Game One Hundred Twenty-Two: Cubs (52-69) vs. Cardinals (65-56)
Game Time – 12:20pm C.T. FOX TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Zambrano (13-5, 3.37) vs. Jeff Suppan (9-7, 5.00)
Who would have thought at the beginning of the season that Carlos Zambrano would be the only veteran left in the starting rotation on August 19th? The Cubs run out their ace, their workhorse and their stopper today in hopes of getting back in the win column against the Cardinals, who won their first game at Wrigley in 2006 on Friday. The Cubs will face Jeff Suppan who they beat way back on April 7th, Opening Day at Wrigley. Carlos Zambrano has become a legitimate Cy Young award candidate after a winless April….he did not win his first game until May 10th. Zambrano leads the NL in strikeouts (167) and walks (96), has the highest number of pitches per start and is tied with Brad Penny, Jason Marquis and Brandon Webb for the most wins in the NL….a note from obvious man, with a win today Zambrano would become the first 14-game winner in the NL.
Zambrano has been dominant after a poor start and after the break he is 5-2, 3.24 in 7 games, just 19 earned runs in 45 2/3 innings while opponents are batting just .205 against him on the year. The Cubs are the only team left in the Majors without recording at least one complete game from a member of their pitching staff, the chances of a Cub pitcher doing that at this point is slim to none. The Cubs cannot afford to have Carlos Zambrano throw 140 pitches to obtain that stat. They must keep in mind that they are 17 games under .500, Zambrano is their future and he must not join the walking wounded to win a game to get your franchise close to .500. Dusty and company has to be smart over the next 2 weeks before the September call-ups and not over work any member of this staff….losing ball games is one thing but continuing to over work and injure pitchers is an entirely different ballgame.
Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….