Game One Hundred Seventeen: Cubs (70-46) vs. Cardinals (64-54)
Game Time – 2:55pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Zambrano (12-4, 2.76/1.21) vs. Todd Wellemeyer (8-4, 4.01/1.29)
It’s the Cubs-Cardinals on a Saturday afternoon at Wrigley in August….let the games begin. Lou Piniella’s crew will attempt to follow the thrilling 11-innning victory on Friday with a solid win behind their ace in game two. The Cubs need an efficient outing today from Carlos Zambrano…..but most importantly a win against Todd Wellemeyer and the Redbirds.
Kerry Wood was unavailable in game one due to a sore back that was revealed during Lou Piniella’s post game press conference on Friday. Piniella was hesitant to answer why Wood was not in the bullpen and once he was pressed and then moved on, he returned to the questions with the answer concerning Wood’s ailing back….not the blister. Piniella said on Friday he was not sure if Wood would be available on Saturday or not. If Wood is unable to pitch, coupled with the extra inning game on Friday, there will be more importance in getting a deep, quality outing from Zambrano.
The bat flip by Jim Edmonds following his home run in the 2nd inning on Friday should have gotten the attention of Tony LaRussa, now the question is….not if, but when will LaRussa respond? It will be interesting to see how Carlos Zambrano and the Cubs will react if the Cardinals ‘try to prove a point’.
Rick Ankiel is expected to return to the starting lineup today.
In other news…. Jason Marquis’ next turn in the rotation will not be skipped according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. Marquis will start the second game of the series in Atlanta next Wednesday. Rich Harden will start the opener on Tuesday and Ted Lilly will pitch the finale on Thursday. That would set up a rotation of Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster and Rich Harden against the Marlins in Miami next weekend….a place where the Cubs have not won since 2005.
Finally….there was a scoring change announced on Friday. According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, the error Carlos Marmol made against the Giants on July 12th at Wrigley was finally changed to an error, which removed 4 earned runs from his season total and made all 5 runs allowed in the 9th unearned. Carlos Zambrano is coming off a good but short start against the Pirates and was inline to pick up his 13th win of the season. Zambrano departed after allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, on 3 hits in 5 innings but Neal Cotts and Chad Gaudin gave up the tying runs in the 8th before Reed Johnson and Alfonso Soriano went deep in the bottom of the inning….the Cubs won 8-5. Big Z has been very good since the All-Star break, both at the plate and on the mound. In his last 3 starts (Marlins, Brewers and Pirates), Zambrano has allowed 4 runs, 3 earned, on 14 hits with 17 strikeouts and 3 walks in 20 innings. Zambrano’s pitch counts were run up against the Marlins and Brewers and that was the main reason Zambrano left after qualifying for the win against the Bucs.
Zambrano beat the Cardinals in his first start back from the DL on July 4th in St. Louis. He threw 6 innings of shutout ball on 4 hits with 5 strikeouts and 2 walks on 83 pitches….Big Z must be as efficient again today against Albert Pujols and company.
Zambrano is 6-0 in 12 starts at the Friendly Confines this season with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP….today will be his second start of the season against the Redbirds.
- Rick Ankiel – 0-for-6
- Troy Glaus – 1-for-6 with a double
- Cesar Izturis – 1-for-9 with a double
- Adam Kennedy – 4-for-8
- Felipe Lopez – 9-for-31 with a double, a triple, 2 home runs and 6 walks
- Aaron Miles – 8-for-28 with a double
- Yadier Molina – 5-for-23 with a home run
- Albert Pujols – 12-for-50 with 2 doubles, 4 home runs and 6 walks
- Skip Schumaker – 4-for-14
The Cubs will get their third look of the season at Todd Wellemeyer today. The former Cub has pitched very well against the organization that picked him back in the 4th round of the 2000 draft. Wellemeyer is one of the many reasons the Cardinals are in the thick of the playoff picture and enter today just 7 games back of the Cubs and 2 games behind the Brewers for the NL Wild Card.
Wellemeyer is coming off a very impressive no decision against the Phillies. He allowed only 1 run on 4 hits in 6 innings and despite not posting a win since July 19th, he has surrendered only 5 runs, all earned, on 17 hits in his last 3 starts (17 innings) with 10 strikeouts and 7 walks.
Wellemeyer has not lost a road start this season. He is 2-0 in 10 games with a 3.28 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP….against the Cubs this season, 1-1 in two outings with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP while the Cubs have hit .308 against him.
As mentioned on Friday, the Cubs must be patient, make Todd Wellemeyer work and get into the Cardinals’ bullpen as soon as possible.
- Mark DeRosa – 2-for-4
- Jim Edmonds – 0-for-4
- Mike Fontenot – 1-for-3 with a double
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-2
- Reed Johnson – 4-for-9 with a double
- Derrek Lee – 1-for-6
- Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-3 with a double
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-4
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-5 with a double
- Ryan Theriot – 2-for-4 with 2 walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….