Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Phillies – 08/24/06

Game One Hundred Twenty-Seven: Cubs (53-73) vs. Phillies (64-62)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Carlos Zambrano (13-5, 3.34) vs. Cole Hamels (6-6, 4.40)

Here is the good news….Carlos Zambrano is scheduled to take the ball today for the Cubs. Here is the bad news….the Cubs will face a left-handed rookie in Cole Hamels, not a good recipe to avoid a sweep and for Zambrano to become the first 14-game winner in the National League. Big Z has pitched well of late but Hamels has actually out pitched him over his last 4 starts, this one should be a dandy.

Zambrano bounced back in his last two starts from back-to-back losses to the Pirates and Brewers. He was spectacular in Houston and gave up only 2 runs on 6 hits against the Cardinals last Saturday but the bullpen could not hold the lead and kept Zambrano from winning his 14th of the season. The Cubs need a big start from Zambrano and, of course, a win. The Cubs are the only big league team not to register a complete game and while that would be great, 8 strong from Zambrano and a solid performance from Ryan Dempster might get the job done.

After a rough start to his Major League career, something clicked….Hamels has put it together of late and is 3-1 in his last 4 games with a 1.33 ERA, just 4 earned runs in 27 innings while striking out 34 and walking just 4….that is not a typo. The Cubs will have their hands full and it should be very interesting to see how they handle a pitcher they have never faced and a lefty at that, this game could be over in 2 hours. Hamels has struck out as many as 12 in a game twice this season and in his last 50 1/3 innings he has allowed just 13 free passes. The rookie throws strikes but the question is, will the Cubs be able to get a hit, much less score a run?

The over and under on this game should be around 2 and should be decided by the bullpens….if Z is on his game.

Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy

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