Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Giants – 07/18/07

Game Ninety-Three: Cubs (48-44) vs. Giants (39-52)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. WGN, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Carlos Zambrano (11-7, 3.83/1.28) vs. Matt Cain (3-10, 3.53/1.35)

Updated – 12:32pm C.T.Derrek Lee dropped his suspension appeal and will start serving his 5-game suspension today.

Lou Piniella needs his ace to step up today and get his team back in the win column. Carlos Zambrano was very effective in his first start of the second half against the Houston Astros, now he must quiet a Giants’ lineup that will probably not include Barry Bonds according to a report on ESPN on Tuesday night. The Cubs have received two solid starts in the first two games of this series but the offense has supplied little to no support and they will not get a break today facing Matt Cain. While it all starts with Carlos Zambrano, the offense must do their part as well.

Carlos Zambrano has pitched very well of late but has to cut down on his walks. After nearly a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio in June, he has posted 20 strikeouts and 10 walks in his last 3 starts….20 1/3 innings. Zambrano is 2-1 with a 1.77 ERA in July, just 4 earned runs on 10 hits and is coming off his strongest start since June 22. He held the Astros scoreless on 3 hits with 7 strikeouts and 3 walks in 6 2/3 innings. Don’t be surprised to see Koyie Hill behind the plate today.

Zambrano is 3-0 in 6 career games, 5 starts, against the Giants with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP.

  • Rich Aurilia – 4-14
  • Barry Bonds – 0-4
  • Ray Durham – 4-11, with 3 RBI’s
  • Randy Winn – 3-6, with a double, a home run and a RBI

Matt Cain has pitched better than his 3-10 record indicates. He was 0-4 in 5 starts in June with a 3.27 ERA and the most runs he allowed in those starts was 5 against the New York Yankees on June 22nd. He posted losses in back-to-back starts against the A’s and Red Sox but allowed a combined 2 earned runs on 8 hits in 15 innings while striking out 11 and walking 4. In April he was 1-1 with a 1.54 ERA in 5 starts….the Giants give him little to no run support and if Big Z is on top of his game, today’s match-up should follow the first two games with tremendous starting pitching.

Matt Cain is 2-1 in 3 career starts against the Cubs with a complete game on September 9, 2005 in San Francisco. Cain held the Cubs to just 1 run on 2 hits while striking out 8 and walking 1….that was the 3rd start of his big league career. On the road this year, Cain is 2-4 in 9 starts with a 2.83 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. Today will be Cain’s second career start at Wrigley, he won his other start and did not allow a run in 7 2/3 innings.

  • Jacque Jones – 3-6, with a double, a home run and 4 RBI’s
  • Jason Kendall – 3-11
  • Derrek Lee – 2-7, with a home run and a RBI
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-6, with a double and a RBI
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-4, with a home run, 2 RBI’s and 2 walks

Update – According to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, Derrek Lee will start serving his 5-game suspension today. Lee was going to miss Wednesday’s game after fouling a ball off of his left shin on Tuesday night and decided to drop his appeal.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt