hander even signed with the team to go over mechanics. Marquis' former teammate Greg Maddux had encouraged the two to get together.

"I knew I wasn't far off," Marquis said when he signed with the team. "Knowing the knowledge Larry had, they said he would be a good guy to see. It was nothing more than to get my mind right and get in a positive frame of mind."

The problem was mechanics, and Marquis said he wasn't far off. But the tweaks that Rothschild made helped him. If he can get his sinker in sync, Marquis will have success.

"We both feel confident and feel the problem is fixed and we're going in the same direction," Marquis said.

If there's one thing Piniella noticed this spring, it's that when Marquis gets into trouble, he tries to overthrow. Whoever is catching will have to keep an eye on the right-hander.

"I have something to prove to myself and the city of Chicago and that's it," Marquis said. "I know what I'm capable of doing, and the Cubs know what I'm capable of doing."

In his final spring tune-up Saturday in Las Vegas against the Seattle Mariners, Marquis gave up one run on two hits over four innings. The Cubs aren't looking for miracles. Fifteen wins and 200 innings would be nice. Marquis will get started on Thursday.

Pitching matchup
CHC: RHP Jason Marquis (14-16, 6.02 ERA in 2006)
Marquis has a career 3-2 record and 4.38 ERA in seven starts at Great American Ball Park. He's made 10 starts against the Reds in his career, and is 4-3 with a 4.76 ERA.

CIN: RHP Kyle Lohse (5-10, 5.83 ERA in 2006)
Lohse made one start against the Cubs last Sept. 23, and gave up six runs on seven hits over three innings. He was slowed this spring by a hamstring injury. He was dealt to the Reds last July 31 from the Twins for Minor League pitcher Zach Ward, and in 11 appearances for Cincinnati was 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA.

Player to watch
Aramis Ramirez has hit 12 home runs at Great American Ball Park, and is tied with Lance Berkman for the most dingers by an opponent at the Reds' home park.

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  #2  
Old Apr 5th 2007, 10:23 am
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Hopefully Marquis can come out as hot as Lilly was last night. Lilly was on fire. Time to win our first series of the year!
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Old Apr 5th 2007, 10:45 am
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A couple of singles by Lee and Ramirez, but nothing comes of it.

Middle of the 1st: Cubs 0, Reds 0
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Old Apr 5th 2007, 10:50 am
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Nothing doing for the Reds. Nice first inning for Marquis.

End of 1st: Cubs 0, Reds 0
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Old Apr 5th 2007, 10:54 am
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DeRosa goes deep! First Cubs homer of the year!!
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Old Apr 5th 2007, 10:55 am
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Izturis follows with a double. Let's see if Marquis can drive him in...
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Old Apr 5th 2007, 11:00 am
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Marquis strikes out. Soriano grounds out.

Mid of 1st: Cubs 1, Reds 0
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Old Apr 5th 2007, 11:01 am
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Thats a guy thats under the radar. DeRosa is a good hitter. Soriano needs to start hitting soon!
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Old Apr 5th 2007, 11:02 am
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LOL ITS 18 DEGREES IN DETROIT! They postponed the game!
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Old Apr 5th 2007, 11:08 am
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I saw that Neifi. I can't imagine playing with it as cold out as it is there. I agree, Sori needs to get going a little.

Marquis with a nice 1-2-3 inning.

End of 2nd: Cubs 1, Reds 0
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