Game One Hundred Twenty-Two: Cubs (74-47) vs. Marlins (63-59)
Game Time – 6:10pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Dolphin Stadium, Miami
Carlos Zambrano (12-5, 3.22/1.25) vs. Josh Johnson (3-0, 3.19/1.42)
Lou Piniella’s crew will try to keep their modest 4-game winning streak going tonight behind Carlos Zambrano. Dolphin Stadium has been a House of Horrors for the Cubs since 2005. The organization has lost their last 6 in a row to the Marlins in Miami and Lou Piniella has not posted a win in a Cubs’ uniform in the state of Florida. Including last season and three in Tampa against the Rays this year, the Cubs are 0-for-their-last-9 in the Sunshine State.
Greg Maddux was the last Cubs’ pitcher to post a win in Miami against the Fish. Maddux beat Al Leiter on July 10, 2005 with a lineup that featured only three players left on Lou Piniella’s roster….Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Ronny Cedeno. The Cubs won 9-2 more than three years ago.
The Cardinals just left Miami after winning 3 of 4 against the Marlins and they enter play tonight 2 1/2 games back of the first place Mets in the NL East.
Lou Piniella reportedly had a meeting with his team to remind his players that this is a business trip for the Cubs for the next three days. Tonight’s starting lineup will likely feature Mark DeRosa at 3rd base and Mike Fontenot at 2nd while Aramis Ramirez receives a little time off after bruising his left hip on Thursday night in Atlanta. Carlos Zambrano is coming off his worst start of the season and arguably of his career. Troy Glaus and the Cardinals lit up Zambrano in 4 1/3 innings. They scored 9 runs on 10 hits with 4 home runs and not even Zambrano’s 15th career home run could save his outing. Zambrano departed, the Cubs’ staff gave up 12 runs and Zambrano promised to be much better his next time out….well?
Zambrano was dominating before his outing against the Cardinals with one of those wins coming against the Marlins at Wrigley on July 24th. Zambrano held the Fish to 2 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings with 6 strikeouts and no walks.
Zambrano is 6-4 on the road this season in 10 starts with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP….and at night, 11-3 in 15 starts with a 2.42 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.
Big Z is 4-1 lifetime versus Florida with a 2.55 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP….at Dolphin Stadium, 2-1 in 3 starts with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP.
- Jorge Cantu – 2-for-2
- Luis Gonzalez – 5-for-19 with 3 walks
- Wes Helms – 4-for-10
- Jeremy Hermida – 0-for-1
- Mike Jacobs – 0-for-5
- Hanley Ramirez – 1-for-8 with a home run
- Dan Uggla – 0-for-3
- Josh Willingham – 4-for-5 with a double
The Cubs will get their second look of the season at Josh Johnson. The talented right-hander has not lost a game this season and pitched very well against the Cubs at Wrigley on July 25th. Johnson held the Cubs offense to 2 runs on 7 hits, struck out 8 and walked 3 in 5 1/3 innings Geovany Soto and Reed Johnson homered off of Johnson but is was a double by Jorge Cantu off of Jeff Samardzija in his big league debut….and Jeremy Hermida’s home run in the 9th off of Bobby Howry that was the difference. Ryan Dempster was inline for the win.
Johnson is 1-0 in 2 home starts this season with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Johnson is coming off an impressive win against the Mets in New York. He held the Metropolitans to 2 runs on 5 hits in 7 innings for his third straight win….and second in two starts against Carlos Beltran and company. The Marlins are 6-0 in Johnson’s 6 starts this season and he is 2-0 in his last 2 outings with a 1.38 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.
The Cubs are one of only four different teams that has faced Johnson this season.
- Mike Fontenot – 1-for-2
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-2
- Reed Johnson – 2-for-2 with a home run
- Derrek Lee – 1-for-3
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-3
- Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-10 with a double
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-2 with a home run and a walk
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-2 with a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….