Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Diamondbacks – 04/28/09

Game Nineteen: Cubs (9-9) vs. Diamondbacks (8-11)
Game Time – 8:40pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 189
Location – Chase Field, Phoenix

Carlos Zambrano (1-1, 4.85/1.50) vs. Yusmeiro Petit (0-1, 6.00/1.67)

Updated – 6:32pm C.T.Milton Bradley is in tonight’s starting lineup and Geovany Soto will be given tonight off and possibly Wednesday as well. According to a report from the Sun-Times, Aramis Ramirez is “still at least a couple of days away” from returning. Ramirez “was not pleased with how the pregame work went today.

Derrek Lee is not in the original lineup…but that could change.

The Cubs will try to avoid dropping below .500 tonight for the first time since April 5, 2008 behind Carlos Zambrano. The Cubs’ offense is expected to receive a boost with the returns of Aramis Ramirez and Milton Bradley.

The Cubs pushed Ramirez a little on Monday according to Mark O’Neal but at the same time are being very cautious with Ramirez. The Cubs understand they cannot afford to lose him for a long period of time and O’Neal added that losing Ramirez for an extended period would “be devastating.

Milton Bradley is expected to make only his second start since leaving the game in Milwaukee back on April 12. Bradley pinch-hit on Monday and struck out in the eighth inning.

Carlos Marmol is also expected to be available tonight after a 25-pitch bullpen session went very well on Monday. Marmol said he is feeling 100%.

Derrek Lee could miss the remainder of the series with neck spasms. He is not expected to be in the lineup tonight and while some reports during the game on Monday indicated a possible Wednesday return, reports following the loss indicated Lee could miss the final two games in Arizona.

The Cubs really need Carlos Zambrano to step up tonight and deliver a gem…and keep his team above .500. The Cubs’ offense is struggling and it will not get any easier for them tonight. While Yusmeiro Petit has been an inconsistent Major League pitcher, he has dominated the Cubs. Petit is 2-0, in three career starts against Lou Piniella’s crew, with a 2.81 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.

Carlos Zambrano is coming off a solid start against the Reds…and one that might have turned out differently had the Cubs’ defense been a little better behind him. Zambrano for his part, threw two balls away on pick-off attempts and one cost him a run after Willy Taveras made it all the way to third on Z’s error.

Zambrano needs a good outing tonight and the Cubs need a good outing from their staff ace.

Zambrano has pitched out of the stretch a lot this season. In 26 innings, Big Z has walked 11 and allowed 28 hits. He must cut down on the walks which will allow him to complete seven innings…with a lot less pitches.

For his career Zambrano is 1-2 in four starts against the D’Backs with a 4.88 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. He did not face Arizona last season and his last start against the Diamondbacks was in Game One of the 2007 NLDS.

  • Eric Byrnes – 0-for-3
  • Tony Clark – 2-for-6
  • Felipe Lopez – 12-for-35 with a double, a triple, 2 home runs and 7 walks
  • Chad Tracy – 4-for-5 with a double

Yusmeiro Petit has not won a game this season and his team is 0-2 in his two starts. Petit has a good young arm but has yet to be consistent in the big leagues, except when he faces the Cubs…Petit was 3-5 in eight starts, 19 games, for Arizona a year ago with a 4.31 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.

Petit faced the Cubs only once last season in a spot start on Mother’s Day at Wrigley. The third game of the series was supposed to be a match-up of Carlos Zambrano versus Randy Johnson but the weather forced Piniella to give Sean Gallagher his first start and Bob Melvin to insert Petit for the Big Unit. The Cubs’ offense managed only one run on three hits in five innings that rainy Sunday afternoon.

  • Milton Bradley – 1-for-3 with a walk
  • Mike Fontenot – 2-for-6 with a triple and a walk
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-2
  • Derrek Lee – 1-for-5 with a home run
  • Aaron Miles – 0-for-3
  • Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-6 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-6 with 3 doubles
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-2
  • Ryan Theriot – 1-for-8 with a double and a walk

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne