Game Sixty-Seven: Cubs (42-24) vs. Braves (32-34)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Zambrano (8-2, 3.01/1.28) vs. Tim Hudson (7-4, 2.86/1.14)
Updated – 10:47am C.T. – Micah Hoffpauir Recalled – Eric Patterson in Chicago
According to a report in the Sun-Times, Micah Hoffpauir was recalled as expected to take Alfonso Soriano’s spot on the active roster. The Sun-Times also reported the Cubs will activate Eric Patterson when Lou Piniella reduces his pitching staff from 13 to 12 before Interleague play begins on Friday.
Updated – 11:27am C.T. – Eric Patterson Recalled – Kevin Hart Optioned
According to a report in the Sun-Times, the Cubs activated Eric Patterson and he will be available for today’s game against the Braves. Kevin Hart was optioned back to Triple-A.
The Cubs will go for the series sweep of the Braves and their 11th straight at home behind Carlos Zambrano, but without Alfonso Soriano. Ryan Theriot is expected to be inserted into the leadoff spot and reports suggested on Wednesday night that Micah Hoffpauir would be recalled to take Soriano’s spot on the roster. Kosuke Fukudome should find his way to the 2-hole in the lineup. Piniella announced before Wednesday’s game that his right fielder would hit in that spot during Interleague play.
The Cubs and Braves will play the first ever throwback game today at Wrigley. The Cubs will don replica uniforms from 1948 while the Braves will be the Boston Braves for a day. The game will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Cubs’ games being telecasted on WGN. Carlos Zambrano is coming off his second loss of the season after the Cubs defense opened the door for the huge 7th inning in Los Angeles. Zambrano gave up a season high 7 runs and tied a career high by allowing 13 hits. Big Z promised he would get back on track in his next start. Zambrano was not happy with the location of several of his pitches, notably one to Russell Martin and the other to Matt Kemp. Zambrano deserved a better result but could not remain in control of himself while he was on the mound….or after.
Zambrano was not sharp against the Padres and coupled with his start against the Dodgers, Piniella needs a good outing out of Zambrano today.
The Cubs are in position to sweep the Braves and with a long road trip ahead, Zambrano could give the bullpen more time off. Zambrano must step up and give his team a good outing today and quiet the concerns of the team being without one of the big three….for at least one day. Big Z is 4-0 in 8 starts at Wrigley this year with a 2.38 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.
Zambrano is 2-2 in 9 career starts against the Braves with a 4.88 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.
- Jeff Francoeur – 2-for-11 with a double and a home run
- Tim Hudson – 0-for-5
- Kelly Johnson – 3-for-10 with 2 doubles
- Chipper Jones – 5-for-19 with a double, a home run and 4 walks
- Greg Norton – 2-for-6 with a double
The Cubs will face a familiar face in Tim Hudson. Hudson hit Alfonso Soriano in Atlanta after Soriano hit 3 home runs the night before….but he will not have the opportunity to “brush” Soriano off the plate today.
With all of the injuries to the Braves’ pitching staff, Hudson has become the number one starter for Bobby Cox. Hudson has been very solid for the Braves this year….and has never lost to the Cubs.
Hudson has not posted a win since May 22nd, to no fault of his own. Hudson has allowed only 6 earned runs on 23 hits in his last 3 starts (21 2/3 innings) with 12 strikeouts and 8 walks. Hudson is 2-3 in 7 road starts this season with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.14 WHIIP.
Look for Piniella to load his lineup with lefties today. Hudson has not allowed a home run to a right hander this season and left handers are hitting .255 with 18 walks, 23 strikeouts and 7 home runs while righties are hitting .225 with 5 walks, 31 strikeouts and 0 home runs.
Hudson is 2-0 with a complete game in 4 starts against the Cubs with a 4.70 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.
- Mark DeRosa – 1-for-1
- Jim Edmonds – 8-for-18 with a double, a home run and 5 walks
- Derrek Lee – 4-for-10 with a home run
- Aramis Ramirez – 4-for-13 with a double
- Ryan Theriot – 0-for-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….