Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Tigers – 06/23/09

Game Sixty-Seven: Cubs (34-32) vs. Tigers (38-31)
Game Time – 6:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 176
Location – Comerica Park, Detroit

Carlos Zambrano (4-2, 3.44/1.30) vs. Edwin Jackson (6-4, 2.39/1.06)

Can the Cubs get on track tonight in Detroit? The Cubs four-game winning streak came to an end on Monday night but the lack of offense away from Wrigley is becoming more and more concerning. In the Cubs last 29 innings away from the Friendly Confines, they have scored only one run. The Cubs must work on the fundamentals of the game, especially on the road, and it will not be an easy task for the nest three days.

The Cubs will have to cool off a very hot Tigers team and one that could get Magglio Ordonez back, depending on the report, after he was benched last week. Jim Leyland’s team is coming off a weekend sweep of the Brewers and other than the Dodgers, is the best team the Cubs have faced this year.

This will be the first series for the Cubs in Detroit since 2001 and the Cubs are 5-3 in Interleague Play with seven left to play.

While it all starts with Carlos Zambrano … the Cubs’ offense has to do their part as well.

Carlos Zambrano has done his job since returning from the DL … and his suspension. While his 1-1 record in his last five starts is not what a team’s number one pitcher should have, Zambrano has been a victim of little to no run support like the rest of the staff. Since May 22 in San Diego, Zambrano has allowed only eight earned runs in 26 2/3 innings.

Big Z is coming off a quality start against the Sox in which he allowed three runs on six hits in seven innings. The Cubs won the game thanks to the first of three straight walk-off victories.

Zambrano has been pitching to contact of late, which is allowing him to go deeper in games. He has pitched into the seventh inning in each of his last four starts … and completed eight in Houston on June 10.

Like Rich Harden, Carlos Zambrano has pitched better on the road and at night. Zambrano is 3-1 in six starts away from Wrigley, all night games, with a 2.58 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP … compared to a 1-1 mark in five outings at home with a 4.45 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.

Zambrano will make his first career start against the Detroit Tigers tonight.

  • Miguel Cabrera – 4-for-18 with a double, 2 home runs and three walks
  • Adam Everett – 3-for-29 with 2 doubles and 2 walks
  • Magglio Ordonez – 1-for-5 with a double and 2 walks
  • Placido Polanco – 1-for-10 with a double

The Cubs will get their first look at the former Tampa Bay Ray, Edwin Jackson tonight. Jackson was the sixth round pick of the Dodgers back in 2001 and was traded in the off season from the Rays to the Tigers for outfielder Matt Joyce (during the winter meetings on December 10).

Jackson has out-pitched the Tigers expectations this season. In his 14 starts this season, Jackson has allowed more than three earned runs twice (four on April 12 to Texas and five on May 4 to Minnesota) and has issued more than three walks only two times as well (five on May 21 to Texas and four on June 11 to the White Sox) … in other words, the Cubs offense will have more than their hands full tonight.

It will be hard to be patient against Jackson and the Cubs over aggressiveness at the plate this season could pay dividends tonight.

Edwin Jackson is coming off a loss to the Cardinals in which he allowed on three runs on seven hits in six innings with two walks and seven strikeouts. Jackson is 1-1 in his last three starts with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-2
  • Aaron Miles – 3-for-7
  • Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-1

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"There are places I remember. All my life though some have changed. Some forever not for better. Some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments ... " John Lennon/Paul McCartney