Game Five: Cubs (2-2) vs. Brewers (2-2)
Game Time – 12:05pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee
Carlos Zambrano (0-1, 9.00/2.20) vs. Ben Sheets (1-0, 1.00/0.22)
In an effort to get Carlos Zambrano the ball every 5th day, the Cubs will send their ace to the mound for an early test in the new season. Zambrano has not faired to well against the Brewers and two of his shortest outings of his career have actually come against the Brew Crew. Last season Zambrano was 1-2 in 4 starts with a 6.35 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP (16 earned runs on 24 hits in 22 2/3 innings) and in his career he is 7-7 in 15 starts with a 4.20 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP, for Zambrano and the Cubs it is time for history to change. Zambrano is coming off a horrible performance on Opening Day in which he could not throw strikes (5 walks, 2 k’s) and when he did the Reds, especially Adam Dunn, made him pay for his mistakes. Zambrano gave up 6 hits in 5 innings and a total 12 Reds reached on the day. The Cubs have received quality starts the last 3 games from unlikely sources, if Zambrano considers himself a Cy Young contender this season, he cannot have another 0 for April and must post a win today.
Prince Fielder is 4-10 with 2 doubles and 3 walks against Zambrano.
Ben Sheets dominated the Dodgers on Opening Day and gave up 1 run on 2 hits while throwing just 104 pitches in route to a complete game victory. Sheets is 7-6 in 18 career starts against the Cubs with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Sheets has not faced the Cubs since 2005 and he was 0-1 in 3 games with a 5.49 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP (12 runs on 22 hits in 19 2/3 innings) and Carlos Zambrano beat Sheets in the second game of the year at Wrigley….2 years ago.
Henry Blanco should make his first start of the season today, with Barrett catching the first 4 games and Zambrano on the mound and while Blanco should help Zambrano, he is hitless in 5 career at bats against Sheets. Derrek Lee is 11-34 with 5 home runs, a double and 11 RBI’s against Sheets (.324/.314/.794). Cliff Floyd has also hit Sheets pretty good in his career….4-13 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI’s while Alfonso Soriano will be facing Sheets for the first time.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….