Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 09/17/06

Game One Hundred Fifty: Cubs (60-89) vs. Reds (73-75)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Carlos Zambrano (14-6, 3.50) vs. Eric Milton (8-7, 4.84)

Only 2 weeks left….Carlos Zambrano will make his first start since September 4th; he was cleared by the doctors and is apparently healthy enough to pitch. Zambrano had his shortest outing of the season, just 1 1/3 innings. He threw batting practice to the Pirates and had trouble throwing strikes. Zambrano considers himself a Cy Young candidate and while that is the case, hopefully him taking the mound this late in the season will not have lingering effects in 2007.

Zambrano has had a dominating season for a team with just 60 wins entering today’s game. Before his last start he had cut down on walks allowed, 4 total in his last 3 full starts, but his pitch counts were still the same. Zambrano’s desire to compete is refreshing but it is also reason for concern. Zambrano is 1-2 in 4 games against the Reds this season with a 4.44 ERA. Z has given up 6 home runs to the Reds this season and for him to be successful today he must keep the Reds in the yard. In 15 career starts, 19 games, Zambrano is 6-5 with a 2.83 ERA.

The Cubs get another shot today against Eric Milton. They beat the southpaw back in June (4 runs, 3 earned on 6 hits in 7 innings) but lost to him when there was still hope in April (3 runs, 2 earned on 6 hits in 6 2/3 innings) and in May (2 runs on 6 hits in 7 2/3 innings). Milton is 2-1 in 3 games with a 2.95 ERA this season against the Cubs. Milton has been outstanding of late and has not allowed more than 3 runs in a start since August 19th against the Pirates. Despite not wining his last 2 starts he has only surrendered 1 earned run in his last 11 innings (0.82 ERA) and 6 earned runs in his last 4. Milton is 3-2 in 11 career games against the Cubs with a 5.59 ERA.

The Reds need the win today to keep their playoff hopes alive, they have fallen to 4 1/2 back, but the Cubs and Zambrano just need the game for no other reason but confidence.

Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball and Go Bears!!

Quote of the Day

"Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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