Game One Hundred Twenty-Six: Cubs (65-60) vs. Giants (55-72)
Game Time – 2:35pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 178
Location – AT & T Park, San Francisco
Carlos Zambrano (14-9, 3.86/1.31) vs. Matt Cain (5-13, 3.78/1.32)
Updated – 12:43pm C.T. – According to a report on ESPN 1000 in Chicago, the Cubs have acquired Craig Monroe and cash from the Detroit Tigers for the infamous PTBNL. The Chicago Tribune is reporting the deal as well.
Lou Piniella’s crew will try for a 3-game sweep of the Giants today behind their ace, Carlos Zambrano in a rematch from July 18th. While the Cubs’ offense has not exactly lit up the scoreboard in the first 2 games, they have done just enough to get the wins. It will not be any easier today against Matt Cain, the Giants’ right-hander has been at the top of his game of late. The offense must put together a solid performance but as always, it starts with Carlos Zambrano. Carlos Zambrano will make his 2nd start after signing his new deal last Friday. Zambrano started the game against the Cardinals on Sunday night but after just 3 innings, the game was called and Zambrano’s start was erased (the game was rescheduled for Monday, September 10th at 2:20pm). Zambrano threw 44 pitches and was perfect. He did not allow a hit or a walk and worked quickly in his short outing.
Zambrano has no more excuses, he has his contract in hand and he recently told XM Radio it is time for him to win games. Zambrano was dominate from June 6th – July 29th and must return to his mid-season form today. Zambrano has struggled since his gem in Cincinnati on July 29th. He is 0-2 in his last 3 starts with a 7.13 ERA and was shelled by the Reds in his last full outing. Zambrano tied a career high and season high with 13 hits allowed while for the second time this season not recording a strikeout. His line for his last 3 full starts is very concerning:
14 runs on 23 hits in 17 2/3 innings, 3 home runs, 12 walks and 11 strikeouts
If the Cubs are going to continue to play meaningful games the rest of the season, they will need Carlos Zambrano to lead the way.
Carlos Zambrano will face the Giants for the second time this year. He beat the Giants at Wrigley on July 18th and threw just 5 innings. The Cubs blew out the Giants 12-1 and Lou Piniella took advantage of the 9 runs the Cubs scored in the 4th and 5th inning to give his ace a breather. Zambrano gave up just 2 hits and did not allow a run. Zambrano is 4-0 in his career against the Giants (6 starts, 7 games) with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP….Big Z is 2-0 in 2 starts at AT & T Park with a 2.40 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.
- Rich Aurilia – 4-14
- Barry Bonds – 0-4
- Ray Durham – 4-13, with 3 RBI’s
- Ryan Klesko – 5-11, with a home run and 4 RBI’s
- Dave Roberts – 4-11
- Randy Winn – 4-8, with 2 doubles, a home run and a RBI
Zambrano should face a Giants lineup without Barry Bonds today.
Matt Cain is throwing his best ball of the season since April. Cain is 2-1 in his last 4 starts with a 2.63 ERA (8 runs on 20 hits in 27 1/3 innings) with an amazing strikeout to walk ratio, more than 5:1….28 strikeouts to just 5 walks. Cain set a season-high in strikeouts with 11 on August 3rd against the Padres in San Diego. Cain is the victim of little to no run support. In 3 of his 13 losses Cain has allowed 1 earned run or less and he has 6 no decisions in which he allowed a total of 11 earned runs.
The Cubs will face Matt Cain for the second time this season. They scored 6 runs on 4 hits in 4 innings with 5 walks….the 4 innings was Cain’s second shortest outing of the season and the 5 walks tied a season high. Cain is better on the road than at home. He is 2-7 in 12 starts, 1 complete game with a 4.10 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP at AT & T Park. Cain is 2-2 in 4 career starts against the Cubs with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP.
Cain will likely face a Cubs’ lineup without Aramis Ramirez.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….