Game Fifty-Three: Cubs (31-21) vs. Dodgers (26-25)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: ESPN 2, WGN – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Zambrano (7-1, 2.47/1.18) vs. Derek Lowe (2-5, 5.03/1.45)
With Tuesday’s win, Lou Piniella’s crew won their first series since taking 2 of 3 from the Pirates on the last homestand. The Cubs will attempt to sweep the series tonight against the Dodgers behind their ace, Carlos Zambrano. The last time Zambrano faced the Dodgers at Wrigley, he ran through Mike Quade’s stop sign, imploded on the mound and left to a chorus of boos in the 5th inning. Zambrano has been a different pitcher since that Labor Day afternoon at the Friendly Confines. Big Z must bring his A-game today while the Cubs’ offense tries to plate runs against Derek Lowe. Carlos Zambrano is not only coming off an impressive outing on the mound but an unbelievable night at the plate. Zambrano picked up his 7th win of the year against the Pirates last Friday night and he was 4-for-5 at the plate with 2 RBI’s. For his ‘day job‘ he held the Pirates to 2 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings with 6 strikeouts and a walk….his best strikeout to walk ratio since his second start of the year.
Zambrano bounced back from his worst outing of the season and rumors of shoulder problems with a dominant performance. He will try to give the Cubs their first series sweep tonight since the Cubs took three from the Diamondbacks earlier in the month.
Zambrano is 4-0 at Wrigley in 7 starts this year with a 2.60 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.
Big Z will make his 7th career start tonight against the Dodgers. Zambrano is 2-2 in 10 career games with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.
- Andre Ethier – 3-for-6 with a double
- Jeff Kent – 6-for-29 with a double
- James Loney – 1-for-3
- Russell Martin – 2-for-5 with 2 walks
- Juan Pierre – 5-for-25 with a double and 4 walks
The Cubs’ offense will have the tough task of figuring out how to elevate Derek Lowe’s sinker tonight. The Dodgers’ veteran right hander has struggled over the first two months of the season….until his last outing. Lowe appeared to turn the corner against the Cardinals and beat Albert Pujols and Company, 2-1, in Los Angeles. Lowe held the Cardinals to 2 runs on 5 hits in 7 innings….his best outing since April 12th against the Padres.
The Cubs offense must be patient once again tonight. Lowe has been elevating his sinker and has allowed less than 5 runs in only 5 of his 10 starts.
Lowe is 0-3 in 6 road starts this season with a 6.61 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP….teams are hitting .339 against him and have walked 14 times in 31 1/3 innings.
Lowe is 1-1 with a complete game shutout in 6 career starts against the Cubs with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. Last year, Lowe did not receive a decision in 2 starts against the Cubs and allowed 4 runs on 9 hits in 12 innings with 8 walks and 10 strikeouts (3.00 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP)….the Cubs lost both games. In 3 career starts at Wrigley, Lowe is 1-0 (the complete game shutout) with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.
- Henry Blanco – 2-for-6 with a double
- Mark DeRosa – 1-for-5 with 2 walks
- Jim Edmonds – 5-for-30 with a double and a home run
- Mike Fontenot – 2-for-3
- Reed Johnson – 3-for-6 with a double
- Derrek Lee – 10-for-22 with a double and a home run
- Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-9 with a double
- Alfonso Soriano – 11-for-46 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 12 strikeouts
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-3 with a double
- Carlos Zambrano – 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….