Game Seventy-Two: Cubs (35-36) vs. White Sox (36-38)
Game Time – 1:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 180
Location – U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago
Carlos Zambrano (4-2, 3.48/1.27) vs. John Danks (5-6, 4.43/1.29)
Today concludes Interleague Play for all but two teams in the majors … the Cubs and the White Sox. The make-up date from the rainout on June 16 has not been announced but the all signs are pointing to the game being played on September 3 at Wrigley (both teams have an open date on September 10 as well). The Cubs are 6-7 against the AL with two games remaining on their schedule … and the game against the Sox in September could end up being a formality if the Cubs continue to struggle the way they have throughout the first three months of the season.
Saturday was not a good day for the Chicago Cubs. Not only did they lose to their crosstown rival in a game the bullpen could not hold, every team in the central took care of their business … and then there’s the little trade involving Mark DeRosa going to the Cardinals.
Aramis Ramirez Update: Aramis Ramirez took batting practice again on Saturday. He told the media that his shoulder was a little sore after Friday’s session, but not more than could be expected. As mentioned last week, Ramirez said during the pre-game before the Cubs-Tigers game on Wednesday that once he returns he will require extra rest for the remainder of the season. Ramirez pointed out he likely would not be able to play day games following night games, depending on how he feels. The Cubs have missed his run production, and his glove, but the return of Aramis Ramirez will not be a cure-all for this team. The Cubs need help in the bullpen and a player similar to the one that is now with the Cubs’ biggest rival. According to multiple reports Ramirez could begin a rehab assignment within a week, which if all goes well he could be back in time for the four-game series against the Cardinals at Wrigley (July 10 – July 12).
Mark Teahen was rumored to be on the Cubs’ radar over the winter and reports are suggesting he is once again … so stay tuned.
Today is just not the rubber game of the series against the Sox but an important game for the Chicago Cubs. Lou Piniella needs production from both Milton Bradley and Alfonso Soriano and to have someone in the pen step up and provide some much-needed stability late in games … and it all starts with Carlos Zambrano. Carlos Zambrano has put together a very good month with only one win to show for it. Zambrano is 1-0 in his last four starts with a 2.20 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP, opponents have hit just .168 against him. Zambrano was inline for his fifth win of the season in his last time out after Micah Hoffpauir gave the Cubs a lead in the eighth, but …
Zambrano gave up three runs on five hits in seven innings to the Tigers in his last start.
Big Z will make his second start of the year against the White Sox. He received a no-decision back on June 18. Zambrano surrendered three runs on six hits in seven innings. Zambrano has been pitching to contact more of late and doing an excellent job of keeping the ball down. Since his return from the DL on May 22, Zambrano has pitched into or through the seventh inning in five of six starts (five straight) … and into the eighth once.
This afternoon will be Zambrano’s 11th career start against the White Sox. In his previous 12 games, 10 starts, Zambrano is 5-2 with a 4.39 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.
- Brian Anderson – 2-for-2 with a walk
- Gordon Beckham – 1-for-1 with a walk
- Jermaine Dye – 4-for-19 with 3 doubles and a home run
- Josh Fields – 0-for-3
- Chris Getz – 1-for-3 with a double
- Paul Konerko – 7-for-25 with 4 home runs and 3 walks
- A.J. Pierzynski – 5-for-17 with a home run and 3 walks
- Scott Podsednik – 6-for-30 with 2 doubles and 2 walks
- Alexei Ramirez – 1-for-4 with a home run
- Jim Thome – 4-for-12 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
- DeWayne Wise – 2-for-8 with a double
Hopefully the second time is the charm today against John Danks. The young southpaw dominated the Cubs and Ryan Dempster on June 17. The Cubs managed only one run on five hits in seven-plus innings … and no walks. Danks really enjoyed his afternoon at Wrigley and tipped his cap as he left the game.
John Danks has put together a good year and has been excellent of late. Despite just one win in his last four starts (1-3), Danks has allowed only 11 earned runs on 19 hits with 6 walks and 25 strikeouts. The Cubs made it easy on Danks 11 days ago and must not employ the same game plan this afternoon.
The Dodgers beat Danks in his last start, 5-2. Joe Torre’s team scored three runs on three his with two walks (five strikeouts) in seven innings off the lefty.
- Milton Bradley – 3-for-6 with a home run
- Mike Fontenot – 0-for-3
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-3
- Derrek Lee – 1-for-5
- Aaron Miles – 1-for-3 with a double
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-3
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-5
- Ryan Theriot – 2-for-6
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….