Game One Hundred Seven: Cubs (62-44) vs. Brewers (60-46)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee
Carlos Zambrano (11-4, 2.96/1.24) vs. Ben Sheets (10-3, 2.87/1.13)
Neither team left anything on the field on Monday and tonight’s game figures to be more of the same, especially with Carlos Zambrano facing Ben Sheets. Two of the best pitchers in the National League, both All-Stars, both staff aces and both have a good history against the other’s team….and remember, it’s only July.
Lou Piniella needs a solid start from Carlos Zambrano tonight and Big Z must not allow the things he cannot control to get to him. With Kerry Wood out, Bobby Howry likely on the outs, Chad Gaudin pitching in the each of the last three games and Scott Eyre on the trading block, Piniella has a short pen that will likely start and end with Jeff Samardzija and Carlos Marmol.
Kerry Wood’s return is uncertain at best and Piniella stated on Monday, “he’s not really that close.” WGN Radio reported on Monday that Wood will throw a simulated game on Wednesday to check on his progress. While the Cubs have Sean Marshall and Neal Cotts in the pen, the Brewers’ offense usually lights up southpaws…. Carlos Zambrano is coming off a solid win in his last start against the Marlins. After struggling with his command in Houston, Zambrano settled down and did not walk a batter in 7 strong innings while allowing 2 runs on 6 hits with 6 strikeouts. Big Z also helped his own with a double that tied the game at 2 and he later scored the go ahead run when Derrek Lee walked with the bases loaded.
Zambrano has been solid since returning from the DL, even his start in Houston was enough to post a win but the Cubs offense managed only 1 run….his solo shot in the 7th. Zambrano is 3-1 in his last 4 starts with a 2.30 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP while opponents have hit just .175 against him.
Zambrano is 5-4 in 9 road starts this season with a 3.84 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP.
Tonight will be Big Z’s third start of the year against the Brewers. He received a no decision in the first two and allowed 1 run on 10 hits with 3 walks and 8 strikeouts in 13 innings (0.69 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP)….Ben Sheets opposed him on Opening Day and Yovani Gallardo started the last game of the second series on May 1st at Wrigley.
Zambrano is 9-8 in 22 career games, 21 starts, against Milwaukee with a 3.87 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP….in 10 career starts at Miller Park, Z is 5-5 with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP.
- Russell Branyan – 5-for-35 with a double and a home run
- Ryan Braun – 4-for-12 with a double and a home run
- Mike Cameron – 0-for-8
- Craig Counsell – 6-for-25 with 2 doubles
- Ray Durham – 4-for-15
- Prince Fielder – 8-for-26 with 4 doubles and a home run
- Bill Hall – 7-for-38 with 2 doubles, 2 triples and 17 strikeouts
- Corey Hart – 4-for-14 with a triple
- Jason Kendall – 10-for-30
- Ben Sheets – 0-for-10
- Rickie Weeks – 7-for-28 with 2 doubles and a home run
Look for Ray Durham to start at second base tonight for Ned Yost.
Ben Sheets was the starter for the National League in the Midsummer Classic for a reason and despite all of the hype, and rightfully so, about CC Sabathia, Sheets is the Brewers’ ace regardless of what the mainstream media thinks.
Sheets has not posted a win since July 9th but the two no decisions are very deceiving. The Brewers have won his last two starts and he has allowed 7 runs, 4 earned, on 13 hits in 12 innings with 7 strikeouts and 3 walks.
Sheets is 1-1 in his last 4 starts with a 3.04 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP and opponents have hit .286 against him.
At Miller Park this year, Sheets is 4-2 with a complete game in 7 starts, a 2.96 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.
Sheets is 1-0 in 2 starts against the Cubs this season with a 2.38 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP, for his career Sheets is 10-7 in 24 career starts with a 3.76 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.
- Mark DeRosa – 6-for-21 with 2 doubles and a triple
- Jim Edmonds – 11-for-54 with 3 doubles, 3 home runs and 18 strikeouts
- Mike Fontenot – 1-for-4 with a triple
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-5 with a double
- Reed Johnson – 1-for-5
- Derrek Lee – 16-for-49 with 2 doubles and 6 home runs
- Aramis Ramirez – 10-for-52 with 2 doubles, a triple and a home run
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-11 with a double
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-3
- Ryan Theriot – 2-for-13
- Carlos Zambrano – 5-for-14
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….