Game One Hundred Fifty-Seven: Cubs (95-61) vs. Mets (87-70)
Game Time – 6:10pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WCIU/ESPN Wednesday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 174, 188
Location – Shea Stadium, New York
Carlos Zambrano (14-6, 3.77/1.29) vs. Oliver Perez (10-7, 4.10/1.38)
With the 2008 Post Season beginning one week from today at Wrigley Field, Carlos Zambrano will make his last start of the regular season tonight against the Mets. Big Z will face a very good offense and in turn, the Mets will be a very good test for the Cubs ace. A win tonight would be great for Z but in the most important game of the final week, it is a twist on the old adage….it’s not if the Cubs win or lose, it’s how Zambrano pitches in the game.
The Cubs offense will likely be without Derrek Lee and Alfonso Soriano against the third lefty in as many games, Oliver Perez. Carlos Zambrano’s second half has been as inconsistent as they come. After returning from the DL on July 4th against the Cardinals he posted a 4-1 record in 5 starts with a 1.78 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. In August, well Zambrano was horrible….1-1 in 5 starts with a 7.43 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP. After missing his first start in September, he pitched a no-hitter against the Astros then was shelled by the Cardinals for the second time in a month….at home. Big Z is 1-1 in his last three starts with a 6.32 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.
The Cubs need their ace to pitch like one and to return to the form that saw him make the All-Star team. Zambrano was 10-3 in his first 18 starts of the season with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP while holding opponents to a .243 average. In his last 11 starts, 4-3 with a 5.51 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP….and there was a no hitter mixed into that line.
Carlos Zambrano is the key to the Cubs success in the post season. Ryan Dempster might start game one next Wednesday but a healthy and effective Carlos Zambrano will allow the Cubs to compete with the best teams in the league.
Zambrano is 7-4 in 13 road starts this season with a 3.77 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.
Tonight will be Z’s second start of the year against the Mets. He beat them 7-1 back on April 21st and allowed only one run on 5 hits in 7 innings. For his career, Big Z is 4-1 in 7 games, 6 starts, against the Mets with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP….at Shea, 2-1 in 3 starts with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.
- Carlos Beltran – 1-for-13 with a home run
- Luis Castillo – 6-for-12 with 7 walks
- Endy Chavez – 6-for-19 with a double, a triple and a home run
- Ryan Church – 4-for-17 with 2 doubles
- Carlos Delgado – 4-for-16 with a home run
- Jose Reyes – 3-for-16 with a double
- Brian Schneider – 4-for-13 with 2 doubles
- David Wright – 2-for-13
The Cubs will face Oliver Perez tonight for the first time this season. Perez could very well be the left-handed version of Jason Marquis….one day he is on and solid, the next off and ineffective. In back-to-back starts against the Braves, he allowed 4 runs, 3 earned, on 6 hits in 6 innings….the other, 2 runs on 4 hits in 7 innings and both of those starts came after he allowed 7 runs on 8 hits in 3 1/3 innings to the Nationals.
Perez is 4-2 in 12 home starts this season with a 4.27 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.
After posting a 2-1 record in 6 starts in August with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP, Perez is 1-0 in his last 4 starts with a 5.48 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP.
For his career, the former Pirate is 1-3 in 7 starts against the Cubs with a 4.97 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP.
- Mark DeRosa – 3-for-6 with 2 doubles
- Jim Edmonds – 3-for-8 with a home run
- Derrek Lee – 2-for-11 with a home run
- Aramis Ramirez – 4-for-11
- Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-10
- Carlos Zambrano – 1-for-6
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….