Game One Hundred Twenty: Cubs (72-47) vs. Braves (55-64)
Game Time – 6:10pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Turner Field, Atlanta
Rich Harden (6-2, 2.27/1.11, 1-1, 2.10/1.03) vs. Jorge Campillo (7-4, 2.83/1.06)
Game Two of the Day-Night Doubleheader
Final from game one – Cubs 10 – Braves 2
After winning game one 10-2 this afternoon in impressive fashion, tonight’s game could get very interesting. The Braves took exception to Alfonso Soriano admiring a ball hit in the 8th inning of game one. Soriano thought it was a home run, it off the wall and was nothing but a long single. Soriano stepped to the plate in the 9th and received a message….Francisely Bueno threw the first pitch over Soriano’s head and was ejected from the game. According to reports from the Sun-Times, Lou Piniella spoke with Soriano about what he did and he apologized for his actions and said it would not happen again….but Soriano is upset and said the Cubs have “pitchers that can do that to.”
The Cubs have a big game tonight, a sweep of a doubleheader on the road is very difficult and Lou Piniella’s crew must keep their eye on the prize….don’t be surprised to see warnings issued before the game. Rich Harden will try to beat the Braves for the second time this season in Atlanta…. Rich Harden is coming off a no decision against the Astros and his worst start in a Cubs’ uniform. Harden was lights out early but reportedly told Lou Piniella he was tired when he came to the mound to lift him in the 6th….and his performance showed. Harden served up more than just the one long ball that has become standard every time he takes the mound. The Astros hit two round trippers and plated 5 runs, 4 earned, on 6 hits in 5 2/3 innings with a walk and 8 strikeouts. Harden received two extra days of rest since his last start, which has proved to be a key to his success this season. However with the rainout on Tuesday, Harden’s next scheduled start in Miami on Sunday should be skipped….don’t be surprised to not see much of Sean Marshall for the next few days because he will likely get the nod on Sunday against the Marlins.
Despite giving up 5 runs in his last start, he was still in line to win the game. While the mainstream media is talking about CC Sabathia winning the NL Cy Young award this season, Harden has been just as good….his new team is 3-2 in his 5 starts since coming over in July from Oakland.
Harden has nasty stuff and has 47 strikeouts to just 9 walks in 30 innings (5 games) to prove it. Harden just needs to work on pitching a little deeper into games, he has completed 6 innings only twice in five outings.
Harden is 3-2 on the road this season (1-1 as a Cub) with a 2.66 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.
Tonight will be Harden’s second start of the season in Atlanta. He beat the Braves back on May 17th and held Chipper Jones and company to 1 run on 4 hits in 7 innings with a walk and 8 strikeouts….his only career appearance against the Braves.
- Gregor Blanco – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Yunel Escobar – 1-for-3
- Jeff Francoeur – 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts
- Kelly Johnson – 0-for-3
- Chipper Jones – 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts
- Casey Kotchman – 2-for-6
- Mark Kotsay – 1-for-3
- Brian McCann – 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts
For the second time today the Cubs will face a pitcher they have no history against….and another rookie. Jorge Campillo will make his second career appearance against the Cubs, but the first was just 1/3 of an inning (one pitch) back on June 12th and Carlos Zambrano was the only batter he faced and retired.
Campillo has been very impressive since being added to the injury riddled Braves’ rotation earlier this season. He has not recorded a loss since July 7th and is coming off a win in Arizona while the Braves have gone 4-2 in his last 6 starts. The Diamondbacks scored 5 runs on 8 hits in 6 1/3 innings but did not draw a single walk while striking out 5 times….but the start before was one of his best of the year.
Campillo threw 7 innings of shutout ball against the Brewers and allowed just 6 hits while striking out 6 and not issuing a walk….and that was two outings after shutting out the Marlins in 7 innings on just 2 hits in Miami.
Campillo throws a lot of strikes with good command, location and a fastball that ranges from the upper 80s to the lower 90s. Campillo is 4-2 in his last 8 starts with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP….he has not walked a batter in his last 2 starts (13 1/3 innings).
Patience should be a virtue early on to see what Campillo is throwing but his stats show he is better the second time through the lineup, than the first….but Campillo gives up most of his runs the third time through the order.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….