Game Six: Cubs (3-2) vs. Brewers (2-3)
Game Time – 1:05pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee
Wade Miller (0-0, -.–) vs. Chris Capuano (0-0, 5.40/1.40)
Happy Easter…. Is a sweep in the cards? After dropping two of the first three games of the year the Cubs are in position to take all three from the Brewers in Miller Park and head to Chicago for the home opener riding a 3-game winning streak but for that to happen they will have to beat Chris Capuano and a Brewers team that will be out to prove a point. Wade Miller will make his first start of the season against a team he has pitched very well against in his career. The Cubs starting staff has performed better than expected in the first week of the season and Lou Piniella has received four quality starts in a row….can Miller make it number 5? Miller is coming off a strong spring in which he won the 5th spot in the rotation and in the process allowed the Cubs to not have to depend on Mark Prior to start the season with the big league club. Prior’s demotion to the minors, his “employee” comment and starting the season on the DL have been well documented.
Miller is 11-1 in 15 career games, 14 starts, with a 2.55 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP against the Brewers but has not faced them since 2004….he was 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA and a 0.67 WHIP (2 runs on 4 hits, no walks and 6 strikeouts). In 7 career games at Miller Park he is 6-0 with 1 complete game, an ERA of 1.08 and a 0.92 WHIP but his strikeout to walk ratio in Miller Park is very impressive….48 to 13, nearly 4 to 1. In 50 innings he has allowed 33 hits, 6 earned runs, only 2 long fly balls and the Brewers are hitting below the Mendoza Line at .188. This is an entirely different Brewers team than the ones Miller had all of the success against. Only a hand full of Brewers have ever faced him, and besides minimal success by Johnny Estrada (2-3 with a double) today might provide an answer to a one of the big questions in the game of baseball. Who has the biggest advantage, a hitter that has never faced a pitcher or a pitcher who has never faced the hitter?
Chris Capuano on the other hand…. Everyone in Chicago from Lou Piniella to the street vendor knows how he dominated the Cubs last season. Capuano was 3-0 with 2 complete game shutouts and pitched into the 8th inning in his 3rd outing. In 26 innings against the Cubs last season he did not allow a single run, earned or otherwise. To say he dominated this organization would be an understatement. The Cubs managed just 18 hits and 2 walks while striking out 16 times….just unbelievable. The Cubs problems last season with southpaws were well documented and every excuse in the book was used to try to explain why. This is the first lefty the Cubs have faced this season.
Capuano had a 0.00 ERA last season against the Cubs with a 0.77 WHIP, for his career he is 7-2 in 10 starts with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. He has given up 26 earned runs on 57 hits and 10 long balls in 62 1/3 innings. Michael Barrett is 5 for 14 with 2 doubles and 2 home runs, Derrek Lee is 9 for 24 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 3 walks and Aramis Ramirez is 9 for 30 with 2 doubles and a home run.
The Dodgers chased Capuano from his start on April 3rd. He allowed 3 runs, all earned, on 5 hits including a home run in 5 innings. It is time for the Cubs to do the same.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….