Game Eighteen: Cubs (10-7) vs. Marlins (5-11)
Game Time – 6:05pm C.T. on WCIU and ESPN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Zambrano (0-1, 3.97) vs. Jason Vargas (1-1, 7.20)
Home Sweet Home….Carlos Zambrano is going for his first win of the season tonight against the Florida Marlins. Tonight will be Juan Pierre’s first game against his former team….although only two of his ex-teammates remain. Joe Girardi makes his return to Wrigley and his first trip back as the Manager of the Marlins. This is the first game of a eight-game home stand that includes games with the Brewers and the Pirates. The Marlins are one of those teams the Cubs are supposed to beat and those are the teams the Cubs always have a hard time with. Anything less than a series win would be a huge disappointment to the Cubbies.
Jason Vargas has had control problems the entire season and has walked 13 in just 15 innings of work. The Cubs’ offense has to show patience against Vargas and allow him to beat himself. The Cubs are ranked last in the National League in walks and patience tonight against Vargas is the key to victory.
The Marlins ‘fire sale’ over the winter made all of the headlines and rumors out of Florida are suggesting that Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera are on the trading block already this season. Reports out of the Cincinnati area are indicating the Reds have shown interest in Willis; but there are not any rumors concerning the future of Cabrera. Cabrera has always hit the Cubs well and he is the only proven threat in the Marlins lineup. As long as Zambrano pitches the way he as capable and does not take the Fish lightly Zambrano should pick up his first victory of the year.
Aramis Ramirez and Jacque Jones must use this home stand to get back on track and leave the Mendoza Line well behind.
This series is VERY important to the Cubs; winners beat the teams they are supposed to beat….no matter who is in the lineup.
Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….