Game Fifty-Seven: Cubs (24-32) vs. Brewers (33-26)
Game Time – 1:05pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee
Carlos Zambrano (5-5, 5.62/1.59) vs. Jeff Suppan (7-5, 3.71/1.35)
The rubber game of the series…. The Cubs proved in the past three games they have figured out how to hit the ball, now Carlos Zambrano must remember how to pitch it and get batters out. The Cubs need the win to get back within 7 games of .500 before heading to Atlanta for a 4-game series. A sweep would have been nice, but a series win is a must at this point. Carlos Zambrano has a lot to prove to his team today. Zambrano has not pitched to his ability this season and all of his frustrations came to a head last Friday at Wrigley. This is a very important start for Zambrano, who predicted a Cy Young award for himself at the beginning of the year. Not only will the Faithful and Brewers fans be interested in how Zambrano pitches and acts, but the entire baseball world will have an eye on Miller Park today with the impending free agency of the one time Cubs’ ace.
Lou Piniella announced on Tuesday night that Koyie Hill will get the start behind the plate today for the Cubs and not Michael Barrett. According to a report on Cubs.com, Barrett will catch Zambrano again this season, just not today and the reason given was the Cubs playing a day game after a night game.
Today will be Carlos Zambrano’s third start of the season against the Brewers. Zambrano beat the Brewers back on April 7th in Milwaukee for his first win of the season. He held the Brewers to 3 runs on 5 hits in 7 innings while walking 2 and striking out 6, but he did allow 2 home runs, one to Rickie Weeks and the other to Geoff Jenkins. On April 23rd at Wrigley, Zambrano received a no decision after leaving the game in the 6th inning. The Cubs lost the game, 5-4 in 12 innings, after the bullpen could not hold the 4-2 lead Zambrano left the game with….for his part, Zambrano gave up 2 runs on 5 hits in 5 1/3 innings while striking out 7 and walking 3, with one home run allowed to J.J. Hardy.
This season Zambrano is 1-0 with a 3.65 ERA against the Brewers and has allowed 3 home runs in 12 1/3 innings….for the season Zambrano has given up 13 home runs in 73 2/3 innings. Zambrano is coming off by far the worst outing of his career.
Jeff Suppan has been everything the Brewers were hoping for when they signed him this past off-season. After losing his first two starts of the season, Suppan won his next 5 starts that included his best outing of the season against the Cubs on April 24th. Suppan threw 8 shutout innings and allowed just 8 hits but after his only complete game of the season against his former team, Suppan has shown steady decline since. Suppan was 2-3 with a 4.99 ERA in May before beating the Marlins his last time out. Suppan has walked (17) as many in his last 37 2/3 innings as he has struck out (17).
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….